The Lord is at Hand
By Vance Havner
It is interesting to note that some of the saints are beginning to awaken to the meaning of world events shaping up so perfectly according to Bible pattern. One of the leading papers of my own denomination has lately carded a full page article on the German-Russian confederacy in the light of the Word. In November there is to be held in New York City a great Prophetic conference with over a score of speakers from many different bodies of believers.
It would be unbelievable that so many Christians should be so indifferent to the signs of the times did we not know that such a fact itself is a sign of the times for in the last clays scoffers shall arise. There are thousands of Christians in all our denominations to whom the great prophetic portions of the Scriptures are abandoned areas left to students of apocalyptic. It is amazing that Christians who claim to believe the Bible take almost a sneering attitude toward a subject that covers a tremendous part of the Bible. Take out of the Bible all that deals with prophesy and it would look like a Polish town after bombardment. Yet prophecy is dismissed with a shrug of the shoulders as though it were the crossword puzzle section of the Bible, provided for those who seek that sort of entertainment.
We know that many have been discouraged from interest in these things by those who have misused the subject to build fancy theories of their own. But every major subject in the Bible has been so misused that we might as well abandon the doctrine of salvation on those grounds.
Just as in Luther’s day, God called men back to the message of justification by faith and as, in Wesley’s day He called them back to free grace and evangelism, so today I believe that the neglected doctrine which needs to be preached is the Lord’s return. Some preach it unwisely and too many preach it not at all, that is the trouble. I believe that it is the lost note today and that some of our great church bodies need the vision of it with the changed perspective which it brings and the sense of urgency it generates to transform such bodies into great agencies of God for evangelism.
No Bible student can deny that the early Christians were not only ready for the Lord’s return, they were expectant and that sense of expectancy colored all their activity. The epistles pulsate with that note. Today it has been lost in favor of the social gospel or world conversion. We are out to bring the whole world into the Kingdom of God, something which is not in the Bible, and we are farther from it today than when we started. Evangelizing the world is one thing and converting the world is another. We have gotten mixed up in our objectives.
If we read the signs at all we cannot fail to see that the Lord is at hand in the sense of His imminent return. And He is also at hand in that He is always with us, accessible to our call and standing by to help us. With such assurance we need to get busy redeeming these last hours of this age. No other incentive can take the place of God’s incentive and He has given us the blessed hope to encourage us and stir us to action in His Name. Let us occupy till He come and live with that light in our eyes.
Used by permission of the author from the book “Havner’s Reflections on Prophecy”.