Category Archives: Maranatha

“His love is like Himself, boundless and bottomless” by George Swinnock

“Now to this God, according to my power, I have, I do, and I shall commend you, to His favour and singular affection, to His power and special protection, and to His care and universal benediction.

I cannot commend you to one more faithful; though others fall off like leaves in autumn, he will never leave you that are his, nor forsake you.

I know not to commend you to one more loving; He lived in love, He in our natures died for love. His love is like Himself, boundless and bottomless.

It is impossible to commend you to one more able; He can supply all your needs, fill all your souls to the brim; grace is lovely in your eyes, whoever beheld it.

Glory is infinitely amiable in your judgments, whoever believed it.

He can build you up, and give you an inheritance, where all the heirs are kings and queens, and shall sit on thrones, and live and reign with Christ for ever and ever.

There ye shall have robes of purity on your backs, palms of victory in your hands, crowns of glory on your heads, and songs of triumph in your mouths; there ye may meet together to worship him without fear, and drink freely of his sweetest, dearest favour; there your services will be without the smallest sin, and your souls without the least sorrow.

If pastor and people meet there, they shall never part more.

It is some comfort now, that though distant in places, we can meet together at the throne of grace; but oh, what a comfort will it be to meet together in that palace of glory!

But since we must part here, ‘finally, my brethren, farewell; be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind; live in peace, and the God of love and peace shall be with you.’ (2 Cor. 13:11)

‘And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance amongst all them that are sanctified.’ (Acts 20:32)”

–George Swinnock, “The Pastor’s Farewell,” in The Works of George Swinnock, Vol. 4 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1992), 4: 99-100. Swinnock preached this farewell sermon to the congregation of Great Kimble, Buckinghamshire on Black Bartholomew’s Day, August 24, 1662.

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“Sitting down at one table” by Herman Bavinck

“The blessedness of communion with God is enjoyed in and heightened by the communion of saints. On earth already this communion is a wonderful benefit of faith.

Those who for Jesus’s sake have left behind house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields already in this life receive houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and fields—along with persecutions—(Mark 10:29–30), for all who do the will of the Father are Jesus’s brother and sister and mother (Matt. 12:50).

Through the mediator of the New Testament, believers enter into fellowship, not only with the militant church on earth, but also with the triumphant church in heaven, the assembly of the firstborn, the spirits of the righteous made perfect, even with innumerable angels (Heb. 12:22–24).

But this fellowship, though in principle it already exists on earth, will nevertheless be incomparably richer and more glorious when all dividing walls of descent and language, of time and space, have been leveled, all sin and error have been banished, and all the elect have been assembled in the new Jerusalem.

Then will be fully answered the prayer of Jesus that all His sheep may be one flock under one Shepherd (John 10:16; 17:21). All the saints together will then fully comprehend the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ (Eph. 3:18–19).

They will together be filled with all the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19; Col. 2:2, 10), inasmuch as Christ, Himself filled with the fullness of God (Col. 1:19), will in turn fill the believing community with Himself and make it His fullness (πληρωμα, plērōma; Eph. 1:23; 4:10).

And sitting down at one table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Matt. 8:11), they will unitedly lift up a song of praise to the glory of God and of the Lamb. (Rev. 4:11; 5:12)”

–Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, Vol. 4, Ed. John Bolt, and Trans. John Vriend, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 4: 722–723.

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“Now to this God I commend you” by George Swinnock

“Now to this God, according to my power, I have, I do, and I shall commend you, to his favour and singular affection, to His power and special protection, and to His care and universal benediction.

I cannot commend you to one so faithful; though others fall off like leaves in autumn, He will never leave you that are His, nor forsake you.

I cannot commend you to one so loving; He lived in love, He in our natures died for love. His love is like Himself, boundless and bottomless.

It is impossible to commend you to one so able; He can supply all your needs, He fill all your souls to the brim; grace is lovely in your eyes, whoever beheld it.

Glory is infinitely amiable in your judgments, whoever believed it. He can build you up, and give you an inheritance, where all the heirs are kings and queens, and you shall sit on thrones, and live and reign with Christ forever and ever.

There you shall have robes of purity on your backs, and palms of victory in your hands, and crowns of glory on your heads, and songs of triumph in your mouths.

There you may meet together to worship Him without fear, and drink freely of His sweetest, dearest favour.

There your services will be without the smallest sin, and your souls will be without the least sorrow.

If pastor and people meet there, they shall part nevermore. It is some comfort now, that though distant in places, we can meet together at the throne of grace.

But oh, what a comfort will it be to meet together in that palace of glory!

But since we must part here, ‘finally, my brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind. Live in peace and the God of love and peace shall be with you.’

‘And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance amongst all them that are sanctified.'”

–George Swinnock, “The Pastor’s Farewell,” in The Works of George Swinnock, Vol. 4 (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust reprint of the 1868 James Nichol edition, 1992), 99-100. Swinnock preached this farewell sermon to the congregation of Great Kimble, Buckinghamshire on Black Bartholomew’s Day, August 24, 1662.

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“The story is not over yet” by Thomas Schreiner

“The story is not over yet. Believers still await the consummation. They await the new creation, the completion of the new exodus, and the final fulfillment of the new covenant. Jesus will come again and transform the universe.

There is a new world coming, a new creation, a new heavens and a new earth. In that coming world God will be all in all, and Jesus Christ will be honored forever and ever. And the paradise that was lost will be regained—and more than regained, it will be surpassed.

And we will see His face (Rev. 22:4), and His glory will be magnified through Christ forever and ever.”

–Thomas R. Schreiner, New Testament Theology: Magnifying God in Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 866.

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“The happiest thing of all” by John Calvin

“Let us consider this settled: that no one has made progress in the school of Christ who does not joyfully await the day of death and final resurrection.

Paul, too, distinguishes all believers by this mark (Titus 2:13; 2 Timothy 4:8), and Scripture habitually recalls us to it whenever it would set forth proof of perfect happiness.

‘Rejoice,’ says the Lord, ‘and raise your heads, for your redemption is drawing near.’ (Luke 21:28) Is it reasonable, I ask you, that what our Lord meant to be sufficient to arouse us to rejoicing and good cheer should engender nothing but sorrow and dismay? If this is so, why do we still boast of Him as our Master?

Let us, then, take hold of a sounder view, and even though the blind and stupid desire of the flesh resists, let us not hesitate to await the Lord’s coming, not only with longing, but also with groaning and sighs, as the happiest thing of all.

He will come to us as Redeemer, and rescuing us from this boundless abyss of all evils and miseries, He will lead us into that blessed inheritance of His life and glory.”

–John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, John T. McNeill, ed, Ford Lewis Battles, trans, Library of Christian Classics (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1960 [1559]), 3.9.5.

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“Christ will come again!” by Sam Storms

“Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again! This simple liturgical refrain reminds us of the profoundly important truth that eschatology is deeply and inextricably grounded in the gospel. The twofold past tense ‘has died’ and ‘has risen’ is the basis on which the Christian perseveres in hope that ‘Christ will come again.’

Simply put, what God has already achieved in the past through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son is the foundation for what Scripture says He will do in the future, at the consummation. Christian hope is not a wishful grasping at an uncertain tomorrow but a confident expectation rooted in the reality of what transpired 2,000 years ago.

The efficacy and finality of Christ’s redemptive work, together with His resurrection and exaltation as Lord to the right hand of the Father, alone accounts for the anticipation all Christians have of the return of Christ and the consummate fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose in the new heavens and new earth.”

–Sam Storms, The Restoration of All Things (The Gospel Coalition Booklets; Wheaton: Crossway, 2011), 7.

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“What the Hebrew prophets call shalom” by Cornelius Plantinga Jr.

“The prophets dreamed of a new age in which human crookedness would be straightened out, rough places made plain. The foolish would be made wise, and the wise, humble.

They dreamed of a time when the deserts would flower, the mountains would run with wine, weeping would cease, and people could go to sleep without weapons on their laps.

People would work in peace and work to fruitful effect. Lambs could lie down with lions. All nature would be fruitful, benign, and filled with wonder upon wonder.

All humans would be knit together in brotherhood and sisterhood; and all nature and all humans would look to God, walk with God, lean toward God, and delight in God.

Shouts of joy and recognition would well up from valleys and seas, from women in streets and from men on ships. The webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight is what the Hebrew prophets call shalom.”

–Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin(Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1995), 9-10.

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“O, hear the music of God’s future” by Christopher J. H. Wright

“Mission means inviting all the peoples of the earth to hear the music of God’s future and dance to it today.”

–Christopher J. H. Wright, The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 134.

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“We do not know the play” by C.S. Lewis

“The doctrine of the Second Coming teaches us that we do not and cannot know when the world drama will end. The curtain may be rung down at any moment: say, before you have finished reading this paragraph. This seems to some people intolerably frustrating. So many things would be interrupted. Perhaps you were going to get married next month, perhaps you were going to get a raise next week: you may be on the verge of a great scientific discovery; you may be maturing great social and political reforms.

Surely no good and wise God would be so very unreasonable as to cut all this short? Not now, of all moments! But we think thus because we keep assuming that we know the play. We do not know the play. We do not even know whether we are in Act I or Act V. We do not know who are the major and who the minor characters. The Author knows.”

–C.S. Lewis, “The World’s Last Night,” in The World’s Last Night And Other Essays (New York: Harvest, 1952), 105.

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“The World’s Last Night” by C.S. Lewis

“There are many reasons why the modern Christian and even the modern theologian may hesitate to give to the doctrine of Christ’s Second Coming that emphasis which was usually laid on it by our ancestors. Yet it seems to me impossible to retain in any recognisable form our belief in the Divinity of Christ and the truth of the Christian revelation while abandoning, or even persistently neglecting, the promised, and threatened, Return.

‘He shall come again to judge the quick and the dead,’ says the Apostles’ Creed. ‘This same Jesus,’ said the angels in Acts, ‘shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.’ ‘Hereafter,’ said our Lord Himself, ‘shall ye see the Son of Man… coming in the clouds of heaven.’ If this is not an integral part of the faith once given to the saints, I do not know what is.”

–C.S. Lewis, “The World’s Last Night,” in The World’s Last Night And Other Essays (New York: Harvest, 1952), 93.

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