Tag Archives: Second Coming

“It’s the Creator of all these that I am thirsting for” by Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354-430)

“Whatever God promises you, none of it is worth anything apart from God Himself. Most certainly, God would never satisfy me, unless He promised me God Himself.

What’s the whole earth, what’s the whole sea, what’s the whole sky worth? What are all the stars, the sun, the moon? What’s the host of angels worth?

It’s the Creator of all these that I am thirsting for; I’m hungry for Him, thirsty for Him, it’s to Him I say, ‘with You is the fountain of life (Psalm 36:9).’

And He says to me, ‘I am the bread who came down from heaven (John 6:41).’ May I hunger and thirst for this in my exile, on my journey, so that I may take my fill of it when I arrive in His presence.

The world smiles on us with many things, things of beauty, power, variety; more beautiful is the One who made them, mightier and more brilliant the One who made them, more delightful, more delicious the One who made them.

I will be satisfied when His glory is revealed (Psalm 17:15).”

–Saint Augustine, Sermons 148–183 on the New Testament, ed. John E. Rotelle, trans. Edmund Hill, vol. 5, The Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century (Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 1992), 118. Augustine is preaching on Romans 8:30-31. (Sermon 158.7)

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“Dash your old self against the rock of Christ” by Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354-430)

“He who once came humbly will come in sublime majesty; He who came to submit to judgment will come to judge.

Let us acknowledge our humble Lord, so that we need not be terrified by His majesty; let us embrace Him in His humility, so that we may long for Him in His sublimity; for He will come in merciful grace to those who long for Him.

Those who hold fast in faith to Him, and keep His commandments, are the ones who long for Him. But be sure of this: come He will, even if we do not want Him.

How are we to desire His coming? By living God-fearing lives and doing good.

Memories of the past must not trap us in pleasure, nor must present affairs hold us fast.

Let us not be deterred from hearing by anything in the past, nor become so absorbed in things present that we are prevented from meditating on what is to come; but let us forget the past and stretch forward to what lies ahead.

What we struggle with now, what we groan over now, what we sigh for now, what we speak about now, all that of which we now have some dim intuition but cannot grasp— that we shall grasp, and fully enjoy, at the resurrection of the just.

Our youth will be renewed like the eagle’s, provided we dash our old self against the rock of Christ.

When you pray, O Christian, Your kingdom come, what do you mean? Your kingdom come? Awaken your heart, open your eyes, listen: Your kingdom come! Christ is shouting to you, ‘I’m coming!‘ Doesn’t that fill you with awe?”

–Augustine of Hippo, Expositions of the Psalms 51–72, trans. Maria Boulding, ed. John E. Rotelle, vol. 17, The Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century (Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 2001), 17: 321-323. Augustine is commenting on Psalm 67.

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“The love of Christ to sinners is the very essence and marrow of the Gospel” by J.C. Ryle

“The passage we have now read begins one of the most interesting portions of St. John’s Gospel. For five consecutive chapters we find the Evangelist recording matters which are not mentioned by Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

We can never be thankful enough that the Holy Ghost has caused them to be written for our learning! In every age the contents of these chapters have been justly regarded as one of the most precious parts of the Bible.

They have been the meat and drink, the strength and comfort of all true-hearted Christians. Let us ever approach them with peculiar reverence. The place whereon we stand is holy ground.

We learn, for one thing, from these verses, what patient and continuing love there is in Christ’s heart towards His people. It is written that “having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end.” (John 13:1)

Knowing perfectly well that they were about to forsake Him shamefully in a very few hours, in full view of their approaching display of weakness and infirmity, our blessed Master did not cease to have loving thoughts of His disciples.

He was not weary of them: He loved them to the last.

The love of Christ to sinners is the very essence and marrow of the Gospel.

That He should love us at all, and care for our souls,—that He should love us before we love Him, or even know anything about Him,—that He should love us so much as to come into the world to save us, take our nature on Him, bear our sins, and die for us on the cross,—all this is wonderful indeed!

It is a kind of love to which there is nothing like among men. The narrow selfishness of human nature cannot fully comprehend it.

It is one of those things which even the angels of God “desire to look into”. (1 Peter 1:12) It is a truth which Christian preachers and teachers should proclaim incessantly, and never be weary of proclaiming.

But the love of Christ to saints is no less wonderful, in its way, than His love to sinners, though far less considered.

That He should bear with all their countless infirmities from grace to glory,—that He should never be tired of their endless inconsistencies and petty provocations,—that He should go on forgiving and forgetting incessantly, and never be provoked to cast them off and give them up,—all this is marvellous indeed!

No mother watching over the waywardness of her feeble babe, in the days of its infancy, has her patience so thoroughly tried, as the patience of Christ is tried by Christians.

Yet His longsuffering is infinite. His compassions are a well that is never exhausted. His love is “a love that passeth knowledge”.

Let no man be afraid of beginning with Christ, if he desires to be saved. The chief of sinners may come to Him with boldness, and trust Him for pardon with confidence. This loving Saviour is One who delights to “receive sinners.” (Luke 15:2)

Let no man be afraid of going on with Christ after he has once come to Him and believed.

Let him not fancy that Christ will cast him off because of failures, and dismiss him into his former hopelessness on account of infirmities. Such thoughts are entirely unwarranted by anything in the Scriptures.

Jesus will never reject any servant because of feeble service and weak performance. Those whom He receives He always keeps.

Those whom He loves at first He loves at last. His promise shall never be broken, and it is for saints as well as sinners: ‘Him that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out.’ (John 6:37)”

–J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on John, vol. 3 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1879/2012), 3: 1-2. Ryle is commenting on John 13:1-5.

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“When He comes again” by J.C. Ryle

“The second miracle which our Lord is recorded to have wrought demands our attention in these verses.

Like the first miracle at Cana, it is eminently typical and significant of things yet to come.

To attend a marriage feast (John 2:1-11), and cleanse the temple (John 2:12-25) from profanation were among the first acts of our Lord’s ministry at His first coming.

To purify the whole visible Church, and hold a marriage supper, will be amongst His first acts, when He comes again.”

–J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on John, vol. 1 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1879/2012), 1: 73-74. Ryle is commenting on John 2:12-25.

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“When He comes again” by J.C. Ryle

“To attend a marriage feast, and cleanse the temple from profanation were among the first acts of our Lord’s ministry at His first coming. To purify the whole visible Church, and hold a marriage supper, will be amongst His first acts, when He comes again.”

–J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on John, Volume 1 (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1879), 103.

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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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