God Is For Us.
A Conference address given at Waterloo House, Leominster in 1884.
Dr. Mulock read John xiii. 36-xiv. 3, and said: "God is for us. This is set forth in John xiii. and xiv. Then in John xv., we have the believer for God, and in chap. xvi., the Spirit of God in the believer. Before I can realize that I am for God upon earth, I must clearly see that God is for me. In chapters xiii. and xiv., Christ washes His disciples' feet, and puts the Father's house before them, with the blessed promise, "I will come again." We are all more or less affected by hope. This hope was given by our Lord as He was about to leave His Own in the world, and it was repeated by the angels on Olivet after He ascended into Heaven. It was carried on by the inspired apostles, and in Revelation xxii., we have the threefold mention of His coming. No truth acts upon the conscience like the coming of the Lord. Oh that we may prize it more, so that our hearts and lives may be continually purified by it! If we substitute anything for this in order to purify ourselves, we make ourselves wiser than God. Some would give us "perfectionism;" others, death. Death and the grave may make us sad, but the coming of the Lord held in Holy Ghost power will make us both blessed and holy. We are like the miner working in the coal mine, whose home and heart are up in yonder cottage. We are in this poor dark world of sin and sorrow, but our Lord shall soon take us up into His bright home of light and song.
This subject is viewed differently in the different gospels. In Matthew and Mark, we have the official glories of the Lord Jesus, and in Luke, we have His personal glory. Hence, in Matthew, we have the Lord's coming associated with the kingdom. In Mark, He comes to reward the servants, and in Luke, we have more the moral condition of the heart (see Luke xii.); but in John, we have pure grace. Never do we read in John's gospel of angels coming to purge out of His kingdom, all things that offend, as in Matt. xiii.; or of Christ's coming with His mighty angels, as in Matt. xxiv. 30, 31; nor as we have it brought before us in Rev. i. 7. There we enter the arena of judgment; but in John xiv., it is unmingled grace. The Lord will judge His people, as in 2 Cor. v. 10, and reward all faithful service; and He will cause them to sit down with Him at His table. This will be the blessedness of Heaven, and the special portion of the teaching ones. (Luke xii. 35.) Then (v. 42), we have the reward to the worker, each having his appointed position in the kingdom of the Son. But in John, we have nothing about the rule of the kingdom; here it is the Father's house, and the blessed Lord Himself our everlasting portion. He is coming to receive us unto Himself. For this He waits, for this He longs.
But I would say a word more for the heart and life. The disciples had often misunderstood their Lord; they had often failed, and they were all about to forsake Him in His dark hour of sorrow. Even Peter, with all his boasting would leave his Lord alone, and deny all knowledge of Him; yet the heart of Jesus never changed towards Peter. "Having loved His Own which were in the world, He loved them, unto the end." He had touched their consciences and washed their feet, and now He sets their hearts at rest, placing before them this glorious hope of His coming. His love remained the same towards them; and to-day that heart is unchanged towards His own, although He is upon the throne, and we are here in all our weakness and failure. His love towards each one is as deep and real as when He died for us upon the Cross. He told Peter that he would thrice deny Him; yet He adds, "Let not your heart be troubled." He would not forsake them or give them up until they were with Him in the Father's house.