The Coming and the Day.
THE coming of The Lord, FOR His saints, is what we wait for. This is the Church's hope. The "day" of the Lord will come upon the world as a thief in the night; it will be the world's judgment. The world knows nothing of a risen Saviour; it never saw Him. After He rose, He made Himself known to His Own "who did eat and drink with Him" (Acts x. 41), but all His movements were silent and secret toward the world. His ascension from Olivet was from the midst of His Own; the world saw nothing of it.
So will be His coming and our going be. The world will only know of it by our absence. Pledges of this have been given in the Word. Two remarkable types of it are seen in Enoch and Elijah. Enoch "was not found because God had translated him" (Heb. xi. 5). Does not this indicate that search was made for him? Elijah was sought for over mountain and valley, by the sons of the prophets (2 Kings ii. 16, 17). The Lord's own resurrection was before the rising of the sun—"when it was yet dark" (John xx. 1). The Roman guard of soldiers were insensible to it. No audible or visible sign was given to them of the great event. What more apt figure of the world could there be at that time, than these Gentile soldiers, asleep? In like manner, when, at the coming of the Lord, those who sleep shall be awakened by His call and with those who are "alive and remain" summoned together to meet Him in the air, the children of night and of darkness will have no eye or ear for the secret. All this is in contrast to His Epiphany or Revelation with His saints, when He appears in judgment. This will be in power and great glory to usher in "the day." It was after the unnoticed resurrection of the Lord at the early dawn, that an angel descended with a great earthquake and rolled away the stone from the tomb (Matt. xxviii. 2). That was no secret. The Gentile "keepers did shake and become as dead men" (ver. 4), while a few feeble Jewish women who sought Him, were comforted and cheered (ver. 5). Such will the visible advent of the Lord with His mighty angels to the world be. (2 Thess, i. 7, 8). Every eye shall see Him then (Rev. i. 7). The world will be in terror on that day; it will overtake it unawares. To the Jewish remnant, waiting for redemption, in the day of Jacob's trouble, He will appear as "the Sun of Righteousness, with healing in His wings," but with scorching judgment upon Israel's foe, the proud Antichrist, who oppresses them. "The day of vengeance of our God" will be the time of "comfort to those that mourn" (Isa, lxi. 2). That "day" will not, cannot come, until the dead in Christ have been raised, the living saints changed and both safe in Heaven. The fact that the Lord has not come FOR His saints, is proof that "the day" cannot now come. When He comes to introduce that day, His glorified saints will appear with Him, having previously been taken from earth to Heaven secretly to the Father's house. The world will see both Him and them "glorified together," and the sight will bring terror to the stoutest heart.
“The Believer’s Magazine” 1912