Brethren Archive

The Two Prophetic Topics.

by John Townsend Trench



Notes of an Address Delivered at the Recent Prophetic Conference in Dublin (1892). 

GOD has, in mercy to mankind, drawn aside the veil and shown us something of the great drama yet to be enacted on this planet, and nothing adds more to man's happiness than the contemplation of its splendors, or tends more to lighten life's burdens and sorrows. When Christ visited this earth eighteen centuries ago, his visit was the pivot of the world's history; and yet scarcely half-a-dozen people recognized him when he came. It would be a disgrace to Christendom, if His Second Advent were equally unexpected, when He has given us distinct indications whereby His coming footfalls may be recognized.
The signs of the times convince me that Christ's second coming is very near at hand. Do not suppose that the Day of Judgment is the next great event that is to startle the world. That does not occur until the end of the Millennium. Nay, but the next event that will agitate every living heart will be when Christ in person illuminates the sky, and those who are ready, will be caught up to meet Him in the air; all politicians, philosophers, governors, generals, the brain-carriers of the world, [will be] left behind, if not washed in the Blood of the Lamb and saved before that day. This means being a participator in the saving benefits of Christ's death upon the Cross. For this, there must be personal appropriation through surrender of the heart to Christ and trusting Him to save; that will do it and that alone.
Turn for a moment to the signs of the times, predicted as the forerunners of Christ Second Advent. The prophet Daniel tells us that the Roman Empire, that is, Europe south of the Rhine and Danube, must be divided into ten kingdoms. This will involve a terrific war as foretold by Christ, because it contains about twenty kingdoms now. From one of those ten kingdoms, will arise a European Monarch to whom the ten kingdoms will give their power. He will befriend the Jews and make a seven years' covenant with them and afterwards cause them great tribulation. Not content with worldly power, he will claim Divine homage, and will boycott and kill those who refuse to yield it to him. This is the Antichrist at whose power and prowess all the world will wonder.
Many people say that expositors have so often cried "Wolf" that they cannot believe there is any serious probability that the End of the Age is at hand. But it is evident to every Christian who believes, as every Christian must, that God's Word will surely come true and that Christ will come again as He promised, that there will be a time when those who proclaim the near approach of His coming will be right. Then, woe to the generation that despises the cry and does not watch for the Lord. But God's prophets have always been counted mad. Daniel was thrown into a den of lions, and Jeremiah was put into a miry dungeon. But God said: "Cry aloud and spare not." There are many quiet, silky, sweet, useless Christians in the world that never do the devil any harm and seldom do God's kingdom much good; with such as those, the devil would not be losing his time. But those whom the devil thinks it worth his while to attack, should always take it as a compliment, and take courage to fight the battle bravely.
There are two sets of prophecy concerning the Messiah in the Bible; the one set predicts His coming in humiliation to suffer on the Cross, the other set predicts His coming in power to reign as supreme Monarch on earth. The Jews of old, made the fatal blunder of only seeing the promises that He would come to reign, as that flattered their prejudices. And now-a-days, many good people will only see the prophecies of His coming to suffer, as they have been fulfilled, and make the stupid blunder of not seeing the prophecies that He will come to reign. This is inexcusable for anyone with a Bible.
The Bible is full of great prophecies of Christ's coming in power to reign, and all the evil powers of Antichrist, and the nations of the earth, will be against Him, but He will conquer them all, for Christ cannot be defeated, and He will establish His perfect reign of righteousness and peace upon the globe. Israel was told to watch, the church was told to wait. Let this be our attitude, and may we be found ready.

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