Abiding Presence of God

6 08 2012

“I will not leave you orphans, I will come unto you.” Why should the church keep mourning the absence of her Lord when she has the assurance of His abiding presence? Why should the spouse of the Ever-Living Christ sit down in the dust, clad in the weeds of widowhood, bewailing the loss of her Lord when He is really present with her? Why should believers in a risen Christ dolefully sing “Down life’s dark vale we wander till Jesus comes,” when they ought rapturously to sing, “Joy to the world the Lord is come?”

Brief was the interval between His departure and His return. He came again speedily, just as He had promised. After His resurrection His disciples saw Him and their hearts were flooded with a newfound joy that no one could take away from them. After His ascension He was restored to them fully, dwelling in their hearts by the power of His Spirit. And thus in their experience were the words fulfilled, ‘Verily I say unto you, there be some of them that stand here who shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom.”

The promise given to the early Christians was “the promise of His presence.” (11 Peter 3:4) In the midst of the fiery trials by which they were beset they wore enjoined “to be patient until the presence of the Lord.” (Jas. 5:7) They were to abound in self-denying service knowing that the presence of the Lord was at hand. (Jas. 5:8). Their hearts were to be strengthened and comforted by the assurance of “the power and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (11 Peter 1:16) They were constantly to strive that “spirit and soul and body” might be “preserved entire, without blame at the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Thess. 5:23) They were to abide in Christ that when He was made manifest they might “have boldness and not be ashamed before Him at His presence.” (I Jn. 2:28) The object upon which their interest centered was the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, and their gathering together unto Him. (11 Thess. 2:1)

The presence of Christ, once a hope, is now a blessed reality. “The Coming One,” has come.

The presence is an experience, the manifestation of the presence is a hope; in the presence we are to rejoice, for the manifestation of the presence we are to wait; the presence is something which is now being realized inwardly to the believer, the manifestation of the presence is something which is to take place outwardly at the end of this world-age.


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