Suppose we admit, for the sake of the argument, that no man knows the day nor hour of the Lord’s appearing. What difference does that make? The hour and the day have already passed. He is here! And let all truly consecrated Christians rejoice. “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you,” says St. Paul. (1 Thessalonians 5:1) The times and seasons are clearly established by the overwhelming proof that the Lord is now present. Therefore, “ye, brethren, are not in darkness, ... ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day; we are not of the night, nor of darkness”. Why quibble now about dates, days or hours? The physical facts, the fulfilled prophecy and prophecy further in course of fulfillment, prove overwhelmingly and beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Lord is present, that the world has ended, that the kingdom of heaven is at hand! And the true watchers are joyfully exclaiming: “Behold the Bridegroom!” As faithful members of his body, as the feet of him, they are standing upon the mountains, that is, upon or above the kingdoms of earth, singing out to the peoples of Zion: ’Thy God reigneth! The kingdom of heaven is at hand!’ The Prophet of the Lord describes them thus: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.”—Isaiah 52:7,8.
These are they who, having the harps of God, are singing the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb, harmonizing the great truths of the Old and New Testaments, the Mosaic law and the gospel of Christ Jesus, singing: “Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.”—Revelation 15:2-4.
There are three primary purposes or reasons why the Lord appears the second time. These are: (1) To bind Satan and destroy his kingdom and all the false systems inaugurated by his agencies; (2) to receive unto himself his bride, the church, which includes the work of the harvest of gathering them unto him; and (3) to set up his kingdom, for which he taught his followers to pray.
The purpose of our Lord’s second coming has been much misunderstood and misrepresented. Some have said that he is coming to burn up the earth. The Scriptures answer this charge: “The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s; but the earth hath he given to the children of men”. (Psalm 115:16) How then can we harmonize this statement of the Scriptures with St. Peter’s words?—“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.... The heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat.”—2 Peter 3:10,12.