of the Reformers
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 1 Cor. 15:26.
Luther declared: "I persuade myself verily, that the day of
judgment will not be absent full three hundred years. God will not,
cannot, suffer this wicked world much longer." "The great
day is drawing near in which the kingdom of abominations shall be
overthrown."--Daniel T. Taylor, The Reign of Christ on Earth:
or, The Voice of the Church in All Ages, p. 33.
"This aged world is not far from its end," said Melanchthon.
Calvin bids Christians "not to hesitate, ardently desiring
the day of Christ's coming as of all events most auspicious;"
and declares that "the whole family of the faithful will keep
in view that day." "We must hunger after Christ, we must
seek, contemplate," he says, "till the dawning of that
great day, when our Lord will fully manifest the glory of His kingdom."--Ibid.,
pages 158, 134.
"Has not the Lord Jesus carried up our flesh into heaven?"
said Knox, the Scotch Reformer, "and shall He not return? We
know that He shall return, and that with expedition." Ridley
and Latimer, who laid down their lives for the truth, looked in
faith for the Lord's coming. Ridley wrote: "The world without
doubt--this I do believe, and therefore I say it--draws to an end.
Let us with John, the servant of God, cry in our hearts unto our
Savior Christ, Come, Lord Jesus, come." --Ibid., pages 151,
"The thoughts of the coming of the Lord," said Baxter,
"are most sweet and joyful to me."--Richard Baxter, Works,
vol. 17, p. 555. "It is the work of faith and the character of
His saints to love His appearing and to look for that blessed hope."
"If death be the last enemy to be destroyed at the resurrection,
we may learn how earnestly believers should long and pray for the
second coming of Christ, when this full and final conquest shall be
made."--Ibid., vol. 17, p. 500. "This is the day that all
believers should long, and hope, and wait for, as being the accomplishment
of all the work of their redemption, and all the desires and endeavors
of their souls." "Hasten, O Lord, this blessed day!"--Ibid.,
vol. 17, pp. 182, 183. Such was the hope of the apostolic church,
of the "church in the wilderness," and of the Reformers.
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