The Coming Crisis
The Coming Crisis
by Rev. RONALD J. PARK
CRISIS, climax zero hour, the crash! Is that how it is to be? Is there something catastrophic round the corner? Are we sitting on a volcano grumbling to erupt? But isn’t it all very stupid to talk like that?
Scaremongering is a mean business and we want none of it. Yet - and this is a remarkable thing - if you were to confide your fears to the man in the street, he wouldn’t think you mad! He is very worried himself when he thinks about it. The press, TV and radio pour the whole wretched story of a chaotic world into our laps. We cannot escape it. The violent insanity of our age threatens to undo civilisation and throw us back to an early barbarism where high principle, moral standards, common civility and God himself have no meaning. History, of course, is a series of crises. That’s how we fix dates in our mind. Crises tumble one on another thick and fast, or history books would be as stuffy as the multiplication table.
Is something quite extraordinary likely to happen in our time - a crisis of crises? If we try to interpret history, one guess is as good as another: and if we try to piece the confusing bits of current events together to make a pattern, we get nowhere. Are we entirely at the mercy of human wisdom to discern the future - man’s wisdom has proved pretty threadbare - or is there some authoritative source to enlighten our poor, bewildered minds about what it is all coming too? Yes, GOD! From Adam onwards God has divulged His secrets to men He could trust. God told His prophets in the Old Testament, who in turn told the people, of sure and certain eventualities. The people for the most part could not have cared less. They ridiculed the communications as the fantasy of disordered minds, and did some of God’s prophets to death for their pains. But it all came about just as God had said and passed into history. The fact is, God is not uncommunicative. "Surely the Lord does nothing without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7). But we are born cynics, our inherent belief in a communicating God blinds us to His truth. We stumble on in our darkness, which becomes the more dense by reason of the stupid prejudices we pick up by the way. It is not difficult to believe the words of St. Paul, "The god of this world (the devil) has blinded the minds of unbelievers" (2 Cor. 4:4). But the light of God is the answer to the darkness of man. We become intelligent and understanding when we abase ourselves before the God only wise and let Him teach us from His Word, the Holy Scriptures.
1. What Crisis?
Crisis ahead? What crisis will be? It was an hour of crisis for the redemption of the world when Christ stood bound before the high priest of Israel, facing the Cross, and all hell was let loose to destroy Him. Majestic in bearing He spoke in that hour of the big, ultimate crisis of the ages. He told it in simple, unadorned words. The high priest was stunned by His announcement; he was outraged; he rent his rich, high priestly robe and strode from his judgement-seat muttering, "Blasphemy! blasphemy!" It was a candid plain spoken utterance. Christ said, "Hereafter you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of heaven" (Matt. 26:64). The Jewish high priest recognised the context in which the Prisoner had spoken, and that was why he could not believe his ears. That context was Daniel’s prophecy, chapter 7, verses 13 and 14. Listen to the sublime words: "I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came One like the son of man, and He came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations and languages should serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom one that shall not be destroyed." And this itinerant preacher of humble birth was putting Himself into that prophecy! Had He not been accused of making himself God? What wonder that the Jews were crying for His death! But Who is He, this strange Prisoner at the bar? Son of man? Yes, of course. But He claimed to be the Son of God as well! How incontestable the evidence that His claim was true! Listen to how later theologians defined the nature of this Person: "The Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very eternal God, and of one substance with the Father, took man’s nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin . . . so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and Manhood, were joined together in one Person, never to be divided . . .Who truly suffered, was crucified, dead and buried . . . to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for the actual sins of men." So runs Article 2 of the Prayer Book. Then He was beleaguered by His malicious adversaries and hounded to the Cross, but before long He would be "seated at the right hand of power" and one day He would come "on the clouds of heaven!"
"Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God," said Peter on behalf of the disciples (Matt. 16:16), and from that time the Lord opened up more fully to them on His approaching death and its more distant sequel, "For the Son of man is to come with His angels in the glory of His Father" (Matt. 16:27). This coming of His was much in His mind as the cross drew nearer and the days became more sinister. He made it the focal point of some of His parables. Two days before the Cross He discoursed to His disciples on the slopes of Olivet, ". . . then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven . . . and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with the power and great glory" (Matt. 24:30). That lengthy discourse was related in all its parts to this crisis of His descent in power, and He drew it to its conclusion with the words, "when the Son of man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then will He sit on His glorious throne" (Matt. 25:31). These pronouncements of the Eternal Lord can mean nothing but what they say. As He ascended up into heaven from His disciples and was lost to their view, so will He descend from heaven until His feet touch down again on this planet. The bewildered men stared incredulously skyward, as well they might, when their Lord went up. Was it a sudden hallucination or was it really happening? Two angels were sent - "two men in bright apparel" it says - to reassure them and to confirm the long term sequel of what He had told them. "Why do you stand looking into heaven?" they asked. This Jesus, Who was taken up from you into heaven, will come again in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11). In the same way? His own self? Bodily? Visibly? Yes, else words have no meaning.
This crisis is enough to set our little minds reeling! The world will never have known anything like it before. At His first advent on that first Christmas Day, few were in the know. Some shepherds, some Eastern sages, and who else? But the whole world will be thunderstruck by His second advent. Nothing will be less expected or more unwelcome! And all will know within hours! "As the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of man be in His day" (Luke 17:24).
"The coming crisis?" we ask. Crisis indeed! Crisis to be followed by many crises. There will be the crisis of His unsparing judgement on sinners, for man cannot get away with it. People who reject God, refuse Christ, despise the gospel, these who are a law unto themselves, will find that, after all, they are accountable to the God to Whom they owe their life, breath and all things. There will be the crisis of Christ’s judgement of the nations. There will be a sorting of them out and without any reference to the UNO, not by superficial judgements of colour and race, democratic or totalitarian, East or West, but a deep probe into motive and attitude which He, Whose eyes are as a flame of fire, will have no difficulty in discerning. There will be the crisis of Christ’s, assumption of earthly power and suppression of all opposition. "Ask of Me," said God to His Son, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession" (Psalm 2:8). He has asked, and received! But He patiently waits in heaven for the time to take possession. The contract was signed and sealed long ago. The Cross redeemed the world to God, and God has donated the whole to the King of His choice, His Son. He comes to reign! There were loud voices in heaven saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign for ever and ever’" (Rev. 11:15). We have prayed, "Thy kingdom come," and come it will with the arrival of the King! Crisis? Crisis indeed! Everything in the hands of the mighty Christ! "All things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together" (Col. 1:17). Note, everything that exists, exists for Him, and all at the coming crisis, will pass under His control.
2. The Crisis - When?
Why be so rash as to say it could happen in our lifetime? Nineteen weary centuries have passed without any obvious intervention of heaven. Is it not incautious, to say the least, to press the point that we, and our generation, could see the event? Most of the pseudo-cults have cashed in on human credulity and exploited the sensational. They have begun with Bible prophecy to which they have given a violent twist, they have then introduced prophecies of their own, and then they have very neatly fixed a time-table of events. They have caught the imagination of tens of thousands of the gullible who in turn persuade others to their views. But of the impending crisis of His descent in power, Christ said, "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour" (Matt. 25:13).
Good enough, then. We have no fixture on the calendar for it. But we affirm with confidence that the event is near for this reason. St Paul said, "But you are not in darkness, brethren, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all sons of light and sons of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness" (1 Thess. 5:4, 5). Some people will not be taken by surprise: they are the people who know God and live by His Word. The Holy Spirit of God makes them wise. They have a knowledge of the times. And what of these times? Our times are crying out as no previous times have ever done, that the Lord's coming is near. There are signs of the times given in Scripture so that we may recognise them when they appear and understand their significance. For the first time in history all the signs are present together, and together are all saying the same thing. There is no coincidence here, or there would be no purpose in the signs: they would mislead instead of inform. Their intention and purpose is that we may rub our tired eyes and alert ourselves. God does not want His people to be taken unawares; He wants them, not least at the approach of such an hour of crisis, to be awake, alert, watchful, in the full knowledge that His purposes are ripening fast.
What are the signs, then? There are ten of them, and quite a number of lesser ones. Let us consider the ten. There is the one great sign of Israel; there are the two great signs among the other nations there are the three signs in Christendom: there are the four signs among mankind.
(1) The Sign of Israel
Israel is a nation again after nineteen centuries, nineteen terrible centuries It is a miracle that the Jew has survived. For nineteen hundred years Israel has been:
(a) disowned - no longer the people of God;
(b) disinherited - the Divine promises to them were suspended;
(c) discredited - their high mission in the world was abrogated;
(d) denationalised - no more a nation though continuing as a race;
(e) dispossessed - their land was taken from them;
(f) dispersed - scattered all over the earth
It seemed long ago that they were finished. But no! The Bible says the future is theirs. Their rejection as the "chosen" people was because they crowned all their guilt by their repudiation of their great Messiah. But that rejection is temporary, and not for ever. When Christ cursed a fig tree (Matt. 21:19), it was a parable without words. The warning of the curse upon Israel, should they fail as the "chosen" of God, had been spoken by Moses at the beginning (Deut. 28:15-68). It was now about to fall on them. When the question of the time of Christ’s second coming arose, just after the cursing of the fig tree, the Lord related His coming to the time when the fig tree would put forth its leaves. When that happens, when Israel revives and is reconstituted, then know that "He is near, at the very gates" (study the passage carefully - Matt. 24:32). The fig tree has put forth its leaves. The nation of Israel came into being again in 1948, since when they have gained much of their land. In due time - though they have yet many lessons to learn - they will perfectly fit in with the declared purposes of God for them. When? When Christ appears in Person among them! "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of, Jerusalem a spirit of compassion and supplication, so that when they look on Him Whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for Him" (Zech. 12:10). The setting of the stage is the sign of His approach, He is "at the very gates". Not that Israel knows or cares. But the Christian with his Bible, looking at Israel, cannot fail to see the sign, this greatest sign of the Lord's return, an Israel that is compelling the attention of the whole world.
(2) The Sign of National Consciousness
If Israel's rebirth as a nation is intended by the tree putting forth its leaves, notice that our Lord added, "and all the trees" (Luke 21:29). Not only Israel but other peoples received national status the same time as lsrael. More than a hundred new nations have come into being since 1943. There has been nothing like it in all history. Our Lord Himself gave this sign of His return.
(3) The Sign of the Northern Confederacy
A strong enemy of Israel to the north of them, described as, "Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal" (Ezek. 38:1,2) is to attack Israel with a company of satellite nations, "in the latter years". It seems by derivation that Russia is indicated here. The Encyclopaedia Britannica says, "Gog is the name of a great antitheocratic power destined to manifest itself in the world immediately before the final dispensation is ushered in." The northern confederacy’s aggression against Israel (Ezek. 38 and 39) is at the end time before Christ's coming to bring in the new dispensation.
(4) The Sign of General Apostasy
A falling away from the Christian faith on the part of those who are supposed to believe and live by it is foreseen before the coming of Christ (2 Thess. 2:3). The body of Christian truth was "once for all delivered to the saints" and is to be contended for (Jude 3). But today there is widespread defection from it and dismissal of its claims in ecclesiastical circles in every part of the world, while hundreds of thousands who once made profession of the Christian faith have fallen away into indifference and even opposition. This is on a scale without precedent.
(5) The Sign of Ecumenism
Christendom's current preoccupation with Church union is engrossing: it is so new that its novelty has not yet worn thin. The Scriptures reveal that before Christ's coming there will be a massive religious amalgam, a super-world "Church" with its headquarters at Rome (Rev. 17). The many parts of a spiritually broken-down Christendom will join up into a great machine to turn the wheels of religion for the world. Those who do not belong to the true Church of born-again Christians, who make profession of Christian faith but know nothing of its power, will be allured by the daring and dazzling concept of this "Church". It will be, they think, the answer to Christ's prayer for the oneness of His people (John 17-22, 23). His prayer was, of course, answered. His true Church is one in an indivisible spiritual unity. It has never been one in external organisation, nor was such a unity ever intended. But in these times of take-overs and combines, nothing less than a federation of denominations with the strength born of its ponderous size will meet the need of the age - and, of course, Rome is more than interested! It is a startling sign that Christ will soon arrive.
(6) The Sign of the Worldwide Preaching of the Gospel
A global testimony to the gospel of Christ is to be made. The missionary enterprise of the last two centuries, the extensive literature programmes and the increasing gospel radio coverage mean that the gospel is penetrating all lands. "This gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come" (Matt. 24.14).
(7) The Sign of Lawlessness
Rebellion against law, sanctions and restraints, reaching its climax at the end of the age, is predicted in 2 Thess. 2:3-8. Paul calls it a "mystery", but he does not mean that there is no explanation for it. He means that there is a secret behind it which the Spirit of God must reveal, else we should never know it. It is that the devil is inciting man to rebel with a view to the overthrow of the Throne of God itself. It is striking at the human to topple the Divine. This has been the enemy's tactics from the beginning of his opposition. This spirit of lawlessness is rife at all levels in all places at this hour as never before in history. It declares itself in resentment against authority - contempt for civil rulers industrial anarchy, student uprising, propaganda among children to revolt against parents and teachers, permissiveness, that is, everything is permitted, rules, regulations, prohibitions, conscience itself, being flung away in scorn. This is not the problem of one nation or one section of the community. It is a world problem at all levels. It is preparing the way for the man of lawlessness of whom we read (2 Thess 2:3), who will make his personal challenge to the authority of the Eternal. This is the last stage immediately before the crisis of the descent of Christ in power.
(8) The Sign of Fear
"Men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world" (Luke 21:26), and in all truth it is beginning to happen in our day! There is good reason for it. Life could not be more precarious with the nuclear threat ever present - Russia and the United States could destroy the whole world in an hour. With authority undermined and the increase of violence, there is the fearful possibility of cruel anarchy. Old-established institutions are demolished without anything to take their place. A moral and spiritual vacuum invites the inhuman and bestial. Man's heart is filled with alarm at what may happen next. The Lord gave this as a sign of the end of this age.
(9) The Sign of Natural Disasters
"There will be famines and earthquakes in various places" (Matt. 24:7). Since records have been kept, there has been a steep rise over the years. With the growth of world population, the food position will become out of hand.
(10) The Sign of Much Travel and Increased knowledge
In Daniel 12:4, there is a remarkable and apparently irrelevant prediction: "Seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase." But it is a clue for those who want to be in the know and whom God wants to be informed. Travel? From the beginning of history till 100 years ago, the horse was the common means of travel. A man seldom moved more than a few miles from his birthplace. A traveller was a celebrity to be listened to with respect. But now! - Railroads, cars, expressways, flyovers, supersonic air travel, tourism, computerised traffic control - life is all coming and going, and this over the last few decades only! Knowledge? From creation till a century ago; increase in knowledge was slow and painful. But there has been an explosion of it in every field. It is said that the sum of our knowledge doubles every fifteen years. We are acquiring as much new information every two years as we acquired in the whole of human history up to the beginning of this century. Does not this give point and purpose to that obscure observation in Daniel 12:4?
These are some of the signs that warn us of the approaching descent of Christ from heaven to take hold on the squalid situation on earth. And all these signs are present together for the first time to present their weight of testimony to the close of the age in which we live. The evidence has marshalled itself very convincingly and thinking people will not treat it lightly. In fact, it is true to say that Christians everywhere, sensitive to the movement of God's Spirit, share a common conviction that the Lord's coming cannot be long delayed. How have they reached this conviction? "They shall all be taught of God" (John 6:46). That was not said of the unbeliever, the cynic, the scorner. We can so easily put ourselves out of God's school, and then we know nothing! It was said of humble men and women who have been drawn to Christ. Such people are not sensationalists. They do not need to look for little bits of excitement to add spice to life! Walking with God they have a poise in life and are well placed to understand His thoughts and intentions. God, Who is communicative, finds pleasure in disclosing His purposes to those on His wavelength. The man who is not tuned in to God will hear much oscillation and background noise, but he will get no message.
3. But First - What?
But first - what? If every sign given is announcing that Christ is about to come in sovereign power how very near must be the prior event! Something must happen first. No sign is given to announce that prior "something". All the signs relate to the one stupendous event of His glorious appearing. That prior "something" then must be almost upon us. Very soon? Indeed, it could be at any moment. What is this "something' that is to take place in advance of the great event?
There are a people in the world called "the Church". They are the people on the Divine wavelength, the tuned-in people. The true Church, the real, genuine, authentic Church is not any one denomination: it is a company of people who have been saved from sin, saved for God, whose lives have been made anew by God. It is a company of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, a very distinct people, "in the world but not of the world", though unhappily the distinction is sometimes blurred. There are millions of them and they are found in every Christian denomination. They have received God's Holy Spirit, they live by God's Holy Word. The "something" prior to the crisis relates to them. The Lord announced that one day He would collect them from the world. Here are His words: "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:2, 8). He left it at that for the time being, but later amplified His thought to His Apostle Paul who wrote of it: "For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep (died). For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven . . . And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord" (1 Thess. 4:15-17). This is called the hope of the Church because the Church's heart is set on Christ, on being with Christ and being like Christ. This incredible event will be an awesome vindication of the Church, battered and bruised by the bullying world through the centuries. This is the prior event: it will happen because God has ordered it that way and Christ has said so.
Let us look at it more carefully. The whole company of Christian believers will be taken up from the world to meet the Lord Jesus Christ, Who will come "to the air" to receive them. He comes down from heaven just so far: they go up from earth just so far. There is a grand reception the like of which we cannot imagine? And then to heaven for the festivities. We are told it will happen like this - first, all believers who have died will be raised from the dead, that is, each will inhabit a body again. Their spirits have been with Christ in heaven: they will now rejoin their raised bodies, and so all the "dead in Christ" will be living again in new bodies. Then all believers who are living at the time will be "changed" - new bodies for old, a perfect adaptation to the new conditions. And the whole Church, the former dead and the still living, will be reunited and together will be accorded a welcome by the Lord in Person.
The completed Church will be "caught up" to meet the Lord. The Greek verb harpazo means to seize, snatch, catch away. It is instructive to note how the same word is used in other parts of the New Testament. It always means a removing from one place to another. Look carefully at Matt. 13:19; Acts 8:39; 2 Cor. 12:2, 4, Rev. 12:5. Look especially at three other verses where the same verb is used and note that in each case the removal from one place to another is with a sense of urgency - no time must be lost. John 6:15 (the urgency in the proposed action was twofold: in case He was unwilling and in case Rome should hear of it before it was done); Acts 23:10 (urgent because Paul was about to be torn in pieces); Jude 23 (urgent because fire quickly consumes). The Church will be "caught up", snatched away - an urgent measure! The reason? The crisis will be at hand, Christ's coming power will be imminent, the world's judgement will be near.
The Church must quickly be away to join her Lord for two reasons. First, believers are not to undergo God's wrath (1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9). They will be evacuated, Christ will receive them, they must not be treated as one and the same with the world upon which the retribution of Divine justice will be vented. Secondly, Christian believers are to be received as partners with their Lord, to act in concert with Him when His time for action has come. The Church must be with Him where He is. Incredible as it may seem, He chooses to do nothing apart from His Church. He and His people are one. "The saints shall judge the world" (1 Cor. 6:2): We shall reign with Him" (2 Tim. 2: 12; Rev. 5:10). He must have His people with Him to initiate the events that precipitate the climax. And then what, when that climax hour strikes? He descends resplendent in the power and glory that are uniquely His, but He descends not alone - He descends with His people, He and they together! "When Christ Who is our life appears," writes Paul, "then you also will appear with Him in glory" (Col. 3:4). And if that seems just too much to believe, Paul, in the preceding three verses shows how right it is in view of the marvellous salvation that is ours, uniting us in life with the risen Lord of heaven. Enoch prophesied, "The Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints to execute judgement" (Jude 14). Read the apocalyptic description of the descent of the mighty Lord to earth in the company of His heavenly hosts of which the church will form a part (Rev. 19:11-16). Then He must come for His Church before He can return with His Church. He must take them to heaven before He opens heaven to proceed with them to the earth.
It is fantastic to imagine a vast company of people suddenly disappearing from the world "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," as it says (1 Cor. 15:52) and swiftly carried up to the Lord? But it will not be more fantastic than much that will take place when God's time for action comes. It is God with Whom the Church and the world have to do! If God seems to have stepped into the shadows these many centuries, and if Christ has been patiently "waiting till His enemies be made His footstool" (Heb. 10;13), we need not be surprised, when heaven's hour strikes, if the almightiness of God breaks through. It will break through to the fulfilling of all the purposes which are cherished in the eternal counsels. Nothing will effectively get in God's way. The first overt and mighty act of the strong Son of God will be to take His Church away to Himself. They are his mystical Body, His purchased Bride, a people for His own possession. He died for them on the Cross: He has lived to succour them from the Throne. They have stood true to Him and His Father through the desperate centuries of the devil's sway. Having been partakers of Christ's sufferings, they are going to rejoice and be glad "when His glory is revealed" (1 Pet. 4:13). They have a future - what a future!
4. Don't Be Deceived!
It is easy to play down the crisis of Christ's coming and to be lulled to sleep. The crisis is forecast and the signs are remarkable, but life goes on at this hour just as it has gone on all our days. We get up in the morning and work through the day: we come home in the evening and rest through the night. There is an even tenor to our little lives as they go on. For most people they have always gone on like that. It is so difficult to imagine that suddenly ------ !
Yet God has suddenly broken into human affairs before and people were taken completely by surprise. That was the way it happened in the days of Noah long ago. The Lord said, "They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day . . . the flood came and destroyed them all" (Luke 17:27). All was going on normally and the people were unsuspecting! It was the same in Lot's day. "They ate, they drank, they built, they sold, they planted, they built, but on the day when Lot went out of Sodom, fire and brimstone . . . so will it be the day when the Son of Man is revealed" (Luke 17:28-30). The Lord was pointing out that the ordinary and legitimate avocations of life will be going on in the usual way, the daily round of business and social life will be proceeding without interruption up to the point when He will break in upon it suddenly. How wise we shall be not to hide ourselves behind the facade of our daily domestic and business scenes, and try to persuade ourselves that, as it has always been, so it will always be!
Peter told us how it would be in these days of ours: "Scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own passions and saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation'" (2 Pet. 3:3, 4). You see? Complacency! An unwillingness to admit that the routine of life could be interrupted. "Time like an ever rolling stream" with never a cataract! Peter goes on to tell us that these scoffers choose not to know. It is possible to have the facts but to pigeon-hole them in an inconspicuous place where they will not be troublesome! But those who are honest to God avoid no truth and fear no facts.
"He is not a disappointment!
He is coming by and by;
In my heart I have the witness
That His coming draweth nigh.
All the scoffers may despise me
And no change around may see:
But He tells me He is coming,
And that's quite enough for me."
The Holy Scriptures, that are our source of information on these and all matters touching God and His operations, set before us most clearly the Lord Jesus Christ as the Saviour of all who call on Him: "Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved" (Rom. 10:13). It is a great salvation, as those who have called on His name will tell. It is a salvation from day to day, reaching down to the deepest needs of life and supplying timely help in all circumstances. It is a salvation that puts us firmly on God's side now and forever and unites us with the fortunes of Christ Himself. A "saved" person, then, has no fear of the judgement. He knows that Christ bore the judgement of his sin on the Cross. He has a great thrill in anticipation. He knows that he will share the glory of the Saviour on that great day A "saved" person has also the high honour and duty of representing Christ and serving Him day by day. He will want to win others to the allegiance of Christ by praying for them and witnessing to them. He will never cease to wonder at the grace of God that has laid hold of him as a sinner and made him a saint!
Two men fell into a river above a roaring cataract that would carry them both to certain death. One man seized a rope thrown from the bank. The other man hung for dear life to a heavy log that came floating by. Both men were clinging to something, but only the man who held fast to the rope was saved. To what, or to Whom, are you clinging? "There is salvation in on one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4;12).