How Optimistic Was Charles H. Spurgeon The Prince of Preachers ?

“Paul does not paint the future with rose-colour: he is no smooth-tongued prophet of a golden age, into which this dull earth may be imagined to be glowing. There are sanguine brethren who are looking forward to everything growing better and better and better, until, at the last this present age ripens into a millennium. They will not be able to sustain their hopes, for Scripture give them no solid basis to rest upon. We who believe that there will be no millennial reign without the King, and who expect no rule of righteousness except from the appearing of the righteous Lord, are nearer the mark. Apart from the second Advent of our Lord, the world is more likely to sink into pandemonium than to rise into a millennium. A divine interposition seems to me the hope set before us in Scripture, and, indeed, to be the only hope adequate to the situation. We look to the darkening down of things; the state of mankind, however improved politically, may yet grow worse and worse spiritually.

If I read the word aright, and it is honest to admit that there is much room for difference of opinion here, the day will come, when the Lord Jesus will descend from heaven with a shout, with the trump of the archangel and the voice of God. Some think that this descent of the Lord will be post-millennial — that is, after the thousand years of his reign. I cannot think so. I conceive that the advent will be pre-millennial; that he will come first; and then will come the millennium as the result of his personal reign upon earth

Just as the twelve tribes, serving God day and night, looked for the first coming, so ought all the tribes of our Israel, day and night, without ceasing, to wait for the Lord from heaven. We are looking for the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” is the desire of every instructed saint. I shall not go into any details about when he will come: I will not espouse the cause of the pre-millennial or the post-millennial advent; it will suffice me just now to observe that the Redeemer’s coming is the desire of the entire church; and “unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

To my mind the doctrine of the coming of Christ ought to inflame the zeal of every believer who seeks the conversion of his fellow men, and how can he be a believer if he does not seeks this end? The Lord cometh quickly: O sinner come quickly to the Lord, or it may be too late for you to come. We who call you may soon be silenced by his advent, and mercy may have no more to say to you. . . Stand in a Popish country and see them altogether given to their idols, and worshipping crosses and relics, and you will soon cry, “Come Lord Jesus. Let antichrist be hurled like a millstone into the flood, never to rise again.” The vehemence of your desire for the destruction of evil and the setting up of the kingdom of Christ will drive you to that grand hope of the church, and make you cry out for its fulfillment.

There are some men who have not seen Elias yet; they do not understand the prophecies. They think they perceive in the future a great progress of civilization, and they expect to see the spread of the gospel; they expect to hear of great agencies employed, of multitudes of ministers going forth to preach the Word, and a gradual conversion of the world to the religion of Christ; but he who understands the prophets, and has seen Elias, believes not in the immediate conversion of the world, nor in universal peace; he believes in “Jesus Only;” he expects that Jesus will first come; and, to him, the great hope of the future is the coming of the Son of man

We expect a reigning Christ on earth; that seems to us to be very plain, and put so literally that we dare not spiritualise it. We anticipate a first and second resurrection; a first resurrection of the righteous, and a second resurrection of the ungodly, who shall be judged, condemned, and punished for ever by the sentence of the great King.

It is also certain that the Jews, as a people, will yet own Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of David, as their King, and that they will return to their own land, “and they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the old cities, the desolations of many generations. There will be a native government again; there will again be the form of a body politic; a state shall be incorporated, and a king shall reign. Israel has now become alienated from her own land. Her sons, though they can never forget the sacred dust of Palestine, yet die at a hopeless distance from her consecrated shores. But it shall not be so for ever, for her sons shall again rejoice in her: her land shall be called Beulah, for as a young man marrieth a virgin so shall her sons marry her. “I will place you in your own land,” is God’s promise to them. . . They are to have a national prosperity which shall make them famous; nay, so glorious shall they be that Egypt, and Tyre, and Greece, and Rome, shall all forget their glory in the greater splendour of the throne of David. . . I there be anything clear and plain, the literal sense and meaning of this passage [Ezekiel 37:1-10] —a meaning not to be spirited or spiritualized away— must be evident that both the two and the ten tribes of Israel are to be restored to their own land, and that a king is to rule over them.

The coming of Messiah was the desire of the godly in all ages, and though he has already come with a sin-offering to purge away iniquity, we look for him to come a second time, to come without a sin-offering unto salvation. O that these weary years would come to an end! Why tarries he so long? He knows that sin abounds and that his people are down-trodden; why does he not come to the rescue? His glorious advent will restore his ancient people from literal captivity, and his spiritual seed from spiritual sorrow. Wrestling Jacob and prevailing Israel shall alike rejoice before him when he is revealed as their salvation. O that he were come! What happy, holy, halcyon, heavenly days should we see! But let us not count him slack, for behold, he comes, he comes quickly. Blessed are they that wait for him.

On Matthew 24 he said…… Our Lord appears to have purposely mingled the prophecies concerning the destruction of Jerusalem and his own second coming When he comes, we shall know who he is, and why he has come. There will be no longer any mystery or secret about, “the coming of the Son of man.” There will be no need to ask any questions then; no one will make a mistake about his appearing when it actually takes place. “Every eye shall see him.” Christ’s coming will be sudden, startling, universally visible, and terrifying to the ungodly: “as the lightening cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west.” His first coming to judgment at the destruction of Jerusalem had terrors about it that till then had never been realized on the earth; his last coming will be more dreadful still.”

I would say he was pretty optimistic that the Word of God is a good place to base your beliefs concerning the end times.

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