Holiness and the Second Coming of Christ

By J. B. Chapman

The Scriptures abound in threats to the world and promises to the Church that Jesus Christ will come back to the world a second time. The hope of the world is in the salvation that Jesus pro­vided at His first coming. The hope of the Church is in the second coming of Christ. These two points of view must be clearly understood. It is no more valid to preach that the second coming of Christ is the hope of everyone than it is to preach universal salvation. When Christ comes the sec­ond time He will bring no offering for sin. His coming is more directly connected with judgment than with mercy.

It is folly for us to talk of the second coming of Christ as our hope unless we glad­ly and fully accept the full benefits provided for us when  He first came into the world. At His first appearance, His life, His ministry, His death and resurrection, provided a complete solution for the sin problem — a full cure for the disease of sin. “Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Mt. 1:21). “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all un­righteousness” (1 John 1:9). “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate” (Heb. 13:12). “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2). What more could be promised? What addi­tion can be made? The Blood of Jesus was shed in this world and it is available now. If it cannot make an end of sin in us now, it can never do it, unless we are ready to admit that death or some other real or imaginary thing is to assist God in ridding His people of sin.

Jesus solemnly spoke of being prepared for His second coming: “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man com­eth” (Mt. 24:44). To be ready is to be blessed and holy; that is, regenerated and sancti­fied. Holiness of heart and life are the only quali­fications for joyously meeting Jesus at His Second Advent. If these are the qualifications, and we are to be al­ways ready, then it is evident that we must get the blessing of a clean, holy heart, and keep it continually, and live a life of righteousness in our everyday conduct with others. To say that we will be given holiness at the appearing of the Lord is mere presumption, just as is the claim that there will be further op­portunity to repent after death (Heb. 9:27).

The Church; that is, the body of true believers who will welcome Christ at His Second Advent, is, ac­cording to John of Revelation, like a bride adorned in pure, clean, white linen (Rev. 19:8). For such a Church, Jesus is said to have given Himself, “that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:26-27).

Jesus Christ will come back to the world in glory and power. The signs of the times indicate that His coming is drawing near. To many thought­ful observers, it appears that Jesus could come now at any time and do no violence to the prophecies that set forth the conditions that will prevail on the earth and in the Church when He does ap­pear. But the important questions are: Are you ready? Do you have on the wedding garment of Bible holiness? Is your heart clean from all out­ward and inbred sin? Does the Holy Spirit pos­sess and rule your heart completely? Are you sanctified wholly just now?

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The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Thessalonians 5:23

Adapted from Holiness – The Heart of Christian Experience, by J. B. Chapman, condensed and revised.

Holiness Defined

By J. B. Chapman

What is holiness? Well, holiness is that state of heart which results from being sanctified wholly by the power of the Holy Spirit. The result is a state of moral purity. The Christian’s will is completely adjusted to the will of God. His (or her) affections, having been purified,  are not attracted to sin and the world, but have a supreme love for God. His heart is filled with God’s perfect love, which enables him to love God with all his heart, and his neighbor as himself (John 4:16-18).

Holiness and health come from the same root word in the Anglo-Saxon. So then holiness is soul health. It is to the soul what health is to the body. Bodily health is a state of freedom from disease. Sin is like bodily disease. It can be likened to a thorn in the flesh or a broken foot. Sin produces uneasiness and strain and burden. Holiness removes the thorn and heals the broken foot. Holiness brings joy to the Christian life.

Adapted from Holiness – The Heart of Christian Experience, by J. B. Chapman, condensed and revised.

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