"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth" (Ps. 60:4).
Regarding Second Coming Expectancy
Scripture recognizes the necessity for, and urges earnest and constant expectancy of, Christ's return in glory. It is by this "blessed hope" that we are saved, i.e., are kept from "the corruption that is in the world," after having escaped it by union with Christ (Mt. 24:42-47; Lk. 21:34-36; Rom. 8:18-25; Tit. 2:11-14; II Pet. 1:4; 3:11-12; I Jn. 3:1-3).
It, thus, is only as this hope is had and maintained with intensity (Heb. 3:6), that the salvation which it is designed to effect can be realized. Such hope's conspicuous lack in the church today reveals a serious deficiency in the church's genuine sanctification, or separation from the world unto God. A divinelypurposed result cannot be had without use of the designated means thereunto.
We have no confidence in the popular doctrine of a salvation by God's grace that does not result in those claiming to have it being earnestly desirous and genuinely expectant of Christ's second coming. The "grace" that makes one comfortably "at home" in the body and the present world is not that which saves the soul and readies it for Jesus' return (II Cor. 5:6). It must be remembered that when He appears, it will be "unto salvation" only for "them that look for Him" (Heb. 9:28).
Both Christ and the Apostles stress the necessity of constant expectancy and watchfulness for His second coming. The expectancy itself, however, cannot be effectively imposed by commandment or exhortation, although both are certainly given. Only personal alignment with God's purpose in His Son can produce that desire and anticipation.
That alignment involves spiritual union with Jesus in His death and resurrection, with its consequent warfare against all that is contrary to Him. When that responsibility is duly taken up and adequately discharged, the individual, and the church corporately, will be both desirous and expectant of the Parousia. They will be "groaning" in earnest desire for the salvation that is to be brought at Christ's revelation from heaven (Rom. 8:22-23; II Cor. 5:1-8; II Pet. 3:11-13). --Fred O. Blakely
The Way to Effectiveness
The obsession of Paul, and should be with us, was to "win Christ," "know Him," and "be found in Him" (Phil. 3:8-10). For "the excellency" of these benefits, he "suffered the loss of all things," counting them "but dung," in comparison with his possession of Christ, that was thereby gained.
It needs to be recognized by today's religious generation that herein is represented both the way to kingdom effectiveness and the condition thereof. When you have won Christ, know, and continue in Him, you will be able to "win others," an agitation for which undertaking much is commonly heard.
Such relation to Christ assures that you "shall be neither barren nor unfruitful" (II Pet. 1:8; hf. Jn. 15:5). Without that relation, however, you are but "as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal" (I Cor. 13:1). You may be able to build up a religious club, but you will bring no one to Christ, thus turning them from their idols, "to serve the living and true God" (I Th. 1:9-10).
The condition of this enChristness is no less demanding of us than it was of Paul. "Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple," declared Jesus (Lk. 14:33). If we are to "win," know, and reign with the enthroned Christ, we must give up everything in our lives that is contrary to Him. There simply is no crossless way to acceptance by God and fruitfulness in His kingdom. --Fred O. Blakely
"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately" (Lk. 12:35-36).