Down through the centuries many sincere believers have uttered this prayer: “Come, Lord Jesus; come quickly,” but we have not joined them in this.
Lest we be misunderstood, we hasten to explain that we, personally, long to see and be with our blessed Lord, and did we think only of ourselves we would have Him come now, without further delay.
But this continued absence of our Lord in grace is the special subject of Paul’s epistles, as Peter states:
“AND ACCOUNT THAT THE LONGSUFFERING OF OUR LORD IS SALVATION; EVEN AS OUR BELOVED BROTHER PAUL ALSO ACCORDING TO THE WISDOM GIVEN UNTO HIM HATH WRITTEN UNTO YOU;
“AS ALSO IN ALL HIS EPISTLES, SPEAKING IN THEM OF THESE THINGS…” (II Pet.3:15,16).
How gracious has our Lord been in delaying His return for His own and the judgment to follow! How gracious to extend the day of grace until now! Now that we are saved we would fain be with the One we love and long for, but how grateful we should be that He waited for us, and how eager we should be to win others to Him while He waits still longer!
As we consider the lost about us, therefore, we cannot implore the Lord to “come quickly,” though His coming for us is indeed a “blessed hope,” and we remain on the alert for it to take place at any time.
In this connection it is interesting to observe that the prayer, “Come, Lord Jesus,” and its counterpart “How long!” are both “tribulation” prayers, uttered by saints (not of the Body) who will live during that dreadful time of God’s wrath. Both are found in the Book of the Revelation and both in connection with our Lord’s return to earth to judge and reign, and not in connection with the rapture. In both Revelation 2:5 and 2:16 our Lord says: “Repent…or else I will come unto thee quickly,” i.e., to judge. In Revelation 3:11 He writes to the church at Philadelphia, but again in warning: “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” Revelation 22:7 and 12 are used in the same way, indicating that in that day only those who are “overcomers” will long for the Lord to come and put an end to the world’s rebellion. Thus John closes the Revelation with the declaration: “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly”, and the response: “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Verse 20).
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.