2 Thessalonians 1:10
on the day He comes to be glorified in His saints and regarded with wonder by all who have believed, including you who have believed our testimony.
Sermons
Christ GlorifiedH. Kollock, D. D.2 Thessalonians 1:10
Christ Glorified2 Thessalonians 1:10
Christ Glorified in Glorified MenA. Maclaren, D. D.2 Thessalonians 1:10
Christ Glorified in His PeopleC. H. Spurgeon.2 Thessalonians 1:10
Christ Glorified in His SaintsJ. Vaughan, M. A.2 Thessalonians 1:10
Christ Marvelled At2 Thessalonians 1:10
Christ Reflected in His PeopleC. H. Spurgeon.2 Thessalonians 1:10
Faith as a Motive PowerProf. Tholuck.2 Thessalonians 1:10
Jesus Admired in Them that BelieveC. H. Spurgeon.2 Thessalonians 1:10
The Beauty of God2 Thessalonians 1:10
The Day of Christ's Glory and of the Church's JoyC. J. P. Eyre, M. A., W. Brock, D. D.2 Thessalonians 1:10
The Final AdventD. Thomas, D. D.2 Thessalonians 1:10
The Glory of Christ as Exhibited in His PeopleJ. Kay.2 Thessalonians 1:10
The Saints' Estate of Glory At the Judgment2 Thessalonians 1:10
The Second ComingN. Lardner, D. D.2 Thessalonians 1:10
The Testimony BelievedT. Manton, D. D.2 Thessalonians 1:10
Manifestation of Solemn InterestR. Finlayson 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
The Future Judgment as to its RighteousnessT. Croskery 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10
The Judgment DayW.F. Adeney 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10
Joy and Terror in the Coming of the LordThe Study2 Thessalonians 1:7-10
The Coming of Christ with His AngelsT. Manton, D. D.2 Thessalonians 1:7-10
The Great DayB.C. Caffin 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10

I. THE JUDGMENT OF THE WICKED.

1. The revelation of the Judge. It is the Lord Jesus, who once was despised and rejected of men; he is ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. He shall come as God once came down on Mount Sinai, in the like awful glory.

(1) With the angels. They shall gather the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire. The angels will be the ministers of his justice - the blessed angels who are now the messengers of his love and grace. Now they rejoice over each sinner that repenteth; then they will cast the impenitent into the everlasting fire. We think of the angels as gentle, loving, holy, as our friends and guardians; they are so, so far as we are Christ's. They desire to look into the mysteries of redemption; they announced the Saviour's birth; they ministered to him in his temptation, his agony; they celebrated his resurrection and ascension. Now they are sent forth to minister for them that shall be heirs of salvation; they encamp round about those who fear the Lord, and deliver them. They help in carrying on his blessed work of love. But they are holy; they hate evil; they must turn away from those who have yielded themselves to the dominion of the evil one; they must execute at the last the awful judgment of God. Fearful thought, that the blessed angels, loving and holy as they are, must one day cast the hardened sinner into hell, as once they cast Satan out of heaven.

(2) In flaming fire. The Lord shall be revealed in flaming fire, in that glory which he had before the world was. His throne is fiery flame (Daniel 7:9). He himself is a consuming fire. The sight will be appalling to the lost, full of unutterable terror; "they shall say to the rocks, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us." "By thine agony and bloody sweat, by thy cross and passion, good Lord, deliver us."

2. The lost. Two classes are mentioned here.

(1) Those who know not God - the heathen. They might have known him. Some of them did know him. They had not the Law, the outward Law, but it was written in their hearts; God spoke to them in the voice of conscience. They listened; they did by nature the things contained in the Law. Such men, we are sure, God in his great mercy will accept and save. But, alas! the fearful picture drawn by St. Paul in the first chapter of the Epistle to the Romans represents with only too much truth the general state of the heathen world in the apostolic times. Their blindness was criminal; it was the result of willful and habitual sin; their ignorance was without excuse.

(2) Those who obeyed not the gospel. All, whether Jews or Gentiles, who had heard the preaching of Christ. They had heard, as we have, all that the Lord Jesus had done and suffered for us; they had had the opportunity of hearing his holy precepts. "This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light." To know the gospel and not to obey it, to have the light around us and not to admit it into our hearts, not to walk as children of light - this must bring the judgment of God upon the disobedient. The greater the light, the heavier the responsibility of those who sin against light and knowledge.

3. The punishment. The Lord Jesus will award vengeance. "Vengeance is mine; I will recompense, saith the Lord." Terrible thought, that vengeance must come from him, the most loving Saviour, who loved the souls of men with a love so burning, so intense in its Divine tenderness! But it must be so. The exceeding guilt of sin is manifest in this; it turns the chiefest of blessings into an increase of condemnation; the cross is utter death to the impenitent and the ungodly. And that vengeance takes effect in destruction. The destruction is eternal; then it is not annihilation. It is the destruction of all gladness, hope, all that makes life worth living; it is the exclusion from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. Only the pure in heart can see God. The lost souls cannot see his face. The exclusion is eternal; is it endless? It continues through the ages; will those ages of misery ever end in restoration? Can a soul, once so hardened in guilt that it must be shut out of the presence of God, ever repent in that exclusion? It sinned obstinately against light during its time of probation; can it recover itself now that the light is withdrawn? It is hardened through the deceitfulness of sin and the power of evil habits; can it break those chains of darkness now? These are dark, awful questions. We may ask, on the other hand, how can "God be all in all," if sin is to exist forever? how can it be that "in Christ shall all be made alive," while there is still a hell in the universe of God? The subject is beset with difficulties and perplexities; it excites bewildering, harrowing thoughts. We must leave it where Holy Scripture leaves it. We would gladly believe, if it were possible, that there is hope beyond the grave for those who die unblest; but such an expectation has no scriptural authority beyond a few slight and doubtful hints. Who would dare to trust to a hope so exceeding slender? No; if we shrink in terror from the thought of being one day shut out of God's presence into the great outer darkness, let us try to live in that gracious presence now.

II. THE GLORY OF THE RIGHTEOUS.

1. Its time: when he shall come. They suffer now; sometimes they are persecuted, their name is cast out as evil. But they have their consolation; they see indeed through a glass darkly, but yet they do see by faith the glory of the Lord; they are changed into the same image from glory to glory as by the Lord the Spirit. They have a glory now; but it is an inner spiritual glory derived from the indwelling of the blessed Spirit whom the world seeth not, neither knoweth. Now they are the sons of God; when he shall appear, they shall be like him, for they shall see him as he is.

2. Its nature: the unveiled presence of Christ. He shall be glorified in his saints. "I am glorified in them," he said, when about to leave them. When he comes again, that glory shall shine forth in all its radiant splendour. He shall be admired in all them that believe. The glory of his presence abiding in them shall arouse the wondering admiration of all. The lost spirits will wonder; they will be amazed at the strangeness of the salvation of the blessed. "This is he" (Wisd. 5:3, 5) "whom we sometimes had in derision... how is he numbered among the children of God, and his lot is among the saints?" The very angels will wonder at the exceeding glory of the Lord shining in his saints. For he will change the body of their humiliation, and make it like the body of his glory.

LESSONS.

1. We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; let us keep that awful day in our thoughts.

2. Think on the fearful misery of eternal separation from God; live in his presence now.

3. We hope to be like him in his glory; let us take up the cross. - B.C.C.







When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and admired in all them that believe
There be the two halves — the aspect of that day to those to whom it is the revelation of a stranger, and the aspect of that day to those to whom it is the glorifying of Him who is their life.

I. The remarkable words which I have taken for my text suggest to us, first of all, some thoughts about that striking expression that CHRIST IS GLORIFIED IN THE MEN WHO ARE GLORIFIED IN CHRIST. IF YOU look on a couple of verses you will find that the apostle returns to this thought and expresses in the clearest fashion the reciprocal character of that "glorifying" of which he has been speaking. "The name of our Lord Jesus Christ," says he, "may be glorified in you, and ye in Him." So, then, glorifying has a double process involved. It means either "to make glorious," or "to manifest as being glorious." And men are glorified in the former sense in Christ, that Christ in them may, in the latter sense, be glorified. He makes them glorious by imparting to them of the lustrous light and flashing beauty of His own perfect character, in order that that light, received into their natures, and streaming out at last conspicuously manifest from their redeemed perfectness, may redound to the praise and the honour, before a whole universe, of Him who has thus endued their weakness with His own strength, and transmitted their corruptibility into His own immortality.

1. The artist is known by his work. You stand in front of some great picture, or you listen to some great symphony, or you read some great book, and you say, "This is the glory of Raffaelle, Beethoven, Shakespeare." Christ points to His saints, and He says, "Behold My handiwork! Ye are My witnesses. This is what I can do."

2. But the relation between Christ and His saints is far deeper and more intimate than simply the relation between the artist and his work, for all the flashing light of moral beauty, of intellectual perfectness which Christian men can hope to receive in the future is but the light of the Christ that dwells in them, "and of whose fulness all they have received." Like some poor vapour, in itself white and colourless, which lies in the eastern sky there, and as the sun rises is flushed up into a miracle of rosy beauty, because it has caught the light amongst its flaming threads and vaporous substance, so we, in ourselves pale, ghostly, colourless as the mountains when the Alpine snow passes off them, being recipient of an indwelling Christ shall blush and flame in beauty. "Then shall the righteous blaze forth like the sun in My Father's Kingdom." Or, rather they are not suns shining by their own light, but moons reflecting the light of Christ, who is their light.

II. And now notice, again, out of these full and pregnant words the other thought, THAT THIS TRANSFORMATION OF MEN IS THE GREAT MIRACLE AND MARVEL OF CHRIST'S POWER. "He shall come to be admired" — which word is employed in its old English signification, "to be wondered at" — "in all them that believe." So fair and lovely is He that He needs but to be recognized for what He is in order to be glorified. So great and stupendous are His operations in redeeming love that they need but to be beheld to be the object of wonder. "His name shall be called Wonderful." And wonderfully the energy of His redeeming and sanctifying grace shall then have wrought itself out to its legitimate end. Such results from such material! Chemists tell us that the black bit of coal in your grate and the diamond on your finger are varying forms of the one substance. What about a power that shall take all the black coals in the world and transmute them into flashing diamonds, prismatic with the reflected light that comes from His face and made gems on His strong right hand? The universe shall wonder at such results from such material. And it shall wonder, too, at the process by which they were accomplished, wondering at the depth of His pity revealed all the more pathetically now from the Great White Throne, which casts such a light on the Cross of Calvary; wondering at the long, weary path which He who is now declared to be the Judge humbled Himself to travel in the quest of these poor sinful souls whom He has thus redeemed and glorified.

III. And now a word about what is not expressed, but is necessarily implied in this verse, viz., THE SPECTATORS OF THIS GLORY. We need not speculate, it is better not to enter into details, but this, at least, is clear, that that solemn winding up of the long, mysterious, sad, blood and tear-stained history of man upon the earth is to be an object of interest and a higher revelation of God to other. creatures than those that dwell upon the earth; and we may well believe that for that moment, at all events, the centre of the universe, which draws the thoughts of all thinking, and the eyes of all seeing creatures to it, shall be that valley of judgment wherein sits the Man Christ and judges men, and round Him the flashing reflectors of His glory in the person of His saints.

IV. And lastly, look AT THE PATH TO THIS GLORIFYING. "He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be wondered at in all them that believed; as that word ought to be rendered. That is to say, they who on earth were His, consecrated and devoted to Him, and in some humble measure partaking even here of His reflected beauty and imparted righteousness — these are they in whom He shall be glorified. They who believed": poor, trembling, struggling, fainting souls, that here on earth, in the midst of many doubts and temptations, clasped His hand; and howsoever tremulously, yet truly put their trust in Him, these are they in whom He shall "be wondered at."

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

The context teaches two things concerning the final Advent of Christ.

1. The mode of His revelation to the world: "Revealed from heaven." He is now hidden within the veil; the veil will then be withdrawn and every eye shall see Him. But how will He be revealed "with the angels of His might." What are they, and how numerous? "In a fire of flame." Fire is often represented as the accompaniment of manifested Deity (Exodus 3:2-18; Exodus 19:18; Daniel 2:9, 10; Malachi 4:1; Revelation 19:12).

2. The purpose of His revelation to the world. What is it?(1) To deal out retribution on the ungodly, "Taking vengeance," etc. What will be the retribution? "Everlasting destruction." What is that? Ah, what! Whence comes it? "From the presence of the Lord." His presence makes the heaven of the blest, constitutes the hell of the damned.(2) To confer immortal blessedness on His faithful disciples, "To be glorified in His saints." As the sun's glory is reflected in a mirror, so will Christ's glorious image be seen in the assembled universe in the perfection of His saints. How will Christ be glorified in this revelation of Himself?

I. THE MAGNIFICENCE OF HIS MORAL TRIUMPHS will be universally recognized. When the millions of His disciples shall appear from all ages and lands, redeemed from all evil and resplendent with goodness, the glory of Christ's triumphs over the worst superstitions, over the strongest prejudices, over the mightiest depravities, over the wicked and most hardened of the race. The Hottentot, the Esquimaux, the Hindoo, the Chinese, the Japanese — men of all races, will appear as His. How will this strike every soul with admiration and praise. He who conquers the errors, bad passions, corrupt principles and habits of our soul, achieves a sublimer conquest than he who lays thousands of the mere bodies of men dead on the field of battle. But Christ's conquest of millions and millions of souls will appear on that day.

II. THE PERFECTION OF HIS CHARACTER will be universally recognized.

1. Will not His love be seen in all these conquests, His disinterested, compassionate, persevering, all-conquering love?

2. Will not His faithfulness be seen in all these conquests? Will not every redeemed soul say He is true; all He has promised He has performed.

3. Will not His holiness be seen in all these conquests? He cleansed them from all their spiritual pollutions, and they appear before Him without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.

4. Will not His power be seen in all these conquests? Who will not he struck with His might in accomplishing this great work of gathering them all together into His everlasting kingdom.

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

What a difference between the first and second Advent of the Redeemer. One great reason for a judgment day was to manifest the glory of Jesus.

I. CHRIST WILL BE GLORIFIED IN HIS SAINTS. In their —

1. Countless number. Little as the flock of Jesus now appears, yet when all is collected what a mighty host will appear.

2. Diversity of character, nation, age, time. The persecutor Paul and the persecuted Stephen; the converted Greek and the believing Jew; patriarchs and modern missionaries.

3. Past experience of His grace, converting, consoling, providential.

4. Perfection and happiness of body and soul forever.

II. CHRIST WILL BE GLORIFIED IN HIS ENEMIES. In their punishment will be seen —

1. His authority, now denied.

2. His faithfulness to fulfil His threatenings as well as His promises.

3. His holiness as the hater of iniquity.

4. His omniscience in detecting secret crimes.

(H. Kollock, D. D.)

I. CHRIST WILL ASSUREDLY COME AGAIN. This is no less certain than that He once dwelt on this earth. The time is still a secret to us, and perhaps to all orders of intelligent creatures; but the circumstance itself is indubitable. He will come again at the time appointed of the Father. At the ascension His disciples were expressly assured of it by two angels (Acts 1:11). Our blessed Lord also spoke frequently of it (John 14:2, 3); but He never states the time. "Watch," He says, "for ye know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of Man cometh." Though the exact time is not known, yet the Second Coming of Christ is a prominent object of faith.

II. WHEN CHRIST COMES, HE WILL REGLORIFIED IN THE HAPPY AND ADVANTAGEOUS CIRCUMSTANCES OF HIS PEOPLE.

1. In their perfection in holiness. This will then reflect honour upon Him. They will be presented "not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, being holy, and without blemish."

2. In their eternal glory. Soul and body being reunited, they will be freed from all the infirmities of sinful and mortal flesh; have enlarged capacities, fitted for the noblest services — celestial minds attached to celestial bodies (1 Corinthians 15:42-49; Philippians 3:21; 1 John 3:2).

3. In their number. Jesus spoke of His flock as a little one (Luke 12:32); but in that day the number of His ransomed ones will be far greater than the stars of heaven; and they will be gathered from the east and the west, the north and the south (Revelation 7:9, 10).

III. WHEN CHRIST COMES, HE WILL ALSO BE ADMIRED IN THEM.

1. His wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30).

2. His power, demonstrated by His resurrection (John 5:20-29).

3. His faithfulness. His saints have believed and trusted in Him; now His truth is confirmed. It will thus be a glorious day to Christ, and a day of unspeakable joy to His people (Luke 12:37, 38).

(N. Lardner, D. D.)

I. THE STATE ITSELF. It is one of glory. There is twofold glory put upon the saints.

1. Relative which consists of three things —(1) The free and full forgiveness of our sins by the Judge (Acts 3:19). Which pardon is —

(a)Constitutive by God's new covenant (Acts 10:43).

(b)Declarative when God as a Judge determines our right.

(c)Executively when He remits the deserved penalty, and gives glory and happiness, All this is done in part here, but more fully at the last day.(2) A participation of judicial power (1 Corinthians 6:2, 3; Luke 22:30). Here some of the saints judge the world by their doctrine; all by their conversation (Hebrews 11:7); there by vote and suffrage.(3) Christ's public owning them before God and His angels, by head and poll, man by man (Luke 12:8; Colossians 1:22; Jude 1:24; Ephesians 5:27; Hebrews 2:18).

2. Inherent (Galatians 1:16 cf. Romans 8:18). This glory will be revealed —(1) In our bodies which shall be made —

(a)Immortal and incorruptible (1 Corinthians 15:42).

(b)Like Christ's glorious body (1 Corinthians 15:43; Matthew 17:2; Matthew 13:43).

(c)A spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:44).(2) In our souls which will be fully satisfied and filled up with God (1 John 3:2).

II. THE MEASURE OF THE GLORY CHRIST WILL IMPART. It is a thing so great that it is said —

1. He shall come to be glorified in the saints. Paul does not say that the saints shall be glorified (Romans 8:17); that were less though much. Nor does he say Christ shall be glorified in Himself (1 Peter 4:13), but in the saints. He is glorified in the glory which results to Him from their glory. His experience shows —(1) The certainty of this effect of His coming. If His glory be concerned in our glorification, we may be the more confident of it.(2) The greatness; for how is Christ glorified in the saints?(a) Objectively. God is glorified by impression. So all His creatures glorify Him, i.e., offer matter to set forth His glory (Psalm 145:10; Ephesians 1:12). Not speak but be.(b) Actively by expression (Psalm 1.23; 1 Peter 2:9). He will be admired in those that believe.We admire all those things which exceed knowledge and expectation. That glory shall exceed all hope; but who are the parties that shall wonder?(1) The good angels — the spectators, not the parties interested, but beings marvellously affected by the salvation of sinners (1 Peter 1:12; Ephesians 3:10).(2) The wicked are amazed when they see those so much loved and advanced by Christ whose lives they counted madness and folly.(3) The saints themselves are filled with wonder, they finding their expectation so much exceeded; for admiration is the overplus of expectation. Even in what is revealed, the saints find many astonishing instances of God's love (1 Peter 2:9).

III. THE AUTHOR: Christ. How He is concerned in this; for it is not said the saints shall be glorified, but He. Our glory as it comes from Christ redounds to Him (Romans 11:36).

1. He is the procurer of this glorious estate for us by His death and sufferings (Ephesians 1:14; Romans 8:13; Ephesians 5:27). He gave Himself, not only to sanctify, but to glorify His people.

2. He has promised it in His gracious covenant (1 John 2:25).

3. He dispenses it. As the husband rises in honour, so does the wife; when the head is crowned the members are clothed with honour; when the Captain enters glory it is with His followers (Hebrews 2:10).

4. He is the pattern of it (Romans 8:29; Philippians 3:21; 1 John 3:2).

IV. THE SUBJECTS — "His saints," "All that believe." Mark —

1. The connection between these two characters — saints and believers. It implies that those who by faith so separate themselves from the world and consecrate themselves to God shall be glorified (Acts 26:18).

2. This glory is limited to saints and believers (John 3:15; Colossians 3:12; Acts 20:32; Acts 26:18).

3. Though it be limited to saints, yet there is a great difference between the saints. Some are eminent in grace; others weak and dark; some will be raised, others changed; but they all agree in this that Christ will be glorified in all. The glory that will be put upon the humblest will be enough to raise the wonder of angels.

V. THE SEASON: "In that day." For this public honour we must wait till the time fixed. It is not meet that the adopted children should have their glory till the Son of God by nature, be publicly manifested. There is no congruity, between their present state and this blessedness.

1. The place is not fit it is so full of changes.

2. The persons are not fit. Our souls are not yet purified enough to see God (Matthew 5:8; 1 John 3:3). When Christ presents us to God we shall be faultless (Jude 1:25). Old bottles cannot bear this new wine (Matthew 17:16).

3. The time is not fit. We must be some time upon our trial before we enter upon our final estate. It is fit that Christ should be admired now in the graces, but then in the glory of His people (1 Peter 4:4).Uses:

1. To wean us from the vain glory of this world.

2. To encourage us to seek after this glorious estate by continuance in well-doing.

(T. Manton, D. D.)

I. IN THE EXCELLENCE OF THEIR CHARACTER. Whatever contributes to the honour of an individual must in some way reflect His worth. The productions of an author form the medium of His praise. Thus creation is the medium of the Creator's glory because it displays His wisdom, power, and goodness. So at the last day the vast assembly of the redeemed deriving all that they possess from the Saviour will be the medium through which the efficacy of His atonement, the power of His grace, and the extent of His love will be manifested in an admiring universe.

1. In estimating the improvement of an individual or the advancement of a community, it is necessary to bear in mind their original condition. So informing a correct estimate of what the Saviour does for His people it is necessary to remember —

(1)Their lowly origin.

(2)Their ignorance of God, Christ, salvation, duty, destiny.

(3)Their depravity. They were enemies of God, transgressors of the law, etc.

2. Who without grateful emotion can think of such as they shall finally appear in glory?

(1)The mists of ignorance shall be dispelled.

(2)All sin will be put away.

(3)They as lesser luminaries will reflect the glory and the grace of the Sun of Righteousness.

II. IN THE PERFECTION AND SECURITY OF THEIR BLISS.

1. There was a time when they were strangers to joy — through the indulgence of evil passions, the gratification of evil propensities, distance from God.

2. At the judgment and onwards their bliss will be —(1) Perfect. After their conversion it was by no means contemptible, but it was incomplete, and so imperfectly reflected Christ's glory.(2) Secure. Here it is interrupted and not seldom destroyed; by and by no danger will alarm, enemy intrude, or temptation seduce.Conclusion: Hence we see —

1. The dignity of the Christian character.

2. The Christian's glorious hope.

(J. Kay.)

"When He shall come." How many things are waiting that issue, how many mysteries to be solved, purposes to be unfolded, longing hopes to be at rest!

1. Paul does not define the time — the word is one of studied indefiniteness — "When ever He shall come." But the object is determined, viz., that Christ may be glorified and admired. Far and above everything else on this grand day this will be the end of ends.

2. In this, that day only puts its right climax on all that went before; for this earth, from the beginning was made to be a platform to exhibit Christ — the Fall, sorrow, death, the material world.

3. This may be a comfort now. Who has not said, "I wish to glorify Christ — but do I, and can I?" And the poor divided, sin-stained Church — it is pleasant to be assured that it will fully glorify Christ then.

4. It does not say that Christ will be glorified, etc., by but in His saints — others will be the admirers, angels, the assembled universe — we shall be the reflectors.

5. "Saints" here are the perfectly holy. Now holiness is the final end of man. All else, election, redemption, grace, is only a means; and for the reason that Holiness is the image of God. That there might be such an image was the end of the first creation and the second. Therefore when every grace is complete the whole Deity will be represented in its fulness — the Father's love in choosing, the Son's love in dying, the Spirit's love in moulding every man's life. That process which went on day by day and slowly here, will be finished.

6. To "believe" is to take God at His word. And those who believe look very strange here. Men cannot understand them. They seem to be giving up substances for shadows. But then the whole world will see with astonishment the triumphs of faith, and the faithfulness of Jesus to His own word.

7. You will do well to make much of the saints and to extol the virtues of the faithful, not for hero worship but to gather from them the features of Christ and to imitate them.

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

Many persons look upon Christians as common place holders of a commonplace creed. Our Christianity is a story of marvels. It begins in wonder; it will never end.

I. THE LORD JESUS WILL BE MARVELLED AT BY HIS SAINTS, WHO WILL SEE, FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE GREATNESS OF THE DELIVERANCE HE HAS WROUGHT FOR THEM. There are those who look upon sin as a slight thing to be delivered from; but all through the Bible we hear of Christ as the great Deliverer, because He comes to deliver us from sin. He is great because He delivers from a great evil; and when we see how great Christ is He will he "marvelled at by all them that believed." At present we take our salvation very coolly, as if it were a small matter. We only half understand it now; but it will be far better understood some day. And when we see it as we ought, as it is, then Jesus, who has wrought it all, will indeed be "marvelled at" by us.

II. THE LORD JESUS WILL BE MARVELLED AT BY HIS SAINTS FOR THE COURSE OF PROVIDENCE BY WHICH HE HAS LED THEM HOME. The Jewish people had a story of marvels. Their rescue from Egypt was a wonder; their passage across the Red Sea was a wonder; the saving of their life when the destroying angel passed over the land was a wonder; the water for their thirst gushing from the rock was a wonder; the bread for their hunger falling from the heaven was a wonder; and, in fine, the whole history of the people was one chain of wonders. So, in truth, is the whole history of all Christians, whether Jews or Gentiles. Though there seems nothing particular in their lives, if they are looked at in a proper spirit, even those comparatively prosaic, are charged with the elements of mystery. God has kept them in Jesus, has rescued them, has carried them over many an abyss. They were not at all aware of it at the time; but they will be fully aware of it "in that day," and they will marvel at their marvellous Leader. The history of His salvation is continued in the history of His providence. So when they stand before Him as His accepted ones they will see that He verily is the great marvel of their past. Many a marvel has He done; but He Himself is the marvel of marvels.

III. THE LORD JESUS WILL BE MARVELLED AT BY HIS SAINTS, FORASMUCH AS HE WILL BE SEEN AS HE IS. Himself a wonder, He will awake a wondering sentiment in the hearts of those who, for the first time, see what He really is. This is the one revelation waited for. We have seen many things, but we have not seen Christ; we have seen many deliverances, but we have not seen the Deliverer; we have seen the temple, but we have not seen the Lord of the temple. We talk to Christ every day, but we have not seen Him yet. In our spirit we have seen Christ coming to our spirit — so seen Him that we have marvelled at His beauty, and understood somewhat why those who actually saw Him in the clays of His flesh were so attracted to Him. But Christ — "the chief among ten thousand, and the altogether lovely" — is sometimes darkness upon darkness to our sinning soul, and no light shines out of the gloom. You remember the story of a child during an eclipse sobbing until the darkness became so intense that the sobs were hushed in terror; but when the darkness passed away, and the light came, the little one clapped her hands, and cried, "Beautiful!" So with us; when He doth appear, and we see Him as He is, He will be marvelled at for all the forms of beauty in His one Person.

1. What a difference between the first and second comings of our Lord. When He shall come a second time it will be to be glorified and admired, but when He came the first time He was despised and rejected of men.

2. The design of Christ's return is to be glorified in His people. Even now His saints glorify Him. When they walk in holiness they reflect His light: their holy deeds are beams from the Sun of Righteousness. When they believe in Him they also glorify Him, because no grace pays lowlier homage to the throne of Jesus.

3. We do not glorify Him as we could desire for too often we dishonour Him by our want of zeal and our many sins. Happy day when this shall be no more possible.

I. THE SPECIAL GLORIFICATION HERE INTENDED.

1. The Time: "When He shall come." For this He waits, and the Church waits with Him.

2. In whom this glorification is to be found. He is glorified by what we do here, but at last He will be glorified in what we are.(1) In His saints. All will be holy ones; but inasmuch as they are believers the holiness with which they will honour Christ is a holiness based on faith in Him.(2) "In all that believe." This is enlarged by the hint that they are believers in a certain testimony, according to the bracketed sentence. The testimony of the apostles was concerning Christ — His incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension. All who believe this witness are saved. But inasmuch as they are first said to be saints, this faith must be a living faith which renews the character and shapes the life after the model of Christ.

3. By whom will Christ be glorified? He shines in His people but who shall see the glory?

(1)His own people. Every saint will admire Christ in Himself, and in his brother saints.

(2)His holy angels.

(3)Perhaps the inhabitants of other worlds.

(4)Satan and his defeated legions. These shall glorify Christ in His people, in whom they have been completely overthrown.

4. In what degree? The very highest. Admiration means wonder; surpassing all conception. Every one will be astonished, none more so than the saint himself.

5. In what respects?(1) On account of the number of the saints. "A great multitude whom no man can number." Those who laughed will now see how the little one has become a thousand.(2) An account of their quality. They shall be "without spot or wrinkle or any such thing." Absolutely perfect.

II. THE SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS THIS TRUTH SUGGESTS.

1. That the principal subject for self-examination with us all should be — Am I a saint?

2. The small value of human opinion. When Christ was here the world reckoned Him a nobody, and while His people are here they must expect to be judged in the same way. Never mind the reproach which will then be silenced.

3. A great encouragement to seekers. If Christ is to be glorified in saved sinners will He not be glorified indeed if He saved you?

4. An exhortation to believers. If Christ is to be honoured in His people let us think well of and love them all. Some are uncomely, poor, ignorant; but do not, therefore, despise them.

5. An encouragement to all who love Jesus and bear testimony to His name.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

When Charles Kingsley was dying he seemed to have a glimpse of the heavenly splendour into which he was going, and of God in His brightness and loveliness, and he exclaimed, "How beautiful God is!" Every revelation of God that is made to us is a revelation of beauty. Everywhere in nature, in flower that blooms, in bird that sings, in dewdrop that sparkles on leaf or plant, in star that shines, in sunset that burns with splendour, we see disclosures or reflections of God's beauty. In the Holy Scriptures, where the invisible God is manifested and interpreted, every revelation of His character presents God to us in surpassing loveliness. Christ was God manifest in the flesh, the brightness of the Father's glory, the express image of His person, and He was altogether lovely. Such enrapturing beauty the world has never seen incarnated, save in that one blessed Life.

In historical paintings, the principal personages whose history is to be represented occupy the foreground, and stand out, as it were, from the other figures which occupy the background. In the painting of the death of General Wolfe, who fell at Quebec, the dying hero immediately arrests your attention; your eyes fasten upon him, and all your sympathies and feelings are united there. So with the believer, it is Christ who occupies the foreground of his vision. He is the glorious personage who continually fills his eye and secures his attention, and makes every surrounding object little in its dimensions beside Him. It is Christ who died for him at Calvary; this draws out his affections towards Him. All other objects are eclipsed in their beauty, and have no beauty in comparison with Christ. "Whom have I in heaven," etc.

You may have seen a room hung round with mirrors, and when you stood in the midst you were reflected from every point: you were seen here, and seen there, and there again, and there again, and so every part of you was reflected; just such is heaven, Jesus is the centre, and all his saints like mirrors reflect His glory. Is He human? So are they! Is He the Son of God? So are they sons of God! Is He perfect? So are they! Is He exalted? So are they! Is He a prophet? So are they, making known unto principalities and powers the manifold wisdom of God. Is He a priest? So are they! Is He a king? So are they, for He hath made us priests and kings unto God, and we shall reign forever and ever. Look where you will along the ranks of the redeemed, this one thing shall be seen, the glory of Christ Jesus, even to surprise and wonder.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

As a king is glorious in his regalia, so will Christ put on His saints as His personal splendour in that day when He shall make up His jewels. It is with Christ as it was with that noble Roman matron, who when she called at her friends' houses and saw their trinkets, asked them to come next day to her house, and she would exhibit her jewels. They expected to see ruby, and pearl, and diamond, but she called in her two boys, and said, "These are my jewels." Even so will Jesus instead of emerald and amethyst, and onyx and topaz, exhibit His saints. "These are my choice treasures," saith He, "in whom I will be glorified." Solomon surely was never more full of glory than when he had finished the temple, when all the tribes came together to see the noble structure, and confessed it to be "beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth." But what will be the glory of Christ when all the living stones shall be put into their places and His Church shall have her windows of agates and her gates of carbuncle, and all her borders of precious stones? Then, indeed, will He be glorified, when the twelve foundations of His new Jerusalem shall be courses of stones most precious, the like of which was never seen.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Sometimes we read of "the last day," "the great day," — here "that day"; because it is the day to which all other days point, in prospect of which all other days come with their duties, trials, responsibilities; the day towards which the hopes of the Church, founded on the promise of God, and the course of the world governed by the providence of God, are both gradually tending, just as converging lines do to a point of contact. In heaven it is the day longed for, for it is the day of the revelation of the great King, and the completion of the brotherhood between angels and saints. On earth it is the day the Church sighs for, and over the grave of her departed children she says, "Accomplish the number of Thine elect. Hasten Thine appearing!" In hell it is the day feared, because there the angels who left their first estate are reserved in everlasting chains, in darkness, unto the judgment of that great day. Of this day the conscience of every one of us warns. It is not the mere induction of logic from the prevalence of evil and the suffering and loss which attends goodness; it is no mere depression of spirits through forfeiture of self-respect or fear of man, that punishes the poor victim of deep remorse, when he shrinks from the reckoning to come; the evidence is in that man as surely as it may be seen without him in the government of God's world, as surely as it may be seen before him in the letter of God's Word; it is a portion of the economy of his constitution, the economy of every rational mind, placed there by Him who made man. Scoffers in our day, as in St. Peter's, who keep their eyes on the apparent constancy of the present order of things, may say, "Where is the promise of His coming?" but a coming of some kind to judgment their very fears will show, and the desire to shake the veracity of the promises of Scripture regarding that day is encouraged by these secret fears. The coming of that day is as sure a thing as the existence of the Person of God, the Judge of man. The revealed councils of the Trinity would be nugatory without it. If the Father is gathering to Himself a great family, of which the everlasting Son is not ashamed to be called the Brother, this is the day for the manifestation of that family. If He has promised to the Redeemer that He shall see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied, that there shall be a public acceptance of the children given Him and the possession of an earthly kingdom, this is the day for the fulfilment of the engagement. Of this day the Holy Ghost has written, and to prepare men for it He abides with the Church. And this day is called in Scripture, "the last day," "the day of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." He humbled Himself to humanity in the prospect of this day; He hung upon the cross to win this day; the resurrection and ascension were only steps of preparation towards this day; His heavenly life is an expectation of this day. Royalty not yet enjoyed, hope not yet satisfied, glory not yet perfected, all wait for their fulness on that day when "the Lord Jesus shall be revealed," etc.

The day of Christ's glory and of the Church's joy: —

I. HE SHALL COME TO BE GLORIFIED IN HIS SAINTS. To glorify means to secure honour or renown for a person. This prerogative Christ claims for Himself (John 11). He was glorified in Lazarus; He shall be glorified in the saints:

1. In the number of His saints. Even now through a little flock, He receives honour through them. But so little are they in comparison with the world around that the glory Christ receives now is not worthy to be compared with that He will receive when "the multitude which no man can number" will be gathered round Him, the largest of the two which shall be there. Do we not read "All the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord," "All flesh shall see the salvation of God"? We may fairly infer that previous to the judgment there will be a vast accession to the Church. One generation shall succeed to another each increasing, one and all combining to swell the number of those of whom Christ spoke when He said, "I, if I be lifted up," etc.

2. In he harmony of the saints. This harmony was regarded by our Lord as of great importance. It is true that this does not exist as it should to the shame of the Church. But there is unity, and that unity redounds to the glory of Christ. But how much more shall it do so when every difference is extinct, every error rectified, and every passion quelled. The great theological controversalists will then see eye to eye, and the Saviour will then see His desire accomplished.

3. The holiness of the saints. This was one of the objects of Christ's death; His honour is involved in it. How then will honour be secured, when body and soul, and the whole Church shall be perfect.

II. HE WILL BE ADMIRED IN ALL WHO BELIEVE. You admire Him now even as seen in His ordinances, and in prayer, Rut the hour is coming when that admiration shall be past description.

1. His full possession of mediatorial glory shall lead you to admire Him. He will not come amidst poverty and shame, but in flaming fire, etc. If the Saviour appears now as the "altogether lovely," although we only see through a glass darkly, what will He appear to be when we see Him face to face.

2. The universal acknowledgment of His supremacy shall lead you to admire Him — devils, heathen, and all His enemies will bow before Him, and every tongue shall confess that He is Lord.

3. The knowledge of what He has done will lead you to admire Him. We can conceive now, in some measure, our obligation to Christ, but how little compared with what we shall know when the depth of the depravity from which we have been rescued, the dreadfulness of the danger from which we have been preserved, and the glory of the heaven to which we are introduced, are fully revealed.Application:

1. Let Christians, animated by such a prospect, and possessed of such an inheritance, cherish holy gratitude and practice grateful obedience.

2. Let the unconverted seriously consider the loss and peril of their position.

(W. Brock, D. D.)

Because our testimony among you was believed
I. THE GREAT TEST OF CHRISTIANS IS BELIEVING. The promises run everywhere in this strain (Mark 16:16; John 3:36).

II. FAITH OF ANY SORT IS NOT ENOUGH, WE MUST TRULY AND SINCERELY BELIEVE (John 8:31; 1 Thessalonians 1:5). We distinguish between the two when the truths believed have an effectual power to change our hearts and reform our lives (1 Thessalonians 2:13; Titus 1:16; Hosea 8:2).

III. THE MATTER WE ARE TO BELIEVE IS THE APOSTLE'S TESTIMONY CONCERNING GOD'S GOOD WILL TO SINNERS IN CHRIST.

1. Christianity, or the doctrine of salvation by Christ, is a testimony. A testimony is the proof necessary in matters that cannot otherwise be decided by rational deduction: as in two cases —(1) In matters that depend upon the arbitrary will of another. If I want to know how a man stands affected towards me, I must know it by his testimony. So none can know God's good will, but those to whom He reveals it (Matthew 11:27).(2) In matters of fact. Matters of law are argued by reason, matters of fact are only proved by credible witnesses; and in this respect the gospel is a testimony. Its facts transpired necessarily in one place, but the knowledge of them concerns the whole world.

2. This testimony is given —(1) By Christ (John 3:33; Revelation 3:14).(2) By the apostles who were commissioned by Christ as His witnesses (Acts 1:8; Acts 2:32; Acts 10:39-41). This testimony is valuable to produce a saving belief in Christianity.

(a)They had the testimony of sense (2 Peter 1:16, 17; 1 John 1:1-3).

(b)They were men of holiness and integrity (1 Corinthians 15:15).

(c)They were authorized by miracles (Hebrews 2:3, 4).

(d)Their testimony they gave in word and writing (Acts 4:33; 1 John 4:12).

(e)Christ prays for all who should believe through them (John 17:20).Use

1. Of information.(1) Of the nature of faith — belief of testimony. We can only believe on testimony; we know by sense and reason.(2) The ground of faith. Christ and the apostle's testimony as transmitted to us.

2. Of exhortation. Believe this testimony that you may make out your title to eternal life. If we receive it not it will be a testimony against us. Two sorts will never be allowed for true believers.

(1)The careless (Matthew 13:19).

(2)The unsanctified who deny the faith (1 Timothy 5:8).

(T. Manton, D. D.)

How could the question, Whether faith be a motive power, have ever been made the subject of controversy? For many a year, every day and every hour has strengthened my conviction that what a man believes, and what he does not believe, is either the lever or the bar to all that he does. If I believe what, by his pale cheek, as well as by word of mouth, the messenger announces — that sentence of death has been pronounced against me, and that tomorrow's dawn will shine upon my scaffold; if I believe the intelligent architect when he assures me that the beams which support the roof of my chamber must in a few hours give way; if I believe the smooth tongue which whispers that my friend is a villain — is it possible that these things should not prove to me a spur and a goad? Were faith, indeed, a mere imagination, and did it signify nothing but the presentation to the mind's eye, of so many possibilities and shadowy images of beauty, it might be otherwise. But faith is no such baseless picture drawn by the imagination. It is a piece of myself, and what we believe penetrates through secret and unexplored passages, into the deepest recesses of our being. It cannot be otherwise, therefore, than that a man's life is the reflex of his faith. If thou believest in the breath of another world, then that breath will become the soul of thy life.

(Prof. Tholuck.)

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