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The Redeemers Return by Arthur W. Pink

1. The World's Consternation at the sudden and secret Removal of the Church.

One can better imagine than describe the awe-inspiring effect upon the world which will be occasioned by the secret removal of the Church. We say |secret removal| for we know of nothing in Scripture which intimates that our Lord's Shout shall be heard by any save His own people, and judging from the analogies furnished by the cases of the translation of Enoch and Elijah nothing will be known of the Church's rapture until after it has occurred. That the world will not witness the catching up of believers to meet their Saviour in the air seems to be further borne out by the fact that their translation and transformation will be so swiftly accomplished that it is all said to occur |in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.| We take it then that the removal of the Church will be both sudden and secret.

Some day in the near future, how near none can say, but probably in the lifetime of the present generation, the world will awaken to find that a most startling phenomenon has occurred. A large number of their fellow-men and women will have mysteriously disappeared, leaving no traces behind them! In many a home there will be more than one vacant chair. In many an office and store there will be vacant stools. From every walk of life there will be taken those who |Chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season: esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of the world: for they had respect unto the recompense of the reward| (Heb.11:25, 26). Possibly some seats in the Senate and some thrones will be vacant, for God's children are |scattered abroad| (John 11:52) in many spheres and callings. The phenomenon of the missing ones will be no local one, but earthwide in its range. It is highly probable that from every village, town, and city, in this land, there shall be taken those who are caught up to met the Lord in the air. Imagine then the amazement, the consternation, the commiseration of those that are left behind! Imagine the panic which shall seize their hearts. If they search, their search will be in vain. No trace of the missing ones will be forth-coming. Imagine again the dismay and the awe, as the news is received from other lands that his same mysterious phenomenon has occurred there too! Will it take the left-behind ones very long to find a solution to the mystery? Will it be very difficult for them to find an explanation which will account for the disappearance of God's people from the earth? We believe not. The imminent coming of Christ has been so widely proclaimed both by voice and pen that there are now comparatively few people who are in complete ignorance upon this subject. Today the wise of this world may sneer and scoff at the truth that the coming of the Lord draweth nigh, but then, when it is too late to profit from the witness that is now being borne, it shall be seen that those who were looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ were no mere visionaries and fanatics, but sober men and women whose faith was founded upon the unerring Word of God. O what anguish will fill those who gave no heed to the faithful warning of their godly friends! And here we would pause a moment and ask, Reader, How is it with you? Suppose that Christ should come today -- and He may- in which class would you be found? Would you be among the |wise| virgins who are ready for the Bridegroom's appearing, or would you be numbered among the |foolish| virgins who had made no adequate preparation for this great event? Pass not this question lightly by. It is now the most momentous question which can possibly engage your attention. You say, you hope you would be among those that are ready. But you cannot afford to be uncertain upon this matter, the issues are far too serious and solemn. Stop right here we beseech you and honestly examine yourself and see whether you be in the faith. Do you know within your heart that you are un-prepared, that all your efforts have been directed toward the securing for yourself a comfortable position in this world? Then, let us ask, |What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?| Do you say, I have already faced that question and I know now how to make the necessary preparation. Are you constrained to ask, |What must I do to be saved?| Then the answer, God's own answer, is ready at hand -- |Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.| Appropriate the provision which Divine grace has made for lost sinners. Flee to Christ while there is yet time. Turn away from self with all its resolutions and failures, its doings and its sins and cast yourself on the Lord Jesus. Heed that pressing word, |Behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation.| Boast not thyself of tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Tomorrow may be too late. Before tomorrow the Lord may have come, and then the door of mercy will be closed against you. And this leads us to consider,

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