He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Revelation 22:20.
The [second] coming of the Lord has been in all ages the hope of His true followers. The Saviour’s parting promise upon Olivet, that He would come again, lighted up the future for His disciples, filling their hearts with joy and hope that sorrow could not quench nor trials dim. Amid suffering and persecution, “the appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” was the “blessed hope.” When the Thessalonian Christians were filled with grief as they buried their loved ones, who had hoped to live to witness the coming of the Lord, Paul, their teacher, pointed them to the resurrection, to take place at the Saviour’s advent. Then the dead in Christ should rise, and together with the living be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. “And so,” he said, “shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18. …
From the dungeon, the stake, the scaffold, where saints and martyrs witnessed for the truth, comes down the centuries the utterance of their faith and hope. Being “assured of His personal resurrection, and consequently of their own at His coming, for this cause,” says one of these Christians, “they despised death, and were found to be above it.”—Daniel T. Taylor, The Reign of Christ on Earth: or, The Voice of the Church in All Ages, p. 33. They were willing to go down to the grave, that they might “rise free.” They looked for the “Lord to come from heaven in the clouds with the glory of His Father,” “bringing to the just the times of the kingdom.” The Waldenses cherished the same faith. Wycliffe looked forward to the Redeemer’s appearing as the hope of the church.
On rocky Patmos the beloved disciple hears the promise, “Surely I come quickly,” and his longing response voices the prayer of the church in all her pilgrimage, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”