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“I tell you, in that night these shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken and the other left. And they answered and said unto Him, Where, Lord? And He said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.” 

Luke 17:34-37

Well, I like to tell you of the coming of the Christ in His day. He shall come as the King of the Kingdom of God, and I would like to say a few-words on how He shall find the human race; and how He shall separate them; and what shall be the main characteristic in that race of men.

First then the question: How shall he find the human race?

There are some who say that He will find the whole world in a dreadful chaos. His day shall be a day of great upheavals and revolutions, they say. I do not believe it. Holy Scripture does not teach that. To the very contrary. You will remember that Jesus compared His coming to the days of Noah and of Lot. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise also as in the days of Lot: they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.

Therefore, you see that those days were very normal. The usual things shall be done when that awful lightning shall strike and men shall see the sign of the Son of Man in the heavens. It will be a complete surprise.

That same picture you find in the specific words of our meditation at this time. You will recall the text.

So you see that life in its normalcy is presented here. The picture is rather complete. We see the usual three spheres of life: the social home life-two in the bed; the industrial life: two grinding together; and the agricultural life: two are in the field. Life went on as usual.

Yes, things shall be very orderly in that wonderful and also dreadful day. The world in all its usual activities shall show a rather orderly picture to the eye of Jesus when He comes. All according as your station in life shall be, you will eat, drink, marry or be given in marriage, you shall buy or sell, you shall build or plant, you will calmly live your usual life.

Note, further, that all those things shall be done together, that is, the child of God and the child of the devil shall live together. And they shall do things together. Two men are in one bed, two women in one mill, two men in one field. And that is correct. Humanity is one organism. You cannot sever yourselves from man. We are of one blood and of one flesh. And our ways intermingle. Paul would say: you cannot go out of this world. No, the Bible certainly does not teach the life of the monastery and the cloister. They are monstrosities. And have led to dreadful and abnormal horrors.

No, they shall be together. The children of God and the children of the devil shall work together in one shop, factory, home and field. All the activities of mankind are common to both peoples. That is not their difference.


What then?

Oh, but when Jesus comes, that seeming unity shall be rudely dissipated. He will make a terrible and absolute separation. They shall fall apart into the most marked distinction. Christ Jesus shall see and penetrate all the dwellers of the earth. And He shall see two diametrically opposed principles of life and conduct in the hearts of man, of all men. And according to these life-principles the human race shall be infallibly split in sunder.

These principles are two, no more. By the one group He will find and recognize the love of God.

In passing we may state that this is always the case at any moment in the history of the world. It is not always manifest, but it is nevertheless the real truth. You are either a child of God, and then you love Him; or you are a child of the devil, and then you hate Him. There is no neutrality; there are no three ways; there is just the way to the right and the way to the left, and that is all. This separation is an absolute separation. The difference between these two peoples is as the difference between night and day, up or down, white or black, sin or righteousness, heaven or hell, God or the devil. There is no middle way.

That I speak the truth is evidenced by the text: The one shall be taken and the other left.

A very nice word is used in the original Greek for the word “taken.” It means to take to one’s self, to fold in one’s bosom, therefore. It shows the eagerness with which Christ shall take His disciples to His bosom. It shall interpret the longsuffering of God, He shall have waited long for this wonderful moment when He shall come in Christ, His Son, to fold His people to His bosom and let them rest in His heart of love for evermore.

The other word is terrible. It sounds rather weak in our translation. It means literally to send away from one. It is elsewhere called to reject, or to cast away. Oh, yes, He shall also take the others, but it shall be to cast them from Him in outer darkness where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

And you will do well to remember that all this is highest wisdom and no capriciousness. The deepest ground for this taking and leaving is the good-pleasure of God. It pleased Him to elect His people and to make them vessels of His love, so that they might be to His eternal praises and glory forever and ever. And it also pleased Him to reprobate others unto everlasting shame and darkness. They are reserved unto darkness forever. And then in this way that they are not co-ordinate but subordinate. The latter serves the former. Rejection serves election. Such is Holy Scripture. It is no dry dogma which man found out and taught. It certainly is contrary to the mind of man to so teach and preach. No, but God has proclaimed on a thousand pages of the Bible that such is the case: the one shall be taken and the other left.

Yes, some will say: that is correct; but some are taken because they believed and the others are left because they would not believe! And I would say: Amen! But I would like to ask a very simple question: Where did they obtain faith in the blessed Lord? And then your own Bible will provide the answer: “For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves I it is the gift of God!” There is the answer. You find it in Eph. 2:8. No, some people receive faith and others do not. And if you ask why? then God answers: it so pleased Me! And who shall answer against God?

And those that are left, because of the black principle in their heart: it is the principle of sin and corruption. Oh, yes, the others also had that principle of corruption and sin in their heart by nature, but God redeemed them. Christ died for them and the Holy Ghost sanctified them and made them ready for their place in the highest heavens.

Oh, believe me, the Lord God has everything planned and He will execute it in all justice and righteousness and, yes, also in all goodness. There shall not be devil or man that will be able to accuse God for one moment when He takes the one and leaves the other. They will all admit: it is Divinely right!

And I assure you that if you are honest with yourself, you will see the justice of God’s doings even now. It is clearly revealed.

You see, God has told us from time immemorial that man is wicked and perverse. And God has proved it. In the fullness of time, He sent His sweetest possession into the wicked world. And that is Jesus. And, remember, in this Jesus of Nazareth, the living God Himself is revealed. Jesus is God, revealed in the flesh and come into the likeness of the flesh; Well, for 33 years this revelation of the living God walked among the children of men. And His conduct is above reproach: He certainly acted the God-head. He healed the sick; He raised the dead; and He preached the way of the Kingdom of Heaven.

And what did man do?

This: They took Him, spit upon Him, scourged Him, and nailed Him to the accursed tree. No, no, do not say that those wicked Jews did this: you and I did this. It shows how and what we are through sin that dwells in our heart and mind and soul and all our affections. We are wicked from our youth and grow more wicked as the days of the years of our life pass on. And the proof is the Cross of Jesus. As He fared in Jerusalem, so He has fared everywhere. What will you do with Jesus? We will trample Him underfoot and we will despise Him and His God and His law and promises. There is no room for Jesus in the heart of natural man. That heart is filled with everything but Jesus.

And no wonder! Jesus is the Light of the world. He discovers all the darkness, all the evil of our hearts. So He did to the Pharisees, and so He does today to all men that read and hear His Word. Jesus is bothersome to the natural heart. So bothersome that He must be cast away, and crucified.

Yes, God was proved His judgment. Man is wicked from his youth and he is worthy of damnation that is eternal.

But some He saves and shall save. And that salvation is of the Lord exclusively. Christ’s name is Savior. Strange, that most men never gave it a thought. Theysay: He is my Savior, but they save themselves. No, no, but God in Christ is the Savior, the complete Savior! He it is that loved His sheep from all eternity, that sent His Son into the world so that He might take upon Himself all the guilt of His sheep and deliver them from the wrath to come; He it is that sent His Holy Ghost into the heart of all those that are chosen and through that Spirit they cry Abba Father! And He it is that shall quicken our mortal bodies in the day of His coming and place us with Him in everlasting bliss. He is the complete Savior. The text says: The one shall be taken. Yes, and as it is in the last day so it was the first day: If you are loved of God: you are taken, you are taken in His arms and He leads you home. That is the Word of God.

But the others are left. And they carry within them the ground of their rejection.

—G.V.