March 24, 2011

"Unto the Coming of the Lord"

While studying and reading through the commentaries that Study Light offers on James 5:7-11, I came across this quote from Barnes Notes on the New Testament concerning the phrase, "unto the coming of the Lord."
Unto the coming of the Lord. The coming of the Lord Jesus--either to remove you by death, or to destroy the city of Jerusalem and bring to an end the Jewish institutions, or to judge the world and receive his people to himself. The "coming of the Lord" in any way was an event which Christians were taught to expect, and which would be connected with their deliverance from troubles. As the time of his appearing was not revealed, it was not improper to refer to that as an event that might possibly be near; and as the removal of Christians by death is denoted by the phrase "the coming of the Lord"--that is, his coming to each one of us--it was not improper to speak of death in that view.
It is a good thing to understand that all of the New Testament writers weren't confused about the return of the Lord.  I have heard people say that before, that those authors were expecting Christ's final return to be within their lifetimes. Whether or not they did, I felt that this quote brought a little more clarity to the instances in the N.T. that refer to Christ's return.