Harold S. Paisley
Question: To what occasion did the Lord refer when He stated "Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad" (John 8:56).
Answer: These words of the Lord Jesus were spoken in close proximity to the very place where Abraham had lifted up his knife to slay his son. It was there the voice from heaven stayed his hand, directing his eye to a ram in a nearby thicket as a substitute. On the pathway to Moriah, Abraham had made known to his son, in a wonderful statement "My son, God shall provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering." By faith, he saw beyond the immediate provision to the greater sacrifice which God would bring to view in the person of His only Son. As Abraham contemplated this divine provision, he named the sacred spot Jehovah Jireh, meaning "in the mount of the Lord, He shall be seen" (Gen. 22:14 R.V.) We believe that the expectation of things to come caused him to rejoice in anticipation of the sacrifice of the Son of God. He went from Moriah another way, descending the mountainside with gladness he had never known before. There seems little doubt that this was what the Lord indicated when He said "Abraham rejoiced to see my day."
Question: Is the coming of the Lord Jesus imminent?
Answer: The word "imminent" indicates an event which is at hand, close, looming and impending. This indicates that there is not anything that must be fulfilled before the event of advent may be realized. The outlook of saints is to be constantly looking for the Lord Jesus to come at any moment to fulfill His promise. "I will come again." And "I come quickly" (John 14:3, Rev. 22:20). We are thus encouraged to expect the personal return of the Savior to the air to awake His sleeping saints, to change those who are alive and remain, and suddenly catch away the whole blood-bought company to meet Him in glorified bodies. This is our hope! Any other teaching of interpretation of 1 Thes. 4:15-17, placing any event between the Lords people of this age and the expectation of Christs coming must take away from the power and comfort of the blessed hope. It is wonderful to enjoy the sentiment, attitude and persuasion of John when he said "Even so come Lord Jesus" (Rev. 22:20).