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Waiting on the Lord’s Return


Adoniram Judson (A. J.) Gordon was an American preacher, writer, and founder of Gordon College and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. The New England pastor would often join evangelist D. L. Moody at his Northfield conventions. Under his leadership, Clarendon Street Baptist Church became one of the most vibrant and missions-oriented churches of its day.

Today’s text contains one of Gordon’s favorite verses, Isaiah 52:8. The prophet Isaiah is delivering a message of great hope for the people of Israel; they will be delivered from their exile in Babylon. However, Isaiah states that an even greater hope awaits in the future when a restored Jerusalem will unite all nations in peace under the Messianic King.

Isaiah 52 begins by calling Zion, or Jerusalem, to “Wake up!” The prophet foresees the restoration of the strength, beauty, and vibrancy of God’s holy city. In verses 3–6, Isaiah reminds the Israelites of their history of oppression. The God who would deliver them had predicted their exile (v. 6).

Isaiah describes the celebration to take place when the land would be restored (vv. 7–12). This passage foretells the future deliverance of all God’s people through the Messiah. Isaiah’s words, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news” (v. 7), are repeated by the apostle Paul in Romans 10:15. This good news—Israel’s restoration and the coming Messiah—will be carried over the mountains for all to hear.

Both Gordon and Moody were passionate about preaching the imminent Second Coming of Christ that would usher in Jesus’ thousand-year rule and reign over the New Jerusalem. When the Lord returns, we too will see Him with our own eyes (v. 8).

>> The book of Isaiah and theology about the end times can be challenging to understand. Use free online resources like the videos from The Bible Project to help you understand God’s Word even better.

BY Chris Rappazini

Chris Rappazini is the associate professor and program head of the BA and MA in Pastoral Studies at Moody Bible Institute and Moody Theological Seminary. He is the vice president of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and previously served as the associate minister of preaching and teaching at Southside Christian Church in Spokane, Washington. Chris and his wife, Ashley, and their three children reside in Northwest Indiana.

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