And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?…
How different life must look — how different what we call sometimes its strange providences must look — to the eye of one above who can see souls, and how they are forming for the endless life! And our own souls — is this world absorbing and exhausting them, or by the grace of God are we transmuting all our work and experience of life into more soul and sweeter? My friends, am I not bringing to you from this word of the Lord a very simple yet all-sufficient test for everything you are doing or planning in your lives? Can I acquire soul by it? Be sure, any course of life which causes any shrinkage of soul is not right. The open Christian life is constant enlargement of heart. Long ago the Hebrew poet looked up, and saw that the soul that runs in the way of the Lord's commandments is enlarged. "Be ye also enlarged," said an apostle, in Jesus' name. His gospel does not come to you and me with a close system of restrictions confronting us on every hand with unnatural restraints. Christ does for us what Satan offered to do for Christ, but never had the power to do — He gives us all the kingdoms of this world, because He gives us receptive souls and pure hearts for all God's works and worlds. All things are yours, for ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's. Yon shall be disciples of the Divine Man. You are here for a little while to procure for yourselves souls, and to help others win their souls. God's Spirit is here with you to give you hearts in sympathy with all Godlike things. Grieve not that Holy Spirit. Beware of anything which helps kill soul. A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. Acquire soul!
(Newman Smyth, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?