Called to Watch for Christ’s Return, by Martyn McGeown. Jenison, MI: Reformed Free
Publishing Association, 2016. Pp. 286. [Reviewed by Dr. Julian Kennedy]
Rev. McGeown, missionary pastor of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship in the Republic of Ireland preached through Matthew 24 covering Christ’s teaching on the last things in 2011-2012. The sermons are now compiled in print in this book. It must be said at the outset that a sober, Biblical and Reformed view of this teaching is badly needed still in the church of our day because heresy abounds in the form of universally popular premillennial dispensationalism and postmillennialism and also the many misguided folk putting a fixed date on the second coming. McGeown’s book is divided into treatment of each of the signs in order and then an exposition of the parables that relate to the end times. It is clear, concise and comprehensive and I personally benefited especially on the section on Christ’s parables. My only criticism is of the chapter entitled “The Gospel Preached in all the World”. He states, “We cannot know for sure what constitutes a tribe or nation.” However a word study of scripture does give us a fair idea of what these groupings represent and though we know God will accomplish his purpose, nevertheless the church ought to have some idea of where it stands in the completion of this task and knowing what constitutes a nation, people
or tribe is fundamental in that assessment. He clearly brings out the difference between the predictions relating to AD 70 and those for the end of the world. His description of the great tribulation bears repeating, “God pours out his wrath upon the wicked world, while Antichrist unleashes his fury against the church.” He makes clear the relation between false doctrine and the love of many growing cold and that every attack on the truth is really an attack on Christ who being the truth we must love. His description of what it means to watch bears close study and application. “We watch by standing against the materialism (and all other lawlessness—JK), of our modern society, by praying, by studying the word, and by active, lively membership in a true church” and “Readiness also means living in close communion with Christ.” I had never realized that the wise and foolish virgins are all church members (“The kingdom of God is like…”). The index of scripture will be helpful to those with specific questions relating to specific texts. All in all, a very useful, relatively short (286 pages) sane and sober description of those things which must surely come to pass.