Thinking of Christ’s Return

While I was sitting in church this past Sunday, listening to the choir sing Days of Elijah, my mind starting fixating on the words of the chorus:

Behold He comes! Riding on the clouds!
Shining like the sun! At the trumpet call
Lift your voice! It’s the year of Jubilee!
And out of Zion’s hill salvation comes!

My mind was swept away thinking about the greatness of our King’s return. He will come for His own, coming back through the clouds as He went away, riding on His great white horse followed by the armies of heaven. What a magnificent scene this will be. He will blaze with glory, outshining the sun in His brilliance because He is light and in Him is no darkness at all. The trumpet blast will herald the return of the King of kings and for those who are His it will be a time of jubilee, a time of salvation, a cause to shout and praise. For others, though, it will be a time of despair, as He comes to execute judgment on those who do not believe, who have not bowed to Him as their Lord.

Charles Wesley captured this in his great hymn Lo, He Comes With Clouds Descending which I reprint below:

Lo, He comes with clouds descending, Once for favored sinners slain

Thousand, thousand saints attending,  Swell the triumph of His train

Alleluia, alleluia, God appears on Earth to reign

 

Every eye shall now behold Him, Robed in dreadful majesty

Those who set at naught and sold Him, Pierced and nailed Him to the tree

Deeply wailing, deeply wailing, shall the true Messiah see

 

Now the Savior long expected, See in solemn pomp appear

All His saints by man rejected, Now shall meet Him in the air

Alleluia, alleluia, See the day of God appear

 

Yes, Amen! Let all adore Thee, High on Thine eternal throne

Savior take the power and glory, Claim the kingdom for Thine own

O come quickly, O come quickly, Everlasting God come down

Are you ready for the coming of Jesus Christ? No man knows the hour or the day when He will appear in all His glory. Today is the day of salvation, tomorrow might be the day of judgment.

 

 

 

Hymn Devotions Day 25 – O For A Thousands Tongues

 

DAY 25 – O FOR A THOUSAND TONGUES

               For this day, I have chosen to include all the verses that Charles Wesley wrote. This song was his celebration of the one year anniversary of his salvation, and what a great tribute to the Lord it is.

I know that not all of us remember the date of our salvation, but why not make it a practice to designate one day a year (if you do remember the date, use it) to write a poem of thanks to the Lord for His great salvation?

If  you cannot write a poem, maybe a prayer or a song or draw a picture of thanks would be possible. Take some time studying Wesley’s poem for inspiration.

Since we don’t have a thousand tongues to sing with, why not use the one we have in a thousand ways? Join with brothers and sisters and together we can raise hundreds of thousands of tongues in harmony to praise the King of Kings.

I particularly love the verse that talks about how Jesus’ blood makes even the foulest sinner clean, even me. When I reflect on my numerous sins, I am amazed that God would want to save me. I am so grateful that His mercy and grace was given to me, the most undeserving person I know. Wesley puts it so well toward the end of his poem – harlots, publicans, thieves – saved is the sinner that believes from crimes as great as mine. Their sins are no worse than mine, their punishment is the same, eternal damnation unless they, just like I, repent and throw ourselves on the mercy of Jesus. How wonderful to know He forgives sins and pardons the sinner.

 

Lord, help me to use the tongue I have to always praise Your name. Help me use it to witness for You, witness of You, and testify of Your great mercy and forgiveness. Help me to proclaim Your salvation to all.

O FOR A THOUSAND TONGUES – Charles Wesley

 

O for a thousand tongues to sing My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King, The triumphs of His grace!

My gracious Master and my God, Assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad The honors of Thy name.

Jesus! the name that charms our fears, That bids our sorrows cease;
’Tis music in the sinner’s ears, ’Tis life, and health, and peace.

He breaks the power of canceled sin, He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean, His blood availed for me.

He speaks, and, listening to His voice, New life the dead receive,
The mournful, broken hearts rejoice, The humble poor believe.

Hear Him, ye deaf; His praise, ye dumb, Your loosened tongues employ;
Ye blind, behold your Savior come, And leap, ye lame, for joy.

In Christ your Head, you then shall know, Shall feel your sins forgiven;
Anticipate your heaven below, And own that love is heaven.

Glory to God, and praise and love Be ever, ever given,
By saints below and saints above, The church in earth and heaven.

On this glad day the glorious Sun Of Righteousness arose;
On my benighted soul He shone And filled it with repose.

Sudden expired the legal strife, ’Twas then I ceased to grieve;
My second, real, living life I then began to live.

Then with my heart I first believed, Believed with faith divine,
Power with the Holy Ghost received To call the Savior mine.

I felt my Lord’s atoning blood Close to my soul applied;
Me, me He loved, the Son of God, For me, for me He died!

I found and owned His promise true, Ascertained of my part,
My pardon passed in heaven I knew  When written on my heart.

Look unto Him, ye nations, own Your God, ye fallen race;
Look, and be saved through faith alone, Be justified by grace.

See all your sins on Jesus laid: The Lamb of God was slain,
His soul was once an offering made For every soul of man.

Awake from guilty nature’s sleep, And Christ shall give you light,
Cast all your sins into the deep, And wash the Æthiop white.

Harlots and publicans and thieves In holy triumph join!
Saved is the sinner that believes From crimes as great as mine.

Murderers and all ye hellish crew In holy triumph join!
Believe the Savior died for you; For me the Savior died.

With me, your chief, ye then shall know, Shall feel your sins forgiven;
Anticipate your heaven below, And own that love is heaven.

 

 

Hymn Devotions Day 16 – Lo, He Comes With Clouds Descending

DAY 16 – LO, HE COMES WITH CLOUDS DESCENDING

               There are many great hymns about the second coming of Christ. The words of this one, by Charles Wesley and Martin Madan, keep coming back to my mind.

The story it tells, contrasting the joyful anticipation of those who believe with the agonizing wailing of those who reject Christ, is very compelling. We forget, sometimes, that while we eagerly await the return of our Lord, that His coming seals the doom of those who are not Christians. He comes with us, His saints, to rule the world with a rod of iron. We long to see our King of Glory enthroned, remaking this earth into a paradise.

I believe that we have forgotten that for many of those we know, our friends, family members, neighbors, Jesus is not their King, nor their Savior. They will not inherit His Kingdom, only His wrath. In one sense, I do want Him to come quickly. I am ready, My immediate family is ready. In another sense, there are those I love who are not. I want a little more time, another opportunity to share with them, before He returns.

            Lord, I am eager for Your return. I long to see You. I desire to see the glories of heaven. I also have people that I love who are not ready for Your return. They do not know You. Please, Lord, let me have another opportunity to witness to them of You.

  

LO, HE COME WITH CLOUDS DESCENDING – Charles Wesley

 

Lo, He comes with clouds descending

Once for favored sinners slain

Thousand, thousand saints attending

Swell the triumph of His train

Alleluia, alleluia, God appears on Earth to reign

 

Every eye shall now behold Him

Robed in dreadful majesty

Those who set at naught and sold Him

Pierced and nailed Him to the tree

Deeply wailing, deeply wailing, shall the true Messiah see

 

Now the Savior long expected

See in solemn pomp appear

All His saints by man rejected

Now shall meet Him in the air

Alleluia, alleluia, See the day of God appear

 

Yes, Amen! Let all adore Thee

High on Thine eternal throne

Savior take the power and glory

Claim the kingdom for Thine own

O come quickly, O come quickly, Everlasting God come down