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.

 

 

 

Advent Musings

As I reflect upon the season of advent, I am constantly challenged by how deep in meaning this season is. Not only is it a time of looking back at the 1st coming of Christ in Bethlehem, but a looking forward to His return as King of Kings. As I reflect on the preparation of His first coming, I have to ask – am I truly ready for His second? I know so many people who aren’t, that it saddens me. Then, I get to thinking that I know even more who will celebrate Christmas without knowing what they are really celebrating. It is like going to a birthday party for the son of a neighbor of a friend of yours. You kinda know them a little, but you know you are out of place at the party.
That is what Christmas is for people who are not God’s children. They are at His Son’s birthday party, but they are outsiders, missing out on the real excitement and meaning.Only those of us in the family of God can truly celebrate Christmas. I guess that is why I don’t get too upset with the over commercialization of Christmas. People aren’t believers so why shouldn’t they behave as they do? They don’t ruin my Christmas – I am focused on God and His great gift.
As I wrote yesterday, we can take a lesson from Hanukkah and make sure our light is shining outward, as a witness this Advent season. Perhaps if we do, if we tell people of Christ’s first and second comings, they will be able to truly join the party.

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