Amazing Grace: 366 Hymn Stories

December 28

CHRIST RETURNETH!
H. L. Turner, 19th century
I will come again, and receive you unto Myself. (John 14:3 KJV)
The promise of Christ’s return has been a source of much comfort to God’s people through the centuries. However, it has also caused disagreement and even some divisions within the church. Not all Bible students and groups of Christians are agreed on the outline of future events. Even a casual acquaintance with the study of eschatology (the doctrine of the last things) will soon introduce such conflicting terms and interpretations as postmillennialism, amillennialism, premillennialism, posttribulation, midtribulation, and pretribulation.
Each of these positions has the support of excellent biblical scholarship and many sincere Christian followers. It is easy for believers to get confused with the many aspects of Christ’s return.
Although Christians may disagree on some of the specifics related to future prophecy, most will agree on these basics: Christ will return personally—Acts 1:11; His return will be visible—Revelation 1:7; He will come in power and glory—Mark 13:26; and His coming will consummate His salvation and judgment—John 5:21–29; Hebrews 9:27, 28. The anticipation of Christ’s coming places a responsibility upon believers both individually and corporately even now: To live lives of purity (1 John 3:3) and to be involved in getting the gospel to every nation before His return (Matthew 24:14; Mark 13:10).
“Christ Returneth” first appeared in Ira D. Sankey’s Gospel Hymns, No. 3 in 1878. It has since been widely used to impress and challenge God’s people with the truth of the imminent return of their Lord.
It may be at morn, when the day is awaking, when sunlight thru darkness and shadow is breaking, that Jesus will come in the fullness of glory to receive from the world His own.
It may be at mid-day; it may be at twilight; it may be, perchance, that the blackness of midnight will burst into light in the blaze of His glory, when Jesus receives His own.
O joy! O delight should we go without dying, no sickness, no sadness, no dread and no crying, caught up thru the clouds with our Lord into glory, when Jesus receives His own.
Chorus: O Lord Jesus, how long, how long ere we shout the glad song—Christ returneth! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Amen, Hallelujah! Amen.

    For Today: Matthew 24:30, 31; 25:13; Mark 13:32–37; 14:62; Luke 12:35–40; 1 Thessalonians 2:19

Live in the simple enjoyment that Christ will fulfill His promise—He will return—perhaps even this day. Sing this musical prayer—

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