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Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Haste the Day

If you read through a lot of hymns, you will find a diversity of thoughts, points, doctrinal statements, and the like. But there is, in many, many of them, a common theme. The last verse often has something about "the end." Take the best known hymn, Amazing Grace. I mean, even secular people know that one. And the last verse? It begins with 10,000 years in heaven singing God's praise ... and that would only be the beginning.

It's not just hymns. My Last Amen is done by a group called Downhere. In the second verse, the song says,
I could swear I have two hearts
One to stay, one to depart
This sad, tragic kingdom

And it burns me down to the core
Because I know there's so much more
It's just a pale reflection
And it keeps me wanting
That mysterious thing
Like an outcast waiting to belong
"Amen" means "Let it be so," and the song writer longs for the day when he will no longer say "Let it be so" because it will be so.

Perhaps you can hear, in that verse, another place that speaks the same.
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Php 1:21)
To us humans there is a universal notion, it seems. No matter what else happens, death is the "ultimate bad thing". Death is the end, the worst, really, really bad. To many hymn writers and to Scripture, that's simply not the case. The Bible calls it "the blessed hope".
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. (Titus 2:11-14)
That "blessed hope" is an eternity with Him. It is the appearing of the glory of God. Paul describes a life lived looking to that end. We are to live lives that deny ungodliness and sin and live sensibly, righteously and godly because we are looking for that blessed hope when we will see His face, when we will be like Him because we see Him as He is (1 John 3:2).
And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
It will change your perspective. It will change your view of death, of life, of this world, of suffering, of purpose, even of heaven. Lord, haste the day.

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