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Joy To The World
December 25, 2006
Today is December the 25th, a day in which we honor Christ's first advent. A song we sing at Christmas is Joy To The World. However, that song is not about the first advent of Christ but His second advent or coming.
Israel had not received any light from God for almost 400 years when Christ was born. Christ was born into a spiritually dark world and it could be said that He was the most unwanted baby in history. Mary did not ask to bear the Christ child but God chose her to bear the God-man. Joseph believed that the she had lain with another man. Joseph's relatives turned Mary and Joseph away from the inn because they viewed Mary with such disdain. Mary had just completed a 40 mile journey on foot being 9 months pregnant. She had to give birth to the child of God in a barn full of animals. Her bed was a stack of hay. King Herod later tried to kill this child. There was nothing but contempt for the birth of the Christ child but now we honor that birth every year on this day.
The first verse of Joy To the World says, "Joy to the world, for the Lord is come. Let earth receive her King."
The world did not rejoice at the birth of Christ. The religious leaders did not rejoice at the teachings and miracles of Christ. They plotted to kill Him. The Israelites told Pilate that they had no king but Caesar. The Romans crucified Christ. It will be different at the second coming of Christ.
All who know Christ eagerly await this day with anticipation and many wish that Christ would speed it up a bit. When Christ returns he is coming back as "King of kings and Lord of lords". The planet earth will have received her King and there will be joy in the world.
The second verse says, "Let every heart prepare Him room, And heaven and nature sing." If you are to be a participant in the joyous celebration of Christ's second advent, you must have Him in your heart now. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Rev. 3:20 God is wanting you to make room in your heart for Him.
Why will heaven and nature sing? For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. Romans 8:22 All of creation eagerly awaits the time when the curse of sin will be removed and all of heaven and nature will sing. Stanza "Joy to the world, the Saviour reigns." This causes verse 3, "Let men their songs employ, While field and floods, rocks, hill, and plains repeat the sounding joy."
What will change at the second coming of Christ? Stanza and verse 4, "No more let sin and sorrow grow, nor thorns infest the ground, He comes to make His blessings flow, Far as the curse is found."
Hospitals, cemeteries, jails, prisons, and war will be no more. Christ will have put down Satan and will rule the Earth from the capital city Jerusalem. The nations must honor its ruler or suffer drought. Sin will be dealt with immediately, impartially, and fairly. There will be no judges to bribe, no mass murderers released from the penalty of sin due to a lawyer invented technicality, and the animal kingdom will no longer devour each other for food.
Stanza and verse 5, "He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove The glories of His righteousness And wonder of His love."
Remember, when you sing Joy To The World you are singing about the second coming of Christ. We honor the first advent of Christ today looking forward to His return. As you celebrate today by opening that gift, remember that salvation is a free gift from God open to anyone who will accept it. As you look at the evergreen tree remember that Christ died on a tree to give you everlasting life. As you look at the many lights on the tree, know that your brothers and sisters in Christ are the lights of the world. As you look at that bright star on top of the tree, know that the source of all life is Jesus Christ and that is why we can sing Joy to the World.
Copyright 2006 by Gary Goodworth
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