Friday, December 21, 2007

Joy To The World

An email has been circulating concerning the great hymn "Joy To The World" and Christmas. I couldn't believe what I was reading. Someone was really suggesting that it was wrong that we sing "Joy To The World" to celebrate the birth of Christ. The person who wrote the email actually said "the song is better suited for acknowledging the Second Coming of Christ when he truly will Rule the World”. That philosophy or theology or eschatology is not only disgusting, it is destructive. The email went on to say "next time you hear the song, think of the glorious time when Christ will return..." That is just pathetic. "Joy to the World" is a perfect song to celebrate the incarnation; it's a wonderful song to commemorate the blessed and glorious birth of our King.

When Christ came and took on human flesh in the form of a baby He was beginning His once-and-for-all accomplishment of redemption. There was His birth, His life, His death, His resurrection, His ascension to the throne of Heaven and His sending of His Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The first coming of Christ, not the Second, was successfully intended to enthrone Him as King. As Zechariah's prophecy made crystal clear: "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us; to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days." (Luke 1:68-75)

He came as a child to deliver His people from their enemies. Believe it or not, we actually have enemies who hate us. We don't have to wait for the Second Coming. We celebrate the birth of Christ who is "the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." His birth marked the beginning of His enthronement. He now reigns as King of Kings and He "he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet." (1 Cor 15:25) Joy to the world the Lord IS come. We do not have to wait till He comes again. He has already gained the victory. He is coming again for His bride but only after all enemies have been put under His feet.

Christmas is a celebration of the incarnation. It is a celebration of the embodiment of the Second Person of the Trinity. Those of us who have a postmillennial view of eschatology (an optimistic view of the future of the world) can celebrate all the more. We can truly sing that He now "rules the world with truth and grace..." He is seated on the throne right now and "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever." (Rev 11:15) We have a greater desire and more of a hope to see the embodiment of the kingdom in time and in history. Christ taking on flesh was the beginning of Christ taking on the world. This Christmas, let's remember that He reigns and He has all dominion and power and authority. Merry Christmas!

R. J. Rushdoony wrote this: "One of the most important prophecies concerning the birth of our Lord is in Isaiah 9:6–7. Christ, eight centuries before His coming, is hailed as the “Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace,” and it is declared that “the government shall be upon his shoulder.” This is the first great declaration concerning Christ and all government: the ultimate and absolute government of all things shall belong to Christ. The second great declaration is that “[o]f the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end.” Christ, coming into a sinful and rebellious world to establish His dominion as Lord and Savior, will in the face of all enmity and warfare increase His power, government, and peace."

1 comment:

Kaila Anderson said...

That was so good, Dad! It's a good thing we have you around to tell us of the newest heresy, and to give us a reason why it's wrong :)
Love ya!