July 31 2022
Today, Sunday July 31
Joy to the World
“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
Paul told Timothy that in the “last days”, just before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, would be a time of peril. “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Timothy 3:1-5) He went on to say in verse 13, “But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.”
My friend, we are living in these last of the last days and we see hate, greed, violence, corruption, war, and unrestrained debauchery and immorality all around us! You don’t know who to trust! But as a believer we have the hope and security of a better world to come! It will happen in the Millennium reign of Jesus Christ.
We have been talking about the nature and characteristics of the Christ’s coming Kingdom. It will be a time of righteousness, holiness and truth! It will also be a time of peace and great joy.
Some 250 years ago, Isaac Watts wrote a hymn based on the truths found in Psalm 98. The name of this world-famous hymn is “Joy to the World”. At Christmas it is sung all across the world by millions of Christians and non-Christians alike. But a close study of the word of this hymn reveal that Watts did not have in mind the Bethlehem coming of Christ, but rather the millennial coming of our Lord! Observe his words and think about them in reference to this glorious time!
Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
Joy to the world! the Saviour reigns;
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love.
Christ’s Kingdom will be characterized by great joy! It will also be a time of peace. Isaiah wrote: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4). Isaiah went on to write: "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:6-9)
Another hymn writer wrote: “What a day that will be!” My friend, despite how bad it might be today, there is a better day coming!