Whatever you believe about the timing of the return of Christ, orthodox Christians all agree on one thing: Jesus is coming back.
Scripture tells us that when Jesus finally returns, all wrongs will be made right, the unrighteous will be judged, and those who have trusted in Christ will enter into the immediate presence of God in the new heavens and new earth. God promises that there will be no more sin, no more tears, no more death, and no more pain (2Thess. 2:8; Phil. 3:20-21; Rev. 21:4). And “when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).
With those kinds of promises, you’d expect that we’d be thinking about the return of Christ a lot more often than we do. But we don’t. We get caught up in the details of life, weighed down by the effects of sin, and distracted by the empty promises of the world. We think more about the stock market than the second coming. We anticipate a new season of 24 or American Idol more than the return of Christ. We act as though Jesus coming back is far enough away that it shouldn’t seriously affect our lives now. And we’re the poorer for it.
In 2 Tim. 4:8, Paul says that Christians are those who “have loved his appearing.” He tells Titus that we are “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” And Peter says that we should be setting our hope “fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
One of the ways we do that is by singing about Christ’s return. Just recently, I received an email from a worship leader asking for songs that referenced the return of Christ. Here’s a list a group of my friends and I came up with.
CONTEMPORARY SONGS (more or less)
Because of You (Paul Oakley) – celebrative song about what it will be like in heaven and the fact that it will all be made possible by Jesus. “No more pain, no more sadness, no more suffering, no more tears, no more sin…”
Beautiful Savior (Stuart Townend) – “I long to be where the praise is never ending.”
Hallelujah, We Will Sing (Tommy Walker) – joyful 6/8 song celebrating Christ’s return. “On that white horse He’ll ride, With blazing eyes of fire, He’ll judge and make things right, Turn all the dark to light”
Soon (Brooke Fraser) – Beautiful song. “Soon and very soon my King is coming, robed in righteousness and crowned with love”
Sing to the King (Billy Foote) – Rejoicing in Christ’s final victory over Satan. “Sing to the King who is coming to reign”
Hail to the King (Larry Hampton) – We eagerly await the coming of the day…
Soon and Very Soon (old spiritual)
Heaven is our Home (Kathryn Scott) – “No more sin and no more shame, we are going where the streets are made of gold.”
Almighty (Paul Baloche) – “You will judge the nations, You’ll reward Your servants, both the great and small.” I reviewed this song in a previous post.
O For That Day (Ryan Foglesong) – “O for that day when our journey is ended, all of our hope found in heaven’s reward.” John Martin of Enfield is generously giving the MP3 of this song away, as well as the lead sheet. You can also download the guitar chart in E.
There is a Day (Phatfish) – Powerful song describing Christ’s return, filled with Scripture. “We will meet him in the air and then we will be like him.” I could do without the “oh yeah…”
How Long (Stuart Townend) – One of the most powerful songs of intercession that I’m aware of. “But I know a day is coming when the deaf will hear his voice, when the blind will see their Savior and the lame will leap for joy.”
I Will Rise (Chris Tomlin) – Simple tune, powerful words that focus on our union with Christ in his resurrection. “I will rise when he calls my name, no more sorrow, no more pain.”
Great Day of the Lord (Andy Melvin) – “On the great day of the Lord when the dead in Christ shall rise, and the sun and moon will be replaced by the light in Jesus’ eyes.”
There is a Higher Throne (Keith and Kristyn Getty) – Stately hymn that lifts our eyes to see the unchanging throne of God. “Before the Son we’ll stand, made faultless through the Lamb; believing hearts find promised grace, salvation comes.”
The Day of the Lord (Joe Romeo) – Excellent song about the return of Christ. “All of creation is eagerly waiting for God’s family to be unveiled.”
SOVEREIGN GRACE SONGS
Lord Jesus, Come (Adam Sacks) – “Oh Lord, hurry the day when our faith shall be sight.”
In A Little While (Mark Altrogge) – “And we will see your face with our own eyes.”
Hail the Risen King – (Stephen Altrogge) – Upbeat celebration of the risen King who is returning. “You’re coming, returning for those whose hearts are yearning…”
He is Jesus (Stephen Altrogge) – A 3/4 anthem that celebrates the glories of Christ. “There’s a glorious Lord returning and all will bow to Him alone.”
Worthy (Dave Brown) – “The multitude you bought with Your blood will gather before Your throne and humbly proclaim, ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain forevermore.”
God Over All (Devon Kauflin) – “And on that day when you come back to claim your own…”
I Will Glory in My Redeemer (Steve & Vikki Cook) – “When he calls me it will be paradise his face forever to behold.”
Glorious and Mighty (Todd Twining, Joel Sczebel, Bob Kauflin) – “Majesty, we’ll sing with creation when You come again in the clouds.”
Prepared a Place (Doug Plank) – “Father in the moment when Your Son shall split the skies, and myriads of angels acclaim him with their cries, by grace I will be able to join the jubilee…”
Come Thou Fount – “On that day when free from sinning I shall see thy lovely face…” (chart available here)
It Is Well – “And Lord haste the day when our faith shall be sight…”
My Hope is Built – “When he shall come with trumpet sound…”
How Great Thou Art – “When Christ shall come with shouts of acclamation…”
Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending (Wesley/Cennick) – can also be sung to the tune of “Regent Square”)
I Stand Amazed in the Presence – “When with the ransomed in glory his face I at last shall see…”
I know I’m just scratching the surface here. Let us know what songs you’ve used to help your church treasure and anticipate the return of our glorious Savior.
UPDATE: I’ve added to the list above to include many of the suggestions in the comments section.