Joy to the Whole World

My favorite Christmas Carol this year is Joy to the World.  (Please note that this changes each year.)  

This hymn stands out to me as the one song we sing at Christmas time that has a missions focus and a focus on end-times.  The lyrics, with commentary inserted, are below.

Joy to the world! The Lord is come.
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room.
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

This is a straight-forward request for us to receive the living Christ into our hearts by faith and repentance.  Every heart should prepare Him room.

Joy to the world! The Savior reigns.
Let men their songs employ.
While fields and floods,
Rocks, hills and plains,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

This is a call to unashamed praise to the Christ, the Savior of the world.

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,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as the curse is found.

How far will the reign of Christ extend? As far as the curse is found.  That is everywhere on the earth.  Truly Christ will call to Himself people from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.  There will come a day when people from every family in the world will turn to Christ and His lordship and enter His spiritual kingdom.  Then He will come again to fully establish His rule on the earth.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove,
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of his love,
And wonders of his love,
And wonders and wonders of his love.

At this point in the hymn, the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign for ever and ever.  Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.  The destiny of all people will prove either the righteousness of God in judgement or the wondrous love of God in His mercy.

At once a wonderful hymn of praise, a testimony of the reach of the gospel to all nations, and a somber warning that God will show His righteousness in judgement; this hymn is a wonderful testimony.  

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