“Jesus Is Calling, Calling, Calling”

"Seek the Lord while He may be found, and call ye upon Him while He is near" (Isa. 55.6).

     INTRO.: A song which encourages people to respond to the Lord’s call by seeking Him and calling upon Him is "Jesus Is Calling, Calling, Calling" (#600 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text was written by Palmer Hartsough (1844-1932). A native of Michigan, he was a traveling singing teacher, musician hymnwriter, and Baptist minister. Probably his best-known and most widely-used song, at least among churches of Christ, is "I Am Resolved." The tune was composed by James Henry Fillmore Sr. (1849-1936). A native of Cincinnati, OH, he founded the Fillmore Brothers Music House in Cincinnati, publishing hymnbooks that were very popular among churches of Christ in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and provided melodies for several famous songs, among them "The Beautiful Garden of Prayer," "Purer in Heart, O God," "Will You Not Tell It Today?" and "We Are Going Down The Valley."

     "Jesus Is Calling, Calling, Calling" was copyrighted in 1900, although one source says that it was first published in 1909 (that may be a misprint). Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, it appeared in the 1921 Great Songs of the Church (No. 1) and the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2 both edited by E. L. Jorgenson; and the 1948 Christian Hymns No. 2 and the 1966 Christian Hymns No. 3 both edited by L. O. Sanderson. Today it may be found in the 1971 Songs of the Church and the 1990 Songs of the Church 21st C. Ed. both edited by Alton H. Howard; the 1978/1983 Church Gospel Songs and Hymns edited by V. E. Howard; and the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand; in addition to Sacred Selections, and the 2007 Sacred Songs of the Church edited by William D. Jeffcoat.

     The song was apparently designed and is most often used as an invitation song.

I. Stanza 1 says that Jesus is calling
"Jesus is calling, calling, calling, Jesus is calling today;
Why should I linger, linger, linger, I will arise and away."
 A. Truly Jesus is calling all mankind to come to Him through the gospel: 2 Thess. 2.13-14
 B. In view of this call, one should not linger because "now is the accepted time": 2 Cor. 6.2
 C. The proper response to this call is to "arise and away" that we might obey the Lord: Acts 22.16

II. Stanza 2 says that Jesus is pleading
"Jesus is pleading, pleading, pleading, Why should I wander in sin,
While to His glory, glory, glory, Glad He would welcome me in?"
 A. Jesus is pleading with every person to come unto Him: Matt. 11.28-30
 B. The reason that He is pleading is because the lost are wandering in sin: Rom. 3.23
 C. However, the fact that He is pleading with us indicates that He would be glad to welcome us into His fold of safety: Jn. 6.37

III. Stanza 3 says that angels are watching
"Angels are watching, watching, watching, Hoping that I will obey;
I will accept Him, love Him, serve Him, Jesus, I’m coming today."
 A. Jesus Himself said that angels rejoice when a sinner repents: Lk. 15.7, 10
 B. Thus, it stands to reason that the angels are hoping that the lost obey, because Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him: Heb. 5.8-9
 C. Since we do not know how much time we have on this earth, if we want to make sure the angels rejoice over us, we should come to the Lord today, while we have the opportunity: Heb. 3.15

IV. Stanza 4 says that Jesus is waiting
"Jesus is waiting, waiting, waiting, Open now standeth the door;
Soon the night falleth, falleth, falleth, Closed are the gates evermore."
 A. The Bible pictures Jesus as standing and waiting at the door of every individual’s heart: Rev. 3.20
 B. Yet, He will not wait forever because someday the night will fall when we shall no longer have the opportunity to act; for some it may be death, and for others who remain it will be the second coming: Jn. 9.4
 C. At that time, the waiting will end and the door or the gates will be closed for evermore: Matt. 25.1-10

     CONCL.: The chorus points out the joy that comes to those who follow the Savior:
"They are so happy, happy, happy, Who do their Savior obey;
Why should I linger, linger, linger, I will arise and away."
As long as life and breath remain, every lost sinner needs to know, and those who are Christians need to be telling them, that "Jesus Is Calling, Calling, Calling."


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