"HALLELUJAH, ‘TIS DONE!"
"And this is the promise that He hath promised us, even eternal life" (1 Jn. 2.25)
INTRO.: A song which points out the need to be conscious of God as the source of salvation and eternal life which He has promised is "Hallelujah, ‘Tis Done." The text was written and the tune was composed both by Philip Paul Bliss (1838-1876). Ira David Sankey wrote that when compiling his book Gospel Songs (No. 1) in 1874, Bliss desired to include in it the well known hymn, "Hallelujah! Thine The Glory" (or "Revive Us Again"), which was then much used in religious services, but the owners of the copyright refused, so he produced "Halleljuah, ‘Tis Done" to replace it. However, some sources say its first appearance was in Bliss’s Gospel Hymns No. 2 of 1876. Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the only in which the song appeared, to my knowledge, was the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2 edited by E. L. Jorgenson.
The song praises God for making salvation from sin and eternal life possible through Christ.
I. Stanza 1 speaks of God’s promise of salvation in this life
"’Tis the promise of God full salvation to give
Unto him who on Jesus His Son will believe."
A. God has made many exceedingly great and precious promises to us: 2 Pet. 1.3
B. One of those promises is to offer full salvation to sinful mankind: Heb. 7.25
C. In Great Songs of the Church No. 2, editor Jorgenson changed this stanza to read, "Unto him who on Jesus will truly believe." I appreciate the attempt to remove the possibility that some might misunderstand the song to mean salvation by faith only, but the fact is that the term "believe" is often used in the complete sense to include our response of obedience to God’s plan, just as Jesus Himself said, "Whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life": Jn. 3.16
II. Stanza 2 speaks of God’s provisions for the saved in this life
"Though the pathway be lonely, and dangerous too,
Surely Jesus is able to carry me through."
A. Sometimes the saved will find that the pathway is lonely because, as Paul found out, others will not stand with them: 2 Tim. 4.16
B. The path may be dangerous too because the devil goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour: 1 Pet. 5.8
C. However, Jesus is able to carry us through because it is possible to be kept by faith through the power of God unto the salvation ready to be revealed at the last time: 1 Pet. 3.5
III. Stanza 3 speaks of loved ones whom the saved hope to see in the heavenly throng
"Many loved ones have I in yon heavenly throng;
They are safe now in glory, and this is their song:"
A. Some object to singing about "loved ones" in heaven; we recognize that if we have "loved ones" who are not in Christ, they will not be among the saved, but many of us have physical "loved ones" who are faithful Christians, and I would assume that most Christians have among the brethren those who, though not physically related, are considered their "loved ones," and we do hope to be reunited with them: 1 Thess. 4.16-17
B. Others object to singing that the saved are now in the heavenly throng believing, as I do, that the spirits of the departed saints are now in paradise in Hades and not in heaven, the dwelling place of God itself; however, the word "heaven" can be thought of in this sense as "the heavenly places" which refer to the spiritual realm, and in this sense those who are asleep in Jesus are among the "heavenly throng" who have been redeemed and await the consummation of all things: Rev. 7.9-17
C. The word "glory" here refers to the eternal glorified state with God to which the righteous have been called: 1 Pet. 5.10
IV. Stanza 4 speaks of little children who are sinless and safe
"Little children I see standing close by their King,
And He smiles as their song of salvation they sing."
A. We can expect to see little children in heaven because those who are converted must become as little children, thus implying that little children are sinless and safe: Matt. 18.3-4
B. Such little children will stand close by their King just as the child whom Jesus called and set by Him to teach the disciples a lesson on humility: Lk. 22.46-48
C. Jesus will smile upon them even as He put His hands on them and blessed them while He was on earth: Matt. 19.13-15
V. Stanza 5 speaks of the prophets and kings who have been saved
"There are prophets and kings in that throng I behold,
And they sing as they march through the streets of pure gold:"
A. The saved can rejoice in their persecutions because the prophets who came before them and will have the same reward were likewise persecuted: Matt. 5.11-12
B. While not many noble are called, there will be some kings in heaven, such as David who is called a man after God’s own heart: Acts 13.22
C. These will sing as they march through the street(s) of pure gold: Rev. 21.21
VI. Stanza 6 speaks of the hope that all the saved have in heaven
"There’s a part in that chorus for you and for me,
And the theme of our praises forever will be:"
A. A grand chorus is pictured as surrounding the throne of God: Rev. 4.8-11
B. There can be a part in that chorus for each of us because the promise is "Whosoever will, may come": Rev. 22.17
C. And the theme of that chorus will be, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain": Rev. 5.8-12
CONCL.: The chorus reemphasizes the salvation that God makes available through the blood of His Son.
"Hallelujah, ’tis done! I believe on the Son;
I am saved by the blood of the crucified One."
When we think of the great salvation that God offers us through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice upon the cross, we can say now, even as we shall say in eternity, "Hallelujah, ‘Tis Done!"