“Sound, Sound the Truth Abroad”

"For from you sounded out the word of the Lord…in every place…" (1 Thess. 1.8)

     INTRO.: A hymn which points out that evangelism involves Christians’ sounding out the word of the Lord in every place is "Sound, Sound the Truth Abroad." The text was written by Thomas Kelly (1769-1854 or 1855). It was first published in his 1820 Hymns on Various Passages of Scripture. Our most recent books that have included the song used a tune (Italian Hymn) by Felice di Giardini that today is usually associated with "Christ For The World We Sing." However, books common among brethren back in the nineteenth century, such as The Christian Hymnal, published in 1871 by Bosworth Chase and Hall under the direction of the Christian Hymn-Book Committee, a lineal successor to Alexander Campbell’s hymnbook, set it to a tune (Dort) which was composed by Lowell Mason (1792-1872). It is dated 1832. Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the song, with the di Giardini tune, appeared in the 1921 Great Songs of the Church (No. 1) edited by E. L. Jorgenson, and the 1963 Abiding Hymns edited by Robert C. Welch.
     The song emcourages us to sound out the word of the Lord.

I. Stanza 1 emphasizes Jesus’s truth
"Sound, sound the truth abroad; Bear ye the word of God,
Through the wide world.
Tell what our Lord has done, Tell how the day is won,
Tell from his lofty throne Satan is hurled."
 A. What needs to be sounded abroad is the truth because only the truth will make us free: Jn. 8.32
 B. This truth needs to be sounded abroad through the wide world because Christ commands it: Mk. 16.15
 C. The way in which this truth is sounded through the wide world is by Christians telling what our Lord has done: Mk. 5.19

II. Stanza 2 emphasizes Jesus’s name
"Far over sea and land, Go at your Lord’s command;
Bear ye His name:
Bear it to every shore, Regions unknown explore,
Enter at every door–Silence is shame."
 A. Since Jesus has commanded that His gospel be preached over sea and land, we need to obey Him: Jn. 14.15
 B. Another reason that we need to bear His name is that there is salvation in no other: Acts 4.12
 C. While each one must tell the message wherever he is and can, since lost people are found throughout the world, there is the need for those who are able to go into regions unknown: Rom. 15.20, 2 Cor. 10.16

III. Stanza 3 emphasizes Jesus’s love
"Speed on the wings of love: Jesus, who reigns above,
Bids us to fly;
They who His message bear Should neither doubt nor fear.
He will their Friend appear; He will be nigh."
 A. Those who preach the gospel should speed on the wings of the love that Christ had for us: Eph. 5.2
 B. One reason that this is so important is that it is the message of Jesus who reigns above: Eph. 1.20-23, Heb. 8.1
 C. Because we are representing our King who promises to be near us, we have nothing to fear: Heb. 13.5-6

IV. Stanza 4 emphasizes Jesus’s presence
"When on the mighty deep, He will their spirits keep,
Stayed in His word;
When in a foreign land, No other friend at hand,
Jesus will by them stand–Jesus, their Lord."
 A. We can be assured of Jesus’s presence with us as long as we are preaching His word: 2 Tim. 4.1-2
 B. There may be times when it seems as if there are no friends at hand: 2 Tim. 4.10, 16
 C. However, Jesus will always stand with us because as we go forth making disciples of all the nations He has promised to be with us even until the end of the age: Matt. 28.18-20

     CONCL.: This song is probably not very familar to many brethren today because it has not been included in any of our more recent books. My experience has been that over the past few years while many churches have probably been doing more in foreign evangelism due to the opening up of the Eastern bloc, in many places we do not seem to be singing songs that promote evangelism as much as we used to. Whether we are able to go to a foreign land to proclaim the gospel, or whether we simply go across the street to teach our neighbor, we must be working to "Sound, Sound the Truth Abroad."


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