"THE CROWNING DAY"
"When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory" (Col. 3.4)
INTRO.: A song which reminds us that Jesus Christ will someday appear to us in glory is "The Crowning Day." The text was written under the pen name "El Nathan" by Daniel Webster Whittle (1840-1901). The tune was composed by James McGranahan (1840-1907). The song was first published in Sacred Songs and Solos (complete edition) of 1881 edited by Ira D. Sankey. Other well-known Whittle-McGranahan collaborations include "I Know Whom I Have Believed," "The Banner of the Cross," and "Christ Liveth in Me." Whittle also provided the texts for "Moment by Moment" and "Why Not Now?", and McGranahan provided music for "Christ Returneth," "I Will Sing of My Redeemer," "None of Self and All of Thee," "Sometime We’ll Understand," "O How Love I Thy Law," and "Christ Receiveth Sinful Men." Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, "The Crowning Day" appeared in the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2 edited by E. L. Jorgenson with the chorus only. The entire song appeared in the 1943 Standard Gospel Hymns edited by Tillit S. Teddlie.
The song speaks of several items related to the Lord’s return.
I. Stanza 1 refers to the fact that He will come in glory
"Our Lord is now rejected, And by the world disowned,
By the many still neglected, And by the few enthroned;
But soon He’ll come in glory, The hour is drawing nigh,
For the crowning day is coming by and by."
A. Just as when He came the first time, even today many will not receive Christ: Jn. 1.11
B. However, someday He shall come in glory because it is promised in the scripture: Acts 1.11 (I really do not care for those songs which declare that "Soon He’ll come in glory," since the Bible says no one knows when; this could be altered to "But He shall come…")
C. Even though we do not know when the Lord will return, it is true that the day and hour are drawing nearer: Jas. 4.8
II. Stanza 2 refers to the fact that the saints will shine in glory
"The heavens shall glow with splendor, But brighter far than they
The saints shall shine in glory, As Christ shall them array;
The beauty of the Savior Shall dazzle every eye,
In the crowning day that’s coming by and by."
A. When Jesus returns, the heavens shall glow with splendor because they will pass away with a great noise and be burned up: 2 Pet. 3.10
B. Christ will bring with Him the saints who sleep in Jesus who, as their glorious bodies are raised, will be arrayed in glorious bodies like unto His: 1 Cor. 15.51-52, Phil. 3.20-21, 1 Thess. 4.14-17
C. And the beauty of the Savior shall dazzle every eye because we shall then see Him as He is: 1 Jn. 3.1-3
III. Stanza 3 refers to the fact that pain will be over
"Our pain shall then be over; We’ll sin and sigh no more.
Behind us all of sorrow, And naught be joy before.
A joy in our Redeemer, As we to Him are nigh,
In the crowning day that’s coming by and by."
A. Pain, sin, sighing, sorrow, and all other problems will then be over as we enter the heavenly city: Rev. 21.1-4
B. Naught but joy will the righteous experience as they serve Him and reign forever with Him by the river of life: Rev. 22.1-5
C. This joy will be the result of their being in the very presence of their Redeemer: Rev. 21.22-27
IV. Stanza 4 refers to the fact that we need to prepare for Christ’s coming
"Let all that look for, hasten The coming joyful day,
By earnest consecration, To walk the narrow way,
By gathering in the lost ones, For whom our Lord did die,
For the crowning day that’s coming by and by."
A. The Bible tells us to be "looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God" by our earnest consecration: 2 Pet. 3.11-13
B. One aspect of this preparation must be seeking the lost that as many as possible might be gathered in to shine forth as the sun in the everlasting kingdom of the Father: Matt. 13.27-42
C. The reason that the lost should be gathered in for the final harvest is that the Lord died for them: 2 Cor. 4.14-15
CONCL.: The chorus repeats the truth that this day is coming and that we need to be waiting.
"Oh, the crowning day is coming, Is coming by and by,
When our Lord shall come in power And glory from on high.
Oh, the glorious sight will gladden Each waiting, watchful eye,
In the crowining day that’s coming by and by."
This same Jesus, who died for us as our Savior, who is precious to all who come to Him, and who calls us to receive His pardon, is coming again to raise the dead, judge the world, and take His people home. Therefore, we need to be looking and preparing for "The Crowning Day."