“Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King….” So wrote Isaac Watts as he paraphrased the last half of Psalm 98. This is the truth that missionaries are proclaiming, indeed the truth that all of us as Christians must proclaim. Although Watts did not write “Joy to the World” to be sung at Christmas, it has become one of the most sung Christmas carols. However, its message, like our message to the world is not only for Christmas, but also for any time and all times. The “earth” has not yet received “her King,” but He has come and He is coming.
Some people erroneously believed that the world would end today, December 21, 2012, not because the Lord has come and is coming, but because the Mayan calendar supposedly predicted it. I prayed this morning that many of those people would recognize that if the world had ended today, they were not prepared for the consequences and that they would turn to God through Jesus Christ. My hope is for them to see that they have to face God beyond this world and they are separated from Him because of sin. They have sinned and need His forgiveness through Jesus Christ who has paid the death penalty for sin and through faith in Him as our Savior, God accepts Christ’s death in our place. “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!” is a message they and everyone without Jesus Christ need to heed and I hope you know that Joy this Christmas and always.
Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth;
Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.
Sing to the Lord with the harp,
With the harp and the sound of a psalm,
With trumpets and the sound of a horn;
Shout joyfully before the Lord, the King.
Let the sea roar, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap their hands;
Let the hills be joyful together before the Lord,
For He is coming to judge the earth.
With righteousness He shall judge the world,
And the peoples with equity.
—Psalm 98:4-9 (NKJV)