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Words: Lulu W. Koch (b. _____, 1892; d. ______ )
Music: Wilbur E. Nelson (b. Sept. 25, 1910; d. Aug. 22, 2003)
Note: The present gospel song was written by Lulu W. Koch. We know little about her, except that she was born in 1892. As you can see, there is more information about the composer of the tune. Wilbur E. Nelson was a pastor and Christian broadcaster, who started a program called The Morning Chapel Hour. He was also a singer and gospel song writer. If he did not know Lulu Koch personally, perhaps she simply sent him the words, asking if he could provide a melody.
Scientists speak of the space-time continuum as a connected whole. Human beings move through three dimensions of space–length, width and height, but in doing so are moving also in a fourth dimension–time. For example, I can be at home at ten o’clock, and shopping at the store at eleven. I have not only traveled through space, but also through time.
Because of the constraints and limits of time, we are often made aware of it. We speak of now and then. Where we are at present, and where we expect to be in the future. Am I on time for the appointment? Or late? Or early? We own clocks, and wear watches, so we can handle our time in a responsible way. If we are late, we may hear, upon arriving, a cranky and impatient, “It’s about time!”
Another expression about time that we use is: sooner or later. Surprisingly, that phrase has been around for several centuries. Found in writings as early as 1577, it’s meant to indicate that something particular may happen in the short term, sooner than we expected. Or, it may happen in the longer term, later than we thought. However, there is an air of certainty about it. It may be soon, or it could come later on but, depend upon it, it will happen.
To some extent, that could be said about the coming of spring. We may know the date when spring officially begins. But, in the temperate climate where I live, it’s not unusual for spring-like weather to begin sooner than that–or later. If we are still struggling with winter boots and icy sidewalks when spring is supposed to have sprung, and if farm fields are still mantled in drifted snow, it can be disheartening.
Something similar could be said about the second coming of Christ. A little over two thousand years ago, the eternal Son of God broke into the space-time continuum, born of a virgin, in Bethlehem. After spending about thirty-five years on earth, He returned to His heavenly Father, with the promise that He would one day return (Jn. 14:2-3).
Unbelieving skeptics deny it’s possible for this to happen. Often adhering to the theory of evolution–a word that means an unrolling, they claim the universe and everything in it has unrolled by chance and accident, and will continue to do so. That there is no God who created all things, let alone is involved with His creation. “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were,” they say (II Pet. 3:4).
But Christ’s return definitely will happen, sooner or later, and Christians struggle with conflicting feelings about that. On the one hand, we desire that as many as possible hear the message of the gospel, and receive Christ as Saviour. The Lord Himself has told us to “”Go into all the world and preach the gospel” (Mk. 15:16). We have ministry goals we want to fulfil. On the other hand, we look forward to the glorious future God has for us.
Three times in the last chapter of the Bible we are told the Lord Jesus is “coming quickly [speedily, without delay]” (Rev. 22:7, 12, 20). But that is accounted by God’s timing, and we are not privy to the exact date (Matt. 24:36; Acts 1:7). Meanwhile, we have work to do.
The second coming is closely tied to the consummation of all things, the eternal condemnation of sinners, and the eternal blessing of the saints. We Christians look with longing at the description of a future time when “God will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4).
Sooner or later, it will happen, and there is a gospel song about that. Lulu Koch’s song says:
1) Sooner or later the skies will be bright,
Tears will be all wiped away;
Sooner or later, then cometh the light,
Night will be turned into day.
Sooner or later cares will have flown.
Sunshine and gladness we’ll see;
Sooner or later God calleth His own,
With Him forever to be.
2) Sooner or later, our Lord knows the hour,
He’ll send His beloved Son;
Sooner or later, in His might and pow’r,
Our battles all will be won.
1) If the Lord Jesus could come back for us this very day, how will you plan and act?
2) If the Lord’s coming is delayed for a year or more, how will you plan and act today?