Skip to content
May 11, 2007 / Daniel

More resurrection songs? 2

Matthew pointed out another popular hymn about the resurrection.  Unlike “I’ll Fly Away” and “This World Is Not My Home,” this hymn “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder” actually mentions the resurrection as a part of its future hope.  That’s right on.  The problem is that its resurrection hope centers on heaven, not the new heavens and earth.   Here are the lyrics. 

When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more,
And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair;
When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

Refrain

When the roll, is called up yon-der,
When the roll, is called up yon-der,
When the roll, is called up yon-der,
When the roll is called up yonder I’ll be there.

On that bright and cloudless morning when the dead in Christ shall rise,
And the glory of His resurrection share;
When His chosen ones shall gather to their home beyond the skies,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

Refrain

Let us labor for the Master from the dawn till setting sun,
Let us talk of all His wondrous love and care;
Then when all of life is over, and our work on earth is done,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

This is what NT Wright means when he refers to some fundamentalist Christians as “dualists” just like the Gnostics.  Our future hope is not heaven.  Heaven is a temporary place for those awaiting the resurrection.  Heaven isn’t forever.  Our future hope is a new world.  It’s from this sort of dualism that some Christians get the “it’s-all-going-to-burn” mentality toward creation.  

That being said, the song does have some things going for it.  At least, it mentions the resurrection.  

Advertisements

8 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Matthew C / May 12 2007 9:10 am

    I do not have a ‘its all going to burn’ mentality.

    I believe that the earth will not be destroyed, but it will be renewed. But that still leaves the question of whther resurrected saints inhabit earth or heave.

    There is a clear difference in Rev 21 and 22 between the New Jerusalem and the New Earth.

    The New Jerusalem is inhabited by the servants of the lamb, while the New Earth is inhabited by nations. We have two clearly discernible groups.

    The Scriptures say nothing about resurrected saints existing on the earth outside the New Jerusalem.

    Our resurrection bodies are spiritual and heavenly, they are compared by our Lord to that of the angels.

    Furthermore, marriage is part of the original creation. The earth is meant to be inhabited by people who marry and bear children, like Adam and Eve. If the earth is to be populated by a race of non-sexual, non-reproducing beings in eternity, as we shall be, then the original purpose in creation is lost.

    We are left with an earth that is actually very different to the one God meant to create.

    My Dualist position maintains both the created goodness of the earthly world and the spiritual character of the Christian’s eschatological existence.

    BTW, I bought N.T. Wright’s ‘The Resurrection of the Son of God’ yesterday and it arrived this morning.

    I really wanted to read it, knowing that a worldly journalist, Mary Ann Sieghart praised the book.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

  2. fiester25 / May 12 2007 2:33 pm

    Matt,

    The “it’s-all-going-to-burn” mentality comment comes from a discussion that I had earlier this week. I wasn’t applying it to anyone in particular.

    I don’t really understand your interpretation of Rev. 21-22.

    It’s important to realize that Revelation is a pretty symbolic book. Look at v. 1:1.

    “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John.”

    That phrase “made it known” is translated “signified” in the KJV. It means to communicate through symbols. Not everything in Revelation is meant to be understood literally.

    For instance, Rev. 21:1 tells us that there will be no more “sea” in the new heavens and earth. Throughout apocalyptic literature, the “sea” is the place of evil and chaos. In Daniel 7, the monsters that oppress Israel come from the sea. In Rev. 13, the beast comes from the sea. The sea image functions symbolic, and not literally.

    What do you think?

    Glad to hear that you bought RSG. I hope that you enjoy it.

    Daniel

  3. Matthew C / May 12 2007 5:48 pm

    While I appreciate the symbolic signficance of the sea, I think it is better to assume that there will be no sea in the New Earth in the absence of any other considerations.

    But tell me, why does Rev 21 talk about a New Jerusalem as distinct from the rest of the New Earth?

    It would appear that the existence of this heavenly city predates the establishment of the New Earth. It is possible that this city already exists in the heavenlu realm.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

  4. fiester25 / May 14 2007 3:42 am

    There are two great cities in the book of Revelation–the world’s city, Babylon, and God’s city, the New Jerusalem.

    I guess that I take these cities as functioning more symbolically in the book as well.

    Revelation is a book of symbols (cf. “signify” in 1:1).

  5. Matthew C / May 14 2007 7:38 am

    I see.

  6. rey / Nov 14 2007 1:00 am

    “I believe that the earth will not be destroyed, but it will be renewed.” (Matthew C)

    In 2 Peter 3:12 “the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat” clearly sets forth that it’s all going to burn. Yet, verse 13 pick up with “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”

    So you can’t have one without the other Biblically. No burning up, no renewal. Your view essentially cuts it’s own self off.

  7. rey / Nov 14 2007 1:01 am

    “It would appear that the existence of this heavenly city predates the establishment of the New Earth. It is possible that this city already exists in the heavenlu realm.”

    I agree.

  8. Daniel / Nov 14 2007 2:36 am

    Rey,

    Look at 2 Pet. 3:6. That clarifies the author’s meaning in verses 12-13. The fire mentioned in v. 12 will destroy the earth in the same way, Noah’s flood destroyed the world. The NT writers believed that God will renew this cosmos. Take the resurrection for example. God didn’t make Jesus an entirely different body. Rather God renewed the dead, lifeless body of Jesus and recreated it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: