Many religious leaders dissuade their followers from singing Isaac 
Watts’ hymn Joy to the world! We here do not speak of atheists or men of 
other “world religions” avowedly opposed to the Lord Jesus Christ (e.g., 
Judaism): Their objection to such a hymn is understandable. Rather, we 
here speak of men professing to be Christians!

What is their objection to this hymn? Lines such as the following:

Joy to world! the Lord is come! / Let earth receive her King …
Joy to the earth! the Savior reigns! …
He rules the world with truth and grace .…

They object to Christ being presently praised as King ruling over His 

I reject every reason they may give for their objection, whether it be 
on the grounds of their Chiliasm, Millennialism (whether 
Pre-/Post-/Pan-/Non-), Dispensationalism, Zionism, Darbyism, 
Scofieldism, Atheism or any other ism!

The Lord Jesus Christ was not thwarted by unbelievers in His purpose to 
establish His kingdom and reign as King over it. He did not have to 
resort to “Plan B” (as some call it) because unbelievers would not let 
Him fulfill “Plan A”. He was not lifted up on a cross because 
unbelievers would not let Him ascend to His throne. He did not 
inaugurate some “Parenthetical Church Age” because of His failure to 
inaugurate His “Millennial Kingdom Age”. He is not presently in heaven 
as a king in exile – like pitiful Napoleon on Elba – because His 
citizens will not permit Him to rule and reign over them. He is not 
waiting for those who rejected Him to finally permit Him to return and 
be their king. Furthermore, it was never His intention to offer to 
unbelieving Jews the earthly, worldly, carnal, physical kingdom for 
which they lusted. And if He waits until men of their “freewill” accept 
Him as king and let Him establish His kingdom, He never will be king 
over a kingdom.

Neither did He come the first time to be a prophet, then return to 
heaven to be a priest, intending to be a king when He comes to earth the 
second time. His mediatorial offices cannot be divided in such a 
fashion. He came to earth to be Prophet and Priest and King – and all 
three He was and is!

Jesus Christ was prophesied to be King in the Old Testament (e.g., 
Isaiah 9:6f), with the promise that in His incarnation He would be “upon 
the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it 
with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever” (cp. 
Jeremiah 33:15-21). In His incarnation He was announced as King (Luke 
1:26-33; fulfilling 2 Samuel 7:12f), sought and worshipped as King 
(Matthew 2:1f, 11), manifested as King (Matthew 12:28f; cp. Revelation 
20:1-3), presented as King (Matthew 21:1-5; fulfilling Zechariah 9:9), 
and empowered as King (Matthew 28:18). In His exaltation He was 
enthroned as King at God’s right hand (Acts 2:29-36). God therefore 
assures Christ His Son, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a 
scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom” (Hebrews 1:8). 
And believers in Him have been by God delivered from the Satanic power 
of darkness and translated into the kingdom of Jehovah’s dear Son 
(Colossians 1:13)!

Let others object – if they must – to Christ’s present and everlasting 
Kingship and Kingdom. Let them say – if they are such rebels – “We will 
not have this man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14).

But believers in the Lord and Savior Jesus have ceased their rebellion 
against Him and bowed to Him as King of King and Lord of Lords, and been 
graciously received into His kingdom, and joyfully sing …
Joy to world! the Lord is come! / Let earth receive her King …
Joy to the earth! the Savior reigns! …
He rules the world with truth and grace .…

And we exultingly sing that song all through the year, not with mere 
lip-service at Christmastide only.

– Daniel E. Parks

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