LO! HE COMES, WITH CLOUDS DESCENDING
Charles Wesley, 1707–1788
Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of Him. So shall it be! Amen. (Revelation 1:7)
When Jesus made His first entrance to earth, He was seen by only a small group of people—a few lowly shepherds and later by some wandering wise men. Bethlehem’s stable birth attracted little attention and had limited immediate effect upon the rest of the world. It was nearly 30 years before Christ’s earthly ministry gained much notice.
What a contrast it will be when He returns for His second advent—every eye “shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). Even those who crucified God’s Son will see and mourn, as will people from every tribe and nation because of their rejection of Him. But for those who have trusted in His redemptive work, the days of mourning will be over, not just beginning. For the Christian, the anticipation of Christ’s return is a joyous prospect—“O come quickly, Alleluia! come, Lord, come!”
In 1758 Charles Wesley published in his Hymns of Intercession for all Mankind a four stanza text, “Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending.” Eight years earlier an associate of the Wesleys, John Cennick, had written a hymn with a similar text. This present version first appeared in 1760 and is really a combination of both Cennick’s and Wesley’s texts.
This is an excellent scriptural hymn and one that should be used much more frequently when believers contemplate and anticipate their Lord’s return.
Lo! He comes, with clouds descending, once for our salvation slain; thousand thousand saints attending, swell the triumph of His train: Alleluia! alleluia! God appears on earth to reign.
Ev’ry eye shall now behold Him, robed in dreadful majesty; those who set at naught and sold Him, pierced and nailed Him to the tree, deeply wailing, deeply wailing, shall the true Messiah see.
Yea, Amen! let all adore Thee high on Thine eternal throne; Savior, take the pow’r and glory, claim the kingdom for Thine own. O come quickly, O come quickly, Alleluia! come, Lord come!
For Today: Matthew 16:27, 28; Mark 13:26, 27; Luke 21:27, 28; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; 2 Peter 3:13, 14
Although you have enjoyed celebrating our Lord’s birth, reflect on what a dramatic event His second advent will be. Rejoice in the truth that you will have an important place in His eternal glory. Raise your alleluias even now—
Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (p. 386). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.
- For the son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his Angels, and then shall he give to every man according to his deeds. Verily I say unto you, there shall be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the Son of man come in his kingdom. (Matthew 16:27-28)
- And then they shall see the Son of man, coming in the clouds, with great power and glory. And he shall then send his Angels, and also gather together his elect from the four winds, and from the utmost part of the earth to the utmost part of heaven. (Mark 13:26, 27)
- And then shall they see the Son of man come in the cloud, with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth near. (Luke 21:27-28)
- For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, and with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then shall we which live and remain, be caught up with them also in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (Thessalonians 4:16-17)
- And shall receive the wages of unrighteousness, as they which count it pleasure daily to live deliciously. Spots they are and blots, delighting themselves in their deceivings, in feasting with you. Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease to sin, beguiling unstable souls, they have hearts exercised with covetousness, they are the children of curse: (2 Peter 3:13-14)