PMT 2013-019 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
(Use the COMMENT to send in your favorite postmillennial hymn.)

Many contemporary Christians, especially among the dispensationalists, denounce postmillennialism as aHymn singing 2 late-blooming, liberal approach to Scripture. Generally postmillennialism is written off as a narrowly-held and insignificant influence in evangelicalism.

But oddly enough, even while writing off this hope-filled eschatology, they break out their hymnals and begin singing postmillennial hymns! The great hymnody of the church provides evidence of postmillennialism’s influence on the Christian faith. And what better means for promoting this bright eschatology than by singing such joyful hymns?

I will cite three important hymns that reflect an optimistic eschatological outlook.

Lead on, O King Eternal
Ernest Shurtleff (1862–1917)

1. Lead on, O King eternal,
the day of march has come;
henceforth in fields of conquest
thy tents shall be our home.
Through days of preparation
thy grace has made us strong;
and now, O King eternal,
we lift our battle song.

2. Lead on, O King eternal,
till sin’s fierce war shall cease,
and holiness shall whisper
the sweet amen of peace.
For not with swords loud clashing,
nor roll of stirring drums;
with deeds of love and mercy
the heavenly kingdom comes.

3. Lead on, O King eternal,
we follow, not with fears,
for gladness breaks like morning
where’er thy face appears.
Thy cross is lifted o’er us,
we journey in its light;
the crown awaits the conquest;
lead on, O God of might.

Conference Lectures on CD:
“Eschatological Themes: Postmillennialism and Preterism”

Joy to the World
Isaac Watts (1719)

1. Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

2. Joy to the world! the Saviour reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

3. No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

4. He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

We’ve a Story to Tell to the Nations
Ernest Nichol (1862–1928)

1. We’ve a story to tell to the nations,
that shall turn their hearts to the right,
a story of truth and mercy,
a story of peace and light,
a story of peace and light.

For the darkness shall turn to dawning,
and the dawning to noonday bright;
and Christ’s great kingdom shall come on earth,
the kingdom of love and light.

2. We’ve a song to be sung to the nations,
that shall lift their hearts to the Lord,
a song that shall conquer evil
and shatter the spear and sword,
and shatter the spear and sword.


3. We’ve a message to give to the nations,
that the Lord who reigneth above
hath sent us his Son to save us,
and show us that God is love,
and show us that God is love.


4. We’ve a Savior to show to the nations,
who the path of sorrow hath trod,
that all of the world’s great peoples
might come to the truth of God,
might come to the truth of God.


Had I time and space, I could post Handel’s “Messiah”! Actually, as a postmillennialist, I suppose I have the time! But in this blog I don’t have the space.

For a helpful study outlining the church’s mission on earth, see:
Greatness of the Great Commission

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  1. J. Neil Barham October 28, 2013 at 10:59 am

    How about, Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns, or Christ Shall Have Dominion, or God Is Working His Purpose Out, or At the Name of Jesus? Actually, come to think of it, I’m having trouble thinking of ANY hymn that references the Second Coming of Christ from anything other than a post-millennial perspective — with the exception of the execrable “I Wish We’d All Been Ready.”

  2. Kenneth Gentry October 28, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Yes, there are many! I only listed three samples of well-known hymns. Perhaps “I’ll Fly Away” would not work well! Neither would that great hymn of the faith beloved by one all: “Daddy Sang Bass, Mama Sang Tenor.” 🙂

  3. Cale B.T. October 30, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    What about “Stand up for Jesus”?

    “From victory unto victory His army shall He lead,
    Till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed.”

  4. Kenneth Gentry October 31, 2013 at 5:36 am

    Good choice! And good idea: readers should send in their favorite postmillennial hymn.

  5. jeffu86 November 10, 2013 at 5:05 am

    Funny I should read this article. I was recently discussing a song called “Build Your Kingdom Here” by Rend Collective Experiment with a friend of mine. I can’t help but sense some postmill themes in the lyrics of this song.

    Interesting part about it, which you have touched on in this article, is most who will listen to and enjoy this song will be DPs who will totally disregard PT and claim it as false.

  6. Ken Thompsen September 26, 2014 at 2:53 am

    Not a hymn per se, but Handel’s Messiah is triumphant, celebratory, and seems preterist (if not also postmillenial) in outlook.

    I also think many hallmarks in western history held postmillenial hopes. Especially the Abolitionists. This is hardly some “liberal” conspiracy of modern times. It’s the people of Christ bearing good fruit.

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