This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.
2 Thessalonians 1:7
By the early 1990s, the popularity of Johnny Cash had faded. To be sure, the older generation still enjoyed hearing him in concert, but he hadn’t had a hit song since the 1970s. And the younger generation just looked at him as an interesting country singer from a bygone era.
Then there came into Johnny’s life a man by the name of Rick Rubin. Rick Rubin was a star producer for some of the biggest names in the music industry. Rick, however, was mostly known for his work with hard rock bands and rap artists. Nevertheless, he sought Johnny out. He wanted to work with him. He told him he was convinced that Johnny still had some things to say.
Rubin’s instincts were right. Together, he and Johnny Cash produced a series of albums entitled American Recordings. They sent shockwaves throughout the music industry. Critics wrote rave reviews about the unprecedented quality and substance of the songs. To a new generation the songs were edgy and fresh. And through those volumes, Johnny Cash took the opportunity to say some things that he wanted to say.
Shortly before he died, Johnny Cash released one more album with Rick Rubin. For the title track he chose a song he had written entirely on his own, a song that reflected his Christianity and his reverence for God’s Word. The title of the song is When the Man Comes Around.
When the Man Comes Around is about judgment day. It’s about the return of Jesus Christ. Filled with biblical references and pictures, the song radiates with the certainty that the final day is coming, that Jesus will return, that time is short, and that the moment for serious reflection is right now.
And so, it is. This simple reality—the reality of Jesus’ return—gives urgency to our work of proclaiming sins forgiven through faith in Christ. And it gives each of us good reason to set aside our everyday busyness to consider what you and I possess in the only Savior this world is ever going to have.
Lord Jesus, the Last Day is coming. You will return soon. Fill me with urgency and eagerness. Fill me with anticipation and joy. Amen.
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