The song “Jesus is Coming Soon” has long been a popular song of worship among the denominations as well as in many churches of Christ. The lyrics were clearly composed from a Premillennial perspective, most clearly seen in the second verse of the song. Apparently seeing the error taught by this verse, the editors of Songs of Praise chose to omit this verse. However, this did not omit all error from the song. The error in “Jesus is Coming Soon” begins with the very title.
What does the phrase “Jesus is coming soon” mean to most people? When running the phrase on an Internet search engine, the results yield nothing but pure Premillennialism. The websites listed include such organizations as “Lamb and Lion Ministries” (a misapplication of the peaceable kingdom of which Isaiah spoke, a prophetic reference to the church) and the “Rapture Ready Club.” These websites make the claim “Jesus is Coming Soon,” and then attempt to support this claim with what they believe are signs that His coming is imminent (just about to happen). After 35 websites featuring Premillennialist advocates defending the premise that “Jesus is coming soon,” the 36th website features a refutation of the notion that we can know absolutely that Jesus will be coming anytime soon. What all these websites share in common is that they believe the statement “Jesus is coming soon” says enough in itself:
They believe the statement to mean Jesus is coming within a time frame that ends just as it says–soon. They believe the statement is clear and that visitors to their website would not think that “soon” might be subject to individual opinion.
They believe the statement to be an affirmation of Premillennial doctrine of some stripe.
The statement “Jesus is coming soon” is a statement not backed by Biblical truth and a teaching condemned by the apostle Paul. He wrote to the church at Thessalonica,
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means…” (2 Thess. 2:1-3a).
Anyone who told the church at Thessalonica that the coming of Christ was “at hand” was guilty of deception. What does “at hand” mean? When John the baptist and Jesus preached that the kingdom was “at hand,” they meant that it was “soon to come.” And it did come soon, within a few years. But when someone taught that Christ’s coming was “at hand,” or “soon to come,” he taught falsely. This false teaching had caused the brethren to be troubled, and Paul wrote that those who troubled the brethren in Thessalonica would receive recompense from God for what they had done (2 Thess. 1:6).
When we sing spiritual songs in the worship assembly, we are teaching (Col. 3:16). What are we teaching? If we are saying, “Jesus is coming soon,” we are teaching:
That Jesus will be coming within a short period of time, denying the possibility that it might be hundreds or more years until He comes.
What most will assume to be Premillennialism.
The same teaching that troubled the church at Thessalonica.
A teaching characteristic of a group which was to receive tribulation from God for troubling the church at Thessalonica.
In light of the above, it is clearly poor judgment, to say the least, to select “Jesus is Coming Soon” as a song to include in a worship assembly. There are far too many songs that teach truth to feel an obligation to sing songs that teach error.