The Lord Himself will come down from Heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. 1 Thessalonians 4:16–17
Words: Possibly by Bartholomäus Ringwaldt, circa 1556. Translated from German to English by William B. Collyer, 1812, alt., Thomas Cotterill, 1819. It was at this time that the title Luther’s Hymn became associated with the words.
Great God, what do I see and hear?
The end of things created!
The Judge of mankind doth appear,
On clouds of glory seated.
The trumpet sounds, the graves restore,
The dead which they contained before!
Prepare, my soul, to meet Him.
The dead in Christ shall first arise
At the last trumpet’s sounding.
Caught up to meet Him in the skies,
With joy their Lord surrounding.
No gloomy fears their souls dismay,
His presence sheds eternal day
On those prepared to meet Him.
But sinners, filled with guilty fears,
Behold His wrath prevailing.
In woe they rise, but all their tears
And sighs are unavailing.
The day of grace is past and gone;
Trembling they stand before His throne,
All unprepared to meet Him.
Great God, to Thee my spirit clings,
Thy boundless love declaring.
One wondrous sight my comfort brings,
The Judge my nature wearing.
Beneath His cross I view the day
When Heav’n and earth shall pass away,
And thus prepare to meet Him.