When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder

Another work song

For more than 120 years songwriter J.M. Black’s joy at being saved has been shared with countless thousands through this song. I just wonder — his call in the last verse for us to labor — what was behind his gleeful enthusiasm to ask us to work?

Enjoy the song, then PLEASE join me back here to look at our songwriter’s path to success and joyful work.

From facts to acts

Our songwriter sings with great joy and confidence. Let’s study the path he walked that led to success.

1. Facts > 2. _____ > 3. _____ > 4. _____ > 5. _____

Our songwriter started by learning what the Bible declares about salvation. Much could be said, but, in short, Jesus saves. That’s the fact.

1. Facts > 2. Faith > 3. _____ > 4. _____ > 5. _____

Our songwriter responded to the fact with faith. He believed what he heard and began thinking and living accordingly.

1. Facts > 2. Faith > 3. Assurance > 4. _____ 5. _____

Our songwriter found the more he moved toward Jesus, the more he learned of God’s wondrous love and care. He gained assurance as he witnessed God’s work up close and personally.

1. Facts > 2. Faith > 3. Assurance > 4. Exuberance > 5. > _____

Our songwriter was no cold fish. As he moved and grew, God’s wondrous love and care thrilled him and filled him with exuberance!

1. Facts > 2. Faith > 3. Assurance > 4. Exuberance > 5. > Work

Our songwriter got filled — and overflowed — and out popped this song. What a joyful work it is! His song declares truth that something GREAT is coming, that God loves us now and forever, and exhorts all not only to to experience it, but also to tell others about it.

It’s a remarkable truth — we are not saved by our works. Rather, we were created in Christ Jesus (saved, born again) unto good works. The new birth enables us to work for Him. And the Lord is most certainly hiring! How cool is THAT!

How can a person know he’s saved?

You might meet someone living in a cloud of doubt about their salvation. Reason given: “I don’t feel saved.”

If that happens, you might think of our songwriter, and his path to success. Do you see feelings in this path? YES! But not first thing.

Not second. Not even third.

First, get the facts. Second, respond by believing. Third, increase assurance by living it and searching the scriptures daily. THEN watch the feelings get in step with the music that the facts, believing, and assurance are making.

Before you know it, you can’t help but labor for the Master from the dawn to setting sun, talking of all His wondrous love and care!

Just remember … first things first. Get the facts!

See you here, there or in the air!

God bless you lots!

Dale R.

How have “the facts” of God’s plans & promises affected your feelings and actions? Please share pearls of your experience, encouragement and/or exhortation in the Comments section below.

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LYRICS: When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder
Song by James Milton Black (1893)

When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more,
And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair;
When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.


When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

On that bright and cloudless morning when the dead in Christ shall rise,
And the glory of His resurrection share;
When His chosen ones shall gather to their home beyond the skies,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

Let us labor for the Master from the dawn till setting sun,
Let us talk of all His wondrous love and care;
Then when all of life is over, and our work on earth is done,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

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2 Replies to “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder”

  1. Sarah Durm

    When our hearts betray us at times, it’s important to cling to the facts and promises found in scripture. I was especially encouraged by the beatitudes this morning. All that’s broken in our world will be made right, in this life or the next. 🙂

    [Jesus] said:

    3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    4 Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
    5 Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
    6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
    7 Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
    8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
    9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
    10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

    (Matthew 5:2b-12)


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