Among some of those who identify as amillennialists there is an antipathy against any language which seems to indicate that the reign of Christ has not yet begun. Even classic hymns sometime come under fire. I have heard preachers denounce Bridges and Thring's majestic Crown Him With Many Crowns and Perronet's All Hail the Power of Jesus Name because they call on others to crown Jesus, yet, the preachers insist, God already crowned Jesus at His ascension when He said, "Sit at My right hand..." (Psalm 110:1; Acts 2:34-36).
I agree wholeheartedly that Jesus received the rank, dignity, and majesty to rule and inaugurated His reign over the universe at His ascension. Passages like Daniel 7:13-14, Psalm 24:7-10, Mark 16:19, Matthew 28:18, and Philippians 2:9 affirm this in clear terms.
However, there is, according to Scripture, a future to the kingdom of Jesus in history that means while there is certainly an "already" to the rule of Christ over the world, there is also a "not yet."
When the LORD (the Father) said to Jesus, "Sit at My right hand..." His invitation continued into a an oft overlooked promise - "Sit at My right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." In these words, God declared a glorious future for the reign of Christ. His influence over the world will expand and He will conquer those who opposed Him - in fact, God said that Jesus' reign will not end until this has taken place.
In 1 Corinthians 15:23-28, the apostle Paul further comments on this promise and describes is absoluteness. Because of the structure of Paul's argument, we are required to slightly rearrange the wording of the text to have a chronological flow, but once we read the events in sequence we have arguably the clearest statement on the unfolding of the future in the Bible: "He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death... at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all."
In modern, popular religion, the prevailing view of the future is pessimistic. For those who have hope, the only hope they have is that Jesus will return and then begin a new era of righteousness and peace. This idea is irreconcilable with Paul's teaching. Paul says that the reign of Christ will triumph in the world, even to the point that "all enemies" will be subjugated to Jesus. The last enemy to be defeated is death - "at His coming" - when it is swallowed up in victory through the resurrection. "Then comes the end." The return of Jesus will mark the conclusion of His reign, not the beginning.
However, there are many who accepts that Christ is reigning now, but that His reign is failing - growing weaker and weaker. The theory that history will be ultimately claimed by the Devil is completely at odds with everything the Bible plainly says about the future.
The Bible teaches that Christ will triumph; the kingdom will come fully; the will of God will be done on earth as it is in heaven; the earth will by full of the knowledge and glory of the Lord as the waters that cover the sea, and this will happen in history before the return of Jesus. The triumph of Christs kingdom will occur through the preaching of and obedience to the gospel. When the lost are converted, the saved are transformed into the image of Jesus, the congregation of the Lord's people are united in love and faith, and the knowledge of God is rich and abounding among men through the revelation of Jesus Christ. This is the future God promised to Jesus.
This brings us back to the songs that call on the nations to crown Jesus as their king. Indeed, God has already crowned Him, but it remains for the rebels who fill this world, who, in league with the Devil, have made themselves enemies of Christ, to be conquered and turned to Him. When a sinner comes to Christ and is daily transformed by His rule, that individual crowns Jesus the king of his or her life and adds to the glory and exaltation of Christ (Acts 3:19-21).
David was anointed king over Israel three times. First, at Bethlehem by the prophet Samuel to show that he was God's choice (1 Samuel 16:13), next at Hebron by the men of Judah when they accepted him as God's choice (2 Samuel 2:4), and finally again at Hebron by "all the elders of Israel" to show that he had successfully become the king of united Israel (2 Samuel 5:1-5). God had given Israel to David, but it was then necessary for Israel to accept him.
When John saw the glorious Christ in the Revelation on Patmos, he saw that on His head were "many crowns" (Revelation 19:12), because He had gone forth to conquer and succeeded - He had reclaimed creation for the glory of God the Father. This is the certain future of the world. "At last every nation, the Lord of Salvation, their king and redeemer shall crown!"
I pray that this hopeful and glorious faith will be restored among God's people. I pray it will fill our prayers, our songs, and our hearts. Every act of faithfulness to Christ, no matter how small it may seem, is not in vain - because it contributes to the wonderful work of God that will triumph over all.
May the Lord bless all His people.