O Death Where is thy Sting -or- Our Warfare Will End

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Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Senior
Greetings brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ,

Anyone who has followed my posts knows that for years, I claim to have had much victory, joy unspeakable, and peace in fellowship with my stunningly beautiful God. This testimony is true. But the last month has been different. I just can’t fathom how unchanged I am after the Divine cordials I have been privileged to receive over the past five years or so. But old lusts still plague me, and Satan taunts me with the temptation to despair. But God is greater than my heart.

Today, The Lord His Day, I received a good measure of relief as I continued my reading of Gurnall’s Christian in Complete Armour. I was reminded that my Day is more quickly to come due to advancing years.

Below are the words that reminded me of one of my favorite verses from the heart of Paul.

1 Corinthians 15:19
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.​

From the end of the chapter called
Sheweth the Christian’s Life Here to be a Continual Wrestling with Sin and Satan
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Use 4. O how should this make thee, Christian, long to be gone home, where there is none of this stir and scuffle! It is strange, that every hour seems not a day, and every day a year, till death sounds thy joyful retreat, and calls thee off the field, where the bullets fly so thick, and thou art fighting for thyself with thy deadly enemies, to come to court, where not swords, but palms are seen in the saints’ hands; not drums, but harps; not groans of bleeding soldiers and wounded consciences, but sweet and ravishing music is heard of triumphing victors, caroling the praises of God and the Lamb, through whom they have overcome. Well, Christians, while you are below, comfort yourselves with these things. There is a place of rest remains for the people of God. You do not beat the air, but wrestle for a heaven that is yonder above these clouds; you have your worst first; the best will follow. You wrestle but to win a crown, and win to wear it, yea, wear, never to lose it; which, once on, none shall take off, or put you to the hazard of a battle more. Here, we overcome to fight again; the battle of one temptation may be over, but the war remains. What peace can we have, as long as devils can come abroad out of their holes, or any thing of sinful nature remains in ourselves unmortified, which will even fight upon its knees, and strike with one arm while the other is cut off? But when death comes, the last stroke is struck; this good physician will perfectly cure thee of thy spiritual blindness and lameness, as the martyr told his fellow at the stake, bloody Bonner would do their bodies. What is it, Christian, which takes away the joy of thy life, but the wrestlings and combats which this bosom enemy puts thee to? Is not this the Peninnah, that, vexing and disturbing thy spirit, hath kept thee off many a sweet meal thou mightest have had in communion with God and his saints? Or, if thou hast come, hath made thee cover the altar of God with thy tears and groans? And will it not be a happy hand that cuts the knot, and sets thee loose from thy deadness, hypocrisy, pride, and what not, wherewith thou wert yoked? It is life which is thy loss, and death which is thy gain. Be but willing to endure the rending of the veil of thy flesh, and thou art where thou wouldst be, out of the reach of sin, at rest in the bosom of thy God. And why should a short evil of pain affright thee more, than the deliverance from a continual torment of sin’s evil ravish thee? Some you know have chosen to be cut, rather than to be ground daily with the stone, and yet, may be, their pain comes again; and canst thou not quietly think of dying, to be delivered from the torment of thy sins, never to return more? And yet that is not half that death doth for thee. Peace is sweet after war, ease after pain; but what tongue can express what joy, what glory must fill the creature at the first sight of God, and that blessed company? None but one that dwells there can tell. Did we know more of that blissful state, we ministers would find it as hard a work to persuade Christians to be willing to live here so long, as now it is to persuade them to be willing to die so soon.

Gurnall, W., & Campbell, J. (1845). The Christian in Complete Armour (pp. 83–84). London: Thomas Tegg.
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For years I have sung the Psalms (exclusively) in my daily devotions. But I have a weakness and confess to a favorite hymn. So much so that I have a directed that it be sung at my funeral. Here are the title and a link to the hymn.
I'm not sure this video has all the verses. So here they are.


For All the Saints

1 For all the saints who from their labors rest,
who thee by faith before the world confessed,
thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

2 Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might;
thou, Lord, their captain in the well-fought fight;
thou, in the darkness drear, their one true light.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

3 O may thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold,
fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
and win with them the victor's crown of gold.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

4 O blest communion, fellowship divine,
we feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
yet all are one in thee, for all are thine.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

5 And when the fight is fierce, the warfare long,
steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
and hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

6 The golden evening brightens in the west;
soon, soon to faithful warrior cometh rest;
sweet is the calm of paradise the blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

7 But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
the saints triumphant rise in bright array;
the King of glory passes on his way.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

8 From earth's wide bounds, from ocean's farthest coast,
through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
PS - Thanks to the mod that fixed my title. :)
 
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