‘For all the saints who from their labors rest’

Westside Eagle-Observer - - OPINION -

“These are they which came out of great tribu­la­tion, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. There­fore are they be­fore the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his tem­ple: and he that sit­teth on the throne shall dwell among them….” Rev­e­la­tion 7:14-15 (Read v. 9-17)

In the open­ing verses of “For All the Saints” (by Wil­liam W. How), we sing: “For all the saints, who from their labors rest, who Thee by faith be­fore the world con­fessed, Thy Name, O Je­sus, be for­ever blessed … 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!” (Lutheran Ser­vice Book, Hymn 677).

Who are these saints? They’re not only the apos­tles and other prom­i­nent Chris­tians over the past cen­turies; they’re all who have faith in the Lord Je­sus Christ — all who trust in Him and His cross for for­give­ness and life ev­er­last­ing (cf. Eph. 2:11-22; Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2; Eph. 1:1; Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:2).

And for these and all the saints we give Je­sus glory and praise, for He paid the price for our sins and sent His Holy Spirit to re­gen­er­ate us and bring us to faith in His cross, thus mak­ing us His saints — holy and right­eous in God’s sight through faith in His blood shed upon the cross for the sins of the world (cf. Eph. 1:3ff.; Rev. 7:9-12).

As His elect, we are sealed and pre­served in the faith by the gra­cious work­ing of the Holy Spirit. He keeps and pro­tects us as we face per­se­cu­tion and trou­ble in this evil world which is un­der the judg­ment of the Almighty (Cf. Rev. 7:1ff.; 12:1ff.; 2 Tim. 4:18; Phil. 1:6; Eph. 6:10ff.; v. 5-6 in LSB).

And when we die — whether mar­tyred or of nat­u­ral causes — we who trust in Christ leave the tribu­la­tions of this world to join all the saints who have gone be­fore us into heaven, to be with those who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb who suf­fered and died to take away the sin of the world (Cf. Rev. 7:9ff.; Phil. 1:23; John 1:29).

And there we await that day when Christ re­turns to judge the liv­ing and the dead and to raise up and give eter­nal life to all the saints, to all who have trusted in Him for sal­va­tion (cf. 1 Thess. 4:13ff.; John 14:1ff.; 1 John 3:2).

In the words of the hymn: “But lo! there breaks a yet more glo­ri­ous day; the saints tri­umphant rise in bright ar­ray; the King of glory passes on His way … 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!”

We thank and praise You, O Christ, for re­deem­ing us and bring­ing us to know and trust in You for for­give­ness and life ev­er­last­ing. Pre­serve us in the true and sav­ing faith un­til we join the saints in heaven in singing Your eter­nal praises. Amen.

[De­vo­tion by Randy Moll. Scrip­ture quoted from the King James Ver­sion of the Bible.]

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.