Psalm-singing Ironsides

Oliver Cromwell, portrait by Samuel Cooper, 1656

“‭Let‭ the high‭ ‭praises‭ of God‭ ‭be‭ in their mouth‭, and a twoedged‭ sword‭ in their hand‭;‭ ‭to execute‭‭ vengeance‭ upon the heathen‭, ‭and‭ punishments‭ upon the people‭;‭ ‭to bind‭‭ their kings‭ with chains‭, and their nobles‭‭ with fetters‭ of iron‭;‭ ‭to execute‭‭ upon them the judgment‭ written‭‭: this honour‭ have all his saints‭. Praise‭‭ ye the LORD‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Psalm 149:6-9.

One old saintly soldier of Christ made this comment on these words of the Psalmist.

“Cromwell’s Ironsides were sneeringly called Psalm singers; but God’s Psalm singers are always Ironsides. He who has a ‘new song in his mouth’ is ever stronger, both to suffer and to labour, than the man who has a dumb spirit and a hymnless heart. When he sings at his work, he will both do more and do it better than he would without his song. Hence, we need not be surprised that all through its history the Church of God has travelled ‘along the line of music’.” —‭William Taylor.‬

Cromwell’s ‘Ironsides’ were providentially used to overthrow and punish the wickedness of Charles I and his evil regime.

Sadly the people of England preferred the degenerate ways of the Stuarts to the more devout ways of Oliver Cromwell. Consequently, after the death of the ‘Lord Protector’, at 59 years of age, in 1658, the people of the ‘ruling classes’ of England brought back the Stuart rule and Charles II, if anything a more wicked version of his father, was placed upon the throne!

So ended a very important era in the history of these Isles. The causes Oliver Cromwell espoused, dissenting preachers and their message, were virtually outlawed under Charles II. It was during his reign that the ‘Great Ejection’ took place!

The ‘Great Ejection’ followed the Act of Uniformity in 1662 in England. Several thousand Puritan ministers were forced out of their positions in the Church of England. It was largely a consequence of the ‘Savoy Conference’ of 1661.

That Conference was convened by Gilbert Sheldon, in his lodgings at the Savoy Hospital in London. The Conference sessions began on 15 April 1661, and continued for around four months. By June, a deadlock became apparent.

The conference was attended by commissioners: 12 Anglican bishops, and 12 representative ministers of the Puritan and Presbyterian groups. Each side also had nine deputies (called assistants or coadjutors). The nominal chairman was Accepted Frewen, the Archbishop of York.

The object was to revise the Book of Common Prayer. Richard Baxter for the Presbyterian side presented a new liturgy, but this was not accepted. As a result the Church of England retained internal tensions about governance and theology, while a significant number of dissenters left its structure and created non-conformist groups retaining Puritan theological commitments.

In 1662 the Act of Uniformity followed, mandating the usage of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and spurring the Great Ejection.

The Act of Uniformity prescribed that any minister who refused to conform to the 1662 Book of Common Prayer by St Bartholomew’s Day (24 August) 1662, should be ejected from the Church of England. This date became known as ‘Black Bartholomew’s Day’ among Dissenters, a reference to the fact that it occurred on the same day as the St Bartholomew’s Day massacre of 1572.

Oliver Heywood estimated the number of ministers ejected at 2,500. This group included Richard Baxter, Edmund Calamy the Elder, Simeon Ashe, Thomas Case, John Flavel, William Jenkyn, Joseph Caryl, Benjamin Needler, Thomas Brooks, Thomas Manton, William Sclater, Thomas Doolittle and Thomas Watson. Biographical details of ejected ministers and their fates were later collected by the historian Edmund Calamy, grandson of the elder Calamy.

Although there had already been ministers outside the established church, the Great Ejection created an abiding concept of non-conformity. Strict religious tests of the ‘Clarendon Code’ and other ‘Penal Laws’ left a substantial section of English society excluded from public affairs, and also university degrees, for a century and a half.

(Information gleaned from Wikipedia).

The ire of Charles II and his allies had been raised by the spirit of our dissenting forefathers for they exercised a ministry as described in the verses of the psalm which I am using as a text. They ‘warred’ against the enemies of righteousness in the fashion here set down as the will of God for His people. I repeat the verses that comprise my text.

“‭Let‭ the high‭ ‭praises‭ of God‭ ‭be‭ in their mouth‭, and a twoedged‭ sword‭ in their hand‭;‭ ‭to execute‭‭ vengeance‭ upon the heathen‭, ‭and‭ punishments‭ upon the people‭;‭ ‭to bind‭‭ their kings‭ with chains‭, and their nobles‭‭ with fetters‭ of iron‭;‭ ‭to execute‭‭ upon them the judgment‭ written‭‭: this honour‭ have all his saints‭. Praise‭‭ ye the LORD‭.‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Please learn from these inspired words:


It is good to meditate upon the exhortation of Paul to young Timothy. “‭Thou‭ therefore‭ endure hardness‭‭, as‭ a good‭ soldier‭ of Jesus‭ Christ‭.‭ ‭No man‭ that warreth‭‭ entangleth himself‭‭ with the affairs‭ of ‭this‭ life‭; that‭ he may please‭‭ him who hath chosen him to be a soldier‭‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ 2 Timothy 2:3-4.

The true Christian is a chosen soldier of Jesus Christ.

1. He wears His uniform and displays openly and gladly his allegiance to Him. How often in former years, maybe not so often now, Free Presbyterians sang Isaac Watts’ lovely hymn, which became almost our ‘church anthem’, at protests and open-air gatherings!

I’m not ashamed to own my Lord,
or to defend His cause,
maintain the honour of His Word,
the glory of His cross.

At the cross, at the cross,
Where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away.
It was there by grace I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Jesus, my God! I know His name,
His name is all my trust;
nor will He put my soul to shame,
nor let my hope be lost.

Firm as His throne his promise stands,
and He can well secure
what I’ve committed to His hands
’til the decisive hour.

Then will He own my worthless name
before His Father’s face,
and in the new Jerusalem
appoint my soul a place.

Such open, joyful, bold owning of His Master is what a soldier of Jesus Christ does!

2. He ‘wars’ against all who are opposed to the Saviour’s cause. His enemies are our enemies and His friends are our friends. That is the philosophy the Saviour would have us live by. “‭For‭ he that‭ is‭‭ not‭ against‭ us‭ is‭‭ on‭‭ our‭ part‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Mark 9:40.

In our text the Lord names those against whom we will find ourselves warring. They are ‘the heathen’, ‘the people’, ‘kings’ and ‘nobles’. There is few of society that are not listed here! Mankind is universally against the cause of God and truth and against such we must contend.

We who are saved, and we must never forget this, were plucked out of such by the mercy and grace of God.

“‭And‭ you‭ ‭hath he quickened‭, who were‭‭ dead‭ in trespasses‭ and‭ sins‭;‭ ‭wherein‭‭ in time past‭ ye walked‭‭ according to‭ the course‭ of this‭ world‭, according to‭ the prince‭ of the power‭ of the air‭, the spirit‭ that now‭ worketh‭‭ in‭ the children‭ of disobedience‭:‭ ‭among‭ whom‭ also‭ we‭ all‭ had our conversation‭‭ in times past‭ in‭ the lusts‭ of our‭ flesh‭, fulfilling‭‭ the desires‭ of the flesh‭ and‭ of the mind‭; and‭ were‭‭ by nature‭ the children‭ of wrath‭, even‭ as‭ others‭.‭ ‭But‭ God‭, who is‭‭ rich‭ in‭ mercy‭, for‭ his‭ great‭ love‭ wherewith‭ he loved‭‭ us‭,‭ ‭even‭ when we‭ were‭‭ dead‭ in sins‭, hath quickened us together with‭‭ Christ‭, (by grace‭ ye are‭‭ saved‭‭;)‭ ‭and‭ hath raised ‭us‭ up together‭‭, and‭ made ‭us‭ sit together‭‭ in‭ heavenly‭ ‭places‭ in‭ Christ‭ Jesus‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Ephesians 2:1-6. That is the wonderful change the gospel brings into the life of a sinner and which we may see take place by clearly presenting a gospel witness before men.

3. He is separated away from the ‘affairs’ of life in order to serve the Saviour. Failure to live a separated life according to God’s Word, is to remain ‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭entangled ‘‭‭with the affairs‭ of ‭this‭ life‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬’! The word ‘‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭entangleth‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬’ carried the meaning of ‘being part of the weaving’! How arresting is such a term! If we do not obey God’s Word to “be ye separate‭‭, saith‭‭ the Lord‭, and‭ touch‭‭ not‭ the unclean‭ ‭thing‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬,”‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭ 2 Corinthians 6:17, then we are part of the evil ‘pattern and fabric’ of this sinful and God-defiant age! ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬As such we could never serve as a soldier of Jesus Christ.


1. The song he sings is the high praises of God. Christians can be very lax in what they sing! The jaunty tunes of the world may appeal and be adopted with little thought to the character of the composer or the disposition of those who delight in such songs. There is much that passed for the ‘the praises of God’ that are born of the flesh and entail fleshly sentiments and aspirations. It is for this reason that the singing of the Psalms and those old hymns, born in times of revival blessing, have all but disappeared from today’s modern hymnbooks! There is an ongoing agitation to be found in the ranks of all ‘fundamentalist’ groupings for the inclusion of modern hymns with their trivial and inconsequential ‘religious expressions, in worship. This entails an abandoning of ‘the old songs of Zion’, though this objective would be denied by the ‘revisers’, even when such is plainly seen to be the result.

I always recall one of our senior ministers telling me that, when on a visit to Australia, he was in a church and seeking to choose hymns suitable to his message, he could not find one about the atoning blood of the Lord Jesus. He pointed this out to his hosts, with strong admonitions to reverse this trend.

2. He ever carries a sword in his hand. It is to be carefully noted how this sword is described. “‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭A twoedged‭ sword‭ in their hand‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬”. That refers only to one sword. It is the “‭‭Word‭ of God‬‬‬”, which‭‭‭‭ ‬‬‬‬“‭‭‭‭‭is‭ quick‬‬‬‬‬‬ (alive, lively)‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭, and‭ powerful‭, and‭ sharper‭ than‭ any‭ twoedged‭ sword‭, piercing‭‭ even to‭ the dividing asunder‭ of soul‭ and‭‭ spirit‭, and‭‭ of the joints‭ and‭ marrow‭, and‭ ‭is‭ a discerner‭ of the thoughts‭ and‭ intents‭ of the heart‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Hebrews 4:12.

It is further identified in Revelation 1:13-16 and 2:12.

“‭And‭ in‭ the midst‭ of the seven‭ candlesticks‭ ‭one‭ like‭ unto the Son‭ of man‭, clothed with a garment‭‭ down to the foot‭, and‭ girt‭‭ about‭ the paps‭ with a golden‭ girdle‭.‭ ‭ His‭ head‭ and‭ ‭his‭ hairs‭ ‭were‭ white‭ like‭ wool‭, as white‭ as‭ snow‭; and‭ his‭ eyes‭ ‭were‭ as‭ a flame‭ of fire‭;‭ ‭And‭ his‭ feet‭ like‭ unto fine brass‭, as‭ if they burned‭‭ in‭ a furnace‭; and‭ his‭ voice‭ as‭ the sound‭ of many‭ waters‭.‭ ‭And‭ he had‭‭ in‭ his‭ right‭ hand‭ seven‭ stars‭: and‭ out of‭ his‭ mouth‭ went‭‭ a sharp‭ twoedged‭ sword‭: and‭ his‭ countenance‭ ‭was‭ as‭ the sun‭ shineth‭‭ in‭ his‭ strength‭.‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

“‭And‭ to the angel‭ of the church‭ in‭ Pergamos‭ write‭‭; These things‭ saith‭‭ he which hath‭‭ the sharp‭ sword‭ with two edges‭.‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

The Word of God should never be out of our hand as the hammer is not far from the hand of the carpenter or the trowel from the hand of the builder or the pen from the hand of the writer!

We must ever be employing it as it was intended to be used — a weapon of war against the enemies of Christ.

3.There can be no respite in this war! It is said of one of the mighty men of David: “‭And after‭ him ‭was‭ Eleazar‭ the son‭ of Dodo‭ the‭ Ahohite‭, ‭one‭ of the three‭ mighty men‭ with David‭, when they defied‭‭ the Philistines‭ ‭that‭ were there gathered together‭‭ to battle‭, and the men‭ of Israel‭ were gone away‭‭:‭ ‭he arose‭‭, and smote‭‭ the Philistines‭ until‭ his hand‭ was weary‭‭, and his hand‭ clave‭‭ unto the sword‭: and the LORD‭ wrought‭‭ a great‭ victory‭ that day‭; and the people‭ returned‭‭ after‭ him only to spoil‭‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ 2 Samuel 23:9-10.

As he warred for his king, his sword became part of him!

Such should be how we use our Bible in the battle for truth in these evil times.

4. Such warring is an honour. “‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭This honour‭ have all his saints‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬.” How few Christians consider this to be the case!

The avoidance of war is their chief pursuit. They have no desire to “‭go forth‭‭ therefore‭ unto‭ him‭ without‭ the camp‭, bearing‭‭ his‭ reproach‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Hebrews 13:13. Like those referred to by John in his gospel, they prefer “‭‭‭‭the praise‭ of men‭ more‭ than‭ the praise‭ of God‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ John 12:43. Therefore, like those rulers John refers to, they remain silent. “‭Nevertheless‭‭ among‭ the chief rulers‭ also‭ many‭ believed‭‭ on‭ him‭; but‭ because‭ of the Pharisees‭ they did‭‭ not‭ confess‭‭ ‭him‭, lest‭ they should be‭‭ put out of the synagogue‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ John 12:42. They will take no stand for the Saviour that might jeopardies their standing in the eyes of men! What a shameful disposition and what a sad underestimating of the honour to ‘fight’ for King Jesus!


“To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written.”

Dr Ian Paisley preached at my ordination service, back in April 1968. He spoke from Jeremiah chapter 1, dealing with the charge given to the young prophet by the Lord. I will never forget how he applied the words of verses 6 through to 10. It has lived with me every day of my life since!

“‭Then said‭‭ I, Ah‭, Lord‭ GOD‭! behold, I cannot‭‭ speak‭‭: for I ‭am‭ a child‭.‭ ‭But the LORD‭ said‭‭ unto me, Say‭‭ not, I ‭am‭ a child‭: for thou shalt go‭‭ to all that I shall send‭‭ thee, and whatsoever I command‭‭ thee thou shalt speak‭‭.‭ ‭Be not afraid‭‭ of their faces‭: for I ‭am‭ with thee to deliver‭‭ thee, saith‭ the LORD‭.‭ ‭Then the LORD‭ put forth‭‭ his hand‭, and touched‭‭ my mouth‭. And the LORD‭ said‭‭ unto me, Behold, I have put‭‭ my words‭ in thy mouth‭.‭ ‭See‭‭, I have this day‭ set‭‭ thee over the nations‭ and over the kingdoms‭, to root out‭‭, and to pull down‭‭, and to destroy‭‭, and to throw down‭‭, to build‭‭, and to plant‭‭.‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

1. Since that time, I have become ever more convinced that such is the ministry of the faithful minister in these days, so akin to the days in which Jeremiah ministered. They were days of deep and dreadful apostasy. “‭The prophets‭ prophesy‭‭ falsely‭, and the priests‭ bear rule‭‭ by their means‭; and my people‭ love‭‭ ‭to have it‭ so: and what will ye do‭‭ in the end‭ thereof?‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Jeremiah 5:31.

Is there not a ‘love’ amongst the professing people of God for the ‘ear-tickling’ errors of today? Is this not the time spoken of by Paul, again to young Timothy? “‭For‭ the time‭ will come‭‭ when‭ they will‭‭ not‭ endure‭‭ sound‭‭ doctrine‭; but‭ after‭ their own‭ lusts‭ shall they heap‭‭ to themselves‭ teachers‭, having itching‭‭ ears‭;‭ ‭And‭ they shall turn away‭‭‭ ‭their‭ ears‭ from‭ the truth‭, and‭ shall be turned‭‭ unto‭ fables‭.‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ 2 Timothy 4:3-4.

2. Preaching as he did, Jeremiah became a reproach amongst the people of God. “‭For since‭ I spake‭‭, I cried out‭‭, I cried‭‭ violence‭ and spoil‭; because the word‭ of the LORD‭ was made a reproach‭ unto me, and a derision‭, daily‭.‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Jeremiah 20:8.

Because of this, Jeremiah for a short time yielded to the pressure directed against him. However, by God’s grace he was recovered and resuming his much despised ministry and witness.

“‭Then I said‭‭, I will not make mention‭‭ of him, nor speak‭‭ any more in his name‭. But ‭his word‭ was in mine heart‭ as a burning‭‭ fire‭ shut up‭‭ in my bones‭, and I was weary‭‭ with forbearing‭‭, and I could‭‭ not ‭stay‭.‭ ‭For I heard‭‭ the defaming‭ of many‭, fear‭ on every side‭. Report‭‭, ‭say they‭, and we will report‭‭ it. All my familiars‭‭ watched‭‭ for my halting‭, ‭saying‭, Peradventure he will be enticed‭‭, and we shall prevail‭‭ against him, and we shall take‭‭ our revenge‭ on him.‭ ‭But the LORD‭ ‭is‭ with me as a mighty‭ terrible one‭: therefore my persecutors‭‭ shall stumble‭‭, and they shall not prevail‭‭: they shall be greatly‭ ashamed‭‭; for they shall not prosper‭‭: ‭their‭ everlasting‭ confusion‭ shall never be forgotten‭‭.‭ ‭But, O LORD‭ of hosts‭, that triest‭‭ the righteous‭, ‭and‭ seest‭‭ the reins‭ and the heart‭, let me see‭‭ thy vengeance‭ on them: for unto thee have I opened‭‭ my cause‭.‭ ‭Sing‭‭ unto the LORD‭, praise‭‭ ye the LORD‭: for he hath delivered‭‭ the soul‭ of the poor‭ from the hand‭ of evildoers‭‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Jeremiah 20:9-13.

3. Christians must ever remember, aye and tremble, the words of 2 Timothy 2:12. “‭If‭ we suffer‭‭, we shall‭‭ also‭ reign with‭‭ ‭him‭: if‭ we deny‭‭ ‭him‭, he also‭ will deny‭‭ us‭.‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

The word ’suffer’ means to bear patiently’. Christian, there is ‘suffering’ to be borne patiently in the service of Christ. Service for Him will always bring reproach. The only way that reproach can be avoided is to avoid serving the Saviour and unashamedly upholding His Word! Did not the ‘many’ of John 6, come to that conclusion? “‭Many‭ therefore‭ of‭ his‭ disciples‭, when they had heard‭‭ ‭this‭, said‭‭, This‭ is‭‭ an hard‭ saying‭; who‭ can‭‭ hear‭‭ it‭?‭ . . . .‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ ‭From‭ that‭ ‭time‭ many‭ of his‭ disciples‭ went‭‭ back‭‭, and‭ walked‭‭ no more‭ with‭ him‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ verses 60 and 66.

There is no alternative. Walk with Him in the midst of reproach or go back to the pleasing of men!

Christian in these dark times, we pose the question Christ asked of His apostles in the wake of this departure. “‭‭‭‭‭‭‭Will‭‭ ye‭ also‭ go away‭‭?‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ verse 67.

What is your answer?

The word ‘deny’ means to ‘disregard Christ’s interests and cause’. Is that not what is entailed in the actions of those who remain in membership of denominations which have repudiated His Word, or in organisations which have embraced and upheld the evil practices of society today?

I challenge those Christians who retain their membership of the Democratic Unionist Party particularly with this question!

If we would reign with Christ one day as is stated in Revelation 20:4: “‭And‭ I saw‭‭ thrones‭, and‭ they sat‭‭ upon‭ them‭, and‭ judgment‭ was given‭‭ unto them‭: and‭ ‭I saw‭ the souls‭ of them that were beheaded‭‭ for‭ the witness‭ of Jesus‭, and‭ for‭ the word‭ of God‭, and‭ which‭ had‭‭ not‭ worshipped‭‭ the beast‭, neither‭ his‭ image‭,‭ neither‭ had received‭‭ ‭his‭ mark‭ upon‭ their‭ foreheads‭, or‭ in‭ their‭ hands‭; and‭ they lived‭‭ and‭ reigned‭‭ with‭ Christ‭ a thousand‭ years‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ then we must take up the cross and bear His reproach at the hands of men.

Paul said this, something that should answer every debate and questioning and quibble that may arise in the minds of Christians when considering this matter.

“‭The Spirit‭ itself‭ beareth witness‭‭ with our‭ spirit‭, that‭ we are‭‭ the children‭ of God‭:‭ ‭and‭ if‭ children‭, then‭ heirs‭; heirs‭ of God‭‭, and‭ joint-heirs‭ with Christ‭; if so be‭ that we suffer with‭‭ ‭him‭, that‭ we may be‭‭ also‭ glorified together‭‭.‭ ‭For‭ I reckon‭‭ that‭ the sufferings‭ of this present‭ time‭ ‭are‭ not‭ worthy‭ ‭to be compared‭ with‭ the glory‭ which shall‭‭ be revealed‭‭ in‭ us‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Romans 8:16-18.

The word ‘worthy’ carries the meaning of ‘having no weight’.

The trials we may face are ‘weightless’ in comparison to the glories that are reserved in heaven for the faithful soul.

John echoed these words in 1 John 3:2. “‭Beloved‭, now‭ are we‬‬‬ the sons‭ of God‭, and‭ it doth‭‭ not yet‭ appear‭‭ what‭ we shall be‭‭: but‭ we know‭‭ that‭, when‭ he shall appear‭‭, we shall be‭‭ like‭ him‭; for‭ we shall see‭‭ him‭ as‭ he is‭‭.‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

When all my labours and trials are o’er,
And I am safe on that beautiful shore,
Just to be near the dear Lord I adore
Will through the ages be glory for me.

O that will be glory for me,
Glory for me, glory for me;
When by His grace I shall look at His face,
That will be glory, be glory for me.

Dear Christian, “‭Put on‭‭ the whole armour‭ of God‭, that‭ ye‭ may be able‭‭ to stand‭‭ against‭ the wiles‭ of the devil‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Ephesians 6:11.

Be one of God’s ’Singing Ironsides!

Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd)
15th July 2023