by W.B. Screws

The Pilgrim's Messenger

"Have a pattern of sound words which you hear from me, in faith and love
which are in Christ Jesus."--11 Timothy 1:13
Published Monthly By W. B. SCREWS, Glennville, Georgia
Twenty-five Cents a Year

Volume XXI

February, 1942

Number 7.

Entered at the postoffice at Glennville, Ga., as second-class matter.

I am writing this on Christmas Day, 1941.  It has been a day of reminders of God's truth.  I went up town early, and engaged in conversation with a colored friend who had taken part in the other so-called World War.  He said that, while he is hardly able to walk, he is ready to go again, if the country calls him.  Asked by someone if he was afraid, he replied that he was not.  "My life is in God's hand, whether I am on the battlefield or at home," he said.  "God turned every bullet that was aimed at me during that war, because it was not His time for me to die.  I knew, even then, that I was in no more danger than if I had been at home.  God can manage things, and He does."  

Returning to the house I told my wife that I heard a Sermon that had started me off right for the day.  I was heartened, not because what he said was new to me, but because I had found that God had taught him.  I felt that he was my brother, in spirit.  

My next activity of the day was to conduct the funeral of a friend, who had just returned from a stay of several months in Mexico.  I had talked with him for half an hour Tuesday afternoon, and early Wednesday morning was found dead.  We would have thought he was safer in this country than in the one "south of the border."  But no so.  It was God's time for him to die, and he died.  In other years I had had fellowship with him, and he had been a participant in the evangel, in his humble way.  It gave me pleasure to tell the people at the funeral, of the grace of God that saved Paul, the foremost among sinners, and, therefore, could reach and save all sinners.  If the Son on Mankind came to seek and to save that which was lost, we may be sure that He will never quit as long as there is a lost one.  

The Lord told His Jewish disciples, (Matt. 10:29-31), that, although two sparrows are worth only a little more than one-and-a-half cents, according to man's valuation, yet God values them so highly that not one of them falls on the earth without the Father.  Then He assured the disciples that they were of more consequence than many sparrows.  While this was said to Circumcision believers, the same thought, and far more, is expressed in the passage referred to in the caption of this editorial.  If God is operating the universe in accord with the counsel of His will, his management is extended to the matter of life and death, as well as everything else.  

I am thinking today of the funeral of my mother, which was held November 10, and the funeral of my father, which was held December 1.  He died just three weeks after she did.  I spoke at both funerals.  No one can describe the feelings of one who realizes that both his parents are gone.  Yet, Mother wanted to die, because of her long afflictions, and Father had very little interest in life after she was gone.  And how much better it is, that they are both reposing!  They lived their allotted days, and died without a struggle.  I am grateful that they spent several years rejoicing in the precious doctrine  of Universal Reconciliation.  At Mother's funeral I spoke on the text about the sparrows.  At Father's funeral I used the text: "The last Adam was made a vivifying spirit."  He will call them both at His appointed time, and they shall be vivified.  I am thinking of them today, mainly because they were married on Christmas Day, about 63 years ago.  

At noon today I sat down to a bountiful dinner.  None of the children were able to be present.  But my wife and I were not so lonely as one might imagine, for we were sustained by the faith God has put in our hearts.  We firmly believe His care extends to the smallest of his creatures, as well as to the largest planets.  

There were happy days in the years agone, when three sons and two daughters sat with us at meals, not only on Christmas Day, but all the days.  Today we know that all of them are in reasonably comfortable circumstances, physically, with the exception of one son.  More than twelve years age he joined the Navy and is an aviator.  Where he is today, we do not know.  He may be with his wife and children, or he may be on the opposite side of the earth.  He ma be engaged actively in the war.  We just don't know.  We are concerned for him, as any parents should be.  But we know that His plane cannot fall until the Father says so.  We know that no bullet can strike him without the Father, We have left all this in the hand of God, and are praying.  And we are asking for the prayers of other saints.  Pray that our faith may not fail, for it is the shield on which we rely.  

I have had a good many letters from saints all over the united States, within the last few weeks.  Most of them mention the war.  And they breathe a spirit of trust in God, based on the fact that He has a program, and is carrying it out.  They know, as did Job, that it is  unreasonable to expect to receive good at the hands of the Lord, and not receive evil.  They know that the Lord has given, and has taken away.  How refreshing to know that they are saying, in their hearts, "Blessed be the name of the Lord."  

This calmness is not evidence that all of them expect to be preserved from bombs, if the raiders come.  They know that they may be blown to pieces.  But they believe this cannot be done without the Father.  In other words, they do not regard the war as something God could not keep off.  They know that He is in it, and they are calmly waiting on Him.  My wife and I share this feeling.  We lie down at night and sleep, with the full knowledge that only God can cause us to dwell in safety.  

Every letter is boastful.  But no writer is boasting in man, or the power of wisdom of man.  They boast in the Lord.  Thank God for this!  

I want to earnestly exhort all those who believe God, to be entirely obedient to the government.  There must be no breath of suspicion that we are disloyal.  I know that none of us is, but we have enemies.  Give them no excuse to say we are disloyal in any particular.  As I showed in an editorial some time ago, we are to be subject to the superior authorities.  Those who are drafted for military service should respond cheerfully.  The government of the united States has been, and is the best one on the face of the earth.  Under it we have privileges that no other people have.  We owe to God, and the government, complete loyalty.  If we are called on to do any kind of defense work, let us respond with alacrity.  

I want to also earnestly exhort all who believe God, to pray to Him to keep our hearts free of hate.  We can be just as loyal soldiers and citizens, without hating people of other nations.  That all should work for the success, which means the defeat of the enemy, goes without saying.  But this does not mean that we are to hate the people who, in obedience to their government, are arrayed against us.  

The President of the United States has asked that January 1 be observed as a day of prayer.  That date will have passed before anyone reads this editorial; but I want it placed on record here, that the saints who gather for worship regularly at Grace Tabernacle near Glennville, will meet on that day.  There will be a sermon on the subject, and prayers will be made.  These prayers will be no effort to dictate to God, or to tell Him something which He does not know.  We expect to meet, to manifest our loyalty to our government, and to seek God's guidance and grace, that we may be calm in the face of all suffering, and thus show that we really do love Him.  

Before the struggle is ended there will be great sacrifices to make.  Our standard of living will be materially lowered.  We will have to do without many things to which we are accustomed.  We have been a very wasteful nation.  We will have to learn, through bitter humiliation, that it is not well to squander what God has given us. 

We have been a nation of greed.  Within recent months—nay, weeks!—this greed has been so rampant that it threatened to wreck the defense efforts of the government.  We will be brought low in this respect.  The greedy will have to go without the profits and gains they have been demanding and enforcing. 

 And we will be notified by the War and Navy Departments that many of our loved ones have fallen under the onslaught of the enemy.  There will be broken hearts and scalding tears.  How we shall need the God in Whom we believe!  Let us who really do believe Him, pray earnestly that we may be able to remain calm when these heart-breaking messages come to us.  Let us remember that He is operating the universe in accord with the counsel of His own will.  

Let us not lose sight of the fact that God has a program, and that He is carrying it out.  Not all His program is pleasant to us.  Like Job, we shall receive much from Him that is evil.  But remember, He will not let us be tied above what we are able.  With the trial He makes the sequel, also, that we may be able to bear it.  Out of all the carnage and bloodshed will come great good, and we shall see it, if not now, some time.  May our faith enable us to look far beyond it all, to a day when the blessed Son on David shall rule Israel, and the Son of Mankind shall bless all nations.  May we look further, and see the day when a Man, Christ Jesus, shall, by the giving of Himself a correspondent Ransom for all, save all mankind and lead them into a realization of the truth.  May we see His love, reconciling the universe.  Yea, may be get a glimpse beyond the eons, and see God, All in all, I Cor. 15:28. 

But our immediate expectation is the descent of the Lord into the air, and we being snatched away to meet Him there, I Thess. 4:13-18.  This may take place at any moment.  I praise God for such expectation!  This enables us to bear the trials that are coming on us.  

The last week in November Brother Bundy of Kissimmee, Fla., conducted a meeting here.  He and Sister Bundy stayed at our home.  It was a Pleasure to have them.  He spoke ten times.  One sermon each was given by Brother Robert M. Smith of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Brother Felix L. Fox of Batesburg, S. C.   All sermons were excellent.  We thank God for them. 

January 1—The prayer meeting today was well attended, and there was considerable interest manifested.  It has been suggested that I print in The Messenger next month, the sermon I gave today.  I shall probably do this. 

Most of the people in this section paid no attention to the President's request, so far as could be seen.  Perhaps a year from now, there will be much more humility. 

[Return to main indexpage]