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

July, 1942

Number 12.

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

Paul prays that the Lord will be directing our hearts into the love of God, II Thess. 3:5.  Our HEARTS—not simply our minds.  He would have us love the thought of the love of God.  If our hearts are in the matter we will delight to talk of His love.  Out of the superabundance of the heart, the mouth is talking.  Those who find no delight in talking of God and His love do not have their hearts in the matter.  Alas! many saints are in this class.  The cares of the world and the things that should not be attractive—and would not be, if their hearts were in the matter of God's love—take most of their thought.  

Cares of the world!  What a multitude of things are covered by that phrase.  In the list are found: the perplexities of mothers with their children—with their colds, then fevers, the stubbed toes, the broken arms, etc.,; the sadness of parents when their sons are called into the military service of the country; the days and nights of anxiety experienced by them when they know their sons are facing the enemy on fields of battle; the problem of making a living; the uncertainty in the minds of people concerning the future of this country and the world; and many other matters.  

We are accustomed to trying to solve these problems ourselves.  The fact that we have never yet solved one of them, does not keep us from keeping on at it.  What do we need more than to have our hearts directed into the love of God?  

In the first place, God is love.  He is not hatred.  He is LOVE.  This has been said by so many mouths that it seems to have lost its charm for us.  Oh, that God would direct our hearts so that this very expression found in His word—GOD IS LOVE - would take on a new meaning—a new glamour for us!  God, our Father, grant us this blessing!  

Much is sometimes made of the words, "Jacob I love, but Esau I hate."  Men tell us that God hated Esau and sent him to eternal hell.  Yet a glimpse at the passages where these words are found, shows that the question of salvation is not under consideration.  God did not hate Esau in relation to salvation.  He did not say, "Jacob I will save and Esau I will condemn."  No!  The matter is to be viewed in relation to the headship of Israel.  Jacob was chosen for this position and Esau was not.  

Paul did not pray that our hearts may be directed into the hatred of God.  

Much is said of the sacrifice Christ made on the cross, "to pacify an angry God."  This is not true.  God is love.  He loves His creation to the extent that He gave His only begotten Son to die to repudiate sin.  God make the first sacrifice in the transaction when He gave His dear Son—the Son of His love—to endure every indignity and suffering, and to be made Sin on the cross, and to die for sinners.  How it must have pained His great loving heart to do this!  But love impelled Him to it.  

Oh, that God would lay this on our hearts!  I wish that we could not even think of the great sacrifice God made and the one the Son made, without the most devout thanksgiving in our hearts.  I wish that our spirits might render divine service to God whenever our thoughts take in the matter of the love of God.  

How His love affects us now, is a subject that should engage our profound attention.  Paul says, "Now we are aware that God is working all together for the good of those who are loving God," Rom. 8:28.  Paul says he knows this to be true.  The trouble with us is, many times we do not even believe it, much less know it.  When our lives are running smoothly we say God is working all together for our good.  But when the storms arise and the breakers are roaring, we begin to doubt it.  We feel that He is doing much that can never be for our good.  

May the Lord direct our hearts into the truth.  For it is truth!  God IS working all together for our good.  However it may seem to us, He has our good in mind.  

It is not true that all brings good to us in this life.  The fact that it does not, is what makes us doubt what the apostle said.  But let us remember that this life is brief, and God will have plenty of time later, to bring us blessings.  Too often our chief concern is for the present life, while God is concerned mainly about the life we shall have in the glory.  This is the time in which God is preparing us for the glory to come.  And much of the preparation consists of suffering and disappointments.  

"Our momentary slight affliction is producing for us a transcendently transcendent eonian burden of glory," II Cor. 4:17.  How little this promise means to our dull hearts!  May the Lord direct our hearts so that the wonderful words, "transcendently transcendent," will take on new meaning.  And I would that the word, "glory," might be full of meaning to our hearts.  These things we can not know now, by experience.  This is why we are to be noting what is not observed, verse 18.  It is a matter of faith with us at present.  

One day I was talking with a man who was afflicted.  He seemed greatly dejected, and thought existence was not worth while.  I asked him if it was not true that when his health was good he forgot God.  He replied, "Yes, I forget Him to a great extent.  That is, I don't praise Him as I should."  

"On the other hand, " I said, "if God should give you his glory, it would be a burden you could not bear.  He speaks of it as a burden of glory.  Your body, as now constituted, could never bear such a great blessing.  It would be, to you, a curse instead of a blessing.  Therefore, you are in the only condition for which you seem to be fitted.  Affliction humbles you and you really feel the need of God.  But the best thing is, God wastes nothing.  Your afflictions will mean more glory for you the day when God fits your body for glory."  

A look of satisfaction came on his face and he said, with trembling voice, "You have something there. With that thought, I can wait for the glory."  

I would have all my readers ponder this matter.  It is directly connected with the thought of the love of God.  May the Lord direct our hearts into it.  God wastes nothing.  After this troublesome life is over and we come into the glory every tear, every pain, every disappointment, every affliction, will come into remembrance before God, and we shall be requited for it all.  The glory will be heavy, but not burdensome.  It will be transcendently transcendent.  And it will be eonian.  Our afflictions are momentary.  The glory will be for the eons.  

I pray that God will direct our hearts into this truth to the extent that we shall be constantly noting that which is not observed.  In other words, that the future glory may be real to us now, in the sense that our hearts revel in it, even while we have to endure our momentary affliction.  

It is well to speak of God's love for all mankind, and His way of bringing them into a state of mind to appreciate it.  He does it very largely through affliction.  Salvation is not through affliction.  It is through Christ.  But the ability of mankind to appreciate this salvation, will follow a time of evil.  I quoted last month, the words of Jehovah in Isa. 45, when He said he forms light and creates darkness, and makes peace and creates evil.  And He said this is in order that they may know from the east and the west, that He is Jehovah.  

Making light is a figure of making peace.  In the same way, making darkness corresponds to making evil.  God makes light by bringing the sun in position to shine on earth.  He makes darkness by withdrawing the light.  Peace will be the product of the Prince of peace, when He exerts His loving influence and power.  God makes evil during the wicked eons, by withholding the Prince of peace.  Let no one try to shield Him from the responsibility of creating evil.  He has never sought to escape the responsibility.  He plainly says He creates evil.  The fact that it is a negative act, does not make it any the less His doing.  If I turn out an electric light and cause you to fall through a trap door, I can never escape responsibility for your death, by pleading, "I didn't create darkness—I merely shut off the light."  Neither does God seek an excuse for Himself, and say, "I do not create the evil that is prevalent I merely keep Christ, the Prince of peace, away from the earth."  In the very act of keeping Christ away, He is subjecting mankind to wicked spirits—and He created those spirits.  He created them to do the very thing they are doing.  

But all this is done in love.  God loves humanity, and intends that mankind shall become acquainted with Him.  What greater honor than to be able to say, some day, "I know Jehovah; I am fully acquainted with Him; He and I associate with each other?"  When all mankind reach the place that they can say this, what an honor it will be!  Well, this knowledge will be brought about by means of the evil, which will be followed by peace.  

This is the function of the judging at the great white throne.  God is love.  Don't forget that.  Well the evil—the affliction and suffering—that will accompany the judging, will be a preparation for an appreciation of the good and the peace that shall come to those very ones, at the consummation of the eons.  Not a pang even in judgment, shall be lost.  

Brother and Sister Walter H. Bundy of Kissimmee, Fla., are on a trip through some of the central states.  They expect to return home late in June, the Lord willing.  The ministry of Brother Bundy is very fruitful.  I thank God for him.  


A brother asks: "Does the story of the rich man and Lazarus teach that the souls of the lost go to a burning hell at the time of death, and that the souls of the saved go to heaven when death occurs?"

If Christ meat "souls" why did he not say so?  If He meant "heaven" He could have said so, instead of saying "Abraham's bosom."  By the way, do souls have tongues, eyes and fingers?  If so, then a man has two tongues, four eyes and twenty fingers.  

Why did the rich man go to hell?  It was because he had good things in this world.  The preachers who teach that this is a lesson on human destiny had better look out.  For they, too have good things.  What was Abraham doing out of eternal hell?  He had many good things.  Lazarus went to Abraham's bosom because he had evil things in life.  Does a person have to be a poor, afflicted beggar in order to be saved?  

The solution of the story of the rich man and Lazarus is not so simple as the preachers would have us believe.  Ask one to explain all the questions I have raised in this editorial.  Ask him to tell you why God is not in the picture, at all.  Why is Abraham the boss of heaven?  How many persons can be saved, if all the saved shall rest in the bosom of one man?  

I have been promising to write an editorial telling what the story does teach.  Probably I will so it, soon. 

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