"To both Greeks and barbarians, to both
wise and foolish, a debtor am I," Romans 1:14.
The above expression takes in all classes of
humans. Greeks indicate the cultured; barbarians, the
uncultured. The wise are those who use their time, their talents
and their possessions wisely; the foolish are the ones who do the
Paul said he is under obligation to all. Is he
alone in this? Are not we all, as saints, under obligation to
every person whom we can reach and bless? If not, why not?
To say "I am a debtor," is to say "I am under
This obligation does not stem from something they
have done for us; it is upon us because of what God had done and is
doing. His blessings call for us to try to bless others.
This principle is seen throughout the sacred scriptures. It stands
out in bold relief in the life of Abraham, the man of faith. It is
seen in the writings of David. It comes to its full in the life of
Paul. God's apostle to us. If He has given us the ability to
believe His truth, a solemn duty devolves on us to try to similarly
bless others. To put it concisely, we could try to reach others with the
message, knowing that God will, as it pleases Him to do so, give to them
"the hearing ear and the understanding heart."
But we should remember that it is not the time for
all to believe. Let us not, therefore, be discouraged, when the
majority turn a deaf ear to what we are saying. If only one is
blessed, out of many who are contacted, we should be happy.
Many highly cultured people believe the truth as we
teach it. It is not very easy for them to turn their back on, and
break with, their former connections. There are other cultured
people who look askance at them, and wonder if they are losing their
mind. Cultured ones have a harder time of it than do others, and,
therefore, contrary to what is usually thought, need more of our
sympathy and encouragement. In many places, people who are as
highly cultured as any you will find in the world, revel in the grand
doctrine of universal reconciliation.
On the other hand, many uncultured people are with
us. When we show a greater solicitude for the cultured ones then
for them, it is sometimes misunderstood. It is not that the
cultured ones are more desirable, or more worthy. It is that it is
harder for them to live the truth, because of their associations.
Let us never let the uncultured ones think that we show a preference for
those who are cultured. Many of the older people now living on
farms and in poor sections of cities, were reared just after the War between
the States, when educational and cultural advantages were few.
They are not to blame for their uncultured condition. They are as
precious in the sight of God as are the others. And they are more easily
reached. They are approachable. let us lose no time in
trying to reach them with this glorious message. Thousands of them
are "diamonds in the rough."
All about us are wise people. I don't mean
educated, necessarily. I mean that they have used their time,
talents, money, etc., in a way to build solidly in this life. The
fact that they are wise, makes them approachable. We nave a good
field in which to work there. If God gives them to see the truth
and to believe it, they take hold of it and live it. If God gives
them to see the truth and to believe it, they take gold of it and live
it. Our ecclesias in Georgia are largely made up of this
Then wherever we go we meet the foolish ones.
They have dissipated their time, their talents, and even their very
lives, in foolish living. Let us not shun them.. It is not so easy
to reach them, because they have an inferiority complex. But when
they find that we love them in spite of their foolishness, they will
give an ear to what we have to say, and if God causes them to love the
truth, they will not only accept it, but it always tends to make them
better. But they will not immediately become a great deal
better. However, let us not become discouraged. Let us take
into consideration their background. Let us know that the struggle
to live decent lives is very hard for them. Therefore, we
should give them special sympathy and attention. We should not
easily let them go. Hold them with the cords of love, and when
they fall. remember that we, too, would fall, if we were similarly
situated. Endless patience and love is needed. If there were
no such people, we would have no opportunity to "bear with one another
I am wondering if we are doing as much in this line
as we should. I mean in the line of evangelism among all
classes. It is easy to sit down smugly, and worship with those who
have already been gathered into the truth. But when we do this,
the ecclesia begins to die out. It is necessarily so, for if some
are dropping out by death and no others are coming in, it means a gradual
death for the local assembly.
Not everyone can do these things to any great
extent. Christ gives the evangelists and pastors and teachers.
Most of the others will find that the fulfillment of their obligation
consists in providing the means for those who are called into this work,
to go and devote time to it. In too many cases, those who should
be out among all classes, bringing to them the evangel, either by public
proclamation or by private talks, are bound down to the earth with the
necessity of making a living. The Lord prescribes that those who
are announcing the evangel are to be living of the evangel, First
And let it not be said that I am writing about
myself. I am grateful to say that the saints take care of my
needs. I am free to devote my time to this work. So I may
reasonably expect to be free from suspicion. Surely no one will
say that I am thus writing in order that it might be done to me. I
am pleading for others.
Some of the noblest work ever done is being done by Bother
Edwin Riale, among the mountain people in Virginia. It is hardly
possible for him to get a congregation together, so far apart are the
houses, and so rough the roads. He travels on foot, and talks to
whom he finds, and he has had the satisfaction of seeing evidence of the
Lord's blessings on His efforts. He is doing a hard hob. It
is much harder than my work. The people to whom he ministers are
not able to do much in the way of remunerating Him. He earns some
by selling such commodities as he can, and some of the saints in other
sections help him with cash and provisions. Some send money to him
through me. I would be glad to handle this work for others who
might wish to help the brother. He is so far from a bank that
money if sent should be in the form of cash, in registered
letters. His name and address are Edwin Riale, Jewel Valley, Virginia.
This is written without his knowledge.
Then there is Brother Heidel, who expects to soon
return to China, where, before the War, the Lord so greatly blessed his
True devotion to God knows no national lines.
We are fellow-saints with people of other nationseven our erstwhile
enemies. Let us keep down bitterness, and cultivate love for
And let us not forget that we are under obligations
IN BEHALF OF
In his second Thessalonian letter Paul was writing IN BEHALF OF the
presence of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling to Himnot
CONCERNING it. The Greek word used here is upernot
peri. The latter would be "concerning."
The apostle had written on this subject in the first letter, and had
told the saints that they are not appointed to indignation. This
showed them that the church which is the body of Christ will assemble to
the Lord before the indignation era begins. But this has been
undermined by a letter with Paul's name forged to it, saying the day of
the Lord was present. If that was so, they would be in the
indignation. They were troubled.
So his second epistle was in behalf of what he had already taught
them. Here they are told that the man of lawlessness must be
unveiled before the indignation. He reminded them that they knew
what was detaining, for the man of lawlessness to be unveiled in his own
era. This could mean but one thing: The presence of the church on
earth was, and is detaining the man of lawlessness. He cannot be
unveiled so long as we are here.
In the present era this precious doctrine of the presence of the Lord
and our assembling to Him is being undermined. Saints are being
taught that the church will be in the indignation. This is the
very thing that Paul was combating in Second Thessalonians.
In the booklet, "After the Atomic BombWhat?"
By Pastor H. B. Prince, is the statement, "History is His
Story." This is well said. The history of the world
is a record of what God has accomplished. Much of it has been
done through human beings, no one of whom is precisely like any
other. Variety is God's way. He uses each onethe
large, the small; the cultured, the ignorant; the brace, the coward;
the master, the slave; men and women of every nation, race, creed,
color. All are His creatures, and all are in His hand.