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 XXV

May, 1946

Number 10

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

I was reading, aloud to a friend, a story which told of the efforts of two men to rescue from savages, an American girl who had been captured by them when she was an infant. there were hair-raising scenes, and many dangers.  Not only were the savages unwilling to part with her, but the girl., having known nothing except life with them, was not willing to be rescued. 

As I read, my friend despaired of a happy ending to the story.  How could the mission of the kind men be accomplished, when everything was against them - savages, a girl who loved her captivity, wild beasts, rugged country which was unfamiliar to the would-be rescuers?  

But I only smiled at his fears.  You see, I had read the story before.  I was acquainted with it.  I knew there would be a happy ending.  I knew I would come to that part where the men showed the captive beautiful clothing and the possibility of a happy marriage and children of her own - white children.  I knew that her reluctance would turn to willing co-operation, and that the men would succeed.  I knew it because I was acquainted with the story.  

We may find a parallel to this, in the attitude of those who do not know the word of God, and those who DO know it.  The former are in despair, notwithstanding their apparent brave front.  We know that their talk of a better world is like a frightened person whistling as he passes a graveyard at night.  Most men have sense enough to know that man has reached the limit of his capacity for good, and that almost his every move is toward destruction.  Men's hearts are failing them because of fear of what is coming on the earth.  Thoughts of the atomic bomb is a daily nightmare to statesmen and military men.  

But those who know the word of 'God are not fearful.  let conditions be ever so bad, they know not only that God can cope with it, but also that He is the First Cause of it.  Conditions are carrying out His plan - working toward the fulfillment of His purpose.  

The story was fiction.  The author created the bad scenes.  He manufactured the dangers.  He deliberately had the girl unwilling to be rescued.  But his reputation as a writer of stories would have been ruined if he had let matters go on in this direction.  His own reputation demanded that, just when all was apparently lost, the story take a turn "for the better," and that it end in glorious triumph.  

God is not a writer of fiction.  But do we not know that His reputation is at stake?  Do we not know that it accords with His purpose to have conditions become so bad that men will despair, and then gloriously turn it all to good, and bring about a happy ending?  

If nothing were involved except our own reputation, it is questionable if He would brother with it. But He is the Disposer.  In the great post-eoning time, not we, but He, will be on trial.  Everything must be such as to justify His claims to being good, powerful, full of grace, and able to remove sin from the universe, and give life and righteousness that will have no end.  

When the scripture tells us, "Out of Him and through Him and for Him is all," it means just that.  A-L-L!  This passage is found in Romans 11:36.  The background of this statement is unmistakably designed to stop us from saying that "some, but not all, is out of Him."  Read the chapter.  The bad, as well as the good is mentioned.  Blindness, as well as sight.  Stubbornness, as well as compliance.  Unbelief, as well as faith. ALL comes because He is the First Cause, no matter what may be the immediate cause.  All is through Him - that is, He is the Channel - no matter what may be apparent to our senses as a more immediate channel.  All is for Him - that is, He will use all to His glory - even if men do think that much of it is detrimental to the purpose of God.  

Men tell us that if this is true, God's claim to hate sin is a falsehood.  It is?  I went out today and dug around my fruit trees and put fertilizer at the roots.  I HATE that job.  I don't love it even a little.  But it is in accord with my purpose.  I am looking to the results.  It is true that God hates sin - He hates it enough that He sacrificed His Son, to put it our of the universe.  But sin is in accord with His purpose.  He is looking to that great future when mankind will love Him in a way that will satisfy His loving heart - a condition that could never exist unless men are lost in sin and then rescued from it.  Sin will be put away when it has served its purpose.  It is not to be here endlessly.  

Looking at conditions in the world at present, it is not God's intention that men shall build such a post-war world as they have dreamed of.  God would get no glory in this way.  Men would claim all the credit.   The present so-called civilization of the world must be torn down - destroyed.  Then God will, as a step on His way to universal perfection, build a civilization that Will glorify Him.

But, as I said, this is only a step on the way to His goal, THAT civilization will fall after a thousand years.  But His ultimate will be achieved in His own time - the reconciliation of all on the earth and the heavens, through the blood of the cross, Colossians 1:20.  Then He will be All in all, First Corinthians 15:28.  This will be at the consummation.  And it will be the consummation of His purpose.  

Men love to calumniate this teaching, saying it means that God will save people against their will.  It means no such thing.  Are they so weak in intellect as to think that God, Who created man, cannot create conditions that will make him amicable.  No one hated Jesus Christ more than did Saul of Tarsus.  A question asked in gentle tones, "Saul, Saul! Why are you persecuting Me?" was all that was necessary to make the heart of the persecutor love the Christ.  WHY was he persecuting Him?  Under the power of that gentle inquiry, Saul could not think of one good reason for what he was doing.  Instead, he say the sinfulness of it, and never in all His life did he want to do anything, more than he wanted, in a moment, to do the Lord's bidding.  

That is the way He calls us.  We are not forced to love Him against our will, but He creates conditions that change our will. He doesn't fail.  He knows just how to do it, in every case.  

Israel, as a nation, will be ready and willing to have the Son of David as its king, when He gets ready for this to occur. The fires of persecution through which the nation has gone for centuries, make then long for ease; but their longing does not include Christ.  However, in that day when He pours out on them the spirit of grace, they will acclaim Him as their king.  They will remember the nation's rejection of Him, and will see that in spite of this, He is their friend.  

No doubt the world dictator will so vex the world of mankind that the nations, (non-Israelites), will gladly turn to Him as the Son of Mankind, and they will be glad to have Him as their Dictator.  

And in the judging in front of the great white throne, all who are judged will be intensely anxious to be saved.  

Yes, the story will have a happy ending.  We who are acquainted with the story can anticipate this happy ending.  We do it by faith.  

But we do not condone the wrong things that men do.  They do not have the glory of God in view.  They are criminals.  We nave no power to turn evil into good.  Therefore, we cannot justify them.  Justification is in the hand of God.  He has promised that al mankind shall have life's justifying, Romans 5:18. 

If all is out of God, how can He punish sinners?  Let's leave that word out, since it is not found in the story of the white throne, "Judging," is the word .  It is God's means of ironing out all inequalities of conduct and disposition.  And when it is all over, those who will have been in the judgment will thank God that matters were set right through this medium.   For all judging takes account of conduct, both good and bad.  No one will object to the judging, when they see what it does.  It sets right that which was wrong and unequal.  

But it does not save.  Only the blood of Christ can do this.  

The new meeting house in Glennville is completed.  We are using some very uncomfortable seats, temporarily.  It is our intention to purchase better pews as soon as possible.  Everything is paid for, so far.  We will need money for the pews. 

Let me take this opportunity to thank al who have donated to the building, and to pray God's blessings on them.

I thank God and you!

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