discriminates between people only as His purpose demands it. And even
then I do not think it real discrimination, for His plan provides for
each one to be happy and contented and useful. He has different jobs for
different people, and He carries out His plan to facilitate this.
I am writing of service in future ages. The church which is the body of
Christ is the group that shall see service in heaven. The faithful of
Israel shall serve on earth. Millions of mankind shall not be in either
group, but will come into blessedness at the finish of the ages.
To know one's place in God's plan is good. Since Israel was set aside,
the church is in process of construction. Later God's nation, Israel,
will come back into His reckoning.
In the scripture we find the following:
To the church God will be showing, in the ages to come, the transcendent
riches of His grace in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
Israel shall have the entire dominion under the heavens.
Under Israel the nations shall be so taught that the earth shall be full
of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
All mankind shall come into the fullness of salvation.
While I love to think of my position in Christ, I love, also, to
contemplate my relationship to saints of every period.
I have some things that saints of other administrations have. I find
great joy in viewing my kinship with Abel, Abraham, David, and other of
the past period, as well as with saints in future times.
There are some things that remain.
In every period, those who were worshippers of God carried on their
devotions through faith. The writer of the Hebrew letter says: "Faith is
an assumption of what is being expected, a conviction concerning matters
which are not being observed." Faith is that spiritual power which
assumes God's promises to be facts, and gives a strong conviction that
they shall be manifested in us and to us.
Abel worshipped in faith, when making his offerings to God. He
sacrificed a lamb, and assumed that, as the blood of the animal was
shed, so was the blood of Christ God's remedy for sin.
We find the pathway of faith leading from Abel, and running throughout
the entire Bible. The Old Testament notables were men of faith in God.
When the Israelites made their offerings in law service, many of them
saw in the sacrifices, a representation of God's process of salvation.
The church, under Paul's teaching, leaves off many things that belonged
to former eras, but it does not leave off faith. When the prophet said
that the just shall live by faith, he showed that attitude is very
important. Acts, however good in themselves, are of little avail, unless
they are prompted by faith.
Paul thought so much of the statement that the just shall live by faith,
that he quoted it twice in his writings, and the writer of the Hebrew
letter also referred to it. Perhaps it is one on the outstanding
statements of the Bible.
Paul said that we enjoy justification by faith. Nearly all the
denominations say the same thing in their creeds. Thus one great truth,
among many others, has been observed in Christendom, since the days of
Martin Luther, who brought before the people this great Pauline truth.
This is to be greatly appreciated.
Faith is one of the three things that have belonged to the saints in all
periods, that remains. How careful we should be to guard this. All true
believers in every administration belong to the family of God. Although
the church, as we have it today, is different, in many respects, from
the worship of Israel of old, yet we have, in common with them, the fact
that we belong to God's family, and that we have faith. It is in this
respect that we can glean so much real satisfaction from reading of the
lives of those who went before, in a different administration. We are
kin to Abel, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, David, and a host of others. We are
members of the same family.
There is much difference in the different denominations today, but there
is also a glorious likeness between them. Every day I meet men and women
of faith, and it is a great satisfaction to converse with them. There
are various forms and ceremonies, but in the hearts of thousands there
is that belief in God through Christ, that shows them to be true
If they are weak, as regards development of faith, which means spiritual
education, we dare not set them aside, for Paul tells us to take to
ourselves those who are infirm in faith, and to not discriminate against
Hope is expectation with desire. If we expect something and do not
desire it, it is fear. If we desire something, and do not expect it, it
is a wish. If we desire it and expect it, it is hope.
The word is often misused. A man will say, "I hope it will rain, but I'm
afraid it won't". This is not HOPE. He merely WISHES it would rain.
Hope is based on faith. We hope for endless bliss, because God promised
it. We believe it. Therefore we not only desire it, but we also expect
God seems to have put in the human mind as expectation of life after
death occurs. Faith is the action of Christ in the heart, or in the very
center of our being. Hope springs from this faith. It seems to be a
racial expectation, since people even in so-called "heathen" lands
expect a life "in the Beyond".
"Not for all is the faith", says Paul. THE faith is that body of
scripture that is specially for the church. But mankind in general have
some fore of faith, And, based on this, mankind have hope, however vague
is their idea about future life.
Hope has to do, not merely with the future, but also with the present.
We go forth to our ork or our play or our social activities with some
kind of hope. We expect some kind of return for our labor, or our
trading. This is good, since without this expectation business and life
in general would stagnate.
Hope is an attitude of mind that leads us to expect good things from
God. In many, hope is considerably darkened. But under the influence of
the teachings of God, in His Word, hope becomes brighter, and stimulates
us to greater activity in the Cause of our Creator and Savior.
Hope is another thing that remains, after the forms and ceremonies of
other administrations have been set aside for reality.
Paul writes of a good hope in grace. Connected with it is consolation
that belongs to the ages. This kind of hope is far above what I might
call the racial hope. Grace is favor, and its operation gives a good
hope. This hope leads to special trust in God, and is based on a very
special faith---faith that operates through love.
Love is another thing that remains from previous administrations. I say
this because of Paul's statement, "Now are remaining faith, hope and
love, these three; yet the greatest of these is love", I Cor. 13.
Whatever worshipers of other periods had, that we do not have, the fact
remains that THEY had love, and WE have it, also.
We may be ever so eloquent, and still our preaching would be as if we
were ringing a cow bell, if we have not love.
We may preach learnedly on prophecy, and we may understand all secrets,
and we may have great faith, and yet we are nothing, if we have no love.
We may make great sacrifices, and build up a name for ourselves---a name
that will lead people to think of us as great philanthropists, and yet
our charity would profit us not at all, because we are without love.
Love is not impatient. Perhaps the lack of patience afflicts more saints
than does and other fault. This makes our companionship very painful to
those who are naturally slow to move and work. We hurt them by not being
patient with them. This lack leads us to be unkind toward those who
stumble along through life, blundering much of the time. Love is kind to
those who are less fortunate than we are.
Love leads us not to envy others. No matter if they are more blessed and
if they have those things for which we have wished, we do not envy them
this good fortune.
On the other hand, love keeps us from boasting, if the situation is
turned around, and WE have that which our fellows do not have.
Love does no lead us to so act that others are embarrassed. Quite the
contrary! People feel at ease in our presence. He who embarrasses people
by telling smutty yarns is not actuated by love.
The one who is actuated by love does not spend his time looking after
his own interest. He thinks also of the welfare of his fellows.
The person whose life is controlled by love is not easily provoked. He
is charitable enough to believe that there is good in people at whom he
might otherwise feel incensed.
When we are talking evil into account, we are not thinking in love. We
are happier when we overlook the evil that people do to us.
Love does not lead us to rejoice when someone is acting lawlessly. We
want the truth, even though we are kind to all.
Love believes, bears, hopes and endures.
There will be no administration in which love does not characterize
those who are devoted to God. There are periods during which the rituals
of other days are not required. But there will never be one in which
LOVE is not the outstanding principle in life. Now are remaining faith,
hope and love; yet the greatest of these is love.