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 XXX

September, 1950

Number 2

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

God 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 believers.

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 them.

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 it.

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.

[Return to main indexpage]