who are connected with the work in Augusta are asking, "Who will take
over the work that Wiley Thompson has been doing for several years?"
And, of course, the wife and children are asking, "How will we get along
without him?" Everyone connected, or acquainted, with our work in that
city, regards Wiley as the most useful member of our congregation
because of the nature of his service.
One very outstanding trait of his life was, he was on the job, trying to
be useful, without the least indication that he aspired to be a leader.
He lived an exemplary life, without, in the least, criticizing others,
or trying to control them. It never occurred to his thought that he was
his brother's keeper. He regarded himself as his brother's brother.
There is a vast difference. He could not believe that God had required
him to regulate the actions or the thoughts of anyone. The only one whom
he tried to regulate was himself.
My heart goes out to his loved ones---the wife, the children, the
parents, and the brothers and sisters. All of them are conscious of a
loss. They are heart-broken. But it seems that God is specially
sustaining each one of them. The family is composed of those who have
learned to trust God. "Oh, Lord, of hosts, happy is the man who trusteth
in Thee", says the word of God. Today we see a demonstration of the
truth of this passage.
Note this blessed truth from the word of God: "Yet now Christ has been
roused from among the dead, the Firstfruit of those who are reposing.
For since, in fact through a man came death, through a man, also, comes
the resurrection of the dead. For even as in Adam, all are dying, thus
also, in Christ, shall all be vivified. Yet each in his own class: the
First-fruit, Christ; thereupon those who are Christ's in His presence;
thereafter comes the consummation, whenever He may be giving up the
kingdom to His God and Father. Whenever He should be nullifying all
sovereignty and all authority and power. For he must be reigning until
He should be placing all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy
being abolished in death. For He subjects all under His feet. Now
whenever He may be saying that all is subject, it is evident that it is
outside of Him Who subjects all to Him. Now whenever all may be
subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also shall be subjected to Him
Who subjects all to Him, that God may be All in all", I Cor. 15:20-28.
This passage teaches the salvation of all mankind. As many shall be
vivified in Christ, as are dying in Adam. Perhaps you will better
understand it if I give you a literal rendering of the expression that
is translated "vivified". The passage says, "In Christ shall all be
being made to live". Everyone shall be vitally connected with God, so
that, as a dynamo furnishes current for the light bulb as long as it is
in operation, so will God be supplying life to us as long as God shall
live and function.
Wiley believed that doctrine with all his heart. He rejoiced in it. He
supported our meetings because in them the doctrine of the salvation of
all is taught.
Paul says in Philippians 3:20 and 21, that Christ will transfigure the
body of our humiliation, to conform it to the body of His glory. The
body, as presently constituted, is called a terrestrial tabernacle
house. In the passage in Philippians it is called a body of humiliation.
This does not indicate that it is degraded. It is a body of humiliation
as compared to the body in which we shall live in a state of
vivification, or in our house which is out of heaven as Paul says in the
fifth chapter of II Corinthians.
All this, when done for us, will be in accord with the energy that
enables God to subject all to Himself. Seldom does the subject of energy
engage our attention. God has plenty of it to do what He has planned.
The energy that Paul mentions here is the same by which all will be
subjected to God.
The God Who is the Creator has not planned to have part of His creation
in a state of endless separation from Himself. Everyone will be
vivified, saved, reconciled, and subjected to God.
Our brother believed all this, and rejoiced in it. Once he was asked by
a preacher, "Have you accepted Christ as your personal Saviour". His
reply was, " I rely on the living God, Who is the Saviour of ALL
mankind". His firm belief of this is the secret of the happy life he
We shall miss Him. Who will take his place in our church work? No one,
of course, for we do not really take the place of others. Each person is
an individual, and has his own place to fill. When one dies another
cannot step into his place. One may do the work that he is doing. But he
must do it in his own individual way. In our meetings Wiley led the
singing. How sad we will be when we meet, and he is not there! Whenever
there was need of finances, he was in the forefront. Never did he wait
for someone else to give. He gave, as if no one else were going to do
so. For years he has been paying the rent on the building we use for our
His cheerful disposition endeared him, to not only the members of our
congregation, but also to singing people all over East Georgia. He
attended conventions and led classes. He could be depended on to be
present. And his ability to handle music was marvelous.
He was a kind father and a most loving husband. It was his delight to
secure the welfare of his family as much as possible. He was a dutiful
son, and his parents depended much on him. His brothers and sisters
looked up to him in admiration.
In conversation with me less than a week before he died, he spoke of the
great wisdom of God in preparing such a delightful surprise for us in
the future time when we are brought into the life of the eons. He said
that the anticipation is heightened, because we do not know just what
shall be the fullness of our experience. I am sure he was right. We will
learn a new language, experience new delights, and have associates that
are newly entertaining.
We shall carry on. He would not want his death to paralyze the movement
in which he was engaged, and for which he gave the best years of his
life. We must meet when the time comes around for our next time for
The wife and children and other loved ones will have days and seasons of
sadness. But they, too, will carry on. They could not dishonor the
memory of their dear one. They MUST carry on.
We bid our brother good-night. We will see him in the morning.
Sermon by W.B. SCREWS, Given in Glennville, Georgia, Sunday, February
This word, "Praise",
occurs several times in the Scriptures.
Do you know of anything that is more becoming to a person of faith, than
praise? It is an attitude, or thought, or expression of commendation of
approbation. As a verb it means eulogize, to glorify.
It is interesting to notice in the Scriptures, instances of praise as
directed to God, and the wonderful results that follow. It is not that
God is "peevish" and demands praise to pacify Him. He recommends it
because of its great benefit to us. He could "get along" without it, but
we cannot-at least, not as well without it, as with it.
To praise God is to give thanks to Him in an enthusiastic manner---in
gladness and joy. One means of praise is singing. Paul and Silas when in
the prison in Philippi, sang songs to God. As they sang in spirit and in
understanding, they were truly praising Him.
Another way to praise God is to acknowledge His ever-present goodness.
If we do not do this, it may be because we are pitying our self. We
magnify, in our thoughts, whatever troubles we are having, and refuse to
acknowledge that we have far more blessings than calamities.
We read in the Hebrew scriptures of a woman whose son died, and she took
him at once to the prophet. When she reached him he inquired. "Is it
well with the child?" and she replied, "It is well. She was asked the
same concerning her husband and herself, and she replied in each case,
"It is well". This was praise, for she was acknowledging that the
goodness of god may be relied on.
I find a great inspiration in proclaiming to God that it is well with
whoever I am praying for. It is an affirmation based on faith. Faith
sees that which it not visible to the eye. It is a prediction of
Paul and Silas might have been bemoaning the calamity that had befallen
them. Instead, they were praising God for the thousands of days when
they were not in prison, and for His present care that they believed
would eventuate in blessing in spite of their predicament.
The woman might have found fault with God because her child had died.
Instead, faith spoke, and faith cannot accuse God of non-goodness.
This is a lesson that ought to be learned. And we ought to learn also,
that it is always better with us when we are in an attitude of praise,
than when we are in a self-pitying frame of mind. Paul and Silas were
released from prison, and the woman's son was restored to her. I cannot
tell you just what blessing will follow your praise, but I can assure
you that you will fare better than if you were resentful of God and His
dealings with you.
It has been said that praise---enthusiastic thanksgiving---is the
lubrication that enables us to be blessedly conscious of the goodness
of God. Another has said, "Thankfulness clears a highway to our hearts".
If we have been receiving God's blessings without praising Him for them,
we have not fully accepted them. There is a reservation in our mind,
regarding them. If we have not accepted them, God's good expression
toward us is left incomplete, so far as our consciousness is concerned.
I believe that all who know the facts, will admit that my wife, since
suffering a stroke some time ago, has made much more improvement than is
usually the case. I have been graciously kept from self-pity, and many
times a day I gladly thank God for the many years of happiness and
health we had together---about forty-five years. Also I thank and praise
Him for every manifestation of blessing in her life since she was
stricken. My very life, my very breath---yes, my whole existence---is
fraught with thanksgiving and praise to Him. I know He is worthy of it,
and it is one of the greatest of pleasures to give it, I say, daily, "it
is well with her".
There is no good reason why we should not be daily ministering in prayer
for those whom we know to be in need of special blessing, and especially
for those who have requested to be thus remembered.
There is every reason for praise. I go up town each morning, and
everywhere I meet smiling faces and words of cheer. There is no one who
wishes me harm. I am not afraid that anyone will try to take advantage
of me. Almost every merchant greets me with a hearty welcome when I
enter his store. People are always doing something for me.
The opportunity to teach the word of God is almost unlimited. No longer
do many people labor every day under the handicap of the fear of
never-ending punishment for themselves or others. The thought of the
ultimate reconciliation of all to God through the sacrifice of Christ,
has seized the hearts of many.
I look for the goodness of God as manifested in the well-wishes of the
people. I see it on every hand.
Yes, there is reason for praise. When we recognize the daily goodness of
God, there is cause for rejoicing. God is love. He may be relied on.