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TENSION ENVELOPE CORP. 



Victory Through Christ 



Copyright 1943 

by 

CONCORDIA PUBLISHING HOUSE 
St. Louis, Mo. 

PRINTED IN IT, S. A. 



To 

Mr. and Mrs. Charles G. Lang 

"My fellow workers unto the kingdom of God" 

Colossians 4:11 



Foreword 



19421943 radio season was notable 
because it brought the tenth anniversary of our mission of 
the air. The opening announcement on every program dur- 
ing this period proclaimed: "Bringing Christ to the Nations! 
The Tenth Anniversary Lutheran Hour!" We felt that atten- 
tion should be called to the remarkable fact that during a 
decade of peace and war God had permitted us to broadcast 
the Gospel of Jesus Christ with its pledge of salvation and its 
divine help for our distracted age. 

For ten years the Holy Spirit touched the hearts of our 
listeners, and in an increasing degree prayers ascended to 
heaven beseeching divine benediction on our work. For ten 
years the broadcast promises of peace and pardon through 
faith in the Savior's atonement led tens of thousands in our 
country and many beyond its borders to contribute the large 
sums required for our broadcast (we pay for every moment 
of our network time at die full commercial rate). For ten 
years our appeal for repentance and faith in Christ has led 
multitudes from sin to salvation. We thus have overabundant 
reason to thank our Triune God for the benediction and direc- 
tion without which our efforts would have failed. I praise 
the goodness of the Lord because He gave me health and 
strength to speak in every regular broadcast. 

During a period as long as this, personalities inevitably 
come to the forefront. Lest too much recognition be given the 
human side of our radio endeavors, I tell our readers em- 
phaticallyas I have stated in gatherings from coast to 
coast that no credit whatever should be given me per- 
sonally. All honor to God and to Him alone! In my own eyes 
it is a marvel of divine grace that this mighty missionary 
enterprise, begun with hesitation and executed as only a part 
of my busy seminary life, has enjoyed such startling success. 
Humbly and reverently we who have witnessed God's glorious 
guidance in this happy work declare that the Lutheran Hour 
should be classified as one of the mighty miracles of mission- 
ary history, a twentieth-century wonder, in which the Savior 

[VII] 



VIII FOKEWORD 

demonstrated the unfailing truth of His promise, "AH things 
are possible to him that believeth." 

The aspect of our radio mission which fills me with con- 
stant awe is the fact that these years have recorded an un- 
mistakable increase in the listening audience. For the first 
half of the tenth season (the period from October 25, 1942, to 
Palm Sunday, April 18, 1943, represented by the messages 
in this volume) about 275,000 letters came to radio head- 
quarters and to my office. These communications, the largest 
number ever received during a similar period, furnish definite 
evidence that the American people are not tired of the Gospel. 
Despite war and its disturbances, restrictions, and counter- 
attractions our broadcast has gone forward in amazing strides. 

During the ten seasons a total of more than 1,500,000 
letters were sent to the Lutheran Hour. If the ratio of ad- 
vertising men is correct in its claim that we should figure 
1,000 listeners for every letter, the radio has certainly de- 
monstrated its remarkable power in spreading the Savior's 
Gospel. 

The tenth-anniversary season was appropriately marked 
by farsighted action on the part of the Lutheran Laymen's 
League when it adopted the long-discussed and earnestly de- 
sired resolution to broadcast continually each Sunday through- 
out the year. If it be God's will, may our mission of the air 
now be maintained uninterrupted until Christ returns in His 
second coming! The new fifty-two-Sundays-a-year program 
entails almost double the previous expense, but with un- 
limited confidence in the Lord's power to help us, we have 
adopted these concise statements as the expression of our 

" * " Through the whole year Now! 
Through the whole world Soon! 
Through the whole Gospel Always! 

The international character of the Lutheran Hour was 
strikingly emphasized again by the truth that, although the 
war prevented us from maintaining our broadcast in the Phil- 
ippine Islands and China or from using scheduled outlets in 
Australia, New Zealand, India, and Portuguese West Africa, 
we were able to maintain about 450 stations in the United 
States, Canada, and the following countries and territories: 



FOREWORD IX 

Alaska Costa Rica Iceland 

Argentina Cuba Nicaragua 

Bolivia Dominican Republic Panama 

Brazil Dutch Guiana Paraguay 

British Cuiana Ecuador Peru 

British West Indies Haiti Puerto Rico 

Chile Hawaii Uruguay 

Colombia Honduras Venezuela 

Our messages were transmitted from these stations either in 
English, Spanish, or Portuguese, and the Gospel reached far 
beyond the confines of their countries. 

It was indeed gratifying, for example, to read reception 
reports like these: 

A missionary from Tarma, Peru, writes: 

It has been my good pleasure to listen to your broadcasts 
over Station WLWO, Cincinnati, for some time. I am happy to 
report the messages are bringing special blessings both in English 
and in Spanish. You will be interested in the enclosed picture 
showing this missionary in the midst of a group of Indians. Far 
in the interior, where few civilized men penetrate, the Red Men 
gather around the portable radio to hear about the living God. 
Unconscious of the fact, through the interpreter, you occasionally 
speak to Indians in the remote regions of the Amazon jungle. The 
radio messages, true to the Gospel, bring much personal encourage- 
ment to me when I am alone in the hinterland among the semi- 
civilized and savage tribes, sometimes a week's journey or more 
beyond the bounds of civilization. 

A convert in Jamaica, British West Indies, says: 
I listen in to your program and enjoy it very much. I'm sure 
that all who hear it must derive some spiritual benefit. I am a new 
convert who accepted the Lord through hearing your broadcasts 
over Station HCJB, from Quito, Ecuador. I want to live as full 
a life for God as I possibly can. 

From Colombia a young inquirer writes thankfully: 
With intense spiritual blessing I listen to the Lutheran Hour 
each Sunday. I will appreciate receiving literature and all avail- 
able publications. I am a medical student and receive spiritual 
strengthening from the Christian truth and Gospel grace explained 
on your broadcast. I shall continue to listen regularly and tell my 
friends. 



X FOKEWORD 

A Dominican Republic resident pleads: 

I write you in Spanish, but by nationality I am a Chinese and, 
of course, born a Buddhist. With all sincerity I want you to know 
that I have felt a great desire to hear God's Word since listening 
to your broadcast I hope to receive from you the necessary help 
toward rny salvation in Christ, 

A Maracaibo, Venezuela., woman says: 

I do enjoy your teachings. For almost fifteen years I have 
not heard Gospel messages like yours. Thank God for His Word, 
which has brought me back to the path I once walked, the path 
of light! 

A grateful listener in Costa Rica reports: 

I congratulate you, and I hope that your work will prosper 
greatly. My mother has now become a true believer in Christ. 
There are twelve in our family, but my older brothers love the 
world and its pleasures very much. We hope the Lord may sooner 
or later touch their hearts. 

A pastor in Mexico City, Mexico, sends this interesting 
account: 

I rejoice over the fact that our Lutheran Hour is being trans- 
lated into the Aztec or Nahuatl language at Milpa Alta, D. F, 
Mexico. We used an extension and placed the radio out in the 
patio, or yard, so that as many persons as possible could listen to 
the Lutheran Hour without having them crowded and uncom- 
fortable. 

The results of our broadcasts in each of these countries 
and in many others, could they be catalogued in detail, would 
fill a good-sized volume. As we survey the whole Latin- 
American situation, places and incidents like this flash across 
our minds: In a Dominican Republic village the one family 
that owns a large loud-speaker, every Sunday invites scores 
of people to hear the Lutheran Hour. The villagers bring their 
lunch and assemble as at our out-door mission services. When 
the broadcasting time arrives, they all listen carefully. After 
the program they try to sing as many of the songs as they can. 

Despite military restrictions which have eliminated our 
short-wave transmission from this country, we are able to 
reach Great Britain and other English-speaking countries, 
especially through station HCJB in Quito, Ecuador. The inter- 
national program sponsored by the British Broadcasting Com- 
pany literally reached around the world. We were startled to 
receive letters like these: 



FOREWOBD XI 

Bebington, Cheshire, England Sunday's international pro- 
gram was truly unique. For was it not a most rare occasion in the 
history of English broadcasting when the true Gospel of Jesus 
Christ was fearlessly and unashamedly proclaimed, without any 
frills, by the American professor? I wonder whether he would 
have been allowed to preach so full of fire in this country. Com- 
pared with the polite, dead, political droning of the majority of 
our broadcasters, it was truly refreshing. It was a trumpet call to 
tine sleeping Church to proclaim the truth of the Gospel story in 
its simplicity and wonder, and not as we get it, so dressed up in 
church organization that it lulls people into smug, half-doped 
complacency. Surely, if such truth is proclaimed, the people of 
Britain will realize how Christ loathed the Laodicean church, and 
return to their first love and serve the Savior of the world in great 
humility. Our people need the Gospel of Christ's redeeming love. 
That and that alone can save our beloved land of England and 
the world. 

Barking, Essex, England I thoroughly enjoyed the speech. 
If only the British preachers would preach to the English public 
like that, I am sure more people would attend church. 

Brigus, Newfoundland I am an Englishman who has given 
forty years to the preaching of the Gospel in Newfoundland. This 
morning I had the pleasure of hearing your truly wonderful ad- 
dress over the radio. Yours is a message that I would like to see 
written across the sky, where everyone who runs might read. In all 
you said I am entirely with you. Long may you be spared to give 
such shining messages as the one we heard this morning! 

Marine Parade, Bluff, New Zealand You voiced exactly what 
I myself believe, and I do hope that you will be able to carry on 
the good work. 

England I feel I must write to thank you for the many times 
you have encouraged and comforted me and many of my friends 
over Station HCJB. (We have an excellent reception here.) For 
the duration of the war I am doing part-time transport work and 
arrive home in time to catch your 1:15 A. M. English program. 
Many is the time when we have had to leave our beo!s during 
a raid, and after the all-clear we have tuned in and picked you up. 
On one occasion in particular during a severe Blitz on my home 
town, after the all-clear we tuned in. I cannot tell you in words 
what it meant to us at that time. It has been just like the voice 
of almighty God encouraging me, 

I sincerely hope that the British Broadcasting Company 
will permit us to send regular transatlantic messages after the 
war is over. The results from one effort up to date have con- 



XII FOREWOKD 

vinced us that England, Ireland, and Scotland need the 
Gospel at least as much as our own country. Pray for a 
regular broadcast to Britain! 

The department of our mission which received the most 
emphasis during the past season was the work among our 
military men and women. We thank God that we were able 
to increase our station list on two vital fronts, Hawaii and 
Alaska. The Hawaiian broadcast is significant because at first 
some, expressing sincere doubt as to the results on that distant 
island, urged us to move cautiously. What a loving rebuke of 
weak faith God has given us in a large and responsive 
Hawaiian audience! One grateful woman in Honolulu alone 
contributed generous gifts, which exceed the total broadcast- 
ing costs of the two stations KGMB in Honolulu and KHBC 
in Hilo. In Alaska the station at Anchorage, KFQD, has 
helped to bring Christ's courage and comfort not only to the 
isolated inhabitants of this section but also to our soldiers in 
the Arctic regions. A chaplain one Sunday, after services, 
writes that his men on the Aleutians voluntarily contributed 
$150 to help maintain and expand our Gospel network. 

Special efforts were devoted to reaching our fighting 
forces. Here, too, we were under the evident guidance of 
God. Censored soldier mail from abroad brought us letters 
like these: 

Somewhere in the Pacific Here on the battle front God has 
permitted me to listen to your broadcast. In these perilous times, 
when I can see so much sin around me, it does my heart good to 
listen to a Gospel message. God is still on His throne and still 
cares for His own, no matter where they are. 

Aleutians I just heard the Lutheran Hour. We surely should 
be thankful to have such a great and convincing broadcast. I get 
more good out of one of your sermons than all these modernistic 
preachers preach in a year. A couple of boys here also listened to 
the Lutheran Hour sermon with me. One said the sermon made 
him feel very cheap because he hasn't gone to church in so long 
a time. 

On an Atlantic Island 1 am a boy in the service. For eight 
months I have been stationed where there are no churches. 
Recently I turned on your broadcast. When I started to listen to it, 
the fellows turned it off. When I turned it back on and told them 
to listen, they got mad. But after your broadcast they felt ashamed 
of themselves. We are stationed on an island forty miles from the 



FOREWORD XIII 

Atlantic Seaboard; the only way to hear the news from the main- 
land is by radio. 

Somewhere in Hawaii I have had the opportunity to hear 
Dr. Maier's message Bringing Christ to the Nations for the past 
three Sundays, and I can assure you that the importance of the 
Lutheran Hour was impressed on me as I sat listening here in 
Hawaii, thousands of miles from its origin. 

Somewhere in the Pacific We heard the Lutheran Hour this 
morning. We are Seabees; some of my mates here expressed the 
desire to have a copy of your sermon. It was very touching to 
one of my mates in particular, whose wife had just lost a baby 
at birth. Your broadcasts are doing a wonderful work in bringing 
others to Christ. 

In Southern Waters I tuned in yesterday to your Sunday 
broadcast and enjoyed it very much. Where I am, under the 
Southern Cross, I, too, would like the small gold cross to wear 
to serve as a personal inspiration and to encourage the boys 
whom I, as a surgeon, am treating. 

On the Atlantic I am a captain in the Navy and move ships 
in and out the convoy fleet at sea. The submarines and foreign 
warships never bother me. Please pray for me! Your Sunday broad- 
casts mean much to me, whether I am on land or sea. 

With the Pacific Fleet A sailor of the U. S. S. requested 
my used transcriptions of the Lutheran Hour in order that his 
shipmates might hear them. They have a chaplain aboard who is 
glad to cooperate. The sailors went to considerable trouble and 
expense in preparing a turntable. 

Somewhere in the Pacific If it is possible, I would like to 
receive copies of as many of your addresses as possible. We have 
Bible-class meetings on this ship, and I'm sure that your messages, 
especially on Scripture, prayer, and the sure plan of salvation, 
will be of great help. 

The response from soldiers still in our country and Canada 
was, of course, far larger, and the help which the Lutheran 
Hour offered these men and women in the service can hardly 
be estimated. If during our entire broadcasting season we had 
been able to accomplish nothing more than to bring our 
military youth the Savior's promise of forgiveness, strength, 
companionship, and guidance, all the money spent for this 
mission of the air would have been well expended. We have 
received many revealing letters like these: 

Iowa I am a soldier in the Army Air Corps and have been 
in service for six and a half months, I haven't missed one of your 



XIV FOKEWORD 

programs since you started this season. I don't know of anything 
that I have experienced in my entire life that gives me the same 
satisfaction, peace, comfort, and assurance that I get when I can 
sit before my radio here in the barracks and listen to your inspir- 
ing words of how to receive eternal life through Christ. Quite 
a number of boys in my barracks do not believe in Christ, but this 
does not stop me from tuning in your program. One of the boys 
got so "brave" that he turned off the current this afternoon, but 
I have a portable radio, which is a plug-in or battery set. I just 
turned it on the battery with very little time lost, and your pro- 
gram went on just the same. I am mocked for my belief, but this 
doesn't stop me from letting people know what I am. I pray to 
Christ, our Savior, to give you and me strength to carry on the 
work of bringing Christ to the world. 

Ontario I brought a radio down to our canteen and tuned 
in to the Lutheran Hour. I was very much impressed by the 
sermon and also the music. 

Kansas I have recently joined the Army Air Corps. I haven't 
missed a Lutheran Hour since I am here, and every Sunday I get 
a few more together around my radio to listen in. The sermon to- 
day was especially commented on, even by boys who do not or- 
dinarily go to church. I am sure that before long the entire bar- 
racks will be listening to your Bringing Christ to the Nations. 

Maryland I enclose a small contribution to aid your splendid 
work in spreading the Gospel of our Lord. I am a Roman Catholic 
and an Army officer who recognizes the great work you are doing. 

Oregon Scene: Portland Army Air Base. The telephone rings. 
My commanding officer is calling. He wants me, his chaplain, to 
come to his room to listen with him to the Lutheran Hour. We sit 
in an unfinished room of the officers* barracks and hear the Lu- 
theran Hour over his auto radio. He tells me that he has listened 
faithfully for years. He is a flying officer, a devoutly Christian 
officer. 

A particularly impressive part of our work among the 
soldiers was the Lutheran Hour transcription service, which, 
as part of our war service, brought our message to more than 
sixty United States Army camps. By special arrangement with 
the local chaplains the Lutheran Hour was reproduced for 
the men, usually as the regular Sunday evening service. 
Typical reactions to these programs may be seen in this 
tribute: 

Camp Roberts, California It might interest you to know we 
began reproducing the Lutheran Hour last Sunday evening with 
marked success. It is to be a regular feature. 



FOREWORD XV 

The transcriptions were also used on Pacific troop trans- 
ports and in remote military outposts. 

Once more the radio proved its unique power of penetra- 
tion, by bringing the Gospel to those who live in remote dis- 
tricts, on islands, in forests, beyond the range of the Church, 
or to those people who were kept from church by gasoline 
rationing, storm, sickness, or occupation. Besides, our mes- 
sages reached homes and listeners who ordinarily could not 
be induced to enter a Lutheran church. Notable again were 
the increasing number of letters from Roman Catholic lis- 
teners. Here are a few: 

Immaculate Conception Convent I have been quite a fre- 
quent listener to your Sunday program. I was so happy over last 
Sunday's. It was new life to me. The manner in which you can 
explain God's Word is marvelous. Please accept this small token 
to help further your message! Would you be so kind as to send 
me the sermon? Please pray for me! I, too, am praying for you 
that God in His own goodness and mercy may help you to carry 
on this broadcast. You are doing wonderful work. God bless you! 

Saint Mary's Seminary May I thank you for the pleasure and 
inspiration which you, by the help of God, brought to me this 
afternoon? I liked your conviction and your sincerity. I am not 
a Lutheran. In fact, I am about as far removed from Lutheranism 
as I could be. I am soon to be ordained to the Catholic priesthood. 

Rhode Island In a recent conversation with Father of 
Saint Mary's Church of this city he expressed great admiration 
for the way that you preach the Gospel in its pure and un- 
adulterated form. 

New Jersey I was born and brought up a Catholic in Switzer- 
land. However, through a friend, who has interested herself in me, 
I listen to the Lutheran Hour every Sunday and also attend a Lu- 
theran church here in Paterson quite regularly. I seem to get so 
much more comfort and strength from the Lutheran faith than 
I do from my own. God willing I hope to become a Lutheran 
some day. 

Ontario We are a Roman Catholic family and seldom listen 
to religious programs on the air. Rut for some reason we cannot 
dial you off. Your sermons are good and to the point. We would 
like to know more about your faith. You preach Christ and His 
works. 

Virgin Islands I want to assure you that it is now of more 
interest and satisfaction to me to turn on the radio, not only by 
my bed but also in the parlor (so that the family can hear your 
words), than it is to go to Mass, 



XVI FOBEWORD 

Pennsylvania 1 am a Roman Catholic, but I am dissatisfied 
with my religion. After hearing your recent broadcasts, 1 desire 
to know more about the Lutheran faith and doctrines. 

Minnesota My husband and I listen to your program every 
Sunday and are glad to have such wonderful church service on the 
air, especially with the tire and gas rationing. My husband was 
a Catholic when I married him, but his listening to your program 
has helped me to convert him to the Lutheran faith. Our pastor 
instructed him and confirmed him. 

North Carolina It has been my pleasure, and an enjoyable 
one, to listen to your broadcasts for several Sundays, when not 
engaged in my own official duties as priest. I want to say to you 
how much I get out of them. I am helped so very much by them 
that I frequently call others* attention to the time and station, 
hoping they, too, will find comfort and strength in them. I have- 
wondered if those sermons preached for the current quarter could 
be had for personal reading, help, and inspiration. Because of my 
work, I have missed hearing one or two of these. But I should 
like to have a chance to read them all. May God strengthen you 
to continue such broadcasts to the world that man may be con- 
verted, for certainly this is one great need of the world today! 

By divine blessing we are permitted to establish contact 
with many of the neglected and misunderstood racial groups 
in our country. For instance, Japanese Christians in the re- 
location centers write letters like these: 

Hunt, Idaho Your program reaches us through the radio 
station in Twin Falls, Idaho, every Sunday, and you can be sure 
that our dials are turned that way every Sabbath afternoon. 

Minidoka, Idaho I have been an ardent listener of the Lu- 
theran Hour for about three months, ever since the time we have 
been sent to this war relocation center. I am an American citizen 
of Japanese ancestry. We have been evacuated from the vital 
coastal area. I know that in a time like this nothing is inure im- 
portant than our faith in God. I enjoy your Lutheran Hour pro- 
gram immensely, and each Sunday it has brought me new in- 
spiration and a deeper reverence for God. 

The Lutheran Hour has a large and growing audience 
among Negroes at home and abroad as well as among other 
racial groups. Communications like this are ample reward for 
all our efforts: 

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania I am a Negro. In my twenty-six 
years of life in the world I have endured the hatred and aousc 
that most of white America feels for its colored citizens. I have 



FOREWORD XVII 

observed and read colored newspaper accounts of the incredible 
viciousness of color prejudice in the South. Through it all I grew 
to hate white people indiscriminately. I became more and more 
bitter with each new incident of social, economic, or political 
injustice. I have stated this in order to give you an idea of how 
deeply I felt and what a great change your program, Bringing 
Christ to the Nations, has brought about in me. Today the same 
conditions *exist in regard to the Negro, but I no longer feel bitter 
about it because I have learned from your sermon about the love 
of Christ for everyone, His enemies, unbelievers, as well as those 
who love Him. 

Missouri I, an American Indian, am praying for you and 
hope you are in good health. I love your sermons more than 
those of any other preacher. God bless you! Let me hear from you 
please! 

Particularly gratifying was the response from pastors of 
practically all Protestant denominations. Literally thousands 
of letters have poured in with sentiments like these, which 
show a new appreciation for Scripture truth: 

Maryland No words can express the gratefulness we feel and 
the joy we have in hearing the Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed and 
glorified. We are workers in the Methodist Church, humble 
believers. 

Illinois I have been enjoying your services on the radio and 
I would like very much to have some of your addresses if you 
have copies available. I am pastor of a Baptist Church and have 
used some of your material in my sermons. I am heartily in accord 
with your emphasis on a Christ-centered ministry and pray that 
the Lord will mightily use you in the future. 

Pennsylvania I, a Congregational minister, listen to your 
weekly broadcasts. I announce them from my pulpit. I have been 
sending contributions. 

"New Jersey I greatly appreciate your positive faith in the 
Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We also appreciate 
the fact that you speak fearlessly about sin and the one way of 
salvation. May God continue to bless you in your work! I am the 
pastor of a Holland Reformed church. 

Pennsylvania We at Westminster Seminary join in the work 
of your radio broadcast. We share in the thoroughly Biblical and 
militant Christianity which you preach. We pray the Lord to bless 
both the message and the beautiful Christian music to the hearts 
of men. 

Florida Here is a check for $25.00 to be used as you deems 
best to the spread of the Gospel. I am able to send you a little 

Tenth Lutheran Hour 



XVIII FOREWORD 

more than I had planned since the income tax proved to be less 
than I had saved for. I am a volunteer church worker here in this 
little place under a young priest of the Episcopal Church. He is 
really a missionary priest, with about ten small missions to care for. 
California I have listened to your hour on Sunday afternoon 
both this year and last and have enjoyed it very much. I believe 
that is what this country needs. I am a minister in the Church of 
the Nazarene and wish you much success in your work. 

The tenth-anniversary broadcast continued to fulfill one 
of its most important functions by helping our missionaries 
find open doors in their house-to-house calls. Our pastors 
continue to write us letters like these: 

Pennsylvania When I left Concordia Seminary I became 
"missionary at large" and spent five months canvassing from 
house to house in various cities and towns of New York and 
Pennsylvania. My partner and I always identified ourselves with 
the Lutheran Hour. It was indeed gratifying to see how many 
people listened to you regularly and to experience the many warm 
receptions we received when the people learned we were con- 
nected with the Lutheran Hour and had attended your classes at 
the Seminary. 

Ohio Recently I received a list of several Lutheran Hour 
contact names. The day before yesterday I completed the pleasant 
task, requiring three days and nearly 250 miles of driving. In 
every instance the meeting with these folks was a most cordial one, 
What a remarkable change was registered in their faces as soon as 
the Lutheran Hour was mentioned! These follow-up calls for the 
Lutheran Hour were among the most interesting and fascinating 
that the undersigned has experienced during his nine brief years 
in the ministry. God bless you and your co-workers for your ef- 
forts in behalf of Bringing Christ to the Nations! 

Michigan -I want to express again my deepest appreciation 
and thanks for the boundless inspiration you have given me with 
your marvelous soul-saving message Sunday after Sunday. They 
have helped me wonderfully to carry on and improve my work 
here in the Christian day school, the congregation, and the com- 
munity. Your powerful influence has helped greatly in building up 
our school inwardly and numerically, which by the first week of 
February, had already grown from thirty pupils to seventy-three 
pupils. 

Texas The Lutheran Hour is doing much to open the door 
to us down here on the southern tip of Texas. When I came hero 
several years ago as a missionary, people sometimes looked at me 
rather askance when I told them that I was a Lutheran, but now 



FOREWORD XIX 

I get many a greeting like this: "Oh, yes, come in! I have been 
hearing your Lutheran Hour." 

Oklahoma The large number of adult members whom we 
have been privileged to instruct and add to our roster during the 
past year were induced to attend the instruction classes partly be- 
cause of the knowledge of our Church which they gained from 
listening to the Lutheran Hour. 

Once again in this tenth season we were visibly reminded 
that God keeps His word and that His Gospel does not re- 
turn void. Although the radio speaker is under the obvious 
disadvantage of not being able to see his hearers and meet 
them after the sermon, the power of the Holy Spirit once more 
recorded remarkable victories for Christ by calling men and 
women from the darkness of sin into the glorious light of sal- 
vation. We thank the Lord especially for the letters from 
which excerpts like these have been taken: 

Minnesota I was saved through you. When I was about to 
resort to self-destruction, I heard your voice, and now I am a 
member of your faith here in St. Paul The pastor visits me reg- 
ularly and is of great help to me. 

Pennsylvania I am writing you to say I listened to your 
broadcast last Sunday. A load was lifted off my shoulder, and I 
accepted the Lord Jesus Christ. I am now happy to think you 
have opened a way for me, and I hope you will keep on praying 
for me, as I am not so strong yet in the Lord. I attend church and 
feel like a different person as I know I am one of His now. 

Alabama I am so grateful to my precious Savior for all He 
has done for me through the last four years. It was through you 
that I found my Lord all the way. Of course, as I have already 
told you, I loved Him; but I have never realized what Jesus did 
for me until I listened to the Lutheran Hour. The first time I ever 
heard you, you told me more about my Savior than all the 
preachers I had ever heard before. 

Michi gan We listen to your sermons on Sunday, and we 
surely get food for our souls. We appreciate your straight-from- 
the-shoulder delivery of Bible facts. I don't want to find fault, but 
we don't get that kind of preaching in the churches here. We were 
converted at home through your broadcast and reading the Bible. 
Neither of us had even oeen in church for twenty years before 
that. We were terrible people drank, swore, and fought, in fact, 
did about anything we or anyone else could think of. 

California I am writing to tell you that today I was received 
into full communion with Grace Lutheran Church by confirmation. 



XX FOREWORD 

I am also glad to say that your sermons have helped me to see 
the light. I was formerly a member of the Roman Catholic Church. 

Pennsylvania I came to know Christ through the Lutheran 
Hour only a few years ago. Since then I am not only a listener 
but have advertised the broadcast in the daily paper, told many 
individuals of it, and had our minister ask the congregation to tune 
in regularly. 

Ohio I want to thank you very much for the soul-stirring 
sermon you preached today. It filled me with such a longing for 
Christ that I cried all through the message. I've never had a 
definite religion, but I want you to know that your sermon has 
come to me in an hour of need. I was disgusted with life and ready 
to end it; but, oh, how wonderful I feel now! I believe I have the 
strength to carry on. This is the first time I have heard your 
program. I shall endeavor to lead a righteous life in future. Oil, 
there are no words to express the wonderful things that happened 
to me during that program! My one hope is that it readied the 
hearts of others as it did mine. 

Colorado I received Mrs. *s name through the Lutheran 
Hour about two years ago and ministered to her regularly until 
the day of her death. I officiated at her funeral several weeks ago 
and was privileged to state that she departed this life trusting 
in Him who alone is able to save. She listened to every Lutheran 
Hour broadcast and voiced a genuine appreciation. May God con- 
tinue to bless your broadcast! 

Ohio I listened to your program, and it has helped me, 
I am going to join the catechism class in the Lutheran church in 
my city. 

Ohio I wrote you one year ago as an unchurched listener. 
Today I am a member of the Lutheran Church, baptized and 
confirmed. 

Missouri A student mission activity at Venice, Illinois > bears 
testimony to the results of the Lutheran Hour. A large percentage 
of the Christians attending our services there praise God for the 
Lutheran Hour, for it was through this radio program that they 
first made contact with the Lutheran Church. There is, for in- 
stance, Mrs. -, eighty years old. For seven years she listened 
regularly to the broadcasts. Then one day she sent her son to the 
city library for some biographies of Luther. She read them, with 
the result that she asked the nearest Lutheran pastor for in- 
struction. Two years ago she was confirmed. Then there is 
Mrs. C , who has searched long for the Church with the truth. 
She found the truth in the message of the Lutheran Hour and 
expressed her joy over the fact by tithing to this radio program. 



FOREWORD XXI 

When later she was visited by one of our canvassers, she soon 
began to take instructions and has now become a very zealous 
church worker. 

California Thanks to the Lutheran Hour, my husband is now 
a Lutheran. I cannot thank God enough for all His blessings and 
rejoice that the Lutheran Hour has made our family all of oneiaatfer 

Nebraska If it weren't for the Lutheran Hour on Sunday, 
I don't know what I would do. I have listened to it for years, and 
it has brought my husband to church with me every Sunday. 
If it weren't for the Lutheran Hour, I could never get him there. 
Now he can't miss a Sunday, and if something should happen 
that we don't get to church, my husband says the day is not right. 
I was baptized and confirmed and surely do get a lot of good out 
of the broadcast. 

Not only were many thus saved, but others who had 
denied the Savior were reclaimed by the Spirit through the 
Lutheran Hour message. Those won again for Christ send us 
grateful acknowledgments like these: 

California I trust you will remember me in your prayers. 
Through you I have just recently gotten back to the Lord. I had 
backslidden and fallen deep into sin. I have prayed sincerely for 
forgiveness. We have such a gracious God, or He would never 
have heard my prayers. 

North Dakota This summer I was home alone one Sunday 
and listened to your broadcast. I was deeply thrilled. It made me 
realize that we shouldn't live our lives as a daily routine but that 
we should live for our Lord. After your broadcast I knelt down 
beside the radio and prayed. I had for a time almost lost my 
faith because none of my prayers was answered. But your sermon 
brought me back, and I now know that there is no one to whom 
we can really take our prayers but our precious Lord Jesus. 

Texas About two years ago I found in Paris a Lutheran Hour 
fan in an old man who has been reared in the shadow of the 
old Seminary in St. Louis, instructed and confirmed by Dr. Stoeck- 
hardt, and had drifted for twenty-five years or more, but found his 
way back to his God and Church through the Lutheran Hour, 

As in previous years, God has moved friends throughout 
the country to supply the funds required to defray the costs 
of our radio crusade for Christ, for the transcriptions at home 
and abroad, and for the maintenance of a large office staff 
which during die peak of the broadcasting season lists about 
fifty employees. No salary was paid the speaker, the an- 



XXII FOKEWOKD 

nouncer, the Seminary students' Lutheran Hour Chorus, nor 
a group of voluntary workers. In reviewing the financial help, 
we recall these instances of remarkable stewardship: 

A $7,000 check from a Baltimore business man (the largest 
single gift ever received) who regards this broadcast as one of the 
Church's greatest missionary endeavors. 

A $1,500 check from a Chardon, Ohio, listener, not a member 
of our Church, who appreciates the interest the Lutheran Hour 
has shown in our nation's soldiers. 

A letter from Worcester, Massachusetts, declares; "We are 
poor boys and earn our money by shining shoes on the streets. 
We enclose two dollars of our shoe-shine money to help you in 
your glorious work." 

A crippled child asks that his Christmas gift of money be sent 
to the Lutheran Hour. 

A widow forwards $1.25, found in her deceased husband's 
pocket. 

A California man sends his life's savings in coin. 

A Pittsburgh industrialist encloses a $100 check with a note 
stating that he thinks this will do more good than a contribution 
to his modernistic church, 

A Decatur, Illinois, couple contributed $102, a dollar for 
each man in the nation's service from their congregation. 

Another Decatur congregation contributes $2.50 for each mem- 
ber in the armed forces from its midst. 

From Iowa a woman writes: "I arn enclosing a small con- 
tribution, seventy-one cents. Of it, twenty-one cents were left in 
our little son's bank when he died. 

A Listener gives $20 which he had received for two blood 
transfusions. 

An Addison, Illinois, congregation sells its unused school build- 
ing and devotes a part of the proceeds for the Lutheran Hour, 

Besides giving thanks to God for His constant help, I must 
express my gratitude to many co-workers and friends whose 
interest, efforts, prayers, and gifts have been of inestimable 
help to me. Particularly am I grateful to: 

All listeners who have prayed, worked, and given for these 
international broadcasts; 

All pastors who have co-operated in following up mis- 
sionary opportunities and gaining support for our cause; 



FOREWORD XXIII 

All teachers who have encouraged the school children to 
publicize and promote the Lutheran Hour; 

Dr. Miller McClintock, president of the Mutual Broadcast- 
ing System, for his sympathetic and co-operative spirit; 

All members of the Lutheran Laymen's League, which 
has sponsored nine of the ten seasons of broadcasts, especially 
their president, E. J. Gallmeyer, for his personal kindness to 
me in connection with the tenth anniversay; 

Homer J. Fitzpatrick, chairman of the Lutheran Laymen's 
League Radio Committee, for his constant counsel and his 
friendship; 

Dr. Eugene R. Bertermann, for his tireless assistance in 
every broadcasting problem and his entire disregard of self; 

Eugene Bernald, president of the Pan-American Broad- 
casting Company, for his initiative and sincere co-operation 
in extending the field of our foreign broadcasts; 

Reinhold W. Janetzke, for his regular announcing during 
the past seven years; 

The Lutheran Hour Chorus, under the direction of Martin 
Werfelmann, all the other choruses and their directors, for 
providing the hymns; 

Alfredo Saez, Manuel Morales, the Rev. Andrew Melen- 
dez, and Richard Narvaez, for their help in the production of 
Spanish recordings; 

The members of the Lutheran Business and Professional 
Women's Association, for offering clerical help without any 
charge. __ 

We pray that these messages, now in book form, will carry 
on the testimony to Christ for which they were broadcast. 
They are printed as originally written, considerably longer 
than the radio version. It has been of great encouragement 
to note that some of the previous sermons have been trans- 
lated into Spanish, Slovak, Arabic, Portuguese, French, Fin- 
nish, and reproduced for the blind in Braille or other systems 
of raised lettering. May the Holy Spirit again bless these pages 
and use them for the one purpose for which they were 
written: to exalt Christ, the Son of God and Savior of the 
world, by calling sinners to repentance and faith in His full, 
free, final mercies! 



XXIV FOBEWORD 

I wish to recognize publicly the help I received in the 
preparation of this volume. Prof, William Arndt, D. D. Ph. D., 
head of the New Testament Department at Concordia Sem- 
inary, for ten consecutive seasons has now read these broad- 
cast messages in their original form, as in proof, and offered 
stimulating counsel. Miss Harriet E. Schwenk likewise has 
read the pages in manuscript and given deeply appreciated 
help in their preparation for print. Miss Lucille Biehl and 
Miss Bertha Wernsing have contributed stenographic help. 
For all this generous assistance, by which the appearance of 
this book has been improved and expedited, as well as for 
the co-operation of Concordia Publishing House, its editorial 
staff and management, through which many wartime prob- 
lems were solved, I offer my sincere thanks. 

In particular do I express publicly my gratitude to my 
wife for her constant companionship, her practical sugges- 
tions, and her unswerving encouragement during the entire 
broadcasting season. 

Victory Through Christ is not only the title of this volume, 
but the summary of the prayer which has accompanied each 
of these messages. I have besought God that through the 
preaching of His Word heavily burdened souls might ex- 
perience the blessed conviction that in Christ, and in Him 
alone, the believer can defeat sin, death, and hell. At the same 
time we who love the Lord Jesus Christ know that there can 
be "a victory through Christ" even in a warring world. He is 
our God. He can intervene to stop the horror of this struggle 
soon. May we learn the full lesson of repentance and faith! 
Whatever the months ahead may bring, let "Victory through 
Christ" be the resolute watchword of our personal faith and 
of our determination to lead others to the truth triumphant, 
the Savior's glorious Gospel! ___ 

WALTER ARTHUR MAIER 

Concordia Theological Seminary 

Saint Louis, Missouri 

The Festival of Pentecost, 1943 

"Go ye into all the world and 
preach the Gospel to every creature!'" 
Saint Mark 16:15 



Contents 



PAGE 

OUR EYES ARE UPON THEE, O CHRIST! 1 

2 Chronicles 20:12, IS 

AMERICA, DON'T BE ASHAMED OF JESUS! 14 

Romans 1:16 

THE GREATEST FAITH: FIRM TRUST IN CHRIST 28 
Saint Luke 7:9 

VICTORY THROUGH CHRIST 42 

1 Corinthians 15:57 

THE LORD JESUS IS MY SHEPHERD 58 

Saint John 10:11 

THANK GOD EVEN IN DARKENED DAYS! 72 

Daniel 6:10 

JESUS CHRIST, OUR GOD OF GRACE 82 

Sato Luke 7:14, 15 

WHAT HAVE YOU IN YOUR HOME? 96 

2 Kings 4:2 

BELIEVE CHRIST -AND LIVE! 112 

Saint John 20:31 

CHRIST IS COMING! 125 

Psalm 40:7 

NO ROOM FOR CHRIST, YET ROOM FOR US! 138 

Saint Luke 14:22 

HOLD TIGHT TO CHRISTMAS! 148 

Saint Luke 2:19 . 

A NEW HEART FOR THE NEW YEAR 161 

Psalm 51:10 

[XXV] 



XXVI CONTENTS 



THE STRONGEST SECRET WEAPON, 

CHRISTIAN PRAYER! .... ........ -~. ....... .,..-........- 177 

Saint Matthew 6:6 

FULL FREEDOM FROM FEAR ....... ......... . ....... 192 

Isaiah 43:1 

DO YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST? ...... . . 206 

Saint John 11:25-27 

IS YOURS A FAITH-FILLED FAMILY? .. .222 
Acts 10:1, 2, 34, 43, 44 

FAITH'S GLORIOUS DISCOVERY: VICTORY 

CLOSE AT HAND! ......... ............................ ..... . 238 

2 Kings 6:24, 25; 7:3, 5-9 

WHY MUST WE SUFFER? ........ ...................... . .. .. 253 

Hebrews 12:6 

SOFTLY THE SAVIOR CALLS ......_............ ..... .. 269 

1 Kings 19:11-13 

JESUS, STILL THE STORMS OF LIFE! . ... . . 285 

Saint Mark 4:37-39 

TEARS OVER AMERICA . .......... ..... ........... ......... ...... 301 

Saint Luke 19:41 

FATHER, FORGIVE THEM -AND US! _.,... ...... , 818 

Saint Luke 23:34 

FAMILIES OF AMERICA, CLING TO THE CROSS! 832 
Saint John 19:26, 27 

THANK GOD: CHRIST STAYED ON THE CROSS! 348 
Saint Matthew 27:39-42 

THE REDEEMER'S ROBE .-...._.._,........, 366 

Saint John 19:23, 24 

LOOK TO THE CROSS! _._.......,.,. 381 

Hebrews 12:1,2 

WHO IS THIS PRINCE OF PEACE? ...._.... ... 395 

Saint Matthew 21:10-16 



Our Eyes Are Upon Thee, 
O Christ! 



Jehoshaphat said, "'Our eyes are upon Thee.* 
And att Judah stood before the Lord, with their 
little ones, their wives, and their children." 
2 CHRONICLES 20:12, 13 



God of Truth, Mercy, and Might: 



begin our broadcasts in Thy name, to the glory of Thy 
Son, Jesus Christ, our only Savior, and by the power of 
Thy Holy Spirit. Use this mission of the air mightily to call 
sinners everywhere to repentance, to comfort the sorrow- 
ful, strengthen the tempted, and convince the doubting, all 
through faith in the glorious Gospel of pardon and peace in 
Christ's cleansing blood and atoning death! Humbly we thank 
Thee that Thou hast preserved for us Thy sustaining Word, 
and we beseech Thee by Thy Spirit: Help us keep Scripture's 
promise in our hearts and households as Thy sacred comfort, 
guide, and assurance during these overshadowed days! Look 
mercifully on our embattled nation and, according to Thy 
will, grant us soon a blessed peace with the victory of right- 
eousness and truthl Guard the young men in our armed forces 
who have left Christian homes to fight for our cause and bring 
them back to us safe in body and sound in soul! We ask it 
in Jesus' precious name. Amen. 



J[\. 



.ECENTLY I came across the story o an old 
downtown church in St. Paul, Minnesota. Years ago it 
had been a popular house of worship, but when the 
neighborhood changed, the congregation disbanded, and 
the building was sold. Then suddenly, on a bitter cold 
night, fire broke out, swept the structure and destroyed 

1 



2 OUK EYES ARE UPON THEE, O CHRIST! 

everything except an eight-foot marble statue of Jesus. 
Entirely unharmed, it was brought to the street and 
placed before the smoldering wreckage. For days that 
figure of Christ stood in the black ruins, and multitudes, 
many for the first time, saw the Savior with His arms 
outstretched in invitation, "Come unto Me, all ye that 
labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest!" 

In a much higher degree the whole world should see 
the Redeemer, not in the lifelessness of cold marble but 
in the living power of His love, as He rises against today's 
background of bloodshed, devastation, and ruin. Much 
that we cherish throughout the world is being consumed 
by the flames of fiery hatred; yet Jesus praise His holy 
name! towers victoriously, eternally, over the charred 
ruins of human failures. That indestructible Son of God, 
the Christ of endless compassion, we must bring out to 
the highways of humanity, so that men lift their eyes to 
Him in His helping, holding power. The strongest as- 
surance for our beloved country, the immovable pledge 
for our churches, the unshakable promise for our homes, 
the holiest benediction for our souls and lives, come from 
beholding the Lord with eyes of faith, acclaiming Him 
our God, worshiping Him as our own Redeemer. His 
appeal "Look unto Me, and be ye saved!" re-echoes with 
heavenly comfort over the toil and tears, anguish and 
blood of the world's turmoil today. As we begin our 
tenth season of broadcasting His glorious Gospel over the 
largest network we have ever employed, we plead with 
you in His name, Behold the Lord Jesus, your Savior! 
In rededicating our entire broadcast to His cross, join us 
across the United States and Canada, beyond our borders, 
and out on the high seas, as we pledge; 

OUR EYES ARE UPON THEE, O CHRIST! 



OUR EYES ARE UPON THEE, O CHRIST! 3 

These words are taken from Second Chronicles (chapter 
twenty, verses twelve and thirteen): Jehoshaphat said, 
" 'Our eyes are upon Thee." And all Judah stood before 
the Lord, with their little ones., their wives, and their chil- 
dren" Though this text takes us to a far-off land and an 
ancient age, it offers and may God's Holy Spirit mightily 
prove this now in your hearts strength in our embattled 
world; it grants Heaven's joy for all earth's sorrows. 

I 
THE NATION'S EYES SHOULD BE UPON CHRIST 

Bitter, heart-breaking days of war and bloodshed had 
dawned for Judah when King Jehoshaphat spoke this 
prayer. His country had been treacherously assailed by 
a powerful enemy axis: Moabites, Ammonites, and Seir- 
ites. Greatly outnumbered, God's people did what every 
nation should do in a crisis: they gathered to pray the 
Almighty for help. With heroic trust Jehoshaphat arose 
in the Temple courtyard at Jerusalem and in a memorable 
plea asked: "O Lord God of our fathers, art not Thou 
God in heaven? And rulest not Thou over all the king- 
doms? . . . And in Thine hand is there not power and 
might, so that none is able to withstand Thee? . . . O our 
God . . . we have no might against this great company 
that cometh against us; neither know we what to do. 9 ' 
Then he concluded with triumphant trust, "But our eyes 
are upon Thee 9 '; that is, "we look to Thee, O Lord; we 
put our whole confidence in Thy power and love." 

What firmness of faith that prayer showed! What a 
challenging example it gives us when our beloved land 
likewise wages a bitter, stubbornly contested war against 
formidable enemies! On the whole the battle has not gone 
well with us during the past months, and who knows what 



4 OUR EYES AEE UPON THEE, O CHMSTl 

the future can bring? In this uncertainty we should fol- 
low Jehoshaphat in training our eyes on the Lord and 
pleading: "O God, 'all things are possible for Thee, If it 
be Thy will and we pray that it may be stop this war! 
Give to our nation victory with a righteous peace for all 
men and the defeat of every evil force throughout the 
world!" Instead of relying only on our own strength, our 
airplanes, tanks, cruisers, guns, and military organization, 
we should be aware, as was this godly king of old, that 
victory is finally in God's hand. He can grant or with- 
hold it according to His purpose. Courage, sacrifice, pa- 
triotism these and other high national virtues are neces- 
sary, but they are not enough. We need the faith that 
cries, " 'Our eyes are upon Thee, 9 O Christr 

If we would thus see Jesus, we must approach Him 
humbly, with a penitent spirit When Jehoshaphat and 
his subjects prayed to the Almighty, they fell on their 
knees before Him; and we can discern Christ's mercy 
only when we sincerely humble ourselves, confess our 
sins, and then receive the assurance of His blood-bought 
pardon. The prayer front is as essential as any military 
front, repentance as vital as any naval strategy, faith as 
necessary as any aerial equipment. 

How distressing, then, to realize that millions within 
our borders, despite war's sorrows, have not turned to 
God in His Son! At a time when America should be 
moved by the greatest revival of faith in the Savior this 
country has ever seen, we witness, to the contrary, an 
alarming upswing of atheism, worldliness, spiritual in- 
difference. Are the Christian churches overcrowded with 
eager worshipers? Do they list sweeping numbers of con- 
versions? Is the war helping to bring masses of our 
countrymen to Jesus? The glaring fact remains that mul- 
titudes have turned completely from Him, that the denial 



OUB EYES ABE UPON THEE, O CHRIST! 5 

of the Almighty is often applauded, the abuse and misuse 
of His holy name regarded as smart and sophisticated. 
Magazines with circulations of several millions not to 
mention the cheap gutter publications have become 
notorious for their printed endorsements of cursing and 
swearing. One play, a record-breaking success on the 
American stage, permits a single character to abuse God's 
name forty times within two and one-half hours, while 
overflow audiences clap their hands. George Washington 
had to fight against profanity. In 1776, when the Amer- 
ican cause seemed most difficult, he asked his officers to 
check this evil by their example and influence, adding, 
"We can have little hope of the blessings of Heaven on 
our arms if we insult it by our impiety and folly/* In- 
creased profanity, increased crime, increased adultery, 
increase of atheism, increase of unbelief, can surely 
mean increased struggle, more and longer battles; for, 
according to Holy Scripture, all war, even the most nec- 
essary and justified, comes as a visitation, the penalty for 
sin and ingratitude. If, then, we would see the Father as 
the Lord of mercy who can forgive, heal, and strengthen, 
you and I must come to Him with repentant sorrow for 
our national sins, but in the trust without which no one 
can see Him the personal faith in the Lord Jesus by 
whom and through whom alone we are granted forgive- 
ness and blessing. If only throughout the wide areas of 
our land our Christless fellow countrymen would accept 
the Savior, they would not only find redemption, life, 
light, the joy of salvation for themselves; they would also 
contribute to the righteousness which more than any 
other force can make America spiritually strong and 
exalted in God's sight! Oh, that it could be said in truth, 
"The "eyes' of all America 'are upon Thee" O Christ!" 



6 OUR EYES ABE UPON THEE, O CHRIST! 

II 
THE CHURCHES' EYES SHOULD BE UPON CHRIST 

It is, therefore, of double importance during these 
trying days that the churches with all their power help 
men behold the Lord. When Jehoshaphat spoke his vic- 
torious prayer, he was gathered with his people before 
the Temple. And where can the 135,QOQ ? (X}0 Americans 
find light and guidance if not likewise in the Savior's true 
churches? The agonies of this hour should remind us that 
Christian congregations have been established, not to dis- 
cuss war policies, preach hatreds, incite passions, but to 
proclaim Christ's sure mercies, God's whole counsel for 
our salvation. The preacher is not to train our eyes on 
men, but to direct our gaze upward to the cross and the 
crucified Savior of mankind, so that we find in Him par- 
don and peace, redemption and rest. With American 
young men on the six continents and the seven seas daily 
facing death; with the minds of the populace restless and 
disturbed; with our country's future now being weighed in 
the balance, this is not the time for pulpit attacks on the 
Christian faith, for Modernist denials of the Lord's atone- 
ment, for skeptical ridicule of our Holy Bible, It is the 
time for the churches to proclaim the full, free, final Gos- 
pel of salvation from sin, hell, death, with the promise of 
deliverance from fear, worry, and doubt. This is the time, 
high time, for the churches to follow their charter in- 
struction, "Comfort ye, comfort ye My people!" by pour- 
ing the soothing, healing bakn of the divine, errorless 
Word into the soul wounds of this suffering age. In truth 
this is God's time for His ministers to tell all classes and 
castes of men, soldiers and civilians, that Jesus is the one 
Hope of our age; but more: He is the sole Source of sal- 
vation, the one Answer to every personal problem, the 



OUR EYES ARE UPON THEE ? O CHRIST! 7 

only Friend who never fails. If in war's aftermath, when 
the world may be gripped by social convulsions such as 
we have never seen before, the churches would escape 
the terror of destruction that overtook religious work in 
Europe, let them prepare now by turning the eyes of men 
toward God in Christ, by serving the sorrowful, down- 
trodden, underprivileged, poor, neglected, among whom 
Jesus worked and who may easily be won for anti-God, 
anti-Bible movements unless they are convinced that the 
Church is vital, necessary, and blessed as it proclaims 
the message of the cross and the blood! Remember that, 
clergymen of America, as you also recall why the Gov- 
ernment wisely exempts you from military service. You 
are spared the danger of actual conflict not to conduct 
parish teas and socials, not even for soldiers and sailors. 
Theological training is not required for that. You have 
been left on the home front, not to organize scrap drives, 
issue rationing cards, and perform other community serv- 
ices, as necessary as they are. A million able-bodied 
women can fill such positions. You remain in your parish, 
rather than march to battle, not so that you can sow 
doubt and distrust in your hearers' hearts; the devil will 
take care of that. You are exempt because you are to 
strengthen the nation spiritually. History combines with 
God's Word to testify that this can be done effectively 
only when you lead your hearers to say, "'Our eyesore 
upon Thee 9 O Christ!" 

You who Sunday after Sunday occupy the pews of our 
churches, are you doing anything to help men see Jesus? 
Are you raising your hands or your voices to stop the 
treacherous assaults on your Savior that too often origi- 
nate in the pulpits? Oh, may God grant that in this emer- 
gency American Christians will not be weighed and found 
wanting, but that by the Spirit's guidance they may stand 



8 OUR EYES ABE UPON THEE, O CHKISxl 

up for Jesus and rally to His cross as never before in this 
plain but powerful self -dedication, < *Qut eyes," O Christ, 
'are upon Thee!' " 

III 

THE EYES OF ALL THE FAMILY SHOULD BE ON CHRIST 

When King Jehoshaphat went to the Temple, as our 
text puts it, "all Jttdah stood" with him, "before the Lord, 
with their little ones, their wives, and their children" 
Every family and the whole family husbands and wives, 
sons and daughters turned to God. Today, too, if there 
is to be a deepening of our reliance on Jesus; if we 
are to face tomorrow's toils with assurance, then, under 
God, we should build Christian homes. These are trying 
days for our households, with many fathers preoccupied, 
mothers at work, and therefore children neglected. Juve- 
nile crimes, unhappy marriages, broken households are 
on the increase. If the home base is weakened or de- 
stroyed; if the forces of impurity and lust gain the upper 
hand; if in States like Massachusetts the citizens permit 
the enactment of anti-Scriptural and anti-American birth- 
control laws; if the education of boys and girls becomes 
paganized, with no time left for God and things spir- 
itual, we shall have sustained a loss a hundred times 
greater than all reverses on Bataan. During the months 
before us our households will face rationing in heat, 
meat, and many other commodities; yet we can survive 
this restriction. A house burned to the ground can be 
rebuilt. A family separated can be reunited; but the home 
that rejects Christ is built on sand; and, as the Savior 
warns, it will collapse when the winds of affliction blow 
and the floods of adversity come. How vital, then, that 
you fathers and husbands stand before the Lord and re- 
solve as the head of your families; "'As for me and my 



OUK EYES ABE UPON THEE, O CHRIST! 9 

house, toe will serve the Lord' We will worship Him in 
our households"! How necessary that you wives and 
mothers, whom God has given an important position in 
human affairs, accept and follow Christ, consider your 
marriage vows as holy, regard the children whom God 
puts into your arms as sacred trusts, make your home an 
abiding place for His Son! How gladly you boys and 
girls, sons and daughters, should pray for His help and 
joyfully welcome Him! 

If this message is now directed to families torn by 
misunderstanding, cruelty, abuse, selfishness, then may 
their members give the Redeemer His way in their hearts 
as they declare: <f< Our eyes are upon Thee!' Forgive us 
our sins! Remove this strife! Banish all self-seeking!" 
That prayer will be answered. If death has snatched a 
loved one, focus your attention on Christ; and the same 
Savior who in the days of His flesh and through His 
Easter victory proved His power over the grave, declar- 
ing, *7 am the Resurrection and the Life; he that be- 
lieveth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live'' 
can strengthen you with the divine comfort, "Blessed are 
the dead which die in the Lord!' If God lets me address 
families burdened by worry and uncertainty over a son in 
the far-off Solomons, on the high seas, with an African air 
corps, again I tell them: "Lift up your eyes to Christ! 
Accept the promise of His Word, 'casting all your care 
upon Him; for He careth for you!' Entrust your faith- 
filled son to Him, and you need worry no longer! For 
whatever happens to your Christian boy is for his soul's 
salvation and his eternal happiness!" Let me put it all in 
one summarized plea: Fathers, mothers, children, fam- 
ilies of America, stand before the Savior! Repeating this 
ancient prayer, "Our eyes are upon Thee," you will see 
light behind the dark clouds, joy beyond sorrow, life 
victorious over death. 



10 OUR EYES ARE UPON THEE, O CHRIST! 

IV 
YOUR EYES SHOULD BE UPON CHRIST 

In all this, however, the appeal to you individually 
asks you to stand beneath the cross and declare, "My 
'eyes are upon Thee' O Christ!" During these moments 
when many of you have been led before your radio for 
the express purpose of being turned from your sins and 
sorrows to the all-merciful Savior, direct your thoughts 
and glances away from everything else on earth! Shut 
out from your vision everything that would disturb or 
distract your mind and prevent you from concentrating 
on Jesus: all the fears and sorrows, the sins and vices, 
the griefs and burdens, the temptations and lusts! Raise 
your eyes to see Him alone whom angels adore, whom 
the mighty heroes of God rejoiced to behold, the beauti- 
ful Savior, fairer than the children of men, more glorious 
and radiant than cherubim and seraphim the Son of 
God and the world's Redeemer. As you rivet your eyes 
on Him, whom do you see, and what is this Christ to you? 
Oh, may this truth abide deeply and irremovably in your 
soul! This Jesus is first of all the Lord of lords, the Sov- 
ereign of sovereigns, together with the Father and the 
Spirit the very God of very God. He can help you. No 
besetting sin, no oppressing sorrow, is too grievous or 
heavy for Him to remove. When everything else collapses 
and the last human support on which you lean breaks, 
kneel before Jesus, declaring, "My Lord and mij Gotir 
"With God nothing shall be impossible!" 

Who is this Christ, and what does He mean to you? 
Oh, hear, believe, and trust the holiest message human 
lips have ever spoken or mortal ears ever heard! He is 
your Savior, your Redeemer, your Ransom, your Atone- 
ment! If you have never known this truth before, you 



OUR EYES ABE UPON THEE, O CHMSx! 11 

are now to learn the glorious fact for which our sin- 
corroded world still stands. This Jesus, with a love im- 
measurably surpassing the highest human devotion, went 
the way of the cross for you, because He loved you before 
you were born, loved you even when you rejected Him, 
hated Him, cursed Him. He gave Himself, His own sin- 
less, stainless, holy, divine self into death as your Sub- 
stitute, to suffer in His own body, mind, soul, and spirit 
the consequences of your iniquity, the punishment of 
your sin, the sentence of doom, death, damnation, which 
divine justice pronounced on you, as on every sinner. 
Because your eternal soul was worth more in His sight 
than the whole world with its glitter and glory O won- 
drous love! He shed His blood for you and on the cross 
endured the immeasurable, inconceivable agonies of pay- 
ing for all human sin. Because He died in your stead, in 
payment for your transgressions, you have no iniquity in 
the Lord's sight. Once you acclaim your Redeemer, you 
have become a child of God, an heir of eternal salvation. 
You have a title to your prepared place in the many man- 
sions of your Father's eternal home. All this is granted 
you without exemption and limitation and restriction; 
granted fully and freely, assuredly, eternally, by faith 
through the mercy of Christ. Directing your eyes upon 
Him, learn to say, 

My faith looks up to Thee, 
Thou Lamb o Calvary, 
Savior divine! 

and He who looked at backsliding Peter with a glance of 
grace, who beheld the dying, penitent thief at His side 
and promised him paradise, will take you, just as you 
are, though you have turned your back on Him and lived 
your whole life in rebellion against Him. 

Who is this Christ, and what is He to you? Here is 



12 OUR EYES ABE UPON THEE, O CHRIST?! 

the promise for which millions of strife-torn men and 
women yearn with fervent desire: He is your Helper in 
every need, your Guide on each earthly path, your Com- 
fort in all sorrow. Because He has taken away your sins 
and thus removed the greater obstacle to your happiness, 
He can banish fear and doubt, pain and heartache. He 
can do even more: He can change life's trials and tribula- 
tions into triumphs of His grace and have you come forth 
from your suffering purified, refined, stronger in your 
faith. Are you oppressed by an overpowering sense of 
your own helplessness and weakness? Look to Jesusl 
Train your eyes on Christ! His promise, "My strength Is 
made perfect in weakness" will give you new courage, 
new determination, new resistance to evil! Are you afraid 
of some ordeal before you? Do you face a serious opera- 
tion tomorrow? Look to Jesus, and as He says, "I loill 
never leave thee nor forsake thee" you have the assur- 
ance that in the operating room He will be close by 
you to help you face any trial! Are you lonely, homesick? 
Raise your eyes to ChristI Meet Him in His Word! Hear 
His Gospel truth! And as during the days of His suffering 
He was "alone, yet not alone" so He will prove Himself 
a soul Companion for the heavy paths you must tread. 
Are you distracted because hatred seeks to take posses- 
sion of your heart and you find so much of godlessness 
in your life, so much selfish fear for the future, and even 
the dread of death? If, as you read the Psalmist's words, 
"Unto Thee lift I up mine eyes, O Thou that dwellest in 
the heavens" if you give the Savior the control of your 
heart and soul; if you go all the way with Him, then the 
joy of an achieving, victorious life can be yours. Over 
in Holland the Nazis shot a Dutch boy who had plotted 
against them. On the last night of his life, with only a few 
more hours on earth, he wrote these lines to his parents: 



OUR EYES ARE UPON THEE, O CHRIST! 13 

"I have been able to pray much and have the firm con- 
viction that I may look forward to a death in Christ. . . . 
God knows that our cause was a just one. ... I have con- 
fessed all my sins to Him and have become very quiet 

Therefore do not mourn, but trust in God and pray for 
strength. . . . Thank God that we may have the certainty 
of His grace. . . . We are courageous. Be the samel They 
can take only our bodies. Our souls are in God's hand. 
That should be sufficient consolation. Have no hate! I die 
without hatred. God rules everything." 

You can have the faith by which to live, the trust by 
which to conquer, the love by which to forgive, the 
strength to face death itself, if with all your heart you 
turn away from the world, from self, from sin, fears, 
failures, and in humble contrition, yet with triumphant 
assurance, stand beneath the cross to say, "My 'eyes are 
upon Thee' O Christ!" God grant you that vision of 
victory for Jesus* sake! Amen. 



America, Don't be Ashamed 
of Jesus! 

*7 am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for 
tt is the power of God unto salvation to every- 
one that believeth." 
ROMANS 1:16 



God of All Grace and Glonj; 

Humbly we bow before Thee in gratitude for the Reforma- 
tion blessings, especially for the open Bible and the message 
of free grace through faith in the shed blood of the Lord 
Jesus Christ, our only Savior. For His sake forgive us our in- 
difference toward His atoning death, our coldness in con- 
jessing Him our Redeemer, our hesitancy in proclaiming His 
name! Bring us all humbly yet triumphantly to the cross of 
His compassion! Mercifully guard our country, embattled as 
it is in this world-wide struggle! Give us a deep sense of per- 
sonal repentance for our individual and national transgres- 
sions! Increase our trust in Christ! Protect our fighting men! 
Comfort the prisoners, heal the wounded, sustain the dying 
with the promise of eternity through their Savior, and? 
O Father of mercy, grant us by Thy will a just and lasting 
peace! We implore Thee for this benediction in Jesus* saving 
name. Amen. 

JL\. FEW months before Charles Darwin, often 
called "the Father of Evolution," died, he was visited 
by Lady Hope. In a signed statement this titled English 
woman tells how she found the scientist, who had flatly 
denied Scripture, propped up in his bed, reading the 
very Book he had attacked the Bible. Calmly, yet force- 
fully he spoke on the guidance offered by the sacred 
Volume. He bemoaned the fact that people had accepted 

14 



DON'T BE ASHAMED OF JESUS ! 15 

his theories regarding man's origin as assured truth. Then 
he suddenly asked Lady Hope: "I have a summer house 
in the garden which holds almost thirty people. . . . 
Tomorrow afternoon I should like the servants on the 
place, some tenants, and a few of the neighbors to gather 
there. Will you speak to them?" "What shall I speak 
about?" Lady Hope inquired. Clearly, emphatically he 
replied, "Jesus Christ and His salvation," adding in a 
lower tone, "Is not that the best theme?" Thus, with 
death approaching, did Charles Darwin, evolutionist and 
denier of the Bible, acclaim the Lord Jesus. 

This same eleventh-hour seeking refuge in Christ oc- 
curs every day along the far-flung battle lines of the 
Second World War. Why is it that a sailor from a tor- 
pedoed ship, rescued after floating eighteen days off 
Australia, cries out, "You can't be an atheist on a rubber 
raft!"? Wtiy was it that when the Japanese bombardment 
began, soldiers on Corregidor, even those otherwise ir- 
religious, fell on their knees before God? Why, during a 
recent blackout, did New York hotel guests telephone the 
desk for Bibles? Must we not conclude that, as danger 
and death approach, men usually banish their boasting 
ridicule of religion and humble themselves before their 
Maker? 

How tragic, then, that even the disasters of war have 
not thus shocked all our people into a sense of utter 
dependence on Christ! Masses are crowding bars, night 
clubs, and places of sinful amusement, while across the 
Pacific American soldiers daily lay down their lives. 
Millions, with fatter pay envelopes than they have ever 
received before, are drinking, gambling, and carousing, 
while the sea daily takes its toll in the flower of American 
youth. We dare not permit pleasure to go on as usual. 
In this critical hour we need serious thought and espe- 



16 DON'T 'BE ASHAMED OF JESUS! 

daily a humble, prayerful return to the Lord. Therefore, 
though unbelievers reject Christ, skeptics question His 
Gospel, paganized thinkers ridicule His promises, atheists 
deride His holy name, proud sinners spurn His mercy, 
the cry must be: 

AMERICA, DON'T BE ASHAMED OF JESUS! 

Glory in His Gospel! Confess Him courageously! That 
loyalty to the Savior marked the mightiest of all apostles, 
Saint Paul, who exclaimed (Romans, chapter one, verse 
sixteen), *7 am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for 
it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that 
believeth" heroic words which I give you not only as 
the text but also as the motto for a Christ-centered life* 

I 
WE HAVE EVERY REASON TO GLORIFY HIS GOSPEL 

It took magnificent courage for Saint Paul to write the 
first Christians in the ghettoes and slums of Rome, *7 am 
not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ!" and it required 
marvelous strength of faith for the apostles and those 
early disciples, surrounded by the pomp and display of 
imperial Rome, to stand up for Jesus and confess publicly 
that they were followers of a lowly Nazarene, who in 
distant, despised Galilee had died on the cross as a crim- 
inal. The declaration "I am a Christian" often meant the 
death sentence, even as Saint Paul paid for his loyalty 
with his life. 

How much easier it is for us to champion the crucified 
Savior! Thank God, we live in a country, founded by be- 
lievers, that still grants full religious libertyl Thank God, 
we can read the records of nineteen centuries during 
the Gospel has mightily changed men's hearts, 



DON'T BE ASHAMED OF JESUS ! 17 

just as it has lifted nations from the depths of vice and 
degradation, transformed cannibals into humble believers, 
and, in short, enriched the world with its highest, noblest 
blessings. 

Despite all this the very word "gospel" is misunder- 
stood, misapplied, and misinterpreted. A Minnesota ar- 
chitect maintains that, though most people in our country 
repeatedly use the word "gospel," they actually do not 
have a personal understanding of its meaning. Glibly 
men mention "the gospel of Communism," "the gospel of 
hatred," "the gospel of internationalism," and a hundred 
other "gospels." Pointedly Saint Paul warned, "Though 
we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel 
unto you than that which we have preached unto you, 
let him be accursed!" Yet false gospels have crept into 
churches: political gospels, social gospels, ethical gos- 
pels all as far from our Lord's saving Gospel as blackest 
night is from brightest noon. Why do we not stop such 
misuse? Why do we not restrict this precious word "gos- 
pel" to its original, true, and sacred sense? In the same 
way, we believe, many hear the names "Jesus" and 
"Christ," the words "redemption," "atonement," "salva- 
tion," and fail to grasp their full, deep, true wealth of 
comfort. 

So that on the great day of our Lord's reappearing 
you cannot say, "You preached, but you never showed me 
the way to life," let me tell you just what His Gospel is! 
It took six weeks for the bad news of the Solomon Islands 
naval encounters to reach our people, but in less than six 
seconds this glorious message can be heard around the 
world. It is the "good news" ( that is the original meaning 
of "Gospel"), the best news anyone can ever receive, 
the assurance that Jesus Christ, the Son of the Almighty 
and the Son of the Virgin, moved by unmeasurable love, 

Tenth Lutheran Hour 2 



18 DON ? T BE ASHAMED OF JESUs! 

came into this sin-saturated world, lived His life among 
sin-bound men and died on the sin-cursed cross, all to 
remove your transgressions and grant you pardon, eternal 
salvation, and heaven itself! Though blinded, willful ene- 
mies of the faith try to change or alter, add or detract, 
question or quibble, this is how the Scripture explains the 
Gospel: "God so loved the world that He gave His only- 
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should 
not perish but have everlasting life!' 

Never since Saint Paul's day has the Gospel been pro- 
claimed with the clarity and conviction shown by that 
mighty spiritual leader whose work millions commemo- 
rate this Sunday Martin Luther, reformer of the Church 
and restorer of New Testament Christianity. Just four and 
one quarter centuries ago yesterday he started the titanic 
task of restoring the Gospel. While time restrictions 
prevent us from broadcasting his immortal Ninety-five 
Theses, or religious truths, by which that earth-shaking 
Reformation began, we can present nine and five theses 
<reemphasizing the glorious truths which Luther redis- 
covered and courageously restated. Here they are: First, 
the nine theses, or facts, which explain our redemption: 

1. "All have sinned and come short of the glory of 
God" that is, lost the holiness with which the Lord 
created them. This is Bible truth. 

2. Unf orgiven sin is punished by eternal death in hell 
Scripture, which has never made a mistake and never 
will, warns, "The wages of sin is death." 

3. No man can remove his own transgressions, make 
himself pure and spotless in Heaven's sight. "Can . . . the 
leopard" change "his spots?' Holy Writ demands, to 
show how utterly impossible it is for us to cleanse our 
stained souls. 



DON'T BE ASHAMED OF JESUS ! 19 

4. Nor can even saints or angels take away our trans- 
gressions. Revealed truth assures us that no man can 
"redeem his brother nor give to God a ransom for him." 

5. Only the Almighty can remove sin's curse. If there 
is to be hope for men and women burdened with many 
and terrifying transgressions, they must find it in the God 
who cries out to a world of anguish and evil, "In Me is 
thine help!" 

6. God not only can save us; He has saved us. He sent 
His Son to fulfill the Law we had broken, to assume the 
punishment of our iniquity, as our Substitute to pay the 
death penalty of all our guilt, so that, beholding the cross, 
we know, He "was delivered -for our offenses." 

7. Through faith in the Crucified and through faith 
alone we know that our sins are removed forever. The 
Bible promises, "There is, therefore, now no condemna- 
tion to them which are in Christ Jesus" 

8. By accepting the Savior we who were "children of 
wrath" have become "children of God" who live under 
divine love, guidance, and protection. 

9. By believing this glorious Gospel heaven is ours; 
for if we remain faithful to the end, God has promised 
us the "crown of life" eternal amid the indescribable 
radiance of our celestial homeland. 

These are nine facts of the Gospel, As I repeat them 
I am sure some of my Modernist friends are shaking their 
heads either in protest or in condescending wonder. I can 
hear them call these Gospel truths "old-fashioned," "out 
of date," "narrow," "bigoted." Yet the only message which 
can turn souls from hell to heaven is this old but ever new 
Gospel, of which proud, self-sufficient men are ashamed, 
but for which the contrite can never thank God suf- 
ficiently. 



20 DON'T BE ASHAMED OF JESUS! 

There is more to Christ's Gospel, however. Here are 
five additional theses, divine truths, showing its glori- 
ous grace: 

1. The blood-bought, cross-gained salvation is for 
you, each one of you individually. Our text offers its 
blessing "to everyone that believeth." You may be on the 
lowest rungs of human society, cut off from your fellow 
men because of your misdeeds. (I am now thinking of 
the triple murderess in the Ohio penitentiary at St. Mary's, 
who every Sunday urges the women convicts to hear our 
radio message. I have in mind a young man in the Jef- 
ferson City, Missouri penitentiary, serving his second 
sentence, who recently wrote me that he had altogether 
forgotten Jesus until he heard our broadcast, when he 
pledged himself never to reject his Savior again.) You 
may be soldiers or civilians, rich or poor, white or black, 
yellow or red; yet each of you can say, "This is my 
Gospel, my Christ, my Savior." 

2. You can approach Christ despite the multiplied 
misdeeds in your past life. You can come just as you are, 
unclean, impure, unworthy, to learn, "Though your sins 
be as scarlet., they shall be white as snow; though they 
be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." 

3. Your redemption is free. You cannot buy your sal- 
vation, for Christ has paid everything. One drop of His 
precious blood can outbalance all your transgressions, for 
here is the unbreakable promise: "The Hood of Jesus 
Christ y His Son, cleanseth us from all sin." 

4. To receive the full Gospel blessing you need only 
believe, only approach God as a poor, miserable sinner 
who accepts the Savior's grace. Divine truth assures us, 
"By grace are ye saved, through faith." 

5. Your forgiveness is unquestioned and positive. Our 



DON'T BE ASHAMED OF JESUs! 21 

text calls the Gospel "the power of God" not of man. 
"Heaven" itself "and earth shall pass away 9 before this 
supreme pledge is violated. 

These five theses present to you the most sacred and 
sublime love which even God Almighty can give. For 
your souls' salvation I ask you to study their life-and- 
death certainty. Wherever you are, let me direct to your 
home one of the thousands of pastors who work together 
with me for this same glorious Gospel and who can help 
you declare in the fervor of sincere faith, "I am not 
ashamed of the Gospel of Christ"! 

II 
WE HAVE NO REASON TO BE ASHAMED OF HIS GOSPEL 

Now, with all the pardon and perfect peace Jesus can 
speak into sorrowing, aching hearts; with all the light 
His Gospel offers for life's darkest hours, should we not 
expect that every person on earth would accept His mes- 
sage as the highest good and the greatest blessing? Did 
you ever hear of anyone being ashamed of the friend who 
rescued him from death? Have you ever met a Negro 
whose heart is not moved by gratitude toward Abraham 
Lincoln, a true American who does not honor Washing- 
ton's heroic work? Have you ever read of a nation which 
does not pay tribute to those who fought and fell in its 
defense? Why, then, with Christ offering deliverance 
from death's grip, sin's slavery, hell's tyranny, do mil- 
lions blasphemously reject Him? How does it happen 
that some theological seminaries in the United States 
have not one man on their faculties who believes in the 
inerrancy of the Scriptures or in Jesus' atoning death and 
life-giving resurrection? How can we account for the fact 
that Christ is pushed aside in many modern churches 



22 DON'T BE ASHAMED OF JESUS! 

which ban all hymns concerning the cross and the blood? 
Why do we sometimes behold, even in Gospel churches, 
lukewarmness and indifference toward the Savior? Why 
does a nation as wealthy as ours rob God? (If our people 
gave only 10 per cent of their income for religious pur- 
poses, the churches would have $4,000,000,000 annually 
for the extension of the Kingdom. Actually they receive 
only a fraction of that amount. ) Why is it that a country 
founded by Christian pioneers, settled by Christian col- 
onists, developed by Christian frontiersmen, richly en- 
dowed as no other nation in any other part of the world 
or in any previous age, now has more unbelievers, more 
public enemies of Jesus, than ever before? 

Ask the large group of those who, despite the appeals 
of this "Go to Church Sunday," have kept their distance 
from every place of worship, why they are ashamed of 
the Gospel, and they will answer, "Christianity has failed 
because it has not prevented this World War/' Nothing 
could be more unfair than to cry out, "The churches have 
been tried and failed in this crisis." Rather should we ad- 
mit that our age suffers its sorrows because it has failed 
to try Christianity. The postman recently brought a letter 
with one-cent postage due to a Duxbury, Massachusetts, 
man, who refused to accept it and pay the penny. Back 
it went to the Dead Letter Office, where it was found 
to contain $450. Does any one charge the United States 
postal system with failure when the fault lay entirely 
with the man who would not accept the letter? Why, 
then, blame Jesus for the war when multitudes within 
our boundaries spurn the free offer of His help and men- 
tion His name only in foul-mouthed profanity? Recently 
we read that the chaplain of the United States Senate 
died because a druggist had mistakenly compounded a 
prescription with fifteen times as much narcotic as the 



DON'T BE ASHAMED OF JESUS ! 23 

doctor had ordered. Does any sound-minded person hold 
the doctor responsible for that pharmacist's mistake? 
Is it fair, then, to charge the Gospel with failure in this 
world of war, when many, ordained to preach the whole 
Bible, offer an erroneous substitute, a destructive counter- 
feit? If Jesus' Gospel were universally accepted and His 
teachings followed, there would have been no Second 
World War. But because men hate Christ and love sin; 
because selfishness, carnal ambition, avarice, lust, love of 
power, and worship of money make them trample the 
rights of their fellow men, the world has been turned 
into bloody shambles. Jesus pleads, "Love one another!" 
but willful unbelievers insist, "Hate one another!" Jesus 
gave the Golden Rule, but dictators lay down the rule 
of steel and blood and iron. 

Ask philosophical minds why they are ashamed of 
Christ, and they will demand in counterquestion: "How 
do you expect us to accept a religion in which a God 
permits war's terrors and agony? How can we harmo- 
nize the existence of pain and evil with the Christian 
faith?" Some of you likewise refuse to acclaim Jesus 
your Redeemer because you think that the Lord has dealt 
too cruelly with you. A dear one has been snatched from 
your side, and in stubborn resentment you demand: "How 
can there be a God if I must suffer this way? How can 
there be a Savior if I am plunged into this agony?" You 
have tried to settle these issues apart from the Word. 
If only you would realize that Jesus has the key and 
explanation of human suffering! Those who come to Him 
in faith know that each affliction is laid upon them, as 
the Lord's redeemed, by divine mercy instead of His 
anger, that trials which seem beyond analysis are the 
Almighty's way of purifying faith and strengthening trust. 



24 DON'T BE ASHAMED OF JESUS! 

Again, ask proud enemies of our faith why they are 
hostile to the Gospel, and they will sneer: 'Well, hasn't 
Christianity been rejected by outstanding scientists? Isn't 
it true that all great thinkers have discarded the Bible?" 
To both questions we answer with an emphatic "Nor" 
Not only have leaders in every branch of learning been 
humble followers of the Lord Jesus, but today, during the 
heyday of unbelief and atheism, recognized teachers and 
intellectual leaders have come out strongly for Christ. 
Listen to these testimonies offered by men on the facul- 
ties of great American universities: From the University 
of Wisconsin: "In the Bible we find , . . our Savior, and 
eternal life through faith in Him"! From Ohio State Uni- 
versity: "The Bible has shown me my sin with its ter- 
rifying consequences; but it has also brought me the 
direct comfort of the Savior who died for me on Calvaxy"! 
From Michigan State College: "The Bible reveals Christ 
and His vicarious atonement for the sins of mankind"! 
From Johns Hopkins University: "I believe that . . . the 
Son of God Himself came down to earth and by the 
shedding of His blood on the cross paid the infinite 
penalty of the guilt of the whole world"! From Temple 
University: "I have praised the Lord that as a physician 
He has given me the privilege of testifying to Christs 
saving grace"! From the University of Illinois: *ln Jesus 
Christ I have found my Savior and Lord, my Helper 
along the way. Without Him life would be empty and 
worthless, the load of sin ... still separating me from 
God"! If these and hundreds of other present-day scien- 
tists, far from being ashamed of Christ, acclaim Him the 
Savior, should you refuse to accept Him? Many who 
attack the Bible have never reverently studied His Word, 
and many who assail His Word are led by blind and 
willful ignorance. Popular magazines this month bring 



DON'T BE ASHAMED OF JESUS! 25 

the confession of a physician under the title "I Was an 
Atheist Until" until that doctor took time to examine 
the human body and study the miracles which led him 
to conclude that there must be a divine Creator. If you 
who place question marks behind the glorious truth of 
the' Savior's atonement would only stop locking the Holy 
Spirit out of your heart and take time to consider the 
"many infallible proofs" of His forgiving, sustaining love, 
you, too, could write a glorious chapter in your life's 
story entitled, "1 Was an Atheist-UntiF-until I studied 
God's Word and the evidences of Christianity/' Do not 
be troubled by the fact that men with headline names 
often attempt to discredit our Lord! I remind you that 
before Pearl Harbor some of the enemies of the faith 
publicly urged our people under no circumstances to 
take arms in behalf of this nation. Of course, they have 
changed their advice now; but the point I wish to em- 
phasize is this: if these false prophets in academic garb 
could be so utterly mistaken in matters of human life, 
dare you follow them in their poisonous, destructive 
teachings concerning the heavenly life? Rather and 
I am pleading particularly with you college men and 
women join those scientific leaders who with inner joy 
and spiritual conviction exulted, *7 am not ashamed of 
the Gospel of Christ!" 

As men reject Jesus, they advance one excuse after the 
other. Many of their claims are dishonest; all of them 
are mistaken and destructive. Behind every refusal to 
accept the Gospel lies the love of sin, the unwillingness 
to serve God, the stubborn pride that will not repent. 
Christ is spurned and the appeal of His cross set aside 
because men love evil; because they want to serve the 
flesh; because the Savior is too lowly and humble, the 
Bible too stern and unbending in its denunciation of all 



26 DON'T BE ASHAMED OF JESUS! 

wrong. Jesus says, se lf any man will come after Me, let 
him . . . take up his cross"; He insists, The "first shall be 
last"; He warns, "Ye 'must through much tribulation enter 
into the kingdom of God' "; and since men prefer great- 
ness, power, glamour, money, applause, the glorious Gos- 
pel of grace is contemptuously cast away. The conse- 
quence of that rejection, Jesus declares, is this: "Who- 
soever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny 
before My Father which is in heaven" "He that believeth 
not shall be damned." 

Thus once more I have laid before you this inescap- 
able issue: Are you ashamed of Christ, or do you glory 
in His Gospel? I know that across the United States and 
Canada millions of you cling to the Savior as your only 
Salvation. God grant you continued loyalty and the de- 
termination to remain faithful always and everywhere! 
The Lord give you the courage to speak up in clarion 
voices, rebuking die enemies of the Cross, but testifying 
valiantly to the hope that is in you! Stand by us, my fel- 
low redeemed, in this radio crusade dedicated to spread 
the message of Christ's atoning love! England, Scotland, 
and Ireland are literally pleading for this Gospel. Our 
Sunday evening short-wave transmissions to these coun- 
tries bring us a flow of letters which urgently ask that 
we maintain and increase our trans-Atlantic mission of 
the air. Help us reach the young men in the American 
fighting forces, who are ready to give themselves for our 
cause! Last week a corporal at an Ohio airfield wrote me 
that he had been on the verge of taking his life, when he 
heard our appeal to behold Christ and to trust Him. That 
changed everything, he said, and he has promised with 
God's help to follow in the Savior's footsteps. Give us the 
means for reaching all our young soldiers! 

Some of you had not accepted Jesus as your Savior, 



DON'T BE ASHAMED OF JESUS! 27 

were still ashamed of Him, when this broadcast began, 
Now that you have heard the message of His love for 
you; now that you have beheld the crucified Son of God, 
wounded, bleeding, nail-pierced, blood-streaked, death- 
marked, can you say, "I am ashamed of Him'? May the 
Holy Spirit mercifully keep you from that terrifying 
denial! May He rather lead you (and I have prayed 
especially for those who once knew the Lord, but who 
followed the path of sin; for you who until this hour 
have neglected your soul and steadfastly turned from 
Christ), if necessary, through suffering, sorrow, and pain, 
but always from cross to crown! May He bring you, 
humble, repentant, yet trusting, joyful, to Calvary, where, 
your sins forgiven, your cares cast on Him, your hope 
strengthened by His unfailing promise, your faith exults: 
"Blessed Savior, how could I be ashamed of Thee and 
Thy Gospel, the promise of my forgiveness, life, sal- 
vation? O Jesus, precious Jesus, grant me constantly more 
of Thy love, as I give myself in soul and body, mind and 
spirit, to Thee now and forever!'' For heaven is yours 
when Christ thus becomes your Savior. God give you this 
unashamed, unhesitating, unending faith in the blessed 
Redeemer! Amen. 



The Greatest Faith: Firm 
Trust in Christ 



"I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, 
no, not in Israel." 
SAINT LUKE 7:9 



Jesus, Our Sure Hope and Salvation: 

Grant us the humble, contrite spirit by which we confess 
our utter unworthiness of Thy mercy! Enrich us with a firm, 
triumphant faith, which takes Thee at Thy Word and trusts 
confidently in Thy repeated pledge of personal grace! O Jesus, 
Thou art our God, and with Thine almighty power nothing 
shall be impossible for Thee; but Thou art also our Savior, 
and in Thy love for sinners Thou didst not only redeem us 
on the cross from hell and death, but Thou dost also watch 
over us now, so that no harm can draw near our souls. Help 
us understand that through Thee our afflictions become our 
advantages! For Thy believers turn war's sorrows into spir- 
itual blessings! Protect our country and its fighting men! By 
Thy mercy grant the world a peace with truth and justice! 
We ask it all, precious Savior, in Thy name, by Thy will, and 
with Thy promise. Amen. 



o, 



of the bravest chapters in the war has 
been the struggle of our gallant troops on Bataan Penin- 
sula. For weeks these besieged soldiers were constantly 
buoyed up by the hope that somehow help would ar- 
rive from America. Days of bloody battle gave way 
to nights of dark terror, yet exhausted, sleep-robbed, 
half-starved, our men, fighting against overwhelming 
odds, were cheered by radio rumors that relief was ap- 
proaching. So confident were they of their escape that 

28 



GREATEST FAITH: TRUST IN CHRIST 29 

in an almost superhuman effort they cleared a wide jungle 
stretch and made a runway on which rescue planes might 
land. Despite these frenzied preparations, no reinforce- 
ments came. The encircled troops were finally forced to 
surrender. With all our billions of dollars and numerous 
military experts; with our large armies, proud navies, 
and mighty airplane squadrons, we could not aid that 
brave band. 

If money, power, intelligence, the resources of a 
wealthy government, are not always able to rescue men 
from dangers, they are even less capable of establishing 
true, lasting peace. As the Armistice anniversary ap- 
proaches, we recall the past promises of a warless world. 
Twenty-one short years ago President Warren Harding, 
standing before the tomb of America's unknown soldier, 
declared: "The sacrifice of these millions of dead shall 
not be in vain. . . . This Armistice Day shall mark the be- 
ginning of a new and lasting era of peace on earth." Yet 
today the world is gripped by the horror of history's most 
destructive struggle. The first World War cost us 233,000 
killed and wounded; but for this second war a general 
prophesies, "Our losses may be a million or two million 
or conceivably three million men/* and a rear admiral 
estimates five million casualties. Pray God once more that 
these predictions may be put to naught as He who has 
all power, the rightful King of men, swiftly intervenes 
in His mercy and might to stop this devastating slaughter, 
rebuke greed and aggression, grant triumph to truth and 
righteousness! If God's eternal principles are barred from 
the peace table, we may face World War III, which can 
be vastly more terrifying even than the present conflict. 

You can understand, therefore, that, if men cannot 
solve the problems of a nation's war and peace, per- 
plexities dealing with facts and factors which can be 



30 GREATEST FAITH: TRUST IN CHRIST 

seen, felt, measured, tabulated, then certainly the soul's 
afflictions, the heart's anguish, the mind's agonies, which 
cannot be examined in laboratories nor computed by 
statistical experts, will not be removed by any human 
agency, powerful and resourceful though it be. You may 
have endured crushing blows, and in the difficult years 
ahead you will doubtless be called upon to bear unac- 
customed burdens. You may be restless, confused, dis- 
tressed, conscience-lashed, gripped by worry and terror 
fear for your sons, brothers, husbands in service; anxiety 
about your home; sorrows brought on by ill health, ac- 
cident, disappointments in love. To all of us and for 
every dark moment comes this message of sustaining 
comfort: "Don't give up! Don't surrender to indifference 
or despair! Don't try to drink or play your grief away! 
Don't turn, as millions of your fellow men do, to super- 
stition and new but false religions!" Instead, ask God for 

THE GREATEST FAITH: FIRM TRUST IN CHRIST! 

Strive for this immovable reliance on Jesus, which our 
Savior Himself exalts in the Scripture for this Sunday 
(Saint Luke, chapter seven, verse nine), *7 say unto you, 
I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel" 



WE MUST TURN TO THE DIVINE CHRIST 
FOR THIS FAITH 

If you think that the person who is thus praised for 
having the greatest faith was a priest, a scribe, a learned 
rabbi in the higher circles of Jerusalem, you are com- 
pletely mistaken. Jesus spoke these words in Capernaum, 
one of those half-breed cities in the North, from which 
all self-respecting Jews kept their distance. But our Lord, 



GREATEST FAITH: TRUST IN CHRIST 31 

with His marvelous love particularly for the neglected, 
oppressed, underprivileged, overburdened, deliberately 
and in fulfillment of ancient prophecy sought out that 
Galilean center to bring its people comfort, help, and 
hope. Take heart and study the geography of our Savior's 
grace! As you write me from isolated, unimportant places, 
from settlements without even a name, from the dingy, 
run-down sections of the city, even from prisons and 
penitentiaries, remember that you are just as precious 
in the Savior's sight as the country's outstanding citizens! 
Though men may rarely find the way to your home, 
Jesus now speaks to you personally. 

This man whose faith Christ held up for our example 
was not one of Capernaum's leading Jewish citizens. 
Listen to this, and thank God: he was a Gentile, outside 
the boundaries of the Old Testament Church! Thank 
God, I say, because through Jesus we are in the New 
Testament, with His grace freely granted, regardless of 
rank or reputation, color, clime, or condition. Today in 
a world cursed by caste and privilege, slavery and dic- 
tatorship, with the claims of racial superiority and the 
practice of financial superiority, we can never sufficiently 
express our gratitude to the Almighty for the mercy that 
salvation is offered all men with the same marvelous 
love, no matter how differently they may be classified 
by false human standards. Because it is Scriptural truth 
that Jesus "died for all"; because it is His own command, 
"Go ye into ALL the world and preach the Gospel to 
every creature," we must, more than ever before, extend 
the invitation to accept Christ, and with Him, joy for life, 
strength for death, and the assurance of heaven to many 
more millions who have never heard a syllable of the 
saving Gospel Our Bringing Christ to the Nations mes- 
sages are now transmitted by stations in twenty-four 



82 GREATEST FAITH: TRUST IN CHRIST 

countries outside the United States and heard in many 
more lands. Those who love the Lord Jesus will praise 
God with us because a committee has been appointed to 
expand our foreign broadcasting into additional coun- 
tries. Ultimately we hope that your prayers and your 
gifts will help us realize this glorious objective: to use 
every available and suitable radio station throughout the 
entire world in the service of the Savior's Gospel The 
results of our foreign broadcasting have been astonishing. 
Outside Mexico City a group of Aztec Indians regularly 
meets to hear this message and have difficult Spanish 
words explained by a young Aztec brought to Christ 
through our mission of the air. One of the most encourag- 
ing letters I have ever received came only a few days ago 
from a South American missionary to tell me that far in 
the interior of Peru, where few white men ever penetrate, 
the Indians, descendants of the Incas, crouch around a 
portable radio to hear the Lutheran Hour and have the 
interpreter explain the Redeemer's message. There, in 
the remote Amazon jungles, among semicivilized and 
savage tribes, a week's journey and more beyond the 
bounds of civilization, these broadcasts bring the Savior's 
comfort and strength. Does that not make your heart 
beat a little faster in grateful joy? Yet all this need be 
only the beginning of our most far-reaching radio mis- 
sion; and I promise you that if you will stand by us with 
your prayers, the Lord helping us, we will leave nothing 
untried or undone in bringing Christ's hope to the ends 
of the earth. 

Note especially that the man whose faith is praised 
by Jesus was a soldier, a centurion, the leader of one 
hundred troops, actually the captain of the Roman gar- 
rison in Capernaum. In those days military men were 
generally held in contempt. For that matter some people 



GREATEST FAITH: TRUST IN CHRIST 33 

today have only a low regard for our fighting men. With 
much consternation I read a high military authority's 
description of the American soldier, which said, "He 
plods and groans, sweats and toils; he growls and curses." 
How tragic to publicize profanity in that way! How un- 
fortunate, too, that overcrowded night clubs and road 
houses re-echo with the blaring strains of "Praise the 
Lord and Pass the Ammunition/' while masses, far away 
from the dangers of conflict, making more money in war 
than they ever could in peace, sing this melody without 
a flicker of reverence in their hearts, often in the same 
breath with heavy curses! Remember the Bible's warn- 
ing: "Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and 
cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to bef 

Jesus was ready to help the centurion by healing his 
servant. We, too, must be prepared to help sustain our 
youth under colors. Bringing Christ to the Soldiers is 
the Church's greatest missionary opportunity and obliga- 
tion. Washington now reports that 4,000 chaplains will be 
needed. Again I promise you fathers and mothers, wor- 
ried because your sons are far removed from home, that 
we will do everything possible to broadcast the messages 
of the crucified Christ to all our American fighting men. 
If you want us to mail your boy uplifting, strengthening 
literature, write us today, and we shall consider it a 
Christian and patriotic privilege thus to serve him. 

Speaking directly to you in the armed forces, I remind 
you that some of the most stalwart military men have 
been outstanding Christians, Soldiers, think of General 
Sir William Dobbie, former governor of Malta! Above 
the din of a thousand bombings his testimony rings clear: 
"I cannot attempt to describe what I owe to the Lord 
Jesus Christ nor what He has meant to me throughout 
my army career (and longer). The knowledge that it is 

Tenth Lutheran Hour 3 



34 GREATEST FAITH: TRUST IN CHRIST 

to Him I owe my eternal salvation has given me a peace 
which nothing has been able to disturb!*' 

Sailors, recall Captain Mahan, author of several stand- 
ard volumes on naval warfare, who declared: "In the 
Word of God I have found . . . not merely comfort and 
strength, but intense intellectual satisfaction. I rejoice 
that ... I am able publicly to lay at His feet the con- 
fession that all I have, all that I am, all that I know has 
come from Him and through Him"! 

Air men, remember that when Colin Kelly, the first 
outstanding American hero of World War II, began his 
dangerous flight, he said, "I am ready to go, ready to 
meet my Savior"! 

Fighting men of America, take these outstanding 
leaders as your example! With the military captain of 
our text, turn to Christ! 

The shadow of sorrow had overtaken the centurion 
when he approached Jesus. His servant, really his slave, 
lay deathly sick with the dread palsy. Instead of trying 
to heal him merely because he represented a certain 
money value; instead of turning away in utter unconcern, 
as many slaveholders would have done in those harsh 
days, this centurion was moved by love in the effort to 
save the life of his faithful servant. Where could he se- 
cure help, now that his attendant was at death's door and 
apparently all medical resources had failed? Where, in- 
deed, if not in the same Savior through whom every one 
of you can always find courage? He had heard of Jesus. 
He was convinced of His power and, therefore, he went 
straight to the Redeemer with his appeal. It is my glori- 
ous, if undeserved, privilege to assure you that in every 
dark hour you, too, can turn to our Lord for light and 
hope. No earthly friend or human aid can begin to offer 
the comfort and strength you have in Christ as soon as 



GREATEST FAITH: TRUST IN CHRIST 35 

you say, "He is my Savior!" Then you know that, if Jesus 
performed the immeasurably greater task of removing 
and canceling your guilt forever, so that you are saved for 
heaven, He certainly can do the far smaller work of guid- 
ing, guarding, and protecting you, according to His will, 
on earth. If He loved you even when you hated Him; 
if He called you when you rejected Him; if He pleaded 
with you at the moment you forsook Him; if He stretched 
out His arms to you even though you turned your back 
on Him; if He shed His blood at Calvary and died for 
you while you were yet in your sins, will you not believe 
that He who rules the universe, keeps the stars in their 
courses, directs the affairs of nations, gives life and breath 
to all creatures, can mightily sustain you after you have 
come to Him, after you have knelt before Him to say, 
"O precious Savior, Thou art mine, and I am Thine"? 
As Saint Paul cries out, "He that spared not His own Son 
but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with 
Him also freely give us all things?" all things for this 
body, this existence and this earth. 

In every uncertainty of life as we live it today, with 
the avalanche of afflictions that may hurl itself down 
upon us, we, too, should turn to Christ. Not nearly 
enough believers are on their knees before their Savior. 
Not nearly enough Americans have recognized that Jesus 
is the only and last Hope for our dying world. Not nearly 
enough soldiers and defense workers understand how 
necessary faith in the Redeemer is during this emergency. 
On the contrary, a proud, boastful spirit stalks abroad 
throughout the land. A religious leader confidently pre- 
dicted that he would live to be 120 years, only to die 
a few weeks ago, forty-eight years short of that mark. 
Many churches, forsaking the purpose and reason of 
their existence the preaching of the holy Gospel con- 



36 GREATEST FAITH: TRUST IN CHRIST 

tinually speak of this new order or that new order. They 
forget that real newness comes only when men are born 
again "of water and of the Spirit." More than ever before 
we need courageous, consecrated leaders who, without 
counting cost or consequence, will direct men to the true 
Christ, the atoning and redeeming Christ, the divine and 
eternal Christ, the comforting and sustaining Christ, the 
Christ for every sin and sinner, for every need and afflic- 
tion, for every doubt and disaster the Christ for your 
transgressions, your problems, your afflictions. 

II 

WE MUST TURN TO CHRIST HUMBLY, 
YET CONFIDENTLY 

The centurion not only comes to Jesus with his sor- 
row, he turns to Him with remarkable humility. Realiz- 
ing his own sinfulness, but acknowledging the Savior's 
complete holiness, that captain of the Capernaum troops 
tells the Redeemer, "I am not worthy that Thou shouldst 
enter under my roof." He regards Christ as so exalted 
that even his dwelling, which could have been one of the 
larger, more attractive houses in the city, was far too 
small, his family and household altogether too lowly and 
unworthy, to receive the sinless, stainless Son of God* 

Today the situation is often completely reversed: 
proud, conceited people think themselves too good for 
Christ, and the Savior too unworthy to enter their home. 
How can we account for the tragic fact that half of 
America's households maintain no connection with any 
congregation, that even most of the church members* 
families have no desire to welcome Jesus into their midst 
through Scripture reading and prayer? How does it hap- 
pen that religious groups which a generation or two ago 



GREATEST FAITH: TRUST IN CHRIST 37 

were founded by consecrated believers *in Christ now 
have no room for the Redeemer, no love for the Gospel 
of the cross and the blood? One reason explains this, as 
well as the widespread rejection of Jesus today by masses 
who have the time, the money, and above all the need 
to receive and acclaim the Savior; and that reason is to 
be found in the stubborn unwillingness to bow humbly 
before the Lord, to say: "He is everything, but we are 
nothing. He is the spotless Lamb of God, but we are 
stained with iniquity, false and full of sin." The lesson 
for every one of us is clear and personal: We, too, 
must humble ourselves before Christ. The direction to 
the masses in our beloved country is equally emphatic: 
"America, on your knees in contrite confession!" The ap- 
peal to our world is similarly unmistakable: "*O earth, 
earth, earth, hear the Word of the Lord and submit 
humbly to His good and gracious willl" 

Like the centurion, truly great believers have always 
been humble. While small, dirty, negative minds ridi- 
cule and blaspheme Christ, mighty intellects have bowed 
low before Him. Ambroise Par6, the Huguenot scientist 
in the sixteenth century, who more than any other person 
of his age helped to make surgery a science, performed 
such remarkable curative work that during the massacre 
of Saint Bartholemew's Day he was hidden by the French 
king, who himself had ordered the bloody massacre. With 
a humility that all professional men may well copy, Par6 
used to declare, after operations, "I dressed him [the pa- 
tient], but God cured him." And today Dr. D. M. Blair, 
regius professor of anatomy at Glasgow University, with 
the same humble faith confesses: "Since God is the 
Author of good and the Source of all truth, the dis- 
coveries of physical science are due to Him in spirit and 
letter, whether or not the physical instrument of dis- 



38 GREATEST FAITH: TRUST IN CHRIST 

covery realizes and acknowledges that fact. Science . . . 
cannot , . . hold man to a right direction. Only the Gospel 
of Jesus Christ can point the way." 

Those who have the centurion's humility also know 
more of faith's joy and blessing than those who critically 
question and suspiciously examine the Savior's truth. 
A few days ago the St. Louis Post-Dispatch brought an 
interesting account of the tin mining in Durango, Mexico. 
Searching desperately for this metal, vital for war pur- 
poses, geologists, metallurgists, surveyors, and other ex- 
perts, after considerable investigation, issued a report 
stating that the tin at Durango was too poor in quality 
and too small in quantity to be mined successfully. Yet 
soon after their survey was submitted, attention was 
called to the fact that the natives, operating without the 
advantages of modern equipment, sometimes working on 
their hands and knees, produced 2,000 tons of high-grade 
tin annually. The experts had failed, but the humble folk 
had succeeded. So it is in the quest for the joy of sal- 
vation. The proud and self-confident often lose the treas- 
ures of the Kingdom, while those who turn contritely 
to Christ, fall humbly on their knees, and trust the 
simple assurance of faith find Heaven's hidden riches in 
abundance. 

Therefore may the Spirit give everyone of you the 
centurion's humility to approach the blessed Savior and 
cry out: "O Christ of all compassion, I am not worthy 
that Thou shouldst come to me or even consider me. 
I am not worthy even to speak to Thee, let alone hope 
for Thy mercy or forgiveness. Yet I take Thee at Thy 
Word, 'Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out! 
And now, blessed Redeemer, I come in full reliance on 
Thine unbreakable mercy/' 

Such firmness of trust made the centurion's faith the 



GREATEST FAITH: TRUST IN CHRIST 39 

greatest Jesus had found. So convinced was this Gentile 
soldier that our Lord could restore his servant; so assured 
was he that Christ was more than man, yes, the mighty 
God Himself, that he told the Savior, "Speak the word 
only, and my servant shall be healed!" If he, as a military 
official, could command his soldiers and they would carry 
out his purposes, certainly Jesus, divine and all-powerful, 
could on that very spot say to the victim of the palsy, 
"Be restored to health!" and he would recover. No won- 
der, with the Jews questioning and quibbling over Christ's 
truth, demanding signs and miracles, He could say of this 
Gentile centurion's trust, *7 have not found so great faith, 
no, not in Israel' 9 

Today, too, many question marks are placed behind 
the Savior's promises. Many of you are not satisfied with 
His pledge of salvation and help. You want to experience 
something. You want your own emotions to be the seal 
and assurance that Christ is with you and for you. Don't 
rely on your feelings! They have never brought anyone to 
glory, but they have often tiled to keep people out Some 
of you insist on seeing signs and miracles before you 
believe; yet you have the cross, the mightiest of all signs, 
and history, changed by the Gospel, as a startling miracle. 
You demand earth-shaking upheavals, while the Almighty 
often speaks in the "still, small voice' 31 that can move 
heaven and earth. You want the Bible plus some human 
book, God's Word supplemented by man's. However, if 
Scripture alone cannot give you positive assurance, cer- 
tainly nothing puny men have ever penned will move 
your heart. 

In these decisive days we need the centurion's im- 
movable firmness of faith. We, too, must say: "O Jesus, 
'speak the word only' and the horrors of this war will 
cease! O Jesus, 'speak the word only* and the burdens 



40 GREATEST FAITH: TRUST IN CHRIST 

that crush us can be removedl O Jesus, 'speak the word 
only' and all our afflictions, sickness, pain, injury, loss of 
contentment, happiness, life itself, family trouble, finan- 
cial trouble, spiritual trouble, can vanishl" 

In this firmness of faith we know that Christ can 
intervene when everything seems hopeless. An Associated 
Press dispatch tells us of a British submarine disabled on 
the ocean floor. For two days the crew worked ceaselessly 
in the effort to raise the craft. Finally all hope was aban- 
doned. The officer in command explained to the men that 
they did not have long to live, since no help whatever 
could come from the outside. In preparation for ap- 
proaching death the seamen sang "Abide with Mel" and 
then each took a sedative to quiet his nerves* One sailor, 
however, fainted soon after he had received the narcotic, 
He fell with all his weight against the submarine's ma- 
chinery, with the result that somehow he set the jammed 
surfacing equipment into motion, and the submarine was 
eventually brought to the top. Have not similar startling 
deliverances come to every one of you in automobile ac- 
cidents and a hundred other calamities that would have 
proved fatal, had not God intervened in some utterly un- 
expected and unexplainable way to save your life? 

If you, too, will say to Jesus, "Abide with me!*' His 
presence will constantly protect and bless your lives. He 
may not always deliver you from earthly dangers. Some 
of our Christian soldiers now on distant shores will never 
return, not because the Savior cannot bring them back 
safely, but because He wants them with Him in heaven 
now. Many of you will continue to endure a thorn in the 
flesh, not because our Redeemer cannot remove it, but 
because He wants to use physical weakness as a means 
of building spiritual strength. It takes 50,000 flowers to 
produce an ounce of that costliest of perfumes, attar of 



GREATEST FAITH: TRUST IN CHRIST 41 

roses. They have to be pressed and crushed so that the 
drops of the fragrant, costly oil may be distilled. In our 
own lives it often requires a hundred days of sorrow, with 
all their crushing affliction, to produce the fragrance of 
a living faith. Yet for every spiritual necessity, for every 
need of our blood-bought and redeemed soul, you have 
this positive, unchanging, exceptionless promise by Christ 
Himself, 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye 
shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you." 
Therefore, across the vast expanse of our hemisphere, 
O Christ, we now take Thee at Thy word. With contrite 
hearts, but with triumphant trust, we ask Thee: "Give 
us this greatest faith, this firm reliance on Thy mercy and 
might! Make us centurions in the marching army of Thy 
Church here on earth! Grant us 'the victory that over- 
cometh the world, 9 the immovable, heroic, constant faith 
which looks to Thee in life and death! We ask it, blessed 
Savior, by the promise of Thine unfailing truth!" Amen. 



Victory Through Christ 



"Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory 
through our Lord Jesus Christ!" 
1 CORINTHIANS 15:57 



Jesus, Our Only Savior: 

How can we ever thank Thee sufficiently that Thou, our 
mighty God, didst become one of us, yet without sin, that 
on the cross of shame and agony Thou couldst die the death 
we had deserved as the punishment of our transgressions? 
Eternal praise be to Thee for such pure mercy and saving 
love! Show us that since Thou hast overcome sin and death, 
all sorrows have likewise been completely defeated for those 
who believe Thy promises and accept Thee a$ their Savior! 
Put this victorious faith into many hearts through our broad- 
cast! Strengthen our fighting men with Thy Gospel grace 
and stand by them in hours of doubt or danger! In Thine own 
time and may it be soon, O Christ end this loart Grant 
lasting triumph to truth, righteousness, freedom! We ask this, 
precious Redeemer, because Thou hast promised to hear us. 
Amen. 

A HOSE who love Jesus should steadfastly 
work for true peace with righteousness and justice for all 
Therefore in the present crisis American Christians must 
not only obey governmental decrees, fulfill their civic du- 
ties by giving their scrap, their money, even their bodies; 
they should also constantly strive to become peacemakers 
in this world of war. They should say: 

1. We must believe and act with the conviction that 
God is still supreme and that His will must be done. 
Our country's victory, prosperity, and blessing lie in His 
hands. He can give, and He can withhold. 

42 



VICTORY THROUGH CHRIST 43 

2. We who accept the Savior must invoke His divine 
help by persistent prayer. 

3. We who are Christ's should lead humble, God- 
fearing lives so that the answer to our petitions will not 
be denied because of our unbelief and obstinate sin. 

4. We who know that we have been redeemed by our 
Lord should strive to counteract rising atheism and to 
keep the Savior supreme in our churches, homes, re- 
ligious schools. 

5. We who call ourselves Christians must revitalize 
our religious work, direct our energies especially toward 
bringing the Gospel to the underprivileged and down- 
trodden. They may be easily enlisted against Church 
and country if led to think that Christianity has failed. 

6. We, the Savior's followers, in order to help increase 
the righteousness which alone exalts a nation, must en- 
gage in personal and organized missionary work. The 
more believers our country has, the greater its spiritual 
resources and inner strength. 

7. We who have pledged loyalty to the Cross must 
rebuke and check crime, public and private profanity, 
applauded lust, for which the war can be protracted; and 
we must pray that deep repentance grip the masses who 
have turned their backs on God. 

8. We who bear Christ's name must stand by the 
Christian young men who risk their lives for our defense, 
sparing nothing that can help keep them in the faith. 

9. Finally, we who know our Lord's grace must pro- 
claim His comforting love, so that in households struck 
by disaster or bereavement courage in Christ may remove 
doubt, hatred, and despair. 

If Americans from coast to coast would subscribe to 
this program for a just peace, we could, under God, wit- 



44 VICTORY THROUGH CHRIST 

ness the most spectacular triumph of truth this nation 
has ever known. My countrymen, in this hour when de- 
cisive battles seem much closer than ever before, I com- 
mend these Biblical principles to your study as you ask, 
"What can I as an American Christian do on the spiritual 
front in the present conflict?" 

Yet even in this war against earthly enemies we must 
never forget the longer, harder, more bitter struggle in 
which all of us take a personal part on one side or the 
other the battle against the unholy impulses, wicked 
words, and destructive actions; the contest with powerful 
forces of evil both in our sin-tainted hearts and in a 
hostile, anti-Christian world. The campaign which our 
armed forces are waging in North Africa, on the Southern 
Pacific islands, on the high seas, can destroy lives; but 
the conflict in which every one of you should daily engage 
can deliver your souls. For praise God! no matter 
what the final outcome of all military campaigns may be, 
you can have the assurance of 

VICTORY THROUGH CHRIST, 

pledged by this song of spiritual triumph in First Corin- 
thians, chapter fifteen, verse fifty-seven, "Thanks be to 
God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord 
Jesus Christ!" 

I 

IT IS THE TRIUMPH OVER DEATH, "THE LAST ENEMY" 

This exalted cry of victory concludes a most impres- 
sive chapter, in which Saint Paul explains the resurrec- 
tion of the body. Confident that those who fall asleep 
in Jesus will rise again, the Apostle issues this gripping 
challenge which has brought heavenly strength to many 
standing beside newly made graves: "O Death, where is 



VICTORY THROUGH CHRIST 45 

thy sting? O Grave, where is thy victory?" Then, in 
one of the mightiest proclamations ever heard, he con- 
tinues, "Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory 
through our Lord Jesus Christ!" Particularly in these un- 
certain days, with danger and destruction close to hun- 
dred thousands of American young men in the nation's 
armed forces, words like these should ring with heavenly 
reassurance: those who are Christ's have the victory over 
death. We cannot stop infidels if in their perversion they 
insist that man dies like a beast; that, when his breath 
stops, the absolute end has come and all is over for- 
ever. We cannot keep atheists from demanding that their 
corpses be cremated and their ashes scattered to the four 
winds, as they defy God to reassemble these ruined, 
widely separated remains. We cannot prevent anti-Chris- 
tian, skeptical scientists from proclaiming to the world 
that, since they discover no evidence whatever for the 
soul's immortality, there is none. If they willfully, con- 
tinually, reject Jesus and insist on opposing His truth, 
let them have their drab, dismal, devilish doctrine of 
despair, their denial of the resurrection! But as for us 
who find in every promise of our Savior's Word Heaven's 
own unbreakable truth, we ought daily join the Apostle 
in thanking God for the victory over eternal death that 
is ours through Jesus. 

Do some of you object, "How can you say that the 
grave is defeated for those who are the Lord's when the 
one assured fact in life is this, that all men must die?" 
We answer, "True, death is inevitable, unavoidable; but 
all who are Christ's have the triumphant faith that they 
will not remain dust and ashes. They will be restored, re- 
surrected." The end from which even the bravest shrink 
in fear and horror; the last terrorizing moment, the very 
thought of which has turned men's hair white in a single 



46 VICTORY THROUGH CHRIST 

night and made them lose their senses this worst of all 
human sorrows, need be only a passing annoyance to 
Christians, the quick entrance into the celestial radiance. 
That is why sincere believers have found joy in leaving 
this world. When Frances Ridley Havergal, writer of 
many beloved hymns, came to the last day of a conse- 
crated though pain-ridden life, she whispered to her 
friends: "God's will is delicious. He makes no mistakes," 
Bidding one of her physicians farewell, she asked, "Do you 
really think that I am going today?" and when he replied, 
"Probably," she answered: "Beautiful! Too good to be 
true! Splendid to be so near the gates of heaven!" When 
the moment of her departure came, she folded her hands 
and exclaimed: "There, it is all over! Blessed restP and 
those who watched at her bedside testify that her face 
was illumined with the glory dawning in her soul. She 
appeared to be speaking to her Savior in His resurrected 
majesty. You, too, can have the same radiant light in 
death's darkness, the same joy at life's end, the same com- 
fort in the last, lonely hour when the Father calls you, 
His beloved, faithful child home, provided you know 
this victory over death which comes through His Son and 
through Him alone. 

To understand this triumphant truth you must first 
face the bitter fact that all men without exception come 
under the divine condemnation, "The soul that sinneth y 
it shall die," The All-holy One in His absolute, unap- 
proachable stainlessness has decreed, "The wages'* that 
is, the payment, the consequence, "of sin is death!* So 
absolutely flawless and perfect is the Almighty, and so 
completely does He hate every fracture of His Law, even 
the wicked desire of a lust-filled, covetous heart, that He 
has made unending, unrelieved death the terrifying pen- 
alty for your sins and mine, the punishment for those 



VICTORY THROUGH CHRIST 47 

transgressions which once seemed attractive and alluring, 
but which now rise up and haunt you day and night. 

Eternal praise, glory, honor be to our Lord Jesus 
Christ, that in His unfathomable mercy He came to 
break this tyranny, descending from His heaven to the 
earth that despised Him, living for those who persecuted 
Him, teaching those who sought to stone Him, pleading 
for those who spit upon Him, stretching out His arms 
toward those who called Himthe Lord of Lifea devil, 
suffering for those who sneered at Him, dying for the 
enemies who had hammered heavy nails through the 
quivering flesh of His hands and feet! Adore Him ever- 
lastingly, the Son of God, because He came to free us 
from the doom of hell, to take away our sins, their guilt, 
their punishment, their damning death sentence, and 
place the whole accursed burden of our transgressions 
on Himself, to die our death on the cross and then in the 
glorious Easter marvel, being resurrected into life, to seal 
our promise of a blessed eternity! 

As Christ now offers you this victory, God grant that 
you will not turn away in protest and unbelief! Consider 
the hope we extend you in this broadcast through the 
Lord Jesus: life instead of death; a glorified body, with 
all the blemishes, the marks and amputations of war and 
accident, the signs of feebleness and old age, the scars 
and ravages of sin removed; a heavenly homeland in 
which ~ O marvelous truth! you can be like Jesus, in 
fulfillment of this superpromise, "We shall be like Him 9 ! 

If the Spirit has now touched your heart and urges 
you to ask: "How can I share this 'victory . . . through . . . 
Christ'? How can I who was once loyal to the Savior be 
reassured of this triumph over death?" let me tell you: 
you need only the humble, trusting faith which hears 
Jesus* promise, *7 am the Resurrection and the Life: he 



48 VICTORY THROUGH CHRIST 

that believeth on Me, though he were dead, yet shall he 
live'' and answers: "O Christ, the Lord of all the living, 
I was 'dead in trespasses and sins 9 but I take Thee at 
Thy word; with all my heart I believe that on the cross 
Thou didst suffer for all the world, and also for all hu- 
manity, unquestionably also for me; Thou didst die for 
me; Thou didst break the power of death and the grave 
for all men, and that means, God and Savior of grace and 
truth, even for me." If you have this faith, if you can say 
and believe: "'Through Christ' I can overcome death; 
'through Christ' the grave now holds no terror for me; 
'through Christ' heaven is mine; 'through Christ 9 I can 
hope and pray that my merciful Father will not keep me 
too long in this sin-saturated world of woe and war," 
then you have learned the sacred assurance which in the 
Lord's sight is worth more than any academic distinction 
universities can grant. Then life everlasting is yours 
even now. 

II 

IT IS THE TRIUMPH OVER ALL OTHER ENEMIES 

Scripture calls death "the last enemy" because it is 
the final and hardest opposition we face. Because Christ 
died to give you eternal victory, He can grant you the 
conquest of every smaller difficulty and obstacle. When 
an army captures a central fortress, the little trenches 
surrounding it are easily taken. 

Those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior soon 
find that loyalty to Him brings enmity. The forces of 
hell work in day and night shifts to break down allegiance 
to God's Son. Temptations multiply. You young people 
know the teasing, coaxing, tugging, that tries to tear you 
from your Savior and seeks to make you regard purity, 
decency, honest living, the ideal of keeping yourself clean 



VICTORY THROUGH CHRIST 49 

for your life's helpmate, as an outworn superstition, an 
unnecessary restriction on personal liberty. Despite the 
fact that war always produces a sag in morals, you can 
triumph over multiplied temptations if you turn trust- 
fully to the Lord, since He knows your every weakness. 
Over in England, when the one hundredth anniversary 
of the birth of George Stephenson, inventor of the steam 
locomotive, was celebrated, a long parade in Newcastle 
honored the distinguished engineer. As the procession 
moved on, the spectators noticed a small band of farmers 
marching under a homemade banner inscribed with the 
words "He was one of us." They were the people among 
whom Stephenson was born, and proudly they acclaimed 
their closeness to the great inventor. In a much higher 
degree, whenever you are assailed by the forces of dark- 
ness; whenever the love of quick and easy money would 
make you forget your God a very real danger for thou- 
sands in the United States today; whenever you are urged 
to indulge in fleshly lusts, to covet that which is not 
rightfully yours, you can find the strength to resist in 
the Lord Jesus, for He was one of us. He was tempted, 
the Scriptures say, "like as we are" and because He un- 
derstands our infirmities, He knows how to help us. Give 
Him the leadership in your soul! 

If you are troubled by evil habits, the disgrace of 
drunkenness, the flare-ups of a hot temper, secret trans- 
gressions which you blush to mention, remember: no 
bond of vice is so strong, no slavery of sin so long-stand- 
ing and powerful, that it cannot be broken by the Savior's 
almighty power! Members of this audience tell us that 
through Christ they have mastered their craving for 
liquor and become sober, God-fearing, loving husbands 
or wives, who praise God instead of cursing Him and 
protect their families instead of attacking them in drunken 

'."I ->? ''",) '"T ' " ) ' 1 'i 
Lutheran Hour J. ,; f^? f t^/, / 4- , 4 



50 VICTORY THROUGH CHRIST 

rage. The history o missions shows how complete this 
victory over evil habits can be. A hundred years ago 
Tamatoe, a South Sea Island king, was converted, where- 
upon his heathen subjects conspired to destroy him and 
all others who had embraced the Gospel. The plot was 
discovered. All the would-be assassins were captured, 
and they began to shake in terror of the death which 
they had rightly earned. Can you imagine their surprise 
when Tamatoe assured them that because Jesus had com- 
manded him to love his enemies and do good to those 
who hated him, the plotters would not be harmed? An 
impressive banquet was prepared, to which the con- 
spirators were invited. They were so amazed at this treat- 
ment that some were unable to eat. Finally one of their 
leaders arose and, after thanking the king for his mercy, 
declared that this unlooked-for kindness had convinced 
him of the Savior's power and the utter helplessness of 
their heathen gods. Soon every idol on the Island of 
Hushine was broken, and the murderous heathen became 
humble Christians. If you give Jesus His way in your 
life, the idols of hatred and lust will likewise crumble 
away. 

Again, you can have victory over your doubts. Even 
the strongest believer is sometimes assailed by questions, 
misgivings, uncertainties; but the more steadily you be- 
hold Jesus, the more reverently you delve into His 
Scriptures, the more regularly you hear and apply His 
Word, the stronger your faith becomes, the more heroic 
your allegiance to Him. You will not be able to under- 
stand Christ's mercies, and you may wonder especially 
why He chose you, with all your sins and shortcomings; 
your intellect will be altogether too small to explain the 
mysteries of faith which even angels cannot fully com- 
prehend, but that will not bother you. You will know 



VICTORY THROUGH CHRIST 51 

the joy of obedience; you will say, "Speak, Lord; for 
Thy servant heareth!" In his last days Daniel Webster 
told his biographer; "I had intended to prepare a work 
for the press to bear my testimony to Christianity, but 
now it is too late. I would like to bear witness to the 
Gospel before 1 die." So he propped himself up and 
began to dictate: "'Lord, I believe; help Thou mine 
unbelief! 9 Philosophical opposition has often shaken my 
reason with regard to Christianity, especially the opposi- 
tion drawn from the magnitude of the universe compared 
with the littleness of this planet; but my heart has always 
assured me and reassured me that the Gospel of Christ 
is a divine reality." In the Savior's name, I promise you, 
beset by doubts, that if you, too, bow before Him to say, 
"Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief!" many ques- 
tion marks will vanish as the mist flees before the ris- 
ing sun. 

Through Jesus you have victory over your fears. Mil- 
lions of you are living your hardest years. Beneath life's 
outward calm and below all glamour and pleasure seeking 
are heavy heartaches. What will this war bring you be- 
fore the last shot is fired? Will your sons, now in Africa, 
come back? Will your eighteen- and nineteen-year-olds, 
soon to be called to the colors, return safe in body and 
sound in soul? Fortune tellers make fabulous sums as 
they give false, fraudulent answers to questions only God 
can answer. Why not go directly to God in Christ, then, 
and believe that whatever your heavenly Father ordains 
is good, because you are His? Why not trust Christ im- 
plicitly, beseeching Him for the faith which prays, "Thy 
will be done!" because it knows His way is best? 

In your redeeming Lord you can also gain the victory 
over all of life's trials and sorrows. Never has a burden 
been so heavy that He could not share and lift it. Never 



52 VICTOBY THROUGH CHRIST 

has a personal perplexity been so crushing that He could 
not remove it He may not always come to your rescue in 
the moment and manner you desire. I read the other day 
of a group of airmen whose plane had been forced down 
on the Atlantic. When all seemed hopeless, a United 
States destroyer appeared on the horizon. The flyers 
screamed at the top of their voices, waved their hands 
frantically; yet the ship continued on its way. Overcome 
by disappointment, the men collapsed. They were wrong, 
however, in assuming that the destroyer had not seen 
them. The captain was trying to bring the raft under his 
lee side, so that it would be sheltered from the full force 
of the wind. Only by this maneuver could he hope to 
effect the rescue at high sea. Sometimes the Almighty has 
to direct His help slowly and gradually, so that we can 
really endure it; and it may appear at first that He passes 
us unnoticed. Yet, be sure of this, our loving Father 
always chooses the right hour, the right place, the right 
way, to deliver His children! Remember, too, the marvel- 
ous purposes our Lord has in permitting His own to 
suffer afflictions! These sorrows come to them not from 
God's wrath but from His unfathomable mercy. 

Finally, the redeemed by Christ have the promise of 
victory over all opposition. It seems inevitable that dur- 
ing the hard reconstruction years following the war Chris- 
tianity in this country will be tried as never before. We 
are already witnessing brutal cutthroat assaults on the 
Gospel. With sinister, foreboding force taunting claims 
are urged, charging that Christianity is on its way out, 
that the Gospel of Christ is discredited, that America 
must look to itself and not to God. If atheism thus preens 
itself during days of lush prosperity, what will happen 
when the war is over and multitudes face greater trials 
thari they have yet seen? Even now some of you are 



VICTORY THROUGH CHRIST 53 

being persecuted because of your faith. You live in homes 
where the Church is ridiculed; daily you suffer taunts 
because of your allegiance to the Lord. I tell you with 
all the promise of divine truth: yours, too, will ultimately 
be the victory, if in difficult moments you look to Jesus 
for strength. Yesterday I met one of our repatriated mis- 
sionaries from Ichang, China, where the enemy's bar- 
barity has burned practically the entire city. He told me 
that under pressure by Japanese invaders a few native 
Christians had forsaken the faith; but he also reported 
that often when Japanese soldiers, entering the mission, 
pointed to a picture of Jesus or the cross and sneeringly 
cried: "False God! False God!" Chinese believers, at the 
risk of their lives, publicly declared their loyalty to Jesus. 
Those experiences alone, he said, made him thank God 
for the privilege of serving Christ in China. May the Holy 
Spirit constantly build our trust, so that, the longer a 
scoffing world blasphemously attacks the Savior of men, 
we may rise to His defense with the assurance, 'Whoso- 
ever, therefore, shall confess Me before men, him will 
I confess also before My Father which is in heaven" 

I have been trying to tell you in all this that there is 
no personal perplexity, no hidden problem in your life 
which cannot be solved; no enemies of your soul, how- 
ever powerful they may appear, which cannot be de- 
feated in this "victory through . . . Christ'' I remind you 
that for this triumph you yourself must know Jesus, be- 
lieve Him, trust in Him as your God, your Redeemer 
from ruin. It is not enough that you have some vague, 
uncertain ideas about Him. You must welcome Him into 
your heart as your sin-removing, sin-destroying Lord. 
It is not sufficient that you have mildly warm feelings 
for Him as a great Benefactor of mankind. You must 
rather experience the terror of your own sins, and then 



54 VICTORY THROUGH CHRIST 

with unshakable trust turn to the Savior as your personal 
Substitute, on whom God laid each of your transgres- 
sions, the guilt of all your iniquities. For this victory you 
need much more than a family creed. The fact that your 
parents are Christians, that your husband or wife lives 
in the Lord, can never save you. You yourself must be- 
lieve. You cannot rely on your church membership, for 
some churches lead away from Jesus instead of to Him. 
Your heavenly Father wants far more than outside con- 
nection with the best of churches, fat more than lip wor- 
ship, ritual religion, attendance at services, hymn singing, 
society membership. He wants you, gripped in heart and 
soul by the terror of your sins but assured of Christ's 
greater grace and His blood-bought pardon. 

If, when this broadcast began, you were still without 
this faith, destitute of any desire to accept the Lord Jesus, 
may the Holy Spirit bring directly to your heart this 
appeal for victory over sin, doubt, hell, death, all life's 
sorrows and afflictions! In the ten years of our radio mis- 
sion, at all the mammoth meetings held from coast to 
coast, it has probably not been given to me to see as 
much as 1 per cent of this vast congregation of the air; 
and I have been able to speak personally, concerning 
their soul's salvation, to only a fraction of that fraction. 
Try to think, however, that these words now leap over 
space particularly to you who have never declared Christ 
your Savior or who, having known His grace, left Him 
to serve sin and heap up condemnation for the day of 
divine wrath! Believe it when I tell you: This conquest 
of sin and death was a costly triumph, because it could 
be won only by the agony your Savior suffered! Not long 
ago we read that, when the United States aircraft carrier 
Yorktotvn was sunk, the Navy spent $500,000 to save five 
sailors from that burning craft, in what has been called 



VICTORY THROUGH CHRIST 55 

^history's most costly rescue." As you thank God for that 
deliverance, realize also how immeasurably much more 
it cost Jesus to save you! He, your God and Lord, had 
to lay down His own life in payment for your freedom; 
yet by the marvel of His mercy your salvation costs you, 
nothing. You need only believe Christ's grace, and the 
eternal rescue is yours. 

It is a complete victory. The Savior left nothing un- 
done, nothing that you, any saint, or hero of the faith has 
to finish in this world or the next. His invitation to you is, 
"All things are ready: comer 

Our Lord offers a sure, lasting victory. Many of us, 
sadly disappointed by the failure of diplomacy to prevent 
history's two greatest conflicts in a single generation, are 
troubled by the thought that World War II may, after 
a period of recuperation, give way to World War III un- 
less the principles of everlasting truth, justice, and right- 
eousness are followed at the peace conference. Yet listen 
to the Savior's promise: "The mountains shall depart and 
the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart 
from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be 
removed"! Such pledges are not mere wishful thinking. 
Nor are we asking you to accept His Gospel as something 
which may or may not be right but which at least de- 
serves a trial. We are not dealing with possibilities, but 
with heaven's and earth's greatest reality the assured, 
unbreakable, eternal truth that through Christ victory is 
yours now and forever. Jesus never makes a mistake. 

In no other way can the enemies of your soul be de- 
feated. Your good intentions to conquer sin will collapse 
quickly. Your own strength will prove utter weakness. 
The triumph song still is, "Thanks be to God, which 
giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!" 
not through anyone else; for the Savior Himself declares: 



56 VICTORY THROUGH CHRIST 

"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh 
unto the Father but by Me"; ""There is none other name 
under heaven given among men, whereby we must be 
saved' 9 but the name of our God and Redeemer. Every 
once in a while, of course, infidels rise up to contradict 
this claim. In 1905 Aristide Briand, French statesman, 
revealed the true colors of his atheism when he cried out: 
"We have driven Jesus Christ out of the army, the navy, 
the schools, the hospitals, the lunatic asylums, and the 
orphanages! We must now drive Him out of the state 
altogether!" Many Frenchmen tried to follow this pro- 
gram, with the result that today their unfortunate nation 
lies prostrate in one of history's most tragic defeats. Some 
of you have sought to banish the Savior, but even now 
you are paying tie fearful consequences. Before it is too 
late, ask the Holy Spirit for the repentant faith required 
to approach the Redeemer and to learn for yourself that 
"this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our 
fatth"! 

Many of you, however and I thank God for your 
reliance on Christ have witnessed the blessed results 
of this triumph in your own lives. To you the Apostle 
says in the words following our text, "Therefore, my 
beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always 
abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye 
know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord," In His 
name and on behalf of the hundreds of millions all over 
the face of the earth who are still overshadowed by sin's 
darkness, I plead with you to present yourselves as firm, 
unyielding defenders of His cause and to rededicate your- 
selves to spreading the victory message throughout the 
world. In last week's unusually heavy mail, with all the 
small silver contributions to this mission of the air, came 
the largest gift I have ever received in ten years of broad- 



VICTORY THROUGH CHRIST 57 

casting, a check for $7,000, contributed by an earnest fol- 
lower of the Lord Jesus, who wants the Gospel sent to the 
far corners of the earth. If other leaders in business and 
industry, men and women of wealth and influence, will 
stand by us in a similar generous way, while the masses 
of our hearers continue to hold up our hands by their 
prayers, interest, and gifts, we shall be able, under God, 
to proclaim the Savior's grace to the ends o'f the world. 
By extending our broadcast, Bringing Clirist to All the 
Nations (now heard in English, Spanish, and Portuguese 
throughout the Western Hemisphere from Alaska to the 
Argentine), you will help multitudes in various countries 
and climes join us in many languages and different dia- 
lects in this hymn of triumph, "Thanks be to God, which 
giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!" 
Especially on the great day of heavenly assembly before 
the throne will their voices blend with ours in exalted, 
celestial strains to sing O God, may every one in this 
radio audience be there! heaven's victory song; "Thine, 
O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and 
the victory and the majesty; for all that is in the heaven 
and in the earth is Thine; Thine is the kingdom, O Lord, 
and Thou art exalted as Head above all Both riches and 
honor come of Thee, and Thou reignest over all; and in 
Thine hand is power and might; and in Thine hand it is 
to make great and to give strength unto all. Now, there- 
fore, our God, we thank Thee, and praise Thy glorious 
name," through Jesus Christ, our only Savior, our Lord 
of victory. Amen. 



The Lord Jesus Is 
My Shepherd 



*7 am the Good Shepherd; the Good Shepherd 
giveth His life for the sheep." 
SAINT JOHN 10:11 



Jesus, Good and Gracious Shepherd of our Souls: 

^Without Thee we are hopelessly lost both in this world and 
the next. Therefore we come before Thee humbly to ask 
pardon for our sins, peace -for our souls, blessings for our 
lives, and guidance for the darkness and distress of these 
heavy days. "All we, like sheep, have gone astray," but in the 
marvel of Thy mercy Thou art indeed the Good Shepherd, 
who dost lay down Thy life for the flock! Guard us against 
hirelings who seek to destroy us! Teach us that if we have 
but Thee, we shall not want! May Thy rod and Thy staff 
comfort those who labor under sorrows of soul or stagger 
under burdens of increasing afflictions! O blessed Savior, 
protect especially our youth as it goes forth to war! Keep 
our sons and daughters in the -faith though they be called 
to distant battle -fronts and, O Christ of endless compos- 
sion, send them home to us soon, uninjured in body, mind, 
and soul! Stop this war, if it be Thy will, and grant us true 
peace that pleases Thee! Help us, blessed Redeemer, for 
besides Thee we have no hope! Thou alone art our Savior! 
Amen. 

JLwELVE years ago a Swarthmore College 
professor told a religious conference that the Bible has 
outlived much of its usefulness, that it must be modern- 
ized, rewritten. "Take the Twenty-third Psalm, for ex- 
ample," he said, selecting the most frequently memorized 
verses of Scripture. "People who live in the city simply 

58 



THE LORD JESUS IS MY SHEPHERD 59 

do not know the meaning of 'The Lord is my Shepherd' " 
Therefore, he concluded bluntly, "we must scrap the 
Twenty-third Psalm and put its thought in a modem 
language." This is the substitute he suggested: "The 
Lord is my automobile's low gear to help me in climbing 
hard hills. The Lord is my antiseptic in times of danger- 
ous epidemics. The Lord is sunlight in my room, bringing 
me the health of ultraviolet rays." I shall not bother you 
with his other emendations; instead I remind you that 
atheists, godless Communists, sneering infidels before and 
after him have pompously boasted that the Bible, includ- 
ing this Shepherd Psalm, must be discarded by all think- 
ing people. Remarkably, however, this radical changing 
of the Twenty-third Psalm, proposed in 1930, has boom- 
eranged and been utterly discredited only a dozen years 
later by the agonies of war. A few days ago newspapers 
told the story of Vern Haugland, noted Associated Press 
foreign correspondent, who was forced to bail out of 
a crippled bomber over the New Guinea jungles. During 
forty-three days of groping through the trackless wilder- 
ness, over steep, jagged cliffs, through foodless weeks, 
in which he lost half his weight and developed arm 
sores and leg ulcers, what sustained him with unshakable 
courage? No atheistic boasting that he was the master 
of his fate, that, though his head was bloody, it was un- 
bowed! The intrepid reporter, after receiving the Silver 
Star from General MacArthur, wrote his family: 'Td 
never have made it but for God's care and the prayers 
I know were being said for me. I often repeated the pas- 
sage, 'The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want' It was 
marvelous how it worked; I would be unable to go one 
step further, and then I would remember, 7 shall not 
want? and sure enough, there would be some berries or 
chewable grass or a creek with good water just ahead." 



60 THE LORD JESUS IS MY SHEPHEBD 

About the same time the daily press also reported, 
Secretaiy of the Navy Knox was .so concerned about the 
secret movements of our troops to North Africa that for 
several nights he could hardly sleep. What finally gave 
him rest and assurance? Not a detective story appar- 
ently the favorite reading material of many public fig- 
ures not his own Chicago newspaper, but, as Secretary 
Knox told an American Legion audience, the Twenty- 
third Psalm read to him by his wife from the Bible he 
carried through the first World War! He said, "I finally 
dozed off with the words . . . echoing in my ears, 'The 
Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want' " 

Again, President Roosevelt has just issued a proclama- 
tion calling for two days of prayer to God, and in the 
climax of his appeal he asks the American people to keep 
a certain passage in mind. What is it a quotation from 
the Atlantic Charter? A new promise of victory? A star- 
tling, new social change? No! Instead, the President pro- 
claims, "I recommend that all of us bear in mind this 
great psalm, 'The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not 
want. 9 " Thus a war correspondent, the man entrusted 
with the destiny of hundred thousands of American men 
at sea, the chief executive of the nation found rest despite 
the present-day crisis in the very psalm ruthlessly re- 
jected a dozen years ago by a Modernist professor. 

No matter who you are, regardless of where you are, 
irrespective of what you are, this glorious Shepherd 
Psalm can similarly bring you guiding strength and send 
you out into a world of war and woe with peace in your 
heart, provided and this is often overlooked you un- 
derstand its deathless words as they have been explained 
by that holy, perfect, sinless, errorless Teacher of all 
teachers, Jesus Christ. In the tenth chapter of Saint John's 
Gospel and its eleventh verse that blessed Savior, refer- 



THE LOBB JESUS IS MY SHEPHEBD 61 

ring to the words, "The Lord is my Shepherd," assures us 
in our text, *7 am the Good Shepherd; the Good Shepherd 
giveth His life for the sheep" May we (every one of us, 
O Holy Spirit) look to our royal Redeemer, and as we 
declare in firm faith, 

"THE LORD JESUS IS MY SHEPHERD/' 

find rich, eternal blessings in this infallible promise of 
grace and glory! 

I 
EVERY ONE OF US NEEDS DIVINE GUIDANCE 

To measure fully the meaning and comfort of Scrip- 
ture's many shepherd passages, we must understand how 
clearly the weaknesses of the sheep suggest men's frail- 
ties. First of all, sheep are easily misguided. Many stock- 
yards employ a ram or goat in East Saint Louis they 
call him "Judas" which stands at the foot of the runway 
whenever a shipment of sheep arrives. These new an- 
imals, fresh from prairie farms, accept his leadership and 
follow him into the killing pens. But as soon as the gates 
of the pens are closed, "Judas" is not to be found among 
those assembled for slaughter. Is this not a striking pic- 
ture of humanity as it is often misled? Every century of 
history is marked by deep sorrows which have come from 
blind obedience to selfish leaders. War lords who delight 
in slaughter, industrialists who profiteer by the shedding 
of human blood, dictators who play fast and loose with 
human lives, have repeatedly incited the masses to hurl 
themselves into brutal conflict. Lying teachers of reli- 
gion have directed multitudes from heaven to hell. False 
prophets and false Christs have repeatedly made their 
victims suffer anguish, despair, excruciating death. Many 
of you are following destructive direction, In swif t ? 



62 THE LOBD JESUS IS MY SHEPHERD 

affection you married someone whose heart was estranged 
from God, and as a consequence your own faith is weak- 
ening, your life is being buried beneath misery. Some of 
you trusted associates in financial matters, only to be 
cheated; you shared your confidences with friends, only 
to be betrayed. You have been lured by the lust of the 
flesh and are now distressed in your conscience to find 
yourselves on the road to moral ruin. Others, once firm 
in the faith, listened to the deniers of Jesus, enemies of 
His Bible, who have coaxed you away from church (per- 
haps because it was no longer large and fashionable 
enough) into Christless creeds that have no confession 
of sin and therefore no room for the Redeemer from sin. 
Every one of us and God grant that we realize this 
humbly, penitently, personally has too often followed 
Satan instead of the Savior, sought mammon instead of 
mercy, practiced folly instead of faith. This is Humiliation 
and Prayer Sunday, the day on which, according to an- 
cient custom, Christians should bow penitently before the 
Almighty to admit their guilt. Let us make this a nation- 
wide humiliation and prayer service, as everyone and 
I make no exceptions kneels in spirit before the just 
God to confess with the ancient prophet: ** 'All we like 
sheep have gone astray,* away from our heavenly Father 
and the Word of His truth, away from the cross of His 
Christ and the promise of His pardon, away from heaven 
and its glories, away from our salvation! O God, have 
mercy upon us! O Christ, have mercy upon us! O Holy 
Spirit, have mercy upon us!" 

Not only do sheep readily accept false leadership, 
but of all domesticated animals they have the poorest 
sense of direction. In heavy snow-storms they have been 
known to hurl themselves blindly over cliffs. Most of 
our world today has also lost its way. God, who has 



THE LORD JESUS IS MY SHEPHERD 63 

spoken twice to this generation in the sorrow of history's 
bloodiest wars, is still not recognized and obeyed. We 
have more atheists in the United States than ever before. 
Jesus, who says, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; 
no man cometh unto the Father but by Me" is still re- 
jected by masses, just as blasphemously as He was when 
they crucified Him on the first Good Friday. Without 
realizing that the world is at war, that American lives 
are being lost every day on battle fronts, people drink 
and gamble, spend and waste, debauch and debase them- 
selves, losing all sense of moral and spiritual direction. 
Even some who have pledged their loyalty to Christ and 
His Church have been caught in the careless, carnal 
carousal of these trying times, when they ought to stop 
and ask themselves: 'Where am I? Am I on the path- 
way to God or on the highway to hell?" As we confess 
that, like wandering sheep, we have repeatedly lost the 
way, what better can we do than turn to God in Christ 
and, begging for pardon, plead: *O heavenly Father, 
have mercy upon us! Guide us aright and teach us to 
walk in Thy ways!" 

Sheep are pitiful creatures also because they often 
deliberately return to the very dangers from which they 
have been saved. If the barn in which they are kept 
catches fire, the flock can be led out to safety only with 
the utmost difficulty; and usually the sheep try to run 
back into the flames. As hard as it is to explain this, 
it is a hundred times harder to account for the fact that 
human beings, gifted with reason and intelligence, are 
guilty of a far more serious folly. Recall what has hap- 
pened within twenty-one years! One war was concluded 
that cost 37,000,000 lives in slaughter, starvation, and 
disease not to mention the financial loss of $350,000,- 
000,000. Yet before another generation arose, humanity 



64 THE LORD JESUS IS MY SHEPHERD 

with all its culture and scientific achievement, led itself 
back into even more destructive flames of fiery con- 
flict The principle of this world tragedy is re-enacted 
in individual lives. Christ's Gospel is preached to mul- 
titudes who contemptuously turn from His outstretched 
arms and wilfully reject the message of His surpassing 
love, Why? Simply because they insist on continuing 
in their transgressions. They do not want to be rescued 
from the flames of their passions, their illicit affairs, their 
hatreds, their evil ways. After they have confessed and 
renounced their sins, after they have known the grace 
of Christ, they deliberately hurl themselves back into 
the ruin of their old, death-dealing vices! This message 
comes with a personal appeal and a prayer to the Spirit 
that you humble yourselves before the Almighty and 
plead: "O God, I have fallen back into unbelief and 
heavy sin. I have broken my promise of allegiance to 
Thy truth. O Father, forgive me! May the Good Shep- 
herd lead me, a lamb strayed from the fold, to mercy, 
salvation, and life eternal!" 

Again, sheep are easily frightened. A clap of thunder 
can throw a flock into terror. Even a fluttering piece of 
paper may produce panic among them. How similarly 
people are agonized into unfounded fright! Beneath the 
glamor of this pleasure-seeking age, fears gnaw at our 
peace and composure. For masses these are the years of 
deep worry and disquieting uncertainty. Nervous break- 
downs, mental disorders, suicides, all poisonous fruits of 
fear, have cursed our age. While Jesus repeatedly seeks 
to sustain us with His comforting promises: "Be not 
afraid?'; "My peace I give unto you'; "Let not your heart 
be troubled'' too many, spurning His mercy, are en- 
dangering their souls, injuring their bodies, reducing the 
power of their minds by vicious f ear* 



THE LORD JESUS IS MY SHEPHERD 65 

Besides, we, like sheep, are powerless to defend our- 
selves, too weak properly to direct our own lives. With 
all our colleges and universities, our resources and ma- 
terial advances, we of ourselves are still unable to secure 
the simplest and most basic of life's blessings. How, for 
example, can we establish peace on earth and stop men 
from killing one another by the millions as they have in 
recent years? By diplomacy? In 1939, Edouard Dala- 
dier, French statesman, asserted that his country and 
Great Britain were "inseparably united even beyond vic- 
tory." Less than three years later, however, France is at 
virtual war with England. Can we establish peace by 
international law, if this is completely cast aside when- 
ever selfish interests wish? By a League of Nations, when 
its headquarters are closed and barred during a world 
conflict? By peace movements, when we realize that 
every endeavor of this kind has failed in the past? By 
Esperanto, or a universal language? No; it takes more 
than a common speech to make people live and act in 
harmony. By education? The world's worst war is being 
fought when culture has reached its highest level Can 
we ban bloodshed by force, completely crushing our 
enemies? We ought to admit by now that force begets 
force. Now, if men of and by themselves are too weak 
and powerless to maintain outward peace, how can they 
establish the inner harmony with God and their con- 
sciences, for which we yearn with unsatisfied longing? 
If some of you cannot get right with your fellow men, 
how can you get right with the Almighty? 

No lengthy argument should be required to show 
that, in this age of unparalleled pride and boasting, men 
are like wandering sheep, deprived of their sense of di- 
rection, lost in their own trespasses and sins. It ought 
not be hard to convince people, with danger and death 

Tenth Lutheran Hour 5 



66 THE LORD JESUS IS MY SHEPHERD 

lurking on all sides for millions o the nation's young 
men, that our insistent prayer should be the pointed ap- 
peal: "O God, give me the guidance of a divine and heav- 
enly Leader! Give me a Shepherd for my soul, who will 
lead me along the right path and accompany me espe- 
cially when I 'walk through the valley of the shadow of 
death'!" 

II 

EVERYONE OF US CAN HAVE CHRIST AS 
"THE GOOD SHEPHERD" 

That plea has been marvelously answered by God's 
grace in Christ. Jesus is not only a shepherd for wander- 
ing mankind, He is the Shepherd, the "Good Shepherd" 
as He calls Himself in our text for today. 

What a wealth of reassuring love in this statement that 
He, our great and glorious God, is "the Good Shepherd"! 
There was nothing in our sin-tainted souls and sin-stained 
lives that could deserve His consideration, nothing that 
could make Him leave His heavenly glory to live for 
thirty-three years in this selfish, greed-cursed world. Yet 
all this and much more Jesus, "the Good Shepherd" did 
for every one of us, in the most magnificent mercy which 
even He, God's Son, could offer. 

See how the Scriptures repeatedly stress His good 
and gracious shepherding! He leaves the flock of ninety 
and nine to go and seek the one stray lamb until He 
finds it. May that merciful pledge strengthen many 
who are wandering and lost! We all rejoiced when, after 
a long search, the United States Navy found Captain 
Rickenbacker and his companions afloat on a raft in the 
South Pacific. However, the newspapers make no com- 
ment on the far greater rescue, by which the Lord Jesus 
constantly saves those who without Him are eternally 



THE LORD JESUS IS MY SHEPHERD 67 

lost For years He has invited you: Come back to God! 
Be reconciled with your heavenly Father! He sought 
you, while you tried to avoid Him. He found you and 
pleaded with you when you would have hidden from 
Him. He returned to help you, but you rejected Him. 
He never let you out of His sight, though in your sins 
you went as far from Him as you could. Today, through 
this broadcast, He continues to seek you. Hundreds of 
stations throughout our country and Canada are united 
in this mighty network to help bring Christ's Word into 
your heart with His abiding peace and pardon. How 
much longer must He plead: "Come unto Me!" "Follow 
Me!" "Believe . . . in Mel"? May many of you whom He 
has sought from the very first day of your life, in civilian 
or now in military activity, approach Him and say: "Lord, 
Thou art my Shepherd, my Savior, my truest Friend. Re- 
ceive me with aH my sins! Accept me! Lead me!" 

Again, Jesus is "the Good Shepherd* because He leads 
us aright What a marvelous assurance to know that in 
a world of falsehood and error there is an unfailing 
source of true direction for prosperity and pain, joy and 
sorrow, life and death itself! No one has ever made 
a mistake in following Christ; for while the road along 
which He conducts us may often be hard and steep and 
stony, it is always the right path. Though it starts with 
the cross, it always ends with the crown. If you want 
to rise above the disappointments and failures of a selfish 
existence; if you want your home to radiate joy and calm, 
then make His Word your guide! Acclaim Him your 
only but all-atoning Redeemer! Take time to study His 
Gospel and apply its saving truth to yourself! Read what 
Christ has to say to you and your family in His Word! 
Give Him the leadership in your home! Pray for the 
strength to obey His instructions loyally and continually! 



68 THE LORD JESUS IS MY SHEPHERD 

Jesus is "the Good Shepherd 9 ' also because He knows 
our weaknesses and is ready to help bear our burdens. 
If Old Testament prophecy could foresee Him as One 
who carried the sick sheep and the little lambs in His 
arms, then how much more should we, who have seen 
the New Testament fulfillment of His promised support, 
believe that in every moment of affliction He is at our 
side to uphold us! Make the most of this heavenly com- 
fort, you to whom life has been a rough pathway through 
a wilderness of sorrows! Some of you, as you write me, 
have been languishing on sickbeds for ten, twenty, thirty 
years! Not a few are weighted down with the heaviness 
of unfaithfulness, cruelty, abuse, murder in your own 
households. Still others suffer from a hundred additional 
sorrows.! Though your burdens are crushing, they are 
never too heavy for Him; though your afflictions are 
many, they can never be too numerous for His divine 
help. Say to Him, "Take Thou my hand and lead me 
o'er life's rough way!" and you will never need to face 
difficulty or opposition alone! Put your whole trust in 
Christ without questions or doubts, and His promise 
"Jour sorrow shall be turned into joy" will be proved in 
your life! 

Jesus likewise is "the Good Shepherd" because He 
knows His sheep; and, as the text chapter reveals, "He 
calleth" them . . . "by name!' In the regimentation and 
mass production of our age, men often lose their identity 
and become mere numbers. In armies including mil- 
lions and in countries populated by many tens of millions 
the individual may count for little or nothing. Do you 
complain that nobody pays friendly attention or shows 
real regard for you? Jesus does! He knew you before 
you were born. He calls all this world to repentance 
and to faith, but when you hear that invitation, He is 



THE LORD JESUS IS MY SHEPHERD 69 

summoning you especially, you individually. Some years 
ago three American travelers went to the top of Mount 
Calvary, cut a small piece of wood there and had it made 
into a walking stick. This they presented to Governor 
George Briggs of Massachusetts with the words, 'We 
wanted you to know that, when we stood there at Cal- 
vary, we thought of you." The Governor thanked them 
for the gift but added, "I am still more thankful, gentle- 
men, that there was Another who thought of me there/' 
As Thanksgiving week dawns, have you raised your heart 
in similar gratitude to Christ? He thought of you when 
the agonies of Gethsemane almost crushed His soul into 
death. He thought of you when the scourge cut its 
bloody stripes in His back. He thought of you when 
they forced the crown of thorns on His head. He thought 
of you when they nailed Him to the accursed tree. He 
thought of you when He pleaded, "Father, forgive them; 
for they know not what they do!" He thought of you 
when on that cross He died your death. You can take 
every promise of God in Christ and write your full name 
into its pledge. He tells you, "Fear not: ... I have called 
thee by thy name; thou art Mine." 

There at Calvary we learn fully that Jesus is "the 
Good Shepherd" because, as He assures us today, He 
"giveth His life for the sheep" His flock will be attacked 
by ravenous bears, hungry lions, treacherous wolves 
foes so powerful that the sheep would be destroyed, were 
it not for His willingness to protect them even at the cost 
of His life. I pray God that you see the full mercy this 
picture offers you. You, too, are beset by enemies of 
your soul which seek your destruction. Sin and hell are 
mobilized against you in a death struggle. You yourself 
can never overcome them. You are doomed to defeat. 
But Jesus, blessed Savior, enters the battle in your behalf, 



70 THE LORD JESUS IS MY SHEPHERD 

crushes this opposition completely and forever, though 
He pays for that triumph with His lifeblood. All this 
happened when at Calvary the Son of God became our 
all-embracing Sacrifice for sin, the ever-valid Atonement 
for every sinner, He died that you might be saved. He 
was crucified for your victory. He shed His blood for 
your rescue. 

If we reward our heroes in the present war with 
citations, Congressional medals, and silver stars, purple 
hearts, distinguished service orders, and oak-leaf awards, 
should we not gladly give to Christ the faith and trust 
of our believing hearts? Should we not realize that, 
while everything else can fail, His grace for our souls 
and His leadership for our lives can never fail? Don't be 
impressed when they tell you that it is out of date and 
out of fashion to say, "The Lord is my Shepherd!" This 
Shepherd Psalm has been the refuge and strength of 
God's children in every hour of trial. It was prayed by 
the martyrs in the first Christian Church before they 
stepped into the Roman arenas to be torn to pieces by 
wild beasts. It was studied by Bishop John Hooper be- 
fore he was burned to death in the cruel persecutions 
under Bloody Mary. It was intoned by Isabel Allison 
and Marion Narvie, two young girls hanged in 1681 at 
Edinburgh because of their religion. "Come, Isabel," 
said Marion, only twenty years old, as they stood on the 
scaffold, 'let us sing the Twenty-third Psalml" and with 
"The Lord is my Shepherd" on their lips they went to 
a blessed eternity. Now, this year, you, too, can have 
every want supplied, "green pastures" for rest and re- 
freshment, "still waters" after every hot conflict, guidance 
for the right path from earth to heaven, if with contrite 
hearts and confident spirit you say, " The Lord Jesus *fa 
my Shepherd? " 



THE LORD JESUS IS MY SHEPHERD 71 

If you are a sheep in the Savior's flock and know what 
a blessed Guide and Redeemer He is, you will also re- 
member His words, "Other sheep I have, which are not of 
this fold; them also I must bring." That missionary motive 
was carved into the gravestone which marks the earthly 
resting place of Livingstone, mighty, messenger of God. 
Does your life show a love for souls, a sacred passion for 
the redemption of your fellow men? Oh, work and pray 
that many more, from all corners of the earth, be brought 
into Christ's fold! Help us, in this far-flung mission of 
the air, as we plan to dedicate our efforts especially to 
the most vital of present-day missionary efforts, bringing 
Christ to the nation's armed forces, to gather the Savior's 
redeemed into the one eternal flock, the Church of Christ 
in earth and heaven! O Jesus, Shepherd of our souls, 
bring us all to Thee and keep us in Thy fold forever! 
Amen. 



Thank God Even in 
Darkened Days! 



"He kneeled upon his knees three times a day 
and prayed and gave thanks before his God." 
DANIEL 6:10 



Our God of Endless Grace: 

During another year Thou hast blessed us with overflowing 
bounty, prospered the yield of our farmlands and orchards, 
generously supplied us with food and sustenance. For these*, 
benedictions and for Thy constant care we owe Thee endless 
thanks. America, large in its territory, wide in its influence, 
strong in its power; America, rich in its possessions, wealthy 
in its vaulted gold, abundant in its prosperity; America, 
blessed above all other nations in its churches, schools, and 
homes; America, feasting despite rationing, while other coun- 
tries starve; America, the land favored by Thee, our God, 
should be on its knees in penitence and prayer, thanksgiving 
and recognition of Thy goodness. Forgive us, for Jesus' sake, 
our ingratitude, our disregard of divine compassion, our in- 
difference to the earnest warnings of Thy Word! If it please 
Thee, let this be the last wartime Thanksgiving! May we next 
year on this day praise Thy power and love for having ban- 
ished bloodshed and restored peace among all nations! With- 
out Thy direction, O God Father, Son, and Spirit we are 
destitute, cursed by conflict, eternally lost. Therefore be 
with us, O triune Lord, as Thou wast with our fathers! 
Humbly, thankfully, we beseech Thy guidance in Christ's 
name and by His merits. Hear us and continue to bless us! 
Amen. 



B 



>ACK in November, 1930, when unemploy- 
ment was high, farm prices low, bread lines long, shelters 
for the homeless full, the American Association for the 
Advancement of Atheism sent a petition to the President 

72 



THANK GOD EVEN IN DARKENED DATs! 73 

asking that the annual Thanksgiving proclamation be 
omitted. How, these deniers of truth argued, can anyone 
give thanks with so much suffering and want throughout 
the land? How can people praise a God who permits 
such widespread anguish? 

The A. A. A. A. petition has not been repeated this 
year, for the present-day evidences of outward prosperity 
are many and striking. From coast to coast Thanksgiving 
orators have called attention to America's unparalleled 
blessing even in war time; and today many have applied 
the Psalmist's words, "He hath not dealt so with any 
nation' 9 to our unequaled prosperity. Thanks be to God! 
ours is the greatest and, in point of habitable, useful ter- 
ritory, the largest country in the world. We have im- 
measurable natural resources hidden in treasure houses 
beneath our soil, spreading in almost unlimited extent 
over its surface in forests, fertile farmlands, bounteous 
orchards. We now have more gold and silver than the 
rest of the world. While diseases ravaged large areas 
in Europe, this country has escaped serious epidemics. 
Eleven thousand were destroyed by a single typhoon in 
India, but no such disaster has swept through our States. 
Millions in China and Greece hover on the very edge of 
starvation; yet the past year, despite restriction and ra- 
tioning, has not deprived our people of necessary and 
wholesome food. We have had bounteous harvests. 

Even in war's afflictions God has been good to us. 
No enemy troops have landed on our shores. No enemy 
planes have bombed our cities. No enemy invasion has 
even threatened our borders. True, we have blackouts, 
but only for practice. With all our casualty lists, we have 
suffered less than any other country actively engaged in 
the war. 

Add to these material blessings the liberties that are 



74 THANK GOD EVEN IN DABEENED DAYS! 

ours- We have a democratic government, while other 
peoples are crushed beneath the heel of tyranny. Free- 
dom of thought, freedom of expression, freedom of edu- 
cation all these, though now necessarily restricted, are 
still ours in principle, while other nations are regimented 
by destructive dictatorships. Above all, we still have re- 
ligious freedom, the personal privilege of worshiping 
the Almighty according to His Word without state di- 
rection. No wonder, with all these material and spiritual 
advantages, the President of the United States this year 
has asked for two days of prayer to God instead of one! 
Yet despite these reasons for gratitude, many among 
you are seized with bitterness because of financial re- 
verses, family losses, personal afflictions. You read in the 
newspapers that a New York department store records 
a profit five times larger than last year's; that a fur store 
advertises, "We have sold more mink coats this year than 
in any previous year," and you know that you will never 
have even a small piece of mink in your home but 
must be satisfied with enough fuel and food to keep 
your family warm and properly fed. You hear of happy 
Thanksgiving reunions, when soldiers on furlough sit 
around the holiday table; yet some of you soldiers and 
civilians are far from your families today, downhearted, 
inwardly distressed; and some of you parents know that 
you will never see your sons again. They lie buried at 
Bataan, in North Africa, on the Solomons, or even un- 
buried in the sea, beneath Alaskan snows, or in a New 
Guinea jungle. Again, Thanksgiving finds many of you 
in hospitals, on sickbeds, or in a house divided against 
itself, with growing fear concerning the things that are 
to come. Crepe may hang on your door; tomorrow you 
may stand at the cemetery to pay the tribute of your love 
to a departed one. Every time you hear the word "thanks- 



THANK GOD EVEN IN DARKENED DATs! 75 

giving," a feeling of resentment may well up within you. 
Now, I would speak to you, the lonely, distressed, spir- 
itually shaken, destitute, bereaved but also to you, the 
satisfied, secure, socially prominent, financially firm with 
larger incomes than you have ever before received and 
the heaviest prosperity you have ever enjoyed. To all of 
you I say in the name of Jesus Christ: 

THANK GOD EVEN IN DARKENED DAYS! 

Take as your example heroic Daniel, of whom it is written 
in our text (Daniel, chapter six, verse ten), "He kneeled 
upon his knees three times a day and prayed and gave 
thanks before his God." 

I 

DANIEL THANKED GOD EVEN IN HIS AFFLICTION 
AND WAS DELIVERED 

Heart-shaking sorrow must have gripped Daniel at 
the time to which these words refer. He was in exile 
in Babylon, far from his beloved Judah and Jerusalem, 
a stranger in a strange, hostile nation. Many of you know 
the pangs of that loneliness right here in your homeland, 
separated as you are today from your husband or wife, 
your parents or children. Keep in- mind, however, that 
Daniel lived among a pagan and perverted people! 

Besides, many personal enemies surrounded him. By 
maintaining strict allegiance to the Lord, he who had 
come as a captive slave had risen to a high position in the 
Persian kingdom; and the greater his achievement, the 
more numerous the jealous opponents who sought to dis- 
credit him before King Darius. Many of you have like- 
wise suffered from slander and envy. You know by ex- 
perience the indescribable agony caused by lying, de- 
ceitful individuals who smile when they face you, but 
who loose foul, slanderous tongues when they leave you. 



76 THANK GOD EVEN IN DARKENED DAYs! 

Yet few, if any, I am sure, have ever felt the brunt of 
an attack as steady, evil, and systematic as this assault 
directed against that young Israelite when, as the verses 
preceding our text declare, "all the presidents of the 
kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counselors, 
and the captains . . . sought to find occasion against 
Daniel" 

Daniel's heaviest burden, however, was imposed by 
Darius* decree, demanding that all people in his realm 
pray to him, the king. This meant that, if Daniel con- 
tinued to kneel before the true God, he would be thrown 
to hungry lions. Can you imagine how that weighted his 
heart and mind? He loved his Lord and had consistently 
prayed to Him; but to continue this loyalty meant public 
disgrace, the sacrifice of his high office, the loss of any 
influence he might have wielded in restoring his people 
to their homeland, and above all, death in the jaws of 
ravenous beasts. No hope could be held that the royal 
edict would be changed, for it was officially sealed and 
signed. Such laws of the Medes and Persians were un- 
alterable. Therefore Daniel had to obey either God or 
man, do or die. It takes much less than this to make 
people renounce their faith today. None of you except 
some of our missionaries has ever been placed before 
the danger of giving up your life for your religion, but 
many of you have denied Christ under the slightest pres- 
sure. You thought that it would cost you business or 
popular favor to remain loyal and the price was too high 
to pay. It meant foregoing sinful pleasure, and you were 
unprepared to make such sacrifice. It required breaking 
off destructive friendships, and you did not love the 
Savior enough for that. Then, when adversities swirled 
down on you, unfaithful and disloyal, you screamed and 
shook your fists at God. 



THANK GOD EVEN IN DARJCENED DATs! 77 

What did Daniel do? Knowing that every movement 
of his was being watched by his enemies, he did not 
swerve even slightly from his daily prayer habits. He 
went, as was his custom, before the open window, where 
official spies could easily see him. As our text tells us, 
"He kneeled down upon his knees," not in a single hurried 
gesture, but "three times a day and prayed." And now 
comes the climax although his public career, his repu- 
tation, his happiness, his very life were at stake, he "gave 
thanks before his God." What magnificent courage! And 
how gloriously it was rewarded by the Lord! 

You know the rest of the story. His enemies stealthily 
watched his house, found him on his knees worshiping 
God, accused him at the royal court, and insisted that 
Darius sentence him to death. Unwillingly the monarch 
obeyed, and before the day closed, Daniel was cast into 
the lions' den. Yet, instead of being torn to pieces by the 
bloodthirsty beasts, he was miraculously protected. An 
angel shut the lions' mouths. The Lord's servant was 
rescued and returned to his position. His deliverance 
provoked another decree, directing men throughout the 
kingdom to bow before Jehovah, since, as King Darius 
declared, "He is the living God and steadfast forever" 
What a glorious Thanksgiving* Day that was for Daniel! 

II 

WE WILL BE BLESSED IF WE, TOO, PRAISE GOD 
DESPITE OUR SORROWS 

What a blessed Thanksgiving Day this can be for you 
if with all your heart you follow Daniel by turning to the 
Almighty in Christ and, despite war's sorrows or personal 
hardships, thank Him for His marvelous mercies! No 
matter how hard the past has been, how uncertain the 
future, if you have accepted the Lord Jesus as your 



78 THANK GOD EVEN IN DARKENED DATs! 

Savior, the twenty-four hours of Thanksgiving Day will 
not be long enough to express your gratitude for His 
mercy in redeeming you from sin and its sentence of 
eternal death. Can you say and believe sincerely, "J esus 
died for me"? Then thank God without ceasing for the 
greatest gift even His love can give you this assurance 
of your salvation! What if you have financial problems? 
Through the Redeemer heaven is yours. Are you born 
again into a new, Christ-centered life? Then join the 
Psalmist in declaring, "O give thanks unto the Lord, -for 
He is good, because His mercy endureth forever!" What 
if you are seized by worry and fears concerning your 
Christian son in Tunisia or the South Sea Islands? Praise 
the Almighty that he is under divine protection, that 
nothing can happen to him except by Heaven's good and 
gracious will. Do you own a Bible, the errorless Word 
of redemption, "which is able to build you up"? Thank 
God for this sacred truth which can direct you safely 
in every dark hour, along each uncharted path! Even if 
you have been guilty of many and serious sins, read the 
promises of Sacred Scripture to learn, "Though your sins 
be as scarlet, they shatt be white as snow; though they 
be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" all through 
the complete, assured grace of the Savior who gave Him- 
self for you! Do you know the power of prayer uttered 
in Jesus' name, accompanied by the confession of all 
your sins, spoken with grateful acknowledgment of divine 
mercies? Then, before tins day closes, kneel, as Daniel 
did, before God to glorify Him with all your heart and 
soul for this privilege of communion with Him. What if 
doubt of divine goodness tries to invade your heart? 
Rejoice because you have Christ's promise, "All things, 
whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall 
receive"! That pledge never fails. 



THANK GOD EVEN IN DARKENED DAYS! 79 

Are you tempted to refuse thanking God since your 
happiness has been small? When the Plymouth Pilgrims 
observed their first Thanksgiving, they had harvested the 
yield of only twenty acres of corn, six acres of barley and 
peas. Their world was but a few square miles surrounded 
by the perils of pathless wilderness, yet they set aside a 
special day to praise their Lord. How much more you 
have for which to sing your gratitude to the heavenly 
Father! Count your blessings, one by one, and believe 
that the almighty Creator and Sustainer, with whom 
"nothing shall be impossible'' can, if it be for your eternal 
good, multiply your earthly benedictions overnight. 

Do not think that your voice must be raised in lament 
instead of praise because you have suffered repeated 
afflictions! If you have Christ as your Savior, you know 
the secret of human suffering, for at the cross you under- 
stand that the Lord of love, far from punishing His chil- 
dren in His wrath, only corrects them in His mercy. What 
seems a crushing blow may. in reality, through Jesus, 
prove a marvelous, uplifting power. The other day I read 
of a shipwrecked man who managed to reach an un- 
inhabited island. There, to protect himself against the 
elements and to safeguard the few possessions he had 
salvaged, he painstakingly built a little hut from which 
he constantly and prayerfully scanned the horizon for 
the approach of a ship. Returning one evening after a 
search for food, he was terrified to find the hut com- 
pletely enveloped in flames. What a crushing disaster 
that seemed! Yet by divine mercy this hard affliction was 
changed into a mighty advantage. Early on the following 
morning he awoke to find a ship anchored off the island. 
The captain stepped ashore and explained, < We saw your 
smoke signal and came." Everything the marooned man 
owned had to be destroyed before he could be rescued. 



80 THANK GOD EVEN IN DARKENED DATs! 

Some of you have likewise had to face complete loss of 
your pride, your overconfident self-reliance before you 
could be saved and realize this glorious comfort, "All 
things work together for good to them that love God." 

Do not be discouraged when you find opposition on 
all sides I Remember Daniel! When his enemies sought 
to destroy him, he turned to the Lord in thanksgiving for 
His mercies. If you show a similar loyalty to your heav- 
enly Father, if with the Apostle Paul you learn to rejoice 
in your afflictions and thank God for your infirmities, as 
they reveal Christ's power more clearly, then the Al- 
mighty will stand by you, as He supported Daniel. This 
help may not come in the spectacular deliverance by 
which that Prophet was rescued from the lions. Indeed, 
it may often seem that your faith brings you too much 
of the cross, too little of the crown; but finally, in your 
Father's good time, in His perfect way, you, too, will be 
preserved for His celestial kingdom. You will be able to 
rise over all obstacles and opposition, all trials and temp- 
tations, all agonies and afflictions, to challenge, "I/ God be 
for us" and He is for us, because He gave His only Son 
to redeem us from sin then "who can be against us?" 

Do you not see, therefore, that for full Thanksgiving 
blessings you should dedicate your souls in unswerving 
loyalty to Jesus? Acclaim Him your Savior, and He will 
proclaim you His eternally redeemed. His promise is, 
"Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown 
of life" If the Holy Spirit now grants me the privilege of 
speaking into the souls of some of you who up tiU this 
Thanksgiving Day have spent your own lives apart from 
the Lord and against Christ, only to realize that your 
plans have been battered in the past and your hopes 
shattered for the future, then may the Spirit help you 
make this a day of the truest thanksgiving a time of 



THANK GOD EVEN IN DAJRKENED DAYS 1 . 81 

rejoicing even in heaven as you stop your rebellion 
against the Almighty and turn to His Son for pardon, 
joy, salvation! We read of Saint Paul that in one of his 
many difficulties "he thanked God, and took courage. 9 ' 
May you, my fellow redeemed, on this wartime Thanks- 
giving praise God for the Savior and take courage in 
Christ for whatever may confront you! In true courage 
stand beneath the cross and, with your arm raised in the 
oath of allegiance to the crucified Redeemer, cry out, 
"Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through 
our Lord Jesus Christ!' 9 The Lord grant you that supreme 
Thanksgiving joy for the Savior's sake! Amen. 



Tenth Lutheran Hour 



Jesus Christ, Our God 
of Grace 

"He [Jesus] said, Young man, I say unto thee, 
Arise! And he that was dead sat up, and began 
to speak." 
SAINT LUKE 7:14, 15 



Enlightening, Comforting Spirit of God: 

Take possession of our hearts and lead us to believe with 
all our souls that because Jesus died on the cross in our 
steady atoning for our sins, humble faith in His mercies can 
strengthen us in weakness, comfort us in sorrow, and sustain 
us in every trial! Bring the glory of full Gospel grace into 
many sin-marked lives throughout the land! Show the im- 
penitent that the way of the transgressor is hard, but that the 
way of the Redeemer is the road, through pardon and peace, 
to heaven itself! Bless our broadcast everywhere, especially 
among the men in our military forces! Many of them, we 
know, are not at peace with Thee. Prove Thy power mightily 
in their hearts and call them, contrite and trusting, to their 
Savior! Keep those in the Army and the Navy who are God's 
children clean amid temptations, and daily show them the 
courage they can find in Christ! Bring them back to us, 
O Holy Spirit, and soon grant the world blessed peace in 
which righteousness and truth prevail! Hear us and help us 
for Jesus 9 sake! Amen. 

J[%.ECENTLY our American troops, trying to 
land near Buna, New Guinea, were suddenly attacked by 
a squadron of eighteen Japanese planes. The air bombing 
became so heavy that two of our generals, their staffs, 
and most of the men were forced to dive into the water 
and under constant fire swim a half mile to shore* On 
board one of these landing trawlers was Captain Wilfred 

82 



JESUS CHRIST, OUR GOD OF GRACE 83 

Schnedler, a graduate of Concordia Seminary, one of our 
138 Lutheran pastors now serving the armed forces as 
chaplains. He stayed on deck as long as he could, tossing 
over hatch covers and oil drums, by which others might 
keep afloat and save their lives. Finally he, too, had to 
leave the ship and make for shore. After thanking God 
for their deliverance, our troops stopped to take inven- 
tory. All their possessions had gone to the bottom. Many 
of the men were without even clothing. "In fact," Chap- 
lain Schnedler summarized, "We lost everything except 
our religion," and then, naming the heaviest loss sus- 
tained, he concluded, "I could not save even my New 
Testament" 

Why do you suppose that New Testament meant 
more to the chaplain and to many of his men than any- 
thing else? Or, why do many American soldiers, when 
asked which gift they prefer, not answer, ""Cigarettes"; 
"Cookies"; "Candy," but, "The Bible"? Why do letters 
come to our desk every day from men with the nation's 
fighting forces stating that the strongest morale-building 
agency in their lives is Scripture? All this testifies to the 
glorious truth that God's Word, as the errorless, complete, 
inexhaustible truth of Heaven, is man's priceless, peerless 
possession today because it reveals Jesus as God and 
Savior, the one and only Answer to our greatest needs 
in this critical hour. Destroy every copy of Holy Writ, 
tear the memory of its promises from the human mind, 
and the world will become an even more brutal battle- 
field on which the horrors of the Second World War will 
appear small by comparison! But spread the Bible with 
its pledge of Christ's cleansing power, give a constantly 
increasing number of sin-torn human hearts the assurance 
that Jesus is both Lord of lords and the universal Re- 
deemer, and men will find new hope for the life that now 



84 JESUS CHRIST, OUR GOD OF GRACE 

is and for that which is to come. That is why Chaplain 
Schnedler missed his New Testament more than all else, 
why thousands of American marines, sailors, airmen ap- 
preciate the Scriptures above all other gifts you send 
them. That is why with the New Testament picturing 
Christ as our eternal God and Redeemer you and I 
must turn to His Word for the guarantee of pardon and 
the pledge of heaven. 

In His name, then, and with the Spirit's help, I devote 
this broadcast to exalt 

JESUS CHRIST, OUR GOD OF GRACE, 

choosing as the text Saint Luke's memorable words 
(chapter seven, verses fourteen and fifteen) : "He [Jesus] 
said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise! And he that was 
dead sat up and began to speak." 



HIS GRACE IS SHOWN BY HIS SYMPATHETIC COMFORT 

This miracle takes us outside the gates of Nain, a small 
city in southern Galilee. At first glance its geographical 
location may seem of little importance, but as every word 
in the Bible is packed with meaning, so these cities where 
the Savior lived and worked bring us a special message. 
Do you realize what it meant to live in Galilee? That 
was the land of mixed races, mixed bloods, mixed lan- 
guages the territory from which self-respecting church 
leaders and the socially prominent in Judea and Jeru- 
salem kept their distance. It was a country generally of 
poor, underprivileged, lower-class people, which accord- 
ing to popular estimate would never produce a great 
man of God a district so despised that the Pharisees 
and Sadducees could sneer, "Out of Galilee ariseth no 
prophet!" Yet in this neglected province Jesus lived. Here 



JESUS CHRIST, OUR GOD OF GRACE 85 

He spent most of His ministry. Here He chose practically 
all His disciples. What a vital lesson and present-day 
challenge in this fact that Christ grew up among the 
Galileans and performed His miracles for them! His grace 
is offered all men, but especially those on whom the 
world pours its self-righteous scorn. His appeal "Come 
unto Me" is addressed to the whole race, but particularly 
to those who "labor and are heavy laden." Priests and 
Levites might refuse to cross the threshold of a tax- 
gatherer's home, lest they contaminate themselves, but 
our Lord sat at table with those social outcasts, lest they 
be deprived of hearing the promise of eternal life. 

Jesus never changes; and today you need not fear 
that you are too humble and unimportant to be received, 
welcomed, comforted, saved, by His love. The Gospel we 
bring you in His name is the pledge of grace for every 
sinner, no matter how spurned he may be; the Christ we 
preach is the Savior for all y for the forgotten and for- 
saken. Let American churches learn to follow Him in His 
compassion for the underpaid and underprivileged, the 
overlooked and overburdened! Sometimes we have too 
many churches in the suburbs and too few in the slums, 
imposing granite sanctuaries on the right side of the rail- 
road track and dilapidated structures on the wrong side. 
Too much time is often spent with the rich and promi- 
nent, too little with the poor and ignored. Although we 
are fighting for democracy, millions of Americans, in- 
cluding many nominal Christians, still speak with con- 
tempt of Jews and Negroes, of "okies" and "hillbillies," 
immigrants and aliens, when in the sight of Him who 
died for their salvation, their souls are immeasurably 
precious. Before it is too late and the neglected masses 
rise up to indict the churches for catering to the rich and 
throwing only a few crumbs to the poor, the pulpits, of 



86 JESUS CHRIST, OUR GOD OF GRACE 

the United States should emphasize that, as the Lord 
spent practically His whole life and more than half of 
His public ministry among these pushed-aside people of 
Galilee, so the mission of His kingdom is particularly 
directed to the Galileans of our twentieth century. 

When Jesus stopped outside the Nain gates, He 
paused to greet a widow. At that time the lot of the 
woman who had lost her husband was often crushing; 
and throughout the world, until Christ's principles pen- 
etrated heathen strongholds, widows were systematically 
oppressed and persecuted. In India the bereaved wife 
was urged to throw herself on the flaming funeral pyre 
that consumed her lord husband's remains. In sections 
of New Guinea a widow even now must veil her face and 
for six months daily crawl on hands and knees to her 
husband's grave. Papuan widows are compelled by cus- 
tom to wear the skulls of their departed husbands on a 
chain around their necks. In China widows are often 
driven to suicide because relatives seek to force them 
into a life of shame. In New Britain, even during recent 
years, widows were still choked to death, so that they 
might serve their husbands throughout the next life. 
Into this maze of cruelty and brutality came the Lord 
Jesus, to fulfill His promise, "Behold, I make all things 
new" to change the human heart so that widows would 
be regarded with charity and compassion, supported in 
their needs, comforted in their bereavement. 

Added to the Nain widow's sorrow was the fresh 
wound that her son, the only support for her advancing 
age, had now been taken by death. What doubly crush- 
ing heaviness must have burdened her heart, and how 
she must have yearned for true comfort! Small wonder 
that a throng of sympathizers followed her in the fu- 
neral procession! They meant well, even the professional 



JESUS CHRIST, OUR GOD OF GRACE 87 

mourners who probably marched along with the cortege, 
raising their voices in loud lament. Yet the words of the 
Psalmist must have run through the bereaved woman's 
mind, *7 looked for . . . comforters, but I found none." 
Many of you can understand the depth of her anguish: 
you recall a bereavement in your own family circle and 
remember that flowers, messages of condolence, visits of 
sympathetic friends could hardly lessen the aching grief. 
You were inconsolable, tempted to charge God with 
cruelty. You, too, had only human comforters. 

While the long funeral procession slowly passes 
through the gates, another column of marchers appears, 
intent on entering the city. It is the Lord Jesus with His 
disciples and many of the common people who had fol- 
lowed Him from Capernaum, where He had healed the 
centurion's servant on the day before. How was it, we 
may well pause to ask, that these two processions one 
of death and the other of life met on the Nain road? 
Apparently it was only accidental; but there are no 
chance happenings in Christ's comforting grace! That 
morning, when Jesus had set out with His followers, no 
one except our Lord Himself knew that, before the day 
closed, He would meet this agonized widow. And this 
morning many of you arose without realizing that today 
could be a time of heavenly destiny when Christ would 
approach you with forgiveness for sin and comfort for 
affliction. Fifteen or twenty minutes ago many of you 
were thinking of anything else except the Lord Jesus and 
His salvation; yet it was not chance which led you to your 
radio at this particular time to hear Christ's message of 
grace and truth. Stop everything that may keep you from 
concentrating on His appeal! Lay your newspaper asidel 
Let household duties remain unfinished for a few mo- 
ments! A crisis moment for this life and the next has now 



88 JESUS CHRIST, OUR GOD OF GRACE 

come for many of you, just as it came to the grief -stricken 
widow on the Galilean road. God grant you will not per- 
mit the Redeemer to pass without welcoming Him! 

When Jesus beheld the sobbing, grief -gripped widow, 
Saint Luke tells us, "He had compassion on her." His 
heart was moved by deepest sympathy, for His divine 
gaze penetrated her wounded soul to discover the full 
extent of her anguish. The same blessed Savior is moved 
by divine sympathy for you in all your needs of soul and 
body; yet who can worthily picture His inexhaustible, im- 
measurable, indescribable love? Every time I come to the 
heart and center of these messages, the Savior's eternal 
mercy, I feel keenly and personally the utter weakness of 
words, the stark limitations of the human mind. All I can 
do is ask the Spirit's blessing on your soul as I tell you: 
The Lord Jesus had compassion on you when you had 
only hatred for Him. He loved you, even when your sins 
helped crucify Him. He saw you in your iniquities, while 
your eyes were too blind to behold Him in His forgiving 
grace. He found you, lost in your transgressions, spir- 
itually dead, completely helpless; then, driven by His 
limitless devotion, He forsook His majestic heaven and 
came, as this Advent Sunday recalls, into a world of war 
and woe, to prove His love for you on the cross. What 
glorious assurance for sin-burdened souls to know: Christ 
has compassion on me! 

Jesus has the same compassion for the entire race with 
its crime and endless wickedness. Could you blame Him, 
holy, stainless, perfect in His purity, if He would reject 
and destroy an earth in which, from its earliest centuries, 
men have oppressed and murdered their fellow men; 
a world that for the last 3,300 years, according to a 
Union College professor, has known only 227 years of 
general peace fifteen sixteenths of all known history 



JESUS CHRIST, OUB GOD OF GRACE 89 

being marked by bloodshed and destruction? Were the 
full facts known, the proportion of war would be even 
greater. Could you really blame our Lord if as He 
searches human hearts, only to find in every one of them, 
envy and hatred, avarice and greed, lying and falsehood, 
impurity and lust, unbelief and mockery of God He 
would turn completely away from the whole rebellious 
race and permit men to destroy themselves? Yet praise 
His everlasting grace! He has mercy on us; and though 
you may doubt it and wonder why He could love you 
with your wretched hatreds, yet the Christ of the Nain 
road is the Christ of your life's road with grace for 
your soul. 

He shows the same sacred sympathy for every sorrow 
endured by those who accept Him. His unbreakable 
Word assures us that He is "touched with the feeling of 
our infirmities'" Some of you parents know by heart- 
breaking experience what agony that Galilean mother 
suffered when her son was snatched away in death. Hun- 
dreds of you have been saddened by Government notices 
informing you that your boy was killed in battle, drowned 
in the sea, or lost in a plane crash. Throughout this 
deepest anguish learn the strengthening truth that in the 
Savior you can find heavenly compassion! Turn to Him 
for consolation! Find sustaining grace for the burdens 
some of you Christian women bear because of a brutal 
husband, or the affliction some of you men endure be- 
cause of an unfaithful wife! See His countenance light 
in loving sympathy for your agony, you whose health, 
home, happiness, are gone, but who can never lose Him 
as long as you remain in the faith! Do not think dark 
thoughts of vengeance nor waste time and energy pitying 
yourselves! Look to Jesus for the unmistakable courage 
He alone can give! 



90 JESUS CHRIST, OUR GOD OF GRACE 

Our Lord spoke only two short words to that widow, 
"Weep not!" and He repeats them to you after nineteen 
hundred years, " f Weep not 9 in despair over your sins!" 
He tells you: "Turn to Me for mercy and forgiveness! 
'Weep not' disconsolately in your suffering! 'Weep not 9 
in rankling disappointments! e Weep not' even in the dark- 
ness of death! 'Come unto Me' for comfort and support!" 

II 
HIS GRACE IS SHOWN BY HIS DIVINE DELIVERANCE 

Jesus does more than speak, however. Unlike human 
helpers, who often promise everything, yet give nothing; 
world politicians who pledged peace and brought us war; 
economists who said that we would have plenty if we 
destroyed our food, but who now admit that we may 
have too little even if we ration what is left; false 
religious teachers who, offering financial prosperity in 
Christ's name, still leave the masses disillusioned, de- 
luded, desperate unlike these, Jesus never comforts 
without being able to support His words by deeds. Be- 
fore the sobbing widow speaks to Christ, He has already 
planned to put His words into action. Without having 
a single request addressed to Him, Jesus is ready to re- . 
lieve. Before we call upon Him, He has heard us. Before 
we realize what we need, He can supply us. In a mighty 
moment of history He directs this command to the life- 
less corpse, anointed for burial, wrapped in winding 
sheets, cold and still in death, "Yotmg man, I say unto 
thee, Arise!" Hardly had the words leaped from His lips, 
when by the mightiest miracle Jesus had performed until 
then, "he that was dead sat up, and began to speak?* 
Death had been defeated, and a son who would have 
been lowered into the grave was returned to his mother. 

I have called this one of history's epochal moments 



JESUS CHRIST,, OUR GOD OF GRACE 91 

because it gave clear proof that Jesus was more than a 
Leader, Teacher, Guide; more than a Model, Pattern, 
Ideal; more than the mightiest Man, the outstanding 
Hero, the most masterful Mind of the ages. There on 
a rocky Galilean road Jesus showed that He was God; 
when by His own authority He declared, "I say unto 
thee, Arise!" and the corpse, infused with new life, obe- 
diently arose, He demonstrated that He was the Al- 
mighty, the Lord of life and death. Men can stand before 
caskets and cry: "Arise!" "Arise!" "Arise!" only to learn 
that the hollow echo of their failure continually mocks 
them. Scientific experts and medical authorities may de- 
vise remarkable, complicated apparatus by which they 
seek to restore or prolong life, but they cannot add a split 
second to the allotted life span, let alone return a soul 
that ^.as entered the valley of death. Multimillionaires 
and Rulers of mighty empires have pleaded on their 
deathbeds for a day, an hour more; but all their money 
and might could not purchase the slightest extension. 
When their breath stopped, they were gone beyond re- 
call. Yet here is One who is higher than princes and 
potentates, scientists and savants; here in Christ we have 
our God of grace and glory, who has to speak but one 
word, "Arise!" and death is robbed of its victim. If all 
Scripture passages testifying to the Savior's deity were to 
disappear and only the record of the resurrection at Nain 
remained, this truth alone should convince the most skep- 
tical that Jesus of Nazareth "was more than man, more 
than angels, nothing less than the very God of very God. 
No age in our history has more desperately needed 
the acknowledgment of Jesus as the Lord of lords. To 
escape the eternal punishment of sin, to be freed from 
the grip of everlasting death, and at the same time to 
have divine comfort for the heaviest earthly sorrows we 



92 JESUS CHRIST, OUR GOD OF GRACE 

need far more than the best human counselors, the most 
fervent hopes and wishes. We must find the Almighty in 
Christ! One of the reasons the all-wise and all-knowing 
God has permitted the horrors of two world wars to 
overtake this generation may be seen in the supertragedy 
that our age, more than any similar previous period, has 
questioned, spurned, ridiculed His deity, one of the pillar 
truths for the men and women who founded this nation. 
Read the declarations of the brave colonists who settled 
our shores, built our earliest towns, established our first 
colleges, and you will learn that these men and women 
regularly were moved by the sincere conviction of Jesus' 
deity. Trusting Him, they could, as they did, found a 
nation of unparalleled wealth and resources on this North 
American continent! Yet today many have forgotten this 
keystone creed in our faith, that Jesus, together with the 
Father and the Spirit, is the only God. Churches by 
the thousands have denied this climax truth. Theological 
seminaries, Sunday schools, foreign mission boards, young 
people's religious groups, in far too many instances have 
joined unbelievers who insist that Jesus was only another 
prophet alongside of Moses, Mohammed, Zoroaster, Bud- 
dha, Confucius. Then we wonder why Protestantism has 
so often failed. My fellow redeemed, you who bear 
Christ's name, remember that the Savior expects un- 
shrinking loyalty and faithful testimony from you! He 
looks to you for protest every time unbelief seeks to drag 
Him down to the low level of men. He asks you to come 
out from those groups in which preachers willfully, per- 
sistently exalt Him as the most outstanding of all the race, 
yet refuse to kneel before Him and with Thomas to call 
Him "my Lord and my God!" 

Especially does Jesus desire the loyalty and the love 
of those who until this time have never known and be- 



JESUS CHRIST, OUR GOD OF GRACE 93 

lieved that He is their Lord; that He can turn eternal 
death into everlasting life for them. Let no one now say: 
"Miracles can never happen!" "This story of the young 
man at Nain can't be true." Why not? Listen to this state- 
ment by Daniel Webster and ask yourself whether you 
can continue to doubt Christ's miracles and His deity: 
"I believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of God! The miracles 
which He wrought establish, in my mind, His personal 
authority and render it proper for me to believe whatever 
He asserts. . . . And I believe there is no other way of sal- 
vation than through the merits of His atonement." Or, 
considering the commonplaces of everyday life and the 
wonders in nature, which you accept every moment you 
live, listen to William Jennings Bryan as he speaks of the 
radish and declares: "Some skeptics say, 'Oh, the mir- 
acles I can't accept miracles!' One may drop a brown 
seed in the black soil, and up comes a green shoot. You 
let it grow, and by and by you pull up its root and you 
find it red. You cut the red root and find it has a white 
heart. Can any one tell how this came about how brown 
cast into black results in green and then in red and white? 
Yet you eat your radish without troubling your mind over 
miracles. Men are not distressed by miracles in the dining 
room; they reserve them all for religion!" 

Why doubt, when you can see the evidences of 
Christ's divine power in human lives saved from spiritual 
death? A visitor to the island of Raiatea in the South 
Seas tells of finding 600 children gathered to worship 
Jesus. Had the Gospel not been brought to that uncivil- 
ized island, many parents would have followed the pagan 
perversion and killed their children. As these boys and 
girls sang the Savior's praises, a father could be heard to 
say, "What mercy it is that we spared our dear girl!" 
Atx old gray-haired chief cried out, "Oh, that I ha<J known 



94 JESUS CHRIST, OUR GOD OF GRACE 

that the Gospel was coming! My children would be here 
among this happy group! But I destroyed them." Wher- 
ever the Gospel of the Savior slain for an evil world is 
heard and believed, those who have been "dead in tres- 
passes and sin 9 are born again "of water and of the 
Spirit! 9 They die, of course, but death in Christ is only 
a passing from suffering to glory. Because Jesus Himself 
bore their "sins in His own body on the tree," He has re- 
moved the curse of everlasting death. As He united 
mother and son outside the Nain gates, so, but in a much 
higher way, He will re-unite all the faithful in the never- 
ending happiness of the heavenly homeland. For His 
holy Word leads us to believe that in the celestial radi- 
ance, husbands and wives, parents and children, relatives 
and friends, will not only recognize one another, but will 
also be together in unspeakable bliss as part of "the whole 
family in heaven' 9 To you, the bereaved who wonder 
whether in the "many mansions 9 where Christ has pre- 
pared your place you will know your loved ones who 
have gone before you in the faith or who follow after, 
I say: "The Bible clearly teaches that we do not lose our 
personal identity in heaven, for Scripture mentions many 
by name whom we will meet in that better and blessed 
land." Of course, earthly relationships will be changed 
and hallowed. For instance, there will be no more marry- 
ing or giving in marriage. However, God will supply 
something so incomparably better that with our restricted 
reason we simply cannot understand "the glory which 
shall be revealed in us" Rest assured, those who love the 
Lord Jesus shall meet in the hereafter with the higher 
knowledge by which "I shall "know even as also I am 
known! 9 What an appeal in this to keep the whole family 
for Christ! A California listener wrote me that two years 
ago after her godly father had died, our message re- 



JESUS CHRIST, OUR GOD OF GRACE 95 

minded her that if she was ever to meet him again, she 
would have to accept the Savior. On that blessed day the 
Spirit touched her soul; she came to Jesus for pardon, 
peace, and life. God grant that many of you will under- 
stand in a personal, unmistakable manner that, if you 
are to join your faithful, Christ-dedicated parents; if you 
are to escape death's doom and hell's terrors; above all 
this, if you are to see Jesus face to face, then be certain 
of this: You must acclaim Him your Redeemer! There is 
no other way. 

This is a special appeal to American youth. Jesus 
speaks to you young men and women in our armed 
forces and in civilian life, to our high-school students, 
our college and university men and women, and His cry 
is still: "'Young man' young woman, 7 say unto thee, 
Arise!' 'Arise 9 from sin and selfishness! 'Arise from un- 
belief and doubt! 'Arise from the low level of sneering 
and scoffing at Christ! 'Arise 9 from the gutter philosophy, 
which urges you, Yield to your passions, follow the lure 
and lust of the flesh! 'Arise' for Jesus! Exalt Him before 
the world as Savior! Trust His Word! Build your hope 
on His promises! Fight temptations in His name! Follow 
the good, pure, helpful paths with His power and guid- 
ance! Meet Jesus daily and prayerfully in His Word, and 
you will not only give our country what it needs, even 
above armaments: the exalting righteousness; you will 
not only be privileged to help save others for Christ, but 
you yourself will have a new life, new strength, new joy!" 
Youth of America, arise for Christ and on the great 
Day of Judgment Christ will arise for you! Amen. 



What Have You in Your 
Home? 

"Tell me, what hast thou in the house?" 
2 KINGS 4:2 

God, True, Triune, and Eternal: 

A year ago our country entered this world war; and today 
we pause to thank Thee for every act of protecting love by 
which Thou didst shield the lives of Thy children during the 
past twelve months, sustaining them amid peril and affliction. 
We praise Thy mercy that our shores have not been invaded 
nor our homes blasted by bombs. We have not suffered as the 
people in other lands. Continue, we beseech Thee, to look 
mercifully on us! We confess that too often we have been 
proud, forgetful of Thy grace, heedless of Thy warnings. We 
have deserved punishment in place of pardon. Forgive us 
these and all our sins for Jesus', our only Savior's, sake! 
Bless us according to Thy holy purpose with victory and 
a triumph of Christian truth! Comfort the wounded, the im- 
prisoned, those under fire of attack! Turn them from war's 
destruction to the blessed pursuits of peace! Without Christ 
we can do nothing; but with Him, through firm faith, we can 
overcome the world. Enrich us with a fuller measure of 
humble trust! We ask it in the name of Jesus, our Redeemer. 
Amen. 



i 



LN many Midwestern cities civilian defense 
workers are now making house-to-house calls to learn 
whether our homes are prepared for air raids and other 
war emergencies. With splendid and unpaid devotion to 
their important tasks these volunteers ask one family 
after the other: "What have you in your home: A black- 
out room? A first-aid kit? Sand pails to check incendiary 

96 



WHAT HAVE YOU IN YOUK HOME? 97 

bombs? Fire extinguishers and other useful equipment?" 
They want every American household to be fully pre- 
pared against danger. 

How helpful if the churches could similarly take a 
spiritual checkup on all our households, if every family 
from coast to coast would honestly answer questions like 
this: "What have you in your home a place where you 
regularly pray God for light in these dark days, a Bible 
that you daily use as spiritual first aid for domestic dif- 
ficulties, Christian faith to subdue fiery passions and 
quench burning anger?" 

If the Government marks with a victory V those 
dwellings in which the family limits its needs, saves scrap, 
purchases bonds, follows civilian defense instructions, 
and is guilty of no careless speech, then certainly we 
ought to mark with the Savior's cross those households 
which have room for prayer, ban loose, profane talk, con- 
tribute to our Lord's kingdom, and follow His Gospel 
with its plans for soul defense. 

We need such faith-blessed homes not only because 
Christian families are a strong part of the country's foun- 
dation, because war and its separation are weakening 
domestic ties, because the Bible's code of married life is 
being attacked as never before, but especially because 
the Christian home (which acclaims the Lord Jesus, em- 
phasizes the blessings of wedlock, exalts parenthood and 
childhood, denounces divorce, pleads against sinful birth 
control, and helps bring parents and children constantly 
closer to the Savior) can, under God, be a powerful agent 
in helping lead many to eternal salvation. 

On the first Sunday of this year's last month, then, as 
we pause for spiritual inventory of our family life, I ask 
every one of you: 

'WHAT HAVE YOU IN YOUR HOME?" 

Tenth Lutheran Hour 7 



98 WHAT HAVE YOU IN YOUR HOME? 

This is not a new question, for 2800 years ago the prophet 
Elisha (Second Kings, chapter four, verse two) spoke 
these words of our text, "Tett me, what hast tJiou in the 
house?" 

I 

DO YOU HAVE EARTHLY, MATERIAL, PHYSICAL SORROW 
IN YOUR HOME? 

Back in those distant days when Elisha went about 
teaching and preaching, a widow came to him for relief 
in her helplessness. She had no money, her debts were 
mounting, and her creditors were demanding repayment 
at the usurious rates the loan sharks of those days ex- 
torted. When Elisha asked her, "Tell me, what hast thou 
in the house?" the poor soul was forced to reply, not that 
her cupboard contained meat, bread, wine, figs, honey, 
and other foods, but that she was on the verge of destitu- 
tion, since only one pot of olive oil remained. That was 
usually mixed with meal and baked into bread; but she 
had no flour, no other food with which the oil could 
be used. 

Her plight recalls the poverty and privation many 
have suffered even in this richly blessed country. Since 
the 1929 crash about three and a third million American 
families have lost their homes, their farms, or real estate 
through mortgage foreclosures. If you of the comfortably 
situated middle and upper classes could see 10,000,000 of 
your countrymen living in dingy, overcrowded, unsani- 
tary slum tenements and ramshackle, rickety huts, you 
would understand that multitudes across this broad land 
would have to answer the question, "What hast thou in 
the house?" as did the widow, "We have destitution, 
want, poverty." I know that these conditions often arise 
from laziness and destructive sins; but I am just as 



WHAT HAVE YOU IN YOUR HOME? 99 

certain that too many have been deprived of a real 
chance in life for themselves and their children because 
they have been cheated, underpaid, and generally de- 
frauded. Now what are you going to do, you whose 
pantries are empty and clothes closets bare, whose hus- 
bands or wives are pale and sickly, whose children must 
forego the comforts and luxuries other boys and girls 
enjoy? Will you join the radical Communists as they cry 
out against every form of private property and demand, 
"Divide all wealth equally!" Unless God is especially 
merciful to our country, the years of the postwar readjust- 
ment may tempt many to reject the principles of true 
Americanism and the requirements of Christian faith. 
God keep you clear from such crash and ruin! Rather 
follow the faith of this widow! In her anxiety she made 
contact with God through His prophet, and by the mir- 
acle of divine power the oil in that pot was multiplied. 
All the vessels she had in her home and as many as she 
could borrow from her neighbors were filled with such 
an abundance of oil that the money derived from its sale 
paid her debts and met her needs. 

I cannot promise you, in a day of rationing and re- 
striction, that this miracle will be exactly repeated in your 
home; but I can give you higher assurance, since we have 
One who is greater than Elisha, Jesus, God in His own 
right and by His own power. His unbreakable Word 
pledges that He, the Christ of limitless might, can grant 
all our needs "according to the riches of His glory." He 
who in the days of His flesh looked compassionately on 
the hungry masses, multiplying bread and fishes for them; 
He who changed water into wine at a humble country 
wedding and told Galilean fishermen, disappointed after 
a night of unsuccessful toil, how they could catch an un- 
paralleled draught of fishes, has lost neither His provid- 



100 WHAT HAVE YOU IN YOUR HOME? 

ing love nor His producing strength. If it be His will, and 
that always means if it be for the eternal good of those 
who trust Him as their Redeemer, He can enrich you 
miraculously, if necessary, with everything essential for 
your happiness. Do not protest, "This is irresponsible talk 
and wishful thinking!" Many can testify how, just when 
it seemed there could be no more hope, the Almighty 
stepped in with heaven's help. May God give all of you 
the faith to approach Christ for every bodily need! 

This widow was also tormented by the thought that 
her sons would soon be taken from her. She had already 
borne one crushing bereavement the loss of her hus- 
band. Now her creditors threatened to sell her two boys 
as slaves. Some of you have personally felt the anguish of 
similar sorrows. Perhaps your husband, on whom you 
leaned for love, support, and guidance, has been claimed 
by death or, even worse, has deserted his family, run 
away with another woman. Many thousands of you fa- 
thers and mothers know what it means to be separated 
from your children. I think of families in our Church 
that have given seven, even eight, sons to the armed 
forces. What a tremendous sacrifice! Now, what will you 
do when, at the end of this month, the Selective Service 
Act registers 2,000,000 of our eighteen- or nineteen-year- 
old young men and later on your son is summoned to the 
colors? Will you drive yourself to the verge of nervous 
collapse, run to fortunetellers for false assurance? I hope 
not! Do what this widow did: she turned to God's prophet 
and found that the oil, miraculously increased, brought 
enough money to save her sons from slavery for debt. 
So you can turn to Jesus, your Prophet, Priest, and King, 
who by the shedding of His blood and His self -sacrifice 
on the cross freed everyone of us be sure that you be- 
lieve it! from the indebtedness of our sins, from the 



WHAT HAVE YOU IN YOUR HOME? 101 

slavery of hell, and the despair of eternal death. Now He 
also seeks to liberate us from fear and fill our hearts 
with the confidence that all His ways, even though far 
beyond our powers of understanding, are always right 
and blessed. Commit to Him your sons, on whatever front 
they may be. 

Many when asked, "What hast thou in the house?" 
will answer, "Sickness, pain, injury!" Some of you have 
been invalids most of your lives. Others have deformed, 
subnormal children. Oh, treat them tenderly, for Christ 
loves them just as much as the healthiest and most bril- 
liant child! Not a few among you have been crippled by 
the carelessness or cruelty of others. What will you do? 
Continually murmur and grumble? Take recourse to re- 
ligions which seek to convince you that there is no sick- 
ness, that your sufferings are only a state of mind? Do 
not make this mistake! Rather bring your pain and agony 
to Jesus in trusting faith! And if this will help your soul, 
He can heal you even though medical specialists have 
decreed, "There is no hope!" Scripture records twenty in- 
stances where Jesus laid His healing hand on the dis- 
eased, and He never departed from sickrooms without 
leaving aid. What He did then He can do now. Every 
Christian doctor will tell you that God can start when 
medicine and surgery stop. If in His far-seeing plan for 
you He permits you to remain an invalid, deprived of 
your sight or hearing, your strength wasted, believe, 
although you now cannot explain it, that all this is di- 
vinely scheduled for your good because you love the 
Lord in Christ. 

"What hast thou in the house?" I can hear some of 
you answer, "Nothing but quarreling, stinginess, jealousy, 
faultfinding, cursing, nagging, even physical violence, 
there where above all other places we should find love, 



102 WHAT HAVE YOU IN YOUR HOME? 

self-sacrifice, companionship." Why is it that some hus- 
bands and wives only a few years after their wedding 
no longer take their helpmates into their arms to say, 
"O my dearest, how I love you!" Is this not because Jesus, 
who can bring husbands and wives more closely together, 
has been banished from their hearts and homes? If af- 
fection is vanishing in your marriage, what will you do 
about it? Consult a psychiatrist? Try modern theories for 
a smooth family life? I have just read one of the latest 
of these volumes, intended to help develop "morale on 
the home front." It is written by a professor of education 
at a California school, Significantly, the author does not 
mention Christ as essential to home happiness. God ap- 
pears only in absurdly childish rhymes or in repeated 
profanity, which is indirectly called an aid to democracy. 
Not a word of Scripture, not a syllable on the necessity 
of prayer, not a sentence about church, not even a vague 
reference to spiritual strength! That paganized policy is 
becoming stronger day by day in the United States. Need 
we wonder, therefore, why we miss family happiness 
more frequently than before we heard of psychologists, 
psychiatrists, and psychoanalysts? They can render ex- 
cellent services, but they can never take the Savior's 
place. You must go to Him if you would have quiet in- 
stead of quarrel, for He alone can change the human 
heart, root out selfishness and supplant it with sympathy. 

"What hast thou in the house?" Do I hear some of you 
falter, "Drunkenness and its disgrace!" It brings tears to 
many eyes, I know, to recall the joyous moment of your 
marriage, when you stood with your beloved before 
God's altar, and to contrast with that the brutality and 
bestiality you now suffer because the demon of drunken- 
ness controls his life. But don't give up! Follow good 
counsel, but remember, you need superhuman power to 



WHAT HAVE YOU IN YOUR HOME? 103 

overcome alcoholism, especially in this loose age when 
the Christmas issue of a magazine features eight full-page 
color advertisements of whiskey. Implore the Savior's as- 
sistance! Again and again in the days of His flesh He 
drove out demons, and He can repeat that purifying 
cleansing in those who have become slaves to alcohol 
and are bound for hell unless they repent! Believe this: 
Jesus can help you! A Minneapolis family, regular lis- 
teners to our messages, suffered because the father was 
a habitual drunkard. One Sunday, as we warned against 
this destructive sin and pleaded in the Savior's name for 
recourse to His help, the Spirit touched that man's heart. 
He arose quietly, went to his wife and said, "From this 
moment on I will never touch another drop!" She was 
skeptical, because he had promised before. But this time 
he implored Christ's help; and for more than two years 
he has been a total abstainer. The same Savior can de- 
liver you. 

"What hast thou in the houseP" One of the most dis- 
tressing replies will be, "Unfaithfulness!" You can stand 
anything else, you say: poverty, sickness, even bereave- 
ment. But a broken marriage vow, disloyalty, deception, 
a secret affair this is too much. Do not think of divorce! 
Sometimes it is far better to forgive and try to forget, to 
follow Jesus, who says we are to forgive our brother not 
seven times, but seven times seventy times. Besides, di- 
vorce at best is hard and dangerous. The wave of broken 
marriages flooding our country is a peril to our national 
morale and strength. Altogether too many world leaders 
who regulate the affairs of others are divorced because 
they have not been able to direct their own home. No, 
look to Christ! Despite infidelity, your married life can 
still be happy through Him. Listen to this thankful letter 
from a Wisconsin woman: "About three years ago I wrote 



104 WHAT HAVE YOU IN YOUR HOME? 

you my problem, an unfaithful husband. You advised 
me to stand by him and told me how. I have, and now 
God and time have changed him completely"! The same 
Savior can work this change in any marriage. 

"What hast thou in the house? 9 I can almost hear 
some parents sob as they answer, "Selfish, ungrateful, dis- 
obedient children/* The cry of alarm goes up from all 
parts of the country: Juvenile crime is on the increase! 
You may complain that you have spent thousands of 
dollars on your children; that you have sacrificed and 
denied yourself even necessities in their behalf. Never- 
theless they turned against you, though you have done 
everything you could for them. Have you? Is it their fault 
entirely? Or were they spoiled in their younger years, 
brought up without discipline? Were they neglected, as 
many children are today because their parents are too 
preoccupied with business or the pursuit of pleasure? 
Have you given your children a Christian training which 
taught them to love, honor, and obey their parents? Have 
you set them a good example by attending a true church 
regularly? Do you know where your children were last 
night, where they will be tomorrow night? A week ago 
long lines of panic-stricken parents and relatives waited 
before morgues in Boston to see whether their sons and 
daughters, missing from their homes, were among the 
almost five hundred on whom swift, horrifying death 
descended in that night-club fire. Parents of America, 
God holds you responsible for doing everything humanly 
possible to have your children, your own flesh and blood, 
grow up into clean, consecrated manhood and woman- 
hood. How will you meet this responsibility? Now that 
the damage is done, night clubs and drinking places are 
to be inspected for fire hazards. Curfew laws and other 
legal remedies are being enacted to keep young people 



WHAT HAVE YOU IN YOUR HOME? 105 

off the streets. Yet state legislatures could meet day and 
night to grind out new regulations without solving this 
problem or changing youthful hearts, We need Christ in 
the home to give young people both the example and the 
power of obedience and love for Christian parents. Wher- 
ever sons and daughters recall the solicitous love He 
showed His mother even in His agony on the cross, faith 
in Him builds a superhuman foundation for the loving 
regard and generous support of parents. Remember that, 
you men in the armed services, whose fathers and mothers 
are continually thinking of you, praying for the Savior's 
abiding love in your hearts! 

''What hast thou in the house?" Some of you will an- 
swer, "Well, that widow had at least two sons, and de- 
spite my pleading I have no child/' You see some who 
consider children a burden, whose boys and girls grow 
up unwanted and unloved; yet your arms are empty, and 
doctors tell you that you will never cuddle a child of 
your own. Do not surrender to bitterness! The Almighty 
can overrule medical opinion and lay a precious mite of 
humanity, His highest human gift, into the arms of an 
overjoyed mother. Ask God, if it be His will, to bless you, 
even belatedly, as He enriched Hannah, Sarah, and count- 
less other mothers. However, should it be His will that 
you are to remain childless, then remember the Church 
agencies that can still help you! Thousands of couples 
have found inexpressible joy in receiving one of Christ's 
little ones from our home-finding societies or orphanages 
and then bringing them up "in the nurture and admoni- 
tion of the Lord." Perhaps we can help you. If this is 
your particular problem, write us! It may be that, under 
God, this broadcast will be the means of opening the door 
for lasting happiness in your household. 



106 WHAT HAVE YOU IN YOUR HOME? 

"What hast thou in the house?" we ask again, and 
some of you are beginning to feel, as the years increase, 
that you may never have a home of your own. Often we 
cannot understand why splendid Christian girls, who 
would make devoted wives, have been disappointed in 
love, had engagement promises broken. If you have suf- 
fered in this way, do not let your heart grow hard! Put 
your life under Christ's control! He can still give you 
a happy home. Perhaps His mercy has kept you from 
entering a marriage that would have proved an un- 
relieved heartache. He may have lofty purposes for you 
which you can best perform without family ties. As soon 
as you are the Lord's, you are under divine love and 
guidance; whatever turn your pathway takes, through 
Him it always leads to your eternal blessing. 

II 
DO YOU HAVE SPIRITUAL SORROWS IN YOUR HOME? 

Besides all these bodily, material burdens there is 
a far deeper sorrow in which Jesus can manifest His 
mercy as your Savior. When I ask you once more, "What 
hast thou in the house?" many thousands of you will be 
forced to reply, 'We have unbelief, the refusal to accept 
the Redeemer, the rejection of His mercy!" And that is 
the heaviest load. Therefore this is the most vital ques- 
tion, "Does Christ reign in your heart, and have you 
brought Him into your home?" Do you answer that you 
do not need Him; that, since the war began, you have 
higher incomes, greater crops, better business, larger 
salaries, than you ever thought possible; that you are 
living in a more pretentious house; that you and your 
wife have been buying new rugs, furniture, silverware, 
and equipment you could not have purchased before; 
in short, that you are getting along pretty well without 



WHAT HAVE YOU IN YOUR HOME? 107 

worrying about religion! Just how much happiness can 
you really buy with your increased income? What good 
is a new dining-room suite if accident knocks at your door 
or sudden death crosses your threshold? All the money 
you have heaped up will not secure pardon and forgive- 
ness for the sin you have thought was safely concealed, 
but is always revealed to God's penetrating eye; the in- 
iquity which once seemed enticing and alluring, but now 
after twenty, thirty, forty years, as your letters testify, 
torments your conscience with this warning, "He that 
soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption." 

Will you not see eye to eye with me when I tell you: 
The greatest issue before you personally and your home 
is this, that you stop resisting divine grace and take 
time, blessed time, to learn what a glorious Deliverer 
Jesus is! Though your life may have been sinful, sordid, 
until this moment, if you believe and repent, Jesus is 
ready to blot out the "handwriting of ordinances that 
was against us." However many you may have misled into 
wickedness, the Lord is eager to save your soul. Come, 
then, in repentant faith and with sincere effort to make 
restitution whenever possible. No matter how unworthy 
and unclean you may seem to yourself in comparison 
with the spotless, stainless Savior, you have this assur- 
ance, "The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth 
us from ALL sin." O my fellow sinners and my fellow 
redeemed, let Him reconcile you to your heavenly Fa- 
ther! Let Him, as His Spirit now seeks sacred entrance 
into your heart, give you the precious promise beyond 
all question, hesitation or doubt that He alone can cleanse 
every sin-laden soul, yours especially, if you trust Him 
as the crucified, yet victoriously risen Son of God and 
Redeemer of the race! 



108 WHAT HAVE YOU IN YOUR HOME? 

When you can truly say and may you make this 
blessed declaration today! that Christ is in your home 
because you are in Him, do everything you can to dedi- 
cate your whole household to Him and to let the world 
know that yours is a Christ-exalting home! Throw out 
all suggestive, indecent pictures, and adorn your walls 
with sacred scenes, a motto showing all who cross your 
threshold that Jesus is the Head of your family! Remove 
all lust-laden, sex-ridden magazines; they help send souls 
to hell! Have at least one good religious publication in 
your home! Put constructive, Christian volumes on your 
bookshelves! Watch the household conversation! Banish 
profanity, abuse of God's name, slander, and unworthy 
talk! Christmas is coming. Begin now to sing its joyful 
carols! Say grace at table! Set aside at least a few mo- 
ments each day when the whole family unites to read 
the Scriptures, to pray God's blessing on the home! Send 
your children to bed with a heart-spoken prayer! When 
they arise in the morning, have them commend them- 
selves to the Savior's guidance! Join a true church! Take 
part earnestly in its work! Have a minister of the Gospel 
come into your house! In the verses following our text 
we read that Elisha was graciously received into another 
home, where a special room was provided for him. His 
presence there brought blessing. Throughout the United 
States and Canada thousands of pastors, united with me 
in the complete fellowship of the faith which this broad- 
cast proclaims, eagerly await an invitation to your home, 
so that they can instruct you in the saving truth, baptize 
your household, and bring the whole family to Jesus! 

Do you say: "Oh, that my whole family were dedi- 
cated to Christ! Instead, my husband has not accepted 
the Savior. My children are not in the faith. My parents 
are still unbelievers. Mine is a house religiously divided 



WHAT HAVE YOU IN YOUK HOME? 109 

against itself." That let there be no mistake about it! 
is a serious situation.! If the members of your family are 
to be saved, they must cling to Christ in their own in- 
dividual faith. You may be married to a person without 
that trust. You were moved only by good looks or a 
pleasing personality; you thought that as a follower of 
the Lord Jesus you could make a convert of your mate. 
You failed. Years of contact with unbelief have weakened 
your own allegiance to the Savior. Therefore, I say to 
Christian young people: "Don't marry an unbeliever, no 
matter how attractive such a marriage would seem! Don't 
marry even a member of an opposing Church and bring 
spiritual disunity into your wedded life!" To my Roman 
Catholic friends and your letters show that thousands 
are regular listeners I declare further: "Don't marry a 
Protestant! Choose someone from your own Church, for 
too often these mixed marriages produce life-long misery. 
If you question this statement, go to the officials of your 
Church, and they will repeat essentially what I have 
just said." If it is too late for some of you to take this 
counsel, be patient! Realize that nothing is impossible 
for God and His Spirit! Pray for your unconverted mate! 
Live a consecrated life! Read the Scriptures in your 
family circle! It has been our repeated experience that 
the Holy Spirit has used this radio mission to bring the 
Savior into unbelieving homes. Listen to these testi- 
monies, only a few of the many the Almighty has gra- 
ciously given us: 

Wisconsin. "God's grace and your broadcast brought 
my husband to the faith. He goes to church with me now 
every Sunday." 

Massachusetts. "My wife and her mother have al- 
ways been Christians, but the writer is a convert by radio. 



110 WHAT HAVE YOU IN YOUR HOME? 

The Lutheran Hour was mainly instrumental in my de- 
cision at the age of fifty-two to accept Jesus as my own 
personal Savior." 

Illinois. "My husband was an unbeliever who said 
all pastors were hypocrites. One day I tuned in your 
station. When my husband heard of Christ, he was spell- 
bound. The following Sunday he attended our Lutheran 
service. Last Sunday he was confirmed, although once 
he had said that he would never consent His sister and 
brother-in-law were also confirmed." 

Nebraska. "My parents have been married twenty- 
five years, and my f ather never wanted to hear about be- 
longing to the Church; but since he has listened to the 
Lutheran Hour, he has become a member of our Church/* 

Illinois. "My husband joined our Church after we 
were married. He heard several broadcasts of the Lu- 
theran Hour, and then he had a talk with our minister 
and started instructions immediately. That is why I feel 
so grateful toward your messages.'* 

New York. "We never miss the Lutheran Hour ser- 
mons on Sunday; through its help my husband has joined 
the Church." 

When the whole family is won for Jesus and kept in 
His grace, then, no matter whether you live in a trailer 
or on a large estate, in furnished rooms near war plants 
or in a commodious apartment on an elite boulevard, 
whether your family is still united or separated because 
husbands, sons, brothers have answered the country's 
call as long as you have Jesus, you can answer the 
Prophet's question with this triumphant declaration of 
fact and faith: "We have peace in tie midst of war; joy, 



WHAT HAVE YOU IN YOUR HOME? Ill 

though we may be visited by sorrow; hope, when all 
seems dark around us; faith, though others may doubt; 
love, even in a world of hatred. We have all we need for 
time and eternity! We have the seal and pledge of our 
salvation. We have the title to our prepared place in the 
celestial mansions. We have the radiant foregleam of 
'the whole family in heaven' We have this and more, be- 
cause oh, blessed assurance! first, last, and forever 
uppermost we have in our homes as in our hearts 
Jesus Christ, God's Son and our Savior. Eternal praise be 
to Him for His blood-bought mercies!" Amen. 



Believe Christ And Live! 

"These are written that ye might believe that 
Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that, be- 
lieving, ye might have life through His name." 

SAINT JOHN 20:31 

Lord of Eternal Life: 

We praise Thee, Father, because Thou hast given us the 
Scriptures, in which the everlasting truth is clearly revealed. 
Particularly do we thank Thee for Thy grace in granting us 
the glorious Gospel of Thy Son Jesus Christ. Without Scrip- 
ture and without the Savior we should be hopelessly lost, but 
with the Bible and through reliance on the pardon purchased 
by Jesus we are saved eternally. Keep us from regarding our 
blessed Redeemer with anything less than the fervor of a 
living faith! Constantly remind us of the unfathomable com- 
passion with which He loved us and gave Himself for us 
while we were yet in our sins. When doubt of our salvation 
or despair over our transgressions would seize us, heavenly 
Father, send us Thy Spirit to banish fear and increase our 
trust! Keep us humble, reverent, and courageous, even when 
the tide of warfare seems to turn against us! In Thy time and 
according to Thy gracious purpose, let bloodshed cease and 
peace prevail! Until the last shot is fired, watch over Thy 
children wherever they may be in the turmoil of this struggle 
and fortify with the strength of Thy presence the lives of all 
who trust Thee! Grant us this mercy, for we plead in our 
Saviors name! Amen. 



of the most thrilling rescue stories of 
the present war comes from Norfolk, Virginia. At a re- 
ligious meeting in that city a young American sailor who 
had been at Pearl Harbor gave this testimony: "My ship 
was torpedoed; four other men and myself were on a 

112 



BELIEVE CHRIST AND LIVE! 113 

small life raft out on the ocean for over thirty-two hours. 
I had my New Testament in my pocket. I had hardly 
read from it before, but surely did read from it on the 
raft . . . Three of the men made fun of me for reading, 
but the fourth said, 'Read on, Buddy! Read it out loud, 
so I can hear!' I read and prayed that God would have 
mercy on me, a poor, helpless sinner, and save me froni 
a watery grave. Nightfall came, and one by one the three 
men who scoffed and laughed at me slipped from the 
life raft, out into dark eternity. This left but two of us, 
so we prayed that if God would spare our lives, we would 
live for the Lord Jesus Christ. After what seemed an 
eternity, a light came out of the darkness, ... a search- 
light from a United States destroyer. . . . Then and 
there ... I knew that my sins were forgiven. Ever since 
that hour I have been living for Christ." 

God rescued that sailor; and some of you, adrift on 
life's sea, tossed about by the waves of adversity, can 
likewise find deliverance from sin, sorrow, destruction, 
if only, with all your heart, you take God at His Word 
and trust His promises in Christ. Too many, however, 
like those three scoffing sailors on the raft, ridicule the 
Bible; and unless you stop rejecting His Word and His 
grace, you likewise will drop off into the darkness of 
eternal death. There is no other guide to spiritual safety 
besides our Bible, no other Savior in addition to Jesus, 
no other escape from the consequence of sin than through 
faith in His atoning blood and redeeming death. There- 
fore, today, on Universal Bible Sunday, may God give 
you especially the uncertain, the doubting, the scoffing, 
the self-confident a firm faith in the Bible's greatest 
promise: 

BELIEVE CHRIST -AND LIVE! 

Tsnth Lutheran How 8 



114 BELIEVE CHRIST AND LIVE! 

Saint John's inspired words ( chapter twenty, verse thirty- 
one) offer you this pledge: "These are written that ye 
might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, 
and that, believing, ye might have life through His name." 



THE FAITH WHICH GOD'S WORD DEMANDS 

Saint John does not stop to debate or argue the Bible's 
assertions, and neither should we. He heard Jesus pray, 
"Thy Word is truth'' and that settled any uncertainty for 
him, just as we should unreservedly acclaim Scripture 
the unfailing Word of life, in at Genesis and out at Reve- 
lation, the Almighty's divinely inspired, errorless, mar- 
velously protected record of our salvation. 

Some of you, however, are prejudiced against the 
Scriptures. You heard a brilliant infidel attack the Bi- 
ble, an unbelieving college professor direct his sarcasm 
against its pages, or a blasphemous atheist completely 
denounce it Without talcing time to investigate Holy 
Writ, you joined those who put question marks behind 
its promises and otherwise belittle its utterances. Yet 
many of those who most vehemently attack God's Book 
do not know the Sacred Volume. American and British 
agnostics have often confessed that they either had no 
copy of the Scripture they sought to destroy or that they 
had never read it completely. Are you making the same 
mistake? Why not be fair and at least give the Bible a 
chance to prove its heavenly origin and its divine power 
by a careful, personal, unbiased study of its record? 

Keep in mind, too, that many who sought to discredit 
the Bible, once they studiously investigated its truth, 
were led to drop their hostility and, convinced of Scrip- 
tural truth, acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Savior! 



BELIEVE CHRIST AND LIVE! 115 

Alexander Hamilton, Lord Lyttleton, Sir Gilbert West, 
General Lew Wallace, Sir William Ramsey, Professor 
Paul Elmer More, Lord Rochester, Giovanni Pappini, 
Professor Henry Drummond, Professor George Romanes, 
Thomas Jay Hudson, Felix Mendelssohn, John Stuart 
Mill these and many more made a right-about-face 
from unbelief to reverent faith. May the Holy Spirit to- 
day touch the hearts of you who have kept your distance 
from the Bible and convince you of its heavenly might! 
It is helpful, likewise, to know that many claims re- 
peatedly raised against the Bible have been altogether 
disproved. One hundred years ago, in December, 1842, 
the task of uncovering the ruined, long-buried cities of 
Assyria and Babylonia began, when Paul Emil Botta, 
French consul at Mosul, dug into one of the huge mounds 
which the dust and debris of twenty-five centuries had 
heaped over Nineveh, the largest, proudest city of its day. 
The recovery of these ancient, devastated nations has 
helped emphasize the Bible's absolute, divine truth. Just 
at a time when, particularly in Germany, higher critics 
were denouncing the Scriptures as unhistorical, untrue, 
unreliable, the very stones of these fallen empires cried 
out in defense of Holy Writ. For example, enemies of 
the Bible used to say that Sargon, mentioned in Isaiah 
twenty, was a fictitious character. They maintained this 
attack until 1842, when Botta, in his first excavations, dis- 
covered the palace, the annals, the pictures, of the very 
Sargon whom unbelief had boldly, but mistakenly, denied 
historical existence. They used to say that Moses could 
not have written his five books because he lived before 
people knew how to write; but they do not repeat that 
erroneous claim now, since archaeology has unmistak- 
ably shown that long centuries before Moses men in- 
scribed their thoughts into clay and stone. On the table 



116 BELIEVE CHRIST AND LIVE! 

before me today Is part of an inscription, secured in Iraq 
by one of my students, written 500 years before Moses. 
Critics used to claim that Nineveh never fell, as the sacred 
writers predicted it would; but they do not reaffirm that 
now, because in 1924 a tablet was deciphered containing 
an account of the city's capture a record in remarkable 
agreement with Old Testament prophecy. They used to 
say,' in a hundred other overconfident assertions, that 
Holy Writ had been proved misleading and mistaken; 
but no modern critic will repeat the attacks of 1842; for 
a hundred years of excavation have shed new, welcome 
light on many assailed Bible passages and strikingly sup- 
ported their accuracy. 

We in this broadcast believe that Holy Writ, as the 
true Word of God, cannot successfully be charged with 
error. Annually we have challenged unbelievers in our 
audience to produce from it a single statement that can 
be proved false. We reissue that challenge today. In past 
years, though this message every week reaches many 
skeptics and atheists, we have received no charge that 
could be substantiated. Instead, only the restatement of 
ancient attacks rejected so often that they should have 
been dropped long ago! Our Christian faith, far from 
being accepted only by third- or fourth-rate minds, has 
been acclaimed by recognized leaders in human af- 
fairs, endorsed and exalted by scholars of international 
fame and by first-rank scientists. Mark that, you col- 
lege students who are tempted to question or contradict 
Scripture! 

The Bible is not simply true, accurate, honest; it is 
not only excellent when viewed from the point of litera- 
ture and morals; above all it is a saving Book, because 
it teaches what no other volume can offer: the truth about 
our Lord, and Savior, Pointedly does Saint John declare 



BELIEVE CHRIST AND LIVE! 117 

in our text, "These" (the many miracles he has reported) 
"are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christy 
the Son of God." His whole purpose, he says, in recording 
marvelous incidents throughout our blessed Redeemer's 
life, is to prove that He should not be classified merely 
as a man among men; but that He is infinitely higher than 
all earthly leaders, all supermen and saints; that He is, 
in Heaven's own truth, "the Son of God," with divine 
power and resources at His disposal. Twice the great 
God said of Jesus, "This is My beloved Son." In many 
places Jesus asserts that He is God's Son. Hundreds 
of passages in both Testaments similarly acclaim Him. 
Scores of startling miracles gloriously prove His divine 
Sonship. Therefore the Jesus whom the Bible and this 
broadcast give you, in distinction from the Jesus preached 
this morning from many pulpits where He was acknowl- 
edged as a great man, but only a man; the Christ who 
alone can help fumbling, faltering, falling mankind; the 
Savior who holds out certain solution for your problems 
and assured relief for your afflictions, fejthe Son of God, 
almighty in His power, unlimited in His understanding, 
unrestricted by time or space, unhindered by any human 
weakness, as He comes to you with pardon. Will you not 
agree that for our distressed day when human props 
have collapsed, when human plans for peace and progress 
lie shattered, when human proposals for safeguarding 
the future provoke deep-rooted suspicion we need di- 
vine direction and superhuman assurance? Are you not 
ready to admit that the difficulties in your own life are 
beyond men's counsel and consolation; that your heart, 
crying out for a deliverer, asks, "Oh, that I knew where 
I might find Him!" the Source of all my help? Thank 
Heaven today, that question is eternally answered by 
Jesus! In Him you have your God, whose power can 



118 BELIEVE CHRIST AND LIVE 1 . 

rescue you in every affliction, whose knowledge foresees 
each path you take and leads you with loving-kindness, 
whose presence daily accompanies you, so that you need 
never be without His sustaining companionship! If you 
are fighting life's battle alone and losing; if you struggle 
against evil only in your own strength and suffer de- 
feat; if you find yourself crushed beneath the avalanche 
of sorrows that no human rescuers can ever remove, be- 
lieve the Bible! Believe God! Believe Christ! Believe 
the "many infallible proofs"! Believe the true, unim- 
peachable witnesses who, pointing to Him, declare, "He 
is our God"! 

All this is inseparably tied up with the second great 
Bible truth by which we declare that Jesus is not only 
divine, with the Father and the Spirit our one and true 
Lord of lords, but also that He is, as Saint John likewise 
states, "the Christ!' Do you know the real, blessed mean- 
ing of the six lettered name Christ? (Regrettably this is 
so frequently misused in profanity and so lightly re- 
garded even by those called Christians that the eternity 
of love and the measureless compassion it contains re- 
main unrecognized. ) Listen carefully, then, as I explain 
this name of everlasting blessing! Christ means the One 
Anointed of God, the promised Messiah, the long-foretold 
Deliverer who, moved by fathomless mercy, left His 
eternal glory to become, as the Christmas message pro- 
claims, a helpless mite of a babe in Bethlehem's manger, 
to live years of service and sacrifice on this sin-scarred 
earth, and then, in the startling climax of His indescrib- 
able self-sacrifice, to lay down His life in suffering the 
penalty of all mankind's iniquity. To understand what 
Christ really means for your soul, you must first see 
yourself hopelessly lost in sin, separated from the Father 
by the evil of your transgression, unable with all you 



BELIEVE CHRIST AND LIVE! 119 

have and are, with everything you can earn, to purchase 
pardon and release even from a solitary violation of the 
divine Law. You must see yourself rejected by the Al- 
mighty, in whose sight no sinner can stand, continually 
ruled by the lustful, covetous longings of an evil heart. 
You must find yourself banished from heaven, consigned 
to hell. But then this name above all names, Jesus, the 
Christ, can have new and personal meaning for you, 
when you believe assuredly that He took from you the 
curse of your sin, even though it cost Him His life; that 
He removed hell's clutching grip on your soul, even 
though He had to be nailed to the cross to gain the 
victory; that He paid once and entirely the price required 
to redeem you from eternal death, even if He had to en- 
dure indescribable agony in becoming your Substitute 
and your Salvation. That Christ and may every one of 
you say, "My Christ, my Redeemer, my Ransom, my 
Substitute on the cross, my Savior from sin" is the 
center of the Bible, the fulfillment of startling prophecies 
which predict His birth, death, and resurrection centuries 
before He went to the cross; the climax message of the 
New Testament and its thousands of radiant passages. 

My fellow redeemed, is Christ the sole and sacred 
glory of your faith in this morally upside-down world 
on the one hand with millions of men bent on killing, 
and on the other with millions spending and squander- 
ing, living in drunkenness and debauch, impurity and 
vice, as though there were no war and American men 
were not being sacrificed daily? If anything or anyone 
has kept you from proclaiming Him your Redeemer, cut 
yourself loose today from all soul-destroying influences! 
Make this a glorious Christmas season! Cause joy in 
heaven and on earth by declaring with a contrite, yet 
faith-filled heart: "O Jesus, my Prophet, Priest, and King, 



120 BELIEVE CHRIST AND 

Thou art my Friend, my Sustainer, my Guide; but, above 
all, Thou art the Son of God and the Christ, my Lord 
and my Redeemer! I am weak and sinful, but Thou art 
almighty, and Thy blood can cleanse me. I am not worthy 
even to approach Thee, but Thou art full of grace and 
plenteous mercy. I have only a faltering faith. Yet, dear 
Jesus, 7 believe. Help Thou mine unbelief'! Strengthen 
me! Keep me with Thee and bless me eternally!" 

II 
THE BLESSING WHICH GOD'S WORD PROMISES 

When Christ is thus acclaimed in sincerity and devo- 
tion, you have a gift of grace so radiant that eternity 
will not be long enough to exhaust its marvelous mercy. 
Saint John promises us that, when we truly believe in 
Jesus, we shall have "life through His name'' Because 



no sin in God's sight and have 
geeS^fro^^ 

abolished death and brought life and immortality to 
light." Think of it, believe it, exult in it, praise God 
for it! Christ gives those who are His a hallowed dwelling 
in His Father's house, an unending home in paradise! 
After earth's turmoil, heaven with its rest; after death, 
everlasting joy; after the repulsive vices in this life, 
heaven with its sinlessness and purity, its beholding and 
worshiping Christ, instead of the cursing and blas- 
phemy here below; heaven with its higher knowledge, 
in place of our errors and limited understanding; its light 
and beauty, in place of the grime and gloom in this war- 
racked world; heaven and its reunion with those beloved 
ones who died in the faith, instead of parting and fare- 
wells; heaven, where we shall be like Jesus, after an 
existence during which in our sins we have been alto- 



BELIEVE CHRIST AND LIVE! 121 

gether unlike Him that heaven Christ offers everyone 
of you! God grant you will not turn away indifferently 
from the most blessed gift which even the Almighty's 
grace can grant! 

The life which our text promises is not, however, re- 
served exclusively for paradise. As soon as you acclaim 
Jesus your Savior, you are reborn, a new creature, and 
even here in this world you begin that blessed, God- 
directed, everlasting existence. Therefore believe Christ 
and live joyfully, despite the weight of your affliction! 
Through Jesus your sufferings are hallowed. Every sor- 
row is the evidence of the merciful Father's compassion, 
for "whom" He "loveth He chasteneth" With this un- 
questioning faith in divine guidance an Illinois mother 
who has lost five children at birth could tell us in a letter 
last week that she still trusts her Savior. That is why an 
Ohio friend could write that though he has been in bed 
for forty-eight years and apparently must suffer until God 
calls him home, he still glorifies his Savior. 

Believe Christ and live courageously, for with Jesus 
as your Redeemer, you face no hardship or danger alone. 
Never forget that, you men in the armed forces! More 
than everything else you need the strengthening Savior. 
Keep close to Him, you, the weak and uncertain who 
make too many compromises with unbelief and refuse 
to protest when His name and His truth are attacked! 
In connection with the Boston fire a newspaper told the 
remarkable story of a woman who, leaving that night 
club with her friends in protest against a dirty song 
featured by one of the entertainers, was hardly out of 
the building when it was turned into a blazing inferno. 
If you give Him your heart, He will plant within it a 
resistance to temptation and evil which, under God, can 
help save your soul from destruction. 



122 BELIEVE CHRIST AND LIVE! 

Believe Christ and live in Christlike service! This 
greedy, self -destroying world cries out for men and 
women who, following in the Savior's footsteps, will ex- 
tend the guiding hand of love and sympathy to suffering 
mankind. And where, if not in Jesus, can we discover the 
perfect example of devotion to the needs of others? By 
putting His "new commandment," "that ye love one an- 
other" into action, many of you can find new happiness. 
Princess Eugenia of Sweden, a humble believer, spent 
most of her income on various charities. When the Island 
of Gottland was sorely pressed for a hospital to serve the 
poor, she, constrained by Jesus' love, sold her crown 
diamonds and with the proceeds built a home for in- 
curables. There one of the patients seemed peculiarly 
unapproachable, and the princess, in her own words, 
"prayed much for her." One day, after long intercession 
and tireless testimony, as Eugenia approached her bed, 
the sick woman broke her icy unbelief, saying, "I thank 
God that 'the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth 
us from all sin" and that means me." Even as she spoke, 
the tears streamed down her cheeks, and "in those tears/' 
wrote the Swedish noblewoman, "I saw my diamonds 
again." In the joy of salvation which the Savior permits 
you to bring into others' lives, you, too, can discern 
everything you have ever given for Him. 

Believe Christ and live victoriously! With the Son 
of God enthroned in your heart, doubt will not secure 
a permanent foothold on your soul. Adversity's storms 
can never demolish your faith, for it is built on a Rock. 
Even war cannot destroy your calm of soul, for its peace 
is sealed with Jesus' blood. As long as you have Him, 
you will not be uncertain of your salvation; for it is 
offered you by His pure grace, as our text emphasizes 
when it declares that, "believing, ye might have life, 9 ' and 



BELIEVE CHRIST AND LIVE! 123 

have it "through His name." You require, not your own. 
good resolutions or intentions, your money or merit, but 
faith in the Savior's mercy vouchsafed by His name. 
You need only believe the thousands of golden truths 
in Scripture. As you focus your eyes on the cross, declare, 
"All these pledges of mercy, these assurances of victory 
over sin and temptation, these guarantees of triumph 
over death and hell, all the offers of eternal life, are 
mine, as definitely as though my name were inscribed on 
every message"! 

What is it, then, that our age needs with particular 
force if not a return to the reverent regard and the serious 
study of the Scriptures, a new understanding of the 
Bible's promise, "Believe Christ and live"? Therefore 
take your Bible! Read it reverently and devotedly, with 
concentration of thought and consecration of mind! As I 
recall a friend in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who out of 
love for Holy Writ spent five years in learning the He- 
brew and the Greek languages so that he could delve 
more fully into the depths of divine promise, and who, 
together with his wife, has read God's Word from cover 
to cover more than sixty times, I plead with you, Resolve 
that, the Holy Spirit strengthening you, you will read 
through the entire Bible, starting today! If you need 
directions and guidance for Scripture readings, we shall 
be happy to supply them. Get right with God; now, in 
the only way you can, through faith in the Christ prom- 
ised by His errorless truth! 

Read the Bible in your family circles! More than 
two thirds of all domestic troubles could be avoided, 
I think, if disturbed households had time, interest, love, 
for Scripture. 

Read the Bible in your churches! If the entire laity 
of Christian congregations were enrolled in Bible classes, 



124 BELIEVE CHRIST AND LIVE! 

we could witness the mightiest upswing Christianity has 
ever experienced in this country. Much of the pulpit dis- 
loyalty to Jesus would be banished, and many more 
churches could become spiritual forces for the help of 
individuals and for the strengthening of national morale. 

Have your children study Holy Writ daily, if at all 
possible, in the Christian day schools that I regularly 
endorse because they can bring eternal salvation to your 
boys and girls! 

In short, my fellow countrymen and fellow Christians, 
let us, each one of us, individually, dedicate ourselves 
to this program: The Bible for my world! The Bible for 
my country! The Bible for my church! The Bible for my 
home! The Bible, with Christ and His promise of life 
eternal, for my soul, now and to all eternity! Amen. 



Christ is Coming! 



"Lo, I come; in the volume of the Book it is 
written of Me." 
PSALM 40:7 



Blessed Lord Jesus: 

Receive our joyful thanks that on the first Christmas Thou, 
our Lord and Savior, didst come into this sin-cursed world 
as a helpless Babe to begin the task of our redemption, which 
was to end on the cross at Calvary! Thou wast born to die 
for us in the eternal deliverance of our souls from sin and 
everlasting destruction; O blessed Christ Child, continue to 
come to us through Thy Word and Sacraments! Help us be- 
lievingly ponder the miracle of Thine incarnation, as did 
Mary, joyfully acclaim Thee, as did the shepherds, reverently 
worship Thee, as did the Magi! Turn many from sin to Thy 
salvation, and, O Jesus, may it be Thy will to grant us peace 
with a victory which will fully please Thee and soon end 
this bloody struggle! Watch over our young men in the 
armed forces! Strengthen them to resist evil and trust Thee 
alone! Give them the full Christmas blessing! Come to all of 
us now through a Spirit-filled Advent into our hearts and 
homes, O Christ, and help us come, penitently but radiantly, 
to Thee, our only Redeemer! Amen. 



A 



DISTBACTED Delaware woman writes me 
that a military plane carrying her son in Alaska, long 
overdue, has been reported "presumably lost" in the 
frozen wilderness. Yet her mother heart clings to the 
hope that he is still alive; and she asks us to join her in 
beseeching God that, if it be His will, her boy may soon 
be found. As you sit in the warm comfort of your homes, 
busy with happy Christmas preparation, say a prayer for 
that Christian lad, who at this moment may be fighting 
paralyzing cold or facing the fury of a polar blizzard! 



126 CHRIST is COMING! 

May God mercifully grant him the rescue which saved 
another Arctic traveler! One day while journeying in 
Greenland with a sledge and dog team, Peter Frenchen 
missed the trail blazed by his Eskimo guides. For hours 
he pushed on as best he could; when darkness fell, 
early, as it does after those short northern days, he 
had strayed onto treacherous, thin ice. Lost in vast, crush- 
ing stillness and frozen blackness, he cried out with all 
his might until his hoarse throat was silenced; but the 
sole answer was the echo of his screaming. He could only 
wait, hope, try to keep himself from falling into fatal 
sleep and freezing to death. The night wore on, and his 
terror increased. Suddenly he could hardly believe his 
ears he seemed to hear a distant call: "I am coming! 
I am coming!'* Minutes that seemed like ages passed. 
Then he heard the voice again and this time there was 
no mistake it sounded clearer and nearer as its promise 
rang through the night: "I am coming! I am coming!" 
Can you imagine what joy surged in his heart every time 
thereafter the cry was repeated, always louder and closer, 
until finally his rescuer, an old Eskimo companion, did 
come? Just as he arrived, the first rays of the Arctic sun 
began to streak the horizon, ushering in the day of joy, 
Christmas, and with it safety, light, life, happiness. 

Many of you, like Peter Frenchen, have lost the way; 
only for you the dangers and sorrows are incomparably 
greater, since you have turned aside from the one road 
to your Savior. You may not realize that you are lost. 
Indeed, you may actually boast that now at last, with the 
largest income you have ever enjoyed, you have really 
found life; but the hour is approaching, the midnight of 
judgment, the heavy blackness of suffering, which some 
of you experience even now, when you, too, will scream 
yourselves hoarse as you plead in vain for rescue. Oh, may 
every one of you lost in the night of sin, affliction, doubt, 



CHRIST is COMING! 127 

unbelief, today hear the welcome voice, not of a human 
guide, but a heavenly Deliverer Jesus, your Christ, your 
Redeemer, your God, repeating His age-old promise: 
"I am coming! I am coming!" With the dawn of Christ- 
mas may your faith-filled heart exult, "J esus > my Re- 
deemer, has come and saved me"! 

Because I am hoping, praying, for a right Christmas 
in your home as you make room for the Holy Child, my 
message for today sounds the Advent call, 

CHRIST IS COMING! 

the pointed promise of Psalm forty, verse seven, "Lo, 
I come; in the volume of the Book it is written of Me." 



"CHRIST IS COMING!" WAS THE CRY BEFORE 
THE FIRST CHRISTMAS 

How marvelous these words, in which David, a thou- 
sand years before the first Christmas, envisions his Savior 
as declaring, "Lo, I come"! Yet long centuries before 
David, yes, from the very moment sin entered the world 
to curse man and drive him from the Paradise which God 
Himself had planted at Eden, the Almighty had promised 
the woman's Seed, who would break hell's clutching 
hold on men's souls. Well does Jesus say in our text, 
"In the volume of the Book it is written of Me" for the 
whole Old Testament foretells His coming into the flesh. 
The first book of the Bible also predicts that this death- 
destroying Redeemer will be the Seed of Abraham, Isaac, 
Jacob, descended from the tribe of Judah, yet of such 
superhuman power that nations shall be gathered sub- 
missively before Him. The first great poet of the Bible, 
David, by divine inspiration records that the Father 
said to this promised Deliverer, "Thou art My Son; this 
day have I begotten Thee." The greatest of prophets, 



128 CHRIST is COMING! 

Isaiah, foresees the miracle of His birth, when He whom 
"the . . . heaven of heavens cannot contain 9 will be born 
of a virgin. It is even foretold that "His name shall be 
called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The 
Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." The place of 
His birth is recorded in advance by Micah, who, singling 
out Bethlehem, "little among the thousands' of villages 
"of Judah" predicted, "Out of thee shall He come forth 
unto Me that is to be Ruler in Israel; whose goings forth 
have been from of old, from everlasting" Daniel foretells 
the time of His coming. Jeremiah and Hosea record the 
startling events following His birth: the flight into Egypt 
and the massacre of innocent children. In its glorious 
climax the Old Testament thus previews the purpose of 
His birth: He is to bear "our griefs" and carry "our sor- 
rows." He is to be "wounded for our transgressions, . . . 
bruised for our iniquities." From the first pages of the 
Old Covenant until the last, when Zechariah cries out, 
"Behold, thy King cometh unto thee" and Malachi ex- 
ults, "The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come 
to His Temple" the Savior's assurance: "I am coming! 
I am coming!" brought strength, comfort, joy, to believ- 
ing hearts. Even in the pagan world men held a dim, 
uncertain anticipation that a mighty Rescuer of the race 
was coming. The Latin poet Vergil, who died only nine- 
teen years before Christ came, declares his expectation 
that a Deliverer would soon be born, who would usher 
in a golden age. Truly that greedy, sin-encrusted era 
needed deliverance. It was a world in which Sumerians, 
Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Ro- 
mans, had in turn enslaved, tortured, destroyed their fel- 
low men. It was a disillusioned period, in which human 
dreams of happiness were suddenly shattered; a lustful 
century, in which purity and decency were ridiculed; and 
Although deeply religious, with ten thousand gods and 



CHRIST is COMING! 129 

goddesses, lavish temples and elaborate worship, unnum- 
bered altars and uncounted idols, it was an age of dread 
fear, cringing superstition, spiritual hopelessness. Only 
God's own people had hope because in their believing 
hearts this promise constantly resounded: *1 am coming! 
I am coming!** 

On the first Christmas O glorious day! Christ came; 
and He appeared to fulfill those ancient prophecies con- 
cerning the place, time, purpose of His virgin birth. His 
nativity at Bethlehem, therefore, should be sufficient to 
make any person accept the entire Bible; for where, 
among the thousands of books written by men, is there 
a single volume that can do what the Old Testament 
does when it foresees, five hundred, a thousand, almost 
fifteen hundred years in advance the incarnation at Da- 
vid's city? Today fear-weighted people, especially in 
our national capital at Washington, cause fortunetellers, 
crystal-gazers to work overtime; but be sure of this: No 
man can unlock the future. God alone can foretell ac- 
curately, and as a matter of record only His inspired 
Scripture has consistently forecast the truth. Skeptics and 
unbelievers ought to believe Scripture if only because of 
its fulfilled prophecy. You believers, children of God, 
should find strength in the assurance that, if Christ kept 
His pledge: "I am coming! I am coming!" and in the Dull- 
ness of the time" came, then certainly He will carry out 
every one of His blood-sealed promises to you. I cannot 
blame you if you put a question mark behind human as- 
sertions. Some of you trusted your best friends, but they 
lied, cheated, stole your business; or you paid dearly for 
impressively sealed stocks and bonds of great corpora- 
tions which have failed to meet their obligation of re- 
payment. Others among you have built your hopes on 
the assurances of politicians and statesmen, only to find 

Tenth Lutheran Hour 9 



130 CHRIST is COMING! 

their utterances empty, windy phrases; you relied upon 
your children's word, but they broke it; you put your 
confidence in the sacred marriage vow now severed by 
cruel unfaithfulness. Do not let this embitter your heart 
against Jesus, for the first Christmas .proves that He keeps 
His word! He came as He had promised; and He will 
come to you as His Word declares. 

When the Old Testament ended and the New Testa- 
ment began at Bethlehem, the Christ child had been born 
of the Virgin Mary for one marvelous, merciful, magnifi- 
cent purpose. He did not leave His heavenly throne to 
found an earthly empire, for He forbade His disciples 
to take the sword even in defense of His life. Jesus did 
not introduce an age of ease, comfort, power, and prestige, 
On the contrary, He said, "If any man will come after 
Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and 
follow Me!" He did not come to consort with the mighty 
and devote His time to tibte political interests of self- 
righteous leaders. Instead, He pledged; *7 am . . . come 
to call . . . sinners to repentance" He was not born to 
bring universal peace among nations, for He warned, 
"I came not to send peace, but a sword" the persecu- 
tion, the violence that those who confess Christ must 
endure at the hands of evil men. He came, not to enjoy 
the honor and acclaim which was rightfully His; rather 
does He tell us, "The Son of Man came not to be min- 
istered unto but to minister and to give His life a ransom 
for many!' Truly, "this is a -faithful saying and worthy of 
all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to 
save sinners." He came to offer Himself as a living, dying 
sacrifice in atoning for the transgressions of all mankind. 
He came, a Mediator between Heaven and earth, to re- 
store lost men to their God. Therefore He appeared as "the 
Light of the world' 9 to banish darkness; as the Hope of 



CHRIST is COMING! 131 

the world, to plant joy into the hearts of despondent men 
and weeping women. He came with the victory by which 
His followers are "more than conquerors" in life's strug- 
gles. And because He came, the earth was changed, 
history was altered, our calendar began anew. He was 
bom nineteen centuries ago, but His grace has not lost 
its power as the years have slipped into history. He was 
cradled in a manger, though His influence has been 
stamped on every great, good movement since that day. 
He never traveled far, with the exception of His flight 
into Egypt and His trips north to the shores of Tyre and 
Sidon a distance of about two hundred miles separated 
these points yet His Gospel has advanced to the ends 
of the earth. His mother and foster-father were Jewish, 
but His love has brought men and women of every na- 
tion, race, color, and clime to their knees before His cross. 
Jesus never wrote a book, nor do we read that He ever 
attended school. However, He gave the impulse to the 
best of modern enlightenment; more volumes have been 
written about Him than about a thousand of history's 
mightiest figures. He came for men cold in their cruelty, 
to bring hundreds of millions the warmth of His com- 
passion; for mankind hard in its hatred, to redeem sinners 
and put love in the hearts of His believers; for a world 
groaning in its misery, to make the sorrowing and tear- 
stained raise their heads happily and sing, "Joy to the 
World, the Lord is come!" 

II 

"CHRIST IS COMING" SHOULD BE THE CRY 
BEFORE THIS CHRISTMAS 

Praise His eternal mercy! Though Jesus no longer 
walks earth's pathways, He still comes to us, as it is 
written of Him in "the volume of the Book" Every time 
a picture or a greeting card portrays His love (What 



132 CHRIST is COMING! 

a shame that on this hundredth anniversary of the Christ- 
inas cards so many feature irreverence, hatred, anything 
except the Christ who gave this day His name!), every 
time you hear a carol praise the new-born Savior, He 
comes to you, asking entrance into your heart, promising 
Heaven's blessing for your life. 

You may feel yourself lost in the darkness of many 
and grievous transgressions, but the Savior of whom it is 
written, "He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of 
Himself," now calls to you: "I am coming! I am coming 
to you with the promise of pardon for all your sins." Do 
not regard Christmas only as a holiday on which you can 
stay home from work! Do not let fancy wrapping paper 
and evergreen decorations, burned up after New Year's, 
mean more to you than God's everlasting love and His 
unspeakable grace in His Son! Do not let the quickly 
tarnished tinsel and the fragile ornaments take more of 
your interest than the worship of Jesus Himself! Find 
time even during this holiday rush to learn in a personal, 
unmistakable way that the Redeemer was bom for you! 
Let Christmas Day be Christ's and yours in the mystic 
union of faith and love! 

Are you suffering under life's many sorrows? Jesus 
calls, "I am coming; I am coming with comfort, strength, 
and help." He knows the anguish you must bear, for He 
suffered far more than all mankind has endured. When 
friends asked a young woman whose life was slowly 
ebbing away whether she suffered much, she admitted 
that she did; ''but," she added, pointing to her hand, 
"there is no nail there; He had the nails, I have the 
peace." Touching her brow, she said, "There are no 
thorns there; He had the thorns, I have the peace." 
Laying her hand on her side, she concluded, "There is 
no spear there; He had the spear, but I have the peace." 



CHRIST is COMING! 133 

Are you poor and unnoticed? The Christ Child was ? 
too. In one of the Pacific Coast race tracks, where the 
Japanese evacuees were temporarily placed, a believing 
Japanese, forced to live in a reconstructed stable, wrote: 
"On the wall of my stall hangs a picture of Mary and the 
Christ Child. He was born in a stall, and so, I guess, He 
must feel at home here. That makes us feel so much 
better." You, too, will feel a new upsurge of joy if in 
your anguish you answer Jesus' call, "I am coming, I am 
coining to you/' with the prayer: "O Lord Jesus, come to 
me now! Strengthen my faith! Deepen my trust! Turn 
these sorrows into joy! Make all this torture work together 
for good because I love Thee!" As the apostles sang in 
the midnight of their imprisonment, so, no matter how 
completely you feel yourself encircled by darkness or 
how eagerly hatred seeks to control your thoughts, you 
likewise can find courage in faith and song. 

Hardly six days remain before the anniversary of the 
Savior's birth, and during these Jesus cries out with con- 
stantly renewed love, TL am coming, I am coming." The 
question of life-and-death importance for you is this: 
Will you open your heart, so that He can bring you 
pardon and hope? Some years ago, when Ibrahim Pascha, 
Egyptian general, was to make an impressive entrance 
into Jerusalem, laborers smoothed the way along which 
he would travel. Heavy stones were removed from the 
road and the holes filled. A large banner proclaimed, "The 
Pascha is coming"; and from all sides the cry arose: 
"The Pascha is coming! Remove the stones!" That was 
the picture Isaiah had when, beholding the Savior's ad- 
vent, he appealed, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord!" 
For you this means that every barrier, obstacle, hindrance, 
which keeps Christ from your soul must be completely 
removed, so that He, the Lord of Love and Prince of 



134 CHBIST is COMING! 

Peace, can come into your heart, This Gospel broadcast, 
on the Sunday before Christmas, has the one definite 
appeal: it asks you in the name of Bethlehem's Babe: 
Give Him the control of your souls and bodies! Beseech 
Him to remove the impurities, stubbornness, pride, lust, 
covetousness, doubt, unbelief, disobedience to God, neg- 
lect of His Word! Accept the greatest Christmas Gift 
Heaven itself can give: the indwelling of Jesus and His 
Spirit, which grants you hope and strength, courage 
and joy! 

Let me emphasize, as the birthday of our divine Lord 
approaches, that there is no other source of salvation for 
you, except faith in the coming King. False Christs, lying, 
deceitful Messiahs roam over the earth today; but before 
you give them your allegiance, recall the disasters their 
falsehoods have provoked! A century after Jesus was 
nailed to the cross, an impostor named Ben Chochbha 
announced that he was the promised Deliverer. Mobs 
flocked to him, and it is claimed that he was able to cap- 
ture 980 Judean towns and villages; but three hundred 
thousand of his fellow countrymen were slain on fields of 
battle; many more died of plague or famine; finally the 
false Christ himself was slain. Even more disastrous are 
the spiritual consequences of trusting men and human 
deceptions. God Himself knows of no eternal help for 
you except in Jesus, for "there is none other name under 
heaven given among men whereby we must be saved" 
but Christ's holy, precious name. 

Your Redeemer is coming will you greet Him in 
faith and welcome Him in love? When Christmas dawns 
on this war-torn world, will you be for the Savior or 
against Him? Will you young folks celebrate His birth- 
day in a series of wild parties even though American 
lives are lost hourly in the struggles of this widening war, 



CHRIST is COMING! 135 

or will you be in a true church of Christ, joining your 
hearts and voices with joyous worshipers in the new-born 
Savior's praise? Will your home be so overoccupied with 
holiday preparations that after crowded days and sleep- 
robbed nights the Infant Jesus will find even less room in 
your house than at the Bethlehem inn? On the blessed 
day when inner peace and complete gladness should 
reign in every household, will joy be banished from your 
family circle by bitter quarrel, brutal drunkenness, blas- 
phemous cursing? 

Ill 
"CHRIST IS COMING!" MUST ALWAYS BE THE CRY 

This cry, "Christ is coming," which the believers raised 
during long centuries before the first Christmas, should 
constantly surge through our souls and leap from our 
lips; for the same Savior who entered the world as 
a humble mite of humanity will come again, not to suffer 
at the hands of His enemies and die on the cross of 
shame, but in almighty power and heavenly majesty, to 
judge the quick and the dead. This, too, is written "in 
the volume of the Book"; indeed, few truths of our entire 
faith are more frequently expressed than the promise of 
His second advent. Do you realize that in the New Testa- 
ment alone 318 passages, no fewer than one of every 
twenty-five verses, speak of Jesus' return, as it is men- 
tioned in every New Testament book except three of the 
smaller epistles? 

No doubt should remain: Christ is coming. Listen, as 
over the bloodshed and brutality of a world in war Jesus 
cries, "I am coming"! Through all of man's blasphemy, 
the taunting of atheists, the lies of false prophets, who 
sneer, "Where is the promise of His coming?" our Lord 
repeats, "I am coming/' Amid the persecution which His 
Church sustains, amid the sufferings which believers en- 



136 CHRIST is COMING! 

dure for His sake, the Savior repeats the promise of de- 
liverance, "I am coming/' More definitely than thousands 
of millions who have preceded us, we are close to that 
blessed but awful day of His return. "The time is short." 

Behold the startling fulfillment of the signs to precede 
His coming for judgment and deliverance! Here are only 
a few: War! At no time in previous history has bloodshed 
been as widespread as now. Famine! Over in Honan 
Province in China, hunger-crazed mothers are trying to 
sell baby daughters for twenty Chinese dollars, a single 
dollar in our currency; and if there are no buyers, the 
children are often thrown away and left to die. Think of 
Greece, where "many of the children are like skeletons," 
Belgium, where 60 per cent of the school children have 
no breakfast! Earthquakes! From various, widely removed 
parts of the world come ominous reports of .tremors. 
"Men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boast- 
ers, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthank- 
ful, unholy" eight signs that describe our generation, 
the age which has produced dictators, leaders swollen 
with pride, and has seen more disobedience on the part 
of children to parental or governmental authority than we 
have ever before known in this country. In the last days, 
men shall have "a -form of godliness" but deny "the power 
thereof! 9 How true of our time with its mighty church 
buildings, its million-dollar congregations and their un- 
belief; its overpretentious, costly rituals, from which the 
plain Jesus, clothed in His workman's garb, would turn in 
sorrow! Great apostasy, falling from faith, will mark the 
beginning of the end; and if the true Christian churches 
in the United States could compute the number of people 
lost this year, when many have proved themselves "lovers 
of pleasure more than lovers of God," the total would be 
appalling. 



CHRIST is COMING! 137 

Masses of Americans do not discern these and a score 
of other signs. They have not returned penitently to God 
in Christ. From the State of Washington a listener writes: 
"I am a shipyard worker. The cursing, swearing, obscen- 
ity here are unspeakable. Sixteen-year-old boys learn to 
blaspheme and outdo their elders. I could not possibly 
paint the picture too dark. A shipyard is an average cross 
section of our nation. Can we win a war with this situa- 
tion? Will God stand tiiis blasphemy forever? I am afraid 
for our beloved country." Many other letters come to my 
desk showing that multitudes in the United States scoff 
at the thought of Christ's return. I beseech you: Believe 
that Jesus is coming soon! Prepare yourself now for His 
advent! He is coming, the sacred Volume warns, "sud- 
denly" It will be too late if you postpone accepting His 
grace until He comes. You must receive Him now. Set 
your house in order before He returns! My fellow re- 
deemed, come out of the Sodoms and Gomorrahs of this 
world to be rescued by Jesus! 

Beloved, as the Advent and Christmas cry rings out, 
"Jesus is coining," how will He find you? God grant that, 
even though the lights of hope have gone out in vast 
areas of this sin-darkened world, the lamp of your faith 
will burn ever brighter; and as Christ now calls to you 
through this broadcast, "I am coming," may you, penitent 
but confident, sin-conscious but grace-assured, beholding 
Christ, your Redeemer from ruin, your Savior from sin, 
your Pardon from eternal punishment, pray in joy and 
triumph, "Oh, come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!" Amen. 



No Room for Christ, 
Yet Room for Us! 

"There was no room for them in the inn." 
SAINT LUKE 2:7 

"Jet there is room." 
SAINT LUKE 14:22 

Blessed Savior of Bethlehem: 

Angels sang their praise at Thy birth. How, then, 'can we 
with unclean lips, living in an impure world, worthily exalt 
Thee on this happy day commemorating Thine advent into 
the flesh! "Nevertheless, receive our praise, precious Savior, 
weak and imperfect as it is; help us daily grow in grace so 
that we may constantly direct our thoughts to the heaven 
from which Thou didst come and which, through Thee and 
in Thy time, we shall enter! Bring the peace of which the 
celestial host caroled, the harmony beween Thy Father and 
His redeemed children, into many hearts throughout the 
world! In the greatest Christmas gift that even Thou canst 
bestow, grant multitudes the assurance of salvation through 
faith in Thine incarnation, atonement, and resurrection! Mil- 
lions of Thy children are embattled in various parts of the 
world. Grant them a glimpse of Thy soul-peace and lead 
them closer to Thee this Christmas! In Thy forgiving Spirit 
we also intercede for our enemies, pleading that they may 
be brought to a penitent understanding of Thy truth and 
grace! If it please Thee, let this be the last wartime Christ- 
mas, blessed Savior! Let the earth re-echo with praise for Thy 
mercy and songs of Thy love! Precious Jesus, as Thou wast 
born in Bethlehem, by Thy Holy Spirit be born in us today! 
We ask this newness of life, the true Christmas gift, by Thy 
endless compassion. Amen. 



T 

JLw 



.wo years ago, when the Germans invaded 
the Low Countries, the officials of a small Belgian com- 
munity prepared to flee. Their village church contained 

138 



ROOM FOR us! 139 

a famous Van Dyck painting of Christ,, and to save this 
treasure, the burgomaster and his wife loaded it on a 
truck and started for Southern France. During their 
whole hazardous journey they found no welcome for the 
priceless painting of the Savior, no roof under which the 
masterpiece could be sheltered. Because the weather was 
cold and stormy, they used its large frame and canvas as 
a shelter from rain and wind, until, months later, it was 
safely housed. 

As I wish every one of you not a merry Christmas 
(for who, considering the American lives lost hourly in 
the war, the souls constantly endangered in the present 
conflict, can be merry in a carnal, careless way?) but 
a blessed, Christ-centered Christmas in your soul and 
family circle, I remind you that this Belgian incident 
represents on a small scale the startling contradiction con- 
tinuously in progress since the first Christmas. Millions 
have closed the door of their hearts and homes to Jesus; 
yet in His unfathomable love He still stretches f orth His 
hands with the invitation of love "Come unto Me.?' The 
striking contrast of nineteen centuries is summarized in 
this mystery of mercy and misbelief: 

NO ROOM FOR CHRIST, YET ROOM FOR US! 

the double truth of our Christmas text: first, the words 
of Saint Luke, chapter two, verse seven, "There was no 
room for them in the inn"; and then the Savior's pledge 
of peace, Saint Luke, chapter fourteen, verse twenty-two, 
"Jet there is room. 9 ' 

I 

SINFUL MEN REFUSE TO RECEIVE THE SINLESS 
CHRIST CHILD 

Before the war the newspapers described a $5,000 
crib made for a baby born into one of Europe's royal 



140 ROOM FOR US! 

families. Five thousand dollars' worth of carving, metal 
work, studded jewels, and artistry all for a human child! 
Yet, when Jesus, sinless and stainless, born of a virgin 
by a marvelous miracle, came into the world, His parents 
had not even a plain cot on which He could lie. They 
laid Him in a manger, the feeding trough of animals. 
You have seen that manger glorified on Christmas post- 
cards as an ornate bed, bright with dazzling colors, pic- 
tared in a pillared, vaulted room. Famous painters have 
reproduced it as a substantial piece of furniture, not un- 
like the little crib in which perhaps you were cradled, 
and have depicted worshiping angels and celestial musi- 
cians hovering about it. But how utterly different the 
poverty of the Savior's birth! Most of you cannot imagine 
the conditions in that stable where the King of kings 
came into this world. His birthplace was probably a cave 
dug into a hill outside the inn, a stable for beasts of 
burden; a dirty, smelly place that few American com- 
munities would tolerate. 

Why was the Lord of glory born an outcast? Our text 
explains, "There was no room for them in the inn," and no 
willingness to accommodate them, we may add. It was 
every man for himself in those days, and men before 
women, particularly women with children. We may as- 
sume that, if "there was no room . . . in the inn" probably 
no resting place in the 'little town" was available on that 
Christmas Eve. Modern Bethlehem has only 8,000 in- 
habitants- in the Savior's day it may have been only one- 
tenth as large. Who among the villagers would be in- 
terested and warmhearted enough to shelter a couple 
that expected a baby within a few hours? Who would 
bother with them when it would be so much more con- 
venient to rent space to others in the crowd registering 
for the census? Mary and Joseph may have had friends 



BOOM FOR Us! 141 

or even relatives in Bethlehem, but apparently all doors 
were barred to them. The priests, the Levites, the scribes, 
the Pharisees, the businessmen, the traders, the workmen, 
the shrewd housewives all those "of the house and lin- 
eage of David?* who had come to Bethlehem at the decree 
of Caesar Augustus and his governor never dreamed 
that they could have accepted the most startling oppor- 
tunity for service mortal man has ever known, the priv- 
ilege of providing quarters for the promised Christ Child, 
the Redeemer of mankind. If they saw Mary and Joseph, 
they doubtless raised their proud heads higher, the more 
disdainfully to look down on the couple that had come 
from despised Galilee at such an inappropriate time. 

The whole Christmas story, despite its Palestinian set- 
ting and its distance in time, has modern and American 
counterparts. We read that all the people had enrolled 
for taxation, and we begin to compute our new taxes, the 
highest in American history, levied for the year drawing 
to its close, with more people than ever before making 
returns. As we see Mary and Joseph on the road, traveling 
from Nazareth to Bethlehem, we think of the tremendous 
military and industrial movements in the United States 
that have made many of you journey far and often, that 
today station you soldiers and defense workers away 
from home. Recalling the crowded conditions in Bethle- 
hem, we survey the many overcrowded American com- 
munities, where some of you now hear this Christmas 
message in cramped quarters, trailer camps, furnished 
rooms. When you find the Holy Family surrounded by 
unsympathetic people, you will be inclined to draw com- 
parisons with die fact that you, too, are a stranger in 
a strange place, that no one has paid attention to you, 
except those who can make money through your patron- 
age. Yet it seems to me that the most striking similarity 



142 ROOM FOR us! 

between the first Christmas and this anniversary is the 
rejection of Jesus. Multitudes still have no room for Him. 
Before we begin to denounce the unfriendly citizens of 
David's City, we should admit that masses in America, 
had Mary and Joseph come to their homes this morning, 
would have refused to welcome them. More than half 
our population has heard of Christ's merciful love; mil- 
lions celebrate the day of His birth intensively and speak 
His name in holiday greetings; yet consistently, year after 
year, they have closed their hearts to Him, saying in ef- 
fect, "There is 'no room in my shriveled, hate-filled, care- 
crowded soul for that Child in the manger." 

With all the modern cries for tolerance, too many 
show the bigotry of Bethlehem. There is still "no room' 
for Christ's love; else why would this generation bleed its 
best power away in a second World War? "No room" for 
His humility; else why would half of this earth hear Him 
say, "Blessed are the peacemakers' 9 but be forced to fol- 
low Nietzsche as he cries out in contradiction, "Blessed 
are the war makers"? "No room' 9 for His holy Word in 
modern culture, where experts would train our children 
without reverence for God and faith in His Bible! "No 
room" for our Lord's creed of self-denial, when certain 
modern magazines feature page after page, picture after 
picture, paragraph after paragraph of profanity and in- 
decency, but not a single sentence regarding this ageless 
message, "Unto you is born this day in the city of David 
a Savior, which is Christ the Lord"! "No room 9 for the 
promise of His cross and His blood, when more Amer- 
icans reject Him than ever before; when theological pro- 
fessors, contradicting the holy angel's anthem, "He shall 
save His people from their sins'' deny that the Child in 
the manger is our Immanuel, our God-with-us; when 
many American churches do not once open their doors 



ROOM FOR us! 143 

on Cliristmas Day! "No room 3 for the Nativity mercy, 
which promises us that we are saved through humble, 
penitent, trusting faith in the Babe of Bethlehem as our 
Lord and our Redeemer, while great religious bodies 
deny this center and climax of our faith, "By grace are 
ye saved'! 

A pointed, personal issue confronts you: Jesus, the 
Christ Child of Christmas, in this moment seeks entrance 
into your heart. Will you turn away from Him because 
your soul is saturated with the driving desire for money? 
Fresh in our minds is the account of a merchant-marine 
sailor who had secured a thousand dollars, perhaps more 
money than he had ever owned in his life, a sum so im- 
pressive that his heart was closely attached to this treas- 
ure, carefully stored in his locker. His ship was torpedoed, 
and after he was rescued, he admitted that in those 
perilous hours he had never even thought of his thousand 
dollars. In the crisis moments of life, if you have re- 
jected Jesus, you have lost more than money can ever buy. 
You have sacrificed your soul's salvation. This is Christ's 
warning, "He that believeth not shall be damned.' 9 The 
Christmas appeal, above eating and drinking, giving 
and receiving, visiting and being visited, lighting and 
decorating, the plea that comes from the very manger of 
the Christ Child, asks you: "Make room for Jesus! Grant 
Him entrance into your heart! Welcome Him into your 
home!" 

II 

THE SINLESS CHRIST CHILD ALWAYS WELCOMES 
SINFUL MEN 

Although "there was no room" for Christ at Bethle- 
hem's inn "yet there is room" as the second part of our 
festival text explains room for you in His heart of love, 
in His Kingdom of Grace, in His Father's heavenly man- 



144 ROOM FOR us! 

sions. At His manger crib "there is room' for every sin- 
ner, especially the desperate and downtrodden, including 
those of you who write me tear-stained letters declaring 
that the transgressions of the past rise up to disturb you, 
waking or sleeping. When you come to Jesus in faith and 
He comes to you in His mercy, He removes the curse of 
your sin. He washes away its stain. The fire of His devo- 
tion burns away your iniquity. The power of His presence 
purifies your heart and strengthens your life. Take cour- 
age and believe on this Christmas Day that nothing can 
keep you from Bethlehem and the forgiveness in the new- 
born Savior but your own impenitence, your refusal to 
accept the Christ Child's promise of full, free, and final 
pardon! 

At the manger "there is room 9 for all, regardless of 
race restrictions or color classifications, "There is room" 
aplenty for friend and foe, since the Infant Jesus is the 
world's Savior. He was born and He died so that all men, 
regardless of how completely they may be segregated 
into opposing groups, might be saved. During the First 
World War, Christmas came to a Russian war prison 
camp in Siberia. Up to that time it had been the scene 
of homesickness, misery, hatred, and despair. Suicide had 
been frequent. But when the prisoners and their guards 
gathered in the half-underground barracks for the Christ- 
mas celebration, the leader arose to say, "There is one 
song all can sing tonight, 'Silent Night, Holy Night/" 
They sang it the guards and the prisoners, each man 
in his own language. When they were finished, the Rus- 
sian commander's eyes filled with tears as he told the 
captives, 'Tonight is the first time in more than a year 
that I have been able to forget you and I are supposed to 
be enemies/' If you, too, will acclaim Bethlehem's Babe 
in faith and trust, your hatred will shrivel away, and in 



ROOM FOK us! 145 

new joy you will be able to worship the Savior who 
commanded, "Love your enemies!" 

"There is room" at Bethlehem for the poor, unnoticed, 
unacclaimed, just as the Savior's birth was first announced 
to the shepherds, lowly laborers. Joseph Mohr, who wrote 
the beloved lines of "Silent Night, Holy Night," lived 
a humble, unpretentious life. He died within twelve miles 
of the place where he was bom; yet his Christmas carol 
has sung its way around the world. And the Christ whose 
"strength is made perfect in weakness" can likewise save 
you for important purposes, no matter how little attention 
the world pays you. Indeed, the plain and underprivi- 
leged have always been especially welcomed by His 
mercy. 

"There is room" at the manger for those who feel 
themselves lonely, forsaken; particularly for the families 
in which a son has laid down his Me for the nation's 
defense. How hard the Christmas festivities seem to you 
when contrasted with the sorrow burdening your heart 
almost to the breaking! This anniversary of your Savior's 
birth has graciously dawned for you, to give you the 
Heaven-granted assurance that through the Christ Child 
"your sorrow shall Toe turned into joy" Before this day 
ends, select some quiet spot and read Saint Luke's story 
of the Nativity! Read it aloud! Read it prayerfully! 
It contains only 412 words, and it will take only a few 
moments. While you read, be fortified by believing that 
all this is written to show you that the Savior's promise, 
"Yet there is room" holds assuredly for you, in the love 
that knows no limit, the grace that recognizes no bounds. 

Often in the history of these last nineteen centuries 
Christmas has been a time of mighty conversion. Today, 
when God uses this radio to offer you "His unspeakable 

Tenth Lutheran Hour JO 



146 ROOM FOR us! 

Gift" His own incarnate Son, picture the blessings which 
come with this Gift the washing away of your sins, the 
salvation of your soul, the defeat of death, the assurance 
of heaven, the reunion with your loved ones in the realms 
of celestial glory; all these blessings which Saint Paul 
lists as "the fruit of the Spirit": "love, joy, peace, long- 
suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temper- 
ance"! Then, as the Christ Child appeals for room in your 
heart, asking, "Where is the guest chamber?" answer with 
the trusting faith of Martin Luther's Christmas carol: 

Ah, dearest Jesus, Holy Child, 

Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled, 

Within my heart, that it may be 

A quiet chamber kept for Thee! 

Do not be satisfied with a second-best, shoddy wel- 
come! Years ago in a Scotch village an old lady stepped 
from a pony carriage, walked to a workman's cottage, and 
politely asked for a glass of water. Only reluctantly the 
housewife agreed, showing her displeasure by bringing 
the water in a cracked cup. After the visitor had gone, 
a neighbor ran over to exclaim, "Do you know who that 
old lady was?" You can imagine her dismay to be told, 
"She was Queen Victoria!" That cracked cup is still held 
in high esteem, though it should be a sign of perpetual 
reproach. Let our welcome to Jesus be genuine, whole- 
hearted, soul-sincere! Earth's Savior, heaven's King, has 
come to you! Give Him the best you have, the best you 
are, and the best you can be by His grace! While we can- 
not receive Him in the flesh, yet He promises concerning 
our charities, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of 
the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me" 
Before this holy day is over, resolve to share what God 
has given you with your poor, suffering, destitute fel- 
low men! 



ROOM FOR us! 147 

Especially, however, may we, having received Jesus 
and made room for His redeeming love, bring the mes- 
sage of His grace to others! If you feel that the circle 
of your influence is too small for your testimony to bless 
many, remember. His Word never returns void! Church 
papers tell us of an American missionary who spent last 
Christmas in jail, imprisoned by the Japanese. The bars 
and barricades could not restrain his spirit, and on that 
holiday morning through the prison stillness he whistled 
"Silent Night," "Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful," and other 
carols, until the guard demanded that he stop. Yet the 
next day one of the prisoners whom he happened to pass 
braved the wrath of the prison officials by whispering to 
the missionary, "Thank you for Christmas!" And if your 
testimony to die Savior rings clear, wherever you may be, 
you can strengthen and fortify the faith of others. 

When the trans-Atlantic cable was completed, the first 
message flashed from continent to continent by the mar- 
vel of that invention ended with the angels' chorus at 
Bethlehem, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth 
peace, good will toward men!" By the greater marvel of 
the radio, may this same message now speed its way over 
all natural boundaries of mountains, rivers, lakes, seas, 
and find room in your heart! From shore to shore let us 
unite in exulting, "Glory to God in the highest, and on 
earth peace, good will toward men," all through the 
Christ Child for whom et there was no room" at His birth, 
but through whom, by the rebirth of faith, we find eter- 
nal room! God grant every one of you this Christmas 
blessing! Amen! 



Hold Tight to Christmas! 

"Mary kept all these things and pondered them 
in her heart" 
SAINT LUKE 2:19 



O God, Unchanging and Unending: 

At the approach of another year's end, help us realize how 
much closer we are to eternity and how entirely we de- 
pend for our life, and particularly for our salvation, on Thy 
compassion toward us in Christ Jesus! For His sake and by the 
cleansing power of His holy, precious blood forgive our in- 
iquities committed during the passing year! As we review our 
many sins and confess that daily we have broken Thy holy 
Law, we know that we have deserved nothing but condemna- 
tion; yet we have the confidence that through our Savior 
every transgression has been removed as far as the east is 
from the west. Bring this assurance into many hearts today! 
Strengthen especially the men and women in America's armed 
service! Nothing is impossible with Thee, our God. Therefore 
we humbly ask, let this be the last year of the war! Through 
faith in the Christ Child banish our fears, encourage us in 
afflictions, deliver us from doubt, but always and everywhere 
keep us close to Thee! We plead in Jesus' blessed name. 
Amen. 

Jims last Sunday in December reminds us 
in the increasing rush of time that we are all a milestone 
closer to the grave, twelve months, which we can never 
again regain and relive, nearer eternity. Only a few more 
Christiriases for most of you, no more for some of you, 
and life, with all its unrealized hopes and unfulfilled 
ambitions, will be over! We are living in the fastest tempo 
history has known; therefore we are under the heaviest 
pressure. Hurry and swiftness are the watchwords of this 
speed-it-up generation, with the result that our whole 

148 



HOLD TIGHT TO CHRISTMAsI 149 

existence is being snatched away more rapidly than we 
realize. 

With this high tension, increased during war's emer- 
gencies (when ships, formerly made in many months, 
are now launched after a few days; when mighty military 
camps with a total area larger than some of our entire 
States spring up almost overnight); with this amazing 
rapidity, comes the danger that we too quickly dismiss 
eternal truths from our minds. Here it is only the second 
day after the anniversary of our Savior's birth, and thou- 
sands of people throughout the country are busily at 
work in department stores, removing all signs of Christ- 
mas, In our homes, after a short week or two, the outward 
evidences of this radiant day will similarly disappear, 
and in too many hearts the magnificence of the Nativity 
mercy will be lost. 

Added to this is the growing indifference by which 
the blessings of the Savior's birth are carelessly taken for 
granted. Some people drive over the bridge at Niagara 
Falls and seldom look at that mighty spectacle, one of 
the world's wonders. They have seen it too often to be 
thrilled by its grandeur. A transcontinental passenger, 
traveling by train through the Rocky Mountains, writes 
that everyone in the car was visibly moved by the mag- 
nificent panorama, except one woman, who hardly raised 
her eyes from her book. Later she explained: "This 
is the thirteenth time I have crossed the mountains. 
The first time I could not keep the tears from rolling 
down my cheeks, so impressed was I. But now I have 
known it so well that I frequently go through the whole 
range with scarcely a glance out of the window/' Sim- 
ilarly, as Christmas follows Christmas, many of you think 
that you know the whole story, because you have heard 
it so often, when in truth you can never begin to exhaust 



150 HOLD TIGHT TO CHRISTMAS ! 

the treasures of its grace. The most deep-rooted enemy 
of American Christianity in our time is not the brazen 
atheist who boldly brandishes his blasphemy, for only 
"the fool hath said . . ., There is no God"; not the sar- 
castic Modernist who often preaches only to a handful 
of people; not the down-with-religion Communist who 
threatens to destroy our churches, for God laughs at this 
bombastic boasting. As menacing as all these opponents 
of our faith may be, the most dangerous enemies of 
the Redeemer's Gospel are the easy-going, self-confident 
Americans within the churches and without who hear 
Heaven's invitation and then quickly dismiss it from their 
minds to live and act as though there were no Savior, no 
Christmas with its message, "God" is "manifest in the 
flesh' 9 These, I repeat, are the most dangerous foes be- 
cause they are counted by the millions. 

Now to all of you who are hurrying madly through 
life, with no time for the Holy Child, no heart-and-soul 
interest in the promise of His redemption, I say, in His 
name and with the plea that involves your salvation, 
your blessed eternity, your promise of heaven, 

"HOLD TIGHT TO CHRISTMAS!" 

Celebrate the Savior's birthday every day! Take as your 
example our Lord's mother, of whom it is written that 
after the first Christmas had come and gone, after the 
shepherds had worshiped and departed, "Mart/ kept all 
these things and pondered them in her heart"! (Saint 
Luke, chapter two, verse nineteen.) 

I 

CONSTANTLY KEEP THE CHRISTMAS TRUTH! 
How noble and outstanding the Virgin Mary was! 
While we dare not endorse the error of some who have 
made her almost equal to God Himself, called her, in 



HOLD TIGHT TO CHRISTMAS! 151 

effect, the promised deliverer o the human race, we must 
not descend to the other extreme which regards her only 
as an average Palestinian mother. Twice, in the words 
of angels and men, does the Bible call her "blessed . . . 
among women." We dare not detract from that or go 
beyond it. She who bore our Lord Jesus should be an 
example of excellency for all women. 

Therefore we plead: Women of America, f oUow Mary! 
Remember that God has made you, the wives, mothers, 
daughters, of this country the guardians of much that is 
best and highest. If you fail us, the loss will be irrepar- 
able. The forces of hell are working in unbroken shifts, 
using the emergencies of war for a systematic attack on 
Christian womanhood. Too often their unholy assaults 
have been successful. Think of the girls lined up at 
tavern bars, elbow to elbow with men! Recall the star- 
tling increase in drunkenness among women! Hear the 
reports of growing profanity in large industrial plants! 
Behold the evidence of shocking immorality, cunningly 
practiced in the name of patriotism, and then ask God 
to give you a constant vision of Christmas and the glori- 
ous heights to which womanhood was exalted when 
Mary became the mother of the world's Savior! 

Especially, however, should we all follow Mary in 
her faith. She knew more about the birth of Christ than 
any other person on earth; and unfalteringly she trusted 
the Almighty. It is recorded of her in Scripture, "Blessed 
is she that believed." There were mysteries for Mary at 
the manger, promises she could hardly understand. The 
angel had told her that her Babe was to be the Son of 
God; yet He came into the world amid abject poverty^ 
and the first to adore Him were not priests or church- 
men, but lowly shepherds. She had been assured that her 



152 HOLD TIGHT TO CHBISTMAs! 

Child would "save His people from their sins" and that 
His coming brought "good tidings of great joy" for "all 
people"; still was her Son not born an outcast? Only once 
in the whole marvelous story of her motherhood did she 
inquire, "How shall this be?" 

We need that same trusting faith. I shall not argue or 
debate with you at length questions concerning the in- 
carnation, the virgin birth, Christ's two natures, and 
other truths which surpass our powers of understanding; 
I simply ask you to approach the whole Christmas record 
with an unbiased mind and permit facts to convince you. 
Daniel Webster and Rufus Choate were once the oppos- 
ing counsels in a famous trial where the point of con- 
tention was the resemblance of two car wheels. Any 
open-minded person would have said that the wheels 
were essentially the same, made from one model. Never- 
theless, Choate in a long, intricate oration, filled with 
technicalities and complicated arguments, sought to con- 
vince the members of the jury that they ought to overrule 
the verdict of their own eyes and decide that the wheels 
were different. When Webster arose in reply, he pointed 
to the wheels and said: "Gentlemen of the jury, there 
they are. Look at them!" Those six words completely 
shattered Choate s elaborate argument Similarly, to you 
who have been uncertain as to the truth of the Christmas 
story; to you college men and women with questioning 
minds; to you light seekers who have been misled by 
some boisterous, blaring infidel; to every doubter I say, 
pointing to the evidences of Christ's truths in the world 
about us: "There they are. Look at them: Hellholes of 
heathendom transformed into model communities; sav- 
ages become servants of God; cannibals changed into 
confessors of Jesus; sinners remade into saints; drunkards 



HOLD TIGHT TO CHRISTMAS! 153 

reborn into decent men and women! There it is. Look 
at it; the whole Christian Church! A thousand times the 
Savior's enemies have sworn that they would destroy His 
kingdom, but a thousand times they have been defeated. 
Repeatedly infidels have boasted that Christianity had 
been wiped out for all time. Today it is stronger than 
ever/' 

Do not insist that modern research and culture have 
disproved our faith. Scientists, even the greatest of them, 
can be wrong. Most of you have heard of Sir Isaac 
Newton, often called the prince of scientists. It is claimed 
that when that great man of learning came to grips with 
a practical issue of life, the problem of enabling his cats 
to enter the barn, he did not hesitate to cut two holes 
in the door, a large hole for the large cat, and a small 
hole for the small cat! Now, if scientific leaders make 
such mistakes in the trivialities of life, why should we 
be concerned about their denials of divine truth? 

Always keep in mind, too, that many outstanding 
leaders in human thought have declared themselves 
humble and sincere followers of the Savior. Listen to 
testimonies like these, not from uncultured circles but 
from American universities, and not from any insignifi- 
cant instructor, but from presidents and deans, men 
chosen for leadership because of their exceptional qual- 
ifications: President Thompson, Ohio State University: 
"The Christian hope, a living hope, begotten in us by 
the resurrection of Jesus Christ, satisfies, inspires, and 
comforts. ... I am a Christian because the Gospel of 
Jesus Christ . . . brings me a satisfying message for the 
life that now is and a sure hope for that which is to 
come"! President Burton, Smith. College: "In His in- 
finite patience with sinners, in His divine forgiveness for 
those who harmed Him, in His terrible suffering and 



154 HOLD TIGHT TO CHRISTMAS I 

death, Jesus . . . says there is a God that hates sin, that 
this God is our Father, and that we are His children"! 
President Wheeler, University of California: "The Bible 
must be read more and studied more and taken more 
deeply into the life of every Christian. We cannot do 
without it. It is the heart of our faith"! Dean Rogers, 
University of Michigan: "I heartily accept the Bible as 
the Word of God and sincerely believe Jesus Christ is 
the Savior of men"! President Wayland of Brown Univer- 
sity: *1 place no dependence on anything but the right- 
eousness and death of Jesus Christ"! President Finley, 
Princeton University: "I triumph through Christ"! Presi- 
dent Cyrus Northrop of Minnesota University: "I shall 
uphold Christianity as the religion which is to save the 
world"! If these and many other heads of outstanding 
universities have followed Mary's simple and trusting 
faith, what keeps you from kneeling humbly before the 
new-bom Rescuer of the race? 

Mary did not merely listen to the Christmas message 
and then forget it. We read in plain, one-syllable words, 
that after Jesus was born she "kept all these things," the 
startling promises concerning the Holy Child, "in her 
heart!' We likewise must hold tight to the Christmas 
blessing even after the evergreen and decorations have 
been removed. The benedictions of our Savior's birth are 
far too great to be restricted by the short span of twenty- 
four hours. You cannot put the Atlantic into a drinking 
glass; even less can you crowd the glories of His incarna- 
tion into a single day. When Paula, a fifth-century Chris- 
tian, came to Bethlehem, she knelt at the reputed site 
of the manger and exclaimed: "I see^the divine Infant 
wrapped in His swaddling clothes. I hear my Lord cry- 
ing in His cradle." Then, quoting in Latin, Greek, and 
Hebrew, as the verses came to her mind, she recalled 



HOLD TIGHT TO CHRISTMAS ! 155 

all the prophetic passages which dealt with His coming 
and concluded: "Have I, a miserable sinner, been per- 
mitted to kiss the cradle where my Savior uttered His 
first cry? Have I been counted worthy to offer my prayers 
in this cave, where the Virgin Mary brought forth my 
Lord? Here shall be my rest, for it is the country of my 
Lord. Here will I dwell, since my Savior chose it." While 
it is neither possible nor advisable for you now to make 
a pilgrimage to Palestine, by faith you can constantly 
keep close to the Christ Child. Accept Him as your Re- 
deemer now! Take Him with you tomorrow when you 
go to work, when you march or drill., when you who must 
travel begin your journey! Let every day re-echo the re- 
joicing of the first Christmas: "Fear not; for, behold, 
I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to 
all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of 
David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord"! 

On this last Sunday of a year which not only reminds 
us of our steady approach either to hell or God grant 
it! to heaven, but which also serves as a time for spir- 
itual inventory, look deep down into your souls I Many 
of you, I know, will admit that, unlike Mary, you have 
not kept the Christmas truth. You have lost the greatest 
treasure you can ever own. You had God-fearing parents. 
They taught you to believe that Jesus came to save you. 
You prayed to Him, and for years you trusted Him. 
Then something tragic happened. Usually it was pros- 
perity, with pleasure seeking, luxurious living, the quick, 
easy making of money that crowded Him from your life; 
and though many of you seem successful in the sight of 
man, you are bankrupt in the eyes of the Almighty, be- 
cause you have not kept Christ Before it is too late 
and think of the sudden deaths during the past days: 



156 HOLD TIGHT TO CHRISTMAS! 

boulders hurtling down a Pennsylvania hill to destroy 
almost all the passengers in a large bus; a family, driving 
to Christmas exercises in a public school, killed in a crash 
with an onrushing train; a commanding general in Africa 
shot down by an assassin's bullet these and hundreds of 
other deaths, without mentioning the heroic sacrifices on 
the field of battle, appeal to you personally: "Delay not! 
Delay notl Come to the infant Redeemer contritely, con- 
fessing your sins, trusting Him completely! He will for- 
give, restore and strengthen you to keep His glorious 
Gospel/' This week a letter from Texas told me that a 
man who grew up in the shadow of our Seminary and 
who was once ardent in the faith but for more than 
twenty-five years without Jesus and against Him has now 
been reclaimed for the Lord by the power of the Holy 
Spirit using this mission of the air. May the same Com- 
forter now speak living words of invitation and appeal 
into many hearts throughout this land into your soul, 
even if you have turned from Jesus thirty-five, forty-five, 
fifty-five or more years ago! Come back to the manger 
during this radiant Christmas season with the holy re- 
solve that, God's Spirit sustaining you, you will guard 
every assurance of the Savior's love as your priceless pos- 
session! Keep Christ in your family circle! Fathers, think 
of Mary, a weak woman with outstanding strength of 
devotion; and before the old year closes, resolve with 
Joshua, "As for me and my house, we will serve the 
Lord"! Keep the Gospel in your churches! Keep Christ 
on the air! Battle determinately against every sinister, 
un-American, anti-Christian movement that would bar 
broadcasts like our Bringing Christ to the Nations in a 
day when our boys are shedding their blood to preserve 
the freedom of religion! 



HOLD TIGHT TO CHRISTMAS? 157 

II 
CONSTANTLY PONDER THE CHRISTMAS BLESSING! 

Mary not only "kept all these things" as a person 
treasures a costly jewel or a rare painting, but we know 
that she also "pondered them in her heart." Constantly 
her thoughts dwelt on the angel's promise that her 
son was God's Son, a King whose rule would know no 
end. He would be called "Jesus" the wonderful name 
which means "Savior/* Household duties, of course, de- 
manded much of her time. Her Child needed her moth- 
erly care. There were no servants in Joseph's humble 
home. Mary did all the cooking and baking, the cleaning 
and mending, the spinning and weaving. She never neg- 
lected her domestic tasks; yet she found time constantly 
to reflect on divine mercy. Not a day passed at Beth- 
lehem, on the difficult flight into Egypt and the hazard- 
ous return journey, in the Nazareth household, without 
having her thoughts wing their way back to that first 
Christmas. 

Here, too, Mary is a model for all Christian wives and 
mothers. Ten times as many women work in war industry 
today as a year ago; and while we pay tribute to their 
patriotism, this change brings acute problems to religious 
and home life. We read of children, locked in a room, 
burned to death while their parents worked at a defense 
plant. Much more widespread is the increase of domestic 
trouble owing to the mother's absence from the family. 
No wife should unnecessarily take the place of an un- 
married worker; the Government must do more to pro- 
vide adequate practical help and direction for the chil- 
dren of defense workers. How tragic to win the war on 
the battle front but lose it on the home frontl The mother 
who keeps her house tidy, sees to it that her 



158 HOLD TIGHT TO CHRISTMAS! 

has warm, well-cooked meals when he comes home from 
work, keeps her children clean, their clothing neat and 
mended, their manners courteous and polite, their souls 
turned to the Lord Jesus, and still takes time, like Mary, 
to ponder the promise of divine love, is rendering a serv- 
ice to American morale which, although often unrecog- 
nized and unapplauded, is as necessary as any uniformed 
service to which women are admitted. 

God give us all much more of that pondering spirit, 
for too often people refuse to consider personally, seri- 
ously, unbiasedly, the claims of Christ on their souls! 
You may smile indulgently at the Scotch woman who, 
too poor ever to have seen any paper money, received 
letters from her soldier son containing bank notes, which 
she thought were simply pretty pictures. But are not 
many of you guilty of far more serious misunderstand- 
ings? You received many Christmas greeting cards, some 
of them, I feel sure, with pictures of Bethlehem's Babe 
and words of Scripture. Did you take time to ponder the 
meaning of that Child, to read and believe those pas- 
sages? They are divine promissory notes, these Bible 
truths, which pledge, "God so loved the world that He 
gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth 
in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." The 
bank of heaven always keeps its pledge; yet they meant 
nothing to you. 

What do you suppose helped Mary daily recall the 
remarkable happenings of the first Christmas? She was 
no superwoman, she was flesh and blood as you are; and 
with God's help you can do what she did. Continually 
she thought of the Lord Jesus because she had the Christ 
Child with her day and night. She herself nursed that 
holy Infant Her own hands bathed and clothed Him. 
She sang Him to sleep with her own lullabies. She cud- 



HOLD TIGHT TO CHRISTMAS ! 159 

died Him to her breast, fondled Him with her arms, 
kissed Him with her lips. Her precious Babe was con- 
stantly before her to remind her every moment of God's 
marvelous mercy. You, too, can keep the Savior before 
you in the repeated promises of His Word. Within the 
covers of your Scripture is the whole story of salvation 
told so plainly that even a child can find its way to 
heaven. Read it! Ponder it! 

As the old year hastens on to its end, may you who 
have not lived it with Jesus realize that you have had 
time for yourself but not for Christ; time for your body 
but not for your soul; time for amusement but not for 
spiritual growth; time for sin but not for grace; time for 
falsehood but not for truth; time for Satan but not for 
the Savior; time to cause others untold suffering but not 
to bring them happiness; time to read unclean stories and 
lust-laden magazines but not to read the Word of God 
and clean, constructive literature; time to drive your soul 
to hell but no time to find the one way to heaven in the 
Christ Child. Before these twelve months run out into the 
unchangeable past of all history, I plead with you: For 
your soul's salvation take time, blessed time, to behold 
that Babe long and lovingly! Ask yourself: <c Who is this 
Child of Bethlehem, and what does He mean to me?" 
Out of the miracle and the mercy of divine love comes 
the answer "He is your God, the almighty Lord of the 
universe, who loved you with the divine affection that 
made Him come into the world to take your place in 
fulfilling the divine Law you have broken, to become 
your Substitute in removing the curse of death, your 
Ransom in paying the debt of sin you by yourself could 
never pay/' Repeat the questions: 'Who is this Holy 
Child? What is He to me?" And the divine Word replies, 
"He is your Savior ? whose unlimited, unconditioned, uii- 



160 HOLD UGHT TO CHRISTMAS ! 

purchasable pardon and peace are granted you without 
payment or price, freely and forever.*' Inquire again: 
"Who is this cradled Child? What does He mean to me?" 
And divine truth responds, "He is your Friend, who helps 
when human friends give way, whose love kindles the 
warmth of comfort, the hope of deliverance, the assurance 
of heavenly joy in all life's heaviness and sorrow." Put 
the pointed question once more, "Who is this Child, pre- 
dicted by prophets and proclaimed by angels?" O my 
fellow redeemed, as the embers of the dying year burn 
in their last brightness, listen closely, every one of you, 
my countrymen at home and abroad, you men and women 
in the armed forces who hear these messages on the firing 
lines of the Pacific, in the lonely outposts of the Aleutians, 
on the bleak Alaskan frontiers, in remote sections of our 
own country, in Canada, Mexico, the West Indies, South 
America, the British Isles, and in other distant places 
this Child is your Ransom from ruin, your resistance to 
temptation, your Path to purity, your Promise of a new 
and better life on this earth, your Pledge of resurrection 
glory in heaven! Keep Him, and He will keep you, 
through life's fleeting years and death's darkness, safe 
for a radiant eternity. We ask this old and new year's 
blessing confidently, for we plead in His blessed name. 
Amen. 



A New Heart for the 
New Year 



"Create in me a clean heart, God, and renew 
a right spirit within me!" 
PSALM 51:10 

O God, Truly Our Help in the Past,, Assuredly Our Hope 
for the Future: 

On this first Sunday of the new year we come before Thee 
in our Saviors name to beseech Thy guidance and protection 
during the trying days ahead for our country, our churches, 
our homes, and ourselves. We have not gone this way before, 
and we need Jesus every hour to pardon our sins and to walk 
by our side. We need the Holy Spirit to remove our fears, 
destroy our doubts, and grant us divine comfort. We need 
Thee, heavenly Father, to defend us against all evil by day 
and night. If we have to face the coming twelve months 
alone, meet the terror of war in our own strength, -fight the 
evil without Thy support, O God of glory, grace, and majesty, 
we will indeed be helpless and pitiable. Therefore come to us 
and bring us to Thee! Call many to Christ through the 
preaching of Thy pure Word, and for the new year grant us 
all new hearts, new consecrated lives, new faith, new courage! 
Hear us and help us every day for the Saviors sake! Amen. 



/VERY day during the new year, until 
the Almighty answers our prayers, we should constantly 
plead: "O God of all mercy, put an end to the war! 
Stop this bloodshed, so that our men and women in the 
armed forces may return from India, Africa, the South 
Sea Islands, the Aleutians, from the sixty-five countries 
to which our troops have been transported! O God of all 
power, who didst send Thy Son to lay down His life 

Tenth Lutheran Hour 161 11 



162 A NEW HEART FOR THE NEW YEAR 

for our redemption, grant us a just, equitable, righteous 
peace, with the triumph of truth and the defeat of evil, 
the restoration of liberty and the freedom to worship 
Thee! O triune God give us a victory that will not pro- 
voke further bloodshed, but bring the nations more 
closely together! We ask it, according to Thy will, in 
Jesus' name/' 

Not everyone will join in this prayer, of course. Some 
will continue to forget the power of intercession. Others 
will refuse to petition peace because they want more war. 
They have larger incomes than ever before. Why should 
they wish this sudden prosperity checked? Why, indeed, 
unless they could hear the wounded scream in agony, see 
bodies torn with shrapnel, visit hospitals filled with suf- 
ferers who have lost sight or limbs! Still others will reject 
this pleading for peace because they deny the existence 
of the Almighty and ridicule the mere mention of Chris- 
tian prayer. 

This we-don't-need-God spirit has produced a boast- 
ful overconfidence which leaves the Lord entirely out of 
the country's future. In its December issue a year ago 
a national magazine printed predictions for the twelve 
months just closed, written not by amateurs but by ac- 
claimed radio commentators, military experts, public fig- 
ures. Even a few days before hostilities were declared, 
not one of them definitely foresaw war with Japan. 
Several boasted emphatically that, should Japan attack 
us, it would be completely wiped out within a short time. 
Today, as we witness the complete failure of these expert 
prophecies which left God out of their reckoning, we 
ought to understand that, while no man can foretell what 
will happen during the months ahead, if we are to enjoy 
true peace, real blessing for ourselves and our country, 
we must have God on our side; and if the Lord is to rule 



A NEW HEART FOR THE NEW YEAR 163 

national life, as well as individual hearts and homes dur- 
ing the new year, ours must be a repentant, trusting faith 
in Jesus. We must turn from our sins to His salvation; 
we must come before our heavenly Father in the Savior's 
name with clean hearts, the "right spirit" of reverent trust, 
and new, Christ-dedicated lives. If we would meet cou- 
rageously any adversity this twelvemonth may bring; 
if we would triumph over the temptation that its victory 
and prosperity may produce; if we would find comfort 
for suffering and confidence in calamity, let this be our 
plea and our assurance: 

A NEW HEART FOR THE NEW YEAR! 

May we, as David in our text (Psalm fifty-one, verse 
ten), refusing to rely on ourselves, turn to Heaven and 
plead, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew 
a right spirit within me!' 9 



WE NEED A NEW HEART 

This prayer was prompted by David's remorse over 
a deep crime. He had taken the wife of one of his of- 
ficers, Uriah, and then by devilish design had sent him to 
a battle front where he was sure to be killed. What 
a pointed warning every one of us should find in David's 
planned murder! If the sweet singer of Israel, the king 
close to God, the ruler with whom the Almighty spoke 
repeatedly, the prophet who foresaw the Savior's cruci- 
fixion and resurrection, could descend to the depths of 
such wickedness, treachery, and lust, how can we, with 
our evil natures and desires, boast that it is impossible 
for us to fall into iniquity and crime? Do you think that 
because of your church membership you are above com- 
mitting a terrifying transgression? Do you feel confident 



164 A NEW HEABT FOB THE NEW YEAH 

because you are a minister of God and wear clerical robes 
that the destructive passions smoldering in your breast 
cannot break forth in consuming flame? "Let him that 
thirtieth he standeth take heed lest he fall!" On the other 
hand, what sustaining comfort to know that, since David, 
home-breaker and murderer, could be forgiven and re- 
stored to divine grace, you, too, can have the positive as- 
surance, "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be 
white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they 
shall be as wooTl 

For this pardon you must follow the Psalmist's peni- 
tent faith. He knows and admits that his old heart, 
crowded with sinful longings, impure impulses, is foul 
and filthy. He makes no attempt to justify, explain, or 
excuse his crime. He does not claim that the king can 
do no wrong or that, as ruler of Israel, he is above the 
law. No; in penitent prayer he turns to God and pleads, 
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right 
spirit within me!" 

If only every one of us were guided by the same 
realization of our personal iniquities and sin's sordid, de- 
structive power! Instead our perverse age has popular- 
ized, glorified, even glamorized the transgressions of the 
divine Law. Public entertainment look at your news- 
papers! applauds impurity. Men and women of many 
matrimonial ventures can become the idols of millions. An 
authoress who smuggles a soldier from camp is arrested; 
but the same woman, whose books can take decency from 
the hearts of young readers, is rewarded with huge 
royalties and wide acclaim. The Bible warns us that abus- 
ing God's name is a heavy sin, which provokes divine 
vengeance; yet our puffed-up generation regards pro- 
fanity as a sign of red-blooded manhood. A New York 
daily, often considered the outstanding newspaper in our 



A NEW HEART FOR THE NEW YEAR 165 

country, declares itself ready to print the profanity of 
a high Government official or Army commander, provided 
it is not too violent as if the cursing of men in promi- 
nent positions were not far more dangerous than others' 
misuse of the divine name! Again, the Scriptures ask 
children to obey their parents and those in authority; 
yet many distinguished, eagerly heard educators and 
sociologists ridicule the Biblical command and insist that 
boys and girls follow their own whims, be permitted to 
grow up without discipline! What a heavy payment our 
country must now make in retribution! Juvenile crime is 
more serious and widespread than ever before. Kansas 
City, for example, records an increase of 107 per cent in 
the seventeen-year-old class! Yet when young offenders 
are haled before court, they are often dismissed with the 
instruction to read Huckleberry Finn! 

At a time when the most widely attended plays are 
frequently the dirtiest and the most popular novels often 
the most suggestive, we can understand that the public 
denunciation of sin is the weakest. Indeed, by systematic 
falsehood, sin is disguised as attractive, alluring. Here are 
some of these vicious untruths: Lie Number One: 'Why 
not enjoy life?" young people, and especially military 
men, are asked. "You do not know what will happen to 
you. Why not take a final fling and squeeze every drop 
of pleasure from the little of life that may remain?" But 
what of the accusing, torturing conscience, the searing 
memories of sin, the injury and suffering it brings others? 
Lie Number Two: "No one will ever find out." Yet God's 
eyes behold everything. They pierce your flesh and bone 
to search the secret thoughts in your heart. Lie Number 
Three: "You can get by and escape consequences." So 
the gangsters killed in Chicago last week thought, when 
several months ago they shot their way out of prison. 



166 A NEW HEART FOR THE NEW YEAR 

If the FBI's long arm recaptures convicts, can you elude 
the arm of divine vengeance? Lie Number Four: "Sin 
is not serious. In fact, it often brings a reward/' However, 
sin never pays, but the unforgiven sinner always pays. 
Sin has burdened the whole world. Early missionaries 
to the New Hebrides noticed that native women, leaving 
their homes to draw water or work on plantations, bore 
heavy, pressing loads on their backs. Inquiry revealed 
that they carried with them their household valuables, 
including even the chickens, lest these be stolen during 
their absence. Similarly, sin has brought suspicion and 
hardship throughout the world. It has set nation against 
nation, for every war, including the present conflict, 
comes as divine visitation. Sin has produced untold sor- 
row, reverses, and punishment, for God warns, "I will 
punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their 
iniquity!" His judgment never fails. Sin has changed man, 
made in the Creator's image, holy and righteous, into 
a creature of unholiness and unrighteousness. It curses 
his labor with opposition, disappointment, and exhaus- 
tion. It causes sickness, disease, and finally death. It has 
filled him with evil and made him incapable of any good 
thought or helpful action. It has split homes, torn hus- 
bands and wives apart, separated parents from children. 
It has divided Christ's Church into scores of opposing 
groups. Above all, sin, unremoved, closes the gates to 
heaven. The Bible decrees, "Know ye not that the un- 
righteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? 9 What- 
ever men say of sin; however they seek to excuse, 
disguise, minimize, or exalt it, God's true Word de- 
clares: First, "All have sinned." Second, "The soul that 
sinneth, it shall die!' The Almighty is so holy that no one 
with unforgiven transgressions can ever stand before His 
throne. If we would approach the Lord of heaven, our 



A NEW HEART FOR THE NEW YEAR 167 

unclean hearts must be changed and cleansed. Our evil, 
destructive spirit must be made new and right. There- 
fore David pleads, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, 
and renew a right spirit within me!" 

With the same emphasis on inner renewal Jesus de- 
clares, (< Je must be born again.'" He wants more than 
a mending, patching, repairing of our old iniquitous lives. 
His Word demands, "Put off . . . the old man . . . and . . . 
put on the new man!" Though we were born in sin, we 
must be reborn to righteousness. That means more than 
living a polite, outwardly honorable life which, as far as 
men can see, avoids "the lust of the flesh" spurns drunken- 
ness, contributes to charities, and heaps up virtues. You 
can do all this and much more, and yet remain outside 
God's kingdom. If your hope of eternity is built only on 
such respectability; if you forget your secret faults; if you 
refuse to admit that your whole existence is marred by 
many and deep-rooted sins, that your mind produces 
unclean thoughts, your heart often beats with hateful, 
greedy impulses, you are still far from the kingdom of 
God. You must have a "new heart." "Ye must be born 
again" Suppose you had an apple tree that yielded wild, 
stunted, sour fruit; would you be satisfied with painting 
the bark white, spraying the foliage, pruning the tree, 
watering it regularly? You could do this every day as 
long as the tree lived, and it would still grow the same 
disagreeable fruit. In only one way can you make the 
tree produce a good harvest: graft a new twig from 
a good apple tree. Similarly, God must graft new life 
into us. 

Neither is it sufficient, if we would be saved for 
eternity, that we are merely convinced of our sins; that 
we realize and confess our repeated transgressions of 
God's Law. Judas knew the enormity of his betrayal 



168 A NEW HEART FOR THE NEW YEAH 

better than anyone else, but lie ended in despair, a sui- 
cide. Since his day scoffers have found themselves in 
terrifying agony when the full realization of their foEy 
dawned on them. Sir Francis Newport, who had received 
early religious training, only later to become an infidel, 
exclaimed on his deathbed: 'Whence this war in my 
heart? . - . Do I assert that there is no hell, while I feel 
one in my own bosom? Am I certain that there is no after 
retribution, when I feel a present judgment? . . . Wretch 
that I am, whither shall I fly from my heart? What will 
become of me?" That is the question many of you 
should ask yourselves, "What will become of me unless 
my heart is changed and I am 'born again 9 into spiritual 
newness?" 

Hear David's plea once more, "Create in me a clean 
heart y O God, and renew a right spirit within me!" to 
understand that the change which brings you to the 
Lord, the conversion which saves you from death and 
hell, starts with your innermost life! Realize what Jesus 
meant when He directed, "Cleanse first that which is 
within the cup!" Attending divine services, holding church 
offices, singing in the choir, leading young people's or- 
ganizationsas commendable as all this is will not 
insure you a place in heaven. You need a "new heart"! 
"Ye must be born again" Family advantages, the love of 
a God-fearing husband or wife, the guidance of believing 
fathers and mothers, church papers, Christian art in the 
home who will deny the good these can accomplish? 
Yet alone they are no guarantee that God will receive 
you. A Christian wife cannot redeem an infidel husband. 
Believing parents cannot rescue their unbelieving chil- 
dren. You yourself must have a "new heart" "Ye must 
be born again" 

Do you object: "I have been baptized. What more 



A NEW HEART FOR THE NEW YEAR 169 

do I need?" You can destroy baptismal blessing by 
rebellion against the Lord, by cruelty toward your fellow 
men, by sin against yourself. Baptism without faith is no 
pledge of pardon. Do you insist: "I pray. What more do 
I need?" Jesus Himself warns, "Not every one that saith 
unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of 
heaven." People all over the earth today are praying hard 
and long, but in the wrong way, without hope of an- 
swer. Do you try to justify yourself by claiming: *1 read 
the Bible. What more do I need?" Not every one who 
studies the Scriptures will be saved. Bible critics who have 
devoted their lifework to finding fault with Holy Writ 
have examined its pages with greater intensity than most 
of you know. If you are to be acceptable in God's sight, 
you must have a new, "clean heart!' "Je must be born 
again." Do not fall into the serious error which tells our 
military men that, if they die ia battle, no matter what 
they believe, they will find quick entrance into heaven! 
A United States general sent a message to American 
mothers who had lost their sons, promising them that 
God would take these dead warriors to Himself. It is 
a clear violation of our Christian faith to assert that any- 
one can be saved by dying in defense of his country. 
That is Mohammedanism, but not Christianity. The Scrip- 
tures declare with the same force to you men in the 
armed services as to us civilians, "Ye must be born again." 
Throughout the new year and all your days on earth 
keep this vital, life-or-death, heaven-or-hell alternative 
clearly and constantly in mind! For your rescue from sin, 
you need more than what men call "a good life." High 
intention and New Year's resolutions are not sufficient. 
Bravery and patriotism; membership in a Sunday school, 
Bible class, or church; confirmation and church rituals, 
are not enough. Religious emotions and enthusiasm are 



170 A NEW HEART FOR THE NEW YEAR 

not enough. Morning and evening prayers all these are 
not enough. They can be glorious gifts of God and priv- 
ileges of faith; but if they are contradicted by unbelief, 
unforgiven sin, they only make the charges against you 
at the bar of divine justice the more serious. First and 
foremost you need to be cleansed completely, re-created 
spiritually, You must have a "new heart!' "Ye must be 
born again." 

II 

CHRIST CAN GIVE US A NEW HEART 
Now, if "a master of Israel* acquainted with the 
Scripture once asked Jesus, "How can a man be born 
when he is old? 9 doubtless the question you are waiting 
to ask is, "How can I secure this "clean heart? this 'right 
spirit'?' Surgery, particularly during this generation, has 
performed remarkable heart operations, and doctors now 
know more about this vital organ than ever before. But 
no scalpel can cut deeply enough to remove sin. No 
cardiac specialist can cleanse the heart from the stain of 
inherited and committed wrong. 

Nor is there hope in learning. When we witness the 
irreligion and immorality produced by modern theories 
of education; when we find college men behind peniten- 
tiary bars, titled university graduates master minds of 
crime, we realize that our culture, although it can mold 
the mind, cannot change the heart. New York City has 
seen a wide rebellion within the public-school system. 
Instructors were seriously injured, their eyes blackened, 
their faces scratched by the pupils. A few were more 
brutally assaulted. One was murdered by a pupil. This 
may be only the beginning of what we can expect on 
a far wider scale when more of the atheistic-Commu- 
nistic revolt against law and order sickers down to our 
elementary and high-school youth, in fulfillment of those 



A NEW HEART FOR THE NEW YEAR 171 

prophecies concerning the last times: "Many will be 
'disobedient to parents' Many will be 'ever learning, 
and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 9 " 

Is there any assurance for this age in evolution, the 
claim that men are perpetually raising themselves to 
higher levels, that civilization is marching on to greater 
self -improvement? No other generation in American his- 
tory has beheld the folly of that delusion as clearly as we. 
True, we have made progress in engineering and aero- 
nautics, transportation and communication, but not in 
holiness, brotherly love, international understanding, and 
racial harmony. We have discovered multiplied means of 
making life easier and more comfortable, but no human 
methods for moral progress or spiritual betterment. De- 
spite roseate claims to the contrary, the world is not 
growing better. It is becoming worse. With increasing in- 
sistence its depravity calls upon the Lord to return and 
put an end to the disorder which makes men, at the 
zenith of their achievement, drop lower than the beasts. 
Even jungle animals know when to stop fighting; but one 
World War has not been sufficient for our haughty age. 
This theory of man's brute ancestry (taught to many of 
your sons and daughters in tax-supported schools), the 
fallacy which makes us creatures of chance, mere human 
animals, as all errors, holds out no hope whatever for 
a "clean heart 9 ' and a new, "right spirit." 

To secure that inner change, which no man, not even 
the most learned and virtuous can give us; to receive the 
blessing which no angel, not even the mightiest archangel 
can bestow; to be born again with a "new heart" we 
must turn, with David, to the Lord. As the Psalmist 
prays, "Create in me a clean heart, O God," so we, too, 
must push aside all questions and doubts, every false 
thought of our own merit or moral achievements, and 



172 A NEW HEART FOR THE NEW YEAR 

approach tie Almighty in these opening days of the new 
year, beseeching Him, with whom "nothing shall be im- 
possible" for a "new heart" and a reborn spiritual life. 
King David could foresee only dimly, at the distance of 
a thousand years, the glorious means by which the Lord 
would grant him that newness. How much more blessed 
are we who in faith can stand beneath our Savior's cross to 
learn this marvelous power of His atoning love, "He died 
for ain The sins that burden your life, keep you from 
heaven, and sentence you to hell; the iniquity which 
neither you nor anyone else can ever remove these 
transgressions in their immeasurable vastness, Jesus re- 
moved from you, Himself bore their entire guilt and 
endured their eternal punishment at Calvary. For you 
He fulfilled to the last letter God's Law, which you daily 
break, paid the penalty of your sins, and restored you to 
your heavenly Father. 

Whatever else the new year may bestow on you 
money, praise, recognition if it does not bring you faith 
in the sin-bearing Redeemer, it will leave you poor and 
pitiable. Whatever you suffer under the multitude of 
trials the coming months may heap upon you, if you 
have Jesus, the Burden-bearer, the Sorrow-sharer, you are 
strong and rich in spirit. On this first Lord's Day of the 
new twelvemonth I beg of you, in the name of Him who 
can crown this year with a mighty benediction for you, 
accept your Savior now! 

God has not only redeemed us through Christ, His 
Spirit also grants us a glorious rebirth. The Almighty has 
done everything for us by granting us Jesus; He has done 
everything in us by giving us a new heart. Hear it once 
more: our conversion and regeneration is all the Lord's 
work. He sent the Savior. He puts trust in that Redeemer 
into our hearts. He changes our lives through this faith. 



A NEW HEART FOR THE NEW YEAR 173 

From the very moment that Jesus takes control of 
your life, you are reborn in Him. His inviolable truth 
pledges, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: 
old things are passed away; behold, all things are be- 
come new!' You who without the Savior are slaves of 
sin, with Him can become liberated children of God. 
Now you are under divine wrath; but in Jesus you come 
under divine grace. Talk about the startling changes of 
our age! They are not to be compared with the marvels 
of this new birth. Debate the possibility of miracles! 
Is anything more striking than the conversion by which 
God's enemies become His friends, blasphemers learn 
to sing His praise? Of course this is no change into ab- 
solute perfection; for as long as we live in a world of sin, 
we will never be completely free from its taint. We can, 
however, join John Newton, marvelously brought from 
ruin to redemption, in declaring: "I am not what I ought 
to be, I am not what I want to be. I am not what I hope 
to be in another world. Still I am not what I once used 
to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am," namely, 
one of Christ's redeemed, with a new loathing of sin, 
a new desire to follow Jesus and turn from wicked men, 
a new courage to face life's uncertainties, a new joy when 
afflictions crush me, a new zeal to fight evil and resist 
temptation, a new freedom from doubt and fear, a new 
devotion to humanity, a new interest in home and finally, 
a new fervor to contribute to the nation the exalting 
righteousness it needs in this harassed hour, altogether 
a completely new and eternally blessed existence! 

O pray Jesus today for that renewed spirit, the "dean 
heart? the second birth, the regenerated life, because He 
Himself has unmistakably warned us, "Except a man be 
born of water and of the Spirit 9 he cannot enter into the 
kingdom of God"! If David had not turned to God with 



174 A NEW HEART FOR THE NEW YEAR 

this prayer and trusted the coming Messiah to restore 
and recreate him, he would have been lost forever, even 
though he was a powerful king and once served the 
Lord with a holy zeal. No matter who you are, how high 
your position, how wholeheartedly you once took part 
in the Lord's work, if you have fallen from grace and 
remain estranged from God, you cannot see "the kingdom 
of God" let alone enter it There is no other way to 
heaven than Christ's way, and He says, "Ye must be 
"bom again." 

It would be blessed indeed, particularly during days 
of stress and nights of worry like these, if masses in our 
country would turn to the Lord Jesus! Diplomats and 
statesmen argue for this or that new order, when in truth 
the only real newness any people can have or need is 
a spiritual rebirth. As experts outline the conditions of 
peace before the war is won, we ought to remind our- 
selves that, unless Christ's Spirit has its place at the 
conference tables, nothing is more certain than that a 
struggle of even greater scope can follow the present 
international conflict as soon as the belligerents have 
recuperated. The only guarantee against the early out- 
break of World War III, under God's grace, is the "clean 
heart" and the "right spirit" for which David prayed 
three thousand years ago. Missionary history shows that, 
whenever countries have accepted the Christian religion 
and its people have been led by Jesus' ideals, an entirely 
new life has dawned, with a high morality instead of 
widespread ruin, education in place of ignorance, prog- 
ress rather than superstition. On one of the Samoan 
Islands, Pentecost Sunday, 1862, more than five thousand 
natives, warriors and chiefs were gathered with King 
George, their ruler. Practically all these thousands had 
been born as heathen, many of them even cannibals, but 



A NEW HEART FOR THE NEW YEAR 175 

on that day they pledged themselves to the Lord Je- 
sus. From that time heathendom, polygamy, cannibalism, 
witchcraft were doomed, and the islands, utterly changed, 
became model communities, governed by the love of 
God. How marvelous if in our own beloved country, the 
most richly blessed of nations, our gratitude to Christ 
would be shown by millions' turning to the Savior in 
humble faith! The benedictions of peace and prosperity 
that were ours when America, young and fervent in its 
trust, clung closely to the Redeemer could be restored. 
Do you love your country and want to contribute to its 
moral and spiritual strength? Above all, do you seek 
courage for life and strength for death, the assurance of 
your salvation and the pledge of heaven? Then repeat 
David's prayer and ask the Lord today for that rebirth 
in Christ's redemptive love! Because Jesus promises this 
blessing through faith in His Word and by the cleansing 
of baptism, I invite those who have never been baptized 
to receive this "washing of regeneration." The Savior 
Himself declared, "He that believeth and is baptized 
shall be saved! 9 His Word assures us, "Baptism doth also 
now save us." Scripture calls out, "Arise and be baptized 
and wash away thy sins!" Let us send you a Christian 
pastor, one in the mighty army of my co-workers, who 
will instruct you and your household for the blessings 
of church membership! 

What a glorious year this can be for you through that 
radiant rebirth! With Christ you will have light during 
the darkest hours. For the most grievous sins you will 
find forgiveness in His blood. Amid the deepest sorrows 
the Holy Spirit will put a song of gladness on your lips. 
If death enters the family circle, you can look beyond 
the grave to life. If this year is the last for you on earth, 
it will be the first for you in heaven. Therefore, my be- 



176 A NEW HEART FOR THE NEW YEAR 

loved, God wants me to ask pointedly: "Are you truly 
'born again'? Have you a 'clean heart* and 'a right spirit'?" 
Do not side-step or postpone the answer! Do not sur- 
render to despair, as though your sins were too scarlet! 
Do not let doubt dominate your spirit! Come to the mercy 
seat! Kneel humbly but fervently before Jesus! Repeat 
David's plea, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and 
renew a right spirit within me!" and from the love that 
never makes a mistake, never spurns a penitent sinner, 
never bars or excludes, comes the answer written in 
God's own Word, but positively penned for you, the 
promise of the great and glorious Creator, Redeemer, 
Sustainer, the word that now would wing its way into 
your soul, "A new heart also will I give you!" Believe that 
and be saved! Amen! 



The Strongest Secret Weapon, 
Christian Prayer! 

"When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and 
when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father 
which is in secret; and thy Father, which seeth 
in secret, shall reward thee openly." 
SAINT MATTHEW 6:6 

God of Att Grace: 

Help us believe firmly that despite our sins we can always 
and everywhere approach Thee through prayer in Christ's 
name and assuredly find blessed answer according to Thy 
will! Forgive us, for the Savior's sake our neglect of commun- 
ing with Thee, our insincerity and hypocrisy,, as well as our 
many other disloyalties! Cancel and remove them all, merciful 
God, because we trust in the atoning death of Thy Son, our 
Redeemer! Bring many to that saving confidence, particularly 
the men and women of our fighting forces, who take our 
places on the battle lines! Let the promise of peace strengthen 
their hearts! Show them what a heavenly Deliverer Jesus is, 
what a privilege they can have in carrying all their needs 
to Him through fervent pleading! Make us a repentant, 
prayerful people! Bless this day particularly those who sor- 
row because of their transgressions or stagger under heavy 
burdens! Without Thee, O Triune God, we can do nothing. 
With Thee hope and heaven are ours. Come to us, then, and 
bless us for Jesus 9 sake! Amen. 

JLL/VER since the beginning of the Second 
World War we have read repeated predictions of a secret 
weapon. Three years ago Hitler boasted that he had 
a startling means of defeating his enemies, but we have 
failed to witness any proof of its existence. The French 

Tenth Lutheran Hour 177 12 



178 SECRET WEAPON, CHRISTIAN PRAYER! 

proudly announced that they had undisclosed guns, which 
would blast their foes into retreat; yet their country col- 
lapsed despite this much-vaunted artillery. In our own 
nation an air-force officer recently told mechanical en- 
gineers that our secret planes are "enough to make the 
angels gasp." But angels do not gasp. If they did, it would 
be to express dismay at such irreverence. Our cause is ill 
served by such flippancy. 

Nor is America's secret weapon our sense of humor, 
as a full-page newspaper advertisement proclaims, glori- 
fying comic strips and asserting that, as long as our 
people can laugh, we shall be victorious. You parents 
ought to realize, however, that not much laughter is af- 
forded by some of these comic pages, which reveal to 
your children the technique of crime, the language of the 
underworld. Besides, merriment will never win the war. 
Victory will truly take tears and sweat and blood. 

Yet there is a powerful secret weapon, and everyone 
of us can wield it in our country's defense as well as 
for the defeat of any dark force. 



^ 

found it. Describing his twenty-three days on a raft in 
the Pacific, he wrote: "We organized little prayer meet- 
ingsTn the evening amidjmoming.^. . * Frankly and humbly 
" we^prayed^fordeHverance. Pangs of hunger showed up, 
and we prayed for food. . . . Within an hour after the 
prayer meeting a sea gull came in and landed on my 
head ... and we EaHTbod." Mrs. Etihel Bell, adrift with 
her two children for nmeteenHayTon the South Atlantic, 
used tibat secret weapon. She stated: "Every morning and 
as lie" sun set, the children and I would sing hymns and 
say our prayers. Wej:^ 

rescue would be answered." And they were rescued. 
Ruth Straub, of the Army Nurses Corps, reported that 
Bataan'Fbrave clefenders discovered courageous strength 



SECRET WEAPON, CHRISTIAN PRAYER! 179 

in this secret weapon. Her diary revealed: "There is not 
an atheist on Bataan. When the bombs come, every one 
lies on the ground and prays aloud, regardless of who is 
around." Private Hollinger, who with five companions 
staggered through harrowing days and terrifying nights 
in a Solomon Island jungle, knew that secret weapon. 
He exclaimed: "We just prayed evening and morning. 
Believe me, we did a lot of praying." And they were 
saved. Similarly, for the defeat of formidable foes mobil- 
ized against our souls, for the strengthening of our hopes, 
for the protection of our nation, we, too, have a marvel- 
ous, superhuman, divine power in 

THE STRONGEST SECRET WEAPON, 
CHRISTIAN PRAYER! 

For this victorious promise we turn to Christ's own words 
in Saint Matthew, chapter six, verse six: "When thou 
prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut 
thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy 
Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. 9 ' 



THE NATURE OF THIS PRAYER 

Note that Jesus devotes no time to prove that His fol- 
lowers must beseech divine help! ToJHim prayer Js as 

n H^ as ^Hi!*k ?? % 9?jF jslyii^I 

Me, the jam for bodily growth, or water for the deyelop- 
ment ^ofjglssfe^S^teS?: ^ your spiritual stature is 
stunted; if you suffer one punishing blow after the other; 
if cherished plans collapse in a sudden moment, may the 
trouble not be this, that you are pushing God to one side, 
trying to carve your own career, rejecting prayer as un- 
manly? How foolish and fatal, particularly in times of 
war this proud, boastful claim that you do not need 



180 SECRET WEAPON, CHRISTIAN PRAYER! 

the Almighty! How puny and helpless men are, with all 
their vaunted strength, when God s ice and His snow 
storms put proud battalions to rout, when the angry 
ocean crushes mighty battleships! You need not argue 
the necessity of supplication with most men on the firing 
line. A national news magazine reports, "The closer youj 
get to the front, the more you pray to God." On the 
brighter side of the present scene is the fact that never 
before has prayer been mentioned in our newspapers 
with as frequent approval as now in World War II. It is, 
therefore, of surpassing importance that we know with- 
out question or doubt how rightly to invoke the help 
we need. 

For this direction we must turn not to human teach- 
ers, men who promise that, if we wish long and intensely 
enough, we shall surely receive what we want; to scien- 
tists who have studied the habits of semicivilized people 
and advance theories of prayer evolution; to Modernists 
with their own individual anti-Scriptural theories of in- 
tercession. For the true assurance of answer we must 
come to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is our God. He never 
makes a mistake. Think of it in a score of passages 
Jesus gives us prayer instruction! And more! He not only 
taught us how to come before God, He also put His 
teaching into practice. Well do we sing, "Learn of Jesus 
Christ to pray!" for no one has ever pleaded with the 
power and blessing that mark our Lord's supplication. 

The Savior's first great prayer lesson, and one that 
lies at the base of our text today, asks us to direct our 
entreaties only to the true God: to His Father, to Him- 
self, to the sanctifying Holy Spirit. It is of no import in 
what language men speak their entreaties, how eloquent 
or simple, how long or short, how loud or soft their sup- 
plications. It matters nothing where they plead, whether 



SECRET WEAPON, CHRISTIAN FRAYEIl! 181 

at work or at worship, in church or at home, on journeys 
or in sickbeds. If prayer is to be answered, it must come 
before the Creator who gave us our existence, the Savior 
who redeemed us, the Sanctifier who preserves us the 
triune God revealed in Sacred Scripture. When it was 
recently announced that Emperor Hirohito knelt before 
the shrine of his ancestress, the sun goddess, Amaterasu, 
to inform her of the war's progress and beseech her aid in 
victory, millions in America laughed at the very thought 
of a fictitious, heathen goddess helping our enemies. Yet 
multitudes within our own boundaries make a similar 
mistake. Either their pleas are directed to an entirely un- 
known being as they cry out, "O God, whoever, wherever, 
and whatever thou art!" or they address a supreme spirit, 
a mind of the ages, an architect of the universe, in such 
a way that they clearly reject the one God; or they send 
their supplications to human beings who have died and 
passed into the next world. But all the while the Lord 
clearly instructs us, "Call upon ME!" 

Christ's second lesson in intercession, and again one 
which underlies our text, emphasizes that every request 
to God should be made in Jesus' name. This means far 
more, of course, than merely to close your supplication 
with the phrase, "This we ask in Jesus' name." You must 
have the firm conviction which recognizes that you, in 
your sins, cannot come before the Lord in His holiness; 
that, while human names designate those who "have 
sinned and come short of the glory of God' 9 "Jesus" is the 
name of your Redeemer, who by shedding His blood and 
dying the death of all sinners on the cross completely 
cleansed you of all guilt, took away the curse and eternal 
punishment of your iniquities, and through faith makes 
you spotless and stainless in His heavenly Father's sight 
Therefore, if you are Christ's, God will receive you when 



182 SECBET WEAPON, CHBISTIAN PRAYEJElI 

you approach Him in prayer. My fellow redeemed, in 
this solemn moment He wants me to ask you whether 
you thus know Jesus as your Savior. You need Him more 
than anyone else. What can we do to help you realize 
that without Him you are lost completely, lost hopelessly, 
lost forever, but that with Christ you have forgiveness, 
Hfe, and salvation? Is there any aid we or the thousands 
of pastors working shoulder to shoulder with us can 
offer, so that you will learn more of Jesus and with 
His assistance tear yourself loose from sin's entangle- 
ment? When David Rittenhouse, Pennsylvania astron- 
omer, measured immense planets, he found that a small 
silk thread stretched across the large lens of his telescope 
could cover even a star of the first magnitude. Are you 
kept from beholding Jesus' magnificent mercy because 
some secret or favorite sin, which you regard as small 
and inconsequential, is obscuring Christ's radiant love? 
Ask the Spirit to help you remove anything that prevents 
you from seeing your salvation! How wonderful beyond 
words, when your iniquities are taken away, to have 
a new start in life and daily to behold Jesus as He gives 
you His limitless grace "without money and without 
price" without condition or credential! 

If you have that faith, nothing can prevent you from 
approaching Christ. No man-made barrier, no decree of 
dictators, no prison walls, no pronouncement of proud 
churches, no feeling of your own unworthiness, no racial 
prejudices, no consciousness of the most terrifying in- 
iquity need keep you from praying to the Lord. 

It is to be regretted that public prayers sometimes 
ignore Christ as though He never lived and died for 
our sins. Altogether too frequently that name above all 
names, at which "every knee should bow" is deliberately 
omitted to please people who hate the Savior. But if we 



SECRET WEAPON, CHRISTIAN PRAYER! 183 

sidestep Jesus, can we blame Him if He sidesteps us? 
Thank God, many of our soldiers show outstanding loy- 
alty! The Cleveland Press tells the story of Richard 
Gourley, an eighteen-year-old marine from that city, 
wounded in a bloody Guadalcanal battle, who declares: 
"We pray, and we don't just say, 'Our Father who art in 
heaven.' We pray like this, 'Jesus Christ, help us!' " The 
whole country should have that young marine's spirit 
Some of you need it with double urgency. How long be- 
fore you will accept the Savior? Will it be necessary that 
you face enemy fire by day and bombing by night? 
Must you be torn from your self-confidence by the crash 
of affliction? May you realize the curse of sin and then, 
turning to Jesus and His grace, understand this loving 
promise, "Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My 
name, He will give it you 9 ! 

Because we pray in Jesus' name, we must plead hum- 
bly, penitently, with the contrite spirit of the publican 
who, hatdly daring to raise his eyes to the Lord, could 
onljjb^g, "God be merciful to me a sinnerr In our peti- 
tions we must become nothing, but Christ everything. 
We should say to God, <f We are the clay, and Thou our 
Potter!' We should look to Jesus, as did John the Baptist, 
and resolve, "He must increase, but I must decrease." 

When we pray in the Savior's name, we must plead 
in the spirit of reconciliation and forgiveness. We cannot 
ask God to remit our offenses if we, in turn, refuse to 
pardon those who injured us. You parents who have ban- 
ished your children because they made a serious misstep; 
you church members who refuse to speak to fellow Chris- 
tians because they have hurt you, listen: Do not expect 
mercy from the Lord if you continually decline to extend 
compassion to others. Nor should you hope for an an- 
swer to prayer if you are living in unforgiven sin, oppress- 



184 SECRET WEAPON, CHRISTIAN PRAYER! 

ing your fellow men, bringing sorrow to your husband or 
wife, working in an occupation that helps destroy faith. 
Before God will even hear you, you must be reconciled 
to Him through trust in Christ's redeeming love. Your 
sins must be removed! 

Praying in the Lord's name, we ought to have time 
and thought for others. Too often our petitions are a se- 
ries of selfish requests for money, personal advancement, 
pleasure. Even after God grants our requests, we are 
frequently too thankless or forgetful to speak a word of 
praise. How different another young marine on Guadal- 
canal! The night before a hard struggle he pleaded and 
these are his very words, recorded in a letter by his 
chaplain: "Dear Lord, if anyone falls in battle tomorrow, 
may it be I, because I know Christ as my Savior and 
Lord. Give some of those poor fellows who do not know 
Christ another chance and take me, if it be Thy will, 
O Lord!" If only you who call yourselves Christians and 
know what it cost the Son of God to redeem you would 
show a similar passion for souls, fall on your knees and 
beseech salvation for others! Especially now, when mil- 
lions of our young men and women are far from home, 
many on the front battle lines, should we ask divine 
guidance for these loved ones in the armed forces. We 
ought to revive Samuel's zeal, expressed in this assurance 
to the children of Israel, "God forbid that I should sin 
against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you!" 

The Savior teaches another prayer lesson in our text 
when He directs us to enter our own "closet" ( our room, as 
we would say today), close the door, and there, removed 
from all distraction, approach our Father "which is in 
secret." These words do not condemn public and family 
petitions. Rather, as the verses preceding our text show, 
does Jesus denounce the artificial prayers spoken for 



SECRET WEAPON, CHRISTIAN PRAYER! 185 

general approval, the hypocrisy which likes to ''be seen 
of men" the insincerity that thrives on formalism and 
outward worship, the show-Christianity which our Savior 
rejects in the words, "This people draweth nigh unto Me 
with their mouth and honoreth Me with their lips; but 
their heart is far from Me." 

Instead, Jesus wants the sincerity of trusting faith. 
He asks us to consider prayer such a sacred privilege that, 
when we commune with the Father, we isolate ourselves 
from the rest of the world, concentrate our thoughts on 
God in Christ and permit nothing to distract us. Because 
the Lord desires not lip worship but heart worship, not 
empty formality but soul-deep trust, we ought to give 
ourselves entirely and unrestrictedly to God when we 
invoke His help. Let us honestly admit how many times, 
as we stood for prayer in church, our thoughts began to 
wander! We would not insult an earthly ruler with such 
disrespect. Why, then, should we dare show less atten- 
tion and courtesy to the Almighty? 

What a glorious blessing to know and feel yourself 
alone with God! What an unspeakable privilege to have 
the world recede from your thoughts, to come before 
Him whom angels constantly adore! Is it not deeply 
meaningful that practically every time Jesus is recorded 
as having prayed, except at meals, He knelt alone, for 
instance, on the mountainside near Gennesarefs shores, 
in Gethsemane's dark recesses? Can we not find a pointed 
lesson in this fact that the heroes of faith, mighty men 
and women of the Bible, from Moses to Saint John, often 
came before the Lord in private, personal, secret plead- 
ing, to pray divine benediction on their people, as well as 
on themselves? These things were written for our instruc- 
tion. Following Christ's direction, "Enter into thy closet, 
and when thou hast shut thy door, prayf we can ex- 



186 SECRET WEAPON, CHRISTIAN PRAYER! 

perience many sweet hours of prayer in sacred solitude, 
but in Christ's presence, as we bring before the Mercy 
Throne petitions and thanksgivings for ourselves and for 
others. In the darkest hours of the Revolution, George 
Washington was seen to leave his headquarters at Valley 
Forge and to kneel alone, as he besought the Almighty's 
help for our country. During the Civil War, Abraham 
Lincoln declared that often when he saw no human 
solution to our national problems, he fell on his knees 
in the White House to beseech divine aid. Americans, 
accept the Lord as your Savior and Instructor in prayer! 
With the assurance of His blood-bought pardon in your 
soul, pray in your churches, pray in your homes, pray 
everywhere! But above all, make your petitions to the 
heavenly Father the personal outpourings of your own 
believing heart in the Savior's blessed name! 

II 

THE BLESSINGS OF THIS PRAYER 

Men pay little attention, of course, to such secret, un- 
seen intercession; and to our human understanding it 
may seem that the appeal of a sinner saved by Christ can 
exert little influence in a world apparently ruled by 
physical force and human might. But prayer can release 
the mightiest forces in the universe. It can unlock the 
door to an unfailing treasury of hope, strength, courage. 
It can help perform miracles which no scientific labora- 
tory can achieve, as it opens the gates of heaven for the 
redeemed in Christ and closes the entrance to hell. It can 
be a means of bringing lost souls from perdition to par- 
don, hopeless sinners from doom to deliverance. Faith- 
founded, penitent, personal pleading can bind the ele- 
ments of nature, miraculously avert danger, restore health 
even when specialists decide it is too late for healing. 



SECRET WEAPON, CHRISTIAN PRAYER! 187 

Earnest entreaty in Christ's name cannot only smooth the 
difficulties in your life, it can also solve the nation's prob- 
lems. The believer bowed low before his Savior pre- 
sents the most striking contrast to the power-worshiping, 
control-craving forces equipped with cannon and tanks, 
air squadrons and army battalions, high explosives and 
poison gas, as they cripple, kill, and destroy; but nothing 
is surer than this blessed fact that the supplications of 
the Savior's followers, poor and persecuted as they may 
be, can mightily overcome a weaponed world arrayed 
against them. 

For to whom are true prayers addressed? Not to idols 
made with men's hands! Not to a god who is so far off 
that he cannot hear! Not to weak, fallible men! Christian 
prayer is raised from earth to heaven, to the Creator in 
His marvelous omnipotence; and of Him it is written in 
Scripture, in history, in true believers' hearts, "With God 
nothing shall be impossible." Take every syllable of this 
promise on faith, my fellow redeemed! Ten Axis sub- 
marines may encircle the ship on which your son sails 
to the battle front, but the Almighty can swerve every 
torpedo aside. A hundred hostile planes may swoop down 
on his regiment as it marches through the Tunisian sands, 
but our Lord can steer every aerial bomb safely away. 
A thousand enemy rifles may be leveled against him on 
the Solomons, and a thousand bullets by God's direction 
can miss their mark all because your pleadings have 
found acceptance at Heaven's mercy seat. Therefore I re- 
peat: the strongest secret weapon men can ever wield is 
prayer in Christ's name. 

See how Jesus stresses this power when He promises 
that, if you pray with faith and sincere devotion, "Thy 
Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly"! 
Don't permit yourselves even to begin doubting these 



188 SECRET WEAPON, CHRISTIAN PRAYER! 

words, for they are Christ' s no exaggeration, but His 
own exact truth! Your trust in God will be rewarded, all 
scoffing of atheists and unbelievers to the contrary not- 
withstanding. The entreaty which your heart of faith 
sends to the Almighty, although no man knows it, no 
one hears it, and many would ridicule it, will bring you 
unmistakable blessing. 

Our Lord speaks generally when He says, "Thy Fa- 
ther, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. 9 " 
He does not say, <f< Thy Father, which seeth in secret, 9 
will answer every plea of any kind you may ever utter." 
Often we pray blindly and ask for those things which 
would injure us, harm our bodies or work havoc in our 
spiritual life. God loves us too much to heed such re- 
quests, but instead He gives His children a real blessing, 
the reward of His mercy, by which our souls are brought 
closer to Christ. Sometimes that open reward takes the 
form of sorrow and suffering; but in the end, affliction 
can be a far greater benediction than joy or the unruffled 
happiness of a smooth, frictionless life, for every one of 
us "must through much tribulation enter into the king- 
dom of God. 9 ' The burdens His heavenly wisdom permits 
to be imposed on us can make us more reliant on His 
mercy, more appreciative of His grace. Any petition for 
temporal, earthly, physical, bodily, family, financial help 
should be made according to God's will. As Jesus at 
Gethsemane, under the pain of indescribable anguish, 
declared, "Not My will, but Thine, be done!" so we 
should implore every blessing for this life according to 
our Father's perfect, unfailing purpose. It takes courage 
to ask, "O God, keep our boy across the seas unharmed, 
if it be Thy will!" It requires deep conviction to be able 
to say, "O Lord, spare the life of this baby, our only 
child; but Thy will be done!" Yet the more closely you 



SECRET WEAPON, CHRISTIAN PRAYER! 189 

walk with Jesus, the more personally you understand 
how gracious your heavenly Father is through the Savior, 
the more abundantly you will find strength in the as- 
surance that whatever God ordains is good, that "all 
things" and Saint Paul means "all things' 9 even disaster 
and death "work together for good to them that love 
God." So trust God humbly, patiently in Christ, even 
though you cannot understand the mysterious way in 
which He moves to perform His mercies! 

Keep in mind also that Jesus does not say, "'Thy 
Father . . . shall reward ihee immediately, at the place, 
in the time, according to the manner and under the 
circumstances you request." Prayer must never become 
dictation to the Lord, We should leave to God the way 
and means of His answer and confidently accept His all- 
knowing decision as to the where, the when, and the 
how of His reply as well as the why for the suffering that 
may intervene before His answer arrives. The time will 
come when, surveying Christ's marvelous dealings with 
us, we shall see that God's time, His place, His plan, and 
His degree of response are always the best 

By His divine mercy an open reward of grace will 
surely follow contrite, trusting prayer. Men may not rec- 
ognize it, as they are often blind to God's other benedic- 
tions. Even believers may not be able to explain the 
Lord's public reply to their entreaties. After the fall of 
Hong Kong one of our Lutheran missionaries in that 
crown colony was about to be placed in a concentration 
camp with his family. He knew that the food would be 
insufficient and that malnutrition would be a real danger 
for his loved ones. He took the matter to God in fervent 
but secret intercession. One morning, after his devotion, 
the missionary, leaving his house, spied a box in the 
micjclle of the street NO one was in sight who co 



190 SECRET WEAPON, CHRISTIAN PRAYER! 

lost it; so lie took it to his quarters, opened it, and found 
that it contained many tablets of sodium, phosphorus, 
calcium, magnesium, iron, just what his wife and children 
required for the internment that followed. Through this 
medical aid the teeth of those in his section of the con- 
centration camp did not turn black, and their bones did 
not become ricketed. He was also able to save human 
life through these precious chemicals. Now, how did that 
package happen to be there just at that time? Had it ac- 
cidentally dropped from a Japanese truck? If so, why 
was it not claimed? We know that the box was placed 
there by divine direction an open reward for secret 
prayer. Now, you who have spent your lifetime in sick- 
beds, you whose home happiness is ruined, you who 
have repeatedly requested that the thorn in your flesh 
be removed, only to find it further imbedded, may feel 
that God is not rewarding your prayers openly. Be pa- 
tient! Give the Lord time! And always look beyond the 
grief and clamor of a world in sin to the glory and radi- 
ance of heaven, where the Savior will say to all who have 
persevered in the faith, "Well done, thou good and faith- 
ful servant"! 

Likewise, if in any nation men humbly seek God 
through Christ, He will keep His word and reward them. 
That is illustrated in Switzerland, the country that twice 
preserved its liberty and independence although power- 
ful neighboring belligerents, humanly speaking, could 
have crushed it into submission. The Swiss government 
understands the source of its blessing, and in a Call to 
Repentance and Prayer gives this recognition to God: 
"Let us remember this word of the Holy Scriptures, 'Ex- 
cept the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but 
in vainr The Lord watches with our army which stands 
gentry for our country. In the peace of liberty and order 



SECRET WEAPON, CHRISTIAN PRAYER! 191 

we have been able to sow our fields, and the Lord has 
blessed their fraitfulness. Therefore we appeal to you, 
people of Switzerland, to spend the National Day of 
Repentance and Prayer in quiet, reverent concentration 
and not to desecrate the quietness of this day by pleasure 
seeking and noisy entertainment. Give honor to God as 
a free and praying nation!" We in the United States need 
more of that submission to God, for we have sinned 
against the Almighty sinned frequently, ungratefully, 
grievously! Yet here is the divine pledge, penned by the 
direction of God Himself: "If My people, which are 
catted by My name, shall humble themselves and pray 
and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then 
will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will 
heal their land." Trust that promise and find in the secret, 
behind-closed-door prayer of millions in America our 
strongest weapon for the present struggle! 

Pray down God's power on our country in a real 
revival of true faith, which starts where every reawaken- 
ing must begin, with individuals who, repentant yet reas- 
sured, come to Christ as their only Savior! My country- 
men, receive Jesus as your Redeemer! May the power of 
prayer strengthen you, your home, your church, and your 
country! Let the watchword of Christianity, the appeal 
that promises you divine hope and our nation divine 
blessing, the cry that has been the clarion call of this 
broadcast for many years, ring out ever more clearly: 
"On your knees, America!" "Pray, America, pray!" Battle 
with this secret weapon continually, faithfully, mightily, 
and you will battle triumphantly! We ask this victory in 
Jesus' name. Amen! 



Full Freedom from Fear 

"Fear not, for I have redeemed thee!" 
ISAIAH 43:1 

O Jesus, Our Ransom and Redeemer: 

As in the days of Thy earthly ministry Thou didst speaK 
peace to Thy fear-filled disciples, so look mercifully on us, 
despite our weakness of faith, our readiness to surrender to 
doubt! Give us the conviction which challenges, "If God be 
for us, who can be against us?" and show us that Thou art 
for att who trust Thee as their atoning, sin-bearing Redeemer! 
Draw us ever nearer to Thee! Daily may we confess the guilt 
and curse of our transgressions, yet with ever deepening faith 
behold and believe the wondrous love of Thy life-giving 
death! Extend Thy rich blessings to those terrorized by life's 
trials, haunted by their sins, agonized by war's horrors! Send 
Thy Spirit to pour courage into the hearts of the men and 
women in our Army and Navy, especially during the hour of 
danger and death! O Jesus, our Savior and our God, grant us, 
according to Thy will, a triumph of righteousness, a true, just, 
and speedy peace before many more lives are taken! Hear us 
and help us, for our hope is in Thee! Amen. 



reasons for fighting this global con- 
flict, our hopes for the postwar world have been sum- 
marized in "the Four Freedoms": freedom of speech, free- 
dom of religion, freedom from want, freedom from fear. 
The first of these is not new in our country, thank God! 
It was written into the Constitution and has flourished 
throughout the United States as in no other nation. The 
fact that we are able to use our most widespread radio 
facilities and address you in behalf of our Lord Jesus 
Christ is a tribute to our free government and the emi- 
nently American attitude of the Mutual Broadcasting 



FULL FBEEDOM FKOM FEAB 193 

System. With all the power and resources we have, let 
us battle against every attempt to regiment public opin- 
ion or restrict free expression! 

The second liberty, the freedom of religion, is like- 
wise an old privilege for us. Thank God again that we 
have no state church, no gestapos or commissars who 
control our worship or censor our preachers! Church and 
State are constitutionally separated. Help keep them sep- 
arate, so that no denomination ever assumes control of 
our political affairs and no administration shows favorit- 
ism to one religious group or persecutes another! 

The third liberty, however, the freedom from want, 
is new, as it seeks to give everyone in all the world "the 
right to adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care; 
the right to security/' No nation in history has ever been 
able to preserve people from poverty, unemployment, 
famine; and we doubt whether even a country with our 
resources can banish every want from the lives of its own 
citizens. It takes more than human ingenuity and ma- 
chines to furnish food, clothing, shelter. We still need 
God to bless our seedtime and harvest, give increase to 
our flocks, and prosper our labor. If, with reliance on the 
Almighty, man's best thought is devoted to helping the 
poor, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, we should in- 
deed invoke God's blessing on such efforts to relieve the 
undersupplied, the undernourished, the underprivileged. 

It is the fourth liberty, however, the freedom from 
fear, which particularly concerns us today. The Govern- 
ment generously promises us security against the haunt- 
ing terror that new wars will continually arise. "The use 
of force," we are told, "must be made less and less fea- 
sible on earth, until it finally becomes impossible/' and 
a warless era dawns with a world-wide reduction of ar- 
maments. What a glorious picture of peace, blessed 

Tenth Lutheran Hour 13 



194 FULL FREEDOM FROM FEAR 

peace, always in all the earth! Yet that freedom from 
fear and bloodshed often predicted in the past, but 
never more frequently than in these last decades of the 
most widespread, devastating wars will never be fully 
realized. Our blessed Savior Himself, foreseeing the very 
days in which we live, has warned us that, as the world 
hastens to its end, there shall be "wars and rumors of 
wars, ... for nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom 
against kingdom." Besides, some fears are even greater 
than war's terrors, and these cannot be removed even 
by a government as considerate as ours. To dispel the 
shadows which daily darken your soul, you must have 
heavenly strength. You need and this is my message 

to you 

7 FULL FREEDOM FROM FEAR, 

found only through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and 
such promises of God's Word as that offered by these 
seven simple words of our text (Isaiah, chapter forty- 
three, verse one), "Fear not, for I have redeemed theer 



WE NEED THIS FREEDOM FROM FEAR 

This "Fear not!" of Isaiah is only one of more than 
a hundred Scripture passages which cry out in effect, 
"Be not afraidr Bible critics have sought to remove some 
of these "Fear nots" as though they had crept in by mis- 
take. But a hundred, or even a thousand, pledges of 
triumph over terror would not be too many in our fright- 
filled years. Think of the legions of phobias which relent- 
lessly make men and women cringe before the thought 
that they will lose their most precious possessions. People 
fear the loss of health; and not thousands, but millions, in 
the United States are gripped by actual pain or the tor- 
ture of imaginary disease. Again, many fear that they 



FULL FBEEDOM FROM FEAB 195 

will lose their money, their investments, their home, their 
food, their work. And while in overprosperous periods 
like these such forebodings recede into the background, 
they are never completely banished from the mind. Mul- 
titudes fear the loss of their mental powers and shrink 
from the specter of insanity. Still others fear the loss o 
their good name and reputation. They cower before the 
thought that some evil which they thought safely hidden 
in the buried past will be uncovered. Unnumbered men 
and women are tormented because they dread the loss 
of love, the breakup of the family, the banishment of 
home happiness. Far worse, however, is the insistent 
voice of a guilty conscience that emphasizes God's wrath, 
the fear of unf orgiven sins, the torture of heU. And in the 
most crushing combination of fear men know they are 
affrighted by the prospect of their own death and of 
facing the just, holy God. If you have never seen an un- 
believer die, you have been spared one of life's worst 
terrors. 

Some of you, of course, are completely satisfied with 
yourselves. You smile confidently and say: "Fear? Why 
should I be afraid? I have everything I need. I am not 
afraid of God or man. If hardship comes, I can take it. 
And when it is time for me to die, I will not whine or 
whimper. I will go with a smile on my face/* But will 
you? Many who similarly rejected the Almighty actually 
became cringing cowards in their last breath. David 
Hume, philosopher and infidel, ranted against the Cross, 
ridiculed Christ, and at the same time confidently claimed 
that when his time for leaving life came, he would face 
death cheerfully. His housekeeper, who was with him 
to the end, asserted that when his agnostic friends visited 
him, lie put on a brave front; but she added: "When he 
was alone, the scene was different. His mental agitation 



196 FULL FREEDOM FROM FEAR 

was so great as often to alarm me greatly. He struggled 
to appear composed even before me; but to one who had 
attended his bedside for many days and nights, who wit- 
nessed his disturbed sleep and more disturbed wakings, 
who frequently heard his breathings of remorse and 
frightful startings, it was no difficult matter to determine 
that all was not right within. This continued and in- 
creased until he became insensible. I hope that I may 
never be called upon to witness a similar scene." 

Convicted murderers have sneered that they would 
walk to the electric chair or up the gallows stairs without 
assistance, since death meant nothing to them. But read 
Warden Lawes' account of his years at Sing Sing, in 
which he tells how often hardened killers had to be 
dragged to their execution! If you shout back into your 
radio that the day before yesterday in South Carolina the 
first woman to be executed in that State walked to the 
electric chair calmly, declaring, "I am ready to die," then 
read the full newspaper account, which tells you that she 
carried a Bible with her! Despite your defiance of God 
and His goodness, there is a judgment which you cannot 
escape, a death you must die. The prouder, more over- 
confident, more contemptuous, your blasphemy now may 
be, the more appalling your despair when all the window 
dressing of your supposed courage disappears. 

Picture to yourselves the crushing burden unrelieved 
fright imposes! Ask any physician to describe its con- 
sequences, and he will tell you plainly it weakens the 
energy of your body, lessens its resistance, interrupts its 
normal processes, and, if the fear habit becomes fixed, 
finally produces illness. Many of you have worried your- 
selves sick. Some of you will go to a premature grave 
unless you gain new confidence. 

Again, worry affects the mind. It not only prevents 



FULL FREEDOM FROM FEAR 197 

its victims from thinking and doing their best but also 
banishes calm and quiet. It undermines courage, builds 
imaginary barriers, makes people suspicious of their 
neighbors, leads them to seek sinister motives behind in- 
nocent actions, to find only gloom and pessimism in life. 
One of the reasons for the startling number of nervous 
breakdowns and cases of mental disorder is this, that 
too many people, refusing to trust God fully, become the 
victims of continued, unmitigated worry. This is tragic 
enough, but the spiritual burdens fear imposes are even 
more serious. It makes people put a question mark be- 
hind God's promises, doubt their salvation in Christ, 
wonder whether they have committed the unpardonable 
sin, and feel themselves lost forever, when in truth no 
one can ever be lost who trusts this plain promise of 
Scripture, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou 
shalt be saved?* 

What, then, do men need? What must you have to 
escape these destructive forces? Money? You cannot buy 
peace of mind and a calm heart, even with heaped mil- 
lions. When one of the financial leaders of America fell 
fatally sick, a Christian friend comforted him at his bed- 
side and started to sing, "Come, ye sinners, poor and 
needy!" That multimillionaire, whose whispers controlled 
stock-exchange movements in this country and abroad, 
the financial leader whose wish was law for a hundred 
boards of directors, responded brokenly: "Yes, sing that 
for me! I feel poor and needy/' 

Can position and power grant freedom from fear, 
a quiet, rested mind? Before President Andrew Jackson's 
second term expired, the man who had risen from a log- 
cabin poverty to the highest position in the United States 
stormed out to meet a delegation, which three times had 
asked to see him, and cried: "Gentlemen, people envy me 



198 FULL FREEDOM FROM FEAR 

in this White House, and they long to get here; but I tell 
you that at the end of the second term I am glad to get 
out of it, for it is a perfect hell/' The last sultan of Turkey 
spent $900 each night to have his bedroom guarded. In 
Germany Adolf Hitler rules with a sweep that even dic- 
tators rarely wield. But few people are permitted to see 
him privately. When high officers come for an audience, 
they are first searched for concealed weapons. Dictators 
fear death. 

Can success and achievement provide a serene con- 
fidence? William Makepeace Thackeray, genial British 
writer, found recognition throughout the civilized world. 
But one day, while he sat in a Paris restaurant, he glanced 
to the other end of the room and wondered who the 
miserable wretch was whom he beheld there. He arose 
to investigate and found that he was looking at himself 
in a mirror. 

Can science, culture, education free men from their 
sins? If learning could liberate, why are there so many 
suicides among the intelligentsia, such crude superstition 
among cultured leaders? Why the large number of nerv- 
ous breakdowns and mental disorders, despite all our 
schools and colleges? 

Can you sidestep fear by having fortunetellers Reveal 
the future? Not one of these servants of superstition the 
astrologers, the numerologists, tea-leaf readers, crystal- 
ball gazers, dream interpreters, palmists, graphologists, 
their forecasts, the dream books, the fraudulent sixth and 
seventh books of Moses, the rabbit's feet, the good-luck 
rings can ever relieve you of your solicitude for the 
future. African natives converted to Christ give up their 
amulets and charms. A missionary to that continent states 
that in front of a lay preacher's hut he found rows 



FULL FKEEDOM FROM FEAR 199 

and rows of necklaces and charms and, upon inquiring, 
learned that these had been placed there by the natives 
who had tamed to Jesus and put their trust in Him. 
But in our enlightened country people are paying an 
estimated $125,000,000 a year to fortunetellers of various 
kinds, who ought to be banned because of the evil and 
sorrow they provoke. 

Can you free yourself from fears by following the new 
creeds and mail-order religions which promise to produce 
supermen? They are just as dishonest as the vicious de- 
ception recently revealed, when beautifully decorated 
packages for the soldiers, after the contents on the top 
had been removed, were found to contain nothing but 
paper and colored straw. It is bad enough if people are 
thus robbed of their money, but it is far worse if men 
and women are defrauded spiritually by cults which offer 
deliverance only to substitute delusion. 

Can federal laws or social programs grant release 
from fear? Thank God, we have a Government that says: 
"Don't worry about your job; we will give you employ- 
ment insurance! Don't be afraid of losing your bank 
deposit; we will give you savings insurance! Don't be 
afraid of drought or blight; we will give you crop 
insurance!" There are limits, however, even for the 
wealthiest nation. When things go wrong in your family 
and you fear that your home will be broken, no Congres- 
sional action can help you. If you feel some terrible hid- 
den disease gnawing at your vitals, not even a special 
Presidential act can remove this terror. If you are lashed 
by the relentless fury of your conscience, no program by 
men or angels can free you from such fear. When you 
come face to face with death and think of the eternity in 
which you must stand before your God to answer for your 
transgressions, you need divine forgiveness and assurance. 



200 FULL FREEDOM FROM FEAR 

n 

CHRIST CAN GIVE US THIS FREEDOM FROM FEAR 

While all human hopes of freedom from the tyranny 
of our fears fail, we have God's radiant assurance in our 
text, "Fear not, for I have redeemed thee!" This is like- 
wise but one of many Scriptural promises pledging our 
salvation. No fewer than three dozen Old and New Tes- 
tament passages proclaim in clear, clarion tones: God has 
redeemed us! Because this can become a glorious day of 
inner rebirth, if only you will stop resisting the Spirit and 
listen closely to God's pledge, "I have redeemed thee'' 
I ask: Postpone your after-dinner nap for a few moments! 
Come out of the kitchen! Lay your magazine or news- 
paper aside! Give these next minutes to God! To redeem 
sinners means to secure their release from punishment, 
to pay the ransom required for their freedom; and that, 
nothing less, God did for you. You were hopelessly en- 
slaved in sin, and He made you free by His grace. You 
were lost in your iniquities, but His love found you. You 
were sentenced to everlasting death, but He secured your 
acquittal for life. You were condemned to hell, but He 
pardoned you for heaven. 

How marvelous the way in which God redeemed you! 
No ordinary ransom could secure your release. Hear this 
and humble yourselves before the Almighty: He sent His 
only Son to save you. You parents know how hard it is 
to give your sons even for the nation's defense. Will you 
not bow thankfully before the Father's surpassing love 
that sent His Son Jesus not for His friends but for His 
enemies? No payment in money could buy you back to 
God, for the errorless Word explains, "Ye were not re- 
deemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, . . . 
but with the precious blood of Christ." Your rescue was 
no exchange by which you gave something to the Lord 



FULL FREEDOM FROM FEAR 201 

in return for your deliverance, as when captives of war 
are mutually released by belligerent nations. God did 
everything from start to finish. 

While the Holy Spirit pleads with you to accept Jesus, 
harden not your heart! "Behold, now is the accepted time; 
behold, now is the day of salvation!' 9 Get right with God 
today! Do not wait for tomorrow's uncertainties! When 
you receive and trust this marvelous promise of re- 
demption, fear is defeated, then you are Christ's, He will 
constantly guide, guard, and protect you as His own 
precious redeemed. If Jesus shed His blood on the cross, 
took your place in suffering the punishment of your sins; 
if He loved you so much that He bore the burden, the 
curse, the guilt, the punishment of all your transgressions, 
can you not see that He whose mercy never changes will 
be close to you on every pathway of duty? The moment 
you accept the Lord Jesus "even the very hairs of your 
head are all numbered." Your life is not ruled by blind, 
cruel "fate." You are not the victim of "bad luck." "The 
cards are not stacked against you." Rather does every- 
thing that comes to you day after day flow from the 
Savior's magnificent mercy to strengthen your faith, in- 
crease your courage, and help you overcome fear. I read 
recently of a four-year-old child, alone, happy and un- 
disturbed in the coach of an express train roaring at high 
speed through storm and night When a passenger asked 
him, 'Well, little man, aren't you afraid here all alone at 
night on this noisy train?" the youngster smiled and said, 
"No, my daddy is the engineer up ahead." Once in child- 
like faith you have been reconciled with your heavenly 
Father through Christ, no matter how uncertain the road 
of life before you may be, how black the world about 
you may seem, your Father is always up ahead to guide 
your course and guarantee your soul's safety. 



202 FULL FKEEDOM FROM FEAR 

Believe that through Jesus you are God-controlled; 
that, if necessary, your heavenly Father will draft His 
miracles and might to bless you! A cottage near Warsaw, 
Poland, is marked with an iron tablet praising the Lord's 
power. The villagers, explaining why it was placed there, 
will tell you of a God-fearing peasant named Dobry. 
Things had not gone well with him. His rent was long 
in arrears, and finally the time came when the landlord 
would evict him. On the evening before, as church bells 
called to prayer, Dobry and his family knelt to sing Paul 
Gerhardt's "Commit Thou All Thy Griefs and Ways into 
His Hands!" In the midst of the song a queer noise was 
heard at the window. Dobry arose, raised the glass, and 
saw the raven which his grandfather had once, tamed and 
then set free. Can you imagine his surprise to find that 
the bird had brought him a costly ring, studded with 
precious stones? It proved to be the king's ring; and when 
Dobry returned the costly jewel to the palace, he was re- 
warded so generously that he could build a house of his 
own. To commemorate his deliverance from the fear of 
midwinter homelessness, the grateful man placed on his 
door the iron tablet, featuring the ring, the raven, and 
the hymn. If every American Christian family which has 
experienced God's glorious intervention could similarly 
call attention to Heaven's help, millions of homes would 
be marked with a tablet commemorating His divine 
power. 

How often and how miraculously in the present war 
has our gracious Father not given His children the cour- 
age to declare, "Though an host should encamp against 
me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise 
against me, in this will I be confident"! How vital, too, 
that the men and women in our nation's armed forces 
know the Lord Jesus and the fear-destroying faith in His 



FXILL FREEDOM FROM FEAR 203 

mercy! Give our fighting men the best equipment money 
can provide, but first supply them with spiritual weapons, 
Baptism and the power of faith! Some of the happiest 
letters we receive come from soldiers, sailors, marines, 
airmen, who find courage in Christ's Gospel. Up on the 
bleak Aleutians, after one of our broadcasts, the soldiers 
raised $125 in a free-will offering to help expand our 
work. An aviator, ferrying a bomber to Africa, heard our 
message 20,000 feet above South American jungles and 
was strengthened for his dangerous task. Men on the 
Pacific battle front have gratefully received these broad- 
casts. From ships in the Atlantic, from submarines, from 
scores of camps, from privates and high officers, come 
thanks for God's Word, and at the same time repeated 
pleas to maintain and enlarge this radio mission, par- 
ticularly for the men and women in our fighting forces. 

Even when Christians meet reverses, they still have 
David's confidence, "I will not be afraid of ten thousands 
of people that have set themselves against me." This is 
not exaggeration nor mere wishful thinking. How, do you 
suppose, can a God-fearing wife bear a godless husband's 
ridicule and refuse to take recourse to divorce? How can 
Christians meet sudden calamity, permanent injury to 
their body, loss of members or senses, and, instead of 
groveling in fear, courageously face the future? How can 
believers endure wasting, destructive diseases, excruciat- 
ing pain, while unbelievers often take the coward's way 
out in suicide? God's children have faith, and defeating 
fear, they can exult with Saint Paul, "Whether we live . . . 
or die, we are the Lords." 

Regrettably, many of you who know the Lord Jesus 
are still ruled by fear. Some of the Negroes in the Civil 
War days were brought north by the underground rail- 
road, the secret journeys by which they hid in friendly 
homes during the daytime and under the cover of night 



204 FULL FKEEDOM FBOM FEAB 

traveled from one hospitable town to another. As soon 
as they reached Canada, of course, they were free. On 
one of the trains which drew into the Toronto station, 
a woman who had helped hundreds of slaves cross the 
border, saw a colored man still hiding in the corner, 
afraid that he was being pursued. She cried out in reas- 
surance: "J oe > why are you crouching there? You are 
a free man on free soil! Praise the Lord, Joe!" Similarly, 
with Christ you have crossed the boundary from sin to 
grace. You are free! Praise the Lord by refusing to cringe 
in fear! "Stand fast . . . in the liberty wherewith Christ 
hath made us -free!" 

What can still put fright into your heart? The memory 
of your past sins? Jesus took them all away. They exist 
no longer. They have been forgiven and forgotten. Axe 
you afraid because you do not feel that you have been 
redeemed? Martin Luther was once asked whether he 
felt that his sins were forgiven, and the great man of God 
replied, "No, I don't f eel that they are forgiven; I know 
they are, because God says so in His Word/* Your heav- 
enly Redeemer does not say, " 'God so loved the world, 
that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever 9 
f eeleth that he is saved 'should not perish, but have ever- 
lasting life. 9 " But He does declare, "By grace are ye 
saved 9 ' That must be true! 

Are you worried because the consequences of your 
sins may be revealed and bring you disgrace? Take it all 
to Christ! He will not only forgive you. He will also 
grant you strength to bear the results of your own folly! 

Does your conscience assail you on the charge that 
your sins are too ruinous and repeated to be forgiven? 
Does the devil whisper into your heart: "There is no 
hope for you. You have committed the unforgivable sin"? 
Find courage in this sure pledge of Scripture, "The blood 
of Jesus Christ 9 His Son, cleanseth us from all sin"! 



FULL FREEDOM FROM FEAR 205 

Do you fear that you may not be included in the 
Savior's grace, that the artificial restrictions men have 
set up may bar you? Build immovable hope on this 
all-embracing promise, "Fear not, for I have redeemed 
THEE!" That includes everyone. No racial or social bar 
can keep you away from the Lord Jesus. 

How sorely millions in our country need this coura- 
geous victory over fear! We are in the midst of trying 
times. Who can assuredly see the end of our difficulties? 
One of the cruelest of all delusions is the too frequent 
promise that after the war a golden age will come, the 
most splendid period in history, when right and truth, 
democracy and prosperity, will reign as never before. 
But the Bible warns us that in the latter times and before 
Christ comes to judge the quick and the dead, "mens 
hearts' shall fail "them for fear." Unless God is over- 
merciful, we must look for international upheaval and 
the wide spread of atheism. You cannot kill myriads of 
human beings, destroy hundreds of millions of dollars* 
worth of property, spend hundreds of billions for pur- 
poses of war, and then expect that somehow human 
ingenuity, statecraft and diplomacy will find a way for 
national and individual affairs to roll on more smoothly 
than ever before. Only God can avert greater suffering 
than this generation has already endured; yet in this 
world of sin and sorrow His Son, our Redeemer, looks 
down upon those who come to Him in humble, contrite, 
self-denying faith; and the heavier their burden, the 
louder the roar of powerful enemies, the more bitter the 
battle the surer will be His comfort, the nearer His 
presence, the clearer His sustaining assurance. Come 
peace or war, healtib or sickness, gain or loss, prosperity 
or adversity, life or death itself may the Savior's triumph 
over all terror constantly re-echo this victory promise in 
your heart, "Fear not, for 1 have redeemed theer Amen! 



Do You Believe in 
Jesus Christ? 

"Jesus said unto her, I am the Resurrection and 
the Life: he that believeth in Me, though he were 
dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and 
believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou 
this? She saith unto Him, Yea, Lord; I believe 
that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God' 9 
SAINT JOHN 11:25-27 

Lord Jesus: 

Graciously send us Thine enlightening Spirit to help us 
truly believe that Thou art our only but all-atoning Savior! 
Strengthen us to trust Thee wholly, knowing that since our 
sins are removed through faith in Thy life-giving death, we 
who love Thee are constantly under Thy guidance and pro- 
tection! By Thy compassion and power Thou canst graciously 
provide our every need and conquer each affliction. Merci- 
fully forgive us our doubting of Thy grace, our indifference 
toward Thy marvelous compassion, our lukewarmness in tes- 
tifying to Thy redemption! Equip us with the courage re- 
quired to acknowledge Thee before men, so that we, in turn, 
on the glorious day of the resurrection will be acknowledged 
by Thee before our heavenly Father! Direct the course of our 
beloved nation toward Thee! Endow the President, the Con- 
gress, those in authority, with wisdom! Shield our armed 
forces with Thy protecting power and send our embattled 
youth back to us soon with blessed, building peace! Come 
to us now, O Christ, and bring many to Thee through this 
broadcast! We ask it, believing Thy promise. Amen. 



Low much longer will this war last? When 
will the last shot he fired, the last bomb be dropped? 
Who is right those who predict that victory ^1 be 
purs before this year is over or those who frimly insist 

206 



DO YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST? 207 

that we must fight through a decade of the bitterest, 
bloodiest battles in history? These are the questions of 
the day, repeated by millions in our country. Daily they 
view the horrors of this conflict, cities destroyed, ships 
sunk by the hundreds, the very foundations of civiliza- 
tion attacked, our peace-time industry reorganized into 
a mighty system with the pointed purpose to kill, kill, kill. 
As they think of their dear, ones on the battle fronts or 
on the high seas, continually confronted by the danger 
of death, they plead: 'When will this stop? When will 
our sons, husbands, brothers come back? When will the 
all-clear signal sound over the whole world with the de- 
struction of evil and the victory of truth, righteousness, 
justice?" 

Only God knows. More than ever before should we 
penitently repeat Jehoshaphafs prayer, "Our eyes are 
upon Thee," O Lord not on our own vaunted greatness. 
More than all else we need the Almighty on our side, 
so that we can exult, "If God be for us, who can be 
against us?" 

We must constantly keep in mind, however, for our 
nation, our churches, our homes, ourselves, that God is 
for those only who serve Him in true faith, and that 
a question of far greater importance even than the won- 
dering about the war's end confronts everyone of us, 
soldiers and civilians, youth and the aged, the influential 
and the impoverished; it is a question the response to 
which can be a decisive factor in shaping the nation's 
course, in bringing courage, comfort, and conviction into 
your heart and life. It is, my countrymen, the question of 
heaven or hell, life or death the question of all questions: 

DO YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST? - 

the pointed issue raised by our Lord Himself in the 
text for this Sunday (Saint John, chapter eleven, verses 



208 DO YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST? 

twenty-five to twenty-seven) : "Jesus said unto her, I am 
the Resurrection and the Life: he that believeth in Me, 
though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever 
liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou 
this? She saith unto Him, Yea, Lord; 1 believe that Thou 
art the Christ, the Son of God' 9 



WHAT YOU SHOULD BELIEVE CONCERNING CHRIST 

Jesus spoke these words at Bethany, a village only 
two short miles from Jerusalem. He was on the way to 
the home of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha, the dwelling 
where He often found peace and quiet apart from the 
strife and turmoil of a selfish world. Sorrow had entered 
this household, and the Lord was bringing reassurance 
and help. When you pray to the Savior, as I know many 
of you do, "Come, Lord Jesus, be our Guest," and when 
you plead with faith and sincerity, the same heavenly 
Friend who entered the Bethany household will come 
into your family circle, no matter how difficult your prob- 
lems may seem. If misunderstanding threatens to destroy 
the peace and joy in your home; if you feel the pinch of 
poverty, while others worry only over the heavy income 
taxes they must pay as evidence of their prosperity; 
if sickness has crossed your threshold; if a child of yours 
suffers from infantile paralysis and, as annually, our 
broadcast asks you to get solidly behind the humanitarian 
effort now waged to help the victims of this plague; if 
broken marriage vows have shattered your dreams of 
happiness, remember that Jesus can mightily comfort 
you! Hard though such afflictions may be, they are far 
lighter than the sorrow which encircled that Bethany 
cottage death. Lazarus, the friend of Jesus, the brother 
of Mary and Martha, had died, and Martha thought the 



DO YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST? 209 

Savior had come too late; but she was wrong, as His 
miracle-working mercy proved, and it is never too late 
for Christ to bring you help and hope. 

Christ addressed these words to Martha who had run 
to meet Him; and today Jesus similarly would speak to 
all American women. They are divinely appointed sup- 
porters of morality, home happiness, and domestic hon- 
estythese women who never lose the power of true 
womanhood, who regard marriage as sacred; the mothers 
who, despite the sacrifices they make in defense indus- 
tries, find their vital activity at home, rearing the chil- 
dren, which God has given them, in true faith, with full 
devotion to Christ and country; women, married or un- 
married, young and old, who, following the example of 
the saintly figures on the New Testament pages, first 
leam "to show piety at home 9 and then find time to work 
for the salvation of souls and for the Church's interests. 
Because mothers with such faith are vital for a better 
nation, their high principles are being assailed with a 
viciousness and vehemence hitherto unknown in our 
country. Two courses confront every woman in the United 
States today: the one is followed by the pleasure-chasing, 
cocktail-drinking., notoriety-seeking, home-neglecting, di- 
vorce-exalting, sin-loving, Christ-denying; and the other 
is chosen by the Scripture-loving, home-building, sin- 
hating, clean-living, Christ-exalting. Women of America, 
as you ask yourselves pointedly, "Which path am I to 
take?" may God's Holy Spirit give you the devotion of 
Martha who ran to meet the Savior! 

Once before when Jesus was a Guest in Bethany, 
Martha had been overbusy in preparing for His comfort 
and entertainment While her sister Mary sat at the Sa- 
vior's feet to catch every word of divine instruction, 
Martha was running between kitchen and dining room, 

Tenth Lutheran Hour 14 



210 DO YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST? 

so to speak, in preparing the best she could for Christ. 
Then our Lord reminded her that the "one thing . . . 
needful' is not food and drink, but the hearing of God's 
Word. Martha learned this lesson gratefully and quickly. 
But there are many women, even in churches, who must 
change their whole attitude toward the Gospel, as Martha 
did. Too often people actually believe it is the prime, 
outstanding work of the Church to arrange socials, meals, 
teas, theatricals, and to attract people by such methods. 
Correspondingly, many women think they are doing the 
Lord's chief work when they spend hours over a hot 
stove in preparing church suppers, waiting on tables, or 
engaging in other activities designed to make money for 
religious purposes, and when, as a result, they are robbed 
of the time required personally to testify for Christ. 
Think also of the destructive features which claim re- 
ligious support. Some of you sent me church programs 
showing that on last New Year's Eve, at a time when 
American soldiers faced death on a dozen different battle 
fronts, your congregations sponsored dances in their halls 
and urged their parishioners to dance their way into this 
burdened year. Recall also the public scandal of the 
gambling conducted under church auspices! In New 
York, where the city officials declared bingo illegal 
think of it! some religious groups went before the legis- 
lative authorities, requesting that the ban be lifted. We 
need not look far afield for the reason why some churches 
have lost the respect and support of the masses. If you 
are in a congregation suffering from this gambling craze, 
stop this violation of God's law and man's! 

Now, when Jesus, comforting Martha in her bereave- 
ment, unfolds the glorious promise which has given many 
of you new hope at the side of caskets or in the cold 
cemetery, He declares, "I am the Resurrection and the 



DO YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST? 211 

Life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet 
shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me 
shall never die." Then He looks directly at Martha and 
asks, "Believest thou this?" the very question He now 
puts before you. Jesus wants to know how you stand. 
He does not inquire first of all: "Do the 130,000,000 in 
the United States believe? Do your parents believe? Do 
your children believe?" The important issue is, "Do you 
believed 

You ask, **What must I believe?" and Martha gives 
you this glorious answer, "ea, Lord; I believe that Thou 
art . . . the Son of God," To you, too, Jesus must be more 
than a great man, a good man, a gifted man; more than 
just a mighty leader, a miraculous leader, a martyred 
leader; more than a helpful teacher, a strengthening 
teacher, a heavenly teacher; more than a high example, 
a noble example, a holy example; more than godly, God- 
sent, godlike. He must be God Himself, God fully, God 
truly, God eternal, God almighty, God all-knowing. He 
lived as God; He thought as God; He spoke as God; He 
was God; He is God; He ever will be God! 

Do not let anyone tell you that it matters little 
whether you accept Christ as God-man or only as a godly 
man! It makes all the difference in this world and the 
next. Do not be misled by the tragic fact that some de- 
nominations have sought to dethrone Him! The true 
Church, from Old Testament days, has been united in 
acclaiming Jesus one with the Father and the Spirit, "God 
blessed forever" Do not pay any attention to the un- 
belief of modern religious leaders who publicly reject 
the Savior's deity! He was worshiped as God by the 
angels, acclaimed God by the prophets, proclaimed as 
God by the Gospels, exalted as God by the Apostles, 
acknowledged as God even by His heavenly Father. Be- 



212 DO YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST? 

lieve with Martha that because Jesus is ''the Son of God" 
nothing is too hard for Him! No help you may need is too 
difficult for Him to grant; no problem of any disturbed 
soul too heavy for solution by His divine power. You 
can trust Him, since as your God He cannot fail. You can 
discover daily help through Him, because as God His is 
"all power . . . in heaven and in earth? You can find guid- 
ance in Christ, since He knows the future and directs it. 
You can come to Him anywhere or any time, because 
as God He is not limited by time nor restricted by space. 
Let me tell you again: Jesus is more than any or all the 
myriads of men. He is your God. 

Martha's faith went farther. When her divine In- 
structor looked at her and asked, "Believest ihou this?" 
she also answered, "Yea, Lord; I believe that Thou art 
the Christ'' that is, God's Anointed, the promised De- 
liverer, the atoning Redeemer, the sin-conquering, sin- 
removing Savior. God grant that you, too, may say, 
"Yea, Lord; I believe that Thou art the Christ"! It is not 
enough to believe merely that Jesus lived a model life; 
for His purity serves to emphasize our impurity. It is not 
enough to recognize how forcefully He proclaimed the 
message of love, for your own heart feels too much 
hatred; not enough to concede that He died a noble 
death millions of soldiers today are ready to lay down 
their lives for their fellow countrymen. You must know 
that Jesus, and He alone, is "the Christ" who was cruci- 
fied and so may everyone of you say for "my" sins. 

Believe also that Jesus saves completely, that no one 
is too vile to be accepted, no transgression too vicious to 
be remitted by the Lord of limitless love! Last week 
a Michigan woman wrote me in deep concern over her 
soul. A friend had warned her that her sins could not 
be pardoned, stating that if a Christian, knowing any act 



DO YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST? 213 

to be wrong, nevertheless commits it, hie can never be 
forgiven; and she based her claim on a Bible edition and 
commentary which unfortunately has gained wide cir- 
culation. What a destructive denial such limiting of our 
Lord's all-embracing mercy! Reject every restriction of 
His redemption! Trust this plain promise of Scripture, 
"The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from 
all sin 9 ! 

Believe that Jesus saves everyone who comes to Him 
in faith! Nothing but your own unbelief can keep you 
from His love. There are no bars but your own refusal 
to accept His mercy. A few days ago death came to 
George Washington Carver, the Negro scientist whose 

O ^-^^^^^-^^^^^^.^ f ^-^^^^ >1 ^ S*^. - O_ , _ -.-._,.._.,., 

parents were slaves and who as a boy was sold for a race 
horse valued at $300. Later, in his laboratory he devel- 
oped more than three hundred useful products from the 
lowly peanut and more than two hundred Iby-products 
from the sweet potato. But the Bible meant as much to 
him as the laboratory, and he showed his childlike faith 
in the Savior by choosing as one of his favorite passages 
Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ, 
which strengtheneth me" I hold up Dr. Carver, Bible 
student, Bible teacher, Bible lover, to my colored friends 
as an example of the spiritual victories which can be won 
by those of a race often persecuted and oppressed. The 
words of a Sakalave tribal chief in Madagascar ring in 
my ears: "You see us Negroes, victims of ignorance and 
drunkenness; but who brought to our village the first 
little pieces of candy filled with liquor? The white man. 
Who is it that today calls us lazy beasts/ who mocks at 
our way of living? The white man. Who tells that there 
is no God in heaven to reign over the earth? The white 
man." As I ask you in the Savior's name to forgive the 
cruelties inflicted by members of my race, I also invite 



214 DO YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS CHKIST? 

you, whatever the color of your skin may be, to believe 
that Christ has compassion on every human being and 
often loves those most who suffer most. 

Believe chiefly that Jesus saves freely; that pardon, 
which the combined wealth of all nations could never 
purchase, is granted you by pure grace, without any price 
or payment! This glorious compassion separates Chris- 
tianity from all other creeds, as it shows that God did 
everything in redeeming you through Jesus. John Ruskin, 
British man of letters, declared: "Tjje root of almost every 
schism and heresy from which the Christian Church has 
ever suffered has been the effort by men to earn rather 
than to receive their salvation, and the reason that 
preaching is so commonly ineffectual is that it calls upon 
men oftener to work for God than to behold God working 
for them." Ruskin is right. Among the hundreds of re- 
ligions which claim men's worship, fundamentally there 
are only two different beliefs. The oneEoHsmat "man 
must work for his own salvation. The other the creed 
of this broadcast exalts the Christ who by the shedding 
of His blood has earned salvation for us. Which will you 
accept? 

God grant that you women may secure and safeguard 
Martha's faith, 'Tea, Lord; I believe that Thou art the 
Christ, the Son of GocTl Oh, that His Spirit would give 
you soldiers the courage of the centurion beneath the 
cross, "Truly, this was the Son of God 9 ! you men, the 
confidence of Saint John, "This is the true God and^ 
eternal Life"! you doubters, the conviction of Thomas, 
"My Lord and my God'; you sin-burdened, the comfort 
of John the Baptist, "Behold the Lamb of God, which 
taketh away the sin of the world 3 '! May that enlightening 
Spirit lead many this day to proclaim this deathless dec- 
laration of Martin Luther: "IJb^ieye that Jesus Christ, 



DO YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST? 215 

true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also 
true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has 
redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, purchased 
and won me from all sins, from death, and from the 
power of the devil, not with gold or silver, but with His 
holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and 
death, that I may be His own and live under Him in His 
kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, in- 
nocence, and blessedness, even as He is risen from the 
dead, lives and reigns to all eternity. This is most cer- 
tainly true"! 

If you have this faith, wholly, sincerely, reverently, 
then, whatever your denomination Protestant or Catho- 
lic, Lutheran or Reformed, Low-Church or High-Church 
you are a Christian. But if you reject Jesus, if you con- 
tradict the Gospel promises and think that you must earn 
your own salvation, then you may belong to a large, im- 
posing congregation; you may hold a high, responsible 
position; you may be a church officer, even a clergyman, 
but you are not a Christian. You are still without the 

saving faith. 

H 

WHY YOU SHOULD BELIEVE IN CHRIST 

No other question that can ever be directed to you 
has the importance, the weight in time and eternity, the 
urgency of this, "Do you believe in Jesus Christ?" With 
that faith comes the answer to the problem which has 
always disturbed human hearts, the removal of the fear 
which from the cradle days of history has made men 
cringe in fright the terror of death. When Jesus, our 
God and our Savior, declares, *7 am the Resurrection 
and the Life: he that believeth in Me, though he were 
dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and be- 
lieveth in Me shall never die" He who can never deceive 



216 DO YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST? 

nor speak an unfulfilled promise, gives you the personal, 
glorious assurance that, though you must die, through 
Christ you will not remain in the grave. For the Chris- 
tian what men call death is only the beginning of a new, 
incomparably greater life in eternity with Jesus. 

Therefore, when He who proved His power over the 
grave by raising lifeless Lazarus and at Easter by burst- 
ing from His own tomb assures you, "I am the Resur- 
rection and the Life,' 9 believe with your whole heart that 
through Him there is a life to come and decay is not 
the Christian's final destiny. Though the time will surely 
come when you draw your last breath, when your body, 
cold, motionless, rigid, dead, begins to decompose, never- 
theless by God's might and as a believer you will be 
awakened in a radiant, heavenly body, perfect and pain- 
less, without flaws or faults, without marred or missing 
members, without any taint of disease or weakness in age. 

What a sustaining comfort in this pledge! How as- 
suredly it ought to make death easy, welcome, a glorious 
triumph, instead of the screaming and cursing terror it 
often is for unbelievers! Some of you are living your very 
last days. Your physicians have given you at most a week 
or two longer on earth. Because you have Christ, you 
will be indescribably better off next Sunday, if God takes 
you during this week. Then you will be free from all 
suffering; you will worship with angels and archangels; 
you will meet your loved ones who have preceded you 
in faith. 

The more rabidly infidels argue against this sacred 
truth, the more firmly you should believe it! These words 
of Jesus Himself, "I am the Resurrection and the Life" 
are the highest truth. Christ is not only your life-restoring 
God and Savior; He is the only God, the one Mediator 
between heaven and earth, the sole Assurance of life be- 



DO YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST? 217 

yond the grave. Listen to Him as He instructs especially 
you who may think that a dozen roads lead to a blessed 
eternity, a hundred different paths to Paradise above! 
He does not say, "I am One of the ways to the resurrec- 
tion and the life." He does not say, "He that believeth 
on Me or anyone else shall never die." But He does say: 
"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh 
unto the Father but by Me." He does say, "If ye believe 
not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins." His Word 
clearly declares, "Neither is there salvation in any other, 
for there is none other name under heaven given among 
men whereby we must be saved." No doubt remains! 
Jesus is your only Savior! Do you believe this? 

HI 
HOW YOU SHOULD BELIEVE IN CHRIST 

I pray God that you not only accept it, but also ac- 
claim it with the confidence of Martha, who, casting all 
misgivings aside, declared in exultant, confident faith, 
"Yea, Lord; I believe"! 

We need much more of this *Ye<2, Lord; I believe" 
conviction, especially because in an age of widespread 
falsehood and poisoned propaganda we are told that edu- 
cated people no longer accept the Bible or regard Jesus 
as a divine, personal Savior. There are men who de- 
liberately spend their entire lifetime in the futile attempt 
to "expose" Christianity. Organizations have been estab- 
lished for the unholy and blasphemous purpose of dis- 
crediting the Gospel. How can anyone find happiness in 
tearing down the faith by which men live and die? 
Aside from the terrible sin of denying Christ, I would 
not be an atheist or a modernist because of the cruelty 
of robbing others of their trust, of kicking the crutch 
from beneath a crippled world. 



218 DO YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST? 

How absurd the claim that the Christian truth and 
scientific truth are at swords' points! The other day our 
newspapers reported the death of two outstanding scien- 
tists: The one was Nikola Tesla, an eminent leader in 
American electrical research. Editors called him "the 
father of radio and modern generation and transmission 
systems/' His inventions and discoveries as listed in Who's 
Who are astonishing in their number as in their variety 
and stupendous achievement. Without Nikola Tesla the 
radio might never have been perfected; and the projects 
on which he was working when he died, particularly the 
transmission of power without wires, place him in the 
front ranks of America's outstanding scientists. We ask, 
Was Nikola Tesla an atheist, like some of the small minds 
that sneer and snarl at the Bible? No! His father was 
a servant of God. Nikola was reared in the faith of the 
Serbian Orthodox Church, and he remained true to it. 
His priest informs me that he was indeed a Christian, 
that he believed the Bible, accepted the Lord Jesus, and 
that he showed his love for the Savior through generous 
support of the Serbian missions in this country. 

The other scientist mentioned on the same page, 
Dr. Howard A. Kelly of Johns Hopkins University, was 
an internationally recognized medical authority. He was 
made an honorary fellow by the universities of Edin- 
burgh, Glasgow, Dublin, London, Paris, Rome, Bucharest, 
Vienna, Kiev, Lima perhaps the most widely known 
American surgeon and gynecologist. Now, did Dr. How- 
ard Kelly show the anti-Bible, anti-God attitude which 
mark some physicians? He regularly spent from one to 
four hours a day reading his Bible. He wrote vigorous, 
convincing books and articles in behalf of his Savior. He 
never missed an opportunity of testifying to Christ. 
Though he died a few days ago, yet he lives and speaks to 



DO YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS CHBIST? 219 

all doubters today as I repeat Ms words: "I am sure that 
the Bible is the Word of God, with an assurance greater 
than all other convictions." "Above . . . logical deductions 
from philosophical and scientific premises I place the 
clear light of truth shining from the pages of the Bible/' 

Many other outstanding scientists, leaders of the lead- 
ers, have been courageous, confessing Christians. The 
American culture of the past had room and recognition 
for "the fear of the Lord" as "the beginning of wisdom! 9 
In 1860 246 colleges and universities flourished in the 
United States, and all but seventeen were directed by 
the churches. Of 1,700 colleges and universities today 
hardly one third are under religious control, and many of 
the rest tolerate opposition to Christ. A Yale professor 
reported that not one of his forty students could tell 
exactly who Judas Iscariot was. Another teacher there 
declared that a senior insisted he had never even heard 
of Moses. A Radcliffe girl asked her teacher: "What are 
the Ten Commandments? I see them referred to so often 
in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales" The dean of Columbia 
University, in his last annual report, asserts that there is 
"a shocking degree of religious illiteracy among college 
students/' To protest against all this and to put more of 
Jesus into our education, we must stand behind Christian, 
church-supported colleges. Their path will become in- 
creasingly difficult during this age before us, but their 
part in promoting the nation's spiritual welfare will be 
more vital than ever, since only by a return to the sin- 
cere, simple faith, based on the Bible and culminating in 
the Savior, can the masses in our country, especially our 
youth, find assurance for the future. If we can assist you 
in suggesting Christian schools for your sons or daugh- 
ters, please write us! We shall be happy to counsel you. 

Now, when you ask, "How can I have Martha's firm 



220 DO YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST? 

faith?" I answer: You must meet the Savior as she did. 
You must read His words of encouragement and strength 
in the Bible, the deathless record of His life and death 
for your salvation. The deep-rooted trouble with many 
of you who oppose the Redeemer is this, that you have 
never actually sat down systematically to study the Word 
of His truth. If you would, the Holy Spirit could give 
you the grace He extended to Dr. David Nelson, a phy- 
sician in the United States Army. He came from a Chris- 
tian home, but through his college training he began 
to regard God's Word as false and Christ's Gospel as 
superstition. Yet one day the thought came to him, "Why 
don't you deal fairly with the Scriptures?" He did two 
things: He carefully re-examined the writings of Voltaire, 
Hume, and other skeptics, noting their inaccuracies, their 
unfairness, their dishonesty. At the same time, however, 
he began to study the Scriptures, and as he read he was 
brought to the full, unreserved knowledge of the Lord 
Jesus Christ In gratitude he wrote a striking book against 
infidelity, which has been circulated in more than 100,000 
copies. May the Spirit touch many of you today, so that 
you begin delving into Scripture personally, privately, 
and with your family! 

Every day you live in unbelief adds to the peril of 
your soul. Who knows how long it will be before you 
stand at the tribunal of eternity? One of our Lutheran 
chaplains, cited twice for his bravery on the Aleutian 
Islands, told me tihat for weeks he had instructed a young 
man in the Christian religion. The young convert was so 
eager to confess his Savior publicly that he wanted to be 
baptized in a church; yet late one night he knocked on 
the chaplain's door. He had walked thirteen miles through 
the desolate tundra country to be baptized immediately. 
He could not wait any longer, and there, after midnight, 



DO YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST? 221 

in the presence of several Christian soldiers he was bap- 
tized. A few hours later he returned to his lonely post. 
Before that day drew to its close, the Japanese attacked, 
and the young man was killed. Within less than twenty- 
four hours he was received into the Church Militant on 
earth and the Church Triumphant in heaven. If within 
the next twenty-four hours you are summoned from life, 
will you be blessed by this magnificent assurance, *7 am 
the Resurrection and the Life: he that believeth in Me, 
though he were dead, yet shall he live"? That depends 
on the answer to the question which Jesus Himself now 
puts before you: ** 'Believest thou this? 'Believest thou 
that I am thy God and Savior, thy Ransom and Redemp- 
tion, thy Pardon and Peace, thy Resurrection and Life?** 
God grant that now from the four quarters of this coun- 
try, from beyond its borders, in Canada to the north and 
Mexico to the south, from the islands and from the ships 
of the seas to the east and the west, there may come 
in a mighty harmony of trusting faith this confident, 
triumphant answer, * *Yea, Lord* with all my heart, witih. 
all my soul, and with all my might 7 believe that Thou 
art the Christ, the Son of Godr Amenl 



Is Yours a Faith-Filled 
Family? 

"There was a certain man in Caesarea called 
Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the 
Italian Band, a devout man and one that feared 
God with all his house, which gave much alms 
to the people and prayed to God alway. . . . 
Then. Peter opened his mouth and said, . . . Who- 
soever believeth in Him [Christ] shall receive 
remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these 
words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which 
heard the Word." 
ACTS 10: 1,2, 34, 43, 44 

God, Our Creator and Sustainer: 

For the homes and families of this nation we ask not wealth, 
luxury, comforts, but a firm trust in the sure mercies of the 
Lord Jesus, Thy Son, our God and Savior. Strengthen parents 
and children, entire households, with His abiding presence! 
Enlighten them by Thy Spirit individually to believe that 
through Christ all their sins have been washed away; that, as 
in the days of His flesh He entered the homes of His country- 
men bringing help and courage, so today He is eager to come 
into every home with His unfailing promise of peace. Sup- 
port our American families with this trust when many forces 
arise to destroy the sanctity of the Christian household! 
Mercifully protect the homeless and the distressed! Guard our 
fighting men and women, far from their families, close to 
danger and death! O God of all power, as we ask in every 
broadcast, so we plead today: May they soon return to their 
homes and loved ones, with the triumph of truth and the 
pledge of honest peace! We ask this according to Thy gra- 
cious will and in the Redeemer's precious name. Amen. 



LOST of you are familiar with the fact that 
of our forty-eight States Nevada has the laxest divorce 
laws. The indifference to the sacredness of marriage 

222 



IS YOURS A FAITH-FILLED FAMILY? 223 

which its statutes have helped produce may be seen in 
the attitude of a Reno judge during twelve years he 
granted 20,000 divorces who invites: "Come to Reno! 
Get a divorce! Try again for the prize in the matrimonial 
lottery and keep on trying until you find true love!" 

People who cannot have their nuptial vows legally 
broken in their own communities because of stricter laws 
may travel to any Nevada city, establish residence in 
a hotel, tourist camp, or boarding house, and after six 
weeks secure a divorce in hearings which sometimes last 
only two minutes. Now the question repeatedly asked, 
"Are Nevada decrees legal outside its borders?" was re- 
cently answered by the Supreme Court of the United 
States in a six-to-two verdict which ruled that the whole 
country must recognize Nevada divorces. This is one of 
the most dangerous decisions the high tribunal has ever 
made. We agree entirely with a dissenting justice who 
warned that the Supreme Court action "repeals the di- 
vorce law of all the States and substitutes that of Ne- 
vada/' Today American home life should be most firmly 
founded, with husband and wife completely devoted to 
each other, children zealously safeguarded, wedded life 
"for better or for worse" "until death do you part" exalted 
as the ideal of every young couple. It is therefore dis- 
heartening to see that our highest judicial authority can 
give an opinion which will be construed as official ap- 
proval of easy, quick divorce. If the Vichy government 
put an end to lax marriage laws in France; if the divorce 
orgy has been drastically reduced in Soviet Russia, should 
not our nation, which has ranked notoriously with these 
two countries as leaders in this scandalous home-break- 
ing, strain every effort to protect the solidarity of the 
family and the sanctity of wedlock, particularly during 
emergencies like these? Because America's welfare calls 



224 IS YOURS A FAITH-FILLED FAMILY? 

for saner, stricter domestic laws; because God's Word 
protests against the present debauch; because the family 
is one of the foundation units in our national defense and 
victory, it is indeed overtragic that a single State can 
drag down the marriage standards of the whole land. 
On the same principle which the Supreme Court has now 
recognized, any other State, driven by the lure of making 
money through marital misfortunes, may pass legislation 
granting a divorce after six days' residence and have this 
made binding for the entire country! 

It is vitally important now that uniform marriage laws 
be enacted for the whole United States. A bill to this end, 
soon to be introduced in Congress, deserves every citizen's 
support, provided, of course, it does not contradict God's 
law. But new legislation will not solve America's home 
difficulties. We need the "clean heart" and the "right 
spirit" for which David prayed, and which comes through 
personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the renewing 
power of His Holy Spirit. The most potent antidote to 
the poison of domestic trouble is Christian home life, 
which welcomes Christ's sustaining presence and seeks 
His guidance in household worship, Scripture reading, 
prayer. 

To impress on everyone of you, married or unmarried, 
believing or unbelieving, happy or unhappy, that this 
Savior is the one divine Source of help and hope for you 
and your home, I ask you pointedly in His name, 

IS YOURS A FAITH-FILLED FAMILY? 

This question is suggested by the remarkable story in the 
tenth chapter of Acts [verses one, two, thirty-four, forty- 
three, and forty-four], from which these words have been 
chosen as our text: "There was a certain man in Caesarea 
called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the 



IS YOUHS A FAITH-FILLED FAMILY? 225 

Italian Band, a devout man and one that feared God 
with all his house, which gave much alms to the people 
and prayed to God alway. . . . Then Peter opened his 
mouth and said, . . . Whosoever believeth in Him [Christ] 
shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake 
these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard 
the Word." 

I 

YOUR FAMILY SHOULD BE FILLED WITH FAITH 
IN CHRIST 

The text takes us to Caesarea, a heathen city on the 
Mediterranean coast north of Judea. It was a thriving, 
modern community with palaces and theaters, commer- 
cial concerns and banks, markets and industries, yet with 
all the corruption and vice crowded into every ancient 
metropolis under Roman rule. Self-respecting Israelites 
generally stayed away from Caesarea; it was among the 
last localities in which one would look for the startling 
miracle of divine mercy which this tenth chapter of Acts 
records. God often chooses unpretentious places to dem- 
onstrate His power or manifest His love. Some of his- 
tory's leaders grew up in remote, unassuming localities. 
Luther, God-blessed Reformer of the Church, was born 
in a mining town; George Washington, fearless father of 
this country, in a Virginia hamlet; Abraham Lincoln, 
liberator of an enslaved race, near a Kentucky crossroads. 
If God wants you for His glorious purposes, no spot is 
too distant or notorious to prevent Him from finding, 
using, and exalting you. Even in this moment the Al- 
mighty, who sees and knows all, is beholding you, wher- 
ever you are, however unfavorable or discouraging your 
surroundings may be. Lord of love that He is, His 
thoughts for you are plans of mercy. 

Tenth Lutheran Hour 15 



226 IS YOUBS A FAITH-FILLED FAMILY? 

In that pagan metropolis God chose one house to be 
marvelously honored by His grace the home of Cor- 
nelius. We know nothing of his nationality or personal 
history up to this time except that he was not an Is- 
raelite, but a Gentile who was the leader of Italian troops 
stationed in Caesarea. We do know that in the godless, 
sin-filled city he was ''devout, . . . one that feared God" 
Here was a man not a member of the chosen race, far 
from the Temple at Jerusalem, and in the service of the 
hated Roman conqueror. Yet somehow, perhaps through 
a friend's urging and on the great Judgment Day the 
person who helped bring Cornelius to the Lord will be 
received with exceeding joy he had learned to know 
the one true God and to spurn the heathen idols. 
Christians of America, with similar mission opportunities 
before everyone of you, put these questions to yourselves: 
"Am I helping to bring people to Christ? Are my life and 
my testimony drawing men to their Savior?" A Memphis 
woman telephoned four thousand people urging them to 
tune to our broadcast; a Chicago friend mails hundreds 
of letters for the same purpose. Have you ever invited 
anyone to listen in? Will you not make it your objective 
personally to direct at least one soul to this Gospel mes- 
sage every week? We shall gladly send you announce- 
ment leaflets and helpful literature upon request. Keep 
clearly in mind what the Bible says of those who lead 
others to faith, "They that turn many to righteousness," 
shall shine "as the stars forever and ever"! Can you think 
of a greater glory than this heavenly radiance? 

We should also find a timely lesson in the fact that 
Cornelius, a reverent, God-fearing man, was a soldier, 
a commander of one hundred troops. Some believe it im- 
possible to remain a Christian while serving under arms. 
They emphasize the cursing, unbelief, blasphemy, cruelty, 



IS YOURS A FAITH-FILLED FAMILY? 227 

which often mark army life, and God knows how true 
this indictment sometimes is. You men in the armed 
forces who write me of the temptations confronting you 
or the obstacles besetting you if you want to keep your 
radio tuned to our mission of the air, realize fully how 
easy it is to forget God while on military duty, how close 
the danger of disregarding your parents' instruction, re- 
jecting Bible truth, and taking a fling at what some call 
'life," but what actually may be spiritual death! Yet many 
military men, like Cornelius, have a strong faith. I think 
of a Pacific Coast commanding officer who for years has 
set aside the time of this radio mission for regular com- 
munion with God; a colonel in the Carolinas who prays 
fervently for the Holy Spirit's blessing on our message; 
a Kansas private who writes, "I have my dial turned to 
your hour, and I am sure that before long the entire bar- 
racks will be listening to your 'Bringing Christ to the 
Nations* services." There must be sincere Christians in 
our armed forces, if a young soldier from London in- 
structs his parents in Iowa to contribute twenty-five dol- 
lars of his salary each month to our mission of the air; 
if officers and privates in the American and Canadian 
forces, with a generosity proportionately greater than 
that of civilians, regularly send a large part of their pay 
for the maintenance of this radio crusade. The best 
morale-building agency for America's Army and Navy is 
the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this I ask your prayers, 
interest, and support. The most we can do in bringing 
Christ's message to our military camps throughout the 
world will fall far short of paying our debt to these sol- 
diers who risk their lives for us. 

Our text also records that Cornelius "prayed to God 
alway." How many men are there in the United States 
today of whom it can likewise be said that they pray "to 



228 IS YOURS A FAITH-FILLED FAMILY? 

God alway'? How many within the churches who pray 
"to God alway 9 '? Most people, even in Christian circles, 
rush through their petitions in the morning and the eve- 
ning and think their prayer duties are thus fulfilled. 
Masses are too preoccupied, self-sufficient, or indifferent 
to know the real blessing of fervent intercession. Before 
this war is over, some of you who haughtily claim that 
kneeling before the Almighty is weak and womanish will 
be driven to your knees when you realize your utter help- 
lessness without Him. You business executives need the 
guiding, sustaining power of communion with God. You 
are making more money than you thought possible a few 
years ago, but some of you likewise are more disturbed 
and distracted than ever before. A successful sales di- 
rector told me that he had stacks of unfilled orders and 
had to avoid buyers, who were eager to purchase any- 
thing he could sell and in any amount he could supply. 
Yet he confessed that he was not happy. Only closeness 
to Christ can put real joy into life. 

Especially noteworthy is the interest Cornelius took 
in his home. We read that he "feared God with all his 
house." He knew that as a father, despite his military af- 
fairs, he had a definite responsibility toward his family. 
His wife, his children, the servants in the household, all 
were under his spiritual guidance. Contrariwise, some of 
you fathers do not care where your boys or girls were 
last night, where they will be tonight. You have never 
spoken to them about their souls. You have given them 
money, education, protection, and a certain kind of love, 
but you have withheld the most important gift a father 
can bestow direction and guidance to heaven. I should 
think you would be afraid to face eternity, because you 
have not only steadfastly refused to bring your children 
to Jesus, but you have constantly kept them from their 



IS YOURS A FAITH-FILLED FAMILY? 229 

Savior by your own bad example of unbelief. Your little 
ones have looked up to you; yet by your disinterestedness 
in Church, their minds were molded against the Christian 
faith. What will you say on that great day of appearing 
before the Lord, when Christ will ask, "Where are the 
sons and daughters I gave you?" What will you answer 
when your children, your own flesh and blood, point an 
accusing finger at you and declare: "Father, you never 
told us of God's truth; you never took us to church; you 
never went yourself. You led us astray." Fathers of Amer- 
ica, recall the terrifying sentence of woe Jesus pronounced 
on all who give such offense; and before it is too late, 
turn to Christ! Give up everything which keeps you from 
serving as God's representative in your own home! Keep 
first things forever first! The foremost of your respon- 
sibilities, after you yourself have come to your Savior, is 
not, as blessed as this is, that you help evangelize dark 
Africa, support missions among the Eskimos, but that you 
bring your own household to the Redeemer. Scripture 
declares, "Learn -first to show piety at home!" 

Cornelius also knew how vital it was that the whole 
family share this faith. The text reminds us that "ALL his 
house" feared God. There was no mixture of belief and 
unbelief in that home. It was no house divided against 
itself; parents, children, servants all could plead to- 
gether, give thanks together, sing hymns together, wor- 
ship together, adore one God in the same trust. Such 
singleness of faith is the strongest pledge of home hap- 
piness; yet often in the excitement of today's war, young 
people after overhasty courtships have a quick wedding 
ceremony performed by a justice of the peace (A bill be- 
fore the Missouri legislature would enable every notary 
public to solemnize marriage. It ought to be crushed.) 
and in altogether too many instances completely dis- 



230 IS YOURS A FAITH-FILLED FAMILY? 

regard the questions o religion and the necessity of 
agreement in faith. Listening to some of these profes- 
sional counselors on questions of love, marriage, and 
home life, you will gain the impression that religion 
plays no great part in marital happiness, while physical 
questions, social adjustments are the vital issues! Nev- 
ertheless experience, not theory, reminds us that the 
greatest inner blessings of family life rest on those house- 
holds, rich or poor, highly cultured or simple, in which 
father, mother, sisters, brothers belong to the same true 
Christian Church and have one undying hope of salvation 
in the crucified, risen Savior. Because of the heartaches 
your letters reveal, I cannot let a broadcasting season 
pass without raising my voice to warn against the dangers 
lurking in marriages between children of God and un- 
believers, Christians and Jews, Protestants and Catholics, 
members of opposing churches. Do not think you are an 
exception to the tragic results which frequently come 
from mixed marriages! For the most important earthly 
relationship you need the most powerful spiritual in- 
fluence for good; and that, I tell you in Jesus' name, is the 
unity of true faith shared by the whole family, as by the 
entire house of Cornelius. 

If I could speak to you personally and ask, "Is yours 
a faith-filled family?" many would answer, "No; ours is 
a strife-filled home, crowded with quarreling and bicker- 
ing, marked by hatred instead of self-sacrificing love." 
This week I received a letter from an Illinois woman in 
which she told how she made life unbearable for her 
husband, brought discord into the home, and wished her 
husband dead. Now that he has died, she is tortured with 
remorse. Often that quarrelsome, contentious spirit goes 
farther. It resorts to brute force; husbands beat their 
wives, whom they have pledged to love and honor; at 



IS YOUKS A FAITH-FILLED FAMILY? 231 

times oh, the horror o this! such hatred ends in 
murder. Now, if you feel that love is vanishing from 
your home, as quarrels and nagging increase, follow 
Cornelius by turning to God in your family and by in- 
voking His help through constant prayer! When you truly 
trust Christ and agree that He is to be the Head of your 
house, the deathless devotion with which He gave Him- 
self for sin-burdened mankind will show itself in your 
family by a willingness to bear and forbear, to practice 
self-denial and self-sacrifice. Before the sin of selfishness 
strikes wounds which can never be healed on earth, be- 
fore the separate lives some of you married folks are now 
living (you have your own amusements and pastimes; 
you share very few confidences; one goes this way and 
the other that) become permanently disrupted, give your- 
selves wholly to Christ! Bring your entire household to 
the Savior! 

If I were to ask others among you, 'Is yours a faith- 
filled home?" tears would come into your eyes as some of 
you would answer, "No; ours is a sorrow-filled home/ 1 
During the ten years of our broadcast I have never be- 
fore received so many letters that start in this way: "My 
husband was a good man until about a year ago. Then 
he began to drink and go out with other women." If you 
could read the stacks of letters of course, they are kept 
strictly confidential which deal with alcoholism, you 
would agree it is one of the worst scourges of present- 
day life. The modern tavern in many ways is certainly 
no improvement over the old saloon, for these drinking 
places which have sprung up in large numbers and attract 
many women can be far greater menaces. If it should 
be the burden of your family that the father, a grown 
son or daughter, or may God forbid it! even the 
mother comes home drunk, what should you do? What 
must you do, if not, following Cornelius, pray constantly, 



232 IS YOURS A FAITH-FILLED FAMILY? 

beseeching God for His almighty aid? Though slavery 
to alcohol is a strong curse, the Lord is far stronger. He 
has helped men who have listened to our program break 
the bonds of this terrible tyranny. Kneeling before their 
radios, they have pledged themselves to stop drinking, 
and they have kept that pledge. He can help you if this 
is your besetting weakness. 

Other homes are marked by deep-rooted grief caused 
by pain, sickness, and suffering. A California listener 
writes that through a physician's carelessness her baby 
was born a spastic, without control of its members, be- 
cause a large part of its brain was torn. While repeated 
operations have shown some improvement, according to 
the verdict of specialists the child is doomed to a lifetime 
of abnormality. Yet that mother is learning to love Christ, 
and therefore she loves that poor, handicapped child, 
caring for it by day and night. The Lord will sustain her, 
just as He will support those families burdened with life- 
long sickness, invalidism, and injury if only they put their 
whole trust in Him. 

There is no domestic affliction in which God cannot 
aid. If your sons or daughters have disgraced your name, 
reliance on Christ can lead you to forgive and help them. 
If you are in danger of losing your home or your hard- 
earned savings, you can have the assurance of divine 
guidance; but to secure that blessing, let the spirit of 
Cornelius rule your household! You can face the cruelest 
personal anguish life can offer: broken marriage vows, 
desertion; you can meet the deepest sorrow known to the 
race: the death of a beloved one on the battle front or 
the home front; still you can defeat rankling resentment 
and despair. If you would have that benediction, it must 
be said of you and your family, as it is written of Cor- 
nelius, "He . . . feared God with all his house . . . and 
prayed to God alway" 



IS YOURS A FAITH-FILLED FAMILY? 233 

II 

YOUR FAMILY CAN BE FAITH-FILLED THROUGH CHRIST 

None of you should ever question the truth that the 
Christ of all compassion will come to bless your home, 
no matter how large or small, how approved or despised, 
how happy or sorrow-filled. Keep clearly in mind that 
Cornelius was a Gentile; and up to this time, months 
after Jesus had been crucified, had arisen and ascended 
into heaven, no messenger of His Gospel had ever crossed 
the threshold of a pagan home! That, it was thought, 
would make them unclean. The Apostles had reserved the 
message of salvation for their own countrymen. One day, 
however, Cornelius received a vision from the Lord, di- 
recting him to send for Peter. About the same time God 
instructed Peter to visit Cornelius, and in this way the 
Apostle for the first time in his life entered a Gentile 
dwelling. What a marvelous day that was! If only we 
knew its exact date, we ought to celebrate it each year! 
If only we knew the spot where Cornelius* house stood 
in Caesarea, we ought to mark it with a tablet indicating 
that at this place began the promise of the Gospel's reach 
into every home. 

True, some churches deliberately teach that the Lord 
of love, limiting His mercy, offers it only to a select few, 
while He has damned the others in advance without giv- 
ing them a chance to be saved. This is a shocking de- 
nial of the universal, world-wide compassion to which 
Scripture repeatedly testifies. It is likewise true that 
some congregations cater to the upper classes and show 
little interest in the common people and the under- 
privileged. How directly this contradicts our Lord, whose 
life constantly illustrates an opposite tendency! Again, it 
is equally evident that many people think themselves too 



234 IS YOURS A FAITH-FILLED FAMILY? 

poor, unnoticed, unlearned, sinful, to have and hold the 
promises of Gospel grace; yet the account of Peter's visit 
to Cornelius' home is God's own restatement of His Son's 
pledge, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any 
man hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to 
him and will sup with him, and he with Me!' The high 
and mighty may never come to your door. The self- 
righteous and self -esteeming may frequently pass your 
house by. Friends and relatives may keep their distance. 
Jesus, however, will never neglect or spurn you. The 
Savior who invited Himself into the despised home of 
the outcast publican Zacchaeus, who banished doubt 
when He abode with the Emmaus disciples, who brought 
comfort as He lingered with Mary and Martha at Beth- 
any, who gave life when death entered another cen- 
turion's household at Capernaum, who repeatedly came 
with healing into the rooms of the sick and suffering, is 
the Christ for everyone, the Redeemer for every home, 
the almighty God for every family. 

See how easily yours can be a faith-filled home! Cor- 
nelius received the Lord's command and obeyed it. If you 
follow God's instructions, obey His Word in marriage 
regulations; if you refuse to reject parenthood and instead 
welcome your babies as the precious miracles of divine 
love; if you teach these children the heavenly truth and 
give them Christian education; if you let the Word of 
God "dwell in you richly 9 ' and make time, the most val- 
uable moments in the whole day, for the whole family 
to approach God in prayer and praise; and if all this is 
based on personal faith in Jesus, no power on earth can 
keep the Savior from your household. 

This trust in Christ is the keystone in the arch of home 
blessing and hope. Therefore Peter brought Cornelius 
the message which every Christian pastor should bring 



IS YOURS A FAITH-FILLED FAMILY? 235 

the families in his congregation not a discussion of the 
war or the weather, but the appeal for the acceptance of 
the Redeemer's love. The climax of that first sermon 
preached in a Gentile house was the whole Gospel in 
these nine Spirit-sent words, "Whosoever believeth in 
Him [Christ] shall receive remission of sins." Put this 
truth into American family life; let parents and children 
learn to receive and revere Jesus God and Man, God 
and Savior, God and Lord; let the full, unrestricted 
promise of the blood and the cross, the death and the 
atonement at Calvary, convert all within the household 
to the faith which I pray will be yours, namely, that 
by trusting Christ, your sins your many, repeated, de- 
grading, damning sins are removed completely; let this 
victorious confidence fill every family, and the new day 
of inner joy, spiritual strength and moral power will dawn 
for the American home! 

We read, "While Peter yet spake these words, the 
Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the Word." 
If you will listen to the Lord, the same renewing, en- 
lightening, purifying Spirit can fortify your families, so 
that, faith-filled, they also become Spirit-filled, endowed 
with God's power. When Cornelius and those gathered 
with him heard the Apostle's appeal (note that Cornelius 
did what you should do: he invited others to his home; 
he wanted the message to reach as many as possible), 
all of them, young and old, were baptized. And all of you 
should receive this "washing of regeneration" for no one 
less than Christ Himself remember, you who belittle 
the Sacrament! declared, "He that believeth and is bap- 
tized shall be saved." 

In that Savior's name I beseech you to follow the plan 
and pattern which brought Cornelius such joy: First, pray 
to the Father continually for guidance! Pray with your 



236 IS YOUBS A FAITH-FILLED FAMILY? 

whole family! Second, obey God's Word unfailingly! 
Third, welcome the messenger of His mercy, the prophet 
of His peace! Be sure, however, that he brings the whole, 
genuine Gospel! Don't criticize the Church! Don't speak 
caustically of its work because you may have had some 
personal disappointment! Instead look to the Savior and 
His true Church for help and hope! Let us send you 
a servant of God who will do what Peter did for that 
family in Caesarea: show you the way to Jesus, bring 
you and yours to baptism and membership in the Church! 
What greater gift can God Himself give you on this earth 
than these blessings of a faith-filled family? 

Such Christ-dedicated homes can be centers of earth's 
highest happiness, the foundation for the nation's strong- 
est defense, the means of the Kingdom's greatest growth, 
the source of strength and support during the troubled 
days ahead, when American home life may be attacked 
with a fury hitherto unknown. These faith-filled house- 
holds, however, are more. They are the very foregleams 
of our eternal home, where the whole family that wor- 
shiped Christ on earth will be reunited to adore Him in 
the endless glories of heaven. Work and pray ceaselessly 
that everyone in your household will be saved for this 
glory! Constantly keep this hallowed, better country in 
mind! High on the dome of the Capitol in Washington 
is the figure of Liberty, symbolizing the freedom which 
reigns on our shores. That statue was made by Hiram 
Powers, who for thirty years lived in Europe, far away 
from America, his native land. When asked how he could 
produce this and other intensely American masterpieces, 
like the Massachusetts Puritan, the California Pioneer, 
although for many years he had not touched our shores, 
Powers answered: "I have never been out of touch with 



IS YOUBS A FAITH-FILLED FAMILY? 237 

America. I have eaten and slept in Italy for thirty-odd 
years, but I have never been anywhere but in the United 
States." As he lived physically in Europe, but mentally in 
America, so may we here on earth mold, carve, sculpture 
our family happiness by focusing our thoughts on the 
celestial homeland, its reunion with our loved ones in 
faith and glory of glories! with our blessed Savior. 
Above all else for which we may ever ask or hope, 
O Christ, bring everyone of us into that heavenly home! 
Amen! 



Faith's Glorious Discovery: 
Victory Close at Hand! 

"Benhadad, king of Syria, gathered all his host 
and went up and besieged Samaria. And there 
was a great famine in Samaria. . . , And there 
were four leprous men at the entering in of the 
gate. . . . And when they were come to the utter- 
most part of the camp of Syria 9 behold, there 
was no man there. For the Lord had made the 
host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots 
and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great 
host. . . . Wherefore they arose and fled in the 
twilight. . . . When these lepers came to the 
uttermost part of the camp, they went into one 
tent and did eat and drink, and carried thence 
silver and gold and raiment and went and hid it; 
and came again and entered into another tent, 
and carried thence also and went and hid it. 
Then they said one to another . . . Come that we 
may go and tell the king's household." 
2 KINGS 6:24, 25; 7:3, 5-9 

Gracious, Glorious God: 

.May Thy Spirit strengthen us to realize at all times that 
through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Thou art close to us 
with Thy love, Thy strength, Thy blessing! When life's sor- 
rows are heaped on us; when doubt of the Savior's mercy as- 
sails us or temptations assault us, fortify our faith, so that with 
absolute certainty we know how Jesus defeated every enemy 
of our soul! By His atoning death He conquered sin, hell, and 
the grave. Grant that our trust in the atoning Savior increase 
daily and, O Father of all truth, bring us constantly closer to 
our ever-blessed Redeemer! Show our men and women on the 
far-flung battle lines how near Christ can be to them in each 

238 



FAITH'S DISCOVERY: VICTORY AT HAND! 239 

harassed hour, if only with unquestioning faith they cling to 
His promise "Lo ? I am with you alway"! Graciously protect 
our country! Lead America to repentance and trust! Bless us 
according to Thy will with a true victory that can soon stop 
wars horrors! Hear us jor Jesus' sake! Amen. 



A, 



Ontario friend sends us the remarkable 
story of a settler in Western Canada who had purchased 
a new farm, much of which was still covered with swamp 
and brush. Soon after he took over the property, he went 
hunting and was rambling through the wilderness, when 
nightfall overtook him. Confident that he could find his 
way home, he started out, despite the darkness, through 
treacherous marshlands and untracked forests. Morning 
came. His clothes were soaked and torn, his face and 
hands scratched and bleeding; worst of all, he was lost. 
That entire day and the following night he continued 
to battle his way frantically through the undergrowth. 
Aching, exhausted, half starved, he was seized by the 
desperate fear that he would die in the wilderness. Rest- 
ing on a log for a few agonized moments, he suddenly 
heard a rooster crow; and rarely, I suppose, has that barn- 
yard song been more welcome. He knew that he was 
close to a farm, and with new courage he headed in the 
direction from which the sound had come. Before long 
he stumbled from the thicket into a large clearing 
which proved to be his own property. Only a few hun- 
dred rods from his own farmland, he had concluded that 
he was lost, beyond hope of rescue. 

Most of you have read similar stories, accounts of 
fugitives in hiding for years even though they had been 
pardoned; battles fought by armies unaware that peace 
had been declared; sailors in the South Atlantic who 
almost died of thirst, not realizing that their rafts were 



240 FAITH'S DISCOVERY: VICTORY AT HAND! 

floating in the fresh water the Amazon River sends fax 
out into the ocean; soldiers hiding in fear of the enemy 
when in reality they were safe behind their own lines; 
families living in poverty while an immense pool of oil 
remained untapped beneath their scrubby acres. Yet of 
all instances in which terror-stricken men have overlooked 
the help close beside them, the Bible story chosen as our 
text is the most startling; for it shows an entire army, 
a capital, famished when food almost beyond measure 
was within easy reach. Because too many of you similarly 
suffer in spiritual weakness when God's strength is heaped 
high around you, because your faith is starved though 
He has placed soul nourishment right before you, I pray 
God that in the battle of life you will make 

FAITH'S GLORIOUS DISCOVERY: VICTORY 
CLOSE AT HAND! 

For this assurance we turn to the words of Second Kings, 
chapters six and seven, and read in selected verses: 
"Benhadad, king of Syria, gathered all his host and went 
up and besieged Samaria. And there was a great famine 
in Samaria. . . . And there were four leprous men at the 
entering in of the gate. . . . And when they were come to 
the uttermost part of the camp of Syria, behold, there was 
no man there. For the Lord had made the host of the 
Syrians to hear a noise of chariots and a noise of horses, 
even the noise of a great host. . . . Wherefore they arose 
and fled in the twilight. . . . When these lepers came to 
the uttermost part of the camp, they went into one tent 
and did eat and drink, and carried thence silver and gold 
and raiment and went and hid it; and came again and 
entered into another tent, and carried thence also and 
went and hid it. Then they said one to another . . ., Come 
that we may go and tell the king's household." 



FAITH'S DISCOVERT: VICTORY AT HAND! 241 



DISCOVER THE GLORIOUS VICTORY CHRIST HAS WON! 

The powerful Syrian army under Benhadad, their 
king, had besieged the city of Samaria. So tightly were 
the Israelites locked in their capital that their food supply 
was completely cut off. Before long a horrifying famine 
began. An ass's head sold for eighty pieces of silver 
a fortune in those days. Garbage was literally worth its 
weight in precious metal. A mother cooked her own child 
and ate it. 

I hope that none of you will object: "This is ancient 
history; it could not happen here! Are you positive? 
Ten years ago who would have believed that horse meat 
would be sold on open markets in America and food 
restricted in a country as productive as ours? While every- 
one of us would willingly have two, three, four meat- 
less days each week, provided our armed forces are well 
supplied, it may not be out of place now to recall that 
only a few years ago 6,200,000 pigs were destroyed in the 
United States in a few months under a false philosophy of 
scarcity that stands condemned by God's Word. In 1935 
7,750,000 bags of coffee over a billion pounds were 
destroyed within a single month. Can there be any con- 
nection between this and the fact that bacon and coffee 
are at a premium today? In the light of what we now 
know, would it not have been a hundred times better to 
follow the Savior's own example in conserving food, to 
have processed pork and coffee instead of wasting it? 
Two million tons of corn enough to keep thousands of 
starving children alive in Greece were destroyed. In 
Los Angeles alone 200,000 quarts of milk regularly were 
dumped into the water; yet in China baby girls are being 
sold because their parents have no milk to give them. 

Tenth Lutheran Hour 16 



242 FAITH'S DISCOVERY: VICTORY AT HAND! 

Mountains of oranges were piled tip to decay; apples, 
cherries, strawberries, remained unpicked; vast acreages 
of vegetables rotted in the ground. We systematically 
deprived ourselves of the divine bounty; and now we are 
driven to rationing, as though God Himself would say, 
"O America, I blessed you as no other nation on the 
face of the earth, but you spumed My bounty, you wasted 
My gifts; so I have permitted some of My blessings to be 
withdrawn, and instead of lavish overflow, your food will 
be measured to you." 

Now, though the siege in our text was so dreadful 
that it left the capital half crazed with hunger, actually 
there was food in abundance for all. While the Syrian 
armies, haughty in their assurance of victory, were se- 
curely encamped about the city, the Lord came out 
against them; and so almighty is He that the multiplied 
battalions of Benhadad's trained warriors could not resist 
Him. We read that God "made the host of the Syrians to 
hear a noise of chariots and a noise of horses, even the 
noise of a great host'' In their dismay the besieging Syr- 
ians thought, "Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against 
us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyp- 
tians to come upon us." Panic spread through the regi- 
ments; such fear and confusion reigned that they "arose 
and fled in the twilight and left their tents and their 
horses and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled 
for their life*' The Almighty required no men, armies, 
battle strategy, to put those formidable foes to flight 
only a few sounds: the noise of chariots and armies that 
never existed. 

Similarly the Lord can end this war today. His power 
in nature can liquidate the strongest armies. His ocean 
kept Xerxes back and defeated that proud tyrant; His 
winds blew the haughty Spanish Armada to its doom; His 



FAITH'S DISCOVERY: VICTORY AT HAND! 243 

cold and ice routed Napoleon; His snowflakes, drift upon 
drift, pushed Hitler's shock troops back from the Volga. 
Will you not believe that the Lord of hosts could destroy 
the whole Japanese fleet from the Aleutians to New 
Guinea with a single blast of His hurricane or that a 
single earthquake could level Tokio? Again and again in 
the Old Testament records we read accounts of such 
majestic triumphs over the opponents of God's people. 
His power is not weakened since those days; but to secure 
His blessing, we must come contritely before Him, con- 
fessing all our sins, national and individual. The Nazis 
and Nipponese are not the only enemies of the United 
States. Within our own borders we have America's inner 
adversaries, for whose rejection of the Almighty, repudia- 
tion of Christ, and ridicule of the Bible this war may be 
prolonged. The Lord is not blind, that He cannot behold 
the entrenched godlessness on our shores. He is not in- 
different, that He closes His eyes to wickedness in high 
or low places. He is not deaf, that He fails to hear the 
taunting attacks on His Son, His Church, His Word. 
License and lust, carnival and carousal, cursing and 
swearing, perjury and scandal, luxury and indulgence, 
nudity and nastiness, half-filled church buildings but 
overcrowded dance halls, card playing in parish houses 
and little praying in the members' homes these lamen- 
table conditions can extend the war beyond the coming 
summer, fall, winter, into the next year, and even beyond. 
As we see this remarkable contrast on the one hand, 
the people of Samaria cowering in fear, dying of starva- 
tion, and on the other hand, the Syrian armies running 
in reckless flight, leaving the deserted camp filled with 
OO( J _ let us find a far more serious parallel in the lives 
of those besieged by worries and fears, the distressed and 
desperate who are spiritually starved even though food 



244 FAITH'S DISCOVERY: VICTORY AT HARD! 

for their soul is placed right before them* Masses of dis- 
couraged men and women feel that they have been de- 
feated at every turn; yet the Bible, God's help particularly 
for the downcast and downtrodden, often remains un- 
read, its counsel neglected. Here are the unhappy, strife- 
torn homes; and while the power of Christ-centered 
prayer is within immediate reach of every family in the 
United States, yet most of these families never kneel to 
implore inner peace and blessing. Here are souls bur- 
dened with loneliness, lack of love and companionship, 
and though the Savior is close at hand with the promise 
"Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the 
world" 9 still He is never acknowledged and welcomed. 
Here are the legions of men and women tortured by 
shadowy specters of the future; but most of them daily 
pass true churches of God where the Redeemer's blood- 
bought promises could put confidence and assurance into 
their hearts. Here are the doubting, disturbed minds, 
groping for light and truth, whose questions believing 
teachers are ready to answer; yet too often preference is 
given to Christ-denying counselors. Here, in the largest 
group of all, are those who are enslaved by sin and driven 
by their conscience; every time they hear a message like 
this, centered on the Lord Jesus, every time they see 
a cross, every time their thoughts revert to the crucifixion 
at Golgotha, their heavenly Father, who is "a God at 
hand , . . and not a God afar off," wants to be close to 
them, through His Holy Spirit, as He offers complete 
cleansing from their transgressions. However, in their 
blindness they turn away from the atoning blood and 
begin the hopeless treadmill task of trying to earn their 
admission into heaven. 

For your peace of mind, joy of life, assurance of 
heaven, stop this overlooking Christ, passing Him by, 



FAITH'S DISCOVERY: VICTORY AT HAND! 45 

neglecting Him! He is your God, and nothing is too hard 
for Him. He is your Redeemer, and no sin is too vile or 
vicious to be removed by His pardoning love. He is your 
Friend, and if you remain faithful to Him, no power can 
destroy His love of you. He is your Guide, and no way 
that you take is unknown to Him. Any opposing leader 
must direct you to destruction, but Jesus always chooses 
the right road, the right destination. He is your King, 
and He can protect you in every danger. Earthly rulers 
are often so distant or secluded that their subjects can 
rarely approach them; but our Savior O marvelous 
mercy! is so close that everyone of His faithful finds 
His help at hand for every need. 

If you have never known the full heavenly blessing 
He offers you; if you hardly hear or use His holy name 
except in profanity and have only a vague, uncertain no- 
tion as to who Jesus really is; if you once acknowledged 
Him, but have forgotten Him in your poverty or wealth; 
if you now ask, "What can Jesus do for me?" listen care- 
fully, listen prayerfully: Christ, God's Son and the Vir- 
gin's, was defeated at Calvary to give you victory, nailed 
to the cross to assure you of the crown, crucified to give 
you lifel By accepting, believing, trusting Him as your 
Redeemer the enemies of your soul will be put to flight, 
as were the Syrian armies besieging Samaria. In Jesus 
you have victory over your sins, since you are washed and 
cleansed by His purifying blood. Through faith you will 
reject temptation, since the Holy Spirit will strengthen 
you to resist. You are above surrendering in despair to 
sorrow and suffering, because you can thank God for 
afflictions, which come from His mercy. You can defeat 
your all too human flesh and blood, with its unholy 
desires and cowardly fears, since by accepting Jesus you 
are "born again' with a new determination to subdue 



246 FAITH'S DISCOVERY: VICTORY AT HAND! 

evil. You can successfully repel this cruel, hostile world 
of war and hatred that continually opposes Him, for the 
Bible definitely pledges, "This is the victory that over- 
cometh the world, even our faith." You can put hell and 
its power to flight, for by His crucifixion and resurrection 
Jesus broke Satan's dominion forever. You can conquer 
death, "the last enemy'' for at the Savior's open grave, as- 
sured of your own resurrection, you can exult: < O Death,, 
where is thy sting? O Grave, where is thy victory? . . . 
Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through 
our Lord Jesus Christ!" 

In short, when you place yourself at Calvary beneath 
the Redeemer's cross and raise your hand in an oath 
of allegiance, proclaiming valiantly: "Thou, O Christ, 
art mine, and I am Thine. With Thy help I will serve 
Thee in soul, mind, and body," the super victory of the 
ages is yours. You can join Saint Paul in challenging: 
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall 
tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or naked- 
ness or peril or sword? . . . Nay; in all these things we are 
MORE THAN CONQUERORS through Him that loved us." 
This, dearly redeemed fellow sinners, the guarantee of 
God's guidance for this life, the assurance of everything 
you need for heaven, is close at hand. I plead with you in 
the Savior's name, "Claim your victory!" 

II 

DISCOVER THE GLORIOUS VICTORY CHRIST 
HAS WON FOR YOU! 

The besieged people of Samaria were to learn of their 
rescue in a most remarkable way. Our text tells us of four 
lepers outside the gate, who because of their dread dis- 
ease were banned from the city and, since they were 
Israelites, could expect nothing but death from the en- 



FAITH'S DISCOVERY: VICTORY AT HAND! 247 

circling Syrians. In the torment of hunger they argued 
that, if they had no hope of escaping death, they could 
lose little by entering the enemies' camp and appealing 
for a few crusts of bread. Stealthily they make their way 
toward the Syrian encampment. They come to the sentry's 
outpost, but these frontline guards are missing. They ad- 
vance to the outer tent rows; these are empty. They 
hurry past the supply houses, the officers' quarters; not 
a sound is to be heard. They rush to the center of the 
camp; not a soul is in sight. Instead, on all sides, marks 
of confusion and flight! It soon dawns on the bewildered 
minds of these four lepers that the enemy has been 
thrown into panic-stricken retreat. 

As the first Israelites to discover the victory were 
lepers,j3Oial ; outcasts, living in vile, isolated places and 
crying, "Unclean! Unclean!" when anyone approached 
them, so by God's grace the promise of eternal triumph 
is often first revealed and most joyfully accepted by the 
lowly, oppressed, persecuted. This emphasizes the truth 
that there is room in God's kingdom for everyone, espe- 
cially the burdened and underprivileged. A man wrote 
me last week to ask why American churches are not more 
interested in poor people, and I want to answer by saying 
that true churches of Christ have always been vitally con- 
cerned about the destitute. In fact, the early Church was 
made up of poor people, slaves, outcasts, and, thank God, 
a sprinkling of the mighty, the wealthy, the learned. Since 
those beginnings Scriptural churches have always been 
eager to reach the suffering masses. The danger hour ar- 
rives when congregations become rich and socially in- 
fluential; when, as some of you write from your own ex- 
periences, they look askance at the cheaper clothes, the 
lower financial rating, the humbler social position. Such 
discrimination is as contrary to Jesus as black midnight 



248 FAITH'S DISCOVERY: VICTORY AT HAND! 

to brightest noon and can lend support to the Communist 
charges (and, make no mistake about it, these will be 
raised with increasing hatred during the adjustment of 
the postwar period!) claiming that Christianity is cap- 
italistic, opposed to the workingman. 

When the starved lepers discover that the camp is 
deserted, a scene of intense interest follows. First of all 
they find food beyond measure and imagination good 
food, fresh food, clean food, life-saving food. These suf- 
ferers who had eked out a miserable existence, living 
almost literally from the garbage dumps of the city, now 
have their choice of meat, fruit, and vegetables. Hardly 
is their hunger satisfied, when they begin to discover 
silver, gold, jewels, more than they can collect. The text 
pictures them as running from one tent to the other. 
They spy a large chest left behind in the flight. They 
break the lock and there, wide-eyed and amazed, behold 
gold bars, silver chains, a handful of rubies, a box of 
pearls, an ornament studded with emeralds, engraved 
bracelets, heavy onyx seal rings. Swiftly they bury these 
treasures and rush to another tent, to find an even larger 
chest, perhaps the paymaster's, filled with Syrian shekels 
of gold and silver; and these lepers who had lost every- 
thing in life health, money, happiness now fill their 
hands with coins and let them trickle through their 
fingers. This money they also carry away to a secret hid- 
ing place. They speed into another tent, uncover a com- 
plete wardrobe of costly garments crimson and purple, 
silk and wool, woven with gold, studded with jewels; 
they tear the filthy rags from their bodies and clothe 
themselves in resplendent robes, such as they have never 
worn before. What a startling change! On the morning 
of that day the lepers are destitute, in dirty rags and 
starving. In the evening the choicest Syrian foods are 



FAITH'S DISCOVERY: VICTORY AT HAND! 249 

heaped before them; they are fabulously rich; they are 
robed in the best cloth Damascus weavers can produce. 

An even more amazing change awaits you when you 
discover the glorious victory that is yours by faith in 
the Lord Jesus. You find a joy you never before could 
believe possible. Your sins are forgiven, your conscience 
quieted; you have peace with God through the blood of 
His Son, peace with your fellow men, peace with your 
own heart, That is why some of you have written me, as 
an Illinois listener did last week: "You cannot imagine 
the happiness which has come into our home since my 
husband has become a Christian and joined the Church. 
Ours is a new family. We have a joy and a closeness to 
Jesus we never knew before." That is why many of you 
have sent letters to explain you are really reborn creatures 
in Christ, that "old things are passed away'' since you 
have accepted Him. Like the lepers, you were hunted and 
haunted, desperate and downcast, doomed to spiritual 
death until you discovered the glorious Gospel grace; 
and then a new existence, with hope, blessing, and the 
pledge of salvation, really began. You, the children of 
God, who have this victory in Christ, will join with me as 
I ask every unconverted sinner in this audience to give 
himself wholly to his Savior and in return enjoy the best, 
truest, happiest life. 

Recall the overflowing measure of food, precious metal, 
and treasures those lepers discovered, since you may well 
find in this a picture, weak and insufficient, of course, of 
the overabundant soul blessings daily assured you through 
the Lord Jesus! Even if we have transgressed the divine 
Law frequently; if we have repeated the same sin against 
better knowledge, the supply of His saving grace is so 
boundless that, when we truly repent, He will remove 
all our iniquities. You may think, in short-sighted mis- 



250 FAITH'S DISCOVERY: VICTORY AT HAND! 

understanding of the full Gospel grace, that you have 
suffered too many, deep, and permanent sorrows ever 
again to experience real joy; yet, if you will stop limiting 
His mercy, you will not only discover, "Earth hath no 
sorrow that Heaven cannot heal"; you will also experi- 
ence the fulfillment of His promise "As thy days, so 
shall thy strength be." 

Find a pointed parallel also in the glorious truth that, 
as those lepers obtained an overflowing measure of gold, 
silver, jewels, costly clothing, without earning or paying 
for their abundance, so the Bread of Life and the Living 
Water are yours by mercy, not merit. The Evangelist of 
the Old Testament cries out, "Ho, everyone that thirtieth, 
come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come 
ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without 
money and without price! 9 ' The robes of righteousness in 
which you must stand before the all-holy Judge of Eter- 
nity are beyond purchase; yet, because they are given 
you by grace, tibrough faith, you can exult: 

Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness 
My beauty are, my glorious dress! 

The lepers found the whole camp cleared of the Syr- 
ians; for God had given Israel a final, complete triumph. 
In a vastly greater victory Christ has vanquished our 
enemies, now and for eternity. His Gospel does not teach 
us that Jesus only partially overcame our adversaries and 
we must finish the task. The Bible knows of no fractional 
freedom by which our Lord went only a portion of title 
way in securing our deliverance and we must go the rest. 
We are not told, " 'Behold the Lamb of God' which has 
begun to take e away the sin of the world' ** so that we 
must now carry on, earning our own pardon or having 
someone else, living or dead, secure it for us. This de- 
structive error contradicts the heart and essence of our 
Christian faith. When the Son of God, crucified at Cal- 



FAITH'S DISCOVERY: VICTORY AT HAND! 251 

vary, moaned out into the darkness enshrouding that 
scene of murder, "It is finished" the divine plan for the 
emancipation of the race was indeed completed, so that 
no man, saint, angel, or archangel can add anything to 
the redemption by Jesus. Sin, hell, and death are forever 
vanquished in His eternal victory. For this reason the 
Bible assures us, "There is . . . now no condemnation to 
them which are in Christ Jesus'' Therefore it promises the 
believers, "Sin shall not have dominion over you." 

Once more, then, I lay before you in Jesus' name this 
alternative: On the one hand, reject Christ, who is close 
beside you; refuse to believe the Gospel which you have 
now heard; turn away from the Lord's mercy which this 
message brings into your home, placed, as it were, right 
in front of you and you spurn the Son of God; you 
forfeit His guarantee of joy in this life and of everlasting 
radiance in heaven! On the other hand, accept Jesus; 
trust Him humbly but wholly as your own all-powerful 
Redeemer; return to Him in contrite repentance if you 
have willfully strayed from His outstretched arms and 
as those lepers found vast supplies, immeasurable riches, 
so your soul will discover in the Savior, before you in 
this vital moment of glorious deliverance, that every 
hostile force assailing your soul is defeated forever by 
His sure, blood-bought salvation! God grant that you will 
not make the tragic mistake of refusing His magnificent 
mercies which are nearer to you even than the radio 
bringing this plea! Are you sure and I am asking not 
only the men and women under arms, but also you 
civilians in the uncertainty of present-day life are you 
sure that the Lord of love will ever again be as close to 
you as He is now, that this personal appeal to accept 
Him will ever be repeated? If you do not come to Jesus 
in this world, you cannot approach Him in the next. 
There is no second chance. 



252 FAITH'S DISCOVERY: VICTORY AT HAND! 

Many of you are the Lord's, and I remind you that, 
after those lepers had made sure that some of the treasure 
was theirs, they ran back to the besieged city to bring 
the famished and dying the news of the victorious de- 
liverance. In a much higher degree, you, grateful for 
your blessings in Christ, deeply desirous of showing your 
thanks to Him who endured the shame and unspeakable 
agony of the cross, will likewise want to hasten out into 
this baffled, besieged world to bring men, famished for 
the truth, dying in spiritual ignorance, the message: "Tour 
foes are in flight! Victory now is yours in Jesus!" Testify 
to the Savior who has broken the siege of evil in your life! 

Will you not help this mighty mission of the air, 
spreading the message of Christ's mercy to all men, by 
giving us the pledge of your prayers and your gifts? 
During the past weeks God's grace has permitted us to 
add sixteen new stations in the Argentine, a chain of 
seven powerful outlets in Chile, a strong network of nine 
transmitters in Cuba and nine in Peru forty-one new or 
replaced stations in Latin America a mighty step for- 
ward in our spiritual Good Neighbor Policy. As amazing 
as this increase seems when we compare it with the small 
start we made ten seasons ago, it is hardly more than the 
beginning. It is our purpose to secure every available and 
suitable station throughout the world for the spread of 
the eternal Gospel. With your help and by our heavenly 
Father's promise we will succeed, because we have the 
sacred objective to proclaim the redeeming Christ, the 
atoning Lord of love, the resurrected Son of God; to help 
men and women come out from the siege imposed by 
their sins and sorrows, discover Jesus, and declare that 
He is theirs by faith, theirs freely, theirs completely, 
theirs assuredly. God help us in this privilege and task 
for our Savior's sake! Amen! 



Why Must We Suffer? 



"Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth" 
HEBREWS 12:6 



O God, Triune, True, and Eternal: 

Amid the sorrows of this heavy hour, teach us by Thy Spirit 
to approach our blessed Savior with all our burdens and 
worries, assured that He can and will help us! So increase 
our confidence in Christ, His power to save us to the utter- 
most and His divine love for our sin-bound souls, that we ac- 
cept adversity without protest or despair, convinced that "the 
sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared 
with the glory which shall be revealed in us" when we come 
home to Thee in heaven! Comfort especially all Thy children 
suffering from the agonies of war: the imprisoned, the starv- 
ing, the oppressed, the wounded, the dying! In their darkest 
hours help them believe that through Jesus, the sin-atoning 
Redeemer, their sorrow shall be turned to joy! Fervently we 
beseech Thee, O God of wisdom, power, and love: turn this 
war into peace; direct the course of the nation's leaders along 
the pathways of righteousness, guard our armed forces, bring 
many in this broad land to repentance and faith! Hear us for 
Jesus' sake, since our only help is in Him! Amen. 



WH, 



'HY does God permit this war to continue? 
How can He see millions killed or crippled for life with- 
out calling a halt to world-wide bloodshed and brutality? 
Where is the power if the Lord is almighty that can 
stop all the misery and cruelty with which our age has 
been cursed? Who can explain why, on the one hand, 
God is good, merciful, gracious, compassionate and, why 
on the other hand, every day men and women are crushed 
by agonies almost beyond their endurance? 

These are the questions of our disturbed day, asked 
253 



254 WHY MUST WE SUFFEK? 

not only by atheists and enemies of religion who contend 
that human suffering proves there can be no loving Deity, 
but also by bewildered believers, who, staggering under 
the burden of anguish, cry out, "Why must I bear this 
misery? How can God lay all this suffering on me?" 

Do not imagine for a moment, my afflicted friends, 
that you alone are troubled by the mystery of suffering. 
One of the earliest books in the Bible, the record of Job, 
deals with this difficulty. You feel the war's hardships; 
but has anyone in our audience sustained losses as large 
as Job's, when treacherous enemies captured his men, 
all his herds and flocks? Perhaps you have received a 
notification from Washington that your son was killed 
in action; Job lost seven sons and three daughters in 
a single day. Others among you are stricken by sickness, 
groaning in pain; Job suffered from a form of leprosy 
that made his body a mass of boils and sores the worst 
torture in this life Satan himself could devise. Family 
trouble has crossed many of your thresholds; misunder- 
standing between husband and wife may have marred 
your home happiness; yet, when Job, lying on an ash 
heap, scratching the inflamed, ulcerous surfaces of his 
body with a potsherd, cries desperately for help, his wife, 
who above all people should have brought comfort, 
taunted him for his trust in the Lord and cruelly sneered, 
"Curse God and die!" Then, when he found no human 
explanation of his agonies, Job turned to his Maker, 
asking, "Show me wherefore Thou contended with me!" 
(chapter ten, verse two). That old, but ever new question, 

WHY MUST WE SUFFER? 

Why this war? Why our personal pains? Why this great 
grief in our hearts? we shall answer with a word from 



WHY MUST WE SUFFER? 255 

Holy Scripture, the strengthening assurance in Hebrews, 
chapter twelve, verse six, "Whom the Lord loveth He 
chasteneihr 

I 

CHRISTIANS, UNLIKE UNBELIEVERS, DO NOT SUFFER 
BECAUSE GOD IS ANGRY WITH THEM 

When Job sought the reason for his torture, he ap- 
proached God. Only through the Almighty and His re- 
vealed truth can we, too, solve the enigma of pain. Our 
schools, our highly praised culture, our scientific research, 
are unable to explain sorrow. If godless education fails 
dismally as it often does in producing even outwardly 
good, clean, constructive lives; if a college president is 
imprisoned because of a serious crime; if a Chicago psy- 
chologist reveals that intelligence does not help avoid 
lawbreaking, how can we expect human reason to solve 
this inner problem of suffering? 

Yet, in their blindness, men reject divine guidance to 
insist that everything in life comes from chance, cruel or 
kind. Fate, they declare, smiles on some people, and they 
have an easy, rich, untroubled existence. Fate frowns on 
others, and they are beset with unnumbered difficulties. 
It is all a matter of luck. A man has no more control over 
his career, they tell us, than a blade of grass that may be 
trodden down in a moment, a leaf blown by the wind, 
a twig thrown into the river. Since we are only creatures 
of accident, they conclude, why not press every drop out 
of pleasure while we can and have our full fling before 
tomorrow comes and death with it? What a shocking 
mistake! How completely it fails in every crisis! We read 
recently of a marine en route to the Pacific battle front 
who talked atheism all the way from the United States to 
the Solomon Islands. No God could regulate human af- 



256 WHY MUST WE SUFFER? 

fairs, he told his shipmates; there was no hereafter which 
they should fear, no Savior, no inspired Bible, no Judg- 
ment to keep them from following their lusts and desires. 
Under fire in Guadalcanal, however, that boisterous de- 
nier of Christ meekly told his chaplain, "If this keeps up, 
I will be thinking the way you do." The rejection of 
the Almighty, the ridicule of Jesus, when put to the test 
of trial and affliction, always collapse. No matter how 
loudly scoffers may boast that they have defeated sor- 
row, when confronted by death, they are often overcome 
by terror. They know there is a God. Their conscience 
gives them no rest. They realize that they must stand 
before the bar of eternal justice. It was to help such men 
in their last hours that a prisoner in the Ohio State 
Penitentiary at Columbus requested our "Fear not, for 
I have redeemed thee!" wall motto, for the room where 
murderers, condemned to the electric chair, eat their 
last meal. 

Other skeptics have gone to the opposite extreme and 
declared that men suffer because they are weak. Learn 
to be hard, cruel, ruthless, they urge us. Smash all oppo- 
sition! Away with sympathy, kindness, and mercy! Down 
with love! Might makes right! Don't be a weakling, be 
a superman! That is the delusion of Europe's dictators 
and the cause of immeasurable misery. May it be totally 
wiped off the earth! 

If we now turn with Job from human failure to sacred 
truth and ask God in His Word why we endure pain, we 
must recognize that our text, "Whom the Lord loveth He 
chasteneth" implies a difference in the suffering inflicted 
on Christ's disciples and on God's enemies. You need not 
search long or deeply in the Scriptures to learn why un- 
believers meet reverses and anguish. They are under 
wrath; their sorrow is the punishment for their sins. 



WHY MUST WE SUFFER? 257 

If you put the question, Wliat is the reason for this 
world war? I answer, This conflict is a punishment for 
every unbeliever. If you continue, Why does God not 
stop this bloodshed today? the explanation again is this: 
In the sight of our almighty and all-holy Lord men have 
not yet paid sufficient penalty for their wickedness. Di- 
vine wisdom has permitted our country to be attacked 
because too many Americans have been God-less, Christ- 
less., faithless. God gave us more churches than most 
other nations. Yet more than 55 per cent of our citizens 
have no membership in any congregation. On an average 
Sunday more than half of those who call themselves be- 
lievers are not found in their houses of worship. Many 
who do attend hear a denial of God's truth, the rejection 
of our Savior's atonement, an attack on the hope of the 
resurrection. God gave the United States stalwart Chris- 
tian schools founded on firm faith with loyalty to Jesus, 
their Cornerstone; but human reason has dethroned sa- 
cred revelation in many of these classrooms. The Lord 
gave us homes, the best history has known; but we have 
gone further than most other nations in permitting them 
to be broken. Can you not see, therefore, that the visita- 
tion of this struggle cries out with bleeding emphasis to 
every unbeliever in the country: "Repent! Get right with 
God!"? Before winning the war and winning the peace, 
we must win divine favor. 

Some of you may be smiling in a superior, cynical way 
at this plea for a return to the Almighty; many of our 
soldiers in the fields do not favor such ridicule. A chaplain 
in the Aleutians told me that his men read God's Word 
and give themselves to prayer, since they realize how 
quickly they may face death. A young lieutenant who has 
met the enemy face to face writes: "I plead: Tell America 
to pray! This war will not end until nations and peoples 

Tenth Lutheran Hour 17 



258 WHY MUST WE SUFFER? 

have paid in blood and tears for thrusting Christ out of 
their hearts and countries. Tell them to send Bibles and 
more Bibles!*' He continues, "You complacent, bridge- 
playing, cocktail-drinking mothers, why don't you teach 
your son about God instead of handing him a cigarette 
and dance program? Get down on your knees and ask 
God to forgive your sins and then pray for the Army! 
Pray! Pray! Pray! And you preachers" (he refers to the 
Christ-denying moralists, book reviewers, news commen- 
tators, Modernists and Sadducees, in the American pul- 
pits), "why don't you teach the people to pray? Only 
repentance for sins can stop the shellings and the killing/' 
He adds, "I would like to have this letter broadcast over 
every radio in America." We have done our part in com- 
plying with his request, because we are completely con- 
vinced that the Church's mission for our land in this 
hour must be the continued appeal for contrition and 
return to God. 

Therefore to every unbeliever I say pointedly: If you 
have met reverses more crushing than you have ever 
known; if you must endure grief and hardship heavier 
than you have ever been forced to carry, do not try to 
console yourself with the vain hope that your fortune will 
change and your difficulties will soon disappear! Why 
clench your fist against the Almighty and boast that you 
will conquer your calamities? Without the Lord Jesus you 
are beaten before you start, doomed to perpetual defeat 
Stop resigning yourself to bitterness or despair; rather be 
honest, fair, open enough to hear what God says about 
the sorrows encircling your life! Admit that you are pay- 
ing for your own stubborn rebellion against the Lord, 
that even now you are beginning to experience the tenor 
of God's everlasting wrath! If everything has gone wrong 
in your life, do not attack God, blame luck or chance, 



WHY MUST WE SUFFER? 259 

censure your family or your friends! Accuse yourself; and 
as the Spirit now urges you to cease your resistance, ap- 
proach Christ, plead fervently, "O 'God, be merciful to 
me, a sinner* an unbeliever, a blasphemer, a scoffer! For- 
give me for Jesus* sake!" 

That prayer and the faith behind it will help give 
you the second, the strengthening answer to our question 
"Why must we suffer?" the assurance which only those 
blessed by Christ can ever have. When you believe that 
the Son of God is your Redeemer and realize that with- 
out the Savior you are hopelessly, eternally, irrevocably 
lost, rejected by the great and glorious Lord of eter- 
nal justice, damned to hell, and then, when you take 
these glorious passages, "God so loved the world that 
He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth 
in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life"; or, 
Christ "loved 9 us "and gave Himself for" us; or, "He was 
wounded for our transgressions., He was bruised for our 
iniquities'' and you apply their comfort so completely to 
yourself that you can say, " 'God so loved? me 'that He 
gave His only begotten Son "; and, again, "Christ 'loved 
me, 'and gave Himself for 9 me"; and again, "'He was 
wounded for my 'transgressions, He was bruised for 
my 'iniquities "; when you find the central power of the 
Christian faith in the Savior's becoming your Substitute, 
suffering for your sins, paying their penalty, serving the 
sentence of their guilt then, by the joy of this inner 
conviction you know you are God's. Christ has removed 
every barrier between you and your heavenly Father. 
All the dark-red stains of many sins which could send 
your soul to hell have been washed away by His holy, 
precious blood. You are convinced that notwithstanding 
the accusing voice of conscience, the fears of your own 



260 WHY MUST WE SUFFER? 

doublings, the contradictions of unbelieving men, you 
are saved completely, eternally. 

When I assure you that God loves you and because 
you are Christ's He will not punish you in His anger, this 
does not mean, of course, that Christians will not suffer. 
Indeed, as a group, they have always endured much more 
of the world's hostility and carried a larger burden of 
agony than most unbelievers. The Apostle's ultimatum, 
once addressed to the believers, still holds true, "We must 
through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.' 9 
In the years ahead Christians may be tried as never be- 
fore. But when God's Word strengthens believers with 
the pledge, "There is therefore now no condemnation to 
them which are in Christ Jesus," it also tells them that 
they will no longer be punished for their sins, since our 
Lord praise be His matchless mercy! paid the full 
penalty, completely atoned for every transgression, re- 
moved the curse of all evil from our lives. Jesus ( and you 
can find His name in the New Testament *more than 
seven hundred times, to give you more than seven hun- 
dred assurances of your salvation) Christ (and you can 
find that name likewise more than 350 times, to give you 
more than 350 promises that He is your anointed, long- 
promised Redeemer from ruin), the blessed Savior, prom- 
ises you in His unbreakable Word that, because you are 
His, the changing events which crowd into your life come 
from your heavenly Father's love, His mercy, His all- 
seeing wisdom, His tender devotion to your soul's sal- 
vation. Beneath the cross you are persuaded although 
you can never fully understand and this contradicts every- 
thing men may try to tell you that God permits sick- 
ness, loss, sorrow, pain, a hundred kinds of suffering, 
to overtake you because He loves you. "All things" and 
we must refuse to restrict Scripture "all things": sick- 



WHY MUST WE SUFFER? 261 

beds and sorrow, loneliness and opposition, accident and 
mental anguish, disaster and even death itself, "work 
together -for good to them that love God. 9 ' Therefore our 
text assures us, "Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth." 

H 

CHRISTIANS, THROUGH CHRIST, SUFFER BECAUSE 
GOD LOVES THEM 

See how this promise proves itseH in the individual 
Christian's life! Here is a man, for instance, who, like 
many of you, enjoyed the blessing of a pious home and 
the guidance of devout parents. Years ago life was a 
struggle for him; but the Lord was good, granted him 
success and a comfortable income. Hardly had the first 
rays of prosperity begun to shine on Him, when he made 
the mistake of which every one of us in our proud self- 
esteem is guilty: he began to think that he himself was 
responsible for these blessings, that the little church 
where he had worshiped was too small and unnoticed, 
too narrow and strict, because it proclaimed the old 
Gospel of grace, insisted that besides Jesus Christ <e there 
is none other name under heaven given among men 
whereby we must be saved! 9 Gradually he neglected his 
private prayer; his family no longer found time to join 
in reading the Bible and in winging their petitions to the 
Throne of Mercy. Now, because God loved that man and 
had chosen him as His own, the Almighty had to prevent 
him from ruining his soul. You ought to see clearly, then, 
that when this man, in deadly danger of forfeiting heaven, 
began to lose his money, health, family happiness, this 
visitation came from divine grace, not anger, from the 
Lord who says, "I chasten you because I love you/' 

The hardships of this war have come to many of you 
who are Christ's for the same remedial purpose: to call 



262 WHY MUST WE SUFFER? 

you closer to God. When the Nazis bombed Coventry, 
the local cathedral was demolished. Yet the bombs which 
fell on the ancient structure tore the plaster from its 
walls, revealing two pictures of Jesus, more than four 
hundred years old. They had been painted on the original 
cathedral walls but had been covered with plaster at the 
time the building was enlarged and improved, thus re- 
maining concealed until the raid. Similarly in our lives it 
often requires disaster to blast away the covering with 
which, particularly when financial success enlarges and 
improves our prosperity, we shut out the Savior. 

Again, when the Bible declares, "Whom the Lord 
loveth He chasteneth" we are assured that through the 
present conflict our heavenly Father speaks earnestly to 
His Christians, urging them to recognize His love even 
more deeply, to cling more closely to Jesus, to redeem the 
time more carefully. The war, by the Holy Spirit's guid- 
ance, is bringing thousands of our fighting men nearer to 
God. A veteran marine sergeant from Cleveland, who 
fought through to the victory at Guadalcanal, asks, "Do 
the marines pray?" and then answers, "They pray un- 
ashamedly, and often aloud." He tells of one boy in his 
outfit who wrote home to his parents: c< You had a hard 
time making me go to church when I was at home. Well, 
you won't when I get back/* 

It is to be regretted deeply, however, that masses in 
the United States stubbornly, willfully, continuously, re- 
ject the lesson this war would teach. Unlike our fighting 
men, they have not seen bloody battles. Instead of risk, 
danger and loss, the conflict has brought them unequalled 
income, undreamed-of prosperity. In the month remain- 
ing before March 15 they are much concerned about what 
they owe the Government; yet in their narrow, selfish, 
ungrateful way they do not even consider the tremen- 



WHY MUST WE SUFFER? 263 

dous debt of gratitude they owe the Lord for permitting 
them to enjoy these blessings and the Christ for giving 
Himself as their redemption. I shudder to think of the 
penalty to be paid by those who, when God speaks to 
them, shut their eyes, close their ears, and refuse to heed 
the correcting, warning appeal for repentance. I pray that 
the Almighty will use this World War as a purging fire 
and send His cleansing Spirit into the souls of heroic 
Christian men and women who with new and undaunted 
courage will proclaim the Gospel, "the power of God 
unto salvation." 

A celebrated physicist has said that if 2 per cent of the 
people in any country believe in a project completely, 
cling to it despite all opposition, work for it without inter- 
ruption, insist on it without compromise, they will even- 
tually win the whole country for their program. While 
we realize from Scripture that also in our country "many 
are called, but few are chosen" we know just as as- 
suredly that, if 2 per cent of our Christians that means 
about 2,600,000 would throw themselves body and soul 
into the task and sacred privilege of evangelizing Amer- 
ica; if they would demand that their pulpits resound with 
messages of courage and faith in the Savior's redemption; 
if they would live Christ and preach Christ; if with the 
restless zeal and tireless energy men show for political 
and social projects, they would give up all for Jesus, with 
the glorious conviction of ultimate victory, then an elec- 
trifying religious awakening would begin in the United 
States, and the sufferings of war, by the miracle of divine 
mercy, could be turned into the profit of spiritual peace. 
Only a small, salt-of-the-earth group, under divine grace, 
is required to bring multitudes of troubled hearts and 
lives this amazing message of the Savior's love: *Yot*f 
sorrow shall be turned into joy" Fellow worshipers, I ask 



264 WHY MUST WE SUFFER? 

now in that Redeemer's name: Will you who know "the 
grace of the Lord Jesus Christ" be among those who with 
the Spirit's blessing can help build the faith triumphant 
over trials in the hearts of your countrymen? God grant 
that here and now you resolve, "I will!" 

We find comfort in this truth, "Whom the Lord loveth 
He chasteneth" when we also believe that the Almighty 
permits suffering in order to make us realize His power 
and prepare us through affliction for higher responsibil- 
ities, increased blessings. One day Nathaniel Hawthorne 
came home with the sad news that he had been dis- 
charged from his position at the Salem Custom House. 
It seemed that his life was ruined. However, this loss 
was a disguised blessing. For now, with his wife's help, 
he could devote himself entirely to writing. He might 
have stayed at the Custom House for the rest of his 
life and remained an obscure official. But through that 
loss he gained international renown. Trust God in your 
own life, convinced that He who takes away what you 
regard as necessary for happiness can compensate you 
a hundredfold! 

Perhaps by the marvels of Jesus' mercy you are being 
prepared for triumph through trials. Some supposed treas- 
ure to which your heart was firmly attached has been 
torn from your tight grasp, only to grant you superior 
boon and blessing. Job experienced that truth. The Lord 
gave him ten children to take the place of those who had 
been killed; and He restored doubly everything else the 
afflicted patriarch had lost in war. The Almighty's help- 
ing hand is not shortened today. He is the same God with 
whom "nothing shall be impossible" to those who call 
Him Father in Christ. 

Again, we know that "whom the Lord loveth He 
chasteneth" to create sympathy and increase brotherly 



WHY MUST WE SUFFER? 265 

love. Even Christians who have received Jesus' "new com- 
mandment'' "Love one another!" and who should reflect 
their Savior's devotion still have so much of the old Adam, 
the selfish, human nature within them, that they are not 
always considerate o their suffering fellow men and 
grumble too easily over life's small inconveniences. Some 
people are deeply dissatisfied with the rationing of shoes 
although they have more than an adequate supply. I wish 
they could hear the story of Mama Tumpwa in the Bel- 
gian Congo, a leper, but a firm believer in the Lord Jesus. 
The dread disease has already eaten away her toes and 
is fast destroying her feet She has no shoes at all, and 
in her poverty she uses scraps of discarded rubber as 
knee pads, with which she literally crawls each Sunday 
to the mission to hear her Savior's promises. When they 
ask her, "Mama Tumpwa, how do you feel today?" she 
answers with the optimism of Christian courage, "A little 
bit well." God often permits us to endure agonies which 
others also bear so that we will know the intensity of 
their pain and comfort them in their misery. And what 
can more directly help heal war's wounds and promote 
a feeling of brotherhood among all sufferers, despite their 
differences in race and nationality, than this feeling of 
Christian sympathy which flows from the love of Jesus? 
Because the believer finds in trial and tribulation 
proof positive of his Father's love, you should ask the 
Holy Spirit for a faith which bows submissively before 
the divine will and refuses to charge God with cruelty! 
The Seminary gardener this week began his spring prun- 
ing on our campus, and huge piles of branches have 
already been cut off. The shrubs and trees thus thinned 
out seem to shiver in the February cold. Not thought- 
lessness or cruelty, but a deep interest in the proper 
growth and spread of the foliage prompts this priming. 



266 WHY MUST WE SUFFEK? 

In a similar way, Jesus says, we must be purged by crit- 
ical, contrary forces, so that we may bring forth more 
and better fruit. Tens of thousands of operations were 
performed in this country alone during the last week, 
but can the surgeons who removed diseased parts of the 
body and performed amputations reasonably be branded 
as heartless because their patients suffered pain? Why, 
then, accuse God of cruelty, when He cuts from our lives 
everything that endangers our souls? 

Trust the Lord even though you wonder why par- 
ticularly those who are Christ's seem to suffer the most! 
Henri Neil Reichelt, the son of a pastor in New Milf ord, 
New Jersey, was a seaman on the cruiser Juneau. In one 
of his last letters to his parents Henri wrote, "When the 
decks are cleared and the Juneau swings into action, 
every man from Captain Swenson down to tihe youngest 
blue-jacket prays, and, if he can, reads a Bible verse or 
glances into his book of prayer/' Yet the Juneau, with 
its praying captain and praying crew, was sunk off Gua- 
dalcanal in November; and Henri Reichelt, that God- 
fearing young man, was one of those whom it carried 
to their death. We ask, 'Why?" and Jesus tells us, "What 
I do thou knowest not now: but thou shalt know here- 
after'; His Word assures us: "My thoughts are not your 
thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. 
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My 
ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your 
thoughts! 9 ' Some day, in the radiance of that higher, 
fuller, better knowledge, we shall receive the answer to 
the repeated why's. I can promise you on the basis of 
God's unbreakable truth that we shall discover divine 
healing in every hurt, spiritual remedy in each reverse; 
that, if we suffered with Christ on earth, we shall reign 
with Him in heaven. Wait "patiently for the Lord 9 ! Wait 



WHY MUST WE SUFFER? 67 

joyfully even amid heartbreaking sorrows! His deliver- 
ance is sure. No sorrow can ever overshadow you which 
will not end in God's right time and in His good way. 

Men and women of mighty faith who found advantage 
in affliction have been able to join the Apostle Paul and 
rejoice in their infirmities. It takes the highest trust to 
enjoy that triumph over suffering. I read recently of a 
woman left alone by her husband in the heart of the Zulu 
country many miles from the nearest white settler. One 
day she saw a hideously painted savage peeping in the 
window. With a scream she bolted the door, locked the 
shutters, reached for her rifle and threatened to shoot 
him. He refused to go; after a while he managed to 
thrust a white envelope under the door. Suspicious, the 
woman grasped it only to find a letter entrusted by her 
husband to this Zulu messenger, whom he had selected 
to bring her word from him. You can understand, then, 
how, during the lonely weeks that followed, the pioneer 
woman, though terrorized by that fiercely marked savage, 
would still look eagerly for his return, since he would 
bring loving greetings from her beloved husband, In 
much the same way we recoil at the approach of afflic- 
tion; yet, as soon as we rise to the heights of victorious 
faith and know that this is the way our Father chooses 
in expressing His devotion to us, we can welcome the 
hardest blows as evidences of His deepest affection. 

Is not this the answer you need for the age-old ques- 
tion, "Why must we suffer?" the assurance that once 
you have Jesus, you are chastened because God loves you 
as His preciously redeemed, protects you as the apple of 
His eye? Is not this Savior the help you need with in- 
creasing urgency during these turmoil days, when some 
of you have already faced the fierce fires of affliction, 
disaster, even death in your family circles, and when all 



268 WHY MUST WE SUFFER? 

of you must be prepared to meet tremendous personal 
and national issues? 

May God give you Christ and lead you to give your- 
selves, wholly, contritely, trustingly to Him! As the Re- 
deemer now appeals to you, the burdened, the afflicted, 
the sick, the lonely, the bereaved, the helpless, "Come 
unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will 
give you rest!" may the Holy Spirit fill your heart with 
that victorious faith by which, contrite yet confident, you 
join in this answer: 

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind; 

Sight, riches, healing of the mind, 
Yea, all I need, in Thee to find, 

O Lamb of God, I come, I come. 

Amen 



Softly the Savior Calls 

"A great and strong wind rent the mountains and 
brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the 
Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an 
earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earth- 
quake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the 
Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still 
small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, 
that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went 
out arid stood in the entering in of the cave." 
1 KINGS 19: 11-13 

O God, Our Faithful Father: 

Send us Thy holy, enlightening, purifying Spirit, through 
whom we may now hear Christ's gentle voice pleading that 
we accept Him as our only Savior, spurn temptation, find 
comfort and courage in Scriptures promises! Show us again 
that because we have cleansing in Jesus' blood, salvation in 
His atonement, life in His death, we can trust Him wholly in 
every need of soul or body; that the Holy Spirit's voice within 
our Bibles and within us, through faith, is the only guide we 
need for earth and heaven! In their danger and loneliness 
speak comfortingly to our men and women in the armed 
forces, and above the roar of battle let them hear the pledge 
of the Redeemer's presence for all who believe! Spread Thy 
Gospel mightily throughout the world and use it as a divine 
means for ending this conflict, granting us the triumph of 
truth and all men on earth the blessings of a righteous peace! 
Hear us, O Father, as in Jesus' name we pledge ourselves 
anew to hear and heed the Spirit's voice within us! Amen. 



the nation pauses to honor George Wash- 
ington's memory, Americans should recall our first Presi- 
dent not only as a soldier, a statesman, an executive of 
outstanding achievement, but, above all, as a humble 
follower of Jesus. Washington's loyalty to his Redeemer 

269 



270 SOFTLY THE SAVIOR CALLS 

was greater even than Ms heroic devotion to his country. 
He recognized how completely the welfare of the colonies 
required divine blessing and understood in a personal, 
powerful way that the only true God, without whom we 
could never win, but with whom we could never lose, 
was the God of the Bible, revealed to men in the Lord 
Jesus, the Redeemer of the world. Openly Washington 
confessed that faith. As a young man of twenty he copied 
reverent prayers centering in Christ's atonement Until 
his death he did not shrink from giving loyal testimony. 
It was not flattery but absolute truth when his funeral 
orator proclaimed: "Let the deist reflect on this and 
realize that Washington, the savior of his country, did 
not disdain to adore and acknowledge the great Savior, 
whom deists and infidels affect to disdain and despise." 

Christ-centered faith sustained our country's father in 
the dark hours of the Revolution, when American men in 
arms, paid in paper money, could hardly buy a full meal 
with a month's wages; when 1,300 soldiers set out to 
secure their rights from Congress at the point of the 
bayonet; when bloody footprints at Valley Forge marked 
the pathway of suffering. Washington had to contend 
with the personal ambition of his officers, the divided in- 
terests of the colonies, the menace of mutiny in his armies, 
the lack of financial support. Yet whenever he became 
disheartened, he took his heavy problems to God. Alone, 
far from .his headquarters, he knelt humbly to implore 
guidance in Jesus' name. The Lord answered him. The 
quiet, but unmistakable voice of the Almighty gave him 
both the assurance of his own salvation and the pledge of 
power for his cause. 

Thank God, the same Savior who spoke to Washing- 
ton in those difficult days will speak to every one of us, 
especially the discouraged or distracted, and call us to 



SOFTLY THE SAVIOR CALLS 271 

faith and fortitude. Though we sin frequently, the merci- 
ful, compassionate Redeemer will speak to every penitent 
heart. For Scripture gives us this blessed assurance: 

SOFTLY THE SAVIOR CALLS 

To appreciate this grace more fully and to understand 
that our Lord comes to us not in loud and mighty move- 
ments, but gently, personally, in His Word and through 
His Spirit, let us learn and apply the lesson presented by 
our text (First Kings, chapter nineteen, verses eleven to 
j&irteen) : "A great and strong wind rent the mountains 
and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the 
Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earth- 
quake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after 
the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; 
and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when 
Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle 
and went out and stood in the entering in of the cave" 



CHRIST CALLS AND COMFORTS US - NOT IN 
A TERRIFYING, DESTRUCTIVE VOICE 

Even stalwart heroes of faith can become discouraged 
anddfcheartenedj as the story oTEBjaK^flight showsT 
"AJtefGoHnadanswered his prayer on Mount Carmel by 
sending fire to consume his sacrifice, together with the 
altar, the zealous prophet thjDughtjhatJs^^ peni- 

Jently return to Jehovah, that thetyrannyof AHaBTinSr 
his wicked wife JezebeTwould be destroyed forever. He 
soon learned the discouraging fact that the iQasses inpm 
moment can cry, as they did at Carmel, "The Lord, He 
is the God; the Lord, -He is the God!" yet in meloexTbow* 
at heathen shrines. He also experiepced' tfaefggrfuLjfc. 
tempts at vengeance by a spurned, fmstrated^womSi-Tor 



272 SOFTLY THE SAVIOR CALLS 

Jezebel had sworn with a heavy oath that she would kill 
Elijah. Because her agents were stauonedlhrougtout the 
country, he had to escape quickly, secretly. He hurried 
across the border from Samaria into Judah, and still he 
was not safe. Hardly resting to regain his strength, he 
sped on to Beersheba, the southern edge of civilization; 
but he dared not stop even here. Headlong he plunged 
into the stony wilderness, .Ostm^ 
aess, reproaching the Almighty for the persecution now 
heaped on him. So this was the -> j)L^^ to 

Jehovah! This was the reward for the unfl^cKmg^efense 
of his God! He told himself that his work had failed 
completely, that nobody besides himself believed in the 
Lord of hosts. Banished from his homeland like a hunted, 
haunted creature there in the desert, he wanted to die on 
the spot and end the disgrace, the despair of it all. The 
Almighty spurned his plea for death; instead, He mi- 
raculously strengthened the prophet; and as soon as his 
strength revived, he resumed his flight. If he must live, 
so he concluded, he would remain exiled from his fellow 
men to endure his persecution alone, unseen. Farther he 
plunged into the rocky, waterless waste, through the heat 
and blister of forty days, through the cold and darkness 
of forty nights, until he made his uncharted way down 
death-filled ravines and over dizzy heights to Horeb, 
where J550jrears before Jehovah had appeared to Moses. 
There on the lo&ely boulder-strewn mountainheToimJ 
a cave and hid himself in its dark recesses. As we see his 
form disappear into the shadows of that rocky dungeon, 
we ask ourselves; "Is this fugitive from God and man the 

" *-< -^-- 1 <-* 

same Elijah who on Mount Carmel challenged powerful 
enemies without flinching? Can this be the hero who in 
other crisis moments readily faced death in championing 
God's cause? 'How are the mighty fallen!' 99 



SOFTLY THE SAVIOR CALLS 273 

We might doubt that men of Elijah's fearlessness 
could run away and surrender to bitterness, were it not 
for the fact that the same tragedy is repeated, in prin- 
ciple, today. The only difference is that now many people 
do not wait until their lives are threatened before they 
become discouraged; they lose heart at the first raffling 
of their feelings. Men and women in this audience, I am 
sure, have left their church because they felt God had 
failed them when they lost their business, their home, 
their health; and all the while the Lord was planning to 
strengthen their faith. Some of you, your letters reveal, 
are staying away from divine services, leading resentful, 
secluded lives, because of a petty slight, a personal rebuff 
you think you received in the ladies' aid society, the choir, 
or the congregational meeting. You are going to show 
that you can get along quite well without them, though 
the selfish, revengeful hatred within you is shriveling 
your spirit every day you live, increasing the eternal 
danger to your soul. Before we criticize Elijah, hidden 
in Horeb's cave, let us be honest enough to admit: if we 
American Christians had to suffer only a small portion of 
the hatred heaped against that man of God, most of us 
would be far more resentful, louder in accusing our 
heavenly Father! 

In the marvel of His compassion the Lord approached 
disheartened Elijah. The Creator w|to strewed the stars 
and planets across the expanse of space, the God who 
directed the course of the centuries through history's 
mighty upheavals, that supreme Ruler of the nations 
shows His love for an impatient, fear-weighted prophet. 
Build your hope on this truth that our heavenly Father, 
before whom angels shield their faces, still deals with 
individual, sinful men! Because Jesus Christ, true Lord 
and true Savior, came to "seek and to save that which was 

Tenth Lutheran Hour 18 



274 SOFTLY THE SAVIOR CALLS 

lost'' believe that He will come to you, whoever and 
wherever you are! You, too, may be far out on life's 
barest desert; you may shun your friends or be shunned 
by them; you may- have outlived your beloved one, even 
your children, and exist friendless, alone; but through 
faith in the Redeemer the same God who found and com- 
forted His bewildered prophet in the cave at Horeb will 
bring you hope and consolation, No one is beyond His 
reach, because no one is beyond His love. As this broad- 
cast comes to you, the lonely, separated from your fam- 
ilies by stubborn sin and selfishness; as the miracle of 
radio sends this message through heavy granite walls 
and steel bars to you in prison cells, may it show you 
that the Lord has found you, that His message of com- 
fort in this moment is directed individually, pointedly to 
you! A few years ago a foreign correspondent told how 
the Prince of Wales inspected a small British hospital 
for hopelessly disabled victims of the First World War. 
He went from one cot to the other, shook hands with 
the men who had given more for their country than you 
and I can realize. Before leaving, the Prince asked the 
head nurse: "I was informed that there were thirty-six 
men here, but I have met only twenty-nine. Where are 
the rest?" He was told the others were so hideously dis- 
figured that most visitors were unable to stand the shock 
of seeing them. He insisted on visiting them and was led 
into a small room to behold the wrecked bodies of men, 
some with features so ghastly and shocking that they 
had to be veiled. To them likewise the royal visitor gave 
what comfort he could. As he turned to leave, he counted 
the beds and said to the nurse, "I have seen only six 
men here. Where is the seventh?" Falteringly she ex- 
plained: the seventh man's disfigurement was so horrify- 
ing that absolutely no one except a few hospital author- 



SOFTLY THE SAVIOR CALLS 275 

ities ever went near his bed. He had a room for himself 
and would not leave it until carried out a corpse. "Your 
Highness/' the nurse concluded, "please don't ask to see 
him!" The Prince did ask, and a few moments later he 
stood beside the maimed, misshapen form of what had 
once been a man, but now was an indescribable, living 
horror. For a moment the heir to Britain's throne paused 
to take hold of himself; his face was white and grim; his 
eyes twitched; tears rolled down his cheeks; suddenly 
he bent over and kissed that shunned, broken body. 
Rarely do earthly rulers show this interest in sufferers 
and outcasts, but such seeking of the utterly destitute is 
the Savior's exceptionless mission of mercy. "They that be 
whole," He says, "need not a physician" as He comforts 
the sick and sorrowful, the disheartened and distressed, 
the lonely and forsaken. While the visit from the Prince 
of Wales could momentarily cheer those sufferers, Christ, 
the Prince of Peace, offers forgiveness, light, strength, 
salvation, eternal life. No worldly power, human might, 
influence of wealth or position can grant the sinner the 
rich blessing God gives him through the Savior. 

How did the Lord come to Elijah? We read in the 
text that after he had entered the cave "a great and strong 
wind rent the mountains and brake in pieces the rocks 
before the Lord" A screaming, devastating hurricane^, 
such as the prophet or any other malTTiaff^never seen 
before, lifted huge granite boulders and sent them flying 
through space, as though they were grains of dust. Yet 
we read, "The Lord was not in the wind." Almost im- 
mediately after the wind subsided, the earth began to 
tremble, the fastnesses of the mountain shook, the^ground 
rose and fell as the billows of these^^ 
noiTrT^i^^ tremors stopped, 

when theJjisosdJhe^oar^pEjSre swept over the heights; 



276 SOFTLY THE SAVIOR CALLS 

yet when the red flames died out, the prophet knew that 
"the Lord was not in the fire." All nature had been tre- 
mendously convulsed, overwhelming forces loosed; still 
God had not spoken to him by these powerful demonstra- 
tions. Elijah's bitterness anc[jl^^ 

untouched; hewenFT5acF 



Millions in our day see a world filled with hurricanes 
of horror. They feel the foundations of civilization shak- 
ing, and they retreat farther into the darkness of their 
doubts. What will bring them out? War? Dictators build 
grandiose schemes, entice their fellow men into the bleed- 
ing and brutality by which empires are to be created; 
but God is not in their plans. The Almighty is no war 
lord who revels in slaughter and delights in anguish. He 
is the Lord of love in Christ. Do not listen to the people 
who tell you that the heavenly Father uses this conflict 
to make a better earth with bloodshed banished! The 
dream of a strif eless world is ruled out by God's inerrant 
Word. In our twentieth enlightened century, "war has 
reached a total eight times greater than in all previous 
centuries," says Harvard's Professor Sorokin. What reason 
is there to hope for improvement in the future? We 
should defend our country with all possible energy and 
resources, working and praying for an early, righteous 
victory. But let us be clear on this: war itself cannot save 
a single soul! 

Some want to lead mankind out of its darkness by 
establishing an entirely new postwar world. We hear of 
mighty international movements by which America is to 
help hold the other countries in check. Before we police 
the world, we ought to evangelize the world. Before we 
tell others what they are to do, we ought first of all put 
our own house m order. The control of the world by the 



SOFTLY THE SAVIOR CALLS 277 

United States, a League of Nations, an entirely new social 
order these mighty programs alone will never lead man- 
kind out of its darkness. We will thank heaven if men all 
over the earth enjoy the four freedoms: freedom of speech 
and worship, freedom from want and fear. First of all, 
however, they need the four spiritual freedoms: freedom 
of conscience, freedom from sin, hell, and death. 

Others maintain that the world must be saved by 
social upheavals, the fire and hurricane of godless Com- 
munism. It is claimed by a Congressional committee that 
even officials in responsible positions at Washington ad- 
vocate this overthrow of Americanism and Christianity. 
If this is true, they ought to be removed from office at 
once; for God is not in this atheistic destruction. 

Still others demand a tremendous spiritual movement, 
a return to religion; but they do not specify which re- 
ligion. Any kind of creed is certainly not enough. We like 
the positive conviction by which Sir George Hume, mem- 
ber of the British Parliament, declares: "What is needed 
above everything is a return to the Lord Jesus Christ, not 
merely as the example of a perfect man, but as the 
Savior, the only means by which we may be pleasing 
to God." The cry of this hour is not for powerful re- 
ligious federations and superorganizations; not for large, 
wealthy, socially important churches; not for intellec- 
tually brilliant pulpit orators; not for costly vestment 
and ecclesiastical parade; above all, not for recourse to 
the sword, lighting the fires of persecution, drafting the 
powers of the State to punish those of a different re- 
ligious persuasion. As we recall the streams of martyr 
blood that have flowed throughout these nineteen cen- 
turies, all the cruelty imposed by so-called Christian na- 
tions on people of the black race, the horrors suffered by 
the Jews under Nazi rule, we ought to understand clearly 



278 SOFTLY TESE SAVIOR CALLS 

that God is not in any movement, no matter how large, 
which is built on persecution and oppression, that He is 
doubly against all tyranny operating in the name of His 
Son, the loving Savior. 

II 

CHRIST CALLS US IN "THE STILL SMALL VOICE" 

After the three convulsions of nature had subsided, 
the prophet heard a "still small voice" To many it would 
have been merely a passing sound, a whisper; but to 
that man of God it was, at last, the assurance that the 
Lord Himself had come. As soon as Elijah heard it, "he 
wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in 
the entering in of the cave" That <f still small voice" pro- 
duced such reverence that he shielded his countenance 
from beholding his Lord, such obedience and comfort 
that it took him from the black recesses of the cave to 
its entrance, ready to hear and follow divine instruction. 

Throughout the centuries the Almighty has led men 
out of sin's night through the astonishing "still small 
voice" When in the fullness of time the climax of history 
dawned, and God sent His only-begotten Son to become 
the Mediator between heaven and earth, the Atonement 
for the sins of all the world, Jesus appeared, not as 
a resplendent conqueror with armored battalions, but as 
a helpless, outcast Baby, He was born not in a world 
capital but in a humble town of a few hundred souls. 
He lived not in a stately palace but in a laborer's hut. 
He worked not particularly with the high and mighty 
but among the lowly and exploited outcast. He spoke 
without pomp and circumstance, without fanfare or 
flourish. Only once is it recorded that He cried with 
a loud voice when He hung suspended on the cross, 
suffering in His own holy body the punishment for the 
iniquities of the whole hostile race, paying with His own 



SOFTLY THE SAVIOR CALLS 279 

life for His enemies' transgressions. After they had cruci- 
fied Him, they thought that the "still small voice" had 
been silenced forever. During the entire first century not 
a single Latin writer even mentions Jesus. When His 
name begins to appear in the second century, the heathen 
authors refer to Him grudgingly, sarcastically. Yet by the 
miracle of God's grace that "still small voice" becomes 
the means of drawing men from darkness to light, from 
sin to salvation, from social misery to the liberties which 
are ours in the United States today. Write this down as 
one of the assured facts of history: the Savior's quiet voice 
that the ancient world despised and modern skeptics 
reject has brought humanity the blessings it enjoys! 

Inestimably more important, however, is the truth that 
Jesus* "still small voice" offers the sinner His salvation, 
the lost soul its way to life and heaven. Every time you 
hear the story of your redemption through Christ's sub- 
stitutionary self-sacrifice; every time you behold Christ 
nailed to that instrument of death, suffering in your 
stead and in your behalf, that "still small voice" pleads 
withm you. God Himself speaks to you, beseeching you 
to be reconciled with Him by accepting the Savior's love. 
Every time you are led by that Spirit to tune in our mes- 
sage and remember, no man hears the Gospel simply 
by chance Christ Himself appeals to you through the 
Holy Spirit, entreating you to believe in Him, so that 
the blood which dripped from His lacerated head, His 
pierced hand, His riven side, may not be shed in vain 
for you. The "still small voice" of God's Son, the Re- 
deemer of your soul, now, in these moments, comes to 
you with the highest and holiest message that can ever 
make its way into your soul. You may try to ignore it; 
you may stamp your feet, clench your hands, grit your 
.teeth in stubborn unbelief; your hand may be ready to 
dial another station, but all the while the Savior is speak- 



280 SOFTLY THE SAVIOR CALLS 

ing to you. To avoid rejection by God, banishment from 
heaven and punishment in hell itself, for your own sal- 
vation, listen: "Sofdy and tenderly^ J5^ iL5^JffiSll 

Pleadingly He would say to you: "Why have you so 
often pushed away My outstretched arms? Why are you 
crucifying Me anew with your willful wickedness? Why 
do you doubt and deny? Why do you delay and post- 
pone? Come to Me, My dearly redeemed, for whom 
I shed My lifeblood, for whom I died the death of all 
deaths! Come to Me, for I have loved you 'with an ever- 
lasting love, 9 1 have pardon and peace, redemption and 
rest, for your weary, sin-sick souls. I have joy and life, 
heaven and eternity, for you! O come, come now, come 
trustingly, come triumphantly!" 

Drop everything when that voice pleads! Thousands 
are now praying with me that the Spirit will help you. 
Answer: "O Christ of Calvary's cross, I have heard Thy 
'still small voice' of heavenly love and power speak to 
my soul. And because Thou didst give Thyself for me, 
I give myself to Thee." That is all you must do to be- 
come a child of God. No initiation, no ceremony, no fee! 
No possibility of discrimination or rejection, for He prom- 
ises, "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out!* 
But you ask, "How can I come?" How did thejailer at 
PhiHpp* come? The Apostle Paul told him, "Believe on 
Hhe Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shall be saved!" He be- 
lieved and by his faith came to the Savior. How did Cor- 
nelius, the soldier at Caesarea, come to Christ? He heard 
Peter say, "Whosoever "believeth in Him [Jesus] shall re- 
ceive remission of sins" How has anyone accepted the 
Redeemer since that first Good Friday when the crucified 
thief looked up to behold Jesus, his King and the Lord of 
the heavenly paradise? How did the "ten thousand times 
ten thousand," the ransomed saints in white, accept the 



SOFTLY THE SAVIOR CALLS 281 

Savior? By joining a congregation? By signing their names 
to the church roster? By raising their hand at a revival? 
By stepping forward to shake the preacher's hand? You 
can do all that and yet remain far from Christ. First of 
all you must answer the "still small voice' by declaring: 
"Lord, I believe with all my heart that I am saved not 
by my own good works or good intentions, not by the 
virtues and merits of parents or pastor, saints or angels 
but by grace, through faith in Thy sin-destroying self- 
sacrifice on the cross. O Jesus, I trust Thee wholly." 
If today, before your radio in your own home, on the 
train, in an automobile, or wherever these words reach 
you, you hear the Savior's soft and tender voice and an- 
swer it in this way, you are Christ's. 

Then, of course, you will want to learn more of His 
marvelous mercy. You will hear Him say, "Be baptized' 11 
and you will want this "washing of regeneration? You 
will hear Him say, "Where two or three are gathered 
together in My name, there am I in the midst of them," 
and you will be eager to stand shoulder to shoulder with 
other believers in the true Church. Our broadcast and 
a nation-wide system of Gospel-preaching congregations 
behind it offer you this help, freely, gladly, thankfully. 
Will you not, while this "still small voice" speaks within 
you, write to tell us that you want to come closer to Jesus? 

To hear and heed Christ's gentle voice, you must meet 
Him in the words of Spirit, truth, and life found in your 
Bible, the passages of golden promise penned for all the 
world, but written particularly for you. More than ever 
Scripture must assume a decisive position in American 
lives. The Government is placing a New Testament into 
lifeboats and rubber rafts, because the experiences of 
this war have shown that men from torpedoed ships 
want God's unfailing Word. Why wait for crushing catas- 
trophes to read the Scriptures? The Bible should occupy 



282 SOFTLY THE SAVIOR CALLS 

an honored, prominent place in each home. It should be 
the Book of all books in every American life; for it is 
through this sacred, errorless, divinely inspired, eternal 
Volume that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit speak to 
us in the "still small voice" Therefore read and revere 
your Bible! Ponder and memorize its pledges! Hear it ex- 
pounded by true teachers who can rightly divide the 
divine Word! Don't waste your time on human and fal- 
lible theories of prophecy! Don't become involved in 
any side issues, but delve deeply and directly into the 
heart of the sacred Book to find Him to whom the in- 
spired writers, from Moses to Saint John, testify with one 
accord: Jesus Christ, the gracious God, the incarnate Son 
of the Highest, the Atonement for sin, your Friend in the 
needs of soul and body! 

The gentle voice of Jesus will help you resist tempta- 
tion. When you have grasped your Savior in faith and 
made Him your own in soul-deep trust, you not only have 
the highest Example of perfection, sinless and stainless, 
but you are also "bom again 9 ' into a new, pure, clean, 
noble life in which you begin to hate evil, to love good. 
When temptations arise, as they will, this "still small 
voice 9 guides you to say, "Get thee behind me, Satan, in 
the name of the Lord Jesus!" The reason some of you 
have fallen into heavy sin, denied your Savior, even 
allied yourselves with the enemies of His cross is plainly 
this, that, though your Lord's "still small voice' pleaded: 
"Fight the good fight of faith!" "Keep thyself pure!" "Re- 
sist the deviir "Watch and pray!" you spurned His ap- 
peal. You listened to the world rather than Christ. You 
followed the devil instead of your Redeemer, 

When the Almighty's "still small voice" spoke to Eli- 
jah at the opening of that cave, He granted him heavenly 
assurance. The Prophet had thought that he was the only 
believer left in Israel, but God declared, *I have left Me 



SOFTLY THE SAVIOR CALLS 283 

seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not 
bowed unto Baal" When you follow Christ's direction, 
you, too, will have 7,000 times as much help as you 
had without Him. The victory will be yours. By the Sav- 
ior's promise you can count on the resources of heaven, 
the vigilance of angel guardians, the protection of the 
Savior-Companion, no matter where you may be. Through 
Christ, you can face emergency, opposition, danger, death 
itself, with confidence in your heart because the "still 
small voice 9 ' whispers to your soul, "Fear not; for I have 
redeemed thee y I have called thee by thy name; thou art 
Mine!" 

Is not this the spiritual strength we need for our 
distracted day? Christians who follow the "still small 
voice" have no room for pessimism and cannot be de- 
feated. Whenever they feel that the forces of unbelief 
have gained the tipper hand, let them read these chapters 
in First Kings again to learn that finally Elijah was vic- 
torious; Ahab and Jezebel, destroyed. Translating this 
truth into the practical issues of our modern life we can 
confidently face the hardest trials and deepest sorrow 
these problem years may bring if we meet them in Christ. 
With joy in our hearts and a song on our lips we should 
repel the conspiracy of wicked men and hell's agents by 
this cry of confidence: *7f God be for us, who can be 
against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered 
Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely 
give us all things?" We need no earthly weapons with 
which to fight the Spirit's battle, for every Christian has 
"the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God" 
Bibles can win greater battles than armored divisions. 
Every Christian home has the power of family prayer in 
the Redeemer's name, and American households on their 
knees in prayer can help win more startling victories than 
air armadas. Every Christian church has the glorious 



284 SOFTLY THE SAVIOR CALLS 

Gospel, and when this is preached fearlessly, without 
human addition or restriction, it is mightier in our na- 
tion's defense than motorized battalions. Every true dis- 
ciple of the Lord has the example of his Savior's self- 
denial and service of love, even for those who persecute 
him. Because God has promised His aid "not by might, 
nor by power, but by My Spirit" Christian meekness can 
triumph over human brutality. When a brawny Highland 
sergeant in an Egyptian garrison was asked how he came 
to Jesus, he explained that his company had one out- 
standing Christian soldier who was humility itself. One 
night, after the company returned wet, tired, and muddy, 
that young disciple knelt in prayer. Filled with the sort 
of cruelty we can hardly grasp, the sergeant took off his 
boots, heavy with mud, and threw them at the kneeling 
man, striking him on the head. The soldier rose and re- 
tired. The next morning the sergeant found his shoes 
beautifully polished at the foot of his bed. "That was his 
reply to me," he said, "and it just broke my heart. I was 
saved that day." How true the Savior's words, "The meek," 
the Christians of the "still small voice" "shall inherit the 
earth 9 ! The victory is always theirs. 

Forward, onward, upward, then, you, God's children, 
who love the Lord Jesus and are guided by His pleading 
grace, His sustaining love, His deathless devotion, His 
strengthening power! The eternal triumph, the salvation 
of your souls, is yours in Christ; for as sure as He is your 
great and glorious God, your resurrected Redeemer, your 
living Intercessor at the Father's right hand, and the com- 
ing Judge of the quick and the dead, just so surely His 
"still small voice? fatally ignored and spurned by many, 
will become the hallowed voice of eternity, to grant those 
loyal unto death the welcome and blessing, "Well done, 
thou good and -faithful servant!" O God, keep us all for 
that glory, through Christl Amen. 



Jesus, Still the Storms 
of Life! 

"There arose a great storm of wind, and the 
waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 
And He [Jesus] was in the hinder part of the 
ship, asleep on a pillow; and they awake Him 
and say unto Him, Master, carest Thou not that 
we perish? And He arose and rebuked the wind 
and said unto the sea, Peace, be still! And the 
wind ceased, and there was a great calm" 
SAINT MABK 4:37-39 

O Christ, Who Didst Quiet the Raging Sea: 

Ijring the calm of Thy forgiving love into our storm-tossed 
lives by removing our sins many, repeated, grievous though 
they are! We ask this humbly, but confidently, because we 
believe in the cleansing power of Thy blood shed for us at 
Calvary. As once Thou didst still the wind and waves at 
Galilee, so, we earnestly beseech Thee, say: "Peace! Be StilU" 
to the turbulence of fear and worry in our hearts! Bid the 
tumult and terror of this war-racked world cease! Show us in 
every affliction that Thou, as our God and Savior, canst give 
us peace and joy! Bless our beloved nation and draw it closer 
to Thee in repentant trust! Shield our dear ones in the armed 
forces! They have left all to defend our country and need Thy 
constant presence. Turn the unconverted to faith in Thee and 
keep Thy followers in Thy divine protection! Particularly do 
we intercede today for the United States Navy and all those 
in peril on the sea. O Christ, let them be strong in body, clean 
in word, pure in mind, fervent in faith, and unswerving in 
loyalty to Thee! Send them home to us soon, O Jesus, with 
peace and a righteous victory! We ask this according to Thy 
will. Amen. 



LBOUT eighty years ago an English clergy- 
man named Whiting was sailing through the Mediter- 
ranean when a terrifying storm broke. With a fury the 

285 



286 JESUS, STILL THE STORMS OF LIFE! 

passengers had never before witnessed, the winds became 
a shrieking hurricane, and the towering waves threatened 
to crush the helpless craft. Since it was impossible to 
launch life boats, the passengers felt doomed, for no 
ship, not even the strongest, could withstand such wind 
or weather. Whiting, however, continued in heart-deep 
prayer, and by divine mercy the storm lost its power, and 
the ship was able to make port, This remarkable rescue 
might have been forgotten, had not Whiting, deeply 
grateful to God, penned the hymn, "For Those in Peril 
on the Sea," also called, "Eternal Father, Strong to Save." 
American naval men regard this as their most beloved 
hymn, At the close of each divine service in the Annapolis 
Naval Academy, the entire congregation kneels to sing 
this sacred song, and the custom of concluding worship 
with this prayer has spread to many ships at sea. Few 
other fighting forces show the deep devotion to the Lord 
Jesus contained in this second stanza: 

O Savior, whose almighty word 
The winds and waves submissive heard, 
Who walked'st on the foaming deep 
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep: 
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee 
For those in peril on the sea! 

As I thank Commander Green and Chaplain Calhoun for 
the privilege of originating this broadcast here in the 
United States Naval Air Station at Lambert Field, Mis- 
souri, I tell you men and women of our armed forces, 
especially in the Navy, that you need the guidance and 
encouragement these stanzas can bring you. If daily, with 
humble, trusting reliance on Jesus, you sincerely repeat 
the words of "Eternal Father, Strong to Save," He can 
give you calm and quiet for every storm-tossed moment. 
All of us soldiers, sailors, civilians, defense workers, 
parents, children, young and old should realize that in 



JESUS, STILL THE STORMS OF LIFE! 287 

perilous times like these, surrounded as we are by the 
worries of war and burdened by uncertainty concerning 
tomorrow, the course of many lives may well be pictured 
as an ocean journey. We begin with great hopes; but in 
a flash the storm clouds gather, the smooth sea is tossed 
into angry, destructive waves. Before we are aware of it, 
we find ourselves close to disaster, physically or spir- 
itually. In these survive-or-perish moments, when we are 
beyond human help, may we be given the grace to be- 
hold our Savior and pray, 

JESUS, STILL THE STORMS OF LIFE! 

As our merciful, majestic God He can grant us calm 
and quiet even during life's most turbulent tempest. To 
prove His mighty power, our text for this Sunday ( Saint 
Mark, chapter four, verses thirty-seven to thirty-nine) 
declares: "There arose a great storm of wind, and the 
waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And 
He [Jesus] was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on 
a pillow; and they awake Him and say unto Him, Master, 
carest Thou not that we perish? And He arose and re- 
buked the wind and said unto the sea, Peace, be still! 
And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm! 9 

I 

STORMS WILL BREAK UPON US: WE CANNOT 
CONQUER THEM ALONE 

The scene of this miracle is the Sea of Galilee; and 
the time, our Lord's first ministry to the forsaken, despised 
people in that northern territory. Jesus had come through 
a crowded but blessed day. In the morning He had 
spoken the first of His parables and, standing on the prow 
of a boat, had taught file multitudes precious truths con- 
cerning the kingdom of heaven. All that afternoon He 



288 JESUS, STILL THE STOKMS OF LIFEJ 

continued His divine instruction as the eager throng 
remained to hear this unparalleled Teacher. What a 
wonderful privilege for these underprivileged, oppressed 
Galileans to see Christ and catch every word of divine 
wisdom that fell from His lips! Yet what a task even 
for our Savior to preach hour after hour all through the 
sultry afternoon with the intense, personally directed ap- 
peal which marked His instruction! No effort was too 
arduous for Him if only it would kindle faith within 
the heart of a single hearer! In His tireless, self-sacrificing 
energy, servants of Christ should find an example and 
a challenge. More than ever Gospel messengers should 
be ready, if necessary, to wear themselves out in bringing 
the promises of His mercy to sin-stricken souls. 

When evening came, Jesus asked His disciples to sail 
across to the eastern shores of Galilee. Probably He 
needed complete rest away from the pressing throng, 
just as you should have quiet moments with your God 
in sweet hours of prayer, when you appear alone in your 
Redeemer's name before the Lord of heaven and earth. 
The reason some of you have gone backward in your zeal 
for Christ may be traced to the fact that you have been 
so overbusy with cares and worries, so overcrowded with 
your business and social contacts that you have not been 
able to follow the Savior's instructions, "Thou, when thou 
prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut 
thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret!" 

In connection with this journey across the lake, Mat- 
thew tells us that three men stepped out of the throng, 
desiring to become Christ's disciples. Although their 
motives were wrong and their understanding faulty, 
our Lord took time to hear and correct them. The one, 
a scribe, exclaimed with overconfidence, "Lord, I will 
follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest," only to hear 



JESUS, STILL THE STORMS OF LIFE! 289 

Jesus, emphasizing that discipleship would bring neither 
money nor position nor authority, declare pointedly, "The 
foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; 
but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head" 
In His name I am pledged to tell you who write me of 
your wish to enter the ministry, and you older folks who 
inquire about joining the Church: while I rejoice and 
thank God for your good intentions, never before in 
this country has discipleship brought with it the necessity 
of bearing the cross as in these years, when despite all 
outward emphasis on religion there is a deep-rooted, 
growing hatred for the message of His cleansing blood 
and life-giving death at Calvary. The second would-be 
disciple was a man who wanted to bury his father before 
casting his lot with Christ; and probably because Jesus 
knew that, if he went home, he would never become a 
real believer, the Lord warned him against going back 
and directed, "Follow Me!" Today the Son of God repeats 
these words to you who feel you should confess Him your 
Lord, yet are continually postponing the most blessed 
.privilege a man can ever have. Who knows in this un- 
certain age whether you will not hesitate and excuse 
yourself once too often and never have another chance 
of accepting your royal Redeemer? Now, while the Spirit 
pleads with you to be reconciled with God, is the best 
time for you to say: "O Jesus, I will turn away no longer. 
With the help of Thy Spirit I will follow Thee through 
life and deairh itself into eternal glory ." 

The third inquirer, impressed with the Savior's mes- 
sage, seemed eager to join Him; but first of all he, too, 
wanted to return to bid his friends farewell. Pointedly 
our Lord told him, "No man, having put his hand to the 
plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God' 9 
Today He would send many of you that same warning, 

Tenth Lutheran Hour 19 



290 JESUS, STILL THE STORMS OF LIFE! 

because you are turning back to the attractions and en- 
ticements of your old life. For the sake of your blood- 
bought souls go forward with Jesus! Forget the allure- 
ment and enticement of the past and "press toward the 
mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ 
Jesus' 9 ! 

Finally, after these delays, the ship got under way; 
and only a few moments later, it seems, the Savior, weary 
and worn after an exhausting day, was fast asleep in the 
stern, His head, which could have worn the crown of all 
earthly authority, resting on the helmsman's bench, His 
tired body stretched out on the bottom of the boat. As we 
pause to behold Him before whom angels in their glory 
shield their faces, what marvelous love we are privileged 
to witness! He whose heavy eyes have quickly closed is 
more than a self -sacrificing leader, preacher, teacher. He 
is our God; Sovereign of the air, land, sea; Ruler of the 
universe; Lord of lords, eternal, all-knowing, omnipotent. 

Do you object: "Explain how Jesus can be the Sov- 
ereign of heaven and still be overcome by this deep sleep. 
Prove that He is our God/' I cannot explain the super- 
human mystery of this marvelous truth that Christ is both 
divine and human; but 1 do not need to prove it, for in 
a few moments it was demonstrated beyond all question, 
when even the forces of nature obeyed Him. Throughout 
His ministry, by stupendous miracles which only He could 
perform; by His atoning death, in which He offered Him- 
self as the Ransom for all human sin; by His resurrection 
from the dead, our Lord gave convincing evidence that, 
far more than a great man, even the greatest of men, He 
was believe it for your soul's salvation! very God of 
very God. 

While we cannot analyze this mystery which even 
angels do not fully fathom, in the slumbering Jesus we 



JESUS, STILL THE STORMS OF LIFE! 291 

see the Savior, the evidence of Heaven's strongest love. 
Why, we ask ourselves, did He whose throne is in the 
celestial realms condescend to become one of us? Why 
did He leave His eternal glories to live among men who 
hated and persecuted Him, to die on the cross between 
two criminals? The answer can be found only in that end- 
less compassion for your soul by which He took upon 
Himself the reality, the penalty, the totality, of all your 
sins, fully paid their guilt, and at Calvary completely 
earned the ransom by which you can be forever freed 
from sin and Satan, death and damnation. 

It was not long after Jesus closed His eyes in much 
needed rest, when suddenly a terrifying tempest broke 
over the Sea of Galilee. This was an inland lake, 600 feet 
below sea level; and as the cold winds from near-by 
mountains swooped down to its surface, they churned its 
waters into seething madness. Breaking high over the 
sides, "the waves beat into the ship, so that it was . . . 
full" of water. A few moments before, the disciples had 
been serene, secure; now they were frightened for their 
lives so quickly did disaster descend upon them. 

With the same speed adversity can overtake us. Who 
knows what message of sorrow may come into our homes 
before this day draws to its close? With American armed 
forces in many corners of the earth, confronting trained 
and desperate enemies, death is close to millions of our 
countrymen. Let us face the facts and understand that 
hard, crushing grief may come to us, entirely unheralded! 
Not an alarmist, but a member of Congress, asserts that 
the United States will suffer at least 1,000,000 casualties 
this year. If this be true though we pray: "O God, stop 
this war! Save these young lives!" almost 1,000,000 
American homes will endure bitter afflictions. Because 



292 JESUS, STILL THE STORMS OF LIFE! 

our Secretary of War has predicted that the struggle will 
end, not this year, but one or two years hence, will you 
not agree with me when I say that we must be prepared 
for distressing reports of disaster? 

Where, then, can we find courage, guidance, strength? 
If we look only to ourselves, our own resources, scientific 
progress, and widely applauded programs, which have 
no room for the Almighty, then indeed we shall be like 
those disciples on Galilee. They were seasoned fishermen, 
acquainted with the treachery of the lake; yet the storm 
was too much for them; they were pitifully powerless 
against the raging elements. Today, too, we pride our- 
selves on knowing all the answers to our multiplied prob- 
lems; yet, when a crisis comes, how weak and weary we 
often are! As we listen to the boasting of warlords and 
regrettably some of this taunting bravado is heard within 
our borders we realize that altogether too many would 
banish God and win this war without Him or even against 
Him. What is human strength compared with God's? 
How puny is our brain power when at the height of man's 
intelligence we have not been able to prevent nations 
from attacking each other in history's most widespread 
war! How unreliable our scientific power when even 
mechanical wonders sometimes fail to function! A few 
days ago in Seattle a giant bomber, the final word in air- 
craft thus far, driven by a reputable test pilot, crashed, 
causing a score of deaths; and no one knows why. 
Above all, however, how frail and fragile, hopeless and 
helpless, are our souls apart from God! How utterly im- 
possible for us to purchase peace of mind, courage and 
contentment! How completely helpless we all are when 
the storms of sorrow break over us and our homes; when 
sickness, accident, suffering, knock at our doors; when 
disaster and bereavement cross our thresholds! 



JESUS, STILL THE STORMS OF LIFE! 293 

II 
ONLY CHRIST CAN CALM OUR STORM-TOSSED LIFE 

With the cry recorded in Saint Matthew, "Lord, save 
us; we perish!" the disciples turned to Jesus for help. 
Where in this upside-down world can we discover de- 
liverance if not in the same Savior whose invitation re- 
mains unchanged through the centuries, "Gome unto Me, 
all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you 
rest"? The one spiritual blessing which can accrue from 
years of bloodshed may be this, that the losses of war 
finally make many Americans understand that they can- 
not carry on successfully without Christ. Some of you 
are so overconfident that the Almighty has to take away 
every human prop, remove all earthly means of your 
rescue, to show you that without God life cannot be 
worth the living nor death worth the dying. How blessed, 
then, after you have been crushed and humbled, to have 
the Holy Spirit capture your cold heart, direct you to 
Christ as your only Hope, and make you kneel before 
Him to cry out, "Lord, save us; we perish!" If you have 
been overtaken by soul sorrow and mental anguish too 
deep for human consolation; if in all the world you can 
discover no escape from your misery; if you feel that an- 
other heartache added to your burden will make you col- 
lapse, then cling to Jesus, and find in Him Heaven's un- 
failing help. 

At first the desperate disciples were shocked to learn 
that our Lord continued to sleep soundly; for they could 
not understand how, with destruction close at hand, the 
Savior would slumber on. As Saint Mark tells the story, 
"they awake Him and say unto Him, Master, carest Thou 
not that we perish? 9 They made a grave mistake: they 
forgot that the Almighty was in their ship, that without 
His permission no disaster could overwhelm them. 



294 JESUS, STILL THE STORMS OF LIFE! 

Before they blame these followers of the Savior too 
severely, people should confess how frequently they think 
Jesus is asleep; how readily they conclude that He is ab- 
solutely unconcerned about the tragedies of the present 
age. The war spreads, more soldiers are killed on its 
widely separated battlefields; and in their small faith, 
men charge the Savior with slumbering! They see evil 
throughout the world, as atheism and blatant blasphemy 
persecute Christ's humble followers. The open denial of 
His atonement, the rejection of His redeeming, cleansing 
blood, secure control of churches, often entire denomina- 
tions, and people lament: "God must be sleeping! He 
does not care what happens/' 

In the narrower spheres of your lives, particularly 
during heavy hours of affliction, you, too, assert all too 
hastily that the Lord's eyes are closed to the welfare of 
His own. Cutting cruelties are heaped on you; you are 
slandered; you suffer unjustly; and in this misery you 
complain that God knows nothing of your affliction. Your 
plans for the future collapse although you are God's chil- 
dren; yet boasting infidels are crowned with increasing 
success. You have cried yourself hoarse, pleading with 
God to make your husband stop drinking, breaking his 
marriage vows, blaspheming; yet there seems to be no 
answer. After thirteen years of married life your heav- 
enly Father gives you a beautiful, healthy child; but in 
a terror-filled moment it accidentally falls and dies 
a personal tragedy one of your letters described. As one 
blow follows the other, your faith wavers; you complain 
that Christ must be asleep, otherwise He would be aware 
of your anguish and offer His help. 

Just as Jesus could not have slept on and permitted 
His disciples to perish, so He will never slumber when 
perils threaten to destroy your soul. Because He gave 



JESUS, STILL THE STORMS OF LIFE! 295 

Himself for you into Calvary's bitter bleeding and dark 
dying, you, purchased by the highest price recorded in 
history His own blood are so precious in His sight 
that every moment, waking and sleeping, you are under 
His constant, vigilant protection, by which, if necessary, 
angel guards will always defend you. I cannot promise, 
nor can anyone else (no matter how loudly self-appointed 
false prophets, preachers of lies, contradict this), that, 
when you accept the Lord Jesus, you will be showered 
with earthly advantages, material blessings, better busi- 
ness, larger incomes, the assurance of safety during this 
war. In the Redeemer's name and by His own pledge 
I can, however, promise you, by day and night, in pros- 
perity and adversity, during peace and war, at home and 
abroad, the Savior will never close His eyes to your 
real needs as long as you remain faithful to Him, He 
will ceaselessly protect you in every danger, marvelously 
turn your afflictions into inner strengthening, and finally 
change your sorrow into joy. Here is the truth for the 
battle front and the home front: When you are utterly 
weak and helpless, if you but acclaim Christ your own 
Redeemer, the full brilliance of His grace will break 
upon you. As you become nothing, Jesus will be every- 
thing. My fellow redeemed, lock this promise in your 
heart, and with the Savior's help keep it safe and secure 
f oreverl The time will come it is close at hand for many 
of you when you will want this pledge of His power 
more than all else on earth. 

See how mightily our Lord proved His faithfulness 
and His divine strength on turbulent Galilee! Hardly 
had He been awakened, when "He arose and rebuked 
the wind and said unto the sea, Peace, be stilF; and be- 
cause He is God, because wind and wave follow His com- 
mand, the surging of the sea subsided, the mountainous 



296 JESUS, STILL THE STORMS OF LIFE I 

billows disappeared, the howling storm vanished, the 
crisis was safely past. Another miracle, stupendous be- 
yond description, had been enacted before the disciples' 
eyes. If this marvel was witnessed and attested by the 
men in the ship who exclaimed, "What manner of man 
Is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?" cer- 
tainly modern unbelief, at a distance of 1900 years, has 
no right to question this full, final truth. Christ, the Son 
of God and the Savior of the world, quieted those angry 
waves. 

Instead of doubting, we should rather find comfort in 
His ability to still present-day storms of life. Be clear on 
this: the Lord of the Galilean Sea can quiet the uproar 
and turbulence of our bleeding age! In His unlimited 
strength, as our glorious God, Jesus, facing the storm of 
world strife and the raging floods of hatred, could repeat 
those three words, "Peace, "be still!" and we would have 
peace today. One word from Him and our enemies would 
be defeated forever. One command from His all-conquer- 
ing might, and the slaughter of the world's strongest and 
healthiest young men would cease. One rebuke from His 
omnipotence, and there would be no more bombing and 
blasting, no more submarine sinkings and torpedo de- 
struction, no more death and drowning in this war. One 
divine decree by Him, and our American youth could 
prepare to return to their homes and the occupations of 
blessed peace. 

Why, then, does Christ not stop this conflict? Because 
He knows that the world is not ready for peace! Iniquity 
has not been punished enough; Christians have not been 
sufficiently chastened and purified. Too many people in 
the United States still doubt His power, still reject His 
redeeming love. Last Monday night President Roosevelt 
told us that we have no Joshua in this struggle, before 



JESUS, STILL THE STORMS OF LIFE! 297 

whom our enemies' walls will miraculously crumble. The 
President was right. We must fight this war the hard way, 
pay the full price. America has no Joshua today, and the 
enemy resistance is not broken, because we have refused 
to do what God's people did in Joshua's age. We have 
not gone back to the faith of our fathers. We have not 
humbled ourselves before the Almighty. We have not 
repented as did the Israelites under Joshua. Yet we can 
have more than a Joshua in Jesus. Every day of this war, 
could the full story be told, witnesses the absolute proof 
of the Savior's unlimited might. A book just published 
tells the thrilling rescue of Mrs. Alice Bell, missionary to 
Africa, and her four children, whose ship was torpedoed 
in the South Atlantic and who, together with fourteen 
men, was adrift twenty days on a raft, eight by ten feet, 
so small and crowded that they could not lie down for 
rest. They were never dry. The sun scorched them by 
day, and the cold chilled them by night. Huge sharks 
continually followed them. They had little food and 
less water. Some of the men died and were buried at 
sea, but during those three weeks of torture Jesus sus- 
tained that Christian worker and her children. When they 
reached the hospital in Barbados, the nurses and doctors 
declared their rescue "as great a miracle as the feeding 
of the five thousand in the New Testament/' After the 
war thousands will thankfully recall that in life-or-death 
moments, when all hope in human help had vanished, 
God marvelously brought deliverance. 

Storm-tossed Galilee was stilled when the disciples 
prayed and their pleading was answered. Storm-tossed 
America can be stilled if, according to God's will, we 
employ the power of faith-filled intercession. Millions in 
the United States axe neglecting that secret but successful 
weapon. For the sake of a God-pleasing victory, to save 



298 JESUS, STILL THE STORMS OF LIFE! 

the lives of our youth, who will be spared if this war is 
stopped soon, let believers everywhere pray as never 
before! Every church throughout the land should be open 
constantly to welcome multitudes who would plead per- 
sonally and persistently for peace, Every family in the 
land should be united in fervent intercession. Every 
Christian should follow the Apostle's injunction and be 
found "praying always with all prayer!' Every American, 
no matter how he may have laughed at the thought of 
kneeling before God, should use this emergency to learn 
the lessons of prayer and that means first to confess the 
Lord Jesus Christ his Savior, 

The disciples in that tempest-tossed boat show skep- 
tics and unbelievers how to pray. As those men on storm- 
gripped Galilee turned to Christ, so your only hope is in 
His loving willingness and His power to answer every 
true petition. As they went directly to Jesus, without any- 
one else to plead for them, so, despite your total sins and 
weaknesses, you can have free access to the Throne of 
Mercy. As they counted themselves nothing, doomed 
without the Savior, so you, too, must confess that, since 
the best you can offer is worthless in God's sight, you 
should come humbly, trusting in Christ's merit. As the 
disciples' intercession was heard, so every supplication 
you speak in Jesus' name will be answered in His chosen 
manner and time, if it be for your soul's salvation. What 
better can we do, then, while the nation's defenders 
prepare to sacrifice themselves, if necessary, than to main- 
tain a prayer front and to make this our cry: "Pray, 
America, pray! Pray repeatedly! Pray earnestly! Pray 
penitently! Pray in Christ's name, relying on His promise!" 

We are told that, after the winds stopped, "there was 
a great calm 9 ; and if you hear and heed the Savior, the 
peace and consolation of an even more marvelous calm 



JESUS, STILL THE STORMS OF LIFE! 299 

will bless you. How we thrilled a few days ago when we 
read of a serious operation performed not by a surgeon 
in a sterilized hospital room but by a pharmacist's mate 
in the crowded quarters of a submarine, beneath the 
ocean off the Japanese shore! What gave the young af- 
flicted sailor calm and confidence in that critical period 
when his life hung on a slender thread? An officer on the 
submarine reports, "He got the most consolation out of 
the first verse of the Forty-sixth Psalm, 'Go d is our Refuge 
and Strength.'" One of the Navy fliers at Guadalcanal, 
whose exploits were recently featured in a nation-wide 
news broadcast, is a member of our Church. This young 
lieutenant, attacking a Japanese Zero squadron, was 
forced down when his motors failed at 10,000 feet He 
hit the water with a terrific impact that left him uncon- 
scious. He would have drowned, for he had not unfas- 
tened the safety belt which tied him to the sinking plane; 
yet, regaining consciousness, he found himself afloat. 
The hand of God must have unfastened the safety belt," 
he later wrote his parents. There he was in shark-infested 
waters, about a mile and a half from a Japanese battle- 
ship and five destroyers, and another mile and a half from 
a little island which, he thought, had been captured by the 
enemy. He was marvelously rescued, however, by friendly 
natives. Thanking God for his deliverance, he sent word 
home: "Let me tell you, Mom and Dad, I pray plenty 
over here. So does everyone else, for that matter. While 
I am taking off and flying to interception, I sing, *A Mighty 
Fortress Is Our God/ and among other things the Twenty- 
third Psalm and the Ninety-first Psalm. It helps a lot. 
I think I will come out of this O. K. However, if I should 
meet some mishap, you may be confident of the fact that 
I went as a child of God." 



300 JESUS, STILL THE STORMS OF LIFE! 

Everyone of you can have the same calm confidence 
with which to face danger, even death itself, if only you 
take Christ into the ship of your life and pray, 

Jesus, Savior, pilot me 
Over life's tempestuous sea! 

If that Redeemer is at the helm to direct your course, 
He will bring you safely through every storm into the 
haven of heaven. As we repeat the prayer of our message, 
"0 Jesus, still the storms of life!" may every one of us 
you men of the sea and the air, you soldiers who cross 
the ocean to distant battle fronts, we who stay at home 
add to that appeal this plea to Christ and this assurance 
of our faith: 

As a mother stills her child, 
Thou canst hush the ocean wild; 
Boist'rous waves obey Thy will 
When Thou sa/st to them, "Be still!" 
Wondrous Sovereign of the sea, 
Jesus, Savior, pilot me! 

When at last I near the shore 
And the fearful breakers roar 
'Twixt me and the peaceful rest, 
Then, while leaning on Thy breast, 
May I hear Thee say to me, 
"Fear not, I will pilot thee!" 

Amen 



Tears Over America 



"When He was come near, He beheld the city 
and wept over it" 
SAINT LUKE 19:41 



Jesus, Lord of Love: 

Once in the days of Thy humiliation Thou didst weep over 
sinful, impenitent Jerusalem. The unbelief, the worldliness, 
the corruption of the Temple caused tears to course down 
Thy cheeks in soul-deep sorrow over the disaster which soon 
would destroy that privileged but sin-laden city. Today, if 
Thou wert visibly with us as in the years of Thy ministry, 
Thou wouldst likewise sob over our American cities. Too 
frequently we have -forgotten Thy blessings; too often our 
service is mouth worship; too repeatedly we have spurned 
Thy mercy. O blessed Savior, enter not into judgment with us! 
For the sake of Thy precious, cleansing blood forgive us! 
Cast us not away, but look compassionately on us despite our 
ingratitude! Make us humble and penitent! Convict us of our 
utter weakness without Thee! Purify and cleanse our churches! 
Grant Thy Christians throughout the country fortitude and 
firmer faith! By the visitations of this war, turn the uncon- 
verted to Thee! Guide Thy young disciples who have been 
called to the colors; protect them with Thy might and love! 
As Thou hast put peace into the hearts of all those who re- 
ceive Thee, so give the nations peace, with righteousness and 
blessing! We ask this benediction, O Christ, trusting Thy 
blood-bought promise. Amen. 



LAVE you ever seen a strong man weep? 
Powerful lessons can be learned from the tears of great 
leaders. Who can forget King David's moaning over the 
death of proud, rebellious Absalom: "O my son Absalom, 
my son, my son Absalom! Would God I had died for 
thee, O Absalom, my son, my sonr Who does not feel in 

301 



302 TEABS OVER AMERICA 

this haunting lament an appeal asking American fathers 
to find time for their children and bring them to God 
before they are snatched away by death and lost forever? 

Alexander, miscalled "the Great/' is said to have wept 
because he could find no more empires to conquer. 
After a single victory he sold 30,000 of his captives as 
slaves. The world was at his feet. Yet his tears show 
that despite money, power, position, life without God is 
empty and futile. 

When Peter, that rough-and-ready disciple who had 
cursed himself and denied Jesus, saw his Savior, bound 
and beaten, he wept in bitter repentance. If you have 
rejected Christ, behold Him now, betrayed by your cow- 
ardice, suffering in your stead, and then sob in sorrow 
over your sins! 

Saint Paul, the fearless Apostle, who could ride Medi- 
terranean hurricanes without a quiver of terror, tells the 
believers in Ephesus that for "the space of three years 
I ceased not to warn everyone night and day with tears. 9 ' 
What a challenge to American Christians, urging them to 
show their zeal for the Savior, not by bakery sales, fish 
fries, card or dancing parties, but by such heart-deep, 
self-sacrificing devotion to others that tears testify to their 
sacred earnestnessl 

When Napoleon saw the remnant of the proud army 
which had marched through the snow and ice of a Rus- 
sian winter (the whole campaign cost him a half million 
lives; 90,000 died on the terrifying retreat) he broke 
down and sobbed. Here was the confident war lord who 
boasted that he did not need God to conquer Europe! 
Find in Napoleon's lament a proof that the Almighty can 
stop this conflict overnight! May it be soon, heavenly 
Father! 

Yes, vital present-day lessons are to be learned from 



TEARS OVER AMERICA 303 

the tears of history's leaders; but the strongest warning 
and appeal come from the tears of the mightiest Figure 
in all history Jesus Christ, Son of God and Savior of 
the world. Three times the Scriptures record that Jesus 
wept: first, at the tomb of Lazarus, where He proved 
Himself a compassionate Lord, moved by the suffering 
of friends; and last, in the Garden of Gethsemane, where 
at the beginning of His never-to-be-measured agony in 
atoning for the world's sins (so the Epistle to the He- 
brews testifies ) He "offered up prayers and supplications 
with strong crying and tears! 9 Only five days before that 
groaning in Gethsemane, Jesus, about to enter Jerusalem, 
had also wept; for Saint Luke records in our text (chap- 
ter nineteen, verse forty-one), "When He was come near, 
He beheld the city and wept over it." This is the Savior's 
grief to which I call your attention as I show you His 

TEARS OVER AMERICA 

May God's Holy Spirit bless these words and through- 
out the land bring sinners to their weeping Redeemer! 



THEY ARE TEARS OF SORROW FOR OUR SINS 

The Jerusalem of our Savior's day was far more glori- 
ous than it is today. Even pagan writers paid their tribute 
to its brilliance. A Latin author calls it "one of the world's 
wonders." People were so blinded by its radiance as it 
reflected the Palestinian sun that they had to turn their 
eyes away; so Josephus, the Jewish historian, tells us. 
Yet when our Lord, at the head of a large throng prepar- 
ing to enter Jerusalem, stopped on Mount Olivet's heights 
to look toward the majestic city, there was no awe or 
admiration in His gaze. Instead, He stood silent. His 
lips quivered; His eyes filled; tears coursed down His 
cheeks. 



304 TEARS OVER AMERICA 

Why was Jesus, about to hold His victorious entry 
into Jerusalem, in the moment of His greatest earthly 
triumph, so moved by the sight of His country's capital? 
To find the answer, let us stand in spirit with Him on 
the crest of Olivet to see what He beheld in the panorama 
before Him. Perhaps He was at a point where His first 
glance would single out the Temple, a magnificent struc- 
ture, on which architects and laborers had toiled for 
fifty years and were still not finished a colossal sanc- 
tuary of white and red marble, gilded roofs, dazzling 
courts, stately pillars, nine gates covered with gold and 
silver altogether an imposing monument to God. Yet 
that grandeur left Jesus untouched, for He was inex- 
pressibly saddened by the hollow mockery, shocking in- 
sincerity, cold formality, to be found in that house of 
the Highest. With His mind's eye He could see the 
money changers, the sellers of the sacrificial animals, 
and others who piled up profits in the name of religion. 
He remembered the multitudes who bought doves or 
lambs, the wealthy who purchased steers or bullocks and 
thought that by such offerings they could be cleansed 
from their sins even though their hearts were far from 
God and they refused to repent. He could almost hear 
the loud chanting of the Pharisees, who threw their 
shoulders back, raised their heads high in their self- 
esteem, and intoned, "God, I thank Thee, that I am not 
as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even 
as this publican! 9 Because the Savior saw masses ruined, 
in spite of this outward worship, cursed because of their 
hypocrisy, His eyes were wet with tears. 

If Jesus were with us today, He would undoubtedly 
weep over America's spiritual life. We have congrega- 
tions that count their real estate and resources in mil- 
Jions, some of them in tens of millions! Yet that alone 



TEARS OVER AMERICA 



305 



means nothing to Christ. The United States likewise is 
crowded with churches which forget the divine com- 
mand, "Thou shall love the Lord., thy God, with all thy 
heart and with all thy soul and with all thy strength and 
with all thy mind' 9 and which, instead of this inner, 
heart-centered, soul-deep worship of God, permit head 
and lip worship to creep in, formalism and ceremonies 
to receive far too much attention. The plain preaching 
of the Gospel, without which no man can be redeemed, 
is pushed into the background. Ask the average Amer- 
ican: "How do you expect to be saved? What is your 
hope of heaven?" and you will find first that many of 
our countrymen do not want to be saved, since they think 
they do not need to be; and you will also learn that of 
those who believe in the hereafter, the majority actually 
like to think themselves so good, so much better than 
others, that God will welcome them with open arms 
when they ought to understand that without the Lord 
Jesus they are lost forever; that their hearts are filled with 
greed, lust, hatred, their lives marked with secret and 
disguised sin. Because millions in this nation, founded 
by Christian pioneers, blessed above all other people on 
earth through religious freedom, have forgotten their 
God, neglected their privileges, spurned their blessings, 
rejected their Savior, we can find Him on Olivet, grief- 
gripped not only for Jerusalem's Temple, but for churches 
in the United States that are more concerned about 
money raising than soul-winning, more intent on gaining 
popular applause than divine approval. As we hear Christ 
repeat His warning, "This people draweth nigh unto Me 
with their mouth and honoreth Me with their lips; but 
their heart is far from Me" may God give us the spir- 
itual insight required to understand that, if America is 
to come closer to the Almighty, this rededication must 

Tenth Lutheran Hour 20 



306 TEARS OVER AMERICA 

start in the churches; that the groups called Christian 
must receive a transfusion of firm, unquestioning, self- 
denying trust. To stop the tears of Christ, we must go 
back to the Bible, back to the blessed Savior, back to the 
blood of His atonement, back to justification by faith, 
and faith alone. 

From Olivet the Savior could likewise see the palace 
of Caiaphas, the high priest He wore the sacred robes 
and the breastplate inscribed, "Holiness to the Lord. 9 " 
He occupied the highest position in Old Testament wor- 
ship. He alone could enter the Holy of Holies on the 
solemn Day of Atonement. Yet that high priest, who 
should have been closest to God, was an unbeliever, a mur- 
derer at heart, a sworn enemy of Jesus, and long ago he 
had begun to plot the crucifixion. He was surrounded by 
many Sadducees, who openly attacked Scripture, denied 
the hope of the resurrection, claimed that life was ruled 
by chance, that death ended everything. These men, 
politicians, perjurers, bold unbelievers in priestly apparel, 
were responsible for their country's downfall. It was true, 
then, as now, that 

When nations are to perish in their sins, 
'Tis in the Church the leprosy begins. 

Would not the same Savior who broke into sobs over 
the treachery of these priestly traitors raise His voice in 
lament if He were with us today to behold the unbelief 
in the ranks of the American clergy? The war has not 
yet brought a real revival of true Christian faith in 
America. Modernists, deniers of the free and final atone- 
ment by the Lord Jesus, are still in control of many con- 
gregations and of some denominations, Twentieth-century 
Sadducees sit securely in high places, Pulpit politicians, 
who heedlessly step over the line separating Church and 
State, are on the increase. For political reasons, ministers 



TEABS OVER AMERICA 307 

of the Gospel, in direct contradiction to Christ's Spirit, 
have decried the sending of food to Europe's starving 
children. The number of those who teach and preach 
that Jesus, God's Son and Mary's, our Lord and Savior, 
our Ransom and Redeemer, our Atonement and Recon- 
ciliation to the Father, is the only but heaven-blessed 
Hope for every sinner, does not increase with rapid 
strides. Yet, because an unbelieving, Christ-debasing, 
Bible-ridiculing clergy can bring disaster on the nation, 
the appeal in this crisis to every servant of God must be: 
"Preach the Word!" "Call . . . sinners to repentancer Pro- 
claim the Gospel with all its comforting and sustaining 
lovel Believing American homes must help in safe- 
guarding the Savior's truth. A national magazine presents 
a survey, taken among "a faithfully balanced cross section 
of high school students," which reveals that almost half 
of the young people do not attend church regularly. 
Is there any connection between this startling fact and 
the F. B. I. report which showed an increase last year 
of more than 55 per cent in the arrests of girls under 
twenty-one? Ask yourself pointedly, 'Would Jesus weep 
over conditions in my home?" If you know that He 
would, implore Him to enter your household now and 
bring your entire family to His unfailing grace! 

Prominent on Jerusalem's skyline were the palaces of 
the governing officials, imposing structures with high 
towers: the castle of King Herod, the residence of Pontius 
Pilate, the other government buildings; and Jesus could 
detect the corruption, deceit, iniquity, practiced with- 
in their pretentious walls. He wept as He contrasted 
with the hideous doom soon to break over the city 
the happy, blessed days its people might have enjoyed, 
had God-fearing, honest men conducted public affairs. 
While we ought to thank the Almighty daily for the 



308 TEABS OVER AMERICA 

marvelous benediction He has given us in a free, repre- 
sentative government, no one should be blind to the 
fact that graft, bribery, corruption, have sometimes flour- 
ished in the high government places; that public officials, 
judges, federal officers, have at times been convicted of 
dishonesty. The fault for much of this is on your shoul- 
ders, Christians of America, You have not prayed hard 
enough for your country. You have not worked zealously 
enough. You have refused to vote and spurned every op- 
portunity to run for office. 

From the crest of Mount Olivet Christ could behold 
the fortress of Antonia, headquarters of the Roman army 
that held Jerusalem in control. Not far from the barracks 
was the amusement zone, the pleasure areas, the dark 
corners of vice, the taverns with their cursing, slobber- 
ing drunkards, all the enticements to evil which the 
sensual ancient world knew. As the Savior's eyes swept 
over that lofty-towered fortress, He could have thought 
of the young legionaries who went on day after day 
without knowing God, living in the cold cruelty and the 
sin which marked military life. His tears may well have 
dropped for those soldiers, as for all the sorrows and 
heartaches that war, the result of sin and unbelief, had 
brought upon the royal capital. If Jesus today would 
stand on a high hill overlooking American cities, His 
eyes would overflow as He would think of the spiritual 
dangers confronting our soldiers and sailors multitudes 
without Christ still unprepared for eternity, all of them 
facing insistent and repeated temptations, deliberately 
created for them. To you men in the nation's armed 
forces I express this public regret that we have not 
more vigorously helped you fight profanity, which ac- 
cording to plain Scripture statements, incurs God's wrath. 
I deplore the type of entertainment offered you by some 



TEARS OVER AMERICA 309 

communities, where nastiness and filth systematically at- 
tack you, where unprincipled, avaricious individuals try 
to make money from you, our defenders. A mother who 
is certainly entitled to be heard, because her only son 
lies buried on Guadalcanal, writes to protest against the 
amusements offered our soldiers. I join her. With all 
our power and resources we should stand by these young 
men spiritually and help them prepare to meet their 
God. This is not the hour for carnival, when American 
blood daily trickles into the Tunisian sands, when Amer- 
ican lives are crushed out in air disasters, when the sons 
and support of American families are drowned on the 
high seas. 

Again, as the Savior's eyes scanned Jerusalem, they 
would have alighted on its cultural quarters, the resi- 
dences of its intellectuals, the scribes, the teachers of the 
people, those too proud to accept the lowly Christ, per- 
verted minds which used their God-given talents to blas- 
pheme the Lord. His tears were shed for them, and to- 
day they would fall, too, for the American intelligentsia 
that can only sneer at Jesus. Most of you churchgoers 
have absolutely no idea of the shocking depths to which 
their scurrilous insults can descend. Listen to these lines, 
spawned by hell itself, entitled, "Good-by, Christ!": 

Listen, Christ, 

You did all right in your day, I reckon 

But that day's gone now. 

They ghosted you up a swell story, too. 

Called it the Bible - 

But it's dead now. 

Good-by, 

Christ Jesus Lord God Jehovah; 

Beat it on away from here now. 

Make way for a new guy with no religion at all 

A real guy named 

Marx Communist Lenin Peasant Stalin Worker Me 



310 TEARS OVER AMERICA 

I thought long and prayerfully before deciding to read 
these lines publicly; but most of you must be stirred into 
action. Remember, these are the words not of an amateur 
writer but of a man who won the Harmon Gold Award 
for Literature, the Guggenheim Award for Creative Lit- 
erary Work, and the Rosenwald Fellowship! 

Jesus wept over Jerusalem because He knew the 
appalling price it would pay for rebelling against God. 
He predicts, "Thine enemies . . . shall lay thee even with 
the ground, and thy children with thee, and they shall 
not leave in thee one stone upon another because thou 
knewest not the time of thy visitation," The disaster Jesus 
foresaw came within less than fifty years, when in the 
siege and capture of the city, which makes some of the 
massacres in this World War seem small, 1,1.00,000 men 
perished and 97,000 people (the children and grand- 
children of those to whom the Savior spoke) were led 
away captive, and so many of the citizens sold into servi- 
tude that no one would buy any more slaves. It was a 
shocking devastation; yet incomparably worse was the 
eternal destruction of souls which could have been saved 
through faith in Christ. 

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked," is the warning 
America should read in Jerusalem's ruins. If up to this 
time you have insolently risen up against your Redeemer, 
turned your back on His arms nailed to the cross but 
stretched wide in invitation to welcome you, then, with 
all the life-and-death earnestness of this warning, I tell 
you that on Olivet Jesus was weeping for you, shedding 
divine tears because, if you continue to reject His ransom 
for your sin, you must pay in eternity for every unfor- 
given wrong, every unremoved transgression! Look at 
the Christ of sorrows once more! He weeps for you, 
knowing the peace, pardon, hope, and happiness you 



TEARS OVER AMERICA 311 

have lost without Him; the heavenly home, the seeing 
Him face to face in the blessed eternity you have spurned, 
the pain and horror of hell which you, sin-blinded, have 
chosen. Is your heart stone, that you are not moved by 
your sorrowing Savior, the Lord of heaven and earth, 
the God of all might, mourning over your preciously 
bought but carelessly lost soul? It was too late for masses 
in Jerusalem to repent and return to God. But, thanks 
to the Savior's marvelous mercy, it is not too late for 
you to throw off your stubborn resistance to Jesus and 
fall on your knees in contrite sorrow over your sins. 
You unbelieving husbands, unfaithful wives, ungrateful 
children, you blasphemers and scoffers; you, the self- 
satisfied and self-righteous; you who are sending your 
souls to hell by living in sin, helping destroy the morals 
and the faith of others there is still time for you to 
kneel before the compassionate Christ and say: 'What 
a fool I have been to reject my soul's salvation! Now 
I have found You at last, my all-forgiving Redeemer. 
You do not need to weep any more for me! O Jesus, dry 
your tears! Wash me! Cleanse me! Purify me through 
faith!" When you come to the Lord of limitless love with 
that faith, His face, once stained with tears, will be 
wreathed in heavenly happiness. The lips which once 
pronounced the woe over Jerusalem will tell you, "Him 
that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out' 9 

There is time for every one of you, but not so much 
time that you dare continue to postpone and delay ac- 
cepting grace. "Now is the day of salvation. 9 ' You may 
not be with us next Sunday to hear another appeal for 
return to your heavenly Father. A week ago, while speak- 
ing to the men in tie United States Naval Air Sta- 
tion at Lambert Field, Saint Louis, I warned the cadets 
against the "speed and suddenness with which adversity 



312 TEARS OVER AMERICA 

may overtake us in these darkened days of war," and 
I asked them, in these very words, "Who knows what 
message of sorrow may come into our homes before this 
day draws to its close?" A few hours later two of those 
young fliers met sudden death in the first air collision 
at the training station. So quickly and unexpectedly, by 
God's inscrutable will, was the truth of that warning 
proved! Some of you may never have another oppor- 
tunity to hear that Christ loved you despite your sins, 
died on the cross as your Substitute. Now, while heaven 
is still open for you, while Jesus pleads with you, while 
the Spirit urges you, wherever you are, accept Him! 
Say, "He is mine, and I am His for time and eternity!" 
The nation needs men and women with that trust. 
The first line of America's defense is faith in the Savior. 
The strongest weapon against enemies from within and 
without is the power of God through Christ To have 
the promise of that strength, millions in America must 
repent. They must return to God. They must acclaim 
their crucified Lord of love! 

II 
THEY ARE TEARS OF DIVINE LOVE AND SYMPATHY 

Besides the stern warning we must find in Christ's 
tears heavenly comfort, the consolation we need par- 
ticularly during times of war and upheaval. The Savior 
sees our afflictions and is deeply moved by our sorrows. 
The Redeemer is not like the sleeping Buddha in one 
of China's famous temples, a monstrous figure lying on 
his side with closed eyes, slumbering on, indifferent to 
his people's woes. Jesus is not like the Modernists' god, 
a vague, indefinite force, so far removed that He is not 
concerned with this world. Our precious Lord is not so 
majestic and omnipotent that He does not stoop or stop 



TEARS OVER AMERICA 313 

to help us. By the miracle of His mercy, none can be 
too lowly, unnoticed, poor, for His gracious interest. 
On the journey to Jerusalem, when He was so weighted 
by His suffering that even the disciples dared not disturb 
Him, He stopped to heal a blind beggar, enter the home 
of a despised publican, instruct His disciples, weep over 
Jerusalem. 

The newspapers tell us that King George, ruler of the 
British Empire, daily goes to work for a few hours in 
a defense factory. What a remarkable example of service, 
when a monarch allies himself with his workers! But can 
you imagine any ruler going to Germany and offering 
his life for his enemies? The Savior did much more when 
He, in the words of Saint Paul, "took upon Him the 
form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men; 
and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Him- 
self and became obedient unto death, even the death of 
the cross." Because He lived as a true man, save for sin, 
among men stained with sin, no one else in the world 
knows human needs as personally as Christ. No affliction 
with which you may be tormented was foreign to Him. 
Every hard, bitter road along which you drag yourself 
He has trodden. Whatever your path of grief, you are 
always following in the footsteps of the agonized Re- 
deemer, and in comparison with the suffering He en- 
dured, yours, even in its worst and crushing torture, is 
only trivial. Are you poor? Jesus felt the pangs of pov- 
erty. He had not "where to lay His head." Are you over- 
worked and worn out? Jesus can feel for you, because 
He was often at the point of exhaustion, overweary in 
fulfilling His ministry of love. Do you parents whose 
only sons have been called to the colors complain that 
you are lonely and forsaken? Are some of you men and 
women in the service depressed by grim loneliness? 



314 TEARS OVER AMERICA 

Think of your Lord suffering in the Garden, alone in 
His heartbreaking agony! Picture Him on the cross, for- 
saken by God and man, and realize that He knows more 
deeply than you the pangs of lingering loneliness! Are 
you maliciously attacked and slandered? Recall the false 
witnesses, the perjurers, the paid spies, who sought to 
destroy Christ, and believe that His heart beats in sym- 
pathy for you! Are you ministers loyal to the Redeemer, 
suffering the disfavor of the higher-ups in your church 
organization? You need not explain this persecution to 
Christ He knows from His own bleeding experience what 
it means to be cursed and condemned by the highest 
religious authorities. Are you sick, an invalid of many 
years, gripped by increasing pain? You can have Tin- 
failing consolation in Jesus, who knows anguish inesti- 
mably greater than the worst you can stand; for in His 
own body He bore "our griefs and carried our sorrows." 
Are you at death's door? Has the doctor said that your 
days are not only numbered, but that soon perhaps 
within a week, even before nightfall they will be over? 
Then during these last .moments of your earthly suffering 
I tell you in the name of our blessed Redeemer who 
died at Calvary and whose body was laid into the grave 
that He knows more definitely what death means than 
anyone can ever explain, The tears which Christ wept 
at Jerusalem are a proof of His sympathizing love in 
every grief you must endure, any pressing burden you 
must carry. When life seems too hard, when you feel 
too depressed to face another day, think of the tears 
flowing down your Savior's cheeks; believe with all your 
heart that He was suffering in tender devotion to you 
and then sing: 

What a Friend we have in Jesus, 
All our sins and griefs to bearl 

What a privilege to cany 

Everything to God in prayer! 



TEABS OVER AMERICA 315 

These tears, however, are also evidence of the Re- 
deemer's divine yearning to help and deliver you. You 
have not only a weeping Christ, but a bleeding Christ, 
a dying Christ, a crucified Christ. Human tears often mean 
little; some people can cry for the slightest cause; but 
Jesus proved His sacred earnestness when in the highest 
and holiest example of self-sacrifice He, the mighty and 
majestic God, bowed His head into death's death at 
Calvary. My fellow sinners and fellow redeemed, behold 
Him suspended between earth and heaven; and as you 
see those tears of love give way to the suffering of love, 
ask God's Spirit for the repentant faith by which you 
proclaim: This Christ of nail-crushed hands and feet, the 
Christ of wounded brow and riven side, the Christ of 
bleeding back and buffeted face, the Christ of anguish 
and thirst, the Christ of derision and Godforsakenness is 
my loving, compassionate, all-merciful Savior! 

When we thus discover the sympathy in His tears, 
we have Heaven's own assurance that we need not weep 
endlessly and disconsolately over the sins and sorrows 
crowded into our lives. Then we have the inner convic- 
tion that because Jesus loves us with this tear-filled de- 
votion, He will not only forgive us, but He will help us 
meet adversity, triumph over temptation, find strength 
in weakness, and turn the gloom of affliction into inner 
glory, the storms and turbulence of life into the calm 
and quiet of assured faith. The years before us may test 
us severely. Despite the cruel promises that America is 
on the threshold of a postwar period filled with prosperity 
and advantage such as our people have never known, we 
must not lose sight of the decisive fact that war has 
always burdened the succeeding generations and that, 
the wider the conflict, the heavier the sufferings in the 
aftermath. This is the most destructive struggle in all 
history. The price we must pay for it will be higher than 



816 TEARS OVER AMERICA 

for any previous conflict. We may witness terrifying up- 
heavals in our own country. Our own liberties may be 
drastically restricted. Men with un-American and un- 
christian principles may seize control of this land, but 
whatever comes and believers of all denominations, 
children and parents in every believing household, should 
daily be on their knees, asking God to avert these trag- 
edies! we will find comfort, sympathy, guidance, when 
we think of the Savior's tears and His blood drops at 
Golgotha. With this vision constantly before our eyes, 
we shall be prepared for hardship or, what may prove 
far more difficult, the ease and warmth of luxury and 
artificial prosperity. 

You can see, then, that Jesus, weeping in warning 
and wondrous love, is the Savior for whom our sin-racked 
age cries with special pleading. The Christ who could 
mourn for His enemies should be the Example and the 
Power for America today. It took Madame Chiang Kai- 
shek, whose husband is generalissimo of a heathen na- 
tion, to remind us that in the Savior's spirit we must be 
ready to forgive our foes. I ask all real, confessing Chris- 
tians throughout the land to pray regularly and re- 
peatedly not only for victory and a quick end to this 
war, if it be God's will, but with the same determination 
to intercede for the people of Germany, Italy, and Japan, 
pleading especially that the cause of His Son's kingdom 
may be advanced among them, that they may learn to 
know and cherish the memory of Jesus, weeping for the 
men who would soon condemn Him to the cross. Is not 
this the Redeemer whom with all our resources and 
energies we must bring to the ends of the earth, also 
through the challenging, penetrating means of the radio? 

Our only hope is in Him. Human methods to save 
the world from itself are doomed to defeat, if they banish 
Christ Some time ago Count Alfred D. Pierre Court left 



TEABS OVER AMERICA 317 

$2,000,000 to his native city, Rouen, France, for the ex- 
press purpose of propagating giants. He wanted to raise 
a physically superior race that could lift humanity out 
of its woes. The trustees of his fund searched all over 
the world to secure men and women of large stature and 
unusual strength. The effort failed. The only people who 
can ever help mankind are the spiritual giants, the reborn 
children of God, whose love mirrors the devotion of that 
weeping Savior. Therefore listen closely as the Lenten 
invitation resounds, "Behold, we go up -to Jerusalem, 
and the Son of Man shall be betrayed unto the chief 
priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn 
Him to death and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles, to 
mock and to scourge and to crucify Him; and the third 
day He shall rise again'! That Lenten call comes in 
a crisis such as this nation has never seen, and in a per- 
sonal appeal to everyone of you, telling you now that 
for your soul it is either Christ or chaos, either heaven 
or hell, either life everlasting or death never-ending. As 
you see the tears of sorrow and sympathy stream down 
the Savior's face for you, will you, can you, dare you 
turn away from the only Redeemer you can ever have 
and say, "These tears mean nothing to me*? God forbid! 
May you rather feel the tears of deep repentance and 
joyful faith well into your eyes as you, a weeping sinner, 
come to the weeping Redeemer for pardon, purity, and 
peace! The holy angels will swell the anthems of heav- 
enly praise if now in your innermost heart you accept 
God's Son. Rededicate yourself to Him! The Savior's 
tears for you will give way to gladness. My beloved, 
preciously redeemed, will you not make the compas- 
sionate Christ your own now and forever? Our heavenly 
Father grant above all else that in this moment thousands 
of you may say with inner conviction, "God helping me, 
I will!" Amen. 



Father, Forgive Them 
and Us! 



"Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they 
know not what they do!" 
SAINT LUKE 23:84 



Our Father: 

As Thy beloved Son, our only Savior, pleaded for His ene- 
mies in the agony of the crucifixion, so, with -firm faith in the 
Christ of Calvary we now intercede for those who hate us, 
our personal and national adversaries. Father, "nothing shall 
be impossible" with Thee; therefore, we beseech Thee to 
bring all those who oppose us to the cross, so that they wit- 
ness Heavens highest compassion, heed the appeal for repent- 
ance, and -find the assurance of their redemption through 
faith in the crucified Redeemer. If Jesus loved us while we, 
His enemies, were yet in our sins; if He gave Himself into 
that painful, shameful death to atone for those who blas- 
phemed Him, how can we hate our fellow men and refuse 
to forgive, even as we have been forgiven? Show Thy mercy 
to our military men and women throughout the world! Re- 
store many listed as missing! Heal the wounded! Cheer the 
captives! Comfort the dying! Again, O Father, we ask: Give 
us a true, triumphant peace soon! We pray according to Thy 
will and in Jesus' holy name. Amen. 



JL/ AST week the United States ambassador to 
Russia issued an amazing indictment. In effect he asserted 
that, although our country has shipped the Soviet armies 
large supplies of airplanes, tanks, cannon, ammunition, 
raw materials, and food, this fact is being systematically 
withheld from the Russian people, who do not know the 
extent of our help nor appreciate the aid we have sent. 

318 



FATHER, FORGIVE THEM AND Us! 319 

Serious, nation-wide concern was shown over this state- 
ment. But why, I ask you, are we not more vitally agi- 
tated by the spiritual ignorance in our own country, ac- 
cording to which men and women, beholding the Savior's 
cross, do not believe that it represents the greatest source 
of national and individual help? Why have some Amer- 
ican churches hushed the message of the groaning agony 
at Golgotha? Before we accuse the Russians of ingrati- 
tude to men, should we not plead guilty of our own in- 
gratitude to God? 

Because it is either Christ or continued crisis, either 
the Savior's cross or men's double cross; because America 
needs spiritual security before social security, I shall 
devote every message in this Lenten season to the central, 
vital heart of our true Christian faith, the cross of the 
Lord Jesus. I ask everyone of you not only to meet with 
us each Lord's day in this mighty mission of the air, but 
also to direct others, the uncounted self-righteous sin- 
ners, the afflicted, sorrow-burdened friends, to the cruci- 
fied Christ of all compassion. Begin with us, then, this 
afternoon! Stand in spirit at Calvary's crest to hear Jesus 
plead (Saint Luke, chapter twenty-three, verse thirty- 
four), "Father, forgive them; for they know not what 
they do!" and to echo: 

"FATHER, FORGIVE THEM -AND US!" 

May the Holy Spirit bless this message and bring many 
souls to their only Savior! 

I 

THE MARVELOUS MERCY IN CHRIST'S PRAYER, 
"FATHER, FORGIVE THEM!" 

These words, the first spoken from the cross, form 
a prayer. Jesus might have shrieked in agony; He might 
have screamed in protest against the hellish injustice that 



320 FATHER, FORGIVE THEM AND Us! 

had sentenced Him to death. Instead, during His first 
moments on that tree of torture He prayed. On the last 
day of His earthly life our Savior maintained the regular 
communion with God which had marked every previous 
day, and which had made Him spend long hours, often 
the entire night, pleading with His heavenly Father. 
If only we would follow Christ in esteeming and applying 
the power of fervent prayer! War's multiplied perils 
should constantly bring us down on our knees before 
God; yet too many in the United States have no interest 
in intercession, no understanding of its necessity and 
blessing. We may have to suffer far more than the worst 
we have experienced in the past before we fully realize 
our utter dependence on the Almighty and the merciful 
privilege which is ours in humbly petitioning His grace. 
Prayer can prevail when every earthly hope collapses. 
Dominic Izzi, United States Navy gunner, will testify to 
this truth. With two other companions, he spent eighty- 
three days in a small raft on the open sea. What kept him 
alive during almost three months, when the raft drifted 
twenty-two hundred miles? Was it his will power, his own 
strength, his good luck? Ask him! He replies, "I prayed 
daily, and I knew that God was with me all the way." 
Jesus prays to His Father; and if your pleas are to 
be heard, they must be directed to the one God, who can 
and will reply to His children. As throughout His life, so 
in His death Jesus reveals to the world who the true and 
eternal God is not Allah, the god of the Mohammedans; 
not Zeus, the god of the Greeks; not Jupiter, the god of 
the Romans; not Asshur, the god of Assyrians; not Mar- 
duk, the god of the Babylonians; not Brahma, Vishnu, 
Siva, the Hindu gods; not Buddha, worshiped by millions 
in China and the Far East; not Ahura Mazda or Ahari- 
man, the gods of Persia all false and fraudulent. The 



FATHER, FORGIVE THEM AND Us! 321 

sole Source of rescue and redemption for our age is the 
Father whom Jesus invoked and who together with His 
Son, our Savior, and the Holy Spirit, our Comforter, is the 
Lord of lords, the sole, supreme, triune God. He it is 
who made America great; and He it is to whom the na- 
tion's prayers must be directed in this crisis. Many people 
have read casualty listings so often that they are no longer 
moved by the reports of more than two thousand Amer- 
ican soldiers fallen during a single week's Tunisian fight- 
ing, of many more American sailors lost in submarine 
sinkings. We are becoming so accustomed to accounts of 
mass killings in this war that we forget the value of a 
single life and the high estimate which Jesus places on 
an individual soul. 

Besides, millions in the United States seem stolidly 
unconcerned about the future. Walk through the down- 
town streets of a typical city at night and you will find 
just as much revelry as before the war! While we thank 
God for a government which seeks to give us "security 
from the cradle to the grave," we need spiritual security 
beyond the grave. When we are promised after the war 
"a life of abundance unparalleled in all history," we ought 
to understand that, if the plans for the future leave out 
the Almighty and set Christian principles aside, we may 
face trials and afflictions unparalleled in previous history. 
The Vice-President of the United States felt called upon 
to warn our people of the possibility that Germany and 
Russia might become allied against us. Here are his 
words, "There is a great probability of Germany and 
Russia sooner or later making common cause." If that 
should happen, we must be prepared to battle world 
Communism, world atheism, world opposition to Chris- 
tianity. My countrymen, this is only one of the disastrous 
dangers that may confront us. America should constantly 

Tenth Lutheran Hour 21 



322 FATHER, FORGIVE THEM AND Us! 

be on its knees in penitent pleading before the Throne 
of Grace, The call that should resound every minute of 
every day is, "Pray without ceasing!" If you love this 
divinely blessed nation, beseech the Father, as did Jesus 
on the cross! What magnificent mercy to know that 
through Christ God is our merciful Father, who gives us 
life and sustenance, guidance and guardianship; a Father 
to whom we can take every trouble, who can help us 
when all other help fails, who "spared not His own Son, 
but delivered Him up for us all! 

How astonishing also that in this first prayer on the 
cross only ten words Jesus did not plead for Him- 
self! By contrast, think of our petitions, in which we often 
ask: "God, give me this! God, give me that!" and rarely 
take time to voice a word of sincere thanks for His un- 
numbered blessings on soul and body! It was refreshing 
to read this recognition in General MacArthur's order of 
the day following the victory at New Guinea: "To God 
Almighty I give thanks for that guidance which has 
brought us to this success in our great crusade. His is 
the honor, the power, and the glory forever. Amen." 

True, there was abundant reason for Christ to think 
of Himself. He had come through a sleepless night of 
horror. He had been betrayed by one of His disciples and 
deserted by the rest. He had been beaten, bruised, spit 
upon, by His own countrymen. He had been scourged, 
crowned with thorns, by the Roman soldiers and made 
to carry His cross until He collapsed under its weight. 
And now, perhaps as He spoke this prayer, heavy nails 
were being hammered through the flesh and bones of 
His hands and feet. How terrifying the agonies of that 
crucifixion! How crushing, beyond the physical pain, the 
soul anguish such as earth and heaven had not witnessed 
otherwise. There, on those rugged, gory beams He bore 



FATHER, FORGIVE THEM AND Us! 323 

in His own holy body the burden of all transgressions 
that curse the entire human race; yet O marvelous 
mercy! He pleads not for Himself; forgetting the tor- 
ture of His soul, He prays for others. 

For whom particularly did Jesus intercede? Not for 
His mother, who stood, bewildered and hopeless, beneath 
the cross; not for the godly women who had traveled to 
Calvary, hoping to perform some last, lingering service of 
love; not for His disciples who, despite their declarations 
of loyalty, had proved cringing cowards. He had knelt 
for them and all the faithful only a few hours before in 
His majestic high-priestly prayer. It is easy to plead for 
those who love us a mother for her son, a wife for her 
husband, a pastor for his flock; but here Jesus intercedes 
for the soldiers who are crucifying Him. Was there ever 
love like this? Recall, by contrast, the hatred of Tamer- 
lane, Oriental conqueror, said to have made a pyramid of 
90,000 human heads on the ruins of Baghdad! Genghis 
Elian killed more than 18,000,000 human beings in China 
alone. Review the hatred practiced in the name of re- 
ligion! When Mohammed was wounded in battle at 
Ohod, he cried in resentment and rage: "Let the wrath 
of Allah burn against the men that have besprinkled the 
face of his apostle with blood! Let not the year pass 
over them alive!" And within the twelve months they 
were all killed. Again on Easter Monday, 1282, during the 
joyful festival of the Savior's resurrection, when the ves- 
per bells rang throughout Sicily, 8,000 French men, 
women, children were cut down in a religious war. Yet, 
at Calvary, Jesus, suffering in the vilest miscarriage of 
justice, appeals for His enemies and pleads not merely 
that their penalty be reduced, not that the Lord instead 
of striking them dead on the spot, would grant them some 
consideration; but by the highest, deepest, widest love 



824 FATHER, FORGIVE THEM AND US I 

even God could show, He begs that they be entirely 
forgiven, completely pardoned, their sins altogether re- 
moved, the charge of murder wholly canceled. We call 
it noteworthy clemency today when a governor com- 
mutes the death sentence of a guilty criminal to life im- 
prisonment; how much greater is the Savior's total mercy 
which, in those terrifying moments when His enemies 
were crucifying Him, pleaded that their sins, their guilt, 
punishment, curse, anid doom to hell, be absolutely and 
finally removed. Was there ever love like this? 

We may be assured, however, that Jesus' prayer, 
"Father, j or give them!" was spoken not only for those 
Roman crucifiers; He was pleading with the earnestness 
of unquenchable love also for the high priests, scribes, 
Pharisees, those proud, unbending, hate-filled clerical 
killers, who conspired to destroy Him. He was approach- 
ing His Father in behalf of the Jerusalem politicians who 
had agreed that He, the innocent, spotless Son of God, 
should be delivered into death. He was raising His voice 
for the blood-thirsty mob howling at Him in derision, 
shaking their heads in mockery, taunting Him in His suf- 
fering. From that high altar where Jesus was being sac- 
rificed as the final offering for the sins of the world, He 
appealed for all who had despised and rejected Him, for 
every sinner in the ages yet to come. Above all, how- 
everand this is the personal message of the Lenten 
season, the warning and comfort of Christ's cross He 
pleaded, "Father, forgive them!" because He was think- 
ing of you and your transgressions, because even the 
agony of the crucifixion could not make Him forget you 
nor keep Him from beseeching His Father to remove your 
iniquities. 

You cannot understand the real meaning of the cruci- 
fixion unless you know and confess that your sins sent 



FATHER, FORGIVE THEM AND Us! 325 

Jesus to Calvary; that your guilt made Him suffer agony, 
unfathomable and indescribable. You will forfeit His 
grace; you will let the eternal salvation of your preciously 
bought soul slip away unless you are convinced that, 
when Jesus prayed, "Father, forgive them!" He was re- 
minding Himself of your utter helplessness and hopeless- 
ness without Him, and beseeching His Father that your 
iniquities might be forgiven, your disloyalty, hatred of 
the truth, rebellion against the Almighty, canceled and 
removed forever. Many moving appeals have been made 
before the bars of human justice in behalf of prisoners 
condemned by their own confession; but never again will 
earth or heaven witness that most powerful and penetrat- 
ing petition with which Jesus began His death plea, 
"Father, forgive them!" 

Christ did far more than pray for you. In His match- 
less mercy and endless grace He died to seal your pardon 
with His blood. Amazing grace: the sinless Savior cruci- 
fied for sin-filled mankind; the pure and holy Redeemer 
suffering for an impure and vicious race; the glorious Son 
of God offered as a living and dying sacrifice for all the 
selfish sons of men; the almighty Lord of lords slain for 
His depraved, degenerate creatures; Jesus Christ de- 
livered into death for you! 

Today we see many examples of heroic devotion. 
Millions of American young men under arms risk their 
lives in defending our country. Oh, that we genuinely 
appreciated what they are doing for us, that we could 
understand the sorrows surging through the hearts of 
America's gold-star parents! Our admiration goes out to 
a chaplain from Newark, Father John P.Washington, 
whose transport was torpedoed in the North Atlantic. He 
drowned after giving his lifebelt to save a soldier who 
had none. We are deeply moved by the love of a Brook- 



326 FATHER, FORGIVE THEM AND Us! 

lyn father who last week lost his life attempting to rescue 
his son from a burning house. These men each died to 
save one person; Christ died to save the world. These 
heroes gave their lives for a friend or a dear one; the 
Savior was crucified for His enemies. The chaplain and 
the Brooklyn father went to their doom attempting to 
rescue men's bodies for this life; Jesus went to Calvary 
to rescue souls for eternity. Here at Golgotha, then, is 
complete compassion, the removal and canceling of all 
our sins. Here is guaranteed grace, no wishful thinking, 
no 'perhaps/' no "if" or "maybe," but assured certainty. 
"I am persuaded^ 9 we can exult with Saint Paul, "that 
neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor 
powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, 
nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to sep- 
arate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our 
Lord." Here is the full forgiveness, without payment, 
without intercession or introduction by saints, the mag- 
nificent mercy that receives you just as you are, with all 
your sins and shortcomings. Therefore, repent and rely 
on the Savior! Here on the cross, towering over the 
skull-shaped hill, is positive pardon for you, all-embrac- 
ing atonement for your transgressions, all-sustaining love 
for your life's sorrows. 

Note this added mercy: Jesus pleads that His mur- 
derers may be forgiven because "they know not what 
they do." Plainly He indicates that the Roman soldiers 
nailing Him to tie cross did not realize they were killing 
the Prince of Life. Many in that hate-swollen crowd, even 
some of the priests and higher-ups in the political circles 
of Jerusalem, did not recognize the terrifying crime in 
which they had involved themselves; and Jesus had com- 
passion on their shocking, damning lack of knowledge, 
Ask any attorney, and he will tell you that ignorance of 



FATHER, FORGIVE THEM AND Us! 327 

human law is no excuse. If you exceed the speed limit, 
it will not help you to say, "I didn't know I was driving 
too fast/' If you neglect to pay your federal income taxes, 
the Government will not listen to your plea, "I did not 
know I had to make a return/' If you are eligible to 
register for military service, no one will even consider 
this excuse, "I did not know I should report/' But at the 
cross men learn that Christ, as always, has more mercy 
than we have. Only He could pray, only He and His 
have ever interceded, only He and His faithful will ever 
plead, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what 
they do!" 

II 

THE URGENT NECESSITY THAT WE PRAY, . 
"FATHER, FORGIVE THEM -AND US!" 

Now, we will do well to add to the Savior's prayer 
and plead, "'Father, forgive them' and us!" for too 
many people, without Christ or against His cross, sim- 
ilarly do not know what they are doing. Some of you are 
entirely ignorant of the destruction and disaster your re- 
jection of the Redeemer can cause. You "know not what" 
you do, you the religiously indifferent, who keep your 
distance from the church and think Sunday only a holi- 
day; but you are not only starving your own souls, you 
are undermining the foundations of the nation. General 
Henri Giraud recently ascribed the downfall of France, 
in part at least, to the neglect of the Lord's day. You 
"know not what 9 ' you do, you enemies of the home: at- 
torneys who make money by easy and quick divorce; 
judges whose decrees split the family after plain col- 
lusion; club women and agitators who are working for 
the public distribution and open teaching of birth-control 
methods; physicians who aid impurity; husbands and 
wives who secretly break your marriage vows you not 



328 FATHER, FORGIVE THEM AND Us! 

only disregard God's Law but also weaken American 
family life and help to increase national guilt. You "know 
not what" you do, you hypocrites who in the name of 
patriotism are trying to make money from soldiers and 
sailors; you tavern keepers, who ply them with drink; 
you frauds and cheats who advertise large, attractive 
packages for our service men but stuff them two-thirds 
full of straw and paper. You are not only defrauding the 
country's defenders; you are also undermining their mo- 
rale, working hand in hand with the enemy. You "know 
not what" you do, you Modernists who question God's 
Word, misinterpret it, and finally deny it in sermons de- 
livered from pulpits built by true believers in Christ's 
atonement and the resurrection. You are not only guilty 
of deceit; you are also blind leaders of the blind. Far 
more, many of you refuse to accept the redemption in 
Christ; not knowing what you do, you are endangering 
your own preciously bought souls, toying with your eter- 
nal destiny, daily drawing closer to the brink of hell. 
For the guarantee of heaven, will you not come to Cal- 
vary and pray, <c 'Father, forgive them and us, for often 
we '"know not what' we do"? 

Some of you are purposely blaspheming the Lord, de- 
liberately sneering at Jesus, willfully living in sin, deter- 
minately rebelling against the Almighty. To you I can 
only say, "May God have mercy on your souls!" Jesus 
was not praying for you, "Father forgive them; for they 
know not what they do!" You know what you are doing. 
Yet, despite your avowed wickedness, Christ, whose 
grace is new every morning, whose forgiveness is never 
withheld from any penitent sinner, however vile, offers 
you atonement, if only before your heart is altogether 
hardened, you humbly, contritely, accept Him as your Re- 



FATHER, FORGIVE THEM AND Us! 329 

deemer! No matter how terrifying your rebellion against 
the Savior, He died for you. 

No forgiveness is complete until it is accepted. Even 
the United States Supreme Court has ruled: if a prisoner 
refuses to agree to a pardon, he is not released. The bless- 
ings of redemption are not yours until you believe in 
Jesus. So that Christ will not have been crucified in vain 
for you, I ask you: Come to the cross! Accept your Re- 
deemer! Be cleansed in His blood! Find life through His 
death! Crushed by the weight of your sins, stand at grim 
Golgotha to pray, "Father, forgive" me! and from Heaven 
itself will come the assurance that your sins every one 
of them have been canceled at Calvary for eternity! 

Because we have received mercy, we must show 
mercy. In this age of personal hatred, class hatred, re- 
ligious hatred, national hatred, we hear Jesus say, "Love 
your enemies; bless them that curse you; do good to them 
that hate you; and pray for them which despitefully use 
you and persecute you!" If we would be Christ's, we must 
try to put this command into practice. We are not worthy 
disciples of the loving Lord unless we ourselves radiate 
forgiveness and compassion. True, forgiving charity starts 
at home, in our family circles. Some of you are living in 
households split apart by long-nourished grudges. Brother 
is estranged from sister; parents have banished their own 
children; as unbelievable as this is, husband and wife are 
often practical enemies, working at cross purposes, with 
never a kind word, never a caress. Can you, blessed as 
you are by the Christ who freely forgave the multitude 
of your heavy transgressions, wreck your own lives and 
the happiness of others through sustained quarrels over 
trivialities or through proud, selfish insistence on your 
rights? Now, while you behold the immeasurable mercy 
of your Savior crushed to the cross, give room to the re- 



330 FATHER, FORGIVE THEM AND Us! 

solve which the Spirit would plant within you by seeking 
forgiveness from those whom you have injured and grant- 
ing forgiveness to those who have injured you! 

There can likewise be no racial or religious, color or 
class prejudices among true Christians. Even a World 
War cannot change that statement. We dare not push re- 
ligion aside for the duration to forget that Jesus specifi- 
cally commanded, "Love your enemies!" and that on the 
cross He loved His murderers to the bitter end. In con- 
tradiction to Christ's compassion a high figure in Amer- 
ican life cries out, 'We must hate with every fiber of 
our being," A New York psychiatrist declares that, if we 
stop hating Germans, Japanese, and Italians, this will be 
"a stumbling block in our efforts to build a world in 
which further wars will be impossible." How utterly ab- 
surd this proposal to build a warless world with hatred! 
On the contrary, if passion and prejudice increase, we 
face a world of darkness and disaster beyond description. 
If during war, at the peace table, in the postwar period, 
we forget our Savior's holy example on the cross, who can 
measure the devastation and conflict which may follow? 
Of course, we denounce the Nazi system that has pro- 
duced the hatred and persecution of the Jews; but with 
all our deep-rooted aversion we dare not, would we be 
true to Jesus, permit our hearts to be filled with bitterness 
and malice toward the German people. Rather must we 
repeat the Redeemer's appeal for His foes, "Father, for- 
give them!" and with all lie means at our disposal bring 
them, as soon as possible, the promises of Gospel grace. 
I cannot forget how Russian Communists persecuted Lu- 
theran pastors and church members. I can see those mar- 
tyrs praying as they were cut down in the cold blood 
of mass murders; but I cannot hate the Russian people 
for those supercrimes. Instead, because I have pledged 



FATHEB, FORGIVE THEM AND Us! 331 

allegiance to the Cross, I must love them, intercede for 
them, and as soon as possible bring them, too, the mes- 
sage of full forgiveness. To this end we are seeking per- 
mission to broadcast in the U. S. S. R. After the war is 
over may it be soon! and with God helping us, we 
hope to enter devastated Europe with the message of 
spiritual reconstruction through the Savior preached in 
a dozen different languages. Ask God to grant us that 
request! 

At Calvary we find two ways of life; the one is the 
path of might, cruelty, hatred; the other, the road of 
reconciliation, love, mercy. Which way will you take? 
Which will our bleeding, battered world follow? Before 
Nurse Edith Cavell faced the German firing squad in 
World War I, she declared "I must die without hating." 
Must we not, looking to the Lord Jesus for strength in 
our weakness, resolve to live without hating, and as we 
daily pray, "'Father, forgive them!*" add, "and us, for 
Jesus' sake"? God grant that every one of you will fol- 
low the example of your crucified Christ throughout a 
life of love even for your enemies! We ask it by His 
promise. Amen. 



Families of America, Cling 
to the Cross! 



"When Jesus, therefore, saw His mother, and the 
disciple standing by whom He loved, He saith 
unto His mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then 
saith He to the disciple, Behold thy mother!" 
SAINT JOHN 19:26,27 

Jesus, Our Christ of Endless Compassion: 

As on Thy cross of agony and shame Thou didst establish 
and bless a new home for Thy mother, so from the throne of 
Thy glory in heaven look down on the families of this nation! 
By Thy Spirit graciously direct parents and children to Cal- 
vary in deep contrition and with a living, trusting faith! 
Forgive the repeated transgressions, especially the loveless- 
ness, strife, unfaithfulness in many households, and by the 
power of Thy blood remove all selfishness! Show us that 
without Thee we can do nothing good! We are too weak and 
selfish to preserve peace and mutual understanding, if Thou 
dost not enter our homes to bless us! Teach us, however, that 
no affliction of body or soul, no loss of money or treasure, no 
sorrow of disaster, nor even death need overwhelm us. In 
all these adversities we are more than conquerors through 
Thee and Thy limitless love! Graciously protect our military 
men and women who are far from their homes, daily sur- 
rounded by multiplied dangers; and, O Christ of mercy and 
might, grant them soon a happy home-coming in true victory 
and lasting peace! We plead according to Thy will and 
promise! Hear us, O Jesus, for our help is in Thee! Amen. 

XJL FEW years ago, when scientists were dig- 
ging in the ruins of Herculaneum, the city which, to- 
gether with Pompeii, was destroyed by Mount Vesuvius' 
eruption in 79 A. D., they were amazed to find under the 

332 



FAMILIES OF AMERICA, CLING TO CROSS ! 333 

lava and ashes a cross impressed on a bedroom wall in 
a most beautiful ancient dwelling. Though surrounded 
by pagan vice and debauch, that home, the first in all his- 
tory known thus to be marked, was not ashamed to show 
its devotion to the Lord Jesus. 

Today, when far more houses are destroyed by the 
bombings and blastings of this world conflict than by that 
fire and treachery of Vesuvius, every twentieth-century 
household in the United States could well follow this 
first-century example. Of course, there is no miraculous 
power in the wood or the precious metals of which a 
cross may be made or in the costly jewels with which it 
may be studded. Nor is there any help for the soul in 
bowing before the alleged fragments of the timbers on 
which the Savior was nailed, It is a million times more 
important to understand the true meaning of Jesus' suf- 
fering and to have our homes blessed by a Christ-centered 
faith. 

Because family life in this nation faces serious dif- 
ficulties, which can be removed only by loyalty to the 
Crucified, I urge you: Stand once more at Calvary! Wit- 
ness the Savior's deep concern for His mother's sorrows 
and suffering! Hear Him, as His love establishes a new 
home there, beneath the blood-marked cross! Ponder 
carefully this record of Saint John, chapter nineteen, 
verses twenty-six and twenty-seven: "When Jesus, there- 
fore, saw His mother, and the disciple standing by whom 
He loved, He saith unto His mother, Woman, behold thy 
son! Then saith He to the disciple, Behold thy mother! 39 
These words issue the call from Calvary: 

FAMILIES OF AMERICA, CLING TO THE CROSS! 

May the Holy Spirit mightily bless this message of Jesus' 
dying love in many sorrow-stricken, war-torn, peace- 
robbed homes! 



334 FAMILIES OF AMERICA, CLING TO CROSs! 



CLINGING TO THE CROSS, PARENTS LEARN TO STAND 
BY THEIR CHILDREN 

Who can ever know fully the anguish which surged 
through Mary's heart in those torturous, grief-numbed 
hours at Golgotha when she saw her own Son nailed to 
that accursed, unclean instrument of death? The Scrip- 
tures do not record that she spoke a single word during the 
hours of that agony, and perhaps the bleeding horror of 
the crucifixion left her speechless. No one knew Jesus as 
intimately, lovingly as His mother. How her thoughts must 
have raced through the thirty years in which, before His 
public ministry, He had been her considerate, devoted, 
and absolutely sinless Son! How vividly Mary must have 
recalled those sacred moments when her arms cradled 
His infant form! Yet, here at Golgotha she could not even 
wipe the grime, sweat, and blood from His wounded 
body; she could not stop the raging fever or quench the 
fiery thirst. She remembered that the angels had sung 
the promise of "great joy" which her Son would bring to 
all people. Where, she must have asked bewflderedly, 
could there be any joy in the appalling agony that would 
soon kill Him? "He shall save His people from their sins" 
the angels had promised; but at Golgotha, Mary heard 
the murder-crazed crowd cry in sneering sarcasm, "He 
saved others; Himself He cannot saver Christ, so proph- 
ecy had told her, was to be "a Light to lighten' the world, 
yet here on the skull-shaped hill of death both His 
countrymen and the Gentiles were united to destroy Him. 
Never in all human suffering has any other mother en- 
dured the horror which gripped Mary there beneath 
the cross. 

In their cruelest punishments degenerate tyrants have 
made parents witness the execution of their own children. 



FAMILIES OF AMERICA, CLING TO CROSS ! 335 

This was the favorite penalty imposed by Caligula, the 
insane, satanic Roman emperor who often insisted that 
fathers and mothers look on while their sons writhed in 
agony. But love, pure and unconquerable, not force, 
brought Mary to the execution of her sinless Son. Grue- 
some though the whole crucifixion was, nothing could 
keep her from Jesus in His last moments. The cowardly 
disciples might flee and hide, but she would stand by 
her Son. Jesus might be ridiculed and rejected, cursed 
and crucified, but come hatred, come persecution to the 
blood, come death itself weak, helpless woman though 
she was, Mary would stay with Christ and comfort Him 
until the end. 

Mothers and fathers of America, follow Mary in stand- 
ing by your children during their crisis moments! Never 
have they needed the encouragement of parents as in- 
tensely as now, in World War II. Eleven million of our 
choicest young men are to be under arms in the nation's 
defense before this year closes, and at least one of every 
three families in my audience knows what it has cost to 
give a son to the country. While it is neither weak nor 
unpatriotic to feel this loss so keenly that your eyes some- 
times fill with tears, do not let self-concern dictate your 
emotions! Rather try to help your sons, as Mary sought 
to sustain Jesus! 

If you truly wish to fulfill your responsibilities as 
fathers and mothers, work and pray that your children 
go out to Calvary to convince themselves that Jesus is 
their Savior; that, while His limitless and unrestricted 
love offers forgiveness, pardon, peace, and heaven itself 
to all men in the entire past, present, and future of his- 
tory, nevertheless His cross-crowned mercy is so indi- 
vidual and personal that every sinner can look up to the 
crucified Redeemer and say: "He shed His blood to 



336 FAMILIES OF AMERICA, CLING TO CROSS I 

cleanse me; He was crucified to rescue me from hell. He 
died here, so that I might have eternal life/' 

We hear much of morale-building agencies. May God 
bless any program that can give real encouragement to 
our armed forces! But if you could visit our men in 
Pacific island foxholes, Tunisian tanks, on Aleutian air- 
fields, or North Atlantic conveys, many would person- 
ally assure you that the highest and steadiest morale- 
builder is Christian faith, These men know that, when 
you see an enemy detachment approaching, find a torpedo 
steering its way toward the center of your ship, hear 
an aerial bomb whistling its way in your direction, you 
need Christ. Therefore, parents of America, strengthen 
your sons with the fortitude of trusting faith! It is not 
enough that you love them, write to them regularly, 
supply them with everything money can buy. They need 
more than devotion or letters. They must have something 
money cannot buy Jesus for their hearts and their lives. 

Unbelief and rejection of Christ are always destruc- 
tive, but never so much as when parents who should help 
their children spiritually are forced to stammer hopelessly 
in soul ignorance. I certainly would not want to be an 
atheist father and have to send my son into this war 
with no support for its dangerous hours other than the 
vague hope that somehow luck or fate may be good to 
him. If you parents who have never brought your chil- 
dren to Christ simply because you have stubbornly and 
selfishly resisted the Savior want to undo the influence 
of your bad example, stop battling against the Almighty! 
Give Jesus His way in your soul! Drop your pride to con- 
fess yourselves poor, lost sinners! Ask the Lord to forgive 
you for Jesus' sake! Put your trust wholly, continually, 
sincerely, in your crucified Savior, and then God be 
praised you can do what Mary did, you can truly stand 



FAMILIES OF AMERICA, CLING TO CROSS ! 337 

by your boy through life or, if divine wisdom decrees, 
through death! You can help fortify the hearts of our 
fighting men from Kiska to Casablanca to China. How? 
If you churchless and Christless listeners will accept Jesus 
as your Savior and then write letters like this: "Dear Son: 
Today Mother and I have accepted Christ. We have been 
blind up to this time, but now, thank God, we see the 
light. We are sorry that we have helped keep the Lord 
from you all these years, but now we beg you to welcome 
Him as your Redeemer!" 

To help your son find Jesus a large number of Chris- 
tian pastors have offered their services as Army and Navy 
chaplains. Records in my own Church, which has fur- 
nished some 150 spiritual leaders for our armed forces, 
show that in this conflict more than ever before the chap- 
lain meets the same dangers which confront your son. 
As we thank every truly Christian chaplain for his self- 
sacrifice in behalf of Jesus, we plead with each one of 
them to maintain an uncompromising, unswerving devo- 
tion to the Savior and to help keep our armed forces be- 
lieving and trusting the Lord of their salvation. 

We cannot promise, of course, that, if you parents 
help bring your sons to Christ and keep them with Him, 
they will lead a "charmed" life, escaping danger and 
death. Even Mary's intense love at Calvary could not 
save her Son. Some of our fighting men will lose their 
lives; but then what blessed assurance to know that they 
have gone home to Jesus, that they are face to face with 
Him, relieved from war, wickedness, and suffering! . . . 
How terrifying, on the other hand, for a soldier to face 
the horror of death alone, without the Lord's' sustaining 
companionship, because his own parents kept him away 
from this divine Companion! Believe also, however, that, 
if it be God's high and holy purpose, a Christian soldier 

Tenth Lutheran Hour 22 



338 FAMILIES OF AMERICA, CLING TO CROSS! 

can be protected, miraculously, if necessary. Recently I 
stated on this broadcast that the Almighty can change the 
course of bullets to shield His children. Some of you may 
have thought that exaggeration, but recently I received 
a letter telling of a sailor whose ship was twice torpedoed 
off North Africa, and who, as he took to the lifeboat, was 
under close, constant enemy fire. He writes: "Bullets con- 
tinually grazed my legs and arms. It is a miracle of God 
that I was spared." Behind that miracle was a family 
which for two years prayed daily for his safety. If your 
son is Christ's, then, in life or in death, you can have the 
confidence by which the father of a twenty-one-year-old 
distinguished pilot in the South Pacific air-service wrote 
me: "May the Lord, if it be His will, keep Howard well 
and safe! But should He will it otherwise, we pray that 
He will give us strength and courage to travel on until 
we, too, shall reach the end of the road and meet again at 
Jesus' feet." 

American parents must also stand by sons and daugh- 
ters who stay at home. They, too, must battle, not so 
much against actual flesh-and-blood adversaries as against 
treacherous wickedness and alluring temptations. Here 
they are, these regiments of ruin mobilized against your 
boys and girls as never before: "Youth Enemy Number 
One: loose morality. An old proverb warns: "When war 
breaks out, hell has to be enlarged." While we should 
reasonably expect that the visitations of this present 
struggle and the longer casualty lists would sober people, 
make them humble themselves under God's chastis- 
ing hand, lead them to repent of their sins, we see in- 
stead worldliness on all sides. How true Jeremiah's com- 
plaint: "Thou hast stricken them, but they have not 
grieved; Thou hast consumed them ) but they have re- 
fused to receive correction; they have made their faces 



FAMILIES OF AMERICA, CLING TO CROSS! 839 

harder than a rock; they have refused to return" Our 
young people cannot escape all contact with evil forces. 
The laxity and looseness of immorality, the lure to live 
fully while you can, continually coax our young people, 
and too often temptation triumphs. Study the increase 
in teen-age lawbreakers; survey our overcrowded re- 
formatories! 

Youth Enemy Number Two: the spending, the luxury, 
the love of easy money. Most young people have never 
before handled the large sums they now receive; and the 
widespread extravagance they behold on all sides $3,000 
mink coats, $500 hats, $30 shoes helps increase the love 
of vanity at the expense of soul growth and a clean, 
humble life. 

Youth Enemy Number Three: lax family standards. 
Where, outside the churches and not even in all of 
them do any agencies emphasize marriage as a divine 
gift and lifelong blessing; parenthood, a sacred priv- 
ilege and responsibility; motherhood, a divinely appointed 
power in the home rather than in business, politics, and 
social activities? Even the United States Supreme Court 
has made the lowest, easiest divorce laws granted by one 
of our States legal for the whole nation! Our young men 
and women are influenced by this collapse of family 
morality. Not a few of the girls who run carelessly into 
hasty weddings without really knowing their husbands or 
understanding the sacrifices wartime marriages demand 
are saying to themselves, 'Well, if this marriage does not 
turn out as I expect, or if I meet someone I like better, 
I can always get a divorce." 

Youth Enemy Number Four: sinful amusement and 
drink. A mere glance at the advertisements of most night 
clubs reveals their sordid character. Widely applauded 
tage productions feature the triangle relation without 



340 FAMILIES OF AMERICA, CLING TO CROSS! 

rebuke. The F. B. I. has branded certain public dance 
halls as breeding places of vice. In Saint Louis the mili- 
tary police have closed taverns to soldiers because they 
were centers of crime and disease. Drunken driving has 
increased 60 per cent in one of our large cities. 

Youth Enemy Number Five: printed attacks on God's 
Word and the Christian home. Newspapers have again 
featured full-page advertisements of certain pamphlets, 
miscalled 'iDooks," published by a Kansas infidel, some of 
them written by perverted minds, many openly opposed 
to Christ and the demands of decency. I rejoice that a 
New Orleans friend, to present the counteracting, saving 
influence of the Gospel, is paying for full-page space in 
the largest paper of that city, so that he can bring our 
message to all the people in New Orleans. I earnestly in- 
vite other business men whom God has richly blessed to 
do the same thing in their communities. We must use the 
press for the Savior, since it is too widely abused against 
Him. Think of it, in a syndicated column conducted by 
a woman nationally known as a counselor on home ques- 
tions, a nineteen-year-old Catholic young woman writes 
that she is in love with a Protestant married man twelve 
years older than she, the father of a seven-year-old child! 
This man plans to secure a divorce, and the girl, who 
states that she "can hardly wait for that glorious day," 
asks where she should be married. In answer, that widely 
heralded consultant on courtship and marriage merely 
suggests the wedding be performed by a justice of the 
peace or by some minister who does not hesitate to re- 
marry divorced persons, but not in a single word does she 
warn the girl that she is helping to break a home, ruining 
her life, losing her soul! 

Youth Enemy Number Six: anti-Christian influences. 
Christ-rejecting churches, often with large funds at their 



FAMILIES OF AMERICA, CLING TO CROSs! 341 

disposal; social-gospel churches, with much entertain- 
ment, but little soul-encouragement; sleepy, spiritually 
dead churches which spurn their divinely bestowed gifts; 
Bible-ridiculing schools, with large scholarship and en- 
dowment funds; atheist-Communist political movements, 
with pointed appeals to our young people these have 
wrought unspeakable havoc in young lives by turning 
many from the Lord. The latest atrocity is offered by the 
Texas University student paper, in which a girl editor 
applauds Russian atheism and lists "religion," along with 
slavery and prostitution, as one of the seven sins with 
which men are cursed. 

Youth Enemy Number Seven, the last and in many 
ways the worst: the indifference of parents and the break- 
down of the home. Ask J. Edgar Hoover, head of the Fed- 
eral Bureau of Investigation, why more girls are going 
wrong than ever before, and he gives this reason: "A de- 
plorable lack of parental guidance and discipline in many 
homes"! Ask social workers why they are overcrowded 
with family case work, and they will answer that often, 
when father and mother both work, they are too busy or 
unwilling to care for the family; that far too frequently 
parents are separated, divorced! Ask any pastor why 
young people who seemed to give promise of a victorious 
life have forsaken Jesus, and usually he will reply that 
they had no reinforcement for their religion at home, that 
their families never took time to meet God in prayer and 
worship! 

The order of the day, then, for the home front is: 
Parents, cling to the Cross and use its divine power to 
help your children! It is not enough that you provide 
them with food and shelter, educate them, lavish your 
affection on them. You yourself must have Christ to give 
them Christ. Everything else you bequeath them can be 



342 FAMILIES OF AMERICA, CLING TO CROSS! 

taken away; the money they inherit may endanger their 
soul's salvation, but the faith they have learned from you 
can be the imperishable assurance of their heavenly re- 
demption. 

Fathers and mothers, can you truly say, "I have stood 
at the Savior's cross, and my children have worshiped 
with me'? Do you answer, "No"? Realize then, if there is 
to be pardon and promise for you, you must first show 
sincere repentance for your sins. Then, as God's Word 
directs you, ""Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou 
shalt be saved, and thy house!" you must accept Him as 
your suffering, bleeding, dying Redeemer, welcome Him 
into your family circle as the Head of your household, 
daily commune with Him in the Scriptures, constantly 
intercede with Him through fervent prayer, eagerly plead 
and work, so that the whole family father, mother, and 
children all kneel at the cross in one blessed faith and 
in one triumphant hope. 

II 

CLINGING TO THE CROSS, CHILDREN LEARN TO STAND 
BY THEIR PARENTS 

Our text tells us that when the Savior "saw His 
mother, and the disciple standing by whom He loved. 
He saith unto His mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then 
saith He to the disciple, Behold thy mother!" The pain 
of soul and body which our crucified Savior endured at 
Calvary as He paid the full, fearful price of all iniquity, 
atoning for sin after sin, in the endless list of human 
guilt, is utterly beyond human measurement, understand- 
ing and expression; yet, when the crucified Redeemer be- 
held Mary, He forgot the horror and the terror our sins 
had laid upon Him; He provided a home for His mother, 
with shelter, protection, and love. How marvelous His 
compassion! 



FAMILIES OF AMERICA, CLING TO CROSS 1 343 

How striking His example and appeal, -too, for Amer- 
ican sons and daughters similarly to stand by their par- 
ents! Mary, the Savior knew, would have to face loneli- 
ness, public curiosity, persecution; and many of your 
parents, now or in the near future, unable to support 
themselves, may hover on the edge of destitution. What 
are you going to do? Refuse to provide for them because, 
as you say, you have your own worries? Send them to 
the poorhouse? Let them rely on state old-age pensions? 
Remember all that your fatter and mother have done 
for you! They gave you life; they guarded you during 
childhood years, provided for you until you could begin 
to make your own way; and if you are blessed with Chris- 
tian parents, they brought you to Jesus, taught you the 
Savior's love, prayed for you, denied themselves so that 
you could enjoy advantages they never knew. Yet, in cold 
selfishness, many young people have forsaken their fa- 
thers and mothers. Some of the saddest letters we receive 
come from aged parents, seventy, eighty, or more years 
old, whose children have no room for them in their 
homes, no love for them in their hearts. How shocking 
that ingratitude and how terrifying its punishment! God's 
Word warns, "Cursed be he that setteth light by his 
father or his mother!" And again, "The eye that mocketh 
at his father and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens 
of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall 
eat it," If you have thus sinned against your parents, fall 
on your knees to ask God's forgiveness! See the Savior, 
writhing in agony, provide for His mother's earthly needs, 
and resolve that with God's help you will amend and im- 
prove your sin-marked life! 

Has God graciously given you parents who, like Mary, 
love the Savior and cling to His grace? Make it your duty 
to radiate their faith! Rembrandt, the world-renowned 



344 FAMILIES OF AMERICA, CLING TO CROSS! 

Dutch artist, gratefully painted many pictures of his 
mother. Almost one hundred have been found, and in 
most of these she clasps a small Bible in her hands. You 
may not be able to immortalize your mother or father 
in portraits; but if, you show the faith your Christian 
parents taught you, you will pay them a tribute more 
valuable in God's sight than any costly canvas. When you 
follow Christ's example and honor your parents, the Lord 
will honor you. The commandment, "Thou shalt honor 
thy -father and thy mother" is the only ordinance of the 
ten with a blessing "that it may be well with thee and 
thou mayest live long on the earth!" 

Ill 

CLINGING TO THE CROSS, THE WHOLE FAMILY 
IS BLESSED BY CHRIST 

Saint John for he was the disciple to whom Jesus 
entrusted His mother experienced the fulfillment of 
this promise in a long life and, despite persecutions, a 
good life. He was in all probability the youngest of the 
Twelve; but in no way was he morally or spiritually better 
than the others. On the contrary, before the Savior's 
crucifixion he shared the weaknesses of the rest. He, too, 
dreamed of a powerful kingdom which the Lord would 
establish on earth. He, too, coveted a high position of 
authority at the Savior's right hand. He, too, had not 
learned to supplant hatred with love; for when the people 
of a Samaritan village refused to welcome Jesus, he be- 
sought the Lord that fire from heaven might destroy 
them. He was a true son "of thunder" who would have 
used force and destruction to spread the Redeemer's 
realm. After the crucifixion, however, John was a changed 
man; in his Gospel and three epistles he becomes the 
outstanding Apostle of love and humility, teaching that 



FAMILIES OF AMEBICA, CLING TO CROSS ! 845 

Christ's dominion is spiritual, that it welcomes not those 
who resort to tumult and bloodshed but those who are 
"born of water and of the Spirit." How can we account 
for this startling change? We know, of course, that it was 
a miracle wrought by the Holy Spirit through the Word; 
but who brought Saint John that Word? Are we not en- 
titled to conclude that in his home Mary confided to 
him the marvelous wonders which she as the Savior's 
mother had witnessed in the life of her divine Son all 
the treasures of sacred memory she had kept in her heart 
since Jesus was born? 

Every one of you can find the same regenerating 
power in your Bible, which, by its own promise, "is able 
to build you up 9 ' and strengthen your household. Is your 
family happiness broken by quarrel, cursing, drunken- 
ness, unfaithfulness, waning love? You have one but 
only one hope of permanent help: God's Word, as it 
brings you the Gospel grace of your crucified Savior. 
If real understanding, true affection, mutual helpfulness 
have been banished from your dwelling, there is again 
only one way to forgiveness and unselfishness: the way 
to the cross, where, beholding God's Son slain in your 
place, you learn, believe, and trust the supreme truth of 
earth and heaven "He died for 9 you. If parents and 
children understand the terrible curse of sin, doubly 
damnable, it seems, when it blasts peace and joy from 
the family circle; if they cling to the cross with the soul- 
deep assurance that "the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, 
cleanseth us from all sin 9 ; if they practice the Savior's 
teachings concerning the home, invoke His presence in 
daily prayer, attend a true church regularly and rever- 
ently, have the children, wherever possible, enjoy the 
blessings of Christian day-school training, the members 
of that household, be it rich or poor, will enjoy the fullest 
blessings we can know this side of heaven. 



346 FAMILIES OF AMERICA, CLING TO CROSsl 

Why, we may well ask, did Jesus entrust His mother 
to John, when she had close relatives, who could have 
given her food and shelter? Probably because these kins- 
folk did not believe in the Savior, He was unwilling to 
entrust His mother to them. By contrast, how easily 
young people entrust themselves for life to unbelievers! 
How readily parents permit their sons or daughters to 
marry infidels! It takes more than money, furniture, dec- 
orations, to make the truly happy home. It takes more 
than even love itself. You must have Christ. 

He who suffered on the cross for us can strengthen 
our families in any trials or sorrows. European medical 
annals tell of a Hungarian nobleman who lost his only 
child, a beautiful daughter, on the eve of her marriage. 
For two years he remained in a state of melancholia from 
which not even the efforts of specialists could free him. 
Then a friend suggested a new way to counteract the 
growing depression. The assistance of Elizabeth Mara, 
distinguished court singer, was secured, and unknown to 
the count, it was arranged that she, without being seen, 
would sing for him from Handel's Messiah, the Christ- 
exalting masterpiece. At first the melancholy man paid 
scant attention to the exquisite music. But when Eliza- 
beth Mara sang the words, "Behold, and see if there be 
any sorrow like unto My sorrow" and the oratorio pic- 
tured Jesus on the cross of shame and agony, the de- 
spised, rejected, sin-bearing Son of God, the count was 
suddenly gripped by His Savior's love. Tears gathered 
in his eyes, the first since the funeral of his daughter. 
He fell on his knees in contrite faith, and when the 
choir accompanying the singer joined in the "Hallelujah 
Chorus/' his voice was blended in that hymn of praise. 
The Triune God of grace promises you, parents and chil- 
dren, that no matter how often sorrow may cross your 



FAMILIES OF AMERICA, CLING TO CROSS! 347 

threshold, how heavy the weight of grief these days of 
war may bring, how hopeless life may seem, if you hear 
the crucified, sin-crushed Redeemer plead, "Behold, and 
see if there be any sorrow like unto My sorrow? and 
declare: *O Jesus, truly no one could suffer as Thou didst 
suffer, since Thou didst take upon Thyself my sins and 
the guilt of all the world. O Jesus, no one could be tor- 
tured as Thou wast, for Thy soul pain on the cross grants 
me pardon and peace; Thy death assures me of life" 
if your family is marked by that faith, the Almighty now 
gives you the most blessed assurance even He can grant 
the promise of your glorious, heavenly home. Parents of 
America, children of America, come to Calvary! Cling to 
Christ's cross! Amen. 



Thank God: Christ Stayed 
on the Cross! 



"They that passed by reviled Him, 
their heads and saying, Thou that destroyest the 
Temple and buildest it in three days, save Thy- 
self! If Thou be the Son of God, come down 
from the cross! Likewise also the chief priests, 
mocking Him, with the scribes and elders, said, 
He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He 
be the King of Israel, let Him now come down 
from the cross, and we will believe Him!" 
SAINT MATTHEW 27:39-42 

Lord Jesus, Who Didst Love Us Until the End: 

How can we ever worthily thank Thee that Thou didst stay 
on the cross to endure unspeakable pain of body, but far 
greater anguish of soul, in completing the task of our re- 
demption? O blessed Savior, with our whole heart we praise 
Thee that Thou didst willingly bear the crushing load of our 
iniquities and with Thy blood pay the fearful price demanded 
as our ransom from death and hell. Help us endure our sor- 
rows and afflictions by turning to Thee, our Holy Example 
and Source of every comfort! We need Thy sustaining pres- 
ence during every moment of these sin-darkened days, when 
in our human weakness we are too likely to compromise with 
unbelief instead of confessing Thee before men. Therefore, 
abide with us and bless us! Strengthen Thy followers in the 
armed forces to remain loyal amid all temptations to forsake 
Thee; and, O Jesus, Thou Prince of Peace, protect them by 
Thy might until and may it be soon Thou wilt merci- 
fully bring them back to us with blessed victory and a triumph 
of truth! Hear us and help us, as Thou hast promised! Amen. 



WH 



HEN our country declared war in Decem- 
ber, 1941, a United States Senator predicted that within 
six months our enemies would be destroyed. The half 

348 



THANK GOD: CHRIST STAYED ON CROSS 349 

year elapsed, but we had to fight on. Other voices were 
then heard predicting the last of the conflict by the end 
of 1942. That year closed and we were still embattled. 
New prophets arose to foresee the triumph of our cause 
before 1943 is over; yet last week Great Britain's prime 
minister asserted that the struggle will last until the con- 
clusion of 1944, or maybe 1945. Ten per cent of the Wash- 
ington political and military experts, recently interviewed 
by a newspaper man, believe that victory will not appear 
on our horizon until 1946; some, not before 1951. 

With so many bad guesses in the past and such un- 
certainty for the future, people hardly know what to be- 
lieve; but every American ought to know what to do. 
We should be on our knees before God, constantly be- 
seeching Him, with whom "all things are possible" if it 
be His will, to stop this conflict now. A long struggle 
may mean long casualty lists, the impoverishment of the 
masses, the end of free government in the United States. 
We should humbly bow before the Almighty, confess our 
individual and national sins, plead for pardon in Jesus* 
name, resolve to remove the transgressions for which 
this visitation has come upon us: pride and profanity; 
unbelief and ridicule of the Christian religion; falsehood 
and false witnessing; impurity and immorality; crime and 
covetousness. If we want this war to end and thousands 
of American lives to be spared, we must not make the 
mistake of thinking that we ourselves can say when this 
bloodshed will cease. We must leave that to God and 
with sincere contrition plead that His might and mercy 
may grant us speedy victory. 

Instead of repenting in sackcloth and ashes, however, 
millions in the United States are regaling themselves in 
furs and finery, luxury and lust, carnival and carousal. 
Multitudes have not felt God's chastening hand. They 



350 THANK GOD: CHRIST STAYED ON CROSS 

complain about the new ration schedule of two pounds 
of meat each week; but where in this broad, blessed 
country has there been any real shortage of necessities? 
A Congressman who investigated the restaurants in Wash- 
ington reports, "Chicken dinners only half eaten; halves 
of good, juicy steaks left on the plates; whole bowls of 
peas from which only one spoonful had been taken; good 
desserts nibbled at and left"; and he concludes, "I believe 
that the waste in the District of Columbia restaurants 
every week would feed a thousand families in some of 
the occupied countries and make them fall on their knees 
and praise the Lord." Not only do we waste earthly 
blessings; the country's greatest sin is the loss of spiritual 
power, the neglect of Christ's blood-bought salvation. 

Whatever comes, however long the war may last, the 
Christian I mean the believer who looks to the cross of 
the Lord Jesus and to His cleansing blood for pardon, 
peace, and heaven's paradise has the guaranteed as- 
surance that these times of testing are for inner growth, 
for the fortifying of his faith. Today perhaps more than 
ever before in our country we should realize that God 
does not always lead His children the easy way; that 
their sorrows, far from being short and quick, are often 
long and drawn out; that sometimes they must suffer in 
order to gain spiritual successes. For courage in great 
crises, for willingness to endure agony, we turn to Christ 
crucified at Calvary. When He hung on the cross of 
shame and agony, our text (Saint Matthew, chapter 
twenty-seven, beginning at verse thirty-nine) tells us: 
"They that passed by reviled Him, wagging their heads 
and saying, Thou that destroy est the Temple and buildest 
it in three days, save Thyself I If Thou be the Son of God, 
come down -from the cross! Likewise also the chief priests, 
mocking Him, with the scribes arid elclers, said^ He saved 



THANK GOD: CHRIST STAYED ON CROSS 351 

others; Himself He cannot save. If He be the King of 
Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we 
will believe Him!" Because the crucified Savior refused 
to heed the taunting challenge "Come down!" we today 
breathe this prayer of heart-deep gratitude: 

"THANK GOD: CHRIST STAYED ON THE CROSS!" 

May the comforting, enlightening Spirit of all truth now 
draw you close to the dying Lord of love at Golgotha 
and teach you to find joy, courage, hope, for your own 
lives at Calvary! 

I 
THE TRAGEDY OF A CROSSLESS CHRIST 

We should truly feel ashamed at being members of 
the human race when we behold the Savior's countrymen 
standing within the shadow of His cross and hurling 
their taunting insults against the bleeding, dying Son of 
God. We would suppose that no matter how misplaced 
their enmity may have been before, now that their satanic 
purpose had been accomplished, with Jesus nailed to the 
tree of torture, they would have been satisfied and re- 
turned to their homes, No; their hatred was so fiendish 
that they remained to revel in His agony. Recently the 
newspapers printed the picture of a dog that kept watch 
over another dog, its dead playmate. Unmistakable in 
that puppy's eyes was the look of animal sorrow and 
brute grief; yet these crucifiers at Calvary showed less 
sympathy even than dumb, irrational creatures. We might 
be inclined to regard their depravity and deep-rooted 
cruelty as exceptional and entirely abnormal, if it were 
not for the grim fact that within our own generation we 
ourselves have witnessed the same gleeful gloating, which 
made Christ's enemies drag figures and effigies of th 



352 THANK GOD: CHRIST STAYED ON CROSS 

sinless, stainless Savior through muddy streets, led atheist 
societies to print dirty jokes about the Virgin Mary, urged 
infidel writers to feature scurrilous attacks on Scripture. 

They were not restricted to one class or group, these 
jeering, howling throngs beneath the cross. Look at them 
closely, and you will find the high and the low of Jeru- 
salem: on the one hand, priests, scribes, politicians, San- 
hedrin members, influential leaders; and on the other 
hand, the city's dregs: criminals from its slums, wretches 
ruined by its vices! The common hatred of Jesus put men 
of opposing stations in life on the same level, just as, 
a few hours before He went the way of the cross, Pilate 
and Herod, bitter enemies until that time, were recon- 
ciled through their mutual rejection of the Savior. Even 
today atheists and unbelievers form similarly strange 
alliances. No matter how completely they may spurn each 
other in social life, their hatred of the Redeemer is so 
overpowering that they will march against Him shoulder 
to shoulder with people whom they otherwise shun. In- 
spect the roster of Reds and radicals in America, and you 
will see white and black, clergy and laity, capitalists and 
laborers, teachers and students, anarchists and socialists, 
Gentiles and Jews, millionaires and paupers, writers and 
illiterates, pacifists and warmongers. They forget their 
differences to present a united front against Christ. 

Among these cruel critics at Calvary was a group of 
average, middle-class people. As we see them stick out 
their tongues at the Crucified, "wagging their heads" in 
derision, pouring out their profane ridicule, we realize 
that they were blind followers of blind leaders. They 
knew that the chief priests, the politically and socially 
important, had rejected Christ, and they concluded that 
it was smart for them to do the same thing. Why is it 
that some of you, after nineteen centuries, in which Christ 



THANK GOD: CHRIST STAYED ON CROSS 353 

has powerfully demonstrated the truth of His Gospel, are 
still outside the Church today? Is it not because you like- 
wise take the word of some unbelieving teacher, infidel 
lecturer, agnostic writer, in preference to God's? You feel 
that the people whose names make news are often op- 
posed to the Lord, their lives plainly hostile to His 
Gospel; and you follow them. You demand, repeating 
the charge voiced in the Savior's day: "Are any of the 
leading scientists disciples of the Lord? Are any of the in- 
tellectual geniuses Christian?" And you answer with an 
unqualified "No!" In all truth, however, you forget that 
the mightiest minds of all generations have been humble 
and reverent. Throw off these destructive prejudices and 
take time to study God's Word fairly, think for yourself, 
and with the Spirit's help believe for yourself! 

Here, scattered throughout the morbid crowd, are 
the leaders in the crucifixion, the clergy that remained 
at Golgotha to gloat over the Savior's agony. It is bad 
enough when a man outside the Church is found guilty 
of crime; but it seems a hundred times worse when a 
servant of God deliberately connives with evil and mur- 
derously plans to take an innocent life. Note that the 
highest of the high, the chief priests, together with the 
scribes and the elders of the temple in Jerusalem, were 
the moving spirits in this supercrime. They, in the first 
instance, are responsible for the grief and devastation 
that overtook their country. They sold Jerusalem to its 
ruin, just as, through succeeding generations, whenever 
those who should be preachers and prophets of the Al- 
mighty forgot the Lord, they helped sign their nation's 
sentence of doom and destruction. The government re- 
fuses to draft theological students and clergymen for 
active warfare because it wants them to fortify the home 
front. However, can ministers strengthen our nation if they 

Tenth Lutheran Hour 23 



354 THANK GOD: CHRIST STAYED ON CROSS 

weaken its faith in the Bible? Can they point us to vic- 
tory if they seek to defeat Christ? Can they fortify Amer- 
ica by assisting in tearing down the mighty fortress we 
have in our Savior? The broadcast of this Sunday is spon- 
sored by the students of our Concordia Theological Sem- 
inary. As I thank God for the fact that this divinity school, 
which during the 104 years of its existence has sent more 
than 6,000 ministers into mission fields on the six con- 
tinents, has never had a Modernist on its faculty, never 
graduated a student who did not unreservedly accept the 
Scriptures as the inspired, inerrant Word of God and 
Jesus as the divine, complete Savior, I appeal to these 
men of Concordia, our graduates beyond the campus, 
yes, to every true minister of Christ, and every student of 
theology in the United States: Preach the Word! Preach 
the Law, with all its shattering, crushing power! Tell 
people without exception that they have "sinned, and 
come short of the glory of God"! Warn them that as far 
as they themselves are concerned, they are hopelessly, 
eternally lost in their sins! Testify that they are not strong 
enough, good enough, rich enough, smart enough, to 
make their own way into heaven, that every day they live 
against Christ they are destroying their own souls! But 
then, when the horrors of hell rise before their eyes, when 
the torture of unforgiven sin tears at their heart, when 
they realize that they are driving on to inevitable per- 
dition, preach Christ! Preach the cross! Preach the blood! 
Preach the atonement! Preach justification by faith! Be- 
fore God I declare that you young men who are loyal to 
the Gospel are, under God, the nation's and the Church's 
highest hope for the crisis days ahead. In the Savior's 
name I beseech you: "Don't let us down! Don't com- 
promise the Redeemer! Don't surrender one iota of the 



THANK GOD: CHRIST STAYED ON CROSS 355 

blood-bought heritage, the pledge of Christ's full, unfail- 
ing redemption!" 

With the same conviction I say to you men in clerical 
robes who have put a question mark behind the Re- 
deemer's promise and who, if Jesus were with us today, 
would be under the cross like those clerical killers, your 
defiant denial of the Bible, your rejection of Christ's re- 
demption, are helping to undermine the foundations of 
faith on which this nation has rested in the past and on 
which alone it can be secure for the future. You, with 
your veiled but violent hatred of God's Son, are the front- 
line enemies of the United States today, just as those 
Jerusalem priests were the prime factors in the destruc- 
tion of their country. You, too, are not satisfied with your 
own sarcastic unbelief. You deliberately seek to tear 
others from Jesus. Someone sent me a clipping from an 
Omaha newspaper (I deeply appreciate this help; please 
give me all such assistance you can!) which told of a 
religious meeting in that city. Two laymen are reported 
as speaking. The one asserted: The Church should preach 
the Gospel; and the other reinforced this by declaring: 
The churches should stick to the preaching of the Cross. 
However, the newspaper reports opposition to this em- 
phasis on the Savior; objection think of it! raised by 
clergymen! They requested "a reinterpretation of Christ's 
teachings" and you know what that means: They asked 
vaguely for "brotherhood" but neglected to demand the 
Gospel's power. How long will you consecrated laymen 
keep on worshiping in congregations which you and your 
family helped to build, but in which your Bible-grounded 
faith, your Christ-exalting creed, is steadily attacked from 
the pulpit by a man who, despite the robes he wears and 
the titles preceding or following his name, makes Jesus 
merely another human leader, a reformer, a teacher, 



356 THANK GOD: CHRIST STAYED ON CROSS 

a prophet anything but God's Son and the world's 
Savior? How long will you devout disciples sit quietly in 
your pews to hear the message of salvation by the Re- 
deemer's blood supplanted by salvation through your 
own achievement? If you really want to serve God's 
kingdom and do something for your country, banish all 
piulpit unbelief! Keep Christian congregations clean of 
betrayal and treachery! If your church in its charter is 
dedicated to support the Scriptures and the Savior but 
instead is used to undermine the Bible and belittle Christ, 
you have only one alternative, would you be loyal to 
your Lord: You must see that those who persist in dis- 
honoring Jesus are barred from your church; and if they 
are not removed, you must eventually leave that congre- 
gation, hard as the parting may be! 

Listen now to the taunting, cutting cries raised against 
Christ at Calvary! First of all they challenge, "Thou that 
destroy est the Temple and buildest it in three days., save 
Thyself!" Viciously they twist and tear our Lord's words. 
They falsify and He. Jesus had never said that He would 
rebuild Herod's temple at Jerusalem in three days. He 
did say that, though the temple of His body be wrecked 
(by death on the cross), yet on the third day it would be 
rebuilt in the resurrection unto life, as, praise God, it was 
revived. Changing God's Word has been a withering 
curse during all succeeding ages. Men in Germany, Eng- 
land, France, Russia, and may God forgive us! in our 
own country, gifted, talented scholars have spent long 
years of university study and then devoted their lifetime 
all for one evil purpose: to change the unchangeable 
Word, to make Scripture say what they want and not 
what God wants. Earnestly I warn you against altering 
the Bible to suit yourself. Take every syllable of heav- 
enly truth as it is written! Abraham Lincoln suggested, 



THANK GOD: CHRIST STAYED ON CROSS 357 

take it with reason if you can, but above all take every- 
thing with faith! When you read, "Christ died for the 
ungodly, 9 ' then reply: "God said this. Christ did it. I be- 
lieve it That settles it." 

In the second place, these poison-tongued, rabble- 
rousing priests cry, "!F Thou be the Son of God." Note 
that they do not blame Jesus for having healed their 
sick, fed their hungry, comforted their bereaved! Today 
no one but a moron will attack Christianity because of 
its Sermon on the Mount But tell men that this Sufferer 
on the cross is the almighty God, the Son of the heav- 
enly Father, and immediately the finger of superior 
scorn will be pointed at you. You will be called a "funny- 
mentalist," charged with having a medieval mind. Yet it 
is Bible truth that Jesus, above our poor powers of under- 
standing, is God all-powerful, all-knowing, all-merciful, 
without a "perhaps" or "perchance," without a "possibly" 
or "probably," without a "can-be" or "maybe," "could-be" 
or "would-be." 

The cruelest of the cries at Calvary demanded, "If 
Thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross!" 
and again, "I/ He be the King of Israel, let Him now 
come down from the cross, and we will believe Him!" 
These people actually sought to dictate the terms under 
which they would accept Jesus! He had to free His hands 
from the nails on the crossbar, and His feet from the 
spikes on the beam, before they would believe Him. 
Many of you are making a similarly fatal mistake. You 
say that you will accept Christ if if He gives you what 
you want. You are willing to agree that Jesus is your God, 
if He heals your sickness, brings your boy home safe 
from the battle front, grants you a good, easy, comfort- 
able life. What pride, arrogance, and effrontery to state 
the conditions under which you are willing to receive 



358 THANK GOD: CHRIST STAYED ON CROSS 

Jesus! Can a leaf bargain with a whirlwind? Can an in- 
sect on a railroad track argue with the onrashing express 
train? Can a pebble on the seashore reason with the 
rolling tides? You ought to crawl to Christ on your hands 
and knees; instead, you stand with the crucifiers and say, 
*1 will accept You if " 

As these lying priests are ready to receive Christ, but 
not crucified, so their cruel cry, "Let Him . . . come 
down from the cross, and we will believe Him!" is re- 
vived today in American church circles. Leaders in cer- 
tain denominations reject the gory cross and tell us that 
the picture of the Savior with His pierced hands and 
feet is repugnant to the modern mind. They, too, demand, 
"Let Him now come down pom the cross!" Teachers in 
divinity schools, some of them endowed with funds gath- 
ered from the faithful, insist on human attainment in- 
stead of divine atonement and cry out, "Let Him now 
come down from the cross!" Preachers in some of the 
country's most influential pulpits and wealthiest congre- 
gations declare: The world needs Christ as an example, 
not as a substitute. They too, shout, "Let Him now come 
down from the cross!" Men want Christianity without 
the Crucified, religion without the redemption, belief 
without the blood. Keep your distance from every church 
that covers the cross! When the Russians invaded Fin- 
land, their planes bombed a hospital, which, according 
to international law, should have remained untouched by 
enemy fliers, since it was clearly marked with a large red 
cross on its roof. However, investigation revealed that in 
the night before the air attack, snow had fallen and 
covered the roof. While the cross could be seen, the 
wounded Finns in that hospital were safe and secure; 
but when it disappeared, many were killed. You see the 
striking similarity in our sin-marked lives. As long as we 



THANK GOD: CHRIST STAYED ON CROSS 359 

have faith in the cross of agony and redemption, our 
souls are under divine protection, but when that cross 
vanishes from our lives, we are lost. 

Keep your distance, then, from creeds without the 
cross, from churches which refuse to recognize Calvary, 
from religious books ignoring the blood, from hymns that 
never mention the crimson-stained sign of our salvation, 
from prayers that spurn the Crucified's name, from clergy- 
men who change Saint Paul's resolve to preach Christ, 
and Him crucified, into the brash "We preach anything 
but Christ, and Him crucified"! Only one creed has a 
cross. Judaism has a star; Mohammedanism, a crescent; 
Buddhism, a swastika. The ancient Assyrian religion 
featured an eagle; the Babylonian a sun. These are all 
signs of power, achievement; but the cross is the emblem 
of suffering and sorrow, bleeding and brutality, destruc- 
tion and death. Because Christ refused to heed the taunt- 
ing sneer, "Let Him now come down!" the cross has 
become the highest and holiest, the most powerful and 
blessed, of all symbols in your life. 

You may be able to recite the list of judges, kings, 
and prophets; you may know names, dates, places in the 
Old and New Testaments; you may have memorized 
chapter after chapter but if you do not understand in 
a personal faith what the cross means, your detailed ac- 
quaintance with Bible history will not bring you a quarter 
of an inch closer to your God. You may be well informed 
about Christ. You may be able to tell His life story from 
the birth at Bethlehem to the ascension from Olivet; yet, 
if you do not understand why Jesus went to Golgotha, 
you could just as well study the career of Socrates, 
Caesar, or Cicero; nothing of this could give you the 
slightest spiritual conviction. 



860 THANK GOD: CHRIST STAYED ON CHOSS 

ii 

THE BLESSING OF A CRUCIFIED CHRIST 
To have eternal, unbreakable, victorious assurance for 
life and death, you must know that Jesus stayed on the 
cross and thank God you have a crucified Savior. When 
His enemies cried, "He saved others; Himself He cannot 
save!" they were right in their first claim. Jesus "saved 
others 9 '; lie died to save every one of the wanton killers 
on Calvary's crest. He died to save His countrymen, who 
planned His death. He died to save the Roman rulers 
and their servile soldiers, who had scourged His back 
until it was ripped and red with His blood, pushed a 
crown of thorns into His head and hammered the nails 
through His hands and feet. Even more: the Lord 
Jesus and this is the climax of my message has saved 
you, the desperate, however frightful and vicious your 
sins may be. If you have never heard this supreme, sacred 
truth; if you have given up hope for yourself, convinced 
that you have transgressed God's holy Law too often to 
be forgiven, listen carefully: Jesus was nailed to the cross 
for you. He suffered on the cross for you. He stayed on 
that cross for you until He died and His friends removed 
His lifeless body. Everyone in this vast mission of the 
air can say: "Christ was crucified to save me. He is my 
Redeemer, for His mercy is wider than the world, His 
grace more than sufficient for a million universes like 
ours." Only unbelief, rejection of this limitless love, can 
keep your soul from being cleansed by His blood. You 
may spurn His salvation, but that cannot change this 
triumphant truth: Jesus stayed on the cross to save you 
from sin, its guilt, its appalling punishment. He remained 
on that accursed tree to redeem you from the torture of 
eternal death, the terror of hell. He refused to come down 
because He wanted to pay the whole penalty for all your 



THANK GOD: CHRIST STAYED ON CROSS 361 

transgressions and by dying in your stead leave nothing 
to pay or earn. When He cried, "It is finished!" the work 
of your redemption was completed. Nothing remained 
undone. The ransom demanded for your release was laid 
down before God in the only offering acceptable to the 
Father. Deliverance from death, the title to the prepared 
place in the heavenly mansions, the salvation of your 
soul these indelible, precious pledges are all sealed 
for you by the truth that Jesus continued to suffer on 
the cross. 

His enemies made one mistake, however. Instead of 
sneering, "Himself He CANNOT save" they should have 
declared, "Himself He" WILL "not save." Jesus could have 
rescued Himself even after He had been affixed to those 
beams. The same almighty power which hardly twelve 
hours before had cast armed soldiers prostrate to the 
ground could have paralyzed the entire mob at Calvary, 
A single angel of the more than 72,000 at the Savior's 
beck and call could have wiped out all opposition. 
A mere word from His parched lips, and His enemies 
would have been annihilated. Jesus did not have to give 
Himself for you and me. There was nothing good and 
clean and noble in our lives that appealed to Him. "All 
our righteousnesses" were "as filthy rags" Yet He loved 
us despite our sins and ingratitude. I read recently of 
a mother who for fourteen years, day and night, attended 
a mentally handicapped child, constantly denying herself 
life's pleasures. One day she broke down and cried: 
"If only my child would once show that it recognized mel 
If only in all these years I could see a single glance of 
recognition and lovel" That weak-minded child is a pic- 
ture of human thanklessness. Masses live on year after 
year, decade after decade, enjoying divine bounty every 
moment, but never raising their sin-blinded gaze to 



362 THANK GOD: CHRIST STAYED ON CROSS 

Christ. Yet, despite our thanklessness Jesus loved us and 
stayed on the cross for us. More than a dozen times be- 
fore Good Friday His people had tried to destroy Him, 
but Jesus waited for Calvary. He willingly, lovingly, 
voluntarily laid down His life and in all those previous 
instances proved that no one could take it from Him. 
It was His own deliberate, determined love for you and 
me that made Him give Himself to the cruelty of His 
countrymen. He went to the cross by His own free choice. 

Crucifixion is a long, excruciating, terrifying torture. 
If Christ had to die, He might have chosen a quick, 
sudden death; but He definitely selected long, lingering 
agony. Each moment the anguish of His raging fever 
heightened; yet He refused to come down. Each moment 
the pain of the burning, festering wounds increased; 
but He stayed on the cross. Each moment the parched 
dryness of His body mounted; still He remained riveted 
to those timbers of death. Each moment the crushing 
agony of His soul, infinitely greater than the bodily 
misery, grew more intense; yet, thank God, He stayed 
on the tree of torture to conclude the marvelous plan of 
your redemption! 

Remember, likewise, that Jesus remained crucified 
so that He could fulfill the ancient promises of Sacred 
Scripture. Centuries before the first Good Friday, God's 
prophets had foreseen that He would be crucified with 
sinners, that His hands and feet would be pierced, that 
He would be mocked and derided by the very transgres- 
sors whom He had come to save, would die on the cross, 
His lifeless body be buried in the tomb of a rich friend, 
that in all this He was atoning, as Isaiah stated eleven 
times in his faith-filled fifty-third chapter, for our sins, 
suffering for our iniquities, substituting for us, dying so 
that we could live. There at Golgotha, by fulfilling those 



THANK GOD: CHRIST STAYED ON CROSS 363 

ancient prophecies, Jesus sealed the truth of Holy Writ in 
His own blood. No other sacrifice we have ever seen or 
can see gives us assurance for the question-marked future 
which awaits us, despite the glib guarantees frequently 
uttered by political prophets. Because the Bible assures 
you that "all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in 
Him Amen" you have within the covers of your Scrip- 
tures the promise of free grace, which will be granted as 
positively as those Old Testament previsions were real- 
ized on Good Friday. Christ stayed on the cross until 
death to leave you a proved and faultless Bible, a Book 
which has never made a mistake and will never be con- 
victed of error. At Calvary He gives you a volume of 
imperishable truth. If Scripture was found exactly ac- 
curate at the crucifixion, believe with all your heart that 
it will be unfailing in the small emergencies of your life! 
Thank God, the Savior clung to the cross and gave you 
the assured, errorless Scriptures! 

Take courage for your own life from the fact that 
Jesus unflinchingly did God's will, refused to avoid the 
pathway of pain! Most of us do not realize that from 
the beginning to the end of His public ministry our Lord 
was constantly confronted with the temptation to sub- 
stitute ease for anguish, applause for affliction, comfort 
for conflict. "Don't take the hard way of the cross," Satan 
had whispered. "Worship me, and I will give you the 
whole world!" "Don't go the grim, gory road to Gol- 
gotha," Peter had pleaded. "Fight your way through with 
the sword! Destroy your enemies!" The same appeal may 
come to you: "Don't take your religion and your life 
seriously! Why be narrow and believe that Jesus is the 
only Way to heaven? Why not be broad and agree that 
Gentile and Jew, Christian and Confucianist, student of 
the Bible and student of the Koran, Modernist and Mo- 



364 THANK GOD: CHRIST STAYED ON CROSS 

hammedan, are all headed toward the same goal? Why 
deny yourself? Enjoy life to the fullest and forget Scrip- 
ture's Thou-shalt-not-do-this's and the Thou-shalt-not-do- 
thafsl You young folks, why not discard the old ideals of 
personal purity, of keeping yourself wholly for the young 
man or young woman of your choice for better or for 
worse, until death do you part? Why do you followers of 
Jesus insist on living separated lives, on coming out from 
sin and godlessness?" These questions are repeated today 
with greater frequency than ever as believers are enticed 
from following the Savior. Perhaps American Christians 
must go the hard way in the years ahead. We are losing 
spiritual power. We are becoming soft and flabby. How 
many in the United States today will fight an all-out 
battle for Jesus, refuse to compromise, to pay the con- 
sequences of confessing Him before men? How many 
of our countrymen agree that resignation to suffering, 
under God and through Christ, is finally the best and the 
happiest way? 

When you who love the Savior are racked by heavy 
anguish, don't be dismayed and discouraged! God's ene- 
mies, bloated by their own prosperity, boasting that 
nothing has gone wrong with them, may turn to you and 
taunt: **You claim that God will help you; why doesn't 
He? You insist that He loves you. Well, where is His 
devotion? Why don't you forget your religion?" Instead 
of discarding your faith, remember, Easter followed Good 
Friday; that after the crucifixion came the resurrection. 
The same Lord of glory is mighty in all things today. 
Because Jesus stayed on the cross to do His Father's will, 
you have the divine comfort that no matter what you 
may be called upon to endure, your heavenly Father in 
His own time and in His own way will deliver you. Your 
trust in Jesus will never be misplaced; and just as the 



THANK GOD: CHRIST STAYED ON CROSS 365 

empty, blood-stained cross gave way to the empty, di- 
vinely opened grave, so Christ can give you triumph after 
trial, victory after defeat, life after death. God grant that 
now across the continent, as this appeal goes to our ships 
on the Atlantic and our outposts in the Pacific, we may 
all, standing in spirit at Calvary, raise our hands in un- 
dying allegiance to the crucified Savior of all mankind 
and give this pledge: "We thank Thee that Thou didst 
not come down from the cross of shame and agony, but 
that Thou wast faithful unto death, so that we have the 
assurance of our blood-bought redemption, guidance and 
comfort for time, glory and majesty for eternity. O Jesus, 
as Thou didst remain on the cross, so we promise Thee 
that we will come to the cross, stay with the cross, living 
and dying, glorify the cross P God help us! Amen. 



The Redeemer's Robe 



"The soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, 
took His garments and made four parts, to every 
soldier a part; and also His coat. Now, the coat 
was without seam, woven from the top through- 
out. They said, therefore, among themselves, 
Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it whose it 
shall be, that the Scripture might be fulfilled 
which saith, They parted My raiment among 
them, and for My vesture they did cast lots. 
These things, therefore, the soldiers did" 
SAINT JOHN 19:23,24 

Lord Jesus, Our Only Savior: 

At Calvary those who crucified Thee took away even Thy 
garments, and today likewise men would strip Thee of all 
Thy blessings, remove Thine atoning love, deprive Thee of 
the glorious truth that Thou art our true and eternal God. 
O send us Thy Holy Spirit, who can give us the courage 
required to confess Thee as the only and last Hope of our 
decaying world! Show us more clearly every day that the call 
of this hour is for sincere repentance and wholehearted return 
to God! Grant us a soul-deep sorrow for our own sins and 
an immovable trust in the mercies and merits Thou didst 
secure for us through Thy death of unspeakable agonies on 
the cross! Fortify with this faith the defenders of our cause at 
home and abroad! Shield these young men and women against 
destruction and spiritual death! Let our armies and navies 
come home soon, precious Savior, with victory for right- 
eousness and peace for all nations! Lead masses in our 
country to Thy Father and make us a humble, penitent people 
whose trust is only in God, whose desire is only exalting 
righteousness! We ask this in Thine ever-blessed name, 
O Jesus! Amen. 



o, 



*NE o the most lavish and luxury-loving 
kings in history was the monarch who ruled France 
250 years ago, Louis XIV. He played with gold as though 

[366] 



THE REDEEMER'S ROBE 367 

it were sand. In a single building enterprise he erected 
Versailles Palace at a cost of $200,000,000. His outstand- 
ing extravagance, however, was showered on his own 
clothing. At his wedding he was arrayed in rare velvet 
embroidered with precious metals, covered with jewels, 
and prepared at a cost of over $1,000,000. As he grew 
older, his wild spending increased; and during public 
audiences he was often clad in a costume valued at more 
than $12,000,000. 

By contrast, I ask you now to think of another King. 
His throne was a cross planted on a lonely hill; His 
diadem a crown of cutting thorns. He had no palace, for 
though "the earth was His and the fullness thereof'' He 
claimed not an inch of it; when He died, He was buried 
in a borrowed tomb. That French ruler might tax his 
subjects until, hungry, oppressed, barefooted, they were 
driven to despair; but this King, our King may every- 
one of you have the faith which enables you to say, 
"My King"! Jesus Christ, Son of the all-merciful God 
and Savior of a sin-stricken world, gave His life to save 
and glorify His redeemed. His realm, far from collapsing, 
is constantly increasing in eternal triumph. While Louis 
was bedecked in sinful splendor, Jesus refused all robes 
of royalty the ermine and crimson, the gold and .silver, 
as well as the rare jewels and precious gems that were 
rightfully His. When He died He left no wardrobe, only 
the few articles of clothing he wore to His crucifixion. 
Now, as every page of Scripture is crowded with power- 
ful messages for our unbelieving, unrepenting world, so 
this record can teach us all some personal lessons. Let 
us, then, behold the garments of Golgotha, especially 

THE REDEEMER'S ROBE 

and study their meaning as described in our text, Saint 
John, chapter nineteen, verses twenty-three and twenty- 



368 THE REDEEMER'S ROBE 

four: "The soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took 
His garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a 
part; and also His coat. Now, the coat was without seam, 
woven from the top throughout. They said, therefore, 
among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it 
whose it shall be, that the Scripture might be fulfilled 
which saith, They parted My raiment among them, and 
for My vesture they did cast lots. These things, therefore, 
the soldiers did." 

I 

THE SAVIOR'S APPAREL WAS LARGELY COMMON CLOTH 

To make death by crucifixion even more shameful, 
the victim was first stripped and then nailed to the cross. 
Our Lord was no exception. At Calvary He, God's Son of 
all glory, was crucified naked. Well might the earth have 
swallowed alive the degenerates who tore the clothing 
from the innocent, unresisting Savior. Well might a flash 
of lightning have flattened those blasphemers to the 
ground forever. Not even the few garments, the last 
earthly possession, could remain His. The hatred and 
cruelty of His enemies would rob Him of everything. 
So completely did Jesus permit Himself to be humiliated 
and disgraced when He atoned for your sins and paid 
their total penalty with exposure, anguish, God-forsaken- 
ness, and death! 

Clothes cost relatively more in those days than now, 
and soldiers were accustomed to keep the apparel of 
every crucified criminal as a sort of ghastly payment for 
the execution. So the four legionaries stationed beneath 
the cross divided the Savior's clothing among themselves, 
casting lots ("throwing dice," we would say today) to 
see who would win this article or that piece of fabric. 

It is not a pleasing scene, this picture of the soldiers 
beneath the cross; but as we study the Lenten account, 



THE REDEEMER'S ROBE 369 

we ought to be impressed by the fact that American men 
in arms throughout the world are confronted by tempta- 
tions to similar sins. Those guards at Golgotha, during 
the six hours of the crucifixion, viciously attacked the 
Son of God. They did not know that they had nailed the 
Lord of Life to tiie timbers of death; and today many of 
our soldiers likewise do not know Jesus. An instructor in 
a government training school writes: "The thing that 
burdens me is that there are 500 pre-aviation cadets here, 
and I will venture to say that less than 10 per cent know 
Jesus. . . . From what kind of homes did these boys 
come? Continue to exhort mothers and fathers of our 
military boys to accept Jesus as their personal Savior. 
It is hard for boys who come from unchristian homes to 
realize that they need a Redeemer, and it is harder still 
to bring Jesus to boys whose folks played at religion. . . . 
Oh, tell every army chaplain who goes out that what 
our soldiers need is someone who can tell them of a per- 
sonal Savior and show them how to find Him!" 

As Pilate's soldiers hurled blasphemies at the crucified 
Christ, so military life still has the same tendency to 
make men abuse His holy, precious name! This day of 
national danger is the time to be prayerful, not profane, 
to speak with reverence, not cursing. Willful misuse of 
the divine name can prolong this struggle and increase 
our casualty lists. Soldiers of America, make David's 
prayer your deep petition as you ask, "Let the words of 
my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable 
in Thy sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer!" 

The company of legionaries at Calvary also tried to 
while away those six slow hours with wine, just as mil- 
lions in America soldiers and civilians are trying to 
drink away the present hostilities. This war will never be 
won with whisky or at cocktail bars. Increasing drunken- 

Lutheran How 24 



370 THE REDEEMER'S ROBE 

ness can delay the victory. Though people may smile 
indulgently at intoxication, God's Word warns plainly 
that drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven. 
Read 1 Corinthians 6:10 carefully! 

Finally we see the soldiers gambling another vice 
in present-day army life. It may sound out of place and 
date to call gambling a "vice," when newspapers feature 
it in their comic strips; when certain American cities 
thrive on its income; when even churches run raffles and 
plead for bingo; when the Government itself purchases 
750,000 pairs of dice to build morale in the Army, and 
when a Congressman introduces a bill for a national 
lottery. All this cannot change the fact that gambling is 
a destructive evil, condemned alike by God's Law and 
man's. It promotes the desire to live without work, to 
gain at the expense of others; it has always been con- 
nected with fraud, cheating, immorality. It has caused 
indescribable suffering within many homes, as your letters 
reveal; it has left children improperly clothed and under- 
fed, wives neglected, families burdened with misery. 
Christian citizens should rid their communities of all slot 
machines, punch boards, bingo parties; for gambling, 
even in its simplest forms, is the devil's device. 

Though the soldiers played a sorry role at the cruci- 
fixion, one military man proved himself the exception. 
He was the centurion, the officer in charge who remained 
at Calvary and glorified the Savior. Beholding Jesus 
with eyes of faith, he exclaimed, "'Truly this was the Son 
of God!" What an example for many of you in the Army 
and Navy! A word in behalf of Christ from you may have 
greater power than you realize. Use that influence! Com- 
missioned officers of our fighting forces, follow that cen- 
turion! Don't be ashamed of Jesus! Testify openly to His 
power and love! 



THE REDEEMER'S ROBE 371 

As we look once more at the Redeemer's apparel 
strewn on the ground between the four gambling sol- 
diers, we see that it is the common clothing of the Pales- 
tinian workman. He might have worn the choicest prod- 
ucts of the loom; the gold of Sheba and Seba was His. 
Large diamonds, precious pearls were stored in the treas- 
uries of His earth. Yet He spurned all this and chose the 
garb of a lowly servant. As He walked the Palestinian 
highways and byways, nothing in His garb attracted the 
multitudes. He was so unknown to the leaders that they 
had to secure a traitor to identify Him. 

We dare not lose sight of this truth for the hard years 
before us. Jesus, even by His dress, showed that He was 
a Friend of the poor, a Companion of the afflicted; and 
unless God is unusually merciful to us, there will be 
plenty of poor and afflicted during the postwar readjust- 
ment. I cannot sufficiently warn you against the promises, 
sometimes made in the name of statesmanship and often 
in the name of religion, that, when this struggle is over, 
we shall enter a period of unparalleled prosperity, with 
money, work, food, and happiness for everyone on earth. 
No man knows what the future may bring; but just as 
assuredly, no man should dangle before title eyes of a 
peace-starved world unfounded hopes of wealth and 
progress; especially when these predictions are built on 
purely human specifications and advanced in entire dis- 
regard of God. Thousands may make more than the 
much-discussed $25,000 a year during war times, but 
millions in the United States have never made twenty- 
five dollars real profit a year. They want a Savior who 
understands their needs, who knows what it means to be 
poor; and here is Jesus whose clothes proved that He was 
the Man for the masses, the Man for all classes. 

rabid Commujiists try to inflams workers by 



372 THE REDEEMER'S ROBE 

preaching that Christianity is capitalistic, without sym- 
pathy for laborers, that it works hand-in-glove with 
moneyed interests, we who love Jesus point to the Savior 
and demand of the atheists, "Have you ever produced 
one leader as humble, as poor, as 'all things to all men' 
as Jesus?" Let us be on guard for the years ahead! We 
must follow Christ's self-denial and self-sacrifice, reject- 
ing completely the goal of establishing wealthy, powerful 
congregations. For what is a church profited if it has mil- 
lions of dollars in real estate and investments, while men 
and women are dying every second of the day without 
knowing the Lord? What advantage has a religious group 
if its legacies and investments tower into the tens of 
millions, yet it does not use these funds for calling sinners 
to repentance? The clothing of the crucified Savior ap- 
peals to us, asking Christians all over the world to em- 
phasize the Redeemer's marvelous love in humbling Him- 
self to become a true man among men, to live with us in 
poverty and privation, and to grant us the vision of serv- 
ice and sacrifice for our fellow men. 

II 
THE SAVIOR'S APPAREL WAS PREDICTED 

Only one piece of the Savior's clothing was unusual, 
His "coat" or, as we say today, His robe, which was 
"without seam, woven from the top throughout." To cut 
it into four pieces would destroy its value. So once more 
the dice rolled as the soldiers gambled for this prize. 

The Gospel records do not tell us who won the robe, 
but according to conflicting traditions it has been pre- 
served, wholly or partially, in various European cities, 
where credulous throngs bow before it. Many of these 
relics cannot be genuine, and to worship them is idola- 
trous. Do not place your reliance on anything man-made! 



THE REDEEMER'S ROBE 373 

Put your whole trust always, completely, only, in Christ! 
Keep the Savior's warning in mind, "God is a spirit; and 
they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and 
in truth," not with charms and superstition! The Lord 
wants your crushed, repentant, trusting heart directed 
solely to Him. 

Nor could that robe in itself exert miraculous power. 
A new book, Lloyd Douglas' The Robe, a best seller, 
pictures it as a marvelous garment which brought peace 
and healing to those who touched it. No robe in itself can 
ever do that. If you accept Jesus as your only but all- 
sufficient Savior, you need not touch anything to receive 
His blessing. Without rites or rituals, penances or priva- 
tions, our Lord, always "nigh unto all them . . . that call 
upon Him in truth'' can mightily help you. Today, as 
nineteen centuries ago, He can heal you if it be His will. 
He can help you in any suffering or sorrow, family 
trouble, or business difficulty. He can richly comfort you 
in any affliction, grant you peace and joy instead of tears 
and trials; and blessed Redeemer that He is you can 
always come to Him directly, without reliance on robes 
or relics. He is yours by faith and faith alone. 

The mention of this seamless garment is not acci- 
dental, since the very robe for which the coarse Roman 
soldiers gambled had been seen a thousand years before 
by David. Saint John says pointedly in our text that the 
soldiers cast lots "that the Scripture might be fulfilled" 
and these are the prophetic words of the Twenty-second 
Psalm, "They parted My raiment among them, and for 
My vesture they did cast lots. 9 ' 

What a marvelous volume our Bible is, when in scores 
of similar passages it predicts such minute details cen- 
turies in advance and with absolute certainty! This fact 
of fulfilled prophecy alone should convince skeptics and 



374 THE REDEEMER'S ROBE 

unbelievers that the Bible is God's Word, the absolute 
Truth. Do you know another volume which can forecast 
clearly what the distant years will bring? But Scripture, 
because it comes from God, who plans the program? of 
the years, has exactly foretold the future in hundreds of 
passages. I challenge any one to prove that a single 
Biblical prediction concerning the rise and fall of ancient 
empires, the destruction of proud cities, the life, death, 
and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, has ever been 
exposed as false. 

Is not this the faultless Book for our disturbed, dis- 
tracted day, when military experts are unable to foretell 
with assurance what will happen next year; when mil- 
lions, particularly our military youth, do not know what 
may occur tomorrow? For assurance and guidance forget 
fortunetellers! Turn away from crystal-gazers! Renounce 
astrologers! Spurn every spiritist medium! Go back to 
the Bible! 

Because Scripture assures us that "all the promises of 
God in Him [Christ] are yea, and in Him amen" we have 
within the covers of Holy Writ the guarantee of comfort, 
which must be fulfilled as unfailingly as Old Testa- 
ment predictions were realized at Calvary. If the ancient 
prophecies that Jesus would be crucified with sinners; 
that His hands and feet would be pierced; that He would 
be mocked and derided by the very transgressors whom 
He had come to save; that He would die on the cross; 
that His lifeless body would be buried in the tomb of 
a rich friend; that in all this He was atoning, as Isaiah 
states eleven times in his faith-filled fifty-third chapter, 
for our sins, suffering for our iniquities, substituting for 
every one of us, dying His death so that we could live 
in His life if these precious pledges foretold the truth 
for the past, then accept the Bible confidently for your 



THE REDEEMER'S ROBE 375 

future! Trust it with all your heart! When our Lord 
promises, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy 
laden, and I will give you rest'' realize that, though your 
life may be restless and storm-tossed, in the Savior you 
can assuredly find calm and quiet! When Scripture de- 
clares, "Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord 
shall be saved," take that glorious word, "whosoever," 
at its full face value! Thank God that no man can ever 
keep you from Christ, no matter how cruelly you may be 
cut off from other blessings! Rejoice because your re- 
demption is not a hit-or-miss proposition, not a vague 
uncertainty, nor a remote possibility, but Heaven's own 
truth, a reality firmer than the foundations of the world! 

Are you haunted by the sorrow of war, tormented by 
questions concerning the safety of your beloved ones? 
Have you accompanied your husband or son to the rail- 
road station during these last days to bid him a brave 
farewell as he left for camp, wondering whether he 
would ever see you again? The Bible, with its completed 
promise, is the Book for you; for it offers the Christ of all 
comfort, who consoles those who are His, "I will not leave 
thee, nor forsake thee" Since in such relatively small 
matters as the casting of lots for a seamless robe the 
Bible promises were fulfilled at Calvary, will you not 
believe that in the incomparably greater issues concern- 
ing your soul, which, Jesus declared, is worth more than 
all the world, His assurance of salvation and sustaining 
love will be surely realized? "Heaven and earth shall pass 
away, but" His "Word," the wondrous pledge of grace, 
full and free, "shall not pass away." 

What a warning also in the fact that these gambling 
soldiers proved the divine power and truth of Scripture! 
Every threat of God's punishment on unbelief will like- 
wise be carried out. You may doubt and deny the Bible's 



376 THE REDEEMER'S ROBE 

prediction of doom for the unforgiven sinner, but "be not 
deceived; God is not mocked." The blackened ruins of 
ancient cities, destroyed in harmony with Bible prophecy, 
cry out that the Almighty will judge all unbelief; that it 
is impossible to escape the long reach of divine justice; 
that every sinner, no matter how wealthy, influential, 
important he may seem to be, must pay, and pay fully, 
here and hereafter for every unremoved transgression of 
Heaven's Law. If nothing has ever been able to put the 
fear of the Lord firmly into your heart, stop for a moment 
to see how exactly the Old Testament forecasts were ac- 
complished to the letter; and then draw the conclusion 
that, if Scripture is faultlessly correct concerning a piece 
of clothing, how unquestionable must be its warnings 
concerning your eternity, when it thunders out this sen- 
tence upon all who reject Christ: "The soul that sinneth, 
it shall die!" "He that believeth not shall be damned!" 

The Bible, with its fulfilled prophecy, is the one Book 
for these years of war and weariness; but to exert its 
heavenly force, it must be studied, followed as never 
before. Because it can mightily strengthen the nation 
and we need spiritual fortifying as much as military de- 
fense we should obey its request for a repentant nation 
by getting down on our knees before the Almighty in 
genuine sorrow over our thanklessness and pride. When 
Scripture asks for a godly people walking in the Lord's 
ways, let us work and pray that the forces of lust, the 
grasping of greed, the worship of might, be checked and 
masses be brought back to Christ, in whom is the only 
help they can ever know! 

We need the Bible in our homes, where altogether too 
frequently it becomes the forgotten Book, with family 
devotions may God forgive us! falling into steady 
discard. Yet if home religion has decreased, assaults on 



THE REDEEMER'S ROBE 377 

domestic morality have increased. Social workers and 
parents write disturbed letters complaining that their 
daughters, fourteen, thirteen, even twelve years old, stay 
out until early morning in questionable company. Cases 
of youthful alcoholism and immorality have soared to 
unprecedented heights. Over in England a star performer 
of the British Broadcasting Corporation, a University 
of London professor, says the idea of man having one 
wife is unsatisfactory. Marriage laws ought to be altered, 
he suggests, so that a husband can live in polygamy with 
a number of wives. From now on you will hear repeated 
suggestions of this kind, and many will try to practice 
successive polygamy, indulging in one divorce after the 
other. Only Scripture can be an effective check against 
such attacks. Put the family Bible back into any home, 
and that household will be blessed by Christ's presence! 
We want God's Word and its power for our own 
souls. Chaplain Willard with the United States marines 
on the Solomon Islands reports: "Three men in my regi- 
ment have been saved from wounds and death because 
they loved the Book. ... I urge them to carry it with 
them into battle. One of the New Testaments stopped a 
Japanese twenty-five-caliber bullet which went through 
to the back cover. Two other Testaments prevented 
their owners from being seriously wounded by Japanese 
shrapnel/* Scripture will do much more than stop bullets. 
It will help stop sin and the legions of hell. The Bible, 
through your faith in Christ, can save your soul for 
eternity. 

Ill 

THE SAVIOR'S APPAREL WAS BLOOD-STAINED 

Look at that robe once more, and you will find it 
marked not by beautiful design and embroidery but 
by heavy blotches! What are those sodden spots, those 



378 THE REDEEMER'S ROBE 

deep stains? Their crimson color betrays them. They are 
Christ's dark, red blood! 

Throughout history blood has been regarded as a sign 
of suffering; and never has this vital fluid otherwise 
marked such harrowing and soul-deep anguish. That 
scarlet dripped from Christ's thorn-cut, wounded head, 
from His scourged back, the same blood which spurted 
from His hands and feet when they were crushed to the 
cross, which trickled down the cross, dropped into little 
pools or sank into Calvary's soil all in anguish of soul 
and body such as human eyes have never otherwise 
beheld. 

Today we associate blood with crime; and again, 
never has any iniquity been as shocking as the injustice 
which made Jesus bleed. He was perfectly innocent. 
Even malice and perjury could invent no real charge 
against Him. Yet despite His utter sinlessness, His blood 
was spilled under the lash and on the cross in the super- 
crime of the ages. True, innocent people have sometimes 
been sentenced to death, as wrong has repeatedly tri- 
umphed over right; yet the worst miscarriage of justice 
is not to be compared with this gruesome murder at 
Golgotha. For it is not ordinary blood which stains His 
robe and marks His cross. Though you examine it under 
the microscope and find that it is human blood with the 
usual plasma and corpuscles, yet you must know it is the 
blood of Jesus Christ; and He who shed it oh, accept 
this glorious truth! is a true man, yet indescribably 
more: He is your God. 

Blood has also become a sign of help and hope. Lives 
are saved by transfusion; and in the marvelous progress 
of medical science blood plasma has been used to pre- 
serve thousands of wounded. After the war authorities 
plan vast plasma banks with first-aid stations throughout 



THE REDEEMER'S ROBE 379 

the country as a means of sustaining many thousands of 
lives. God bless their effort, but God give us the faith 
to realize that the blood which stained this robe and 
spotted the cross can save far more than men's bodies! 
It can rescue our souls from ruin. In the Old Testament 
men sought forgiveness of their sins in the blood of 
sacrificial animals, slain on sacred altars, for God's Word 
had declared, ''It is the blood that maketh an atonement 
for the soul." But Golgotha and the cross gave the world 
a new and final atoning blood. Because our Lord went 
to Calvary, because He shed His blood there for the full 
and free atonement of all human transgressions, we have 
the peerless promise of God's truth, "The MoocLof Jesus 
Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin." Every Crimson 
stain on that robe, every red drop oozing from fKe Savior's 
five wounds, is proof divine that God loved you, hardened 
and hopeless in your iniquities though you may be; loved 
you, sought you in your misery and anguish, even though 
men spurn you and friends forsake you; He planned your 
rescue and ransom, not by simply forgetting your sins 
(your heavenly Father is too holy for that), not by per- 
mitting you to work off your sentence and atone for your 
wrongs (since no one can pay for the enormity and multi- 
tude of his own sins), not by accepting the prayers and 
good works of some saint or morally superior person (for 
the Scripture warns, "None of them can by any means re- 
deem his brother nor give to God a ransom for him"), 
but by providing a Savior from sin, a Substitute to bear 
your iniquities. By the marvel of His mercy God, our 
faithful, loving Father, in the sacrifice for which angels 
will eternally chant His praise how our mortal minds 
stagger at the very thought! sent His own Son to shed 
His blood and die for the redemption of all sinners. 
Those crimson marks on the robe, those stains on the 
cross, are thus a pledge to you that you are saved. 



880 THE REDEEMER'S ROBE 

"The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from 
all sin! 9 That triumphant truth is the only hope you can 
ever have, and it is a positive statement. "The blood of 
Jesus Christ" is mentioned thirty-seven times in the New 
Testament. Remove it from the sacred record, and the 
race is ruined. Believe its power; teach it; preach it; 
exalt it; and God will mightily be with you! For as one 
drop of the precious blood can cleanse a world of sin- 
ners, so you alone, with faith in the atoning love, can 
defeat a world arrayed against you. 

What, then, is the message of the Redeemer's robe 
for which the soldiers cast lots? What, indeed, if not 
God the Father's own appeal that you stop gambling 
with your soul, risking your salvation by postponing your 
acceptance of Christ? Jesus no longer wears that gory 
robe. In His eternal majesty He is now clothed in the 
radiance of dazzling purity and power. If you would see 
Him in that celestial beauty; if heaven is to be your 
home; if you want an eternity with your loved ones who 
have died in the Lord, then confess your sins now! Fall 
on your knees to cry out that you are hopelessly lost; 
that you are altogether unworthy; that you deserve noth- 
ing but rejection; that you plead for mercy, not merit; for 
redemption, not reward; for pardon, not payment; that 
above everything else in this world you want to be 
cleansed by the Savior's blood! Then from the throne 
of never-ending mercy He will speak peace into your 
soul as He declares, "This is My blood of the New Testa- 
ment, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." 
Then all the filthy rags of your own unrighteousness will 
be gone. Your spotted garments of sin will disappear, and 
the Christ of Calvary will clothe you with His holiness. 
To that end may our constant, contrite prayer, addressed 
to the Savior of the blood-stained robe, ask: O Jesus, 
robe us forever in Thy blood-bought righteousnessl Amen. 



Look to the Cross! 



"Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which 
doth so easily beset us, and let us run with pa- 
tience the race that is set before us, looking unto 
Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, who 
for the joy that was set before Him endured the 
cross, despising the shame' 9 

HEBREWS 12:1,2 



Jesus, Thou "Author and Finisher of Our Faith": 

May we ever look to Thee and Thy cross for the complete 
pardon of our transgressions, for strength to resist temptation, 
for courage to live a godly life, for assurance of victory over 
death and hell! Because we are hopelessly lost without Thee, 
blessed Savior, but eternally saved with Thee, bring us, our 
families, our fighting forces, the millions of the spiritually 
dead in America to repentance and triumphant trust in Thy 
blood-bought power to save to the uttermost! Impress deeply 
into our hearts the truth that Thou hast paid the whole price 
of our redemption! Let this assurance of -finished salvation 
forever comfort those who are battling for the nation's cause! 
Sustain our fighting forces amid all perils of body and soul! 
Speak peace again to the world, O Jesus, before the slaughter 
of human lives increases, and let Thy kingdom come into 
many sin-crushed lives throughout the world! We ask this 
by Thy mercy and might. Amen. 



'ICTOR HUGO, French author and an out- 
standing writer of the last century, was horrified by the 
bloodshed, crime, poverty, injustice, which he beheld on 
all sides. Believing that men themselves could raise their 
standards and ideals to lofty heights, he penned a proph- 
ecy for our day. Here it is: "In the twentieth century war 
will be dead. The scaffold will be dead. Hatred will be 

[381] 



382 LOOK TO THE CROSS ! 

dead, Frontier boundaries will be dead. Dogmas will be 
dead. But man will live/' 

How completely false and futile every word of that 
prediction! "War will be dead" in the twentieth century! 
In 1914 a conflict began which brought 58,000,000 men 
under arms and sent 8,500,000 of them (more than one of 
every seven) to their graves a war that cost $370,000,- 
000,000 (not to mention the even greater expense of this 
Second World War, which it provoked) and that left the 
nations burdened with debts ten times larger than be- 
fore; a struggle which made Viscount Grey declare, "If 
there be another such war, civilization will never recover 
from it." Yet we now witness not only "another such 
war" but hostilities even greater in the size of their ar- 
mies, the hundred billions of their expenditures. 

Victor Hugo was wholly wrong, and we could dismiss 
his false forecast as just another mistake of an illustrious 
man, were it not for the tragic fact that high authorities 
in our country and abroad are making the same error, 
similarly predicting a warless world of wealth and hap- 
piness. That French author was willing to wait perhaps 
a century before his ideals were realized, but many 
present-day prophets see a new age and a new world 
right after the war. They go far beyond Victor Hugo in 
assuring everyone in the United States (some include 
even the whole globe) plenty of food and clothing, the 
right kind of housing, and suitable work. Social security 
"from the cradle to the grave" for everyone in a warless, 
wantless world this is the pledge for the years before tis. 

When I call this one of the cruelest of misplaced 
promises, I am not concerned about financial difficulties. 
A Harvard professor has expressed his conviction that, 
when peace is declared, the postwar United States will 
have only one fifth the prosperity of the depression year 



LOOK TO THE CROSS ! 383 

1929. What troubles me far more is the fact that social 
architects who would build our tomorrow on the grand 
scale systematically leave God out of their planning 
and have no room for Christ. Recently a high representa- 
tive of our Government told the people of Chile, "Every 
revolution, from that begun by Christ almost two thou- 
sand years ago to the Soviet Revolution of 1917, spoke 
for the common man," and thus deliberately put the work 
of the Lord Jesus on the same level with the regime of 
Red bloodshed in Russia. To American Christians this 
borders on blasphemy, and we protest against all blue- 
prints for a better America drawn in disregard of the 
Almighty. As long as our heavenly Father is eliminated or 
at best conceded a secondary, unimportant place, to- 
morrow's world need expect only continued war, deeper 
impoverishment of the masses, more crime and unrest. 
The Christian attitude, on the contrary, asks the fol- 
lowers of Jesus to work for peace and prosperity; but it 
demands full recognition of God's supreme power. It asks 
not first for social security, but for soul security. It does 
not end with the grave, but starts anew there. It is con- 
cerned not only about the here but particularly about the 
hereafter. Its watchword is not, "Turn to man, to our 
statesmen, our scientists, our economists!'* On the con- 
trary, this is the plea of Christianity, the cry for our crisis, 
the invitation to every burdened soul: 

LOOK TO THE CROSS! 

the appeal found in the wondrous words of grace re- 
corded in Hebrews (chapter twelve, verses one and two): 
"Let us lay aside every weighty and the sin which doth 
so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race 
that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and 
Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before 
Him endured the cross, despising the shame!" 



384 LOOK TO THE CROSS ! 



LOOK TO THE CROSS FOR THE FINISHED FAITH! 

Our text, picturing life as a race to be run, begins, 
"Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth 
so easily beset us" emphasizing at the outset that for 
the happy, spiritually secure existence sin must be con- 
quered. You may have everything money can buy or 
human ingenuity secure; but if you are not right with 
God, if your transgressions remain unforgiven, be sure 
of this: you will never know real peace or joy! You may 
try to throw off the burden of your transgressions and 
drown your crimes in a whirl of excitement or pleasure 
seeking. You may try to drink yourself into forgetfulness; 
but when you least expect it, the remembrance of these 
sins will suddenly rise up to shatter your mock happiness. 
Your letters tell me how thirty, forty, and more years ago 
you violated God's law, boasting you would enjoy life 
to its fullest; yet now the very vices that appeared at- 
tractive prod your conscience and give you no rest. 

As long as sin dominates your life, you cannot be 
free from fear; for no matter how calm and confident 
you may seem, you are constantly overshadowed by the 
foreboding that the evil in your past will be revealed, 
some secret affair brought to light and leave you exposed 
to friend and foe. Behind and beneath all this is the dread 
of death, the fear of facing God in eternity, the conviction 
that no one can escape the arm of divine justice. Dr. Al- 
fred Krupp, who founded the mighty armament works 
at Essen, Germany, was so tormented by death's consum- 
ing horror that, it is said, he forbade his employees to 
mention the word in his presence. When a relative of 
his wife died in his home, he ran away; and when 
Mrs. Krupp reproved him, he became so enraged that 
they were separated for life. During his last illness he 



LOOK TO THE CROSS! 385 

offered his physician a million dollars to prolong his life 
for ten years. Money, position, power, gave him no peace. 
Similarly for the highest and best in your life, you need 
victory over sin; your conscience must be stilled, your 
fears removed. You must be able to meet your God as 
a loving Father and not as a stern Judge with a verdict 
of guilt and doom. If, in this world of wickedness, men 
are to work together unselfishly, helping to usher in a 
new, happier age, they must defeat sin. No matter how 
men polish or disguise human nature; no matter how 
much outward politeness or refinement they acquire; if 
they are still swayed by evil, they can become more 
degenerate than brute beasts. 

To many all this sounds quite old-fashioned at a time 
when sin rides high, when it is glorified in sex-ridden 
magazines, practiced in the name of patriotism by heed- 
less youth, encouraged by godless education, endorsed 
by radical, immoral leaders, ignored even by many pul- 
pits. The New York Times on its church page used about 
4,000 words to print excerpts of sermons preached in 
New York City last Sunday; yet in all these reports the 
short, ugly, three-letter word "sin" does not occur once. 
Sometimes, of course, people do speak of sin, but for the 
most part they discuss not their own but someone else's 
sin. It is easy to condemn Hitler or Mussolini or Hirohito; 
it is not hard for an employer to find fault with his 
workers or an employee to recognize capitalists' errors. 
White people quickly mention the weaknesses of the 
colored race, and Negroes can make a long list of the 
white man's failings, Gentiles seldom hesitate to raise 
charges against Jews, and the Jews, in turn, have scores 
of counts on which they indict the Gentiles. But for men 
to recognize and confess the evil in their own actions, 
to turn their critical gaze away from others and focus it 

Tenth Lutheran How 25 



386 LOOK TO THE CROSS ! 

on their own selfishness ah, that is a vastly different 
matter! We must constantly heed the Savior's warning 
against seeing the mote in our brother's eye, while for- 
getting the broad beam in our own eye! Only at the 
cost of our salvation can we ignore the fearful punish- 
ment of eternal death and damnation which the holy God 
exacts for all our unforgiven iniquity! 

How, then, can we follow our text and "lay aside 
every weighty and the sin which doth so easily beset us"? 
By our will power, our determination to resist evil? By 
paying for our transgressions through a good, clean life 
with gifts to charity? By going to church, securing the 
help of Christian parents, of a believing husband or wife? 
By asking saints or angels to intercede for us before God, 
having friends and relatives pay or pray our way to 
heaven after we die? May God keep you from these fatal, 
soul-destroying errors! If you are to be saved from the 
slavery of sin, look neither to yourself nor to any other 
man or woman, dead or alive! Follow our text in "looking 
unto Jesus"! Turn to Him, not only as a sublime teacher, 
a heavenly friend, an outstanding hero, a courageous re- 
former, a mighty leader! Approach Him as your Savior, 
"the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the 
world"! Take refuge in Him, not only for His Sermon on 
the Mount, but for His death on the mount; not only for 
His bravery in facing the masses, but for His love in 
dying for the masses! 

Then, as you stand in spirit at Calvary's crest, you can 
understand why our text calls Him "the Author and 
Finisher of our faith." He is "the Author . . . of our faith" 
because He ? not we, undertook the work of our salvation. 
We owe everything to His mercy. He found us in our 
sins, foul and filthy as we were; and He loved us, He 
washed us, He cleansed us. He saved us when we 



LOOK TO THE CROSS ! 387 

sought to escape Him, when we were "dead in trespasses 
and sins," spiritually paralyzed, unable to find favor with 
God. Nothing in us could draw the Savior to us; but 
His boundless blessed grace, His measureless mercy, His 
limitless love for all sinners, began the task of our re- 
demption; "not that WE loved God' 9 the Scriptures claim, 
"but that He loved us' 9 and sent His Son to be "the Pro- 
pitiation for our sins." The more you and I study Christ's 
compassion, the more His godly grace leads us to ex- 
claim: "Why did He choose me? Why did the Lord of 
beauty and truth, the Sovereign of heaven, stoop to 
earth's grime and filth in saving my sin-tainted soul?" 
That Savior and we see it clearly at Calvary is not 
only "the Author" but, praise God! also the "Finisher of 
our faith. 99 Too many projects are started today but never 
completed. Think of the poor Polish people! When this 
war began, they were solemnly assured that it was started 
on their account, to win back their lost territory. Now, 
however, powerful nations seem to have concluded that 
not all this captured land will be restored to Poland. So it 
happens frequently in life. A marriage starts with pledges 
of happiness but ends in separation and divorce. A gifted 
young man begins a career with the promise of outstand- 
ing success but finishes in a penitentiary. A huge com- 
mercial enterprise, organized with the prospect of heavy 
returns for the stockholders, collapses in bankruptcy. 
Yet Jesus not only took the first steps for our salvation; 
He also took the last step, up the hill of the skull. He 
left nothing undone, nothing unpaid, nothing unfinished 
for our deliverance, In His dying moments He cried out, 
not in a weak, wavering whisper but, as the Gospels em- 
phasize, "with a loud voice" "It is finished." That was 
the cry of victory. The anguish and the sorrow of the 
crucifixion were over. The divine plan for the world's 



888 LOOK TO THE CROSS ! 

redemption was drawing to its close. The whole Old Tes- 
tament, with its altars and sacrifices, was giving way to 
the New, with Christ, Calvary's cross, the atoning blood 
and everything that even the just and holy God could 
demand for the rescue of the whole race. 

"It is finished 9 ' let this victory cry resound through- 
out the world! You need not indeed cannot earn your 
redemption. Do not waste your time and energies in try- 
ing to complete what Jesus has fully accomplished! "My 
grace," He assures you, "is sufficient for thee" Only be- 
lieve Him! Contritely confess your sins! Confidently trust 
His mercies! 

"It is finished" let that be your defense against 
doubt! You need no man-made additions to the Gospel; 
you can trust Christ confidently and find everything re- 
quired for your redemption plainly stated in passages like 
this, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt 
be saved." Why, then, should you question the eternal 
truth? You may have reason for being suspicious of hu- 
man promises, but Jesus is the Son of God. His pledge 
has never failed. His assurances are sealed with His own 
sacred blood. 

Truly Christ is the "Finisher of our faith." Once and 
for all times in your stead He fulfilled God's Law, the 
Old Testament prophecies, the demands of divine holi- 
ness, the eternal plan of human salvation. He has taken 
your iniquity away, altogether and forever. He has en- 
dured its full punishment, borne its total guilt, so that in 
God's sight, once you truly accept His Son, you are with- 
out sin, free from its curse, cleansed of its taint, pardoned 
of its guilt. 

Many projects in life remain unfinished. Authors die 
before their books are completed. Statesmen go to the 
grave before their plans can be put into practice. Par- 



LOOK TO THE CROSS! 389 

ents are carried to their last resting place when their 
children are only babies. The precious and only Savior, 
however, died on the cross with the heavenly pledge that 
not one particle in the plan of our redemption remained 
incomplete; that no sinner in any age or any place need 
ever question our Lord's death for him. Praise His holy 
name for this glorious grace! He might have said: "I am 
dying here on the cross for you. Yet before you can have 
the blessings of My crucifixion, you must prove that you 
are worthy of forgiveness. You must do your share. You 
must show Me that you can live a holy, pure, upright 
life." That would not be Jesus. The deliverance He grants 
is no halfway measure. He goes all the way, and He gives 
His mercy, not to those who think themselves worthy, 
noble, virtuous, but to the unworthy, the contrite sinners, 
who, knowing that even a lifetime of their best deeds 
cannot win them recognition in the Almighty's sight, 
kneel in sorrow and repentance over their sins and plead, 
"O Jesus, Thou Son of God, Thou Redeemer of die world, 
my Savior, have mercy upon me!" 

This is God's way to salvation. It is the unchangeable 
way. It is the sure way. It is the only way. For here is 
the clear statement of Christ Himself: *7 am the Way, the 
Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father but 
by Me." Men may ridicule this truth. Last week an Ohio 
woman, evidently a church member, wrote: "Why don't 
you get next to yourself and lay off the *blood of Christ* 
stuff?" Doubtless millions in the United States feel just 
as she does. A magazine recently expressed surprise over 
a popular survey in England, much like our Gallup Poll, 
which revealed that only 10 per cent of the people over 
there are closely connected with any church. I wonder, 
however, whether we have any moral right to think 
America superior. Less than half our population claim 



390 LOOK TO THE CROSS 1 

membership in any religious group. Less than half of 
that half are regular attendants, and many of those wor- 
ship with Christ-denying congregations. Today, when our 
individual and national problems are more acute than 
ever before, we need with absolute necessity the clear 
message of the final and finished atonement in the blood 
of the Lord Jesus. Because the Savior has commanded us 
to preach the Gospel; because Saint Paul was "deter- 
mined not to know anything among 9 the first believers 
"save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified" this broadcast 
will feature with all the strength God gives us, not war 
discussions, news reviews, peace plans, reconstruction 
programs the country seems to have plenty of com- 
mentators, financial experts, and statesmen but these 
two truths, the most vital in all the world: first, the warn- 
ing that, if you refuse to accept the Savior, you are hope- 
lessly lost; and, second, the promise that, if you receive 
Him, you have assured salvation, and with it, every- 
thing required to fight evil, resist temptation, lead a God- 
pleasing life, build your home, your community, your 
country, with exalting righteousness. If you do not like 
the Gospel and write me that the mention of the Re- 
deemer's blood is "nauseating" to you, all I can say is, 
"May God have mercy on your soul!" All I can do is to 
plead that by divine grace, even through sorrow and 
disaster, you may be spiritually crushed and in your 
helplessness turn to your Savior! 

My countrymen, Jesus is your last and only Hope. 
Look confidently to His cross for eternal compassion! 
He loves you, if no one else in all the world does; and 
He loves you as no one else ever can. He is "the Author 
and Finisher" of your faith, the Beginning and End of 
your salvation, the Start and Finish of everything good 
and holy in your life, your Alpha and Omega for earth 



LOOK TO THE CROSS ! 391 

and heaven. Stop resisting His grace! Stop blaspheming 
His name! Stop closing the gate to heaven! Welcome Him 
as your Savior now! Let me send you a Christian pastor 
to instruct you in Christ's truth! 

II 
LOOK TO THE CROSS FOR THE COURAGEOUS LIFE! 

Our text gives us another reason for turning to the 
cross. We read: "Let us lay aside every weight, . . . and 
let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 
looking unto Jesus . . . who for the joy that was set before 
Him endured the cross ? despising the shame." In the race 
called life (and how truly we hurry through our short 
span of years!), when Christians daily draw nearer to 
their heavenly home, they are often burdened by sorrows 
and afflictions which would prevent them from reaching 
their goal. Many in this audience are weighted by pain- 
ful, costly, weakening sickness. Some of you can never 
recall a day in which you could rise from your bed, 
your wheel chair, your crutches, and feel the full sweep 
of health course through your body. Others have been 
crushed by family trouble: your marriage is broken; you 
are separated from your husband or your wife; your chil- 
dren have brought you disgrace; drunkenness, cursing, 
quarrels, have ruled your home for years. Still others have 
met with bankruptcy and broken hopes in business. Not 
a few of you are beset by spiritual problems. Satan wants 
you to doubt instead of believing firmly, and you are be- 
ginning to wonder whether you have committed the un- 
pardonable sin, whether the blood of Jesus is able to 
cleanse the vile, horrifying thoughts which contrary to 
your will shape themselves in your mind. In all this tor- 
ture you ask disconsolately, "How can I bear my burden?" 

That is the question millions of sufferers are voicing 



392 LOOK TO THE CROSsl 

today and many more millions will repeat tomorrow. 
Believers will not find their road easy during the years 
ahead. A magazine published in New Jersey coldly an- 
nounces that the work of Martin Luther must be undone.. 
Does that mean that my Church is to be liquidated? In 
a score of ways the adversities which Jesus foresaw and 
foretold as signs of the last times are being fulfilled be- 
fore our eyes in unbelief, persecution of the truth, apos- 
tasy within churches. 

Where, then, can the afflicted, especially those who 
sorrow over the war, fearing that disaster or death may 
strike their sons on far-off battle areas, find help? Or is 
there no hope? Is life merely a cruel game of chance with 
the cards stacked against us? May God drive those evil 
thoughts from your mind and give you the courage to 
follow His Son through hardship and heartache! Let the 
message of these Lenten weeks impress on your mind 
how incomparably greater than yours was the anguish 
the Savior "endured" on the cross. He could have died 
in a hundred other ways, but He deliberately chose that 
form of death, which the ancient world reserved for those 
whom it would make suffer long and intensely. He could 
have departed from life amid splendor, as ancient kings 
often did, or among an invited group of friends, as Soc- 
rates did, but He purposely selected the "shame" of the 
cross, the most despised form of execution; and on the 
unclean, accursed tree He died between two robbers to 
fulfill the ancient prophecy, "He was numbered with the 
transgressors." 

How could Christ knowingly and willingly "endure" 
all this? Our text answers: It was "for the joy that was 
set before Him" the eternal salvation of your soul and 
mine. Great was His agony, but even greater His love. 
Tears fell from His eyes; heavy groanings escaped His 



LOOK TO THE CROSS! 893 

lips; His soul was "exceeding sorrowful, even unto death"; 
yet beyond Calvary was the rejoicing in the redemption. 
Above Good Friday's darkness shone the beacon light of 
.God's penetrating love. 

Similarly our text directs all Christians, "looking unto 
Jesus" to find a high and heavenly purpose in their 
anguish. As the agonies of the crucifixion produced the 
greatest blessing the race has ever known, so for our 
Lord's followers "all things," including shattering blows, 
"work together -for good" In every pain or shame with 
which you as a child of God are burdened, a radiant 
joy has been set before you, too the knowledge that 
you are afflicted because God loves you and visits you, 
not in His anger but in His unfathomable grace, so that 
adversity will make you lean wholly on Jesus, trust Him 
without question or quiver. Here, then, is the answer to 
the problem of suffering only Jesus can give and only 
those who accept Him can receive: There is rejoicing in 
every reverse, power for uplift in all blows that strike 
us down, healing for the soul in each sickness of body, 
spiritual strength in physical weakness, heavenly riches 
in earthly loss. For that faith, my heartbroken friends, 
turn to the cross! As truly as the Crucified is God's Son 
and the world's Savior, you will realize the pledge of 
His word, "Jour sorrow shall be turned into joy" 

Because this broadcast, in an ever-increasing degree, 
is determined to direct all whom it can reach to Jesus, 
"the Author and Finisher of our faith" our Redeemer 
from sin and our Example in suffering, I am privileged 
now to give the happiest radio announcement it has ever 
been my privilege to make. For years many of you have 
been praying that Bringing Christ to the Nations would 
remain on the air during the summer season. The Lu- 
theran Laymen's League, sponsor of this radio mission, 



394 LOOK TO THE CROSS! 

has decided that, with God's grace and your help, we 
will broadcast every Sunday. Particularly in soul-trying 
times like these, the Savior must be preached with more 
force and frequency than ever. Pray for us! It will cost 
several hundred thousand dollars to continue this work, 
but I have the confidence that the Lord who has mightily 
blessed us during the past ten years will lead you to 
support us, so that year after year, the evangel of ever- 
lasting redemption may be preached in Christ's name to 
larger masses. Thank God today for this encouraging 
step forward and help us reach our objective: to use 
every suitable and available radio transmitter through- 
out the world for the spread of His saving truth; to broad- 
cast Sunday after Sunday, month after month, year after 
year, without interruption, this one central, saving ap- 
peal: Look to the cross for love, for life, for light! Look 
to Jesus, the Son of the eternal God and the Son of the 
lowly Virgin, for full, free, final, finished salvation! Look 
to Christ for strength in every sorrow, courage in every 
crisis! Look to the Crucified, to Him alone, to Him al- 
ways and be saved! O God, give us that cross-directed 
vision and victory for Thy Son's sake! Amen. 



Who Is This Prince of Peace? 



When He was come into Jerusalem, all the city 
was moved, saying. Who is this? And the mul- 
titude said, This is Jesus, the Prophet of Naz- 
areth of Galilee. And Jesus went into the Temple 
of God, and cast out all them that sold and 
bought in the Temple, and overthrew the tables 
of the money-changers and the seats of them 
that sold doves, and said unto them, It is written, 
My house shall be called the house of prayer; 
but ye have made it a den of thieves. And the 
blind and the lame came to Him in the Temple; 
and He healed them. And when the chief priests 
and scribes saw the wonderful things that He 
did and the children crying in the Temple and 
saying, Hosanna to the Son of David! they were 
sore displeased and said unto Him, Hearest Thou 
what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; 
have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes 
and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise?" 

SAINT MATTHEW 21:10-16 



O Lord God of Grace and Truth: 

Give us contrite, reverent hearts, so that we may worthily 
observe this Holy Week commemorating the torture, cruci- 
fixion, and death of Thy beloved Son, Jesus, our precious 
Redeemer! Take away from us every thought of pride and 
self-righteousness! Humble us, until we know that we are 
less than nothing but the crucified Savior is more than all 
we need for eternal life!' Use this broadcast, heavenly Father, 
as a means of leading many to this faith! May they in sin- 
cerity and truth sing their hosannas to the Christ who would 
hold His holy entrance into their hearts! Let the men and 
women of our armed forces, in the South Pacific, North 
Africa, the Aleutians wherever they are find time and rest 
this day to behold the Palm Sunday Prince of Peace and join 
their prayers with ours, asking Thee, with whom nothing 

[395] 



896 WHO IS THIS PBINGE OF PEACE? 

is impossible, to grant us "blessed peace and Thy daily, di- 
vine protection! Thy will be done! Hosanna to the heavenly 
Savior! May He come into our hearts now! We ask it, 
O Father, by the promise of His atoning love. Amen. 



JL/AST week when our troops in Tunisia en- 
tered Kairouan, holy city of the Mohammedans, they 
were welcomed with loud, almost hysterical acclaim. 
Civilians, finally freed from Axis rule, lined the streets, 
cheered themselves hoarse, showered tanks with flowers, 
and vied in inviting our troops to victory dinners. Alto- 
gether it was a scene of unbounded rejoicing. 

Today we think of another holy city, Jerusalem, and 
of an altogether different triumphal march through its 
streets. Along the very roads on which Babylonian bat- 
talions, Alexander's armies, Roman legions, had entered 
that Judean capital as crushing conquerors, we behold, 
on the first Palm Sunday, the most startling cavalcade the 
ancient city has ever witnessed, with thousands lining the 
way, waving palm branches, throwing their garments on 
the streets as carpets for the approaching Hero, shouting 
hosannas and hallelujahs. Were they, too, assembled to 
greet a mighty warrior and his victorious veterans? Not 
a single soldier marched in those columns; neither sword 
nor bow nor spear was seen; no chariot rumbled in their 
ranks. Instead, unarmed men, defenseless women, care- 
free children walked side by side. And the Leader? 
Never in His life did He fight on a battlefield nor sdek 
power. On the contrary, He spurned the call to become 
an earthly king. He told His disciple, "Put up again thy 
sword into his place, for all they that take the sword 
shall perish with the sword!" He wore no shield and 
shiny armor; He rode on no prancing steed; He had no 
battle cry; instead, the promise, "My peace I give unto 
you. . . . Let not your heart be troubledl" He dealt not 



WHO IS THIS PRINCE OF PEACE? 397 

with violence and might, but with grace and mercy, for 
He was "the Prince of Peace." 

Strangely enough, while that Palm Sunday entrance 
into Jerusalem one of history's most vital processions 
attracted wide attention, many of the bystanders did not 
know the Prince of Peace. Because millions in our own 
country likewise have only a faulty, incomplete under- 
standing of His person, power, and blessing, let us ask 
the Palm Sunday question: 

WHO IS THIS PRINCE OF PEACE? 

and find the answer in Saint Matthew ( chapter twenty- 
one, verses ten and following): "When He was come 
into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is 
this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus, the Prophet 
of Nazareth of Galilee. And Jesus went into the Temple 
of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in 
the Temple, and overthrew the tables of the money- 
changers and the seats of them that sold doves, and said 
unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the 
house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. 
And the blind and the lame came to Him in the Temple; 
and He healed them. And when the chief priests and 
scribes saw the wonderful things that He did and the 
children crying in the Temple and saying, Hosanna to 
the Son of David! they were sore displeased and said 
unto Him, Hearest Thou what these say? And Jesus saith 
unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth 
of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise?" 

I 
HE IS THE DIVINE SAVIOR 

" "Who is this 9 Prince of Peace?" When the Palm Sun- 
day crowds at Jerusalem answered the question by stat- 



398 WHO IS THIS PBINCE OF PEACE? 

ing, "This is Jesus, the Prophet of Nazareth of Galilee, 9 ' 
they were right, and they were wrong: right, because 
Jesus was a Prophet who did come from Nazareth in 
Galilee, despised though it was; and wrong, because He 
was far more. This error, the same belittling Christ and 
minimizing His greatness, is repeated today. It will re- 
quire only slight effort to convince even unbelievers that 
Jesus was an outstanding Figure. Scoffers have often paid 
Him tribute. In 1877, when Robert Ingersoll made an 
extended speaking tour of the Pacific Coast, night after 
night he received huge fees for blaspheming the Bible, 
ridiculing our religion, heaping sarcasm on the Savior. 
At Portland he met a missionary to the Chinook Indians 
and began to debate with him the wisdom of devoting an 
entire life to the hopeless task of teaching a vanishing 
Indian tribe what he called "the questionable statements 
of the Gospel" In simple, courageous answer the mis- 
sionary explained the hardships of his work, but also his 
joy in bringing Christ to spiritually neglected natives. 
When they parted, Ingersoll, agnostic, enemy of Christ, 
pressed a twenty-dollar gold piece into the missionary's 
hand with the remark: "It's good work you are doing! 
It's good workl" 

However, to praise Jesus and exalt His work is not 
enough. We must call Him more than "Master." We must 
go farther than say, "He is the greatest Man in all cen- 
turies." We must go all the way and declare in firm 
faith, "This Jesus, as He rides into Jerusalem, meek and 
lowly, is my Lord and God, the Sovereign of my soul." 

No one less than God Himself can satisfy the desires 
of your soul. You need assurance above the possibility 
of error. You must have a sure Word of promise and hope 
which not only will make no mistake, but that has the 
power, t& ability, the resources, to help you through 



WHO IS THIS PRINCE OF PEACE? 899 

those difficulties in which all human agencies collapse 
the questionings of a disturbed soul, the accusation of 
many sins, the protest of an aroused conscience, the 
plea of your distress: "Who can show me the truth? Who 
can save me?" Here in Christ is the answer, comfort, 
power you seek; for, as His Word testifies, as His miracles 
prove, He is the Lord of heaven and earth, your God 
of glory! 

Yet this Palm Sunday Prince of Peace is more. Though 
His countrymen refused to see the Old Testament proph- 
ecies fulfilled in Jesus, He is .the Messiah, the Christ, 
the anointed Redeemer, the suffering Servant of Jehovah, 
concerning whom Isaiah, seven centuries previously, had 
written, "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was 
bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace 
was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed." 
Unless you are ready to welcome Jesus into your heart 
as the Son of God and the Savior who atoned for your 
sins, washed away their stains with His blood, paid for 
their guilt on the cross, you do not know Christ, though 
you preach Him from a pulpit. 

Even if you do declare, "J esus is the Savior/' there is 
still this one step to take: you must be able to say, "J es us 
is my Savior." On no Sunday during the entire year 
should you realize more personally that Christ died for 
you than on this Palm Sunday, when you behold Him 
resolutely riding into the city which in a few days will 
nail Him to the cross. 

Recently a book appeared entitled, Who Crucified 
Jesus? It was written by a professor at Dropsie College, 
Philadelphia, and Yeshiva College, New York, who re- 
peats the ancient claim that the Savior's countrymen are 
not responsible for His crucifixion. He insists that Pontius 
Pilate and the Roman authorities are to blame; that 



400 WHO IS THIS PRINCE OF PEACE? 

Christ was condemned for a political crime, as a rebel 
against the government. All this, however, is contradicted 
by the record o the four Gospels and the Epistles. True, 
Pilate had to go through the formality of issuing the 
death warrant; but, humanly speaking, had it not been 
for the deep-rooted hatred in the hearts of the Jerusalem 
citizens, Jesus never would have been sent to Calvary. 
The Jews of His day planned His destruction long before 
the first Good Friday. His own priests and church officials 
conducted the illegal hearings, incited the masses, bought 
the perjured witnesses, falsely charged Jesus, and sys- 
tematically sought to kill Him. His own nation's leaders 
blocked Pilate, who, convinced of Christ's guiltlessness, 
sought to liberate Him and dismiss all charges. No; his- 
tory is too clear, outspoken, unmistakable: those in the 
first instance responsible for the Savior's death are His 
own countrymen. 

You and I cannot understand the real meaning of the 
crucifixion unless we know, believe, and confess that our 
sins sent Jesus to Golgotha; that our transgressions helped 
nail Him to the cross; that oui guilt made Him suffer 
agony, unfathomable and indescribable. Each one of us 
must gaze up to our crucified God and Savior and de- 
clare with a crushed and contrite spirit: "O Jesus, my 
sins brought You this unspeakable misery. My iniquities 
nailed You to the cross. My transgressions made You 
groan in agony. My wickedness made You gasp in fe- 
verish thirst. My guilt made Your head drop in death/' 
The hymn in your heart and on your lips every week, 
but this week especially, should be: 

It was for me 

He died upon the tree. 

With this contrite confession you will be able to re- 
ceive Jesus in truth as the Prince of Peace. You will read 



WHO IS THIS PRINCE OF PEACE? 401 

radiant promises like this: "He 'made peace through the 
Hood of His cross"; or, "Being justified by faith, we 
have peace with God"; or, once more, Jesus* own un- 
breakable pledge: "Peace I leave with you, My peace 
I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. 
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid'; 
and in a world of bursting bombs, whistling shrapnel, 
screaming sirens, and moaning agony you, kneeling at 
Calvary, can have peace, "perfect peace," with your God, 
with your own conscience, with your fellow men. More: 
by the Spirit's help you can bring that peace into our 
peace-robbed age. 

II 

HE IS THE CLEANSER OF HIS CHURCH 

" 'Who is this' Prince of Peace?" He also proved Him- 
self the Cleanser of His Church. After Jesus had tri- 
umphantly entered the city, He went immediately into 
the Temple. What a necessary example for every one 
of us! Today the feeling is widespread, even in religious 
circles, that it is not necessary to join a true church. 
People think they can worship at home, outdoors, amid 
the marvels of unfolding nature. They can; but they must 
do more! When the Apostles preached the message of 
the crucified Savior, they founded congregations almost 
everywhere they traveled; and it was the Almighty's will, 
expressed in His own Book, that the believers should not 
forsake those assemblies. If Jesus customarily went to the 
synagogue, we ought to attend His church. He Himself 
said, "Blessed are they that hear the Word of God'" 
If you want the blessing of regular instruction in God's 
Word, the privilege of Holy Communion, and your share 
in extending the Savior's kingdom, join a true church! 
Attend regularly and support it! Radio messages like 

Tenth Lutheran How 2 



402 WHO IS THIS PRINCE OF PEACE? 

these are not enough. Your private study of Scripture is 
not enough. Your own devotional reading is not enough. 
Do what Jesus did when, soon after entering Jerusalem, 
without waiting for the Sabbath, He headed straight for 
the Temple! On Palm Sunday years ago many of you 
pledged yourselves to Him and His Church, promising 
to remain faithful even through the pains of death. Yet 
today you are without Christ. What a glorious day for 
you to return to your Redeemer, His Church and the 
joy of your salvation! 

Some of you say: "My Church has lost its power and 
blessing. The congregations in my town are worldly." 
Don't let that stop you! The Temple in Jesus' day was 
defiled with vile abominations; yet that did not keep 
Jesus away. We read that the meek, loving Prince of 
Peace "went into the Temple of God, and cast out all 
them that sold and bought in the Temple, and overthrew 
the tables of the money-changers and the seats of them 
that sold doves, and said unto them, It is written, My 
house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have 
made it a den of thieves. 9 ' When our Lord saw religious 
racketeers making money within God's sanctuary, profit- 
eering for the priests, since they demanded their share 
of the gains; when He knew that this buying and selling 
was rife with fraud, lying, and dishonesty, so that "the 
house of prayer" had become "a den of thieves," He was 
seized by holy indignation and drove every one of those 
temple merchants away, silencing the noise of their bar- 
gaining. 

Jesus could serve as the Cleanser of His church, for 
He was Lord of that sanctuary. While we are in no way 
authorized to use force, we, too, must be ready to act 
in preserving our sanctuaries as houses of prayer to the 
true God. How tragic that many churches today similarly 



WHO IS THIS PKINCE OF PEACE? 403 

stand exposed for engaging in money-making projects 
which transgress both the civil and sacred law, feature 
gambling, worldly attractions, indecent shows. 

All this is bad enough and calls for protest, repeated 
and earnest; yet even worse is the dishonesty practiced 
by the present-day priest, Pharisee, and Sadducee the 
cunning denial of the saving Gospel, the modern mis- 
representation of the cross. At the time when our country 
as never before needs outspoken emphasis on Christ's 
cleansing blood, His atoning death, His life-giving resur- 
rection, men arise they sound smooth and attractive, 
to some they sound convincing and claim that to enter 
the kingdom of God, we must enter a new sphere of liv- 
ing, we must keep faith in ourselves, faith in the upward 
march of mankind. Only by living in harmony with the 
universe, they tell us, can our unconquerable spirit sail 
through today's difficulties. Not once is Christ conceded 
to be God. Not once are sinners told to lay their guilt 
on Him. Not once is the Cross preached as proof of our 
Savior's substitutionary suffering in our behalf. 

Last week a perplexed listener in Fostoria, Michigan, 
sent me the summary of a radio address delivered by 
a man called "America's greatest Christian." Contrasting 
that modernist's message with ours, he wrote me: "I am 
convinced of this: You are a liar or else this other 
preacher is a liar. Either you are a fool, or he is," And 
he concluded: TE am miserable. I am sinful. I am helpless. 
Oh, that I had the peace I long for!" A few days after 
he sent that letter, the Holy Spirit touched his heart and 
he now said: "Like old Bartimaeus, at last I see. In pro- 
found and humble gratitude I thank God that in Jesus* 
blood my sins are forgiven and my eyes are opened. No 
'upward march of mankind,' no 'moral philosophy/ no 
understanding,' uo 'faith, m man's unconquerable 



404 WHO IS THIS PRINCE OF PEACE? 

soul/ can ever atone for my sins that cry to high heaven. 
Only Christ can, and not a mere man-made Christ who is 
only a splendid example to follow, not a mere man-made 
Christ who shows me how to take up my cross and earn 
heaven by my picking it up, not a mere man-made Christ 
who lived in harmony with the universe and showed us 
how to live in communion with nature! No! No! Only 
Christ who is both God and man could redeem me 
only Christ, who was crucified by my sins!" Thank God, 
we say, for this enlightenment; but pray God to stop 
every perverter of His truth! It was criminal for those 
Jerusalem temple merchants to rob people of their money; 
it is doubly damnable, however, for modern pulpit pirates 
to rob hearers of their soul's salvation. 

This was the second time Jesus had cleansed the 
Temple. Three years previously He had similarly driven 
away the profiteers; now the sanctuary had to be purged 
again. Once, before our own generation, God purified the 
churches in Martin Luther's mighty Reformation. That 
was four centuries ago, and four hundred years is a long 
time, too long for men to keep their desecrating hands 
off Christ's truth. The day for another reformation has 
dawned. Churches must drop the search for wealth, 
power, money, pomp, privilege, and seek faith, humility, 
and service. They must go all out for Christ, as the sole 
but sure Savior of mankind. The pulpit must ring with 
100-per-cent loyalty to Scripture, not with denial, double 
talk, deception. 

HE IS THE HELPER OF THE HELPLESS 

<ef Who te this 9 Prince of Peace?" There in the Temple 
our Lord gave us another answer, for He showed Himself 
the Helper of the helpless. When the news spread that 
Jesus of Nazareth had come to the Temple, large num- 
bers of "the Hind and the lame came to Him"; and though 



WHO IS THIS PRINCE OF PEACE? 405 

torture, crucifixion, and death were only a few days away, 
the Savior, instead of remaining engrossed in the thoughts 
of His suffering, took time to heal everyone brought 
to Him. 

"If only Christ were with us today to continue that 
healing ministry!" you, the sick and sufferers, are saying. 
Our Prince of Peace is still with us not bodily, to lay 
His hands on the wounded in war, on those bruised in 
life's battles, but spiritually, so that, not confined to one 
place, He can bless His children over all the world. He 
who has never made a mistake nor uttered an unfulfilled 
promise assures us, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto 
the end of the world! 9 ' Build your hope on that pledge! 
Let it comfort you! Believe that the same Jesus is per- 
sonally, directly, sympathetically concerned with every 
sorrow which may overtake His followers! Often in the 
history of proud empires have the sickly, lame, disfigured, 
blind, been removed from the road along which the 
procession of a mighty king or haughty queen took its 
course. Only the strong, healthy, robust, were to be seen 
by these monarchs. How utterly different our compas- 
sionate Christ! Read the record of His Gospels, and you 
will see that He spent more time with the sick and 
bereaved than with any other group! 

Believe also that the same Savior who touched those 
sightless eyes and made them see, laid His hands on 
those withered, paralyzed, broken limbs and infused 
them with life and strength, can still heal. Every Chris- 
tian doctor throughout the land knows that often when 
medicine and treatment fail, the Almighty succeeds; that 
men and women are snatched from the edge of death by 
direct, divine aid. Therefore, whatever the burdens of 
your bodily weakness and physical pain may be; however 
heavy the sorrows of war's bereavement or sudden 
death; whenever your spiritual worries seem overpower- 



406 WHO IS THIS PBINCE OF PEACE? 

ing and this week again brought those agonized pleas 
asking: "Can Jesus forgive my shocking, terrifying trans- 
gressions? Is there any hope for me with all my evil 
thoughts against God? Have I committed the sin against 
the Holy Ghost?" take it all to Christ, and because He 
is your God and Savior, He will help you in every earthly 
sorrow! He may not heal your body, for such healing 
would not advance your souFs welfare; but He will al- 
ways and this is a thousand times more important 
heal your soul and sanctify your suffering. He will fortify 
you with courage to meet the most distressing reverses, 
even death notices from the battle front. He will put 
sympathy for others into your heart. Above all, He will 
make the days of your affliction a time of spiritual 
triumph by bringing you closer to God, making you lean 
wholly on Christ, rely entirely on the Spirit's guidance. 
Therefore on this Palm Sunday, which marks the be- 
ginning of our Lord's last week of earthly life, I appeal 
to you, the blind in the United States, the victims of 
paralysis, the 2,000,000 on the nation's sick list, the thou- 
sands of wounded who have been returned to military 
and naval hospitals in our country or who hear these 
words beyond our boundaries: in every darkened hour, 
when you are threatened with despair, when you deny 
that life is worth the agonies you have suffered, bring 
all your anguish to our sin-removing, grace-bestowing 
Christ! Did He ever refuse to receive any racked, tor- 
mented soul? His promise is, "Him that cometh to Me 
I will in no wise cast out." Approach Him now, just as 
you are, and the Prince of Peace will come into your life 
with an entrance much more blessed even than that Palm 
Sunday procession. He will give you heaven-sent, heaven- 
directed assurance, by which you can join the afflicted, 
persecuted Apostle in saying, "I know that this shall 
turn to my salvation." 



WHO IS THIS PB1NCE OF PEACE? 407 

IV 
HE IS THE CHAMPION OF CHILDHOOD 

" 'Who is this Palm Sunday Prince of Peace?" He is 
also the Champion of childhood, While Jesus was healing 
the sick in the Temple, the children gathered about Him 
and sang in happy voices, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" 
With childlike simplicity those boys and girls believed 
the Lord was truly the promised Messiah, and joyfully 
their praise rang through the Temple. The jealous priests 
and envious scribes were enraged; but when they de- 
manded of Jesus, "Hearest Thou what these say?" He 
answered: ''Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of 
babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise?" If those 
proud churchmen really knew their Bible, so our Lord 
implied, they would have understood the Eighth Psalm's 
prediction that God uses even babes and nursing chil- 
dren for His praise and mighty purposes. 

You see, then, our blessed Savior is earnestly con- 
cerned about receiving the acclaim of our American 
children. As the youth in Jerusalem sang, "Hosanna" 
that means literally "save" us so the youth in the United 
States should plead, " 'Hosanna' save us, Jesus!" Tragi- 
cally, however, the average American child spends more 
time in clay modeling, basketry, and sand play than in 
the study of God's Word. A typical boy or girl in our 
country knows more about crime, the underworld, inter- 
national spies, than about Christ. Even our high-school 
and college youth are woefully misinformed in religious 
matters. Recently 7,000 students in thirty-six colleges and 
universities were given a comprehensive examination in 
United States history. Twenty-five per cent of them did 
not know that Abraham Lincoln was President during 
the Civil War. Thomas Jefferson, the 200th anniversary 
of whose birth was observed last week, was called a Sal- 



408 WHO IS THIS PRINCE OF PEACE? 

vation Army worker. Alexander Hamilton was described 
as a watchmaker. Theodore Roosevelt was identified as 
the man who helped free Texas. This is dangerous ig- 
norance. Far more appalling, however, is the lack of spir- 
itual understanding. Our young people should know 
that this land was colonized quite largely by men and 
women who came to spread the Gospel on our shores. 
They should recall that America's foundation is not athe- 
istic, agnostic, but positively Christian. They should feel 
that for our nation's future we need, above all, a return 
to God in Jesus, a reaffirmation of these early American 
ideals. 

Instead, however, many young people are not only 
growing up without any understanding of the Savior, the 
Bible, and the Church, but their minds are also being 
poisoned by hideous unbelief. Last week, in Detroit, the 
faculty of Wayne University, a public, tax-supported 
school, invited an outspoken infidel the man whose 
poem, "Good-by, Christ," I mentioned some time ago 
to read his writings before the student body. If you 
parents knew the filth, the savagery, and the brutal at- 
tacks on God and His Son which this man has put into 
his verses, you would seriously wonder how in the name 
of common sense and ordinary decency educators, whose 
salaries are paid largely by Christian citizens, would ever 
dare feature such blasphemy. One of those college girls 
read aloud that satanic poem, "Good-by, Christ," and 
sneeringly told the courageous women picketing the 
meeting to mind their own business. Another co-ed de- 
clared publicly that she would kill her mother if she 
ever caught her picketing for the Bible. But here is the 
worst! Some of you will not want to believe this, yet 
I have it black on white in one of his own books: * tittis 

* The Big Sea, by Langston Hughes (Alfred A. Knopf, 1940), 
page 834. 



WHO IS THIS PBINCE OF PEACE? 409 

atheist, this infidel, who speaks of God having a hemor- 
rhage, who mentions spitoons on church altars, received 
a literary reward of $400.00 and a gold medal from the 
Federated Council of Churches! Talk about the high 
priests giving Judas thirty pieces of silver for betraying 
his Lord! 

Is it any wonder that crime, vice, and wickedness 
among juveniles has reached an altogether shocking 
height? J. Edgar Hoover, head of the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation, reports that last year the arrests of girls 
under twenty-one increased 55 per cent and immorality 
jumped 104 per cent 

This neglect of children is America's most menacing 
danger for the future. Our youth must be won for Christ 
today if we are to stave off tomorrow's disaster. We must 
return to the early Colonial ideals. They had no million- 
dollar school plants, gymnasiums, cafeterias, playgrounds, 
swimming pools, these pioneer settlers; indeed, they were 
often thankful if they could conduct school in a log 
cabin; but despite their primitive poverty they kept 
Christ in culture. Let me read you this summary by an 
educational expert; "Everywhere and at all times in the 
Colonial period the religious element was prominent in 
the schools. The Psalter and Testament were used as 
textbooks, the primers were filled with religious ideas. 
Every school taught the catechism." We likewise must be 
ready to give our Christian children Scripture-grounded 
training, for what is a nation profited if its youth can 
answer quiz questions, but not soul questions; if its boys 
and girls are clever and cunning, but not obedient and 
truthful? 

Once again, I offer our American families a practical 
help. My Church conducts hundreds of Christian day 
schools throughout the country, where children are taught 



410 WHO IS THIS PRINCE OF PEACE? 

to sing hosannas to the coming Christ schools noted 
for their sound secular training, but especially for the 
solid, spiritual life-foundation they build. They are open 
to your little ones. Let me tell you how your son or 
daughter can be enrolled without charge to learn daily 
the most sacred of all truths, the Bible record of God's 
love in Christ! 

Before this Palm Sunday ends, I ask, "What does this 
Prince of Peace mean to you?" Can you begin this week, 
commemorating His captivity, torture, and death, with 
the same neglect of your Redeemer that has marked 
every previous week of your life? Can you hear Him cry 
from the cross, "My God, My God, why hast Thou for- 
saken Me?" and turn away unmoved? Are you one of 
those who acclaimed Jesus in momentary fervor, but 
disclaimed Him in some crisis, like these palm branch 
wavers and hosanna singers who soon became His ene- 
mies? He will return, no longer in meekness and humility, 
but with heavenly power to judge the world and take 
His children home to heaven. The signs with which He 
foretold His second coming are being fulfilled, particu- 
larly in widespread warfare. The world fire lighted in 
1914 and again in 1939 may never be put out. World 
War III may soon follow if bungling diplomats keep 
Christ from the peace table. 

When Jesus returns or when you face Him in eter- 
nity will you be ready to meet Him? It will be too late 
in the crash and flash of His coming for you to repent 
suddenly. Acclaim Him nowl It will be too late to accept 
Him when you meet Him face to face in eternity's Judg- 
ment. "It is appointed unto men once to die" the Savior 
warns, "after this the Judgment." Receive Him as your 
Redeemer nowl 

With all the insecurity of life today, the plea to ac- 



WHO IS THIS PRINCE OF PEACE? 411 

kaowledge Jesus is direct and urgent. On Friday, Saint 
Louis lost one of its Christian physicians, a man in the 
prime of life, who without any previous warning what- 
ever died in a few short seconds, while treating a patient. 
That beloved physician was prepared for his departure. 
Are you? Can you face the holy God if today or tomorrow 
death's skeletal hand reaches out for you? There is only 
one way by which you can remain ready by clinging 
to the Lord Jesus as your own, everlasting Savior! Then, 
though the way of your salvation be through sorrow and 
searing pain, it will bring you into the radiance of the 
new Jerusalem! May we all be found in the sacred as- 
sembly which Saint John was privileged to behold: "Lo, 
a great multitude, which no man could number, of all 
nations and kindreds and people and tongues stood be- 
fore the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white 
robes and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud 
voice, saying, Salvation to our God, which sitteth upon 
the throne, and unto the Lamb!" Grant us, O Father, 
through faith in our crucified Savior, that we join the 
angels around that throne and sing in exalted strains, 
"Amen: blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving 
and honor and power and might be unto our God forever 
and ever' through Jesus Christ! Amen. 




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