George Walker - Hector, Minnesota Convention - Saturday, October 3, 1970

It was with a fear I came here lest I would not be the encouragement to my brethren and old friends, whom I have known for years and value highly and who have put trust in me. I know my inability physically and I had a dread lest I would not be to them all I should be.

One experience I had a good
many years ago in South Africa, when 45 or more were on the pier to wave goodbye to me, I shall never forget. On deck, one could look down into their faces — some white and some black — waiting for the boat to pull out. As the boat pulled out and I couldn't see them anymore, walking over the deck of that boat the thought came to me, it would be a terrible thing if I would do something that would make their battle harder, that the devil could use to discourage them. I asked the Lord, rather than I be a castaway and disappoint those people, I should be buried in the ocean and not see land again. One would prefer to die than be a disappointment to those who trust one.


When troubled with the thought I cannot preach as in past days, I concluded, you can at least mention some of those Scriptures that helped me all through my days. You can preach them stronger now because of the experiences I have had that confirm them. In the first days, one preached about them because one believed them and had confidence in them; but now one has proved the Truths contained in them. One has had experiences that proved their Truth.

If I could mention some of those Scriptures that were a help to me it would be a help to others. We do not have to take back anything we have ever preached. We are glad that what we preached the first day we can preach again, maybe not with as strong a voice physically but with the same confidence. Truth never contradicts itself. President Eisenhower told a young officer who didn't feel capable of his position – fearing others would tangle him up, "always tell the truth and you need not remember what you told them." It will never contradict itself or change. If you tell a lie, you must remember what you said, then tell another lie to fix that one up. Jesus is our Truth. He was the embodiment of all Truth. He has never changed. Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today and forever." He is ever the same.


I used to preach a lot from the Psalms. That is true. I have often enjoyed speaking from the Psalms because many times, they were a light to me in making decisions. I found balm in them when the heart was wounded. I got a lot from the New Testament too, help in making the decision to go into the work. I was deceived by the false. I spent the teen years of my life working in a store. The man I worked for was very religious but his whole idea of a successful life was making money. Anyone that didn't make money he called a "straw" man. It was a contemptible expression. He would emphasize, money would give one importance. I am glad for words Jesus spoke and Truths in the New Testament which helped me not to be swallowed by the other. Jesus said, "What profiteth a man if he gain the whole world and lost his own soul." Then the parable: A man asked Jesus to divide the inheritance with him, or that his brother should do so, said, "Beware of Covetousness, for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of things he possesseth." He finished by saying, "So is everyone that manages to accumulate lots in this world and is not rich toward God. Then the rich man to whom was said, "Thou fool, this night shall thy soul be required of thee, then whose shall all those things be." What greater folly than making provision for the future, a future which one will never see.

I am glad for the Truths in the New Testament that kept me from being satisfied with the kind of religion I had. I put forth an
 honest effort to get right with God and I felt some change had come to me. I tried to read and pray and they considered me a model but soon I began to get terribly troubled. I saw, this is a popular religion and they were aiming it be popular but it was different from the New Testament and the Apostles.

A good religious friend of mine said, "If you become a preacher, you may not make quite as such money as in business but look at the high social standing you will have. You will have reverend added to your name and a lovely home." But I thought, "I would not be like the Apostles." That made me dissatisfied and I was seeking, hoping that some day I would meet some who would be like the New Testament. In Sunday School, we sang: "I have given up all for Jesus – I remember Calvary – I have a Friend that will stand by me when the pearly gates unfold." That corresponds with the New Testament teaching but the religions we have do not. It was the craving of my heart to meet such today.

The first person that ever did speak to me about being a preacher like the New Testament told about the experiences ahead. He had the ambition to make money but his mother, though she did not know the true way was a sincere woman and she said, "You will never be satisfied with that, for the more you make, the more you will want. You will never be satisfied until you understand what it means to be born again." That troubled him for he was religious.

 

He went to the clergyman and asked him, "What does it mean to be born again?" He answered, "Don't worry yourself about that. When you were a babe, a man sprinkled water on you and you became a child of God. Do the best you can now." I wasn't satisfied with his ex­planation. I am glad for the words Jesus spoke that kept me from being satis­fied with success in the world. I was thinking of the end, also the false way and I knew I hadn't gotten my feet on the right track.

 

We have the record of Peter and Paul and what they had at the end of their lives, also the warnings they gave. We have heard a great many encouraging truths spoken to encourage us to have confidence in God and to be wholehearted. It is possible, though we know God's Truth and the right Way, we would let something rob us. Paul talks about things in the flesh we should mortify: "Covetousness, which is idolatry." What is this covetousness? Craving to get something I don't really need, and to have more and more of it. I Timothy 6 might give us a little idea of what it is. It is kind of a sad chapter. The Holy Spirit put it there and it would be a good thing for God's children to read. Not just pick out the nice things but take the two together. There were people professing God's Way to whom was said, "Withdraw from them," so they must have been in it. "They think, gain is godliness; but, godliness with contentment is great gain." Why? "Because we brought nothing into this world and it is certain we can take nothing out — having food and raiment, let us therewith be content." Because they were not contented, some desiring to be rich, pierced themselves through with many sorrows, have fallen into the snare of the devil, into temptation, into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition." Is it a sin to be rich? Warn them, if they have it not to be high-minded. God is expecting them to distribute and be ready to communicate to those who are in need. If their hearts are set on it, it is the most deceitful thing in the world. "If riches increase, set not your heart on it, for they grow wings and fly away." Haven't we seen that in the world today. Some, with a great desire for riches, lose the good things they might have in this world.

 

A millionaire, at the close of his life, was telling a friend of ours about his awful disappointment. With tears rolling down his cheeks, said it cost his family, his children, it brought destruction to the home, and then he said, "It is all my own fault. When my children were small, they liked their father, and when they asked for stories, I would say, 'Don't bother me...don't you see I am busy?' I would give them money and send them to the movies. Now, dying, riches are no comfort to me." A tragedy worse than this is when it happens amongst those who know the Truth.