Now Playing: Has the message of salvation laid hold on us ?
My dear friend,
Pardon, I pray you, the liberty taken by an entire stranger in thus addressing you. I have heard you are ill, about to die, and yet in a state of unbelief; and I write to send you this message:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3.16
"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners;" 1 Timothy 1.15
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved," Acts 16.31
"For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4.12
Now, my dear friend, these are the simple, yet true statements of the Word of God. My desire in writing to you is that you may hear and believe these statements, and live. Life, eternal life, is before you. It is the gift of God, not to those who think they are worthy, but to those who, confessing their unworthiness, look to Christ as a Saviour. I need not tell you you are a sinner; your own conscience will tell you that. The Word of God says plainly:
"There is none righteous, no, not one: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3
But the Word of God says just as plainly that Christ is set forth a propitiation through faith in His blood, and that God is just and the Justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. God justifies the ungodly through faith in Christ.
Do not, my friend, call this a fable. It is the very Word of God. I know Scripture says:
"The fool hath said in his heart, 'There is no God'." Psalm 14.1; but I hope you do not say this. And if you do not, like the fool, say "There is no God," why should you not believe His word? If you or I (poor worms of the dust) are able to communicate what is in our minds, why should not God be able to do the same? He has done so, blessed be His name forever and ever! He has spoken in no uncertain terms. He has revealed Himself in the Person of His beloved Son, and spoken to us through His word, unfolding a plan of salvation which never could have originated in the mind of sinful man.
Love, infinite love, to those that were enemies lies at the foundation of this whole plan. But the cross, the blood-shedding of Jesus, was necessary in order that that love might flow out full and righteously toward the guilty. We had no righteousness and no sacrifice; but God in infinite love has furnished the sacrifice that was needed. He gave His Son, gave Him up to the death of the cross, and this, that you and I might live. Oh! will you receive the gift of God? Will you believe in Jesus?
In view of that eternity that lies before you, I pray you, do not turn away from Him who would speak to you through His Word, and who would draw you by cords of love, anmd reconcile you to Himself through the death of Christ. Oh! let your heart respond to the love of God. There is no love like His! No poetic fancy ever dreamed of such love, nor is it to be found---nor even the thought---in the writings of any heathen philosopher.
God has revealed it in revealing Himself in the Person of Jesus. Otrherwise such love could never have been known or conceived of. "God is love," and this shone out in Christ Jesus. Oh! let me entreat you, ere you pass into eternity, not to reject the love of God. Believe in Jesus. Believe and live.
I know not whether this letter may not be too late to reach you on this side of eternity; but if not too late, I entreat you by the compassions of God, and by the cross and sufferings of Jesus, not to turn a deaf ear to His messages of love and grace. I write with the one desire that your soul may be saved, and that you may give glory to God in bowing to His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.
With earnest desire for your eternal well-being, I am your friend and well-wisher,
A H Rule (from Selected Ministry of A H Rule, Volume 2)
Our much-esteemed and beloved brother in Christ, Mr A H Rule, was educated for the ministry under the auspices of the United Presbyterian Church, and was sent as a missionary to preach the Word in Egypt. Soon after arriving in Egypt, he felt led of the Lord to preach the imminent return of Christ, and the rapture of the saints. Inasmuch as these and related truths were not held by the United Presbyterian Church, Mr Rule was asked by his superiors in that organization either to cease the proclamation of these doctrines or accept dismissal from the foreign field. He chose to give up the work in Egypt rather than compromise the truth of God, and so returned in the year 1873.
Mt Rule, his wife and child took up their residence in Vinton Iowa where there was an assembly of saints gathered to the name of the Lord Jesus, outside all sectarian fellowship. Here they found a scriptural basis of gathering that satisfied all the pattern of the New Testament church. They were recived into fellowship at the Lord's table, and abode in that fellowship the remainder of their earthly pilgrimage.
In Des Moines Iowa, where Mr and Mrs Rule spent the greater part of their lives in the path of service for the Lord, they were privileged to be the first to establish the little testimony to the truth of Christ the Center in that city. This was in 1880.
[Biographical notes by C H Brown, 1953]