Guest essay by Ruth Smith
On January 19, 2019 James Rose a stalwart, steadfast and dedicated servant of Christ was called from this life into eternity.
Mr. Rose’s life embodied the Biblical instruction to “follow me as I follow Christ.” His Biblical and historic scholarship encouraged us to trust in One God Working in every sphere of life.
In the same way that Miss Verna Hall had challenged him, Mr. Rose patiently taught us to discern the Hand of God, to think governmentally, to reason from Biblical governmental principles, and to hold our nation in high regard.
Concerning the United States of America, he often reminded us of this quotation, “if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.”
Mr. Rose set about the task of encouraging others to understand and practice American Christian governmental principles which would set our nation right.
We came to recognize and appreciate that individual spiritual liberty brought about religious, civil, political and economic liberty.
We also came to understand the enormity of the breach that was developing as our nation turned her back on God’s Word which at one time had been America’s political textbook.
For this reason, Mr. Rose exercised faith and adopted Isaiah 58:12* as a theme for the ministry of American Christian History Institute.
And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places; thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations, and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
Mr. Rose chose to focus on God and the wonderful works which He made to be remembered, Psalm 111:4.
He exercised faith by reminding us to persevere, to keep on keeping on; the timeless reminder from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, “A Psalm of Life.”
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
Mr. Rose’s legacy is summed up beautifully in the words of his youngest daughter, who shared with us regarding his passing from this life into Heaven.
Early this morning dear Dad slipped from this life into the arms of his Savior whom he has spent a lifetime loving and serving. I can only imagine the reunion is sweet and Jesus has no doubt greeted him with a big smile and a “welcome aboard”! These last days have been filled with goodbyes and some amazing memories as we review and thank God for each day He has given Dad to us. Such a humble, wise, steadfast man… a constant encourager. We have learned so many new stories of lives he helped find change, and I have no doubt the impact of his life won’t be lingering but rather compounding as it echoes for many generations to come. While the tears flow freely now, I can honestly say we’re doing well… as I type this I can totally hear Dad say “why are you doing so well?” His signature reminder that we are well because God is good and has defeated the power of death, giving us life and HOPE in Jesus.
2 Tim 4:7-8 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
—Lydia Rose Ahrens
* The contemporary hymn “Isaiah 58:12” here mentioned was composed by dear friend of Nordskog Publishing Martin G. Selbrede for American Heritage Christian Church (AHCC) in the 1980s. Chris Hoops, Nordskog Publishing’s founding theology editor, founded AHCC with fellow elders Martin Selbrede and Ron Kirk, editor The Bell Ringer and current NPI theology editor. “Isaiah 58:12” became an anthem for many ministries.
From a recent email circular.
Ruth Smith is co-founder and president of Pilgrim Institute, West Bend, Indiana, author and master teacher. Pilgrim Institute seeks to restore the faith and knowledge that produced the free institutions of Christian America.
© 2018 Used by permission