This poem is by my great-grandfather, who was born in Minnesota 1906 and traveled across the prairie in a covered wagon with his parents and older sister. A section of the book A Life Well Lived by Jim Gwinn features a story on him. Click here to view the chapter online.
The World Passes Bye
IV The Hand Writing on the Wall
by Orin Phelps
Written in 1995 at the Age of 90
On to an ungodly king and kingdom
how surely and swiftly the axe did fall
when meaning was given by the prophet Daniel
to the handwriting on the wall.
Again God Directed the hands of men to write
of the fate that would befall
to those who would not turn to
Jesus in answer to His call.
That great day of reigning could come so soon
that the life span of many would not be run.
Think not that you have tomorrow,
for even now the countdown could have begun.
It will all happen so quickly
in the twinkling of an eye.
First the dead in Christ shall rise
and be transported to the sky.
Then the redeemed among the living
all join them to be with the Lord in the air,
what a reunion that will be,
for the saints will all be there.
Forgotten now are the sorrows
the cares and the pains.
Forgotten are the concerns about ourselves
and our worldly gains
Before the throne of God we came
like a mighty crystal sea.
Praise the Lord you were there
and thank God there was room for me.
There was a note of sadness though
for among the redeemed no one was worthy
to take the scroll and open the seals,
that held the events that would soon transpire
that had so long been concealed.
Then a new song we sang
‘Worthy is the Lamb of God
and worthy of all praise,
for He has redeemed us by His blood,
and saved us by His grace’.
One by one the seals, He opened
that all that were present might know
that the earth was in tribulation,
and great was the distress and woe.
From the earth below far and near
there were sounds of bitter wails
that resound from the crowded corridors
and out along the lonely trails.
The echoes from the hills
will just repeat their awful cries
‘We could have been among the redeemed
but we passed the Savior bye’.
Then mighty horses and riders
roamed at will across the
length and breadth of the land
spreading war and famine,
death and destruction on every hand.
Were the Lord God not to intervene
all life on earth would be lost,
in those final days of judgment
in that mighty holocaust.
If any should read these words,
whose lives are lost and deep in sin
Jesus said ‘I am the way the Truth and the Life
but you must be born again.’
Now if the Lord should tarry
and you are still in sin and sorrow;
then accept Him today with delay,
that you may have a joyous tomorrow.
It makes no difference who you are
nor how hard you try
you cannot enter heavens portals
and pass the Savior bye.