Buying Up The Time

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

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Nineteen hundred years ago Paul wrote to his fellow- believers in the vicinity of Ephesus: “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming [Lit., buying up] the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15,16). Those were indeed evil days, when a wicked tyrant ruled the Roman Empire, when Messiah had been rejected, not only in incarnation, but in resurrection, and Christianity was fighting a life-and-death battle to penetrate the prevailing pagan darkness with the light of God’s grace. Surely Paul never dreamed that the dispensation of grace would continue for more than nineteen hundred years. He expected the Lord to come at any time to recall His ambassadors and bring the day of grace to a close. Hence the urgency of his appeal to be “buying up the time, because the days are evil.”

But if Paul had reason to suspect that the day of grace would soon be brought to a close, we today have greater reason to think so. Now that the light of the gospel has been brought to Europe, America and many other parts of the world, men are turning their backs on it. Only a small minority of even Christendom truly believe the Bible and know the Christ it presents — and how very few know the riches of His grace!

Meanwhile our governments, our educational institutions and our social systems are becoming ever more godless. The result? The newspapers, radio and TV — even a trip downtown to any fair-sized city, will tell us all we need to know. Once again “the days are evil” and the Lord’s coming for His own seems imminent. There is still much talk about lasting peace and prosperity, but no thoughtful person believes that we are headed in that direction. Rather the world appears to be heading straight toward the prophesied “day of wrath.”

What a comfort it is to the believer, then, to know that “God hath not appointed us unto wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us…” (I Thes. 5:9,10). “For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed” and “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:11,13).

To the Reader:

Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:

"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."

To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.

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