Not Always So Bad!

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

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Have you heard the story of Honus? Honus was a wicked old renegade who lived in a small country town. When he died his body lay in the funeral parlor for three days without anyone even taking notice. Finally, on the day of the burial, a few of his old cronies did stop by to at least pay their respects.

As they gathered, the funeral director said: “Now fellows, we can’t bury Honus like a dog. We’ve got to have some kind of service for him. Won’t somebody here take charge?” But the silence was profound, so finally the funeral director himself agreed to take charge.

He began by asking whether there wasn’t someone who had some good word to say for Honus before they buried him. Again there was a deep silence, until finally one old man stood up and said: “Well, I can say this much for Honus; he wasn’t always as bad as he sometimes was.”

To be honest, isn’t this true of all of us? Some people take offense at Rom. 3:22,23, which says: “For there is no difference, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” They think there is a difference, and that they have not been as sinful as others. Ah, but while there may be a difference in the nature or the degree of our sins, Romans 3 is right when it says that there is no difference in this: that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” A person may put up a good front, feeling that he is not nearly so great a sinner as others, but whether a bridge is ten feet or a hundred feet short of spanning the chasm, it is still useless, so don’t try crossing it.

This is why we all need “the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of [God’s] grace” (Eph. 1:7). And we may have this by trusting in the Christ who died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3). “For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8).

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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