The Chicago newspapers carried an account the other day of a large church, burned to the ground, at a loss of about half a million dollars. Our sympathy goes out to the pastor and congregation who, at best, will have to carry on for a time under makeshift arrangements.
But the account reminded me of the story of another church on fire. The crowds had gathered to see the fire engines pour water on the burning building, when one man spotted a friend in the crowd. “Hi Bob!” he shouted: “This is the first time I’ve seen you at church!” “Well,” responded the other, “This is the first time I’ve seen a church on fire.”
We write this as a special appeal to true, born-again Christians. Isn’t it true that if believers were more “on fire” for Christ, more completely sold out to Him, those who are now disinterested would be more apt to become interested and come to know Him as their Savior? We so soon lose interest or become discouraged, and quit. This is why the Apostle Paul, that tireless ambassador for Christ, wrote:
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (I Cor. 15:58).
This, we repeat, is his exhortation to believers only, for God will not accept our money or our good works, until we have first accepted “the gift of God,” which is “eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).
Accept this gift; trust the Christ who died for your sins and He will give you plenty to do — the most rewarding service any man could possibly render.
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.