The Scriptures leave no doubt that the Lord Jesus Christ will come to this earth again, “in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God” and who “receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (II Thes. 1:8; 2:10). Nor will He forget His promise to give the twelve apostles thrones in His kingdom (Matt. 19:28). There can be no successors to Peter and the eleven, for they themselves are to reign with Christ in glory. What is happening now is a parenthesis in God’s prophesied program. Delaying Christ’s return to judge and reign. God chose another apostle, separate from the twelve, to bring a message of grace to this Christ-rejecting world. How great is His mercy and love!
And how are men saved today? How are their sins remitted? Must they come to some recognized authority and be “baptized for the remission of sins”? Some, still following Peter rather than Paul, say, “Yes.” But let us see what St. Paul, by divine inspiration, has to say about this.
“FOR BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED, THROUGH FAITH, AND THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES: IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD: NOT OF WORKS, LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST” (Eph. 2:8,9).
“NOT BY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, WHICH WE HAVE DONE, BUT ACCORDING TO HIS MERCY HE SAVED US, BY THE WASHING OF REGENERATION, AND THE RENEWING OF THE HOLY GHOST” (Tit. 3:5).
This stands in striking contrast to Peter’s “Repent and be baptized… for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). It stands in contrast, also, to the words of the so-called “Great Commission”: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). Does not this indicate that a change in dispensation took place with the raising up of Paul, that other apostle?
But what about the kingdom? Does some man on earth hold the keys? No, for both the King and His kingdom are in exile. When a sinner obeys God and receives Christ as His Savior he is “translated into the kingdom of His dear Son” (Col. 1:13), and “made accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6).
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.