Many years ago the writer’s father, then a city missionary, received a telephone call from a prominent liberal clergyman.
“Peter,” said the clergyman, “I’ve got a young man here in the outer office who seems to be in great distress. He says he feels he’s so great a sinner that he’s overstepped the line and God won’t forgive him. Now you’ve had a lot of experience with such people. What shall I tell him?” The clergyman didn’t even know how to help a troubled soul.
“Don’t tell him a thing; I’ll be right over ,” said dad, and he left immediately to deal with the young man himself. Dad knew very well what was the matter with this young lad. The Holy Spirit had convicted him of his sin (John 16:8). The lad had come to see himself as he really was — as God saw him, and sees any unsaved person, no matter how religious.
No person ever comes to see his need of a Savior until he has first come to see himself as a condemned sinner before God. And it is only when we come to see ourselves as we are in the sight of a holy God that there is hope of salvation.
The self-righteous do not see their need of a Savior. What would He save them from? What have they done that is so wrong? This is the way their reasoning goes. It is only when we begin to appreciate the holiness and righteousness of God that it dawns upon us that our condition is hopeless without a Savior.
Strange, is it not, that so many people have pictures hanging on their walls of our Lord crowned with thorns or hanging on a cross, yet do not really know Him as a Savior, their own Savior.
But when we have been convicted of our sin and our hopeless condition before God, we are ready to take in the words spoken by Paul to the trembling jailor at Philippi:
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
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.