…are closer than they appear.” That’s the warning you see on the passenger-side mirror of your car. The convexity of the mirror gives you a more panoramic rear view, but it also makes the cars behind you look smaller, and further away than they actually are. This can give the illusion that there is room to change lanes, when the truth is that the driver in the adjacent lane may have to hit the brakes if you do—and the horn!
This mirror warning always reminds me of God’s words to Ezekiel:
“Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, The vision that he seeth is for many days to come, and he prophesieth of the times that are far off” (Ezek. 12:27).
You’ll notice that the problem wasn’t that God’s people doubted that Ezekiel’s prophecies would come true; they just didn’t think they would come true for a long time. And you know, God’s people today are no different. When we read Paul’s predictions about the Rapture (I Thes. 4:13-18) and the Judgment Seat of Christ that will follow (Rom. 14:10), we believe these things will happen, but we tend to think they are a long way off. This can lead to complacency in serving the Lord, just as it did in Ezekiel’s day. Thus we would do well to read God’s response:
“Therefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; There shall none of My words be prolonged any more, but the word which I have spoken shall be done…” (Ezek. 12:28).
While we cannot say that the Rapture will be prolonged no longer, we can say with equal assurance that the word which God has spoken to us shall be done. The panoramic view that the mirror of God’s Word affords us (James 1:22-24) allows us to see everything that is ahead of us, and these things are closer than they appear! If you are not living for the Lord, “boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Prov. 27:1). The Rapture may come today, and you may find yourself standing before your Lord and Judge this evening. Why not heed Paul’s admonition,
“…knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light” (Rom. 13:11,12).
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.