Three Brutal Murders

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

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Every student of the Word should know the three brutal murders around which all history revolves. These three murders represent Israel’s response to God’s three-fold call to repentance. They explain the unpardonable sin and form the background for the present dispensation of grace.

It was John the Baptist, the last of the Old Testament prophets, who was sent as the forerunner of Christ to call Israel to repentance. He was beheaded by Herod, the wicked and licentious “king of the Jews”. After John, Christ Himself took up the cry: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”. Him they crucified. Then, at Pentecost, Israel was given a third opportunity to repent, until they shed blood again, stoning Stephen to death.

It should be noticed, too, that their guilt, as well as their bitter enmity, increased with the second and third murders! Had Israel, responded to John’s call to repentance Herod would never have dared to even put John in jail. This explains why our Lord did nothing to release him from prison, even though this had offended John. It was not His, but theirs to do something about John’s unjust imprisonment and every moment he spent in prison testified against them. Read carefully Luke 3:18-20; 7:19-29; and Matthew 14:1-11. As to the beheading of John the Baptist, they permitted it. As to the crucifixion of Christ, they demanded it (Luke23:23,24). As to the stoning of Stephen, they committedit, casting him out of the city with their own hands and stoning him there.

And so that generation in Israel committed the unpardonable sin which our Lord warned would not be forgiven, either in that age, or in the age to come. Thus we close this article by quoting those precious passages from Paul’s epistles which clearly DENY the possibilityof any “unpardonable sin” during the present “dispensation of the grace of God”:

“We have redemption through His blood, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph.1:7).

“Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. BUT WHERE SIN ABOUNDED, GRACE DID MUCH MORE ABOUND: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom.5:20,21).

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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