The Hope Of Glory

The Hope of Glory

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam
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We are taught in Romans 5 that the believer in Christ receives justification, peace with God, access to God and the “hope,” or anticipation, of sharing His glory some day. God wants His children to enjoy this coming glory by faith, to live in eager anticipation of it.

How much there is to humiliate us in this life! God created man in His own image and likeness, but man sinned and fell from his exalted position. To Adam God said:

“Cursed is the ground because of thee; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.”

Since that dreadful day man’s life has been a constant struggle. Everything tends to go wrong rather than right. Each has his share of trouble, sorrow, sickness and then — death, the greatest humiliation of all, when in sickness and pain, or at best in utter weakness, he must give up this life itself.

Sin and the fall! This is what modern science and philosophy fail to face up to. Most popular scientists and philosophers today hold that man has come up from the slime pit and the ape to modern man; that man is improving all the time. But the truth of God’s Word is that man has fallen through sin and is growing worse morally and spiritually until now he can kill more of his fellowmen faster than he ever could before.

But it is this fact, this fact of sin and the fall that God has so graciously provided for. He took all the suffering and shame, paid all the penalty for our sins, and then rose from the dead so that we might rejoice in the hope, the eager anticipation, of glory to come!

As St. Peter puts it in I Pet. 1:3:

“[He] hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”


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To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago. 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 many of them first appeared as newspaper articles. 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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The Golden Age Of SCUBA Diving

Pamela SCUBA diving 1980

Me In Full SCUBA Gear
Ginnie Springs at Santa Fe River, Florida 1980

This is back before the commercialization of it. Back before hordes of people paid to enjoy swimming in pristine ancient waters. In our salad days, my husband and I used venture into the untamed woods all around Northeast Florida looking for a place to spend a few hours away from the city. We were so dedicated to diving that we even met on a SCUBA diving trip to the Florida Keys in April 1978. But, I digress.

Steve snapped the photo above on one of our many excursions to the Florida springs. “Back in the day” many of these areas were a yet undiscovered part of old Florida. The only way to find them was using the Diving Guide To Underwater Florida (New World Publications, 1977). Thankfully, the State of Florida is laced with underground caves, so, there was an almost endless supply of fun. Most of the directions to a spring were colorfully described thusly, “Turn at the second dirt road with a green trailer that has a bleach bottle hanging from a tree …” No kidding. Many directions were very similar to that! The road to Ginnie Springs was a little more sophisticated since they had an official sign. It was a hoot trying to find some of these locations and a couple of them are still mystery’s to us. But, we were young, had little funds, loads of time on the weekends, and would spend hours exploring Florida just to endanger our lives.

We were fortunate to have lived during a Golden Age in Florida. It’s regrettable how that’s all gone now.

Gee, I’m so glad we have a much safer sport now … that of hurling 540+ lbs of metal filled with gasoline along paved roads avoiding juggernauts, animals and any other misadventures. 😮 lol

photofacefun_mehondamidnightsiggy

Today I Will Choose His Joy

chose joy

Our Pastor had a good Bible lesson on the difference between being Joyful or Happy awhile back. Thought I’d share a few thoughts on that subject for Valentines Day.

The Pastor showed how there’s a striking difference between Joy and Happy. It had never occurred to me before. He cleared up a lot of confusion in my mind concerning that. Over the years of bumpy roads, deep ditches, and spiritual inclement weather, I’ve learned to not trust happiness. Happiness is based on physical circumstances and therefore transient. Ones happiness can disappear in a split second because of the weather, health, a death, or a sudden flat tire en route to an important appointment. Now joy is different. Joy is everlasting, unspeakable, and full of glory (to loosely quote the hymn). Joy is spiritual which comes from God the Father through our Saviour Jesus Christ. Joy carries us through the bad times with character, when Happy quickly pouts and begins to whine. That’s no help.

proverbs 15 30

There’s nothing wrong or sinful with being happy, of course. Far from it! Happy is a good thing and something to strive for. But Happy must have that foundation of spiritual Joy that comes only from God or the Happy is based on sand.

Depending on which translation of the Holy Bible you prefer, look how many references to “joy” there are. According to the website ChristianBibleReference in my NIV there are 155 references. Not an overly lot, but still worth note. 

Real love, lasting love, comes from Joy. If that person, or circumstance, just makes me Happy, that probably won’t last long! As soon as life’s reality sets in, Happy packs it’s bags and heads for the door. Joy settles in and brings calmness, peace and stability.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” [Romans 15:13]

The joy of the LORD is my strength.” [Nehemiah 8:10]

They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.” “[Acts 16:31]

photofacefun_mehondamidnightsiggy

From Death To Birth

From Death To Birth

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam
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“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever” (I Peter 1: 23).

We are prone to think of death as following birth. People are born to live their lives and then die.

Spiritually, however, it is the other way. St. Peter, by divine inspiration, says that we must be “born again” because: “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth and the flower thereof falleth away: But the Word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the Word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (I Pet. 1:24,25).

This new birth is a spiritual matter, necessitated by the fact that by nature men are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). Thus believers are not born again in the same way as they were first born, but are born again — given new life, by believing the Word of God.

God’s Word, in this passage, is called “incorruptible seed”— seed that cannot die. Once the Word takes root in one’s heart, once it is believed and received, it never dies, but produces “everlasting life”.

“The Word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the Word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (Verse 25).

The Word of God takes root in one’s heart only as one believes the gospel, the good news, about Christ’s redemptive work. Peter himself proclaims this wonderful gospel: “…ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold…but with the precious blood of Christ…”(I Pet.1:18,19).

“Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree…” (I Pet.2:24).

“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God…” (I Pet.3:18).

BY BELIEVING THIS GOOD NEWS, DEAD SINNERS ARE “BORN AGAIN”.


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To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago. 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 many of them first appeared as newspaper articles. We hope that you’ll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.