Article of the Month

November 2008

"It Is Given Unto You"

 

The title of this column comes from Jesus’ words in Matthew 13:11.  While Jesus often used parables to instruct his disciples, the disciples noticed that Jesus NEVER spoke plainly to the multitudes; he ALWAYS spoke to them in parables.  (Matthew 13:34)  The disciples wanted to know why this was true.  Jesus’ answer is extremely revealing:

 

“Because it is given unto you
to know the mysteries of the
Kingdom of heaven, but to
them it is not given.”
(See also Matthew 11:25; Mark 4:11)

 

 

THE TWO AGES OF SALVATION

 

It is clear from this text and others that Jesus purposely hid information from all except his true disciples.  This, in itself, shows that most of mankind is NOT RESPONSIBLE for its various degrees of unbelief.  Truth has been hidden ON PURPOSE from nearly everyone.  Yet, as most Christians have learned, “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.”  (Acts 4:12)  On the surface it seems that Jesus is intentionally keeping most everyone from salvation!

 

The answer to the problem comes from understanding that the approximately two thousand years of the Christian Age is reserved for finding Jesus’ true disciples, his “Church,” the “seed of Abraham” which will later bless all of the families of the earth.  (Galatians 3:29)  The rest of the world remains in relative darkness.  But NOT BELIEVING is not hurting them.  As Jesus said in John 12:47, “If any man hear my words and believe not, I judge him not.”  He continues in the next verse to point out that the judgment of this majority of mankind is reserved for the next age, the Millennium.  He says, “He…that receiveth not my words…the same shall judge him in the LAST DAY.”  In the “last day,” it will be different from now.  Then, according to Acts 3:23, “It shall come to pass that every soul which will not hear that prophet shall be destroyed from among the people.”  Thus, Christians are being judged NOW while the world is ignorant.  Then, Christians will judge the world when “They shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord.”  (I Corinthians 6:2; Jeremiah 31:34)

 

This two-age salvation plan is why Paul could confidently write that God “is the Saviour of ALL MEN, ESPECIALLY of those that believe [the disciples].”   (I Timothy 4:10)

 

MYSTERIES

 

Jesus’ answer in Matthew 13:11 uses the word “mysteries.”  Nearly all Christians MIS-USE this word.  When theologians are caught trying to explain what they do not understand (such as “the trinity”), they like to pass it off as unexplainable BECAUSE “IT IS A MYSTERY.”  But read Jesus’ words carefully.  He says with utmost clarity that his disciples “KNOW THE MYSTERIES.”  Mysteries in Scripture ARE NOT unexplainable items!  Mysteries are secrets known ONLY to the Lord’s true disciples but which are hidden from all others.  There is NO USE of the word “mystery” in the New Testament which even suggests that no one understands it!  To the contrary EVERY “MYSTERY” mentioned in the New Testament is something clearly understood by true Christians.  Let us not be dazzled by false teachers who try to make us think that God is withholding information from us!  Christianity has no mysteries.  The world (and many professing Christians) are the ones for whom these things are yet mysterious.

 

 

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The entire plan of God is made plain in the book entitled THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES. If you have not procured or read this book, you may be missing access to the greatest of all truths.  You may obtain a free copy from us by requesting it through our Contact Us link, or, by mail from:

 

                              New Albany-Louisville Bible Students Congregation

P. O. Box 197

New Albany, IN  47151-0197