Case in point. In the last chapter of John’s Gospel, Jesus revealed what was going to happen to Peter - how he would meet with a martyr’s death on a Roman cross. But when Peter asked about the future of John, Jesus went silent. He said to Peter, “What is that to you?” (John 21:22)
Over the three years of His earthly ministry Jesus taught the disciples many things. But when questioned specifically about the restoration of national Israel and its timing, Jesus said, “It is not for you to know” (Acts 1:7).
We know that Jesus is coming again, but the exact moment of the Rapture is a closely guarded secret. We know that Jesus is preparing a place for us to spend eternity, but many things about heaven and the afterlife remain a mystery. In describing heaven, the Bible reveals more about what is not there than what is there. When we try to push beyond that, we are met with deafening silence. “There was silence in heaven.”
Now we could spend a lot of time and energy speculating on such biblical mysteries as -
- The Trinity - three divine Persons and yet one God
- The Incarnation - that Jesus was 100% man and 100% God at the same time
- The Atonement - where God punished the innocent so He could forgive the guilty
- The Providence of God - why a loving God allows bad things to happen
We could debate the mystery of God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility. These two truths are taught, not only in the same Bible and in the same chapter of the Bible, but often in the same sentence, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling (man’s responsibility), for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure (God’s sovereignty)” (Phi. 2:12b-13a). How do you reconcile that?
We could spend a lot of time trying to unlock the mysteries of the Bible, and many Christians do. Or we could accept Moses’ statement made to the Children of Israel, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deut. 29:29).
We need to accept the fact that there are certain things we will never fully know and understand in this life because God has not revealed them. Rather than endless speculation on what has not been revealed, there needs to be continued focus on what has been revealed “that we may do all the words of this law.”
Rest assured that there’s coming a day when our knowledge will be made perfect and complete (1 Cor. 13:12). Jesus said, “In that day you will ask Me nothing” (John 16:23). Until then, we walk by faith and not by sight.
So focus on the things God has revealed, and leave the mysteries with Him. Continue to trust God even when you cannot see, remembering what Jesus told Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).
Pastor Todd Weston