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Can I Tell You Something?

Can I Tell You Something?

       Usually, when someone approaches another with the title of this article on their lips, they have a desire to reveal a secret, or to “share” a nugget of information they wish impart. That which I want to tell you is not a secret, yet, many don’t know it. Many are blinded by what others tell them about Christ, His purpose for coming to earth to die, and the benefit that it brings to all who will follow only His plan as outlined in the New Testament.
     There was a time when the “thing” I want to tell you was a mystery. When Christ was on earth, He often spoke in parables to the people. His apostles asked Him about the parable of the sower. Speaking directly to the apostles, in Mark 4:11, His answer was: “Unto you (apostles) it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:” Right then, it was not proper time to reveal the mystery to all the people. In Rom. 16:25 we are informed that the mystery had been “kept secret since the world began”. 
     However, Christ intended that at the appropriate time, all were to know the gospel message and He would reveal the proper time. In Matt. 28:18, after He rose from the dead, Christ appeared to His apostles, and told them He was given all authority. His first Commandment to them then is found in vss 19-20. He told them “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
     In Acts 1:4 we find the Lord’s last Commandment to His apostles before His ascension to His Father. He told them to “not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.” And the reason for this is given in vs 5. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. Of course, they tarried there, just as the Lord Commanded.
     This promise to the apostles was fulfilled in the second chapter of Acts when the twelve were baptized with the Holy Ghost, and according to vs 4, they were “filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, (languages) as the Spirit gave them utterance.” This ensured that the message of the mystery was delivered without error and was not the words of the apostles, but the communication of the Holy Spirit. Christ had told them this would occur in Jno.16:13. He said: Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.   The “things to come” of which Christ then spoke, was the church. It came on the day of Pentecost, A.D. 33. This is the “nugget” of information I wish to pass on.
     The message is freely available to all, yet again, so many do not know it. We find the Words of the Spirit, given to Paul in Eph. 3:3-6 that shows how he received it and how we can know it, and how all should benefit from it. How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
     From the time the Spirit disclosed the gospel message of God’s Saving Grace at Pentecost and announced the church for which Jesus died, it was no longer a secret or a mystery because it had now been revealed. But at the first it only went to a limited amount of people. Acts 2:5 shows that the gospel was first preached only to the Jews. They were the people of God under the O.T. Covenant. It was only fitting they had the first opportunity to hear and obey as the apostles followed Jesus Command to preach it. We are told in Acts 2:41, that after hearing the gospel, “about three thousand” gladly received the Word, and having repented, were baptized (immersed in water, “into Christ”), for the remission of sins, and were therefore “added” to the church (Acts 2:47).
     Several years later, in accordance with God’s plan for Salvation, the Word was also taken to the Gentiles. This occurred in Acts 10, but as the Peter retold of the events that took place in Cornelius’ house, Luke, by inspiration was given this we have in Acts 11:13-14 to write down. “And he shewed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter; 14 Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.” We are told in Acts 10:48a after they heard the ‘words’, what they were to do. And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.
     Sadly, many refuse to “read God’s Word” so they might fully understand His plan and obey it as God would have them do. It is now available to all. This is why I ask: “Can I Tell You Something?” I want to tell all of God’s Gospel plan of Salvation and how important it is to apply it in their lives before it is everlastingly too late. However, I don’t want to use ‘my words’, but God’s. Rom. 1:16 tells us the gospel of Christ “. . . is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth . . .” If you believe this, why won’t you obey what God is Commanding in His N.T. Word rather that what man teaches? To follow anything else but God’s plan is to be lost.

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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