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A Mystery Revealed

Throughout the Old Testament, the history of God’s “chosen” people is recorded with highlights of both their obedience and disobedience. The Gospels continue to weave the tapestry of compliance and rebellion toward God. Instead of falling to their knees in repentance, the Jewish leaders rose up displaying a religion that was far removed from God’s intention. The religious leaders imposed rules and regulations that would cause people to conform to their interpretation of God’s Word. The Scriptures were interpreted to fit into the understanding of the Pharisees and the religious community. The coming of the Messiah was secondary to the teachings of the Pharisees. When Jesus arrived as a baby, and through out His thirty-three years, God’s people did not recognize Him.

Today, the Church must understand its mission is to present Jesus as Savior and Lord, not Christian psychology. Pastors must present Biblical directives that lead to changed and enriched lives. (Note: Wednesday and Sunday nights would be good times to present Christian social skills… Oh, wait a minute; many churches don’t have those services anymore.) Not too long ago, I attended a Sunday morning service in which the pastor was teaching a four week study on the book of Revelation. Here is a book that is almost impossible for Believers to unify on the intended meaning of its passages. To present four different interpretations to a captive audience is to enhance division instead of unifying the hearers. (Note: Did God intend there to be more than one interpretation of the book of Revelation?) I believe that Sunday mornings are a time of preaching (heralding divine truth), while the mid week services and cell groups are a time for promoting interactions around the Truth. If I had brought a new Christian to this church that was teaching on Revelation, it would have taken me all day to straighten out the confusion he may have been experiencing. The Holy Spirit can direct us through the book of Revelation, but our “Pharisee” teachings would first have to be compromised.

One of the most blessed individuals in the New Testament is Paul. He was chosen to reveal a mystery (secret) that would engulf every human being. No longer would God’s people be limited to the Jews, but an “open adoption” was offered to anyone who accepted His Son. (Ephesians 3:6) The revealing that Jesus was the Messiah must have swept over Paul to the point he could hardly catch his breath. All those years of study had failed to prepare him to recognize the Messiah when He came. The Word Paul had been taught was sifted by the strainer of tradition. God saw the zeal Paul possessed and knew the potential he had to represent the complete Truth. The revealing that Jesus was the Messiah was only the beginning, for he had also been chosen to reveal the mystery of God’s will which had lain shrouded for generations. Overcome with not only the Truth that Jesus was the Christ, but with the knowledge that the family of God was not exclusive, but inclusive to anyone who accepted God’s offer, Paul began an outreach that would touch the lives of people for generations to come.

The biggest challenge for Paul was to bring the “chosen” and the “elected” together. Almost immediately after Paul started his “Stewardship” of God’s Grace, he was met with resistance from the “chosen” community. From the early stages of the Church to its existence today, we continue to experience divisions. As a result of hearing incomplete or limited Truth, most of the “separatist” defend their theology. Lack of interfaith communication continues to erode our Gospel message. Believers must stop defending their editorial viewpoints of the Scripture and start experiencing the Word under the Holy Spirit’s direction. The Word will bring unity, but it must be rightly divided. All Believers are now the “Chosen.” Let us walk in unity as members of the family of God.

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