Unlocking the door of biblical understanding one step at a time
A few weeks ago in Part I we began a conversation about Bible study and its inherent challenges of understanding and interpretation. As we discussed the book in all of its complexity, we suggested a very straightforward and simple conclusion: the Bible is difficult to understand because it was purposely written to be difficult to understand. Such a conclusion really disturbs most common Christian thinking about converting the world here and now. As we continue to lay out what we believe to be the reasons for such an avoidance of world appeal by the Scriptures, we now turn the focus on the really big question of results. Why would God, why did God set up a plan where everyone does NOT get a fair chance to come to an understanding of the Bible in our present environment? What good could possibly come from such a strategy?
One of the most powerful keys to piecing together the complex details of the Bible is the embracing of prophecy. The Bible is very much a book of prophecy and that makes it all the more mysterious. As such, it does two things: First, the Bible actually shows us basic rules for understanding its prophetic writings. Once we get a grip on how that works, on what symbols tend to mean, we can then go about the business trying to put them together. The second thing the Bible does for us is show us the future – but – we can only see the future one small piece at a time. Just like putting a jigsaw puzzle together, you sometimes can’t tell where certain pieces fit until others are in place. Now that we know these two things the Bible provides us, they don’t really seem like much of a favor or a hand up, but they really are…
You see, because the mystery of the Bible is NOT meant to be understood by most, it stands to reason that the few who “crack the code” of its meaning somehow stand apart from everyone else. The fact is, those few are a major focus of Jesus’ teaching and the primary focus of the rest of the New Testament. Those few (and they only are a few) are the footstep followers of Jesus. Because they faithfully adhere to actually living in a Christlike manner, they become indispensable parts of the future unfolding of God’s plan for all. In essence, they in their present lives of personal sacrifice are blessed with a measure of understanding, to position them to be conduits of understanding later for everyone else.
The short answer to the big question about what good comes from a strategy that keeps the vast majority of people in the dark is this...everybody wins. For now, most will laugh off the content of the Bible as archaic, foolish and fanatical. Later, when God’s plan dictates, those same people will be guided by the very individuals they laughed at towards embracing God’s will and kingdom. Please check out our October 10, 2017 podcast,“Why Didn’t God Make the Bible East to Understand?” Part 2 and see how all of this fits together. It just might give you something to look forward to!
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