BEHOLD, I SHOW YOU A MYSTERY – 1 COR. 15:51
Mysteries are hidden realities.
They are secrets that baffle the understanding of men. It would normally take deep searching and stressful exertion of mental, soulical and spiritual energies for men to resolve a mystery. Because of this, the resolution of mysteries by the ancients was always left for men of deep thought and spiritual devotion. These kind of men were usually in abundant supply around the courts of kings. This ability to resolve mysteries was one of the things that made men like Joseph, Solomon and Daniel prominent in the Bible. They could unravel dark sayings and secrets that settled arguments and brought deliverance to nations.
The matter of the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is a mystery. It does not follow natural logic and human explanation. This is what makes sceptics to stumble at it to their own peril.
“Behold, I show you a mystery”, is a statement of love. It is the mercy of God in action towards His chosen. God does not want us to be ignorant. He does not want to hide from us, the things that make for our peace. His love constrains Him to show us the mysteries of the kingdom of God, so that we can make wise decisions now in time, that will correctly position us in glory as eternity gradually and steadily creeps in on us all. The seriousness, dedication and devotion with which a Christian follows Jesus in discipleship is highly dependent upon his understanding of this mystery which Jesus has chosen to show us here.
And he said, Unto you, it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.Luke 8:10
We must continually give God thanks, who has hidden these mysteries from the wise and prudent in the world system, and chosen to reveal them to us. It seems good in His sight to so do. He is showing us the mystery because He loves us. His mercy has found us out!
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief.1 Thess. 5:3 – 4
Brethren, do you see how privileged we are as true Christians? While the crowd in the world system are experiencing sudden destructions, we shall not be in darkness. God will give us light and show us the way. The day of Christ’s coming should not overtake us as a thief, because God has revealed the mystery to us.
THE MYSTERY OF FAITH
The Liturgy of most mainland denominations of the church of Christ includes the proclamation of the “mystery of faith”. These are three pillars of revelation on which the Christian church stands. They are foundational to every correct Christian faith.
1. CHRIST HAS DIED
Jesus Christ is the only one who lived as a man on earth without sin. He was tempted on all points. Yet He remained pure and holy through and through (Heb. 4:15). The Holy scriptures declare that the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). This implies that because Jesus had no sin, it was not lawful for Him to collect the wages of sin, which is death. Nevertheless, Jesus Christ had to die because He took upon Himself the sin nature of man. He became sin personified. He became the embodiment of sinFor he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Cor. 5:21Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. – Heb. 2: 14 – 15.This is the first mystery pillar of the Christian faith. Jesus swallowed my sin nature, and finished it when He died on the cross.
2. CHRIST IS RISEN
When Jesus had fulfilled all the legal requirements for our deliverance by dying on the cross, He declared boldly and emphatically that IT IS FINISHED. He finished all that pertained to our salvation deliverance and restoration on that cross. Then, He was buried. He went down to hell to ratify the document of our salvation and deliverance there also. He razed the kingdom of darkness to its foundation. He spoiled principalities and powers and made an open show and display of them in glorious triumph by the operation of the Spirit of holiness. Satan and all his host of demons had to bow in submission and total surrender to Jesus. His Lordship was proclaimed, demonstrated and accepted even in hell. Then, Jesus rose again from the dead, never ever to die again. He became the eternal champion who conquered death for us. After this He went to heaven to report at the Father’s eternal throne and collect the Father’s signature also upon the certificate of our deliverance and redemption. This means that our certificate of redemption carries the signature of earth, hell and heaven. When Jesus had finished it all, He ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father, waiting for His enemy to be made His footstool.
3. CHRIST WILL COME AGAIN.
The first two mysteries of faith have already happened. This third mystery is what the church of Jesus Christ on earth is presently awaiting. ……..this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. – Acts 1:11b.
WHY MUST WE LIVE READY?
Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. –1Cor. 15: 51 – 52.
The expectation of this third mystery is the junction at which humanity now stands. The dial of God’s eternal clock is almost striking the hour. Heaven is prepared, but yet waiting – keeping the door ajar a little longer in anticipation of your repentance and your entrance into this ‘ark’ of salvation called Jesus Christ (2Pet. 3:9).
Both the kingdom of light and of darkness are preparing for this event. The god of this world has blinded the eyes and minds of men from seeing God’s efforts to awaken the world to prepare for this glorious event. Even this Covid-19 pandemic which has shaken every part and systems of the world, is part of the signals God has sent to warn the earth to prepare for the coming of Jesus again. Yet, many will explain it away by many theories and hypotheses, thereby missing the message. This is a very critical moment for the church on earth. God is passionate to prepare His children to meet their Lord at His return. At the same time, the hordes of darkness are not sleeping. Satan is busy also, strategizing, preparing and positioning his children for the revelation of that mystery man of sin – the antichrist. Pretences and cautions are thrown to the winds. The battle has been set in array. Praise God, we remain on the winning side of Jesus. When Jesus came the first time, He came to seek and save that which was lost. He preached and taught the word of God. He healed the sick and ministered deliverance to the sick. He did many miracles. But His mission in this His second coming is different. He is coming to take those who have believed in Him home to glory.
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.Eph. 5:27.
This is where the matter is. This is where you must pray for a personal revelation of this mystery. You may have read many books and listened to many messages preached on the second coming of Christ. Why have you never been jolted to take a stand and prepare your life ready for it? It is because it is a mystery. It is not logic. God is coming fresh to you now, to reawaken you to the imminence of Jesus coming, so that you can prepare, and not be caught unawares, and end up in shame and eternal regrets. Procrastination at this point will be a very costly mistake. This is why we must live ready. Everyone who has this hope of going home with Jesus at His coming must purify himself as He is pure.
IN A MOMENT, IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE
Before you go on reading, pause a moment and twinkle your eye (blink). How many hours or minutes did it take for you to twinkle your eye? That is exactly the time it will take for Jesus to come and take you. It will happen in a moment. It will happen suddenly. What is the implication of this? The only time we are sure of is now. The accepted time with God is now.
(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation)2 Cor. 6:2
There will be no time to get ready. If you are not already ready when the trumpet sounds, you will be left behind. You will be doomed. There will be no time to repent and confess your sins. There will be no time to pray or carry out any restitution. There will be no time to settle that quarrel with your spouse that has lingered for so long. If you are not ready when the trumpet sounds, you will be eternally unfortunate. You must be awake, ready, alert and watching. You must fight the good fight of faith; lay a strong and firm hold on eternal life. Do not allow distractions of any sort. You must not allow your gaze on Jesus to shift or fade.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.Heb. 12:1-2
If He discovers spots of sin or wrinkles of unrighteousness on the garment of your life when He comes, he will reject you, and you will be stranded. This is a good point to stop whatever you are doing NOW, and pray.Is your life right with God? Is there an unsettled case between you and the Saviour? Have you wandered far away from your loving Father like the prodigal son? I hear God saying to you now:
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.Isa. 1: 18