Best kept secret
Best kept secret
Do you have secrets? I do. There are a lot of things that only I know. A few of them I’ve shared with others, but there are still some things that I haven’t told anyone. Some secrets are very deep and important. Others are less important, like the name of a character in a manuscript I haven’t written yet. In either case, no on else knows these secret things.
Whether it’s wise or not to keep something secret probably depends on the motivation for hiding the truth. I know as an author keeping a ending of a manuscript secret is a good idea; otherwise, no one will want to read your book. Conversely, keeping a secret about breaking the law or doing something that is morally wrong for fear of getting caught isn’t a good idea.
Although secrets are good and find in some cases, keeping secrets isn’t the best option, generally speaking. People aren’t meant to live secret lives. We’re always better off if we live in the open, being real, being genuine.
The verse this morning got me thinking about secrets but not in the context you might think.
27For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.
28 So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect[a] in their relationship to Christ.
These verses come right after a verse where Paul is explaining that for many generations past, the entire message of God, the whole story of God’s plan, was kept a secret from different people groups other than the Israelites. Now, I can think of a few examples in the Old Testament where the Israelites reached out to different cultures and one or two people would respond and become God Followers. But it was rare. The Old Testament is all about Israel, its history, its failures, God’s triumphs, its kings, its children, the mistakes they made.
All Israelites all the time.
Is that because of Abraham and God’s promise to him? Is it becuase God knew non-Israelites at the time wouldn’t be receptive as a whole to Him? I don’t know. All I know is that when the New Testament starts, the entire culture of Israel has changed. And when Christ arrives on the scene, He doesn’t just reach out to Jews, He reaches out to non-Jews. The Bible calls them Gentiles. And they follow Him.
And at the end of the Gospel of Matthew, after Christ has raised from the dead and is ascending into heaven, He gives what people call, the Great Commission, ordering His disciples into the world to preach the truth to people who don’t believe. Jesus sends them out into the world to all people.
This is what Paul is talking about in Colossians. The riches and glory of Christ are for the Gentiles too. It doesn’t matter if we’re not Jewish, Christ died for all people. And everyone can be saved.
Christianity isn’t a club where only the super important are allowed entrance. That’s the way a lot of churches treat it, but that was never how Jesus lived it. He loved everyone. He healed everyone. He accepted everyone . . . well, everyone except the arrogant religious elite. But even among the religious elite, a man named Nicodemus showed humility and came to Christ with questions, and Jesus never turned Him away.
There are more stories than I can count in the New Testament about Jesus interacting with Gentiles. Some of the Books of the New Testament were even written to Gentile churches.
The truth of God’s Word was once kept secret from anyone who wasn’t a Jew. But that was in the past. The message of Scripture and the truth of what God has done shouldn’t stay secret anymore. But we are always tempted to keep it that way, because we have bought into the lie that faith is better kept as a secret.
It’s hard, though, because you want to be treated normally by your coworkers and your friends, and I know I get scared because I don’t want people to think I’m a freak. So most times I back off and bite my tongue. But Christ isn’t supposed to be the best kept secret in the world; He’s supposed to be the Person everyone wants to know, the Friend everyone wants to talk about.
Christianity isn’t exclusive. Neither is God. And I’m glad for that, otherwise I wouldn’t know Him. The Jews are God’s chosen people, but right now we’re in the Age of the Church, focusing totally on Gentiles. But the Age of the Church won’t last forever. So we need to do what we can to reveal the secret of Christ to the rest of the world before we run out of time.
Live for Christ while you can because the day is coming soon when there won’t be anyone left to tell Christ about. If He’s a secret now, the day is coming where His secret will be out and you won’t be able to tell anyone about Him anymore.