In Deuteronomy 29:29, we find Moses saying to Israel, shortly before his death and their entry into Canaan, “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” A footnote in one of my Bibles describes “secret things” as hidden realities. This verse contains a basic principle concerning divine revelation, and that is the following: People should keep in mind that God does not hold back from any accountable individual anything of benefit. Hence, mankind should completely avoid searching for unseen information. That is to say, man should not be investigating those things that God has not seen fit to reveal. We can safely aver that this verse is saying, “Do not whittle on God’s end of the stick.” Such is equivalent to “snooping around” on our Creator, and so, is wrong. God has His reasons for exercising some form of silence on some things, and we should respect that silence.
We are warned of the same thing in Colossians 2:18, where the Apostle Paul says, “Let no man beguile you or your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.” Hence, when you and I read something in the Bible that, to us, has some type of a “mystery” attached to it, we must remember—-and accept—-that this “mystery” belongs to Jehovah God. Therefore, it is none of humanity’s business. One must simply trust God here and show a child-like faith in Him. When there is little or nothing else said on any particular topic or person, leave it at that.
One of the more popular “secret things” is in the form of a question: Will God save an individual who decides to be baptized, but dies before reaching the baptistery? The Bible does not say one way or the other, and I for one as a gospel preacher staunchly refuse to preach or teach it one way or the other for that very reason! If God sees fit in His supernal wisdom to grant grace to that individual, He will. If He does not see fit to do so, He will refuse. That is the only safe answer anybody can come up with, for remember that “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God.” All that is my duty to preach is what the Bible declares for an individual to do to be saved from his sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; I Peter 3:21). This goes likewise for any preacher or teacher of God’s Word. If there are to be any exceptions, they are for God to judge. Refrain from crossing the boundary line. All of us, preacher, teacher, or anybody, should stay on one’s own side of the fence.
Another of the more popular “secret things” that some people never seem to learn to avoid is predicting when the end of the world will take place. (Need I say that all have been wrong?) At the composing of this article, the next predicted date is May 21, 2011. To make this prediction sound like “the real thing,” the one prophesying this claim, Harold Camping of “Family Radio,” says, “The Bible guarantees it.” Mr. Camping has advertised this prediction on 55 radio stations, and has paid for over 2,000 full size bulletin boards all over the world on which to declare his belief. Think of the ridicule this man will receive in making such a fool of himself! (Gentle reader, if you are reading this article past the aforementioned date, guess what?) What is more, even if the end of time should come on any predicted day, such will be nothing more than a coincidence. Nobody knows, nor can anybody know.
Concerning the end of the world, Jesus Christ Himself said He did not know when that event would take place. He tells His apostles in Matthew 24:36-44, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels in heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the Flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the Flood came and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”
While Jesus is talking here about adequately preparing for the end of time, He is not saying when it will be. The Saviour makes it crystal clear that only His Heavenly Father knows exactly when that great day of days will occur. Even though Paul said in his famous sermon on Mars Hill about Jehovah God in the first part of Acts 17:31 that “.he hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness.,” still, the exact month, year, and day are not mentioned there. In fact, that date is not so much as hinted in Paul’s words.
The two examples mentioned in this article, along with a number of other unknown things that man seeks the answer to, are “The secret things” that “belong unto the Lord our God.” Be careful on what you speculate. As it is, many people have a hard time accepting what God has revealed, let alone, on where God has chosen to remain silent.