God has no secrets
What is hidden will be revealed—this also applies to things about God that we do not understand. The Chief Apostle talks about secrets and hidden things that God reveals to those who believe.
On Sunday, 13 June 2021, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider conducted a divine service at home in France, namely in Nîmes, because his trips had been cancelled. He served the congregation with a word from Luke 8: 17: “For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light.” The Chief Apostle explained that Jesus made this statement several times, and meant different things.
God reveals Himself to the believer
God reveals Himself to those who believe in Him: “Human beings did not have a good knowledge of God, and through the revelation of God in creation, in Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit, human beings were able to get to know God. They discovered that God is a God of love, a God of grace, and a God of mercy.” The self-revelation of God, however, is hidden to those who do not believe in Him; the Bible text is thus an exhortation to believe in God.
The believer must proclaim the gospel
The Bible text is also an exhortation to proclaim the gospel, the Chief Apostle said. Believers can do this by
- professing Jesus Christ: “This is not a question of standing in the arenas of Nîmes and delivering a passionate speech. We all know that that is useless. We should, however, say that we do not agree when something is contrary to the gospel.”
- proving that they belong to Christ through their conduct and actions: “The gospel must be proclaimed through our works, through our public profession of Christ.”
- contributing to the unity of the church because the unity of the church helps to reveal the mystery of Christ.
God will reveal His glory to the believer
The Chief Apostle explained that the Bible text also reveals wonderful promises.
- No one can prevent the spread of the gospel: “The forces of evil will not be able to prevent Jesus Christ from making the mysteries of God, the gospel, known to all men,” the Chief Apostle said. “Jesus will make sure that every human being will get to know the gospel of Christ.”
- Jesus Christ is united with His church: “For the moment, we have to believe this because it is still hidden.” To human beings the church often appears weak and imperfect, but it will become the glorious church sanctified by Christ.
- The righteous will receive God’s blessing: “Today the blessing is still often hidden. We obey God, we give our offering, we serve God, we do what He asks us, but we don’t really see the blessing. Others around us seem much better off than we are.” But the day will come when the difference between the righteous and the wicked will be revealed.
All things are manifest before God
Nothing is hidden from God, nothing escapes His righteous judgement, the Chief Apostle showed.
- Jesus condemns hypocrisy: “Jesus condemns and judges according to the heart, the true motivation.”
- God measures the effort and not the visible result: “As humans we are not able to see the true effort, we see the result, and our vision is often distorted. We allow ourselves to be impressed by works. God sees the real effort.”
- God does not only see the sin, but also the guilt: “We see the sin. Jesus, however, assesses the guilt, which is absolutely not the same thing.”
God reveals hidden strengths and weaknesses
“This word is also a teaching,” the Chief Apostle said. God wants people to get to know themselves better. That is why Jesus sometimes had to use harsh, even offending words: “To Peter He said: ‘Get behind Me, Satan!’ (Matthew 16:23). Poor Peter. He thought he was doing the right thing, and Jesus called him a devil. Why did Jesus do this? Simply because He wanted to allow those who were there with Him to get to know each other, to discover their hidden strengths and weaknesses,” the Chief Apostle said and advised the brothers and sisters: “Sometimes the Lord’s speech seems harsh, really harsh to us. How can He say things like that to us, the God of love? Before you get offended, before you slam the door, think about it. He probably just wants to help you discover your weaknesses and strengths.”
France, Chief Apostle, Divine service