Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Part 1 (of 3): Why Does God Withhold Truth From Some

Guest post by Peter Van Kleek

            When addressing the question, "Why does God withhold the truth from some people?", we are faced with a series of answers.  Three of which are: 1. The great commission is not being fulfilled; 2. some souls do not desire the truth of God; and 3.  It is God’s will to withhold the truth from some.  The following article will address the first of these three answers.

The Great Commission is not being fulfilled.

We begin with the imperative issued by Jesus Christ to, “go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”  (Mark 16:15-16) The handling of this command spans the gambit from certain Protestant sect-types teaching that God has chosen who He has chosen and world evangelism is primary seen through that light and can be subsequently diminished.  The other end of the gambit can be found in the likes of St Francis of Assisi who is said to have preached to the birds out of obedience to the Lord’s command.  For our purposes here we will take this command as one of evangelism to lost souls, or sharing the Gospel with all peoples, tongues, and nations.

            Evangelism is impeded for a multitude of reasons, some of which are: 1. Fear on the part of the evangelist, 2. Resistance on the part of the listener, and 3. Hostility toward/reprisal for sharing such a message.  Each is real and can have significant impact on the presence of truth among a given people group, culture, and/or society.

            We are relational creatures and as a result we desire acceptance.  When we bring a message that is not accepted it can cause significant apprehension on the part of the speaker for fear that the relationship will be hurt or even worse, break.  Really, the question here boils down to whether or not we are soul conscious.  To what degree are you and I aware of the fact that the person/people we speak to are eternal souls with temporal bodies? (Lu 16:19f)  When we can come to grips with the fact that our relationships are primarily eternal, the temporal relationship is maintained and the eternal reality of the situation is heightened.

            The Bible is clear that the flesh wars against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh. (Gal 5:17)   That said it would be an unusual situation where the Gospel is presented and NOT met with resistance.  Christ faced it.  The Apostle Paul faced it.  We face it.  The balance here, though, is to maintain a gospel witness without forcing the listener to accept the truth of Jesus Christ as Savior.  Always remember that you are a witness not a judge.

            Lastly, I would like to treat those parts of the world where the Gospel is met with the threat of death or exile.  There are those examples like David Livingston and Jim Elliot, missionaries to the Auca Indians who put themselves in harm’s way for the sake of the Gospel.  A more recent example is that of Pastor Saeed who is currently imprisoned in Iran for preaching the Gospel.  In cases where death or imprisonment is the result of the spread of the Gospel is the clearest example of the truth that men love darkness rather than light.  Still the courage of these men ought to spurn us to evangelism here and abroad, if God wills.

            In summary, it is not so much that God has withheld the truth from some people but that the evangelist(s) have ceased in their obedience to Scripture with regard to the command to go into all the world and preach the good news of Jesus Christ as Savior.

            In the next segment we will be discussing another factor of why the truth is “withheld” from certain people which is: some souls do not desire the truth of God.

By His Grace and Mercy,
Peter Van Kleeck

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