Romans 16:25 KJV – “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began.”
My family loves to play games. Whenever we are together, we spend much of the time sitting around a table competing at Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Rook, or one of dozens of other family favorites. This past Christmas we played one of those Escape Room games where everyone collaborates to decode hidden messages and solve mysterious riddles.
Did you know the Bible contains secret mysteries? Unlike the mysteries in an Escape Room, however, the Bible’s mysteries are not hard to decipher. In fact, they are quite simple. The word mystery in the New Testament comes from the Greek word mystērion. It means, “a divine secret that has been kept hidden for ages but is now being revealed.”
A biblical mystery is not confusing or complex information; it is new information. Essentially, a mystery in the Bible is a secret message for the church. It was hidden in ages past, unrevealed to the Old Testament prophets, and disclosed to the church in these last days.
Many of the Bible’s mysteries relate to end times prophecy. For example, Jesus speaks of the “mysteries of the Kingdom” which expound upon certain details about His future earthly reign (Matthew 13:11). Paul reveals the mystery of the rapture, which explains how Christ will rescue believers in the present age prior to the seven-year tribulation (1 Corinthians 15:51; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9). Jesus also alluded to the rapture when He met with His disciples in the upper room the night before He was crucified (John 14:1-3).
Another biblical mystery is the entire church age (Ephesians 3:1-6). The Old Testament did not reveal this special age during which Christ is preparing a body that will help rule the Messianic Kingdom (Luke 19:11-27). The church age is a time when God is showcasing His wisdom to Satan (Ephesians 3:10) and demonstrating the exceeding riches of His grace and mercy (Ephesians 2:7).
The Apostle Paul called himself a “steward of the mysteries of God” (1 Corinthians 4:1). The term “steward” has largely fallen out of use these days. It refers to a person who has been entrusted with the care of something. For example, if you have ever been on a cruise, you know that a ship’s steward plays a vital role in ensuring the vessel’s cleanliness and looking after the needs of the guests and crew members.
Flight attendants used to be called stewards or stewardesses because they were entrusted with caring for the needs of the passengers. A ship’s steward does not own the cruise liner. A flight attendant does not own the aircraft. But they have been charged with taking care of what a higher authority has entrusted to them.
It was not just apostles who had a stewardship. All believers have been tasked with stewarding the mysteries of God. Jesus exhorts all believers to be “faithful and wise stewards” (Luke 12:42-44). Paul took his stewardship seriously, and so should we. “Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2).
Are you being a good steward of the secret message God has given the church? Are you proclaiming the soon coming of Christ, who will rescue us from this present evil age (Galatians 1:4)? Are you eagerly awaiting His return and declaring the urgency of the hour to others?
It saddens me that so many Christians are ignoring or neglecting “the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest” (Romans 16:25). It is a message of hope and comfort (Titus 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:18). The church today needs more faithful and wise stewards of the mysteries of God!