Question #234

I was struck with a flash of insight!

I was struck with a flash of insight. I've received these flashes before and have learned to trust them. I was well into Luke and puzzling why Jesus spoke only in parables to the masses. The "answer" that came to me was both simple and electrifying! He did that so as to not limit the levels of truth which could be extracted from his teaching. The obvious are the spiritual truths. However, when I looked at them again, I began to see modern scientific truths as well.

I started to think that those who argue creationism over big bang/evolution are looking in the wrong place for understanding/ confirmation and missing out on something quite profound. Instead of Genesis, they should be looking in the gospels. I really believe that Jesus laid it all out for "those who have ears to hear and eyes to see!" Of course, the hard-core scientists are missing even more (but, that's another topic.)

I'm not going to reveal from which parables I gleaned what "truths" so as not to influence anyone's conclusions. I cannot know for sure if this is just me being fanciful as I have both a scientific background and continuing interests in science. I do know that when I began to see things that way, I felt as if my head and heart would explode from both awe and love.

I'm probably just being silly but, I wanted to share this with someone nonetheless.

Thanks for your indulgence.

The Answer:

Thanks for your communication. Unfortunately, there is no way to evaluate it since you have not designated the parables and outlined the “levels of truth” that could be extracted from them. I regret to say that your experience is not consistent with the teaching of scripture.

Jesus told us why he taught in parables. He adapted a statement from Isa. 6:9-10 when in Matthew 13:10-15 He said: “10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” Luke’s parallel account states the purpose thusly: “10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.” The truths that He taught were hidden from those whose hearts were hardened against His claims and His teaching.

Moreover, one of the general principles of interpreting the parables is that each parable has one central truth that it is teaching. Parables are not allegories and one can go astray trying to find meaning in each fact. That said, since parables tell a story that is true or that can be true, each of them speaks of something familiar in life. Indeed, the parable is a form of teaching that uses a known truth to illustrate and teach a truth that was unknown at the time of teaching. The kingdom parables illustrate this clearly – “the kingdom of heave is like . . . .” Jesus uses an earthly story (known fact) to illustrate an unknown fact about the kingdom. Once the central point of the parable is established the work of the parable is done. It is neither designed nor intended to teach more.

The form of “enlightenment” that you describe is based upon mystical feeling. It is an insight claimed by you that is unavailable to others who have not had such a “flash.” It is unverifiable by any objective standard and, therefore, as a person of science you should know that it cannot be either true or scientific. Each person’s flash could produce a different picture. In philosophical jargon this is “relative truth,” or, in common parlance, “to each his own.” The Bible deals in absolute truth – to each God’s own. Salvation comes only from doing God’s will. (Matt. 7:21-27.) Man’s will, even when disguised as a “flash” from God, is unacceptable.

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)