Most people can’t keep a secret. At least not for long. But God can. Even Jesus did. When God saved and called Paul to be the apostle to the Gentiles, He began a brand new program which caught everyone by surprise. Jesus’ disciples knew nothing about it. The Jews of Paul’s day were hostile to it. They were zealous and protective of the law. Originally, it was Israel who was supposed to preach to Gentiles, but they dropped the ball when they rejected Jesus Christ. So God began a new program in which He could bless the Gentiles despite Israel’s rejection of their Messiah. Through Paul, God created the Church, (the body of Christ) and brought in the Church age (which we are still in). The Church would not operate under Law as Israel had, but under grace (Romans 6:14). Therefore, Paul was the founder of Christianity. Not the 12 apostles.
In Romans 16:25, 26, Paul tells us a secret; a mystery that not even Jesus said a word about. It was something that had been hidden in God since the beginning:
“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, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:”
What was this secret? The gospel of the grace of God made possible only through the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Did the 12 apostles preach this gospel? The Scriptures reveal they didn’t– not until they learned it from Paul. Jesus never revealed this gospel during His earthly ministry. He couldn’t because it wasn’t yet time. He had come for the lost sheep of Israel to offer them their King and the kingdom. They rejected it and sent Jesus to the cross. Despite this rejection, God still made a way for Gentiles to be saved without Israel.
In Matthew 25:31, we see Jesus withholding something important:
“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.”
What’s missing here? Notice whom Jesus said He would be returning with at His 2nd Coming: angels. Where is the Church? (the body of Christ) Why does He make no mention of Believers? Because He would give away the secret that was to be revealed only to Paul after His (Jesus’) Resurrection. Some of you may be asking: How do we know that the Church will be returning with Christ? Revelation Chapter 19 tells us. In verses 8-14 we read concerning the 2nd Coming in all of its glory, and power as Christ is descending from Heaven.
“And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” (Rev. 19:8)
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” (Rev. 19:11)
“And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” (Rev. 19:14)
Here we see the saints coming back with Christ. (not just angels) But in Matthew 25:31, Jesus couldn’t reveal that during His earthly ministry. It was part of the secret (mystery). Neither Jesus nor the Twelve taught the gospel of the grace of God, which is the only gospel whereby we must be saved today. The very Gospel that the apostle Paul taught. We are under grace. There is no more law keeping. No more works of the flesh. When a Gentile comes to faith in Christ, he does not become a Jew, but a new creation. A child of God. He doesn’t have to work for it. Salvation is a free gift now. Everyone is free to accept or reject this gift. No one is required to be circumcised, abstain from certain foods, keep Feast Days, etc. But it does matter what we believe about Jesus as the Bible tells us He is the ONLY way to heaven; to eternal life with God. What will you do? Accept or reject this wonderful gift of God?