Need to Know?


Where ignorance is necessary

Some things we are not meant to know. The Lord revealed many things about the future to Daniel, who then asked the angel who had spoken to him, “My lord, what will be the outcome of these events?” The angel answered, “Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time” (Daniel 12:8-9; see 1 Peter 1:10-12).

When Jesus revealed the manner in which Peter would one day die, Peter wanted to know about his fellow disciple John: “Lord, and what about this man?”

Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” (John 21:18-23). In other words, it was none of Peter’s business.

The apostles asked Jesus, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He answered, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority . . .” (Acts 1:6-7).

Earlier Jesus had said of His return, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone” (Matthew 24:36). Even so, this doesn’t stop the date-setters!

Where knowledge is sufficient

There are many things we might love to know, but the Bible does not satisfy our curiosity. And yet we can know what we most need to know: how to live in this world and prepare for the next. So let’s go with what we know and be content to be ignorant in those areas where we don’t need to know.

“. . . His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness . . .” (2 Peter 1:3).

And that’s more than enough.


Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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Not Much Fun, But . . . .

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Fun and games?

A teacher told me she disagreed with the idea that school must be fun. To her, school is for learning.

If learning’s fun, great! But what happens when a student graduates from a fun, fun school, only to face a world that can be tedious and frustrating?

The Christian perspective

“. . . we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulations brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope . . .” (Romans 5:3-4).

“Consider it all joy . . . when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4).

The key to joy is knowing that.

But what if we didn’t know that?

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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The following are absolutely essential, but useless by themselves.


“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock . . .” (Matthew 7:24). The man who only hears is building on sand, and his house will collapse with a terrible crash!


Jesus modeled serving, then said, “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them” (John 13:17).


Faith without works is dead—like a body without a spirit (James 2:14-26).

Hearing→action. Knowing→doing. Faith→works.

Unbeatable combinations!

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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Knowing God

What makes obedience so vital?

“For the complete fulfillment of our being,” writes Merrill C. Tenney, “we must know God” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 9, 162).

“The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him . . .” (1 John 2:4).

What takes the sting out of obedience?

First, “His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).

Second, God hears the prayers of the obedient (1 John 3:22).

Third, “. . . the one who does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17).

“What were we made for? To know God . . . . What is the best thing in life, bringing more joy, delight, and contentment, than anything else? Knowledge of God” (J. I. Packer, Knowing God, 29).

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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I Wonder….


My 5-year-old grandson David sat in my lap as we watched a video of volcano eruptions. He asked, “Why did God make volcanos?” I said I didn’t know. “When I get to heaven,” he said, “I’ll ask God.”

The Gap

At least he knows this: Grandpa doesn’t know. God does.

Pondering God’s omniscience, the psalmist exclaimed,

“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it” (Psalm 139:6).

The tremendous gap between the little we know and all God knows should humble the most learned scientists.

The Glory!

But this we can know: God made us, provides for us, loves us, and through His Son we can be qualified to live forever with Him in glory.

And see His face (Revelation 22:3-4).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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