Jesus shared a spiritual principle that helps us understand various responses as we try to demonstrate God’s love to people today. The disciples asked Him why He spoke to the multitudes using parables, some of which, even for the disciples, were difficult to interpret. His answer was,
“Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him” (Matthew 13:11-12)
Those who show curiosity and interest in God’s truth are not only given some understanding but are granted more truth to believe, and so on. In other words, responders receive increasing access to God’s truth and life.
But the opposite is true as well. Those who do not show interest in what they see or hear get what they ask for: less revelation and understanding. They progressively disqualify themselves from the right to hear more. The truth may surround them in the form of witnessing believers, gospel television, Bibles and Christian literature, or dreams and visions — but “seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand”(Mt. 13:13).
I am frequently saddened and even frustrated by the teaching of Jesus and the Bible that those who do not believe will go to hell. I honestly do not know how we as believers can cope with such a reality. Living with this horrible truth is yet another way we admit that God is God and we are not.
Still, this spiritual principle gives some understanding. Even in a remote village away from any missionary or satellite reception, a person can respond to initial insight about the one true God, and God will give more, leading even to an “abundance” of truth. That person can ask the God who made the stars to help him and show him how to live. Not only that, a glimmer of the light of truth can be seen by a seeker who lives in isolation in a strict religious family anywhere in the world.
God, You alone conduct your affairs. You are able to bring light to any dark place. Be merciful even as you are just. Open dull eyes, awaken deaf ears. Grant understanding to hearts, and cause many to turn so that you may heal.
Tweet This The principle of increasing and decreasing access helps explain differing responses to the gospel today.