What would be your first thought if you were fleeing for your life and heard bloodhounds on your trail? Robert Bruce’s attendant said, “We are done for.” Robert Bruce knew the man could be right except he knew there was one way to escape. Quickly, he plunged into the river and walked upstream with his attendant before taking a land route again. In the distance, they soon heard the dogs arrive at the bank of the river and search up and down and at last grow discouraged. The trail had been lost. In Mark 4:21-25 we find that there are no secrets with God – He knows everything and someday He’ll expose the truth at His judgment. There is only one way of escape – forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Study the passage to understand these wonderful and fearful truths and to see how they should impact your life today.
As you pray for wisdom and understanding to study God's Word, ask expectantly in faith knowing that He has promised to grant this request to all who ask it with a humble, faith-filled, obedient heart.
Read Focus Verses
Read Mark 4:21-25 and consider what Jesus says in these verses.
Keyword - Jesus Christ
As we've been doing all through the book of Mark, marking the references to Jesus Christ helps us always see Him as the main character.
Mark both of the references to Jesus Christ in Mark 4:21-25.
What rhetorical questions does Jesus ask about a candle in verse 21?
What response does Jesus expect us to mentally give to His questions?
What does Jesus say in the first part of verse 22?
What does Jesus say in the second part of verse 22?
What call does Jesus give us in verse 23?
What warning does Jesus give in the first part of verse 24?
What does Jesus tell us in the second part of verse 24?
Have or Have Not
What does He add in verse 25?
The context of today's passage helps us understand it better. Read Mark 4:1-25.
What had Jesus just said? Or, in other words, what is the point of the parable He just told? (If you haven't already studied Mark 4:1-20, you can learn more about it in the study plan called "4 Responses to God's Word.")
Darkness and Light Alike
Psalm 139:1-12 beautifully expresses the wonderful yet fearful truth that God sees everything.
Evil and Good
Proverbs 15:3 assures us that this is true for all people - believers and unbelievers.
Nowhere to Hide
In Job 34:21-22 we're reminded that there's nowhere to hide from God.
Hebrews 4:13 reveals the extent and accuracy of God's watching us.
God Sees Me
What do these verses tell us about God?
Trying to Hide
Is there any way you can hide something from God?
What are some of the ways this is a wonderful and comforting truth to God's people when they are walking with Him in obedience?
What are some of the ways this is a fearful truth to anyone who is not God's or who is walking in disobedience?
I Can See
We see why this is true in Jeremiah 23:24.
I Fill Heaven and Earth
How does Jeremiah 23:24 explain to us that God knows everything?
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In today's passage, Jesus speaks of secrets being revealed. Romans 2:16 tells us when all secrets will be revealed.
1 Corinthians 4:5 explains that not just our actions and words, but our motives will be revealed on that day.
When will God reveal all of our secrets?
Fear God and Obey Him
We see how we should respond to this truth in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.
How does God say we should respond to this amazing truth?
What do these verses reveal about how accurate and just God's judgment of each of us will be?
Jeremiah 50:20 offers hope when it declares that the sins of some will be forever deleted - unable to be found.
In Romans 8:1 we learn that some people will face no condemnation.
What does God tell us in these verses about the people whose sins will not be brought to judgment?
Acts 10:38-43 explains how a person can obtain deliverance from their sin.
Repent and Turn
Acts 3:19-21 tells us more about how to receive God's forgiveness.
What Should I Do?
What do these verses say you should do to receive God's complete forgiveness of your sins?
Careful Not to Lie
We learn more about how to know whether we have received God's forgiveness in 1 John 1:6-10. Notice also what it says about what a person who has been saved and forgiven should do if they sin.
A Changed Life
What evidence do these verses tell us will reveal whether we have truly turned to God so that the blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed us?
How much of a Christian's sin does Jesus' blood cleanse away according to 1 John 1:7?
What should a true Christian who realizes they've sinned do according to 1 John 1:9? (Note: To confess means to say the same thing about our sin as God does - in other words, to agree with Him about it.)
Faithful and Just to Forgive
What does God promise He will do for the Christian who truly confesses and turns from their sin?
A Christian's Life
The next verses, 1 John 2:1-2, help us understand how a Christian should think about sin.
What does the first part of 1 John 2:1 tell us about how a Christian should think about sin?
A Christian shouldn't sin, but if they do, what is their hope for forgiveness when they confess according to 1 John 2:1-2?
2 Corinthians 5:21 explains what Christ gives to Christians instead of their sin.
Instead of their sin which He took Himself, what does Christ give to those who trust in Him?
Jesus' Blood and Righteousness
This beautiful hymn written by Nicolaus Zinzendorf and translated by John Wesley rejoices in the truth that Jesus gives His righteousness to those who give Him their sin. Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness My beauty are, my glorious dress; 'Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed, With joy shall I lift up my head. Bold shall I stand in Thy great day; For who aught to my charge shall lay? Fully absolved through these I am From sin and fear, from guilt and shame. When from the dust of death I rise To claim my mansion in the skies, E'en then this shall be all my plea, Jesus hath lived, hath died, for me. O let the dead now hear Thy voice; Now bid Thy banished ones rejoice; Their beauty this, their glorious dress, Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness.
So, someday at God's final judgment all the secrets of our hearts and lives will be revealed, but some people's sins will not be found. How, according to the verses you've looked at, can a person be one of those who does not have any sin on their account and instead stands dressed in Christ's righteousness when they stand before God?
The Greatest Secret
Earlier you read the parable Jesus told right before today's passage about the sower and the soils, which reveals four responses to God's Word. While three of those types of people looked like Christians at first, only one was truly saved. How can the context of that parable help us to understand what might be the greatest secret God will reveal on judgment day?
Some Now, Some Later
Matthew 7:16-27 speaks of people who had even fooled themselves into thinking they were Christians because they did impressive things and used the same words as real Christians even though they did not truly repent of their sins, turn to Jesus Christ, believe in Him, and live in obedience to His Word.
The Lord Knows His Own
Those who are truly Christ's have a wonderful promise in 2 Timothy 2:19.
On That Day
According to Matthew 7:16-27, what kind of people should be concerned about the day of God's judgment?
According to 2 Timothy 2:19, what kind of people can have confident peace and hope about the day of God's judgment?
In 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 we learn that even Christians will face judgment, but theirs is different - even if they lose reward they will not lose their salvation and eternal life.
If a person is a genuine Christian, then Jesus applies the parable of a candle in another way, too, in Matthew 5:14-16.
Showing it Boldly
Philippians 2:14-16 uses a similar analogy.
Be the Light
How does Jesus apply the parable of the hidden candle to a Christian's life, and what does it mean practically?
Does God want His people to keep their faith secret according to these verses?
How Much Are You Sharing
In verses 24-25 of today's passage, in light of the context, Jesus seems to be telling us that the more we understand and share God's Word, the more understanding we'll be given. How do (or could) you share what God has taught you from His Word so that you can continue to learn more?
Matthew 7:24-27 illustrates what kind of hearer Jesus is speaking of in today's passage who will receive more from God.
How can you tell if you are a true listener according to Jesus' illustration?
More or Less
We explored more about what Jesus means by saying more will be given to those who have while those who reject what they know will lose what they have in the study plan for Mark 4:10-13 called, "Parables: How to Understand Them."
Read Mark 4:21-25 once more in light of what you've studied.
How would you state Jesus' point in these verses based on what you've seen in your study of the rest of the Bible using your own words?
Have you turned from your sin to the Lord Jesus? If so, He's promised that your sins are forgiven and you have His righteousness. How should that impact your life today? If not, won't you today so that your sins can be covered and washed away instead of waiting for them to be revealed and judged someday?
If you are Christ's, are there sins you're trying to keep secret? Won't you agree with Him about them and repent and turn from them so that you can walk with Him and lay up treasures in heaven? What will that look like specifically? (i.e. What does God call your sin? What should you do instead? When and how will you make right with others if necessary? etc...)
Have you been trying to keep your faith a secret? Since Jesus knows who you are and has called you to shine your light to draw others to God, how are you going to do that this week?
We hope this study plan has helped you understand that there are no secrets with God and that this has challenged you to make things right with God and live boldly in His truth and forgiveness.
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