Summary: How the Bible is hid today and who it is hid to.
2 Corinthians 4:3 says, "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost." The gospel and the Bible are hid to those who are lost because they have not heard it.
But that is not the only problem. There is something else that hides the gospel and the Bible and hides it to much more than the lost. It hides it to Christians too.
The word, gospel, is a hint to the problem. What is the gospel? Many church people think the gospel is the salvation message or the Bible. They are wrong. The meaning of gospel is not obvious because the word is not used today outside of the church. Few people know what it is because it comes from the fifteenth century. English has changed since then and has replaced it with newer words. Even most people in the church do not know what it is. This hides the gospel. The irony is that the word, gospel, actually hides the gospel.
What is the gospel? The gospel is the good news. It is usually used in the Bible to refer to the good news that finally after thousands and thousands of years, the Messiah has come to rescue us. This is hidden to the lost and to most Christians not only because they have not heard but because they were told the good news with words that they did not understand.
A sad truth that Christians need to face up to is, if the Bible be hid, it is hid to those who were not born in the fifteenth century. Many of the words used in Bibles today and in our churches, words like, gospel, grace, righteousness, faith, mercy, justify, and hundreds more, were regular, common words in the fifteenth century. That is when they were first penned into the Bible by John Wycliffe. Back then people used them everyday. When people went to the market, they used them. When people whispered words in their loved ones ears, they used them.
But things have changed. Through the centuries these words have been replaced by newer words. It is the newer words that are used at the store, at work, on television, and even in private talk. The old words are not used. They are only used in the church and in the Bible.
This presents a problem today. If people do not use these words in everyday life, then at the least they are inexperienced at using these old words and at the most they do not know or understand them.
Why then do Bible versions and pastors use them? Do not these words hide the meaning of the Bible? Do they not make it harder for people to understand the Bible? Many Bible scholars spend much of their lives trying to understand them. Is the message of God supposed to be hard to figure out?
Moses says an interesting thing to the children of Israel in his last speech to them. After reciting the law and pronouncing blessings and cursings, he says "You see, these things that I command you today, they are not hidden from you, neither are they far away. They are not in heaven, that you must say, "Who will go up to heaven for us and bring them to us that we may hear them and do them?" They are not on the other side of the ocean either, that you must say, "Who will go across the ocean for us and bring them to us that we may hear them and do them?" But the message is very near to you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it" (Deuteronomy 30:11-14).
Moses had spelled out the things that the children of Israel should do. He had made it very plain to them. He had set it right in front of them. He had spoken to them in their own words so that it was in their mouths and in their hearts. He did not use words that they did not know. He used their words.
This is how God works. When God speaks to people, He uses their words. They understand immediately. There is no confusion. There are no questions about what the words mean. When God speaks, no one runs to the Bible dictionary to find out what God really meant. God speaks in our words.
The Bible is hid today to millions and millions of people. It is not God who has hid it. Stubborn preachers who refuse to allow others to read a Bible different than theirs (the priests in the fifteenth century also did this) are the people who hide the Bible. Also lazy people who do not want to spend time figuring out the right words are the people who hide the Bible.