Posted by: rcottrill | April 18, 2018

It Is No Secret

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Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Carl Stuart Hamblen (b. Oct. 20, 1908; d. Mar. 8, 1989)
Music: Carl Stuart Hamblen

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal (Stuart Hamblen)
Hymnary.org

Note: Stuart Hamblen was a profane, hard-drinking cowboy actor. But in 1949, through the ministry of Billy Graham, he trusted Christ as his Saviour and his life was transformed. He later wrote a song called It Is No Secret–surprisingly, created at the suggestion of actor John Wayne, after hearing Hamblen’s testimony. A more detailed story of the writing of the song, as well as a video of Mr. Hamblen singing it, are found on the first Wordwise Hymns link.

Do you have any secrets? Some reasons for secrecy are fine–such as those about gifts to be given for birthdays or Christmas. There are also necessary secrets in war. On being asked by a soldier what his plans for an upcoming battle were, George Washington replied, “Can you keep a secret?” When the man responded that he could, Washington said, “So can I.”

But there are bad uses of secrecy. Marital unfaithfulness often involves lying to keep an intimate relationship hidden. Crime involves attempted concealment too.

On the other hand, sometimes great harm can be done by breaking a promise of secrecy. A talebearer reveals secrets” (Prov. 11:13). Italian scholar Fausto Cercignani said, “A secret remains a secret until you make someone promise never to reveal it.” The gossiper may tell of hidden things to gain a personal advantage, or for revenge, or out of pride, simply showing off how he was trusted with inside information. Benjamin Franklin was not confident of our ability to keep secrets. He wrote, “Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.”

Some form of the word “secret” (meaning hidden, concealed, covered) is used nearly a hundred times in Scripture. The Bible says of God, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever” (Deut. 29:29). We’ll never know everything about God, but He has revealed many things about Himself that bless us (Ps. 25:14).

The Lord is present everywhere, and we cannot hide from Him (Jer. 23:24). He knows the secrets of our hearts (Ps. 44:21), and they tell a lot about us. French novelist, André Malraux, said, “Man is not what he thinks he is; he is what he hides.” There’s some truth in that. And it’s wise to ask the Lord to reveal to us our secret sins, so we can confess and forsake them (Ps. 19:21). God will, in the end, judge the secret things in our lives (Ecc. 12:14; Mk. 4:22). Better to deal with them now.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I Jn. 1:9).

But there’s one particular thing the Lord does not want kept hidden–the Christian gospel that “Christ died for our sins” (I Cor. 15:3). We are called to put our faith in Him for eternal salvation (Jn. 3:16), “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7). That’s good news to be shared far and wide.

¤ “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (Matt. 28:19).
¤ “Go into all the world and preach the gospel” (Mk. 16:15).
¤ “You shall be witnesses to Me [Christ]…to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

And when a jailer in Philippi asked missionaries Paul and Silas, “What must I do to be saved,” they replied promptly, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts. 16:30-31).

What the Lord has done for needy sinners should never be kept secret. It’s the greatest possible news, as it concerns our eternal destiny. “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” Jesus said. “No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Jn. 14:6; cf. Acts 4:12).

Stuart Hamblen’s song says, in part:

1) The chimes of time ring out the news,
Another day is through;
Someone slipped and fell–
Was that someone you?
You may have longed for added strength,
Your courage to renew,
Do not be disheartened,
For I bring hope to you.

It is no secret what God can do;
What He’s done for others, He’ll do for you;
With arms wide open He’ll pardon you.
It is no secret what God can do.

Questions:
1) Why is it some do all they can to suppress (or keep secret) the message of the gospel?

2) What changes have come into your life since you became a Christian? (If you’re not yet a Christian, I encourage you to read the article God’s Plan of Salvation.)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal (Stuart Hamblen)
Hymnary.org


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