You Don’t Need to Know

need to knowA friend of mine works in the oil fields. The other day he was telling me about how his company has a book in which they can find the answer to any and every question they might have about how to do their job. They call it the “Red Book.”

A while back, his sister gave him a Bible as a gift. The Bible also had a red cover. For weeks, he carried it around in front seat of his truck. One day his crew ran into an issue at work they couldn’t figure out. A coworker said, “Let’s check what the Red Book says.” So my buddy went to his truck and grabbed his Bible.

His coworker didn’t even notice as he handed him the Bible. When he looked down, though, he rolled his eyes. “This book has all the answers,” my friend told him.

As Christians, we like to say that, don’t we? The Bible has all the answers. But is that true?

If we are honest, we have to say no. The Bible doesn’t tell you how to fix an oil pump. The Bible doesn’t tell you what career you should choose or who you should marry. In fact, as we read the Bible we find ourselves asking even more questions.

Why did God put the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden if he knew Adam and Eve would eat from it? Why do some people never get a chance to hear the gospel? What happens to a baby who dies before he or she is born?

Silence. The Bible doesn’t tell us. If you are looking for the answers to all of life’s questions, you won’t find them in the Bible.

In the 1996 movie, The Rock, Nicolas Cage plays an FBI agent sent to fight US Marines turned terrorists who had taken over Alcatraz prison. At one point, Cage’s character asks too many questions and his boss tells him, “That’s on a need to know basis and you don’t need to know.”

God often says the same thing to us. If he doesn’t tell you something in the Bible, that’s because you don’t need to know. Where exactly was the Garden of Eden? You don’t need to know. What did Jesus look like? You don’t need to know. When will the end of the world be? You don’t need to know.

The Bible doesn’t tell us everything we want to know.
It tells us everything we need to know.

The Bible tells us how sin came into the world and how God sent his Son to save us from our sins. The Bible confronts us with the bad things we do and then shows us exactly how Jesus won forgiveness for us by suffering our punishment in our place. The Bible tells us what we need to know to believe in Jesus and serve him here on earth.

That’s what we need to know. If the Bible is silent on a matter, though, that means you don’t need to know. God wants you to trust him.

So, if you have questions about God, by all means open your Bible. Many of life’s questions are answered there. The most important questions are answered there. As for the rest of your questions, though, that’s on a need to know basis and you don’t need to know.


  7 comments for “You Don’t Need to Know

  1. steve brandon
    October 24, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Mr Schroer,
    I read your writing in the paper this week and would like to respectfully disagree with the tone of your topic. The word of God in His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 2 Peter 1:3. I do understand the point you may have been trying to make. “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, Deuteronomy 29:29, however, the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law. Of course the law has changed from the old to the new. When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear. Hebrews 8:13.
    You said a few thoughts that God did not tell us. I would like for you to study these scriptures even though we may not be told exactly the answer we seek we do have guide lines to guide us.
    As to my career or work to support myself, “one should make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands” 1 Thessalonians 4:11 Also, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. Colossians 3:22-24 These verses tell me how to work with respect to honor my Lord and in turn that will guide one to seek honorable work. So no I have no directions on how to repair an oil pump, just what attitude I need to have while doing this job.
    With regards to whom I should marry the same can be said in a search of scripture. No I’ll not get my brides name, but her virtues to look for. Proverbs 31: 10-31 This is the description of a worthy and godly woman that a man should seek. Yes I found this woman, we have 37 years of loving marriage this month.
    In the garden why was there a forbidden fruit? Even in this perfect place, man had commands from God by which man shows his love by obedience. Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test? 2 Corinthians 13:5 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. James 1:13 Who tempted Eve? Who then tempted Adam? They spoke with God, they saw God. It seems hard for us to see them sinning, yet we do the same daily. Even as I see the mighty works of Gods hands all about me I still give way to temptation and have need of His great mercy and forgiveness.
    Why is it some never hear the gospel? Leaders of some nations today have given themselves over to Satan and have made it illegal to worship the living God. As it was in the days of Christ , leaders feel threaten by Him. God is merciful giving us a savior, For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16 However are all called? Are all chosen? No. “For many are called, but few are chosen.” The gospel is for all, but I have to want it more than any relative or even my life here. So I must do all to seek His word. Even in these godless nations men still risk all to get Gods word. Still many will not. To their own destruction.
    A baby that dies, even before born? I felt my wife’s belly and knew my child was alive and active before I ever held her in my arms. God has this to say about His master piece of creation, Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” God is so unfathomable to our understanding, but He reveals that He does know us even before we are conceived in woman. It is God who forms us in the womb, He is the God of the living, Matthew 22:32 No baby alive has knowledge of good and evil nor can they decide to do evil, therefore reason shows they are blameless. This is even said of Christ as He grew, Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. 15 He will eat curds and honey at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good. 16 For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good. Isaiah 7:14-16 Even the old testament God held the child in esteem as innocent, Moreover, your little ones who you said would become a prey, and your sons, who this day have no knowledge of good or evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them and they shall possess it. Deuteronomy 1:39 I know that some say we are born in sin, because of WHAT? Ezekiel 18;20 kills any idea of original or any sins being passed on to the child.
    What exactly was the garden of Eden? This should be reasoned by what God told us about the garden in the first couple chapters of Genesis. It is described as a place prepared for man to live with out difficult toil or danger, and in fellowship with God. I agree there is not a flood of detail given nor is there a lot of detail given of the goal we seek in the eternal kingdom in the presences of God. but just as it is written,“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 However man did sin in the garden. Thus began mans journey, guided by God, back into a relationship with God. Heaven being the final goal.
    What did Jesus look like. There is a description of Christ appearance given. Not a detailed one but one many give when called to witness and describe the average person. Isaiah 53:2 He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. So unlike the movies would portray our Lord He has no captivating appearance. Though He did hold them in awe As He spoke as one with authority. Mark 1:22
    I long to grow in the knowledge of God and with the wisdom to apply that knowledge to my life that I may walk the narrow path to eternal life. I pray for all who seek this path that they may do so with success. For we must all Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
    I pray you will forgive my pitiful writing skills as I’m not often called upon to write much. May we all grow in truth and knowledge of God.

    • Edith Schallert
      January 23, 2015 at 8:43 am

      Mr Brandon,
      You are correct: God tells us how to go about our life and work; He tells us that He does all things for our good. But the article is also quite correct- God doesn’t give us ALL the answers we might want. This is not being snide; it is simply the truth: sometimes God gives us specifics, and sometimes He gives us general guidelines. We need to trust that He gives us ALL that we need, and thank Him that He also gives us a LOT of what we want besides.

    • Jevon
      January 23, 2015 at 10:25 am

      Mr. Brandon,

      I enjoyed your comment more than the article. Thank you.

  2. Michael Milec
    January 23, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Jesus of Nazareth, the ‘son of man’ and “the Son of God” originated relative order how to know what we want and need to know: He asked the Father, then he listen to the answer. Is it in the ‘”book” ? or is it “somehow” the same originator e v e r y word of the Book ?
    Way back a new in this country, leaving my ” profession”, going into production , attracted to the construction, I soon have ben hired to do finishing woodworking… Did I know all answer how to? Not at all. However I knew that my heavenly Father will provide the lead to my need. That time my young son being with me during the summer off school season frequently asked, dad, how do you know this operation ? My answer was , ‘ I don’t ‘- I am following the instruction coming by that small inner voice and it always works.
    Well, somewhere in the bible we are told how to establish a relationship with the “source “in which we can have ” all ” needed answers . HalleluYAH.

  3. January 23, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Michael Milec, when you say, “somewhere in the bible we are told how to establish a relationship” you point to the difference between saying that “the Bible has all the answers,” and “the Bible tells us everything we need to know.” In that relationship with God, we are connected with all the guidance and wisdom we need. That is the answer to everything, even though it is not a map to heaven. In the Bible we learn how to have a relationship with God. That really is all we need to know.

  4. Michael Milec
    January 23, 2015 at 12:39 pm


  5. Gregg
    January 9, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    Steve Brandon, children are born with a sinful nature. In fact children are conceived with a sinful nature and this sinful nature is quite observable soon after birth. David says, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. (Psalm 51:5). And we are all accountable to God for our sins. But because Jesus died for our sins, God forgives the sins of all of us. Only those who do not believe the gospel will be condemned. In other words after a person hears the gospel, but does not believe it in unbelief, if he dies in that state of unbelief, he will be condemned. But, if a baby has not heard the gospel and doesn’t know about it yet, will they be condemned? Surely not! I don’t believe they will be condemned, not because they are not conceived and born with a sinful nature, but because Jesus died for everyone’s sin, including even those conceived and not yet born. But, don’t people need to believe the gospel first in order to be saved? Yes and no. When they are old enough to hear and know the gospel and either believe or not believe it, they do need to believe it to be saved and the Holy Spirit works that faith in their heart through the gospel in both the Word of God and the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. The Bible says that it is only unbelief in the gospel that will damn us, not our sins or sinful nature per se that we may not even be aware of yet because we are too immature to understand what even sin is. Before a baby or unborn child can reject and not believe the gospel, they would first need to be old enough to be able to hear it, know it , and then reject it. Babies in the womb may not be old enough to be able to hear and know the gospel, but the Bible says John the Baptist did hear it and leaped for joy in his mother Elizabeth’s womb. But this may have been by a miracle of God and not a normal ability of every baby in the womb. A person can’t really reject and not believe the gospel until they first hear and know it. Since Jesus died for the sins of all people, God only condemns those who don’t believe it. But for anyone not to believe the gospel, they first have to hear it. So until a child hears the gospel and knows about it, I don’t believe God will ever condemn a child, if they have never heard it beforee because you can’t reject and not believe the gospel, if you have not yet heard it. Does this make sense to you? The reason God won’t condemn babies isn’t because that are not sinful. The Bible is clear that we are conceived and born with a sinful nature. But nobody is accountable for their sins because Jesus died for our sins. We are forgiven of all our sins.

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