The Bible uses the word mystery in a particular way, it allows us to use it in another way, and forbids us to use it in a third. So everybody be careful out there! For those keeping track, this is a follow-up on my post about mystery and contradiction.
First, how is mystery used? In Scripture, mystery refers to a purpose of God that was once latent and hidden, but is later manifested and revealed. The great Pauline mystery, with the word used in this sense, was the inclusion of the Gentiles into the people of God.
“How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words . . . That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel” (Eph. 3:3,6).
Another mystery revealed is the fact that this process of growing the church will culminate in the resurrection of the dead. What once was obscure is now plainly taught and revealed.
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed” (1 Cor. 15:51).
Of course, keep in mind the clarity of such statements will be made even more clear, marvelously clear, when the final reality pointed to by the statements comes to pass. The fact of the coming resurrection is plainly taught to us now — Paul says “I show you a mystery” – but the day is coming when God Himself will show us the mystery, and the graves will open.
The second use, the allowable use, would have to do with things that are simply beyond us. Here we are using the word mystery in a way similar to the way the Bible uses it, and merely extended by analogy. God will always be infinite, and we will always be finite. As we spend our everlasting days going further up and further in, after every bend in the road, we will always be confronted with another whoa moment. And it will never get old.