Yes! The Order of the New Testament Books Can Teach Us Truth.
There is no mistake. God laid out the order of His books, on His holy bookshelf, the Bible, as it has pleased Him. Remembering that “...whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning…” (Romans 15:4), if we take the time to study why He placed them in the order He did (after all, He wrote it—II Peter 1:21), we will understand which books belong, specifically, to which group of people.
Matthew, Mark and Luke are the Synoptic Gospels. They supplement each other's accounts of the birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection of Christ.
Up until to the death of Christ (Hebrews 9:16), we are still in an Old Testament setting. Had Christ been accepted as the Messiah by National Israel at His first coming, there would have been no New Testament writings.
Being that John was written later than the first three Gospels (somewhere around 96 A.D.), there were more New Testament truths at his disposal.
The Gospel of John sounds different from the first three Gospels because John is more fully aware of the ramifications of the atonement of Christ.
The Acts of the Apostles (written by Luke—Luke 1:3; Acts 1:1) is the History of the early church, from Christ’s Ascension to Paul’s imprisonment.
This book is a transitional book, bringing you from the Old Testament into the New, from Law to Grace. The main focus changed from God dealing specifically with Israel (The Jews—John 4:22) onto the Gentiles (Acts 13:46; 18:6; 28:25-29)
Next, came Paul. He was expressly the Apostle to the Gentiles (Romans 11:3). His writings are clearly written to the body of Christ, in the New Testament Church.
“ALL the Bible is TO you, but not all the Bible is FOR you.” Remember this axiom! * See my letter, below.
The next set of New Testament books are called the General Epistles.
These books were written early in church history and have a Tribulation flavor to them, adding an element of works to salvation that are not found in Paul’s writings. Since they were written after the atonement of Christ, church age believers can glean all they need, but, in the same instant, be wary of the doctrine of soteriology taught therein. [In the Tribulation, men will have to (as Christ said), “…endure unto the end…” (Matthew 24:13) in order to be saved. (See Revelation 12:17 and Revelation 14:12)]
Here is a short article on this subject...
Hebrews (< Click word to view chart)
Last—divided into three sections, is the book of Revelation. Jesus told John to “Write the things which thou hast seen” (the church age—chapters 1 to 3) “and the things which are” (the Tribulation period—chapters 4 to 19) “and the things which shall be hereafter” (The Millennium and Eternity—chapters 20 to 22).
* My answer to a brother asking about the General Epistles...
Although we have the whole Bible in front of our eyes—thus, “all the Bible is to us,” that doesn’t mean that it all applies to us—thus, “not all the Bible is for us.”
Along theses lines, I ask brothers and sisters in Christ all the time why they aren’t out building a big boat. When they look at me oddly, I say that Noah spent a hundred years to build his. And, he got his whole family involved in his endeavor.
We aren’t building an Ark, because, even though it’s in the Bible, it’s not for us to do, today. In the same breath, yesterday, after a rainy afternoon, when the rain subsided and the clouds were brooding in the sky, my wife yelled out to our children, “Look up, there’s a rainbow.” Well, anyone that has ever read and believed Genesis 9:11-17 knows that God put that promise in the Bible for all subsequent readers to know, even though He will destroy the Earth again, one day, by fire II Peter 3:10-14, He won’t ever destroy it again by water.
What am I saying? You can read all about the flood in the Bible and even see—with your own eyes—God’s promise in the sky, but, we aren’t Ark builders. We are in a different time period. We are somewhere after the cross of Christ and before He comes back to reign on this Earth.
Anyone reading the General Epistles knows that they were written after Christ died. That much is clear. But, someone who was responsible for correlating the New Testament had enough sense to bracket these eight books (including the book of Hebrews) by themselves and place them after the Gospels—and, more particularly, after Paul’s writings and before the Book of Revelation. They did that because they saw that these books teach an element of works for salvation, enduring unto “the end,” keeping the commandments, being “unspotted” from the world, and, if someone doesn’t continue in their faith, loss of salvation. That being said, it's, also, clear that these Books don't align with Paul's writings. They differ, especially, in the doctrines of Soteriology.
Granted, since these books were written AFTER the death burial and resurrection of Christ, they have an application to a Christian in this dispensation. But, once they cross the line of doctrinal application for someone in the church age, they—bracketed off, by the Holy Spirit, in the New Testament writings, so that we would see them grouped together, by themselves—must be applied to someone after the church is raptured out (Revelation 4:1), in the next time period, called the Tribulation (Matthew 24:21, Revelation 7:14).
I hope this helps.
One thing to remember is, just like God made provision in His word for us in the church age, He also made provision for those in the future, after the church is removed to Heaven. There are plenty of verses in the New Testament dedicated to people who will go through a different set of circumstances and rules then that we are under today. What might be applicable to us under grace, in the Kingdom of God, might not be applicable right after the Church of God is gone and right before the Kingdom of Heaven appears. Remember, those seven years will be a time governed under the Antichrist, when someone has to refuse his mark in order to be saved.
Clearly, during this time period, there will be an element of works that will accompany someone’s salvation.
“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12
“And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:17
“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:13