|Posted on June 6, 2013 at 7:40 PM|
Say it with me, “I love Jesus!” We all do at least three times in our lives. Easter, Christmas, and when the good times are rolling. Wait that’s not right. Those are two out three occasions most fly by Christians play church to feel good or look good by attending a service with a loved one. The third, when the good times roll doesn’t qualify because we don’t know or call Jesus until we panic and then it isn’t, “I love Jesus.” It’s more like, “Oh Jesus help!” Tell me I’m wrong. I am not judging you, because I have no right to be a judge; however, the truth does sting like a bee, Mr. Allergic Reaction. Let’s look at the Word concerning the Gospel.
II Corinthians 4:3-6
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Verse 3 says that the Gospel is hid. You say what? The Bible is the most sold book in all of history and arguably, the least read, practiced, and understood. If I’m wrong, then why do all of us Christian people argue with other Christian people of different Christian denominations about the center of the Gospel, salvation? Until a person comes to the realization they need God, they will look at the Gospel as foolishness. The Bible says Jesus is knocking at the door of our hearts. We have to understand our need for a savior. Brace yourselves now.
You think you can get saved just any old time you please No you can’t! I didn’t say God wouldn’t save you. But a part of the wooing of the Holy Spirit, how do these people who are spiritually blinded come to know Christ as Savior? Paul gives us that clue in 2 Corinthians 3:16.
Example: Here is a person who is absolutely spiritually blinded of truth. They have nothing to do with religious matters. Everything goes wrong in their life, and they hit rock bottom. They are desperate. Everything Satan has fed them and promised them just doesn’t work anymore In desperation they cry out to God. Paul says that if they turn just the slightest bit toward God, he will remove the veil of darkness.
But let me warn you, when that spiritual blindness gets so strong, you are going to have to get absolutely and totally desperate before you will turn to God because your pride will keep you from it.
Why is it that some people are so opposed to the Gospel? And why is it that some people, whose lifestyle is so unscriptural cannot understand our rejection of their disobedience before Almighty God? And how is it that some people can criticize the Word of God as to its origin and authenticity? Well, the answer to those questions is very simple. It is called spiritual blindness. Spiritual blindness is a very dangerous condition for anyone to be in. READ 1 John 2:11. He says that those who are spiritually blind do not know where they are going. They think they know, but they do not.
Spiritual Blindness is the inability of a person to understand, perceive, grasp, comprehend spiritual truth. They may be able to fully understand some facts, many things in life that are true. But a spiritually blind person is incapable of digesting, comprehending, perceiving the true meaning of spiritual truth.
Verse 4 of II Corinthians spells it out simple like:
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Know what this means, people? Satan is here. He wants you to die and suffer. He has you now if you don’t have Christ in your hearts as Savior. He will whisper, yell, lie to you so you don’t come to the knowledge that God, Holy God died for you, so that through His sacrificial love all eternity is yours if you believe in Christ. Now you can know God. You can see a painting of Jesus and say, “That’s Christ,” but until you know John 3:16, Romans 10:9-13, until you know that you are dead heading to Hell without the intervention of the love of Christ through repentance and acceptance, He will never know you!
Jesus said in Matthew 7:23, “And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.”
The one who is blinded is Satan himself. Paul describes him as god (little g) the one who claims to be god of this world (this age), the god of this world system in which we live, religious system, economic system, political system. The system that makes up the life we are a part of. Paul says that Satan has set out to blind the minds of the unbelieving in order that something might not happen. Look at Isaiah 14:12-7 how Satan is described. 2 Corinthians 11:3 Paul describes Satan as a crafty deceiver. V. 14 Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
Satan’s objective is stated in v. 4. He wants to so blind men’s mind so that they will not be able to come to the right conclusion about spiritual things. Notice the words used. See means: “grasp, understand, comprehend the illumination of the Gospel.” Satan’s purpose and objective is to so blind a person’s mind that they can’t grasp it.
What is the truth that Satan wants to hide from man? Look at v. 3. He wants to hide the truth so that they cannot possibly perceive of the fact of being lost. Ask a lost person is they have ever been saved, and they might respond saved from what? There are many people who are sincerely and honestly blinded. They really believe that they are right. Satan blinds people to any sense of need on their part of the Lord.
Secondly, he blinds them to the whole meaning of the cross. The cross, the blood, all of that is meaningless to the unbeliever. They have no earthly idea of how it relates to them. It’s an Easter holiday to them. Satan has blinded them to the real meaning.
How does the old serpent fool us?
First, Satan always launches his attack against Word of God.
1. As To It’s Origin. It is not God-breathed. How could God breathe through some men to give a book. How could the Bible be inspired. This book was written by some men. Once a person begins doubt the origin of the Word of God, they next begin to doubt:
2. The Authenticity Of The Bible. They say, probably it has many mistakes in it. They begin to pick and choose what they want to believe. They then doubt:
3. The Authority Of The Word Of God. After all it was written by men, and full of errors, so how could it be the authority of my life? Next they doubt:
4. The Power Of The Word Of God. When you doubt the origin, authenticity, authority, and power of the Word of God, you are in a dangerous condition.
When a person begins to doubt the Word of God then he becomes the center of his world. He becomes his own authority. He has no room for God to control any part of his life. Spiritual blindness is a dangerous condition. So we live in a society today in which Humanism is a rising religion because Satan has blinded men’s eyes to the Word of God.
If there is no divine authority what is the authority? This is the thing that puts churches in a bad spot. People make decisions in churches and oftentimes say, the majority rules!
That is not what the Bible says! It says the principles of the Word of God rules!
That is the acknowledgment of the authority of the living God over our church. When you have a society or a church that does not accept God as the final authority, you have all kinds of things taking place, and they are well defended, because Satan has blinded their eyes.
Let’s look at Luke in chapter 8 concerning the Gospel and Satan’s effect.
"A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. 6Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. 7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown."
"This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”
While I hold to the philosophy there are only two kinds are people in this world, those whose names are written in the book belong to and with the Lord God and those, whose names are not, will be in the Lake of Fire forever, Jesus elaborates by speaking specifically about how people react upon hearing the Gospel message or the seed as Jesus explained in verse twelve. First are those who know of God, but do not believe.
“Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.”
Other than pompous, in your face, agnostic comedians, educated idiots, and self-proclaimed atheists, everyone on this planet if asked, will say they are aware of a greater power, a Supreme Being, and or God. The first kind is those who just don’t know enough to make a life altering decision. Teenagers are the best example here. A child can be a “bad” kid regarding his behavior with most people in authority, but the same kid will in many cases not ever use God’s name in vain or let others poke fun at the concept of God. The “bad” kid more times than not does not understand the concept of Cross, Christ, and Grace, but he knows instinctively that God is real. He just doesn’t make the the connection between God and the fact that The Bible are inseparable.
Jesus mentions Satan’s role. Satan, as Peter described in I Peter 5:8, is a roaring lion seeking those he may devour. James wrote in chapter 4 verse 7 in the book same as his name: Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Satan wants to kill, decimate, destroy and annihilate every one of God’s beloved creations. That’s you by the way if you did not know that. Many people think that Satan is as powerful as God. They read the line, then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, and think, Satan is equal to God. That is not the case at all. All we have to do to avoid sin, Satan’s initial hold on us, is to look to God. Remember James wrote to submit ourselves not to the sin, but to God. We do not have the power to fend off carnal, fallen desires without Jesus. No Christian is perfect. We are new creations in Christ. Our old desires and thoughts will be erased if we truly submit and give our hearts fully to God. If we do that, Satan cannot touch us. However, those who know not of Christ, submitting, and His Grace, do not know or have the word in their hearts. These are people who have the theological knowledge of a third grader that goes to Sunday school every fifth Sunday. Sin is never ugly to those it consumes. The consequences are hideously repulsive after we realize our actions were sinful.
The second type is the one that covers most Americans if recent polls indicate the flip-floppy thoughts of those who wear the mantle of Christian.
A man stands before judge and jury, places one hand on the Bible and the other in the air, and makes a pledge. For the next few minutes, with God as his helper, he will “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”
He is a witness, His job is not to expand upon nor dilute the truth. His job is to tell the truth. Leave it to the legal counsel to interpret. Leve it to the jury to resolve. Leave it to the judge to apply. But the witness? The witness speaks the truth. Let him do more or less and he taints the outcome. But let him do that – let him tell the truth – and justice has a chance.
The Christian, too, is a witness. We, too, make a pledge. Like the witness in court, we are called to tell the truth. The bench may be absent and the judge unseen, but the Bible is present, the watching world is the jury, and we are the primary witnesses. We are subpoenaed by no less than Jesus himself: “You will be my witnesses – in Jerusalem, in all of Judea, in Samaria and in every part of the world” (Acts 1:8).
We are witnesses. And like witnesses in a court, we are called to testify, to tell what we have seen and heard. And we are to speak truthfully. Our task is not to whitewash nor bloat the truth. Our task is to tell the truth. Period.
There is, however, one difference between the witness in court and the witness for Christ. The witness in court eventually steps down from the witness chair, but the witness for Christ never does. Since the claims of Christ are always on trial, court is perpetually in session, and we remain under oath. For the Christian, deception is never an option. It wasn’t an option for Jesus.
Let me be brief in the finish: Verses 5 and 6 say, Christians, we share Christ, the Gospel not because we want to be on a pedestal or win awards, but we do it because our teacher, master, Savior, Almighty God told us To do so not once, but for the span of our lives.