“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 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.” (2 Corinthians 4:3, 4)
Does it seem to us that the gospel is hidden? We see it clearly, but the average person does not seem to do so. It appears to be hidden away from them. You can try to witness to a person, but it often gets bogged down like you are speaking a different language than that lost person. He, or she, doesn’t seem to hear you. It is as their ears were closed, and also their eyes. The apostle had our answer, and wrote it here in 2 Corinthians nearly 2000 years ago. He declared clearly that the gospel is hidden for those who are lost. He also makes it crystal clear that the one doing the hiding is the god of this world. That god is Satan! Satan has blinded the minds of them which do not believe so that they cannot comprehend this truth; this truth that Jesus Christ has paid the price in full for our salvation. The devil does all he can to blur, and distort this truth.
These early Christians were bold. They spoke out, even though they risked imprisonment and even death for speaking out. Paul says “Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we faint not” (2 Corinthians 4:1). They were much bolder than most modern people. They knew declaring this gospel was a serious thing. They knew that their lives were being risked. They also knew that unless their hearers believed the gospel, they would remain lost for eternity. Christ had met each one of them with this truth, and redeemed them, so they felt the obligation to spread the word, regardless of the cost. That is why God’s word has been handed down to us in the 21st century, so that we may share it. Oh, that we would have their boldness; their faith and love. Their determination and commitment to the truth, as it is in Jesus Christ.
Paul said that we have this ministry as we received mercy, we faint not. In other words, we are no better than you are. It is because of Gods mercy that we have redemption. We have been placed in this work by God’s grace. The call of God is a divine gift. It is an experience that has its beginning, its sustenance, and its ending in God. His eternal purpose is being displayed in His work that we are called to do. So, even the fact that we come to you is solely because of sovereign grace. We come to you as agents of God with His powerful word. In verse two the apostle says we have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty. In other words, this is God’s orderly and divine work. It is “up front’ and completely honest. As he says, not walking in craftiness. It is simply straightforward and absolutely honest. It is God’s holy truth to us. We must hear it that way. It is a vessel of God’s sovereign mercy to us.
He goes on to say that it is not handling the word of God deceitfully. It is true, and not dishonest. That is enlightening when so many today attempt to deceive us. The gospel of Christ is not a fraud. It is the genuine article! The enemy is so desperate to convince people of his own slant on the word of God. The enemy has a warped view of the gospel, designed to distort and deceive.
Paul goes on to say but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. Again, the word of God is complete, and it is honest. It has been distorted in our day so much that people can claim it supports everything, and opposes almost nothing. Just today, a very famous preacher said that a man who had a wife with Alzheimer’s disease could go ahead and divorce her, and remarry another to obtain a “better life for himself”. What? What about till death do us part in the wedding ceremony? Doesn’t that count?
To get at the heart of our study, and determine why so many won’t hear the gospel, we need to look at verse four very closely. “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.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) Who does the apostle say caused this blindness in those unbelievers? He says The God of this world, as I mentioned previously. He is the culprit of deception who has done this evil deed. He had at that time blinded the minds of those being witnessed to. Let me say that he is still doing the same thing nearly 2000 years later! He is successfully blinding the minds of those who would believe, keeping their hearts veiled from the truth that can save them. This is keeping them from the gospel of salvation. Yes, it is because their minds are blinded! They have in them no desire to seek God. If it was not for God’s sovereign deliverance, none would be saved! Their minds have been blinded and the situation is Lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. It will not shine on them whose minds are blinded. Unless God intervenes, they will be damned!
God has not designed to save every soul who was ever born, as some teach. The teaching of the Bible is that God has chosen some, and bypassed others, according to the good pleasure of His will. Some do not like this. Many do not believe it. But remember, God will have mercy on whom He will. It is not up to you. It is not up to me. It is all by His own choice. It is clear He has shown mercy on many, and that His generosity is great. He is a merciful God. But, do not be deceived. He will not let you ignore Him, and live after your wicked desires, and then save you at the end. If you go on in your sin, ignoring all the warnings, you will be lost forever.
“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.” (2 Corinthians 4:6) So it is evident here that God has the power to overrule Satan in these matters of the soul. He commands the light to shine, and it shines. It is as the difference between night and day when God sends the light. When you are enabled to see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, then you will never be in the dark again. “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5)
“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
(2 Corinthians 4:7-9) Though we still have struggles in this life, we do not have to face them alone. God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost oversees our lives from now on. Hallelujah!Published by Charles Woodruff- email: firstname.lastname@example.org