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Blinded To Gospel Ministry

2 Corinthians 4:3-4
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (NIVUK)

How can some people listen to the gospel and understand it, responding in repentance and faith, whereas to others it makes no sense at all? Paul's critics said it was because he was not clear and that he tried to manipulate people – those charges he rebutted in 2 Corinthians 4:1-2. The other reason, they said, was that Paul's gospel was too complicated, so that very few could grasp it. Paul admits that many people cannot see the gospel at first sight. It is veiled or hidden from sight. That does not mean that the truth is shrouded in mystery or locked away so that it cannot be seen, but that there is a blindfold on the eyes of human hearts. It was not just a problem for those who adhered to the Old Testament law, but to the Gentiles as well (Romans 3:9).

Everybody who is born into this world has the anti-gospel blindfold applied to them by the 'god of this age'. That person is not God: it is Satan, who is described as the 'prince of this world' (John 14:30), and the 'ruler of the kingdom of the air' (Ephesians 2:2). John 5:19 says, "We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one." It does not mean that Satan has ultimate control of the world and its inhabitants, but that he operates wherever Jesus is not honoured as King.

So, naturally, people cannot even see the image of God in Jesus, nor the glory of Christ, nor the saving wisdom of the gospel. In 1 Corinthians 1:22-23 Paul writes, "Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles …" It is a global problem, but the gospel is the universal solution. It is through the preaching of the gospel that the Lord opens blind eyes (Romans 10:11-14). In 1 Corinthians 3:16 Paul says, "But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away."

The gospel is far more potent than most believers think. It is God's powerful route to salvation for all who believe (Romans 1:16). Its proclamation is our commission (Matthew 28:18-20); it is God's way of involving us directly in His work of salvation. As we share the truth about Jesus, He lifts the veil and allows people to see how to be saved. This is done in churches where the gospel is faithfully preached, in written material and electronic, but best by personal conversation. Show your friends and colleagues the video at www.crosscheck.org.uk and discuss it with them. Our role is tell the gospel story plainly and then pray that the Lord will lift the veil over their eyes.

Sovereign Lord. Thank You for opening the eyes of my heart to understand Your grace to me in Christ Jesus. Forgive me for having often sealed up this heaven-opening treasure, by not sharing the gospel with those I know and care about. Please give me a new boldness to proclaim what Jesus has done for me, so that my friends and colleagues will turn to You and have their spiritual eyes opened too. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams