“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, KJV)
One night, I woke up and it was pitch dark outside and inside. I awoke and needed to get out of bed to visit another room. I thought I knew how to negotiate the hallway without seeing anything. However, I was mistaken. As I walked blindly, I stubbed my toe into an old wooden Army foot-locker, right on the bottom corner where there was a metal bracket. Wow, did it hurt. As I got to the bathroom, I shut the door and turned on the light. There I saw it, a fairly good-sized gash on my big toe. So, I administered some first-aid to stop the bleeding and slowly found my way back to bed. Needless to say,, that foot locker found its way to another location and we placed a small nightlight in the bathroom so that we could see to negotiate our way in the darkness.
Through that experience and others like it, I learned what it meant to be blind. I know that some are blind, and have over come their blindness. They should be commended for this. But the point is that when you are blind, you cannot see where you are going. You cannot fully see the hazards ahead of you, and you cannot see the blessed paths in life.
In this passage, Paul continued the thought regarding the spiritual veil that covered the hearts and minds of those who do not believe. Here he explained this a bit more. He stated that “the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not.” The god of this age refers to our adversary, the devil. In some mysterious way, he has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so that they cannot see the glory of he gospel of Christ. It is a spiritual blindness imposed by the devil upon people so they cannot believe.
As I have witnessed to a lot of people, I always wondered why intelligent people could not see the logic and beauty of the message of the gospel. It makes such good sense to me. Yet, if they are being spiritually blinded, they cannot understand and believe. Moreover, like me stumbling into the foot-locker in the darkness, they cannot see the peril that truly lies ahead.
How are they blinded? Satan uses deception, he is a deceiver. Through an integration of the world system and the fleshly desires of man, the devil deceives people in a variety of ways. One is to deny the existence of God. He also seeks to undermine the reality and severity of sin, and the coming judgment. Furthermore, he deceives people into believing that Jesus is not the true way of salvation. Thus, he works constantly to blind people so they cannot believe and experience eternal life.
How should we, who do believe, respond to this? The only thing we can do is to pray. Often, we pray for God to save the people we know. This is good for it is His salvation. However, how many times have we prayed that God would heal people’s blindness to the gospel, that is to remove the veil that Satan has put over their minds. As we witness, we must understand that we are engaged in a spiritual battle for the souls of people. We are coming against our adversary to set people free. We must realize that we cannot save anyone and we cannot remove their blindness. We can present the truth, but only God can open the eyes of their minds to see the reality of our message. Thus, we must pray at all times in the Spirit (Eph 6:18) for God to remove the veil from their eyes.