3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
Jesus had a popular phrase that he stated whenever there is a recorded lesson of His in the bible; “whoever has ears, let him hear.” This seems a bit strange to us because we don’t really talk like that. However, His meaning was, “I hope you are listening if you are someone who truly wants to know the truth.” In His sermon on the mount, Jesus informed us, “blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness; for they shall be satisfied.” Those who do not are those who are blinded by the god of this world (aka Satan) because instead they only hunger and thirst for instant gratification.
This passage is thick with theological issues such as who has control over belief. Is it Satan, is it us, is it God? We know God does because there are times throughout the scriptures where God hardens or softens the hearts of others to believe or not believe. Yet here, Paul is talking about Satan blinding others so that they do not believe. A Calvinist would go back to God having control over Satan as well and ultimately it is up to God. So far in my study of the scriptures I have discovered that God gives us everything we need for faith and belief in Him. Certainly, there are times He prevents others from believing for His purposes, however the majority of us have the opportunity to enter into a relationship with our Creator. Unfortunately, our spiritual enemy is constantly working against us to convince us that none of this is true. I challenge you to test this and find out for yourself. Instead of listening to what others say, study the scriptures and act on what you learn to discover the validity of it.
Why should we care? Why should we put in the effort? For starters, don’t you think that if such a being and opportunity exists, that it’s worth it? I mean, if there is this eternal and indefinable entity that can speak everything into existence from nothingness (a natural impossibility according to the measure of our current scientific understanding) and it wanted to have an intimate and personal relationship with us, wouldn’t that be worth at least checking out? Secondly, if this is true then what Paul says here is also true, that our absence of this relationship with Him is a slow death but in this relationship we get to experience true life. Why then would we want to continue dying?
I have spoken to many people who claim to seek the truth yet are too afraid to be confronted with it because it could destroy everything they currently know and believe. I too experience this fear in my own life as I continue to seek truth. It is a place of vulnerability that is difficult to embrace because everything as we know it could be flipped upside down. But, would we rather be ignorant and superficially happy or wise and eternally joyful? The verse I quoted above that discusses righteousness relates righteousness as, “integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness” in the original text. It’s interesting that we are constantly working to “be right” and fighting with all of our energy to prove our own righteousness but we refuse to seek out pure righteousness. The enemy wants to distract us from the truth and we must fight against it if we truly want to know “purity of life.”
Will you continue seeking superficial and temporary answers and happiness or are you really seeking the truth?