“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4: 3-4) (Emphasis mine)
In the original language of the New Testament, the writers express the human understanding as the “eyes of the heart”. In this scripture Apostle Paul pulls back the curtain between the spiritual and physical dimensions and explains why people do not receive the gospel. I would like to share some thoughts on what Satan, the god of this world, uses to blind the eyes of the heart, the understanding of the unbelieving.
The word “Blinded” is tuphloo in the Greek language, whose root tuph means “to burn, smoke” and is used metaphorically, of dulling of the intellect” (Vines).
Hence, the “blinding” that Satan does is a dulling of the intellect. The intellect is defined as the “faculty of reasoning and understanding objectively” (Oxford Dictionary). To be objective is to keep your decision from being influenced by your personal feelings or opinions.
I would like to humbly suggest that a person’s pride, Satan’s original sin, is what dulls the person’s intellect. Scripture says that “Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, is sin. (Proverb 21:4 emphasis mine) In other words, they see all truth that is shared with them in the light or understanding of their prideful feelings and opinions. And when that truth does not submit to or compliment their pride, they reject it. Through demons manipulating their thoughts, circumstances and their own indwelling sin nature, Satan dulls their understanding by creating a false evaluation of their self-worth in their mind.
Psalms 119: 105 says that God’s word is a lamp to our feet and our path so that we do not stumble in our daily living. Their pride is a false light, actually darkness, to their feet and path and they stumble (perish) because of it. They can not see Satan’s traps, the consequences of sin and the need for a Savior. And in the end “The lamp of the wicked will be put out” (Proverb 24:20). They will be humbled but it may be too late to change.
James, Jesus’ half brother, exhorted us to humility by writing “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands sinners; purify your hearts, you double minded.” (James 4:6-8)
As we go about our daily lives, we encounter two types of people. One type is willfully ignorant of the life of God. Paul adds further revelation about the lost when he says they are “excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart.” (Ephesians 4:18) They know there is a God but, because of the “hardness of their heart”, they do not want to know about Him because they think practicing sin will make them happy and bring satisfaction in life. This is the deceitfulness of sin. Job said “to depart from sin is understanding” (Job 28:28), therefore, they choose not to understand Him, to keep the light of the gospel out. Job describes them:
“And they say to God, “Depart from us! We do not even desire the knowledge of Thy ways. Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him, and what would we gain if we entreat Him?” (Job 21:14)
“They have been with those who rebel against the light; They do not want to know its ways, nor abide in its paths.” (Job 24: 13)
I once read a true story about a Christian who took a lost acquaintance to hear a famous Christian apologist speak. After the presentation, he asked his lost guest his opinion. The lost guy said that everything the apologist said made sense but he would not accept it because he did not want to give up his lifestyle. He willfully kept the light of the gospel out, choosing to walk in the light of his pride.
The other type of person is just like the one above except for the fact that the Holy Spirit of God is dealing with him . If you are a born again believer this was you (and me). Someone shared the gospel with us and through the Holy Spirit’s conviction of sin and righteousness the pride was torn down, the eyes of our hearts where illuminated by His truth and we understood we were sinners in need of a Saviour. God even gave us the faith to believe, repent of our sins, and obey the gospel message and now we are His adopted children walking humbly before our Father and Jesus Christ, our Lord. Praise His Name Forever.
So as you go about your life, do not prevent people from being able to access Jesus through you. In love, open your mouth and share His truth. Be a Holy Spirit led witness of the grace of God in your life. Be willing to address the pride that is blinding people so the truth can shine in on their understanding. The Holy Spirit is working everyday to bring people to the Cross and glorify Jesus. Let us work with Him and He will work with us.
Thank you for your time. May God bless you and your family.