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. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)
I do not relish writing this Catch. I have been staring at the blank page on my screen for a while now, trying to figure out how to go about this. There is no easy way. I wish the Bible weren’t so clear about heaven and hell so we could maybe explain hell away somehow. But Paul talks about those who are saved and those who are perishing, about vessels made for honor and vessels made for dishonor, and Jesus talks about dividing people into sheep and goats, wheat and tares, and branches that are lifted up, and those that are pruned out and thrown into the fire. Kind of hard to get around all of that.
There’s no way you can make this pretty; but there is a way you can make sure everyone knows there is a way clear through to the Father. That the arms of Christ — as represented by that famous statue over Rio de Janeiro we saw time and time again during the World Cup — are still open wide to the whole world, and will stay open right up to the end of this age.
And if, when you try, some people don’t get it, there just isn’t much you can do about that except to keep setting forth the truth plainly, because you never know when the veil that is disabling someone from seeing and understanding the truth might come down. The veil here sounds final, but it is not. It is not irrevocable. “When anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away” is still true. If it’s true for the children of Israel, it’s true for everyone. That’s all it takes to undo what Satan has done in blinding the minds of some. Turn to the Lord.
The new covenant ministry is unique in that it doesn’t demand results from us. Not everyone will get it, but choosing those who see and those who don’t is out of our hands. It’s not who can set forth the truth in the most compelling way; it’s the fact that the results are in a spiritual realm that is beyond us. This is where the forces of God and the forces of Satan clash over the souls of men and women. This is the mystery.
This is also the power of the Gospel of Welcome. The arms of God are wide open to receive. So open wide your heart to everyone. Set forth the truth plainly. Whatever you do, don’t give up on anybody. Pray. It’s still good news. It will always be good news.
Day 15 Challenge:
Paul is responding to a question, “If this is all true (setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God), why don’t more people come to the truth?”
People are perishing because they do not believe; and they do not believe because they are blinded by the devil. That is what he is saying. The god of this age has brainwashed them. They cannot understand what the good news is saying; they do not believe it.
As before, the veil is the delusion that we are adequate to handle life by ourselves. It is that independent sense of pride that says, “I can handle it by myself; I do not need God.”
The veil that lies over the minds of people is to keep them from seeing their inadequacy up against the law, which is fading into death; their death.
- Who is responsible for unbelief?
- If it is Satan who has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, do we give up on them?
- Why then do we not grow discouraged if in our offering no one responds to the plain truth of the gospel?
- Do we know who is being saved and who is perishing?
- How do we know what to tell people if we don’t know whether they are being saved or they are perishing?
- So what hope is there that anybody who has been blinded by the devil will ever believe the good news?
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