Summary: The text today suggests how our pilgrimage can be navigated incorrectly due to deception which is why we must be vigilant in our daily journey as Christians.
Text: II Corinthians 4:3 - 6
2 Corinthians 4:3-6 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. (4) In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (5) For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus' sake. (6) For it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (NRSV).
The captain of the Titanic refused to believe the ship was in trouble till water was ankle deep in the mail room. Only then was it apparent the multi-layered hull had been pierced and the unsinkable ship was going to sink. Ships that could have arrived before the great ocean liner went down weren’t summoned until it was too late. Leadership, Vol X, #3 (Summer, 1989), p. 27, Galaxie Software. (2002). 10,000 Sermon Illustrations. Biblical Studies Press. Every Titanic has its iceberg. Every superhero has his/her weak spot. For Superman it was kryptonite. For every person its sin. Sin disrupts, distracts, deceives and even leads to destruction and even damnation if it is left unchecked.
The god of this world wants to blind the minds of unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel (II Corinthians 4:4). The god of this world would love nothing more than to deceive you with illusions and delusions (John 8:44). Satan wants to keep you from having the eyes of your hearts illumined to the hope of your calling and the riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 1:18).
The text today suggests how our pilgrimage can be navigated incorrectly due to deception which is why we must be vigilant in our daily journey as Christians.
Are we not all pilgrims here on a pilgrimage? There is the story of an older man who asked a young man what his plans were after graduating from law school. The young man, said he wanted a good job, get married, start a family, put his kids through school, spoil the grand-kids, then retire. At each stage, the older man asked him a profound two worded question, “Then what?” The young man would proceed to the next stage in life. When he talked about dying, the older man naturally asked, “Then what?”After that comes eternity and where we will spend it. (Greg Laurie. As It Is In Heaven. Colorado Springs, Colorado: NavPress, 2014, p. 19) Hebrews 9:27 reminds us that it is appointed for man to die once then comes the judgment. What are we doing about our “Then what?”
Is there anybody who thinks that God did not have a plan for them? 1) God’s plan: Just as God had a plan for Adam and Eve, He has a plan for you and me. He had already predestined you for His plan before the foundation of the world, with a future and a hope and a Savior (Ephesians 1:3- 11; Jeremiah 29:11; and John 3:16).
2) Nemesis: Just as Adam and Eve were deceived by the god of this world aka Satan and the Devil. Satan is an accuser (Revelation 12:10), a slanderer, a deceiver, a thief and a murderer (John 8:44). Satan wants to keep us from seeing the light of the Gospel.
Does life sometimes seem like a puzzle? My parents love to put jigsaw puzzles to together. So we gave them a 500 piece puzzle for Christmas. It was not your average puzzle. It was actually designed by Dr. Stan Rodski who is a Neuroscientist. Most of the pieces were shaped alike. The idea was for the puzzle to challenge your mind in such a way to get you to use both sides of your brain so that you would be creative as well as analytical. When they almost finished the puzzle, notice I said “almost” they had five pieces left where they could not find how they configured into the puzzle. They got frustrated, maybe even exasperated.
You can turn this story into a parable by saying that life is like a puzzle that won’t completely come together unless we follow the intention of our Creator---our Heavenly Father. Consider some revelations from one of Jesus’s disciples who present with Jesus at the transfiguration. 1 Peter 2:5 reminds us that we are “… like living stones are being built up [by God’s design] as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (ESV). Satan wants to blind us with all the distractions that would keep us from becoming God’s priesthood who were called out out darkness into His wonderful light (I Peter 2:9).