Summary: Believers can pray that their lost family/friends’ eyes would be opened to the gospel. Part 2 of 5 of the Praying Your Family and Friends to Christ Series.
Praying Our Lost Friends & Family To Christ Series
Looking For Love In All The Right Places (2 of 5) 2 Cor 4.3-4 NASB
October 17, 2004 Chester, Illinois Chester FBC Mike Fogerson, Speaker
(The "HEART" acronym that is being used for this series is taken from
Chris Schofield, Praying Your Friends to Christ (Alpharetta, Ga.: North American Mission Board, 1997)
1 Roland Allen tells about a veteran missionary who came up to him one day after he had delivered his sermon. The missionary introduced himself and said, "I was a medical missionary for many years in India. And I served in a region where there was progressive blindness.
A People were born with healthy vision, but there was something in that area that caused people to lose their sight as they matured."
a But this missionary had developed a process which would arrest progressive blindness. So people came to him, and he performed his operation. They would leave realizing that they had been spared a life of blindness because of this missionary.
b He said that they never said, "Thank you," because that phrase was not in their dialect. Instead, they spoke a word that meant, "I will tell your name." Wherever they went, they would tell the name of the missionary who had cured their blindness. They had received something so wonderful that they eagerly proclaimed it.
B We’re continuing our study on how our blind, lost friends & family can know the one who has given us sight.
a Last week we learned how we should pray that God give our lost friends/family receptive hearts.
b Receptive by hearing the gospel (intellectually & spiritually), and holding the gospel (making the old Gospel story their own story.)
2 Today we will continue our series, Praying our Lost Friends & Family to Christ Series with Looking For Love In All The Right Places.
A 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. 2 Cor 4:3-4 (NASB)
a The devil blinded many people’s heart in the first century to the gospel. (ETS)
b Believers can pray that their lost friends/family spiritual eyes would be opened to the gospel. (ESS)
B I hope you will begin praying for God to remove Satan’s veil from the spiritual eyes of your lost friends & family. (Objective)
a How are you praying from God to heal your lost loved ones spiritual blindness? (Probing Question)
b Let’s look at two specifics we can be praying for concerning the veil over the hearts of our unbelieving friends/family. (Transitional Sentence)PRAY
I The first specific we can pray for the veil over the hearts of our lost family/friends is that THE VEIL WOULD BE LIFTED FROM THEIR HEARTS.
And even if our gospel is veiled, it veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving . . . II Cor. 4. 3-4a NASB
1 Paul was being criticized because his preaching was not being responded to by his listeners.
A Paul’s audience were not embracing the Gospel of Christ.
a People weren’t getting saved/leaving their sinful ways of life/experiencing a life change.
b His critics were saying that the gospel was only for a select few, not for everybody.
*Paul was probably being racked over the coals by the first century converted Jew because he was preaching the Gentiles who embraced the gospel did not need to comply with Mosaic law. Under grace, not under the law.
B Paul, in verse 3, concedes that if there is a problem with the gospel, it is only showing up in the heart of the unbeliever.
a Paul said that it wasn’t the gospel’s fault that people were perishing. . . unbelieving.
b The devil was blinding (veiling) the heart of the unbeliever.
2 Since the devil can not shut the gospel out of the world, he makes it his great business to keep it out of the hearts of people.
A The devil is actively pooling the wool over the eyes of our unbelieving family/friends.
a Jesus knew it (Jn 12.31; 14.30), Paul knew it (Eph 2.2; 6.12), John knew it (1 Jn 5.19) . . . WE BETTER KNOW IT!!!
b This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. Eph 6:12 (MSG)*No red suit and plastic pitchfork here!
B He doesn’t fight fair.