Summary: The gospel message is hidden from those who are spiritually blind.
Text: “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
When we talk to other people about the Word of God, God hears our every word. If we distort the Word, He knows about it. If we distort the Word just to please those to whom we are talking, we are being disobedient to God. When we are disobedient, we are sinning.
As Christians, we are to speak the truth no matter what other people might think. If we are speaking the Word of God as the Scripture indicates and someone is offended, it is because the eyes of that person are not spiritually open. They are blind to the Word and they are lost.
When we are physically blind we cannot see things that are in the world. Physical blindness is a handicap, but it is not the result of sin. Physical blindness does not prevent a person from spending eternity in heaven with Almighty God.
Spiritual blindness is brought about by Satan. Satan, who is the god of this world, tries his very best to draw people away from believing the Word of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
That deadly deceiving serpent who appeared to Eve and tempted her is still active in the world today. He is urging men and women to believe and do things that are contrary to the Word of God. He is making worldly sinful acts appear exciting, different and worthy.
He is twisting the minds of our young people leading them to commit sinful acts. There are groups in the world called “cults” that claim to have all the correct answers to a life of peace and love.
These groups have been around since the beginning of time. They claim to lead people to God, but in reality they are leading people away from Him.
Satan and his workers strive to lead people away from God. Paul faced this issue during his ministry and it hurt him badly. False teachers are Satan’s workers.
The more Paul strived to start up new churches, the more false teachers worked to infiltrate them and change their Godly way of thinking to ungodly thinking. This struggle is still prominent today.
Paul did not have an easy ministry. He struggled through many trials and tribulations. He struggled with a personal weakness which he called “a thorn in the flesh.” In Lystra, “They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead” (Acts 14:19).
When the slave girl kept following Paul and Silas and shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved,” Paul said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” (Acts 16:17-18). For this act, Paul and Silas were both arrested.
“The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully” (Acts 16:22-23).
Although Paul and Silas suffered they never lost faith in Almighty God. They remained obedient to His Word. When Paul was on his way to Rome, the ship was caught in a storm for 14 days and finally destroyed. While Paul was imprisoned in Rome, he wrote Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians and Philippians. These letters are known as “The Prison Epistles.” He was executed in Rome in the year 66 or 67 by being beheaded.
Paul knew that his ministry was given by and under the direction of God. He said, “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart” (v. 1). He was true to the Word. He did not candy-coat it just to please people.
He did not deviate from the straight and narrow path of the Word. He said, “We have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God” (v. 2).
Preachers and teachers will be held more accountable to their words and actions than the average person because of their influence on the lives of their listeners. Everyone will be held accountable and everyone will have to answer for what they have said and done.
Paul was well aware of those who were preaching a false doctrine. He said, “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).