Summary: However, regardless of how bright the light of the Gospel is there are those who are blind to the truth. To them the gospel is hidden. How does such brilliant light become so veiled or hidden that men see not the Light?
THE HIDDEN GOSPEL
Introduction: Paul writing to the Corinthian church speaks of the great and awesome privilege of having been given the ministry of carrying the Gospel to the lost. This ministry of bringing light to darkness was and is a work of God’s Power through His Spirit. Paul repudiates any attempt to present the Gospel through manipulation, trickery, carnal wisdom, or charismatic showmanship that drew attention to himself. His focus was to present a clear message of truth shining all light on the Light of the World – Jesus Christ. However, regardless of how bright the light of the Gospel is there are those who are blind to the truth. To them the gospel is hidden. How does such brilliant light become so veiled or hidden that men see not the Light?
I. Hidden by Satan
A. II Corinthians 4:3-4 “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. 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.”
B. Note that Satan blinds the mind of men; not the eyes of their bodies, but of their understandings. As a result, they may hear the gospel and see its power and still not see or hear.
C. Matthew 13:13b “...seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.”
D. Satan uses many devices to keep people blinded to the gospel and bound to sin.
1. Pleasure (Hebrews 11:24-25 “By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.)
2. A number of Flies were attracted to a jar of honey, which had been overturned in a housekeeper’s room, and placing their feet in it, ate greedily. Their feet, however, became so smeared with the honey that they could not use their wings, nor release themselves, and eventually suffocated. Just as they were expiring, they exclaimed, "O foolish creatures that we are, for the sake of a little pleasure we have destroyed ourselves." So it will be on Judgment Day when those who have been blinded by the enjoyment of sin will cry out, "For the sake of a little pleasure, we have doomed ourselves into the eternal pits of hell!"
3. Approval of men (John 5:44 “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?)
4. Satan often seeks to have us place too much weight on the judgment of others, forgetting that our relationship with God is our only constant source of stability. In biblical times, certain rulers that had direct proof of Jesus’ miracles and existence-publicly rejected Christ adhering to social tradition and legalistic rules instead. They “loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God” (John 12:43). For fear of being cast out of the synagogue and disowned by the Pharisees, they chose social acceptance over the approval of Almighty God, even as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself stood before them.
5. Lies (John 8:43-44 “Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”)
6. In Genesis 3:4 the serpent (the devil, the god of this world) tells Eve his first lie to mankind. He tells her that “she will surely not die” and that by eating the forbidden fruit that her eyes would be open and she would be like God. Satan has not stopped lying to man since that time.
II. Hidden by Unbelief
A. Notice that the persons whose minds Satan blinds are those "who believe not" distinguishing them from others that perish, who never benefited from hearing the Gospel.
B. Ephesians 4:18 “They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.”
C. Satan blinds the minds of those whose hearts are resistant to the Word of God. Satan finds willing subjects from whom to hide the truth. Eve had already been eying the fruit and in her heart started desiring it before Satan pulled the wool over her eyes. The bottom line is one cannot say, “the devil made me do it”. Personal responsibility for sin is not be dismissed by blaming it on the devil.