Quite often, for whatever reason, I'll temporarily become obsessed with certain scriptures or chapters in the Bible and read them over and over for weeks. I can recall spending one entire summer studying Matthew 25 for a variety of reasons; I believe such periods of intensive study are led by the Holy Spirit. Over the last year or so, I have been led to study certain passages in 1 Corinthians.
Perhaps it is because of where we live - I'm not sure really - but it seems that I am often challenged on biblical issues such as basic salvation, belief in the God of the Bible, evolution, creation, prophecy and a range of other issues. It always perplexes me as to why people cannot see what is obviously true, despite an overwhelming body of data contrary to their belief system (whatever it may be). For this reason I like to turn to the first two chapters of 1 Corinthians.
These chapters in the book of Corinthians contain a lot of information regarding this "blindness" that many of us encounter on a daily basis - including discussions regarding prophecy. The answers to these issues, and a full discussion of these topics is given in these first chapters of 1 Corinthians.
I recently came across a beautiful summary of these passages - and it crystallized the issue of "blindness" - something I have been trying to do for a while now. Ron Graham, an author frequently posted on many websites has done a great job summarizing the same passages and has given it rich context. This is relatively long, but I believe it is worth posting in its entirety:
"How Can They Be So Blind?"
By Ron Graham
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:12. Through the Holy Spirit of God we are given discernment, an ability to grasp the meaning of the scriptures. On the other hand, the spirit of this world keeps many people blinded to the truth. Not the blindness associated with normal eyesight mind you, but rather a blindness that affects the ability to see the things of God. Why do so many allow the god of this world to claim dominion over their lives?
“Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth...” 1 Corinthians 2:13. The Holy Spirit that dwells in every born again believer teaches us the things of God. Without the Spirit of God people are unable to learn much about Him or His ways. We believers can do our best to teach the lost and we should, although it’s not through man’s wisdom that they will come to any real understanding of who God is, but through His Holy Spirit.
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14. The world will not receive the teaching of the Holy Spirit unless they first become born again. They will only consider the things of God as foolishness because the things of God are learned through the Spirit of God. That’s why God is so intent on His children learning His word. But the lost, on the other hand, are not in a mode of learning about God or His word. They’re lost and must first be convicted by His Holy Spirit to believe the truth over the enemy’s lies.
Although God loves them, the rest of the world won’t really understand who He is until they come out of their rebellion (remove the blinders). Even though this blindness can be effective in keeping people in darkness it doesn’t have to be final. All of humanity has a choice to make, which is whether or not to stay in the dark (blind) or to open their eyes to the truth.
Satan is, of course, the god of this world. He has placed himself in that position of self-perceived prominence and as such he defends his fallen state with all tenacity. Satan has provided all the lies that convince people to put on the blinders and to keep them on. Although the mentality of the lost world is to go with the flow, join the crowd, and to remain mentality in a state of denial, that tendency to reject the truth can be overcome. In his first epistle the Apostle John speaks of those who have overcome the enemy. “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: 1 John 4:4. Everyone can, if they so chose, overcome the enemies lies.
“But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.” 1 Corinthians 2:15. The natural man cannot spiritually determine God’s will for his life. Furthermore, the natural man can’t really acknowledge the existence of Satan or that of his demonic hoard because he hasn’t been given the ability to judge all things spiritual. Satan and the demons are in a spiritual realm that exists only as fantasy in the minds of most of his blind followers. And yes, the lost are Satan’s followers whether they want to acknowledge that truth or not.
On the other hand, the spiritual man is empowered through God’s Holy Spirit to recognize God’s Kingdom and His glory. We know Satan is no fantasy, we know he exists. We know that our lives are constantly under attack from an invisible but real spiritual world of demonic beings. Through knowing God’s word we learn how to avoid the traps set down by those demonic hoards. Without the Holy Spirit of truth enlightening us and empowering us we too would be as blind as the rest of the lost in this world.
As the natural man lives his life in the enemy’s camp, Satan feeds him more lies so his life is filled with a continual barrage of deception. The longer a person stays in the enemy’s camp the harder it will be to come out and join the saved. Why do these people believe Satan over God? They prefer to. The agnostic will tell you “You can’t prove God exists.” This attitude is simply a denial of the truth.
“Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” Romans 1:18-20. God has given everyone the ability to see Him through His creation. It’s sad to realize that those who won’t believe are only condemning themselves as they continue in their spiritual blindness.
This blindness that Satan imparts unto the lost is akin to his being their life guide. It’s Satan’s agenda to keep everyone he can in that state of spiritual blindness so they can’t see the light of Christ. With blinders in place, as these folks look at God’s creation they may see a form of beauty but they don’t attribute that beauty to God the Creator, but to Satan the evolutionist. These folks don’t actually attribute evolution to Satan, oh no. The lost believe it was their PhD scientists that discovered this phenomenon not realizing Satan was and still is behind the Darwinian theories of evolution as well as the big bang lie. The blind believe in evolution because that’s what Satan pushes and since he is their spiritual guide they believe him over God.
As long as people reject God our Creator and Savior they must place their hope of the future in the only tangible thing they can come up with. That tangible is a self-reliance attitude which is, simply put, the reliance on one’s self for everything and which is satanic to the core. The lost are wholly reliant on themselves or government for provisions and sustenance. And when they die, they believe that’s the end. Lights out there’s nothing else.
Through spiritual blindness people have assured themselves that there is no Heaven or Hell so there’s no eternal existence after death and thus there’s nothing to be concerned about, live as you want to live. On the other hand some believe in Heaven, but not Hell. With this mindset everyone gets into Heaven no matter what they believe.
Satan is undoubtedly quite proud of his mastery when it comes to convincing the spiritually blind that there are many paths to Heaven. When Satan comes in contact with someone who really feels the need to believe in a god, he will take a different route than with atheist and agnostics. He’ll enlist the help of false teachers of which there are many willing to step in and guide the spiritually blind away from Christ as the one true way to the Father and show them all the different paths which, as we believers all know, lead not to Heaven but to Hell.
Believers know God because it’s His good pleasure that we know Him and that we continue in a loving relationship with Him. He reveals Himself to us, to teach us His ways and to provide for us. He does this through His Holy Spirit. Now that we have the Holy Spirit sealed within us, acknowledging Jesus Christ as our Creator and Redeemer makes perfect sense. But a Redeemer of mankind, a God who would die for His creation is a foolhardy concept indeed to the natural man’s blind belief system. Satan has achieved great success in this arena.
So what must one do to remove the blinders and get out of the clutches of God’s enemy? “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,” Acts 16:31. Pretty simple huh? Yet many will still reject the simplicity of that verse. Blinders attached to the satanic realm can’t be removed any other way. God did not design stumbling blocks into His free gift of salvation. Nor did He make salvation difficult to understand.
Enter Heaven by Jesus Christ or condemn yourself to Hell, there’s no simpler way to put it. There is nothing easier than believing in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:18. That name is Jesus Christ, not Buddha, Allah or his prophet Mohammad, the Virgin Mary, or the New Age god or goddess Maitreya. Or any other fictitious named god or co-redemtrix that lost man can conceive of.
The simplicity of the Gospel of Christ flies in the face of the natural man’s ability to make sound judgments in relation to his blinded mind. I’ve heard those still wearing blinders profess “It just can’t be that simple. There must be more to it.” And so off they go adjusting their blinders as they continue to stumble along in unbelief.
Saying yes to Jesus is not difficult. We make it difficult through our own presuppositions of who God is. Instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us into the knowledge of God, many presume God is in everything and that all one must do is to go out and commune with nature to experience Him. So instead of belief in His only begotten Son, their communing becomes a feel good experience with nothing, or a burning in the bosom as the Mormons put it. This too is another tactic of Satan’s to form fit the lost with the blinders he’s so effectively created. A quote from a brother who recently visited me was so appropriate for this commentary I had to include it here. “Satan will lead you as close as possible to the truth without losing you to salvation.” Amen to that brother.
But God is not a rock or a tree, and what He did to bring eternal salvation to His creation is beyond our full comprehension. What God went through allowing His only begotten Son to die in our stead must have hurt Him horribly. And the excruciating pain that Jesus went through on that cross we can’t even imagine. Jesus knew, before the foundation of the world, that His Father would require the ultimate sacrifice to be carried out. And even though He prayed to His Father that if there was any other way for mankind to be saved that that cup might pass from Him, He knew His Fathers will would be accomplished. “And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” Luke 22:41- 42. There is no other way.
“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. If folks persist in their rejection of the truth which is rebellion to God even after all that has been explained, then God will allow those who reject Him to have their way. He doesn’t want a bunch of robots and He won’t demand our love. He won’t interfere with an individual’s rejection of Him and that’s the truth.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. God loved His creation so much that He made a salvation provision for us, a way out of the most horrible eternity ever imagined. God provided Himself as a sacrifice for all. “God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering:” Genesis 22:8. And He did, “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2. Jesus Christ is the propitiation for all sin. That, my friends, is pure love. Satan, on the other hand, hates all humanity and wants nothing more than to deceive all into holding on to the blinders (lies) he’s promoted throughout time so they can join him in his place of torment for eternity.
Are you one of Satan’s followers still wearing those blinders to your own destruction? If so, you’ve just been enlightened with the only way to avoid that one way ticket to Hell. Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father. Believe that truth and the blinders will fall off immediately. You will see clearly and the Holy Spirit will teach you what you need to know from that point on. “I was blind, but now I see.” You will too.
On the other hand… wait, there is no other hand. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,” Acts 16:31. Father, how can they be so blind?
God bless you all, and pass it on.