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MINDS BLINDED BY SATAN!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Lord’s Day Morning, May 17, 2009
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

“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” (II Corinthians 4:3-4).


I have often spoken on I Corinthians 2:14,

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him…”

In those sermons I said, as plainly as I could, that “the things of the Spirit of God” referred to “the preaching of the cross” and “Christ, and him crucified” (I Corinthians 1:18; 2:2). Afterwards I spoke with several unconverted young people personally. All but one of them could not even remember “the preaching of the cross” or “Christ, and him crucified.” I preached hard on Christ crucified – but they couldn’t recall it. The crucifixion of Christ is the first point of the Gospel. But, since I preached it in a slightly different way, they simply couldn’t remember it.

“Christ died for our sins” (I Corinthians 15:3).

Over the years, I have found this to be true of unawakened sinners. They are, quite literally, blind to the Gospel. It is hidden from them. Our text says,

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost”
       (II Corinthians 4:3).

Notice the word “lost” at the end of verse three. “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.” The Bible teaches that you are either saved or lost. Only two kinds of people exist. According to the Bible, you are either saved or lost. Furthermore, if you are not saved, the Gospel is hidden from you. The “gospel” is the good news that Christ died to pay for your sins and rose again from the dead to save us. Those sound like very simple words – the plain, clear words of the Gospel. But the reality of them is completely hidden from you if you are lost. You can memorize the words, “Christ died for our sins [and] rose again the third day” (I Corinthians 15:3-4), but the reality and importance of the words are only memorized, so they remain completely hidden from you,

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost”
       (II Corinthians 4:3).

The reason for this is given in the next verse,

“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not…” (II Corinthians 4:4).

When I was a little boy my mother told me about a boy who had his eye “put out” with a sharp stick. I remember thinking that it was horrible to have a sharp piece of wood stuck in your eye, terrible to be blinded for life. And yet that is exactly what the “god of this world” does to the lost. The words are literally “the god of this age.” The phrase does not refer to the God and Father of Jesus. It refers to Satan. The Devil is called, “the god of this age.” And it’s the Devil who puts your eyes out. It’s the Devil who blinds your mind concerning the Gospel.

A person may be very intelligent. He may make very high grades in school and have a very good mind regarding his academic work at school. He may be a first-rate business man, or a highly regarded scientist, or a popular college professor; or he may have attended a Gospel-preaching church for a long time – and yet be utterly blind concerning salvation in Christ. Why is this so? The Devil has blinded his mind concerning the Gospel.

What is even more remarkable than this is that a man may know a lot about the Bible. He may know, and be able to quote, a lot about theology, and be a fundamentalist, orthodox and correct in his beliefs. He may be able to answer many questions from the Bible – and still be completely blind to the reality of the Gospel and the new birth, like Nicodemus, who came to see Christ by night.

We often hear people talk about grace and sin and salvation, and Christ and the Holy Spirit, who have never had any real experience of the meaning of those words. They see, but perceive not. They hear, but do not understand. Satan, the god of this age, has blinded their minds. Please stand as I read the text again.

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world [Satan] 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”
       (II Corinthians 4:3-4).

You may be seated. I wonder if you are one of those to whom the text is speaking. Are you one of those who has been blinded by Satan concerning salvation in Christ? Let us notice several things about that.

I. First, this blindness is universal.

Human beings are universally blind concerning Jesus and the Gospel. No one ever made that clearer than the prophet Isaiah, who said this about Christ,

“He is despised and rejected of men [that is, by mankind]…and we [mankind] hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:3).

This is a universal description of the whole human race regarding Christ and the Gospel. Christ is “rejected of men.” Mankind, as a whole, does not “esteem” or “value” (Strong) Christ. “We esteemed him not.” That is, “We saw no value in him,” because we were blinded by Satan.

This is very common among young people today. They see no value in Christ or His Gospel. Is that true of you if you are not yet converted? Is it true that Christ dying on the Cross doesn’t seem all that important to you? Isn’t it true, even if you have been coming to church for quite a while, that you don’t really place great value in Christ’s death on the Cross? Is it not true that you don’t place much value in Christ’s crucifixion? Is it not true that the Gospel of Christ is just something you don’t think about very often, even though you are in church and hear me preaching on it constantly? Is it not true that you hardly ever think about Christ’s crucifixion? Isn’t that so? Many of you know it is! And why is it that you think so little about His crucifixion? The answer is right there in our text. 

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world [Satan] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not…” (II Corinthians 4:3-4).

This blinding by Satan, concerning the Gospel of Christ, is everywhere. Nearly everyone you know (including yourself) is blinded to the Gospel by Satan. This blindness concerning Christ’s crucifixion is very common. Most people see no real value in the words,

“Christ died for our sins” (I Corinthians 15:3)

because they have been spiritually blinded by Satan. They will not listen to Christ when He says,

“He that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16)

because Satan has blinded their minds to these great spiritual truths. Could that be true of you as well? Spurgeon said,

People do not go on into terrible danger with their eyes wide open. Yet there are many [of you] going right on…to the very [edge] of [judgment] without a thought of danger. [You] must be blind. This horrible peace of conscience, this quenching of the Spirit whenever conscience does [bother you], this playing and trifling with death and judgment, prove that [you] are blind (C. H. Spurgeon, “Blinded by Satan,” The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Pilgrim Publications, 1975 reprint, volume XXXIX, p. 183).

This blinding by Satan is so very common that you who are unconverted are blind concerning our Lord’s crucifixion for your sin.

II. Second, the Devil blinds people with different methods.

Some are blinded by the things of this world. They say, “I couldn’t come to church every Sunday morning and every Sunday night. I have too much school work to do.” Others say, “I have enough to keep me busy with my work. I have no time for all those church services.” Your work, your school, your money – these are the only important things to you. The Bible says,

“Love not the world” (I John 2:15).

But your mind and heart are concerned only with the things of earth. Satan blinds your heart by utter worldliness, by tempting you to think only of worldly things.

Many others are blinded because their family believes in a false religion. They say, “I would believe in Christ, but it would make my mother and father angry.” They don’t seem to realize that nearly everyone else here at church has had this same problem! They think their case is unique. Yet most of the people here this morning also had parents who were not real Christians, parents who tried to stop them from coming to church. Jesus said,

“He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37).

But I am afraid you will never come to know Christ because your mind has been blinded by Satan through giving in to the prejudices and false beliefs of your parents.

Others are blinded by Satan through the peer pressure of lost friends. You come to church and enjoy being here. But you go back to school or work and “hang out” with lost people who drag you down, fill your mind with wrong thoughts and confusion about God. Their talk is worldly – and Satan uses them to blind you. That’s why God says,

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers”
       (II Corinthians 6:14).

I hope you will not let Satan use your lost friends to drag you under and damn your soul to the eternal flames. I hope you will not let Satan use them to pull you down to Hell. Many young people are blinded by bad companions and the peer pressure of lost friends.

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord…and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you…saith the Lord Almighty” (II Corinthians 6:17, 18).

This is often true even within the local church. If you are bound up with lost “church kids,” you must break loose from their pressure and stand alone, or Satan will use their hypocrisy to blind you. If you don’t stand alone, their snide remarks, sneering attitude, and snickering talk will be used by Satan to blind you. God says, “Come out from among them…and I will receive you.”

But there is another way of being blinded, and it is very common. These are people whom Satan blinds by practicing the outward form of Christianity. These are people who have “a form of godliness” (II Timothy 3:5). But they are not rooted in Christ. Their heart has no root in Christ Jesus. They are happy and undisturbed because they come to church and have a superficial belief in God. But their shallow religion blinds them to the reality of the Gospel of Christ. If not awakened now, such shallow church people will, at last, awaken in Hell. It will be too late then. But now they remain blinded by a superficial, empty form of Christianity.

“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…” (II Corinthians 4:3-4).

III. Third, how this blindness can be cured.

But, you say, “How can my blindness to the Gospel be cured?” First, you must feel your blindness. It must trouble you. Unless you are bothered by your spiritual blindness you will never find the cure for it in Christ. You will go on knowing

“…not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind…” (Revelation 3:17).

The terrible condition of your blindness must become an awful thing to you. Spurgeon said,

Beware lest that blindness be the [sign] of your doom. Before Haman was hanged, the first thing that the servants did was to cover his face; and when a man is about to be lost for ever, the first thing that the devil does is to blind his eyes so that he cannot see. Now the poor blind Samson will make sport for the Philistines; now they hope they can kill him whenever they please. Beware of a blinded conscience; it is the prelude of eternal destruction. God save you from it! (ibid., p. 188).

If you do not feel your blindness, and do not want to be cured from it, you will be lulled to sleep by Satan – only to have your eyes opened in Hell!  Christ said of the rich man, 

“And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments” (Luke 16:23).

What a horrible thing if your eyes are not opened until it is too late, in Hell! If you want to be converted, you must be converted now. And for this to happen, you must feel your blindness, be deeply troubled by it, and desire to be cured of this blindness by Jesus.

Second, the cure for your blindness must be searched for. You must seek Jesus, because He is the only one who can open your blind spiritual eyes. Blind Bartimaeus could not be silenced. As Jesus came down the road, he cried out,

“Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me” (Mark 10:47).

The crowd tried to silence him. They tried to stop him. But they couldn’t. He was determined to get to Jesus and have his blindness cured. They could not stop him! They could not make him be quiet! 

“And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me” (Mark 10:48).

Jesus stopped. He looked past the crowd to the place where the blind man stood.

“And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called”
       (Mark 10:49).

And so, he came toward Jesus. He was still blind as he came. But he heard the voice of Jesus. He came, staggering as a blind man does, toward the sound of Jesus’ voice. When he got to Jesus, the Saviour said,

“What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight…And immediately he received his sight” (Mark 10:51-52).

Bartimaeus knew that he was a miserable and blind and lost sinner. He knew that no one but Jesus could restore his sight and save him. He tried to find Jesus with all the strength of his heart. The most important thing to him was to find Christ. When he got to the Saviour, Christ opened his eyes. That is a picture of the new birth. That is a graphic illustration of conversion. That is what Christ can do for you! But you must be as serious about finding Christ as Bartimaeus was!   

Satan has blinded your heart through the power of sin. Only Christ can forgive your sin, open your eyes, change your depraved heart, and convert you – from a blind sinner into a real Christian. Satan may have blinded you by sin for many years, but Jesus can open your heart and convert you in a moment. You may have been coming to church in a blinded state for a long time, but

“Christ died for our sins” (I Corinthians 15:3).

He died on the Cross to pay for your sins. His Blood can cleanse your sins. He can justify you and make you clean with His precious Blood! He can open your eyes and save your soul from the guilt of sin. Spurgeon said,

Perhaps while I speak these words, the flash of the divine light is coming into some dark heart! Salvation does not take hours; it is in one single instant that we pass from death unto life. The moment that we believe in Jesus, we are saved. The moment that we look to him hanging on the cross, our iniquity is pardoned (ibid., p. 189).

Let us stand and sing hymn number six on the song sheet. Sing the fourth stanza. Think about the words as we sing the fourth stanza.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
   Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need, in Thee I find,
   O Lamb of God, I come! I come!
(“Just As I Am, Without One Plea” by Charlotte Elliott, 1789-1871).

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on “Sermon Manuscripts.”

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Mark 10:46-52.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Then Jesus Came” (by Homer Rodeheaver, 1880-1955).


THE OUTLINE OF

MINDS BLINDED BY SATAN!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“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” (II Corinthians 4:3-4).

(I Corinthians 2:14; 1:18; 2:2; 15:3-4)

I.   First, this blindness is universal, Isaiah 53:3; I Corinthians 15:3;
Mark 16:16.

II.  Second, the Devil blinds people with different methods, I John 2:15;
Matthew 10:37; II Corinthians 6:14, 17, 18; II Timothy 3:5.

III. Third, how this blindness can be cured, Revelation 3:17; Luke 16:23;
Mark 10:47-49, 51-52; I Corinthians 15:3.