This is a Faith opinion column.

Last time we looked at the first reason the lost are not being saved.   Even though the Lord desires all people to be saved and has made provision for our forgiveness by the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, there are untold millions who have not heard this good news.  Let’s look now at other reasons why the lost are not being saved so we know how to better pray for them.  

The second reason the lost are not saved is that there is no conviction of personal sin and the need for the Savior.   Over the years I have counseled children and their parents after a child has indicated a desire to accept Christ as Lord and Savior.  At a young age, children may not have that sense of personal sin. In counseling with these precious children, it is important to help them see the need for a Savior.   

There are those time even kids have that burden of personal sin.  I remember a nine year old boy who came forward during the invitation at a VBS service in tears.  When asked what decision he wanted to make, he was unable to verbalize it.  I suspect he was under conviction. Being under conviction is the first step to becoming a Christian.

Countless Teens and adults also have no sense of conviction of personal sin.    Living in the Bible belt, I have heard numerous pastors lament that that can’t find any lost people with whom they can share the Gospel. Most everyone thinks he is saved, whether he is or not.  Whether preaching before a crowd or counseling one on one, they must get a person lost before he can be saved.

In the two great awakenings our nation has experienced, there were reports of people in a revival meeting or even a church service that came under such deep conviction of sin that would cry out to God and run to the altar falling prostrate seeking salvation in the Savior.  Until such conviction of sin occurs, there will be no widespread spiritual awakening or revival break out.   

A third factor that keeps the lost from being saved is found in II Corinthians 4:3-4.

    “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.”

  The word “veiled” literally means to cover.  Paul used it figuratively here with the meaning of hidden or concealed. It is extremely significant to note that “veiled” is present tense.   In other words, at this very moment it is veiled.  Therefore the possibility of the veil being removed is very real.   They are not predetermined or predestined to be veiled.  This is a description of their current state, not necessarily future.   

Have you ever heard one of the following statements?   “Oh, that person will never come to church.  We have been inviting him for years.”  Or how about this one: “There is no need to talk with her about the Lord.  She is just not interested.”   Often we Christians have been guilty of writing off some people.  They may be veiled for the present, but that veil can be removed.   

In the next verse, Paul gives the reason the gospel is being veiled.

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

Who is the god of this age??  It is a reference to Satan.  The phrase is used only here in the New Testament.  Jesus referred to Satan as the “prince of this world” in John 12:31.   He also referred to him as “ruler of this world” in John 14:30.  The name “prince of the air” was a rabbinic title for Satan.   One commentator noted this about this verse: “god” is used not because he had divine attributes, but because he has the homage of the people of this world as their god. 

The word translated “age” literally means a space of time or an age.  It is used in other places in the New Testament in the sense of contrasting the present age with the future age.  Some versions translate it “world.”   Without getting into a big long discussion here as to why some versions do so, the best answer seems to be that this world is part of this present age.  If Satan is blinding those in this present evil age, then he is blinding those living in this world.  One day that reign will end.  Praise the Lord.

Paul used the word “blinded” metaphorically, meaning to blunt the mental discernment or darken the mind.  What is the result of such blindness?   They cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.  Even the brightest light cannot be seen by one who is blind. 

The word for “light” is used only here in 4:4 and also in 4:6.   The literal meaning is light, but Paul used it here figuratively to mean illumination or enlightenment.  The idea is more the result of light and not the light itself.

Satan will do all he can to prevent this light of gospel and the glory of Christ from shining into the hearts of those who need it.   As we pray for the lost, we must pray the veiling of the Gospel will be removed and the eyes of the blinded will be opened. 

Chip Warren is the past president of the Albertville Ministerial Fellowship.

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