2 Corinthians 4:3, 4
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:…
Those things which are intended for man's welfare are often so perverted by sin that they become the occasion of the greatest evils. So that it is proverbial that the best things, when abused, prove to be the worst. The gospel of Jesus Christ, when it is received aright, is a power to enlighten, bless, and save. But to those who reject and despise it the gospel becomes the occasion of condemnation and destruction.
I. THE INVISIBLE AND SPIRITUAL POWER THAT VEILS THE GOSPEL FROM THE EYES OF MEN. The expression used by the apostle is very strong; he attributes this mischievous act to "the god of this world," apparently a personal principle of evil working in human society and in human hearts. Elsewhere we are reminded of the might of the evil one, who is designated "the ruler of this world," "the prince of the power of the air."
II. THE MEANS BY WHICH THE EYES OF MEN ARE VEILED, These are many, and are craftily adapted to the varying characters and habits of men.
1. Sensuality often incapacitates for spiritual vision; for the more it makes a man sensitive to the attractions of carnal pleasure the mere it hinders his spiritual apprehensions and dulls his spiritual vision.
2. Worldliness fills the whole horizon of vision with the things of earth and time, and thus shuts out the shining of the true light which is from heaven.
3. The pride of human reason, which fancies itself to be independent and all-powerful, obscures in the case of many the rays of Divine truth which often reach the lowliest and the least esteemed among men.
III. THE EFFECTS WHICH THIS BLINDNESS PRODUCES IN THE MINDS OF MEN.
1. The glad tidings are regarded with indifference.
2. Christ himself, the very "Image of God," is contemplated with aversion and repugnance. There is no spiritual sympathy to draw the soul to the holy and the gracious One; his very lectures are regarded through a distorted medium.
3. All spiritual execllences lose their charm, fail to awaken to admiration and emulation.
4. The true condition in which they lie is altogether ignored and denied by the spiritually blind.
5. For lack of light they perish; the spiritually and wilfully blind doom themselves to death. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: