Some Causes of Spiritual Blindness

“For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” (Matt. 13:15)

In this text, Jesus mentions several ailments that have afflicted many throughout time — heart, hearing and vision problems. The ailments mentioned here are not the physical type many seek a cure for by going to a medical doctor. The ailments Jesus mentions in this passage are spiritual ailments, which only obedience to the Word of God can cure! The particular ailment that we will center our attention on in this article is spiritual blindness!

In Ephesians 4:17-19, the apostle Paul addressed this ailment, when he wrote, “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.” Here Paul warned the Ephesian brethren of the symptoms of this dreadful disease!

When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he warned the Corinthian brethren of blindness as well, saying, “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 Cor. 4:3-4). Here, he mentions those who were blinded by the “god of this world” — the Devil! Hence, they were separated from God because they would not believe and obey the Truth of the Gospel! These few passages establish the truth that blindness is a serious spiritual condition, a condition that will lead to spiritual death. But, what are some common causes of spiritual blindness?

The first cause we will consider is LUST! Peter discussed the remedy for blindness caused by lust, when he wrote, “According as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Pet. 1:3-4). In 2 Peter 3:1-3, Peter appealed to the words of the holy prophets and apostles which would purify the mind and provide escape from lust. He wrote, “This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts.” Those with a worldly mind are driven by the desire to satisfy the lusts of the flesh in every way imaginable. Drug addiction; cancer of the lungs, mouth and throat; alcoholism; gambling; aids; prostitution; child molestation and murder (including abortion) are just a FEW products of lustful desires that plague many in this world. Some of my own brethren are blinded by sinful lusts of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life! Are you blinded by lusts?

Second, some are blinded because they follow BLIND GUIDES! Jesus said, “...And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matt. 15:14b). Isaiah wrote, “For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed” (Isa. 9:16). In Isaiah’s day, the prophets caused the people to err and they led the people of God astray. Today, many so called gospel preachers are tickling the ears of brethren who do not have a love for the truth and are walking in spiritual darkness as a result. Solomon wrote in Proverbs 28:10, “Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good things in possession.” Many religious people are being led astray by false teachers. Jesus warned of false teachers in his day! In the sermon on the mount He said, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit” (Matt. 7:15-18). Are you blindly following a preacher, because he is YOUR preacher or do you search the scriptures daily to find out whether the things that he teaches and preaches are so, as the Bereans of Acts 17:11? Please read Matthew 23 and note the scathing rebuke Jesus issued to the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus likened these religious leaders to snakes, when he said in verse 33, “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” Are you being led by a blind guide, a false teacher, a snake (the two legged kind), as Jesus described them?

Third, some are blinded because of their FEAR OF MEN! Some of my brethren fear what one my think if they tell someone they are a Christian. Some of my own brethren fear what visitors might think when a gospel preacher specifically refutes denominational doctrine from the pulpit with the Truth of the Gospel. Some preachers of men, practice the Bill Clinton methodology of “DON’T ASK —DON’T TELL.” Some so called “gospel preachers,” fear that they will loose their “job” or popularity if they speak the truth on a controversial subject. Neither the pulpit nor the army of Christ is a place for a fearful soul, for, the Bible teaches that the fearful will NOT enter kingdom of heaven! John the revelator wrote in Revelation 21:8, “But the fearful (“cowardly” - NKJV), and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Did you notice who the fearful are grouped with by the apostle John? Solomon wrote, “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe” (Prov. 29:25). The apostles are perfect examples of how we should not fear. I call your attention to Acts 5:28, where the high priest said to Peter and the other apostles, “Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him” (Acts 5:28-32). Peter and the apostles did not cower down to men and cease to teach and preach the truth! Read verses 41 and 42 of that same chapter! The text says, “And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” No, they were not fearful of man! They feared God! Who do you fear, man or God? Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 10:28, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Fourth, some people are blinded by PREJUDICE! Prejudice is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as, “preconceived judgment or opinion or and adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge.” Prejudice has caused many to reject the Truth of God’s word before giving it a fair hearing. Many are entangled in religious error because they are unwilling to examine what they believe, teach and practice and compare it to what the Bible teaches. I know of a man who refused to hear the Truth of the Gospel because he believed the Calvinistic error known as “Limited Atonement.” He believed that God has already made a final pre-determination who is going to heaven and who would be doomed to hell, and believed that there was nothing he could do to gain his own salvation. How sad! This man went to his grave blinded to the truth by this false doctrine! The Hebrew writer wrote, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of Go should taste death for EVERY MAN” (Heb. 2:9). This passage alone destroys the false Calvinistic idea of “Limited Atonement.” Countless souls have been and will be doomed in an eternal flame because of such false teaching like this man believed. He was blinded by prejudice! When the apostle Paul made his defense in Acts 22, he had to contend with people who were blinded to the truth because of prejudice. The Jews were willing to hear him until he made mention that God had selected him to go to the Gentiles (whom the Jews despised); then the people went in to a rage, they cast off their clothes, threw dust in the air and demand that Paul be beaten (Acts 22:22-24). Let us have a willing mind like those of Acts 10. There was Peter, a Jew, who went to preach the Gospel to all the house of Cornelius (Gentiles). Notice the words of Cornelius in Acts 10:33, who said, “Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.” There is no prejudice evident in this case! Friend, are you blinded by prejudice?

Fifth, some people are blinded by RELIGIOUS CONFUSION! There are many religions in this world. All of which are false and vain with the exception of the religion that is authorized by Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the father, but by me” (Jn. 14:6). In Matthew 15:7-9 Jesus said, “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” In verse 13 of this chapter Jesus said, “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.” Jesus has reference here to every false religion and commandment of men which will be defeated and uprooted by God and his Word. In John 17:17-19, he said, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” The religion of Jesus Christ is the ONLY religion that is true! Peace and unity with God and his people are possible ONLY when people believe it and obey it. Are you blinded by religious confusion, dear friend?

Last, some are blinded by FAMILY TIES! With many, bloodlines run thicker than truth! Some people are members of a particular religion because their father, mother or other family members were members of that religion. Some will justify the sinfulness of a family member rather than rebuking the family member for the sin they are involved in because of family ties. Some parents become highly indignant and enraged when the Bible class teacher has to tell the parents that their “dear sweet” little Johnny acted like anything thing but a little angel in the Bible class. Some brethren have “changed their tune” on controversial subjects such as Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage, because a family member or close friend is living in an adulterous marriage. You will often hear these brethren say, “I have re-thought the subject and have come to a new understanding.” Really, they have compromised the truth and are blinded to the truth by family ties! In 1 Samuel 3:12, 13, the text says, “In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not” (Emp. mine, tgm). Eli evidently failed to restrain his sons because he was blinded by family ties! What about you, my friend?

In this short article we have considered at least six ways many are spiritually blinded. Dear reader, I urge you not be blinded to the truth by any person or anything! So Jesus can say of you as He did of His disciples in Matthew 13:16, “But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” May God bless you by opening your eyes that you might see, believe and obey the truth!

By Glendol McClure

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