"IF OUR GOSPEL IS VEILED"
1. The apostle Paul, in 2 Cor. 3, recounts for us those events when Moses was given the law for Israel.
2. He reminds the reader that "When all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh unto him." Exo. 34:30.
3. So, because they dared not come nigh to him, Moses "put a veil on his face." Exo. 34:33.
4. Paul then argues concerning the rejection of the gospel by the Jews.
A. He says: "But unto this day, whensoever Moses is read, a veil lieth upon their heart." 2 Cor. 3:15.
B. And only when they turn to Christ is that veil taken away. 2 Cor. 3:16
5. The apostle, in 2 Cor. 4, continues to reason concerning the gospel.
A. And he makes application of the "veil of Moses" in 2 Cor. 4:3,4. Also, see Isa. 59:1,2.
6. So, let us now notice some consequences "If our gospel is veiled."
I. THE UNBELIEVER IS BLINDED BY SATAN.
A. When Satan persuaded Eve to sin, he did it by lying: "Ye shall not surely die." Gen. 3:4.
1. He lied about the result of disobeying God then, and he has been lying ever since.
a. Do you remember when Flip Wilson use to say: "The Devil Made Me Do It"?
B. Jesus told the rebellious people of His generation about the Devil and his lying. Jno. 8:44.
1. Satan will "change the truth of God into a lie." Rom. 1:25, in order to keep people in unbelief.
C. God gives a clear warning: Look at what He says in: 1 Jno. 4:1.
D. Jesus gave many warnings about false teachers, and so did all of God's prophets of old.
1. Yet, note what Peter says: 2 Pet. 2:1. 2, Who is the author of all this false teaching?
a, You can find out by reading: 2 Cor. 11:13-15.
E. Yes, Satan, if he can, will cause the gospel to be veiled by his false teaching.
1. Only the truth can save from such: Jno. 8:32.
2. But some "Receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved " In such cases, God will cause them to "believe a lie: that they might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." 2 Thes. 2:10-12.
F. Jesus pointed out in Matt. 13:14,15, that some deliberately close their eyes to the truth and follow error. Take time to read it.
1. Such is Satan's work.
G. But the preaching of the gospel has its purpose.
1. The purpose of the gospel is "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God." Acts 26:;18.
II. THE UNBELIEVER REMAINS IN DARKNESS.
A. As the apostle shows, "If our gospel is veiled," it is because Satan seeks to prevent "the light of the glorious gospel of Christ" from shining unto them.
B. Satan, as ruler of darkness, seeks to keep people in darkness and in bondage to him.
1. As has already been noted in Acts 26:18, the gospel is to "turn them from darkness to light."
C. Note what Jesus says in: Jno. 3:19. 1. As long as men love the wrong, they will love the darkness.
2. But for those who accept the gospel, God "hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son." Col. 1:13.
3. Yes, God uses the gospel to "call us out of darkness into his marvelous light." 1 Pet. 2:9.
D. All the apostles make a definite distinction between light and darkness.
1. To be in "the light" is to be in fellowship with God; to be "in darkness" is to be a sinner in bondage to Satan.
2. Note what Paul wrote to Christians in 1 Thes. 5:4,5.
3. Some that were in sin, heard the gospel, believed and obeyed it.
a. Note then what they were told in: Eph. 5:8-11.
E. The power of the gospel of light is further shown in 1 Jno. 1:5-7, take time to read it.
F. Because we "walk in the light" we have fellowship with God.
1. He is our Father, we are His children.
2. That can never be true if we remain in darkness.
3. Whenever we are called "into the light", another beautiful result follows: note 2 Cor. 4:6.
a. And thus, by His power, we become "Lights in the world". Phil. 2: 15.
III. THE UNBELIEVER IS NOT TRANSFORMED.
A. Man is not a mere animal, to be ruled by his own desires.
1. We are made in the image and likeness of God, Gen. 1:26.
a. We are the only creatures of which this is said.
2. But man soon sinned, Gen. 3, and separated himself from the God in Whose image he was made, Isa. 59:1,2.
3. It is because God wanted man back that He purposed a way to save man, Eph. 3:8-11.
4. For those who accept this gospel plan comes the plea, "Present your bodies a living sacrifice...Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed." Rom. 12:1,2.
a. The apostle again speaks of this transformation.
b. He has shown how "the veil was upon the heart" of unbelievers, 2 Cor. 3:15, and then he adds: "But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image." 2 Cor. 3:18.
B. The whole process of "transformation" is explained by the apostle in Rom. 6:3,4. Let's read it.
1. The "new life" which results from having been "born of water and the Spirit" Jno. 3:5, is that transformed life.
C. Paul writes concerning this transformed life again in Col. 2:12; 3:1, 9,10. Read it.
1. This new life, "transformed into the image of God, is only possible when we "behold with unveiled face" the glory of Christ as revealed in the gospel.
2. If Satan has his way, "if our gospel is veiled," people will remain in unbelief and will not be transformed, "by the renewing of their minds " into the image of God.
IV.THE UNBELIEVER WILL BE LOST ETERNALLY.
A. Paul declared that the gospel "is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth," Rom. 1:16.
B. James wrote that the word "is able to save your souls." Jas. 1;21.
C. Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," Jno. 8:32.
D. Because God has seen fit to use the gospel as the means of calling people unto Himself, 2 Thes. 2:14, unbelievers cannot be saved.
1. Because, "If our gospel is veiled, it is veiled in them that are lost."
E. If Satan can blind people so that they do not believe, they will remain in a lost condition and in bondage to him.
1. We are "Justified by faith" Rom. 5:1, and "without faith it is impossible to please God", Heb. 11:6.
2. As long as Satan keeps us in unbelief, he keeps us!
a. John writes: "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." 1 Jno. 5:4.
b. But there can be no victory for unbelievers.
F. Yes, the loss of the unbeliever will be eternal.
1. Their sentence is stated by the Lord Himself in: Matt. 25:41,46.
G. We are told what will finally become of the Devil himself in: Rev. 20: 10-15. Read it.
1. The gospel, which is "the power of God unto salvation," is to be preached to all, Mk. 16:15,16.
2. For any who allow Satan to "veil the gospel," and blind their hearts, certain judgment awaits.
3. When one rejects the word of the Lord, the gospel, it is that same word that will pronounce his doom. Jno. 12:48.
4. Remember! Our subject is "If our gospel is veiled."
A. So, Satan cannot "veil" our gospel, or blind us, unless we allow such
B. Remember, you can "know the truth" Jno. 8:32, "believe the truth", 2 Thes. 2:12, and "obey the truth", 1 Pet. 1:22.
C. Then, being "transformed" you are "renewed unto knowledge after the image of him that created us." 2 Cor. 3:18; Col. 3:10.
5. What about you today? Is the gospel veiled for you or do you see it plainly?
6. Satan wants to keep you blinded, it is all up to you. Open your eyes and look upon your Lord that He might shine upon you.
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