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Link: Pulpit Article Spiritual Blindness
There are at least 4 different levels of Spiritual Blindness that are revealed in scripture. Let it be understood that sin is the root of all blindness. The deceitfulness of sin.
- Blindness in unbelievers.
- Blindness in believers.
- Blindness that comes by Rejection.
- Blindness on any Nation. (example: Israel)
- Blindness in unbelievers
How can someone be lost and undone without God, on their way to Hell, but yet not know it? Before we give our lives to the Lord, we had a darkness/blindness on us.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them which are lost. By whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that obey not the truth.
Satan deceived Eve by saying their eyes would be opened if they would eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. While the bible says the eyes of them both were opened, this brought blindness and deception.
The preaching of the gospel is the light that breaks through that darkness.
2 Corinthians 4:6 For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined into our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
I didn’t realize I was lost until I heard the gospel message preached. Once I heard it, I could choose to run to the light, or hide from it.
- Blindness in believers.
How can a believer walk in sin, but yet not see the problem with it? How can a believer in Christ be either backslid or even fall from the grace of God and not realize it? Blindness. Spiritual vision is a direct result of the heart.
Jesus declared that a people can hear but not perceive. This is spiritual blindness. Sin causes a spiritual fog or shroud to fall on a people. Jesus reminded the people of Isaiah’s words, “The heart is waxed gross, seeing they see but do not perceive. Hearing they hear, but do not understand. This verse makes it very clear that spiritual blindness is a result of the heart waxing gross through sin. If you want the blindness to be lifted, get out of sin! Put God first in your life.
Paul, in Ephesians 4, is exhorting the Ephesian church to not walk as other gentiles walk. There is an obvious explanation of this, and that is, sin causes spiritual blindness.
Ephesians 4:17-20 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. But ye have not so learned Christ.
There are a few descriptions of blindness that can take place in all of us who are born again. Deception, confusion are just a few. Deception overtakes someone who will not receive the truth in whatever biblical truth they clearly see but refuse to accept.
Confusion is a darkness or blindness that can come in through strife and envying. James 3:16.
And finally, Jesus declared a tragedy in the church of the Laodiceans. How can a church go from great spiritual vision, to the condition of blindness? They viewed themselves to have need of nothing, while the truth was gravely the opposite. This is blindness in it’s worst form as far as the church is concerned.
Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
This is obvious that a church can view themselves in one way, but be in a totally different condition. This is spiritual blindness.
Revelation 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear, and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
The remedy for all of this blindness was repentance.
Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
If a person or church will turn from its sin, spiritual blindness will be removed. If we will walk in all of the light that we have been given, then God will bring us into greater light! Those of you who want to go deeper in the things of God, or want greater depth of His word and His Spirit, then walk in the light that you have and God will add to you.
Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Heart purity removes the blindness and brings clear spiritual vision. If we are blind to the things of God; whether it’s His will in our lives, doctrinal truth from His Word or anything else, it just reveals that our heart is not completely free of sin!
Motes and Beams
Luke 6:39-45 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall thy not both fall into the ditch? The disciple is not above his master: but everyone that is perfect shall be as his master. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceives not the beam that is in thine own eye? Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam that is in thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye. For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather thy grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
These verses of scripture make it plain that problems/sins in your own life will blind you to not be able to see clearly.
1 John 2:8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. 2:9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 2:10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 2:11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
- Blindness that comes by Rejection.
How can someone be lost (never saved) or twice dead (fallen from grace) and fall into greater and greater sin that they once never thought they would ever do? It is blindness through rejection.
There’s a misunderstanding among us when it comes to rejection and disobedience. I have even thought in the past that my decision to say no to God would have no immediate consequences. The truth is, when we say no to God, we are never left in the same condition. We drift into a deeper spiritual darkness. Deeper darkness you ask? Is darkness just black and there’s no deeper darkness?
Jesus said if the light which is in the be darkness, how great is that darkness. If darkness was one shade, then why would Jesus ask “how great?” It’s amazing how you can be in direct sunlight during the daytime and then walk over to a shade. You can still see everything because the sun is in the sky but yet be out of the direct sunlight. A greater darkness can be described as when storm clouds come between you and the sun and block the direct sunlight. But yet, the sunlight is still powerful enough for us to see. When the sun goes down over the mountains, there is a greater shade but yet you can still see, although the sun is still in the sky, only blocked by the mountains. When the sun is completely block by the earth, a greater darkness comes. But even though the light of the sun is gone, the moon and stars can still give light to navigate in the darkness. This is progressive darkness still. The blackest darkness can be described as someone who can go into a cave, in the dark, overcast skies, and the mouth of the cave blocked. You can’t see your hand in front of your face in this type of darkness. This is the darkest natural darkness that can be described. This is a total rejection of light.
Romans 1 declares a gradual progress of spiritual blindness or darkness. This type of darkness is a direct result of rejecting God’s dealing with man. The condition of a child born in this world is lost. But even if we are all born in sin, it doesn’t mean we are born as homosexuals, haters of God or reprobate minds. These things mentioned only take place as a result of God turning a person over to a greater darkness, and that because of rejection. Let’s be perfectly clear here, the Lord gives unto each person their desire after He has dealt with them and they rejected Him.
Notice what Romans 1 says Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Blindness comes through the heart becoming darkened. Compare this verse to Ephesians 4:18. God has 3 turnovers. They are 3, but if the original condition is lost, then it is actually 4 different levels of darkness. These are like a judges judicial orders.
- God gave them up to uncleanness…Romans 1:24
- For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections…Romans 1:26
- God gave them over to a reprobate mind…Romans 1:28
4. Blindness on any Nation (example: Israel)
How is it that an entire nation of people who had prophets to foretell of the redeemer of all humanity, could not see Him when he came? It is blindness. Israel had understood plainly that a messiah was promised to them, but when Jesus came in His fashion, the people could not receive Him.
This speaks so strongly to us today in light of how we should take heed to how we understand scripture concerning prophesy or any other spiritual principle for that matter.
John 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. 9:40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
Romans 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.
2 Corinthians 3:14-16 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.
These verses are clear that blindness is due to a condition of the heart. Once Israel turns their heart to the Lord, the vail will be gone. This tells us something very important. Our lack of spiritual vision is due to our hearts not being completely turned to the Lord. If we will surrender all unto God, then spiritual truths will be revealed unto us.
Blindness in America
This same principle holds true in America. Because the gospel has been proclaimed freely in our country, America is more accountable because of it. Jesus said it would be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for Tyre and Sidon. Why? Simply because of the light that was shined on them. Sodom and Gomorrah didn’t get the opportunity that Tyre and Sidon had. Therefore, they were more accountable.
With all due respect, consider how nonsensical would it be for a blind person to try to lead someone with great vision. None of us would even entertain the thought. Also, how strange would it be for a blind person to try to convince someone with perfect vision that a person’s clothing was a certain color when the person with vision can plainly see the clothing to be a different color?
Let’s look at the spiritual application of this now. Would you consider it strange for an atheist to tell a Christian that God does not exist? It would be similar to a blind man trying to convince someone that has perfect vision that the sky is not blue. It’s foolish for someone who does not know God to try to convince someone who does know Him that God does not exist.
An atheist telling another lost person that God doesn’t exist is like one blind man trying to describe something that requires vision to another blind man.
The most terrible reality is that preachers/pastors, who either haven’t been born again or who are not in the will of God, are trying to lead others. It’s the same as Jesus was trying to get across to the Pharisees when He declared to them that they were “Blind Guides!” If the blind lead the blind, they both fall into the ditch! Matthew 15:14.
Let us consider these truths within our own lives. Jesus loves us and cares about our spiritual vision. The Lord desires that we walk in the light as He is in the light! It’s amazing at how great you can walk when you have not only the vision to see, but the ability to see by means of the light shining. God’s word is our light!
John 1:4 In Him was life and the life was the light of men!
John 8:12 I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.