Praying for the Lost: Open Blinded Eyes

2 Corinthians 4:3-4

Why is it that people who can be so incredibly intelligent, talented, and so perceptive concerning some aspects of life can be so incredibly blind to spiritual truth? It doesn’t seem to make sense, does it? For example, you would think that a scientist who could make all sorts of great scientific discoveries would be able to see the one scientific reality that is staring him in the face – that our wonderful universe had to have had a Creator. But many don’t see to see this obvious fact.

What causes spiritual blindness? I would suggest three reasons.

1. Sinners’ eyes may be blinded due to heart hardness, 2 Corinthians 3:12-18; Matthew 13:15.

I would suggest that heart hardness typically is the result of rebellion against God. Such a person does not want to believe the truth so over time he or she becomes more and more convinced against the truth. While such a person may be very objective about other matters their desire not to consider spiritual truth causes them to be closed to very little, if any, spiritual truth.

Praying for those whose hearts are hardened can be very discouraging. But we can pray confidently for even though the person’s heart may be hard, the Holy Spirit has great convicting and convincing power. Scripture and history provide example after example of how the Holy Spirit has been able to penetrate hardened hearts. Think of Paul walking down the Damascus Road, breathing threats against the Christians. The Holy Spirit reached him, and he can reach your loved one also.

Now, we must realize that in order to reach such a person, the Holy Spirit may have to make this person very miserable. It may be tempting for us to want this loved one not to suffer. But we must faithful to stay out of God’s way as he deals with this person. Let us instead continue to pray faithfully.

2. Sinners’ eyes may be blinded due to Satan’s deception, 2 Corinthians 4:3-4.

The Bible calls Satan the father of lies. Truly, Satan has had a long time to hone his skills at this craft. Starting in the Garden of Eden, Satan has tricked person after person into committing sin and turning against God.

The devil is a powerful enemy. We should not underestimate him. However, we serve One who is much greater than Satan. Satan is merely a created being. Jesus Christ is God. He has not been created. He has always existed and always will.

Satan may have considerable power now, but his time is limited. Jesus has all power. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. Therefore, as we pray for lost loved ones, we can pray confidently knowing that Christ can shine the light of God’s love even on the one who has been blinded by Satan’s deception.

3. Sinners’ eyes may be blinded due to God’s permission, 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12.

Of the various causes of spiritual blindness that we are discussing, I believe this is the scariest. I mean, it is one thing to have a hardened heart. Hearts can be softened.  It is one thing to be blinded by Satan’s deception. The Holy Spirit can disallow Satan to blind us any longer. But think about it! What do you say for the person who is blind to the truth because God has allowed it?

Many people have felt great fear about the unpardonable sin. Some have been afraid they have committed this sin. But, as I understand scripture, the unpardonable sin is not some accidental sin that one commits. Rather, the unpardonable sin has to do with an ongoing rebellious attitude and direction that cannot be forgiven because the person will never ask for forgiveness. It is not so much that God cannot forgive this person as it is that this person has so made up their mind against God that they won’t ever ask for forgiveness.

I see a connection in God allowing people to be deceived and the unpardonable sin in that both cases seems to deal with people that God allows to go their own way because they will go no other way. However, while the unpardonable sin may not be forgiven, there is hope for the one whom God has simply allowed to believe spiritual lies. God’s permission does not necessarily indicate that the person has committed an unpardonable sin.

Therefore, I believe we should pray asking God no longer to allow our lost loved one to go deeper in darkness without a witness to the Truth. Let us pray that God would put up roadblocks in the highway of sin so that such people may realize that they are headed the wrong way.

Let us be faithful to continue praying for our lost loved ones. And, let us pray that the Lord would heal their blindness to the Truth. Let us pray that their hearts might be softened, that the devil’s deceptions would be ineffective, and that God would no longer allow the sinner to rush toward Hell without warning.

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