And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,2 Corinthians 4:3(NASB)
Paul had a glorious ministry that flung wide-open the door of salvation to men. He opened up the Word of God and taught the glorious gospel of grace to Jew and Gentile alike. This apostle of God revealed many of the biblical truths and treasures which we have received as a free gift of grace, by trusting in Christ Jesus as Saviour.
Paul had been a strict Jew - a Pharisee of the Pharisees. Paul had followed the traditions of men. But since being commissioned by God as His apostle to the Gentiles and renouncing his former ways, he recognised that the deceitful handling of God's Word by the legalistic Pharisees, combined with Satan's crafty deceit, caused the shining light of the gospel of God to be hidden to those that were lost, and veiled to those that are perishing.
Satan, the scheming god of this world, has cunningly placed a veil of deception and dark shadows of deceit over the hearts and minds of the unsaved. Although Paul faithfully taught the truth of God's Word, the minds of sinners have been blinded to the truth and deceived by Satan, the cruel god of this age.
Paul discovered that God's grace is sufficient, that His strength is freely supplied and His mercies are new every morning. Despite his careful teaching, his systematic delivery of the gospel, and his earnest desire to clarify the truth of God's Word through precept and practice, Paul recognised that the gospel remained hidden to those that were perishing - for the god of this world has cast a veil over the Word of God, which has shrouded the truth from those that are lost, and dead in their sin.
God is not to blame for the veil that has blinded so many to the truth of the gospel. The heavens declare the glory of God and man's inner conscience enables him to know the good and to shun the evil. God used holy men of old to pen the Scriptures and open up the truth of God's plan of redemption to a world that lay in sin. And in His grace, He finally sent His only begotten Son into the world as the sacrifice for sin, so that ALL who believe on Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.
But there are many who are perishing today. There are multitudes in the valley of decisions. There are many who are wilfully ignorant of the glorious gospel of grace. There are men and women who have been blinded by the wiles of the devil and the false teachings of fallen men, "but even if our gospel is veiled... it is veiled to those who are perishing," Paul wrote, "because the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, who are condemned and perishing... so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of the invisible God."
The gospel of grace is a bright shining light in a darkened world, which is more brilliant than the noon-day sun, but despite the many witnesses to the Word of truth - by means of creation, conscience, the convicting work of the Holy Spirit, and the biblical canon of Scripture, the gospel remains veiled to those that will not believe.
There are those who refuse to respond to God's offer of salvation. It is not the fault of the apostle, nor the responsibility of preachers who present the truth of the gospel to those who are dead in their sin. There are those who refuse to listen to the message of saving grace. There are those who wilfully reject God's gracious offer of salvation. The unbelief of the unbeliever does not negate the truth of the gospel - but it does mean that they remain under God's condemnation. It means that they perish willingly. It means that the gospel is veiled to them because of their unbelief.
The apostle wrote his gospel so that men might know and believe that Jesus was their Saviour. He explained in his gospel how sinners might be saved, "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life." He who BELIEVES is not condemned. He who believes is saved by grace through faith in Christ. BUT he who DOES NOT BELIEVE is condemned already. He who does not believe is perishing, and the gospel remains veiled to his eyes because he has not believed in God's only begotten Son.
May we be ready and willing to share the good news of salvation with those whose ears are deaf and eyes are blinded to the truth - so that they may hear the good news of the gospel of grace - and be saved.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the many witnesses to the Word of truth. Thank You that salvation is freely available to all who will open their eyes to the truth of Your Word and unblock their ears to the satanic lies and deceptions that come from the evil one. Look down in pity on those that are in the valley of decisions and bring many into saving faith this day, through the convicting work of the Holy Spirit. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.