by Mike Ratliff
Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:1-6 ESV)
Carefully read the passage I placed at the top of this post (1 Corinthians 4:1-6). What is the Apostle Paul saying here? The Gospel that he preached, the other Apostles preached, which was passed on to them from Christ himself, is understood and obeyed only by those whose hearts have received the light which God has shone into the darkness in their hearts to give light to the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
That being true, those who attack this very same Gospel are unbelievers whose minds have been blinded by the god of the world (Satan) to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. These very same unbelievers are the perishing while those who are in the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ are the living because they possess eternal life in Christ.
Notice that Paul makes it clear that he has openly renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways of manipulating the gospel or God’s Word. In fact, he refused to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s Word in any way. What is he talking about? There were some in his day as there are multitudes in our day who do what he is talking about in that they take bits and pieces of God’s Word and add to it man-pleasing philosophies and things to tickle itching ears in order to gain large followings, sell lots of books, and grow big churches.
Paul does not back away from the truth, and we should not either, that the Gospel is indeed veiled to those who reject it. Those who want a gospel on their own terms reject out of hand the genuine gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Those who demand a God who loves everyone and must save everyone regardless of whether they come to him in repentance and bow to the Lordship of Christ or not reject the true Gospel that reveals God as Sovereign in salvation as he is all things.
The following video is a perfect example of this. It opens with Rob Bell making many assertions about the validity of the Biblical gospel then it ends with Dr. James White giving the correct understanding of that.
Soli Deo Gloria!