There is a condition in the church that we need to be very aware of. It creeps up on us, which in itself is surprising.
This malady is blindness! How is it that we don’t realize that we are going blind?
Physically speaking, our sight typically goes from good to bad. We are aware of this eventuality and so we test for it.
On the other hand, spiritually speaking our sight typically goes from bad to good. The assumption is that we will become “smarter” as time goes on and have better spiritual sight.
But this is not necessarily the case and it is not a foregone conclusion. The problem with this is that if our spiritual health is lacking in any one of a myriad of different ways it can affect our sight.
Here’s the catch — we may not even know it. Once we start losing our sight, the things that we once saw clearly, we no longer understand. We can’t see that we can’t see!
We no longer see going off the track as wrong. It may be something that we once held as wrong, but we no longer see it that way.
We have seen this on big scale in the past in the church, but now it is happening on a small scale. The consequences can be as dire. For example if we have 2 or 3 different views on a subject, someone (if not all) in this situation have to be wrong.
Why is this Happening?
The simple answer is because of sin and unrighteousness. There is a link between disobedience and blindness:
Deuteronomy 28:15 “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:
Deuteronomy 28:28 The LORD will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of heart.
Deuteronomy 28:29 And you shall grope at noonday, as a blind man gropes in darkness; you shall not prosper in your ways; you shall be only oppressed and plundered continually, and no one shall save you.
This is prophetic and can apply to the church today
Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
Romans 1:19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. [God is plain to them, because God revealed Himself to them] Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
Romans 1:21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts [dwelt on worthless things], and their foolish hearts were darkened.
The Effects of Going Blind?
There is a principle here:
- because ungodliness, unrighteous, and suppressing the truth
- because they did not glorify God, nor were thankful, but were futile in their thoughts
- because they were NOT doing what they were supposed to
GOD darkened there already foolish hearts!
He made their unintelligent ways even more obscure, so therefore:
Romans 1:22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
Romans 1:24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
Romans 1:25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
Romans 1:26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
At your leisure, go over Romans 1:29-32; there is some bad stuff here and a lot of it applies to the churches of God today – sad to say
There is a correlation between sin and deception or spiritual blindness
2 Peter 1:5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,
2 Peter 1:6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,
2 Peter 1:7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
2 Peter 1:8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;
Sin causes blindness, and blindness leads to more sin! It is a vicious cycle that will spiral out of control.
God can and will magnify our actions with blessing OR cursing. He can bless us 100x or He can curse us sending us strong delusion.
2 Thessalonians 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
2 Thessalonians 2:10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2 Thessalonians 2:11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,
2 Thessalonians 2:12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
This is a condition of the end-time:
Revelation 3:17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—
It is a condition today because we move away from God. Our sins separate us and blind us.
- because we are doing what is right in our own eyes
- we think of ourselves more highly than we should
- because pride gets in the way
- because we do not live by every word of God
In the very end:
Without Vision People Will Perish
(JPS) Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
no vision — Without spiritual insight and foresight; lacking instruction in God’s truth, which was formerly by prophets and through visions
(JPS) 1 Samuel 3:1 And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no frequent vision.
In Old Testament times “vision” mostly came by the prophets who had God’s holy spirit — and if not by them, then no one and it made it all the more precious when it did come.
(JPS) Proverbs 29:18 …the people cast off restraint; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
(KJV) people perish — Without the spiritual insight and foresight….they were deprived of moral restraints and the end thereof is ultimately death.
keepeth the law — has, and observes, instruction; this is where the moral restraint comes from.
There is a correlation between vision and truth here
Has our Vision become Impaired?
What do we not see any more?
Are we beginning to understand the connection between righteousness and vision? If we do not have the truth we once had; if we are being blown about by wind of doctrine like so many are….then what will happen?
This is one of the saddest verses in the Bible: John 6:66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.
They went full circle – back to where they started from and in the error of their ways
People Naturally Walk in Loops
There is this interesting phenomenom:
In poor visibility (weather, clouds, trees in the woods, darkness) people will walk in circles:
- sometimes to the left
- sometimes to the right
- sometimes small ones
- sometimes big ones
How do we walk straight?
- Have non-movable landmarks
- Check your bearing often
We have two landmarks that we can set our eyes upon. These two line up to lead us on a straight and narrow path.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…
We must seek first the kingdom of God; We must seek first the righteousness of God
We must fix our eyes on this goal. By focusing on this goal, keeping it in sight helps us stay the track and we are able to navigate through the wilderness and confusion.
Keep the End in Sight
Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do [focus on], forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
Philippians 3:14 I press toward the goal G4649 for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
(KJV) Philippians 3:14 I press toward the mark G4649 for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
G4649 skopos Thayer Definition: 2) the distant mark looked at, the goal or end one has in view
Don’t Look Back
We cannot begin our walk toward the kingdom and then “look back” or desire again the things which we have left behind. This is the direction we are always to be heading “toward and forward” the Kingdom of God.
Luke 9:62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
It is imperative that keep looking forward
Clearly Envision our Goal
Psalms 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.
Matthew 13:19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.
We need to be able to do this to the point that we can give an answer for the hope that lies within us
Do we know what we believe. Do we know that we know? The person without this solid foundation in the Word of God is and can be taken away by Satan.
Revelation 3:11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.
It is a precious gift that we have been given, we must hang on to it.
2 Peter 3:1 Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder),
2 Peter 3:2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior,
2 Peter 3:3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts,
2 Peter 3:4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? [sowing doubt] For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”
2 Peter 3:5 For this they willfully forget [the power of God]: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water,
Now here is what we are looking forward to; our goal; do we have a vision of this?
2 Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. [What we are to be seeking Kingdom of God/righteousness]
2 Peter 3:14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;
2 Peter 3:15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,
2 Peter 3:16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. [again they don’t see what is coming upon them b/c the truth is not in them] 2 Peter 3:17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand [the truth], beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;
2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge [the truth] of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
God has given us vision / sight through his revelation of the Word / Truth
We can SEE the light and hope at the end; Keep on going on and remain motivated by and through the power of God to make it to His Kingdom.
Matthew 13:16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear;
Matthew 13:17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
Can we SEE the Promised Land?
Can we see it ahead? It is not afar off. All we need to do is stand and watch for the coming of the Lord is at hand. And if we keep our eyes on the goal and do not stray from the path that is laid before us…soon we will no longer have to seek the Kingdom of God for it will be God’s good pleasure to give it to us!