2 Corinthians 4:4
1599 Geneva Bible: "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds, that is, of the infidels, that the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, which is the image of God, should not shine unto them."
1611 King James Bible: "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
1978 New International Version Bible: "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."
1982 New King James Version Bible: "whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them."
There have been times when I have asked, "Why". Why are there people in my family who continue to reject the love, grace and salvation of our Lord? Why do they seemingly refuse to believe in an all powerful, Omnipotent God who has certain requirements and expectations of us? Why do they seemingly refuse to believe that just as there really is a heaven (they all seem to believe in heaven), there is also a very real hell? According to the Bible, regardless of the translation I search, it is because their MINDS are blinded by the enemy.
1599 Geneva Bible: "And fashion not yourselves like unto this world, but be ye changed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what that good, and acceptable and perfect will of God is."
1611 King James Bible: "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
1978 New International Version Bible: "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will."
1982 New King James Version Bible: "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
Blindness of the mind and renewing of one's mind. These verses bring back memories of my own born again salvation. Once this supernatural occurrence took place, it was as if someone flipped on a light switch. As if all my prior perspectives had been formulated by the shadows of viewing life through a dark and dimly lit room. When the proverbial light was turned on, I had a clear view and perspective. Things that I once thought were "not quite so bad" OR "although I didn't agree on some things personally, I could understand where another person found it acceptable", instantly became appalling.
Today I live life with a different perspective than most of my family. I spend a lot of time with people who's minds are blinded like mine used to be. Sometimes it is a very hard life. It can take a toll on one's emotions and spiritual strength. It is hard to live a life contrary to one your family lives. My family often becomes very aggravated with me because I don't and won't allow participation many things. My family often becomes aggravated with my steadfastness to attend church regularly - basically, it sometimes interferes with their own "fun" plans. By God's grace alone, I have continued a steadfast walk with Him and through the years my family has come to accept that I am "different". They have started accepting that as I mature, I become more steadfast. But that doesn't lessen the toll on my emotions or strength as one would expect. No, my burden seems to increase.
My burden has increased because I know that if they died today, they would not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. They do not know the Lord. Thus far, it seems most have no desire to know the Lord. For many years I've prayed, "Lord, please bring salvation to name." "Lord, I beseech you to have the Holy Spirit move upon name's heart and bring salvation to him/her." "Lord, allow the "right" witness to minister to name's heart, so that he/she may accept you as Saviour." I was studying my Bibles this morning, actually I was searching scripture for an answer to another topic. When the Word of God really spoke to my heart through 2 Corinthians 4:4 and Romans 12:2. For so very many years I've been praying that God brings salvation to these people and their hearts be changed. God has answered everyone of those prayers. Thanks to Jesus Christ's atoning death on the cross and His glorious Resurrection, EVERYONE has the gift of salvation readily available. I was praying for something already provided. A change in their hearts? That one has also been answered. I've watched my family members become more compassionate, more caring, more understanding, more generous. But I haven't seen any of them accept God's free gift of salvation.
Could it be that I've been praying incorrectly? I've been praying that salvation come to them through a change in their heart when the Word of God clearly states that the MIND is blinded by the enemy and that transformation comes through the renewing of the the MIND. Today, I leave you with a new prayer for mine and your lost loved ones. I pray that the blindness of their MINDS be swept away by the illumination of the light and knowledge of the Gospel of Christ and that they be transformed to know and accept God's good, acceptable and perfect will by the renewing of their MINDS.