Monday, September 5, 2011

Remember: Only Jesus Can Lift The Veil

Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:12-18

It is not uncommon for the Christian evangelist to run into people, whether while preaching the gospel in the open-air or while engaging people in conversation, who, no matter how much they explain Scripture to them either refuse or seemingly can't understand what is being conveyed to them. One biblical reason for this is the unbeliever suppresses the truth by their unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). The other reason is explained in today's passage. They lack the spiritual eyes to see and understand the truth. Their hearts and minds are covered by a spiritual veil.

Try as we might, evangelists, powerful evidential argumentation will not lift the veil. Only Jesus can. Concise presuppositional apologetics will not lift the veil. Only Jesus can. Memorable illustrations will not lift the veil. Only Jesus can. Emotional and dramatic personal testimonies will not lift the veil. Only Jesus can. Only Jesus can lift the veil.

Ah, but when Jesus lifts the veil historical, archeological, literary, and prophetic evidence comes to life. When Jesus lifts the veil arguments that presuppose the reality of God and the truth of His Word are supernaturally powerful. When Jesus lifts the veil illustrations are used by God to help the listener visualize spoken truth. And when Jesus lifts the veil the personal testimony of others tugs on the heart being changed by God.

Yes, study history, archaeology, and extra-biblical texts to show yourself approved. Study sound, presuppositional arguments to show yourself approved. Learn how to weave illustrations and personal testimonies into your presentation of the gospel to show yourself approved. Most importantly, grow in your intimate familiarity with the Word of God to show yourself approved. But never forget that a changed heart and mind is never contingent upon you and your theological or oratory prowess. Only Jesus can lift the veil.

Yes, the Lord will use you as you herald His Gospel, which alone is the power of God for salvation to those who believe (Romans 1:16). He will use the preaching and teaching that comes from your lips; but only once He has lifted the veil.

"But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed." And they turn not by blood (according to their human heritage), not by the will of the flesh (according to their personal desire), and not by the will of man (a chosen religious system). They turn according to the will of God (John 1:13). They turn to the Lord by the power of the Lord (Ephesians 1:16-23), by the drawing of the Lord (John 6:44), and by the will of the Lord (John 6:35-40).

Have confidence, therefore, fellow evangelists, not in yourself, but in the Lord. Let not the blindness of unsaved people discourage or frustrate you. Climb atop the soapbox, initiate the conversation, distribute the gospel tract trusting that Christ will lift the veil of those whom He chooses to give spiritual sight. Be faithful to proclaim His Gospel, wielding His powerful and mighty sword. For He is forever faithful to give spiritual sight to the blind and lost whom He determines to enlighten and save.

Remember: only Jesus can lift the veil!