If Our Gospel Be Hid


Brother Royce Ellis

2Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4:4 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.

“...when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

When we encounter scriptures that appear contrary to what is clearly taught elsewhere, the known truth must be the foundation on which we stand in order to clarify the difficult passage. The above scripture is one that requires careful consideration and rightly dividing. At first reading it could suggest that the gospel, hidden to some, prevents them from obtaining eternal life. To the unseeing eye, the verse proposes that, should the gospel be revealed, it would open the eyes of unbelievers providing them access to eternal life. The quote from the author of Sherlock Holmes is helpful here. Not only is it necessary to eliminate the impossible, but we must also base our investigation against established truth.

We must build on what we know to be true. A) The gospel does not give life. B) The preaching of the gospel is not instrumental in saving one eternally. C) The gospel is written for God’s children. D) The light of God will only shine positively upon His children. E) The possibility of spiritual sight, change - being able to see if not blinded - indicates this as a temporal blinding that could only apply to the elect. Having this foundation, we can now make sense of this seemingly difficult scripture. Satan, the god of this world, mentioned by that title, cares nothing about the lives of the non-elect. His goal is to disrupt and plague God’s chosen. It’s impossible then, for the non-elect to be the ones blinded in this verse. Taking that course could easily send us into an un-doctrinal ditch.

So who are the lost in 2Co 4:3? It is God’s elect children, who, having been born again, have allowed the world to blind them to the things of God. They are lost to the gospel joys, the earnest of their inheritance, and to a salvation that can be enjoyed daily. They are blind to the power of prayer, the fellowship of the saints and the comfort of the scriptures, choosing instead the pleasures of sin over afflictions with the people of God. Some, getting glimmers of light through exposure to the gospel, might find themselves seeking truth in a false religion, desiring to worship Christ but failing to give Him the honor and glory for eternal salvation. God’s children, elected in an eternal covenant before the foundation of the world are secure. Their earthbound blindness may prevent them from finding the true church in this lifetime, but they are His nonetheless. They will live in heaven, even if they lived like hell while on earth. Paul’s question then takes on a hypothetical flavor as he says “but if our gospel be hid,” expressing unbelief that it could ever be completely concealed – “it is hid to them that are lost.” Think about this for a moment. What if the gospel was hidden to unbelievers – specifically, the non-elect? So? They have no need of it nor can they benefit from it. The conclusion we must draw is that the gospel can only be hidden to those who could benefit from seeing: God’s children. When you live and play in Satan’s arena, you are subject to his blinding influences.

2 Peter 1:19 “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:”