The modern religious paradigm has become a travesty of truth, at best, and a mockery of God, at worst. There is a direct link between the practice of wooing sinners to Christ by presenting a cost-free gospel and the parlous and powerless state of the Christian Church in the western world. The fruit of this softly, softly, marketing of Christ is that sinners are not made aware of why we deserved the chastisement that fell upon Him; why it was necessary for Him to be beaten scourged, whipped, punished and publicly humiliated in front of a jeering crowd; that He stood where we should have stood; in our place and on our behalf. Thus, there is no conviction of sin, therefore there is no true repentance and therefore there is no fear of God; in other words, there is no true faith.
“I am the light of the world” Jesus said (John 8:12), but you can receive the light without receiving the sight; indeed, Satan has no fear of the light so long as he can keep his victims sightless; the mind may grasp the knowledge of the essentials of salvation but it is of no avail unless the heart makes the proper moral response to it.
Jesus had taught His disciples Himself. He taught them all the scriptures, from the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms. Yet we see in Luke 24:25 that they had not grasped the truth and He had to “open their minds to that they might understand the scriptures”. This shows that if the seed of truth is not germinated and brought to life by the Holy Spirit then it is utterly fruitless, as Jesus pointed out in the Parable of the Sower.
In that case, the gospel, which was intended to bear the fruit of repentance, faithfulness and holiness, is hid, as Paul put it; “hid to them that are lost because the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unfaithful, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
In that context, it is worth remembering that the light of the glory of God was hidden in earthly vessels by Gideon in Judges 7; it was not until those earthly vessels were broken that the light could shine forth, victory achieved and the enemies of God scattered. The earthly vessel, of course, speaks of the flesh and, until it is dead and nailed to its cross, the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ will not be seen. This is the marvellous way that God has designed things, lest, like Israel, we become boastful and say, “My own power has saved me” (Judges 7:2).