Christians today have so underestimated the deceitfulness of sin both to themselves and to the world. Proper understanding and appreciation of the doctrine of sin helps us not only to behold God’s holiness but move us with compassion for lost souls. We have no other choice but to relentlessly pursue them with grace in truth for the saving of their souls. Evangelism becomes more meaningful when we know that the world is blinded (2 Corinthians 4:4) and their hearts are hardened (Ephesians 4:18), and they are dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1), and so, they cannot and will not seek God (Romans 3:10-11).
The blindness is that of the mind (2 Corinthians 4:4). Paul states that the God of this world has blinded their eyes that they (the people of the word) could not see the light of the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4). Jesus himself made this observation and said that he (the devil) has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts that they could not see with their eyes and perceive with their hearts and be converted and I heal them (John 12:40). Sin so destroyed the world that man will not to submit to God because it cannot since it is set on the flesh and in hostility to God (Romans 8:7).
The world is dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1). Dead bodies cannot do anything for themselves. If they are left there unattended, the only thing they will do is to continue to rot and decay in their deadness producing a foul stench. The only thing that other men will do is to bury it 6ft deep so that it may continue in its futility there. God gives Ezekiel an accurate picture of this when he shows him the dead, dry bones of people (Ezekiel 37). They cannot help themselves. Paul says that we, together with the world, we’re dead in sins and trespasses (Ephesians 2:1). You may say the world is hardened, yes, they are, but keep in mind you too you were part of the world. You were a child of disobedience, a vessel of wrath, and you walked in all manner of sensuality as they are just as the rest of the world did (Ephesians 2:1-3).
One of my favourite times in the church is the time for testimonies. Despite the circumstances one was, they all say this one thing ‘Isingali kuwa Mungu nisingali kuwa pahali hapa’. So true are those words that they apply to all the saints in all the time (Ephesians 2:4-6).
When Jesus and his disciples had spent the night in Gethsemane praying, the son of destruction (Judas of Iscariot) and Caiaphas Priest and their band of soldiers were planning to arrest Jesus in the late hours of the day. One problem they had; they all had never seen Jesus face to face except Judas. I suspect, Judas would have pointed to Jesus’ place of prayer and joined the other disciples. But, he had no choice other than to identify him to them because hew as chosen as the son of destruction (John 17:12), hence the most bitter kiss the world has ever known (Mark 14:45).
I am He
After Judas kissed Jesus an incredible scene happens as recorded in John 18:1-11. A large group of soldiers all armed and ready for battle came to Jesus ready to arrest him. Jesus asked them “Whom do you seek?” They They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus then said “I am he.” After he said this ALL of the soldiers fell down. Most likely confused they stood up. Jesus asked them one more time “Whom do you seek?” The responded a second time and said “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus repeated himself and said “I am he.” In true form again the soldiers fall down after the statement of these three words.
At this point, you would wonder, why would they stand thereafter witnessing the incredible power of Jesus with just the mention of “I am he”? I would have run away if I was there, so many of us think. This is evidence that miracles or even experiencing the power of Jesus doesn’t lead to salvation. Notice none of them even asked what had thrown them down or was amazed at his power. Talk about the hardness and blindness by sin. They had resolved in their hearts and made up their minds, that this Jesus had to suffer. And even when Jesus for the second time told them that he was the one they wanted; they couldn’t believe him. They would believe a betrayer; they would believe a sinner, but they would not believe Jesus. See how ugly sin is (John 18:1-8)?
It is only logical to say that since the god of this world (Satan) blinds lost souls (2 Corinthians 4:4). They can do nothing but to submit to the flesh (Galatians 5:24), and their spirit is dead (Ephesians 2:1). They need someone more potent than the god of the world to unblind them, they need a more superior master than the flesh to submit to, and most importantly they need the only one who can give life to their dead spirits (Ephesians 2:4-9).
Only Jesus has overcome the god of this world- the devil (Colossians 2:15), only Jesus triumphed over the flesh and its evil desires (John 16:33), and only Jesus came to give life, and he gives life in abundance (John 10:10). Two classic examples of Jesus revealing himself to people. One will be to a sinner to believe (Apostle Paul) and the other to a believer for sanctification and all of them are on the road (Cleopas).
The first one is Paul who called himself the foremost of sinners in 1 Timothy 1:15. On his way to Damascus to persecute more believer of this Messiah he was completely changed. Yes, he was zealous about persecuting and even killing Christians. However, Jesus, in all his glory, appeared to Paul, made him blind and not only changed his direction of the destination, but his direction in life (Acts 9:3-9). He became one of the most devoted apostles of Christ. He preached nothing but Christ and him crucified (1 Corinthians 1:23).
The second instance is a group of his discouraged followers on the road to Emmaus. Cleopas and his companion we walking and chatting about what had happened to Jesus in Jerusalem. Jesus joined in the conversation, and they didn’t realize it for the eleven kilometer journey, until he revealed himself to them (Luke 24:13-35).
So, in two instances we see that in order for people to be saved it takes Jesus to open the eyes of unbelievers to be saved and realize who he truly is. This begs the question. If it takes Jesus to show himself to people, why do we preach about him? This is a legitimate question. However, it misses out the fact that Jesus uses us to preach the gospel for others to see him (Math 28: 17-21). By sharing the gospel to believer and nonbelievers, we share the very oracles of God (Romans 3:2). It is through the truth of the gospel that people are saved and sanctified (John 17:17; Psalms 19:7).
Because it takes Jesus to for me to see Jesus, I am to humble myself because of the grace of God that showed gave me salvation (1 Peter 1:3). I also look at the fact that Jesus has shown himself to because of his incredible grace and I worship him with great joy (Philippians 4:4).
Lastly, since it takes Jesus to see Jesus, we are now supposed to be prone to pray for his revelation in our lives and the lives of those who don’t know him. We are now supposed more than ever to be motivated to prayer, especially to all when we want to share the gospel, for Jesus can open their eyes to see him.
”Now unto to him who can keep us from falling, and present us blameless before his glorious presence with exceeding joy. To the only God, our Saviour through Jesus Christ; be majesty honour and dominion now and forevermore. Amen (Jude 1:24).”