The continual refusal of the testimony that God renders at any time will lead to God sending moral blindness. In effect, he said to the nations [heathen], You have given me up, so I will give you up; to Israel, You have turned your back on me, so I will blind your eyes that you won’t see; to Christendom, If you refuse the truth, you shall have a lie. Let us see where this aspect of God’s government is portrayed.
In Romans 1:18-32 we have a very full description of God’s dealing with the heathen nations. You will notice that they rejected God before he gave them up to their own vile practices. In verse 21: Because knowing God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; verse 24, Wherefore God gave them up also in the lusts of their hearts to uncleanness, to dishonour their bodies between themselves; verse 26, For this reason God gave them up to vile lusts; verse 28, they did not think good to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a reprobate mind [or “a mind void of moral discernment”] to practise unseemly things.
As to the Jews, scripture abounds in references to God’s judicial dealing in blinding their eyes. If you want just one pointed reference, look at John 12:37-40. “But though he had done so many signs before them, they believed not on him, that the word of the prophet might be fulfilled… He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, that they may not see with their eyes, and understand with their heart and be converted, and I should heal them”.
This, and so many other quotations in the New Testament come from Isaiah 6:9-10. See also Acts 28:26,27. Other texts say it in other ways. See Isaiah 29:10; Romans 11:7-8. Romans 11:25 says “blindness in part has happened to Israel, until the fulness of the nations be come in”; 2 Corinthians 3:14-6 speaks of “the veil” lying upon their heart.
Did the Lord use parables to make his message easy to understand? The opposite is the truth. When the Jewish leaders attributed his power to Satan instead of the Holy Spirit, (Matthew 12,) the Lord then began to use parables. This is clearly explained to the disciples in Matthew13:10-15. The prophecy of Isaiah 6:9-10 is again quoted here.
The outlook for Christendom is very solemn according to chapter of 2 Thessalonians. Verses 10-12 refer to the fact that God will send a strong delusion [or a working of error] to people because they have have not loved the truth. Do you think that the New Age teachings are part of this lie to be propagated? Maybe? In God’s time, whatever form the error may take, it will spread like wildfire, as evil does.
The student of scripture will notice that the description of the heathen nations and their practices, as outlined at the end of Romans 1, is almost word for word that given for the last days where perilous times are foretold in 2 Timothy 3:1-5. There is one significant difference - in the latter there is this addition: “having a form of godliness but denying the power of it”. Solemn word.
In summary, whether it is the heathen, the Jew or Christendom, the refusal to accept the testimony that God presents, leads to judicial blindness. The nations have always had the voice of creation. “The heavens declare the glory of God…There is no speech and there are no words, yet their voice is heard”. Psalm 19:1-4. Israel had the law and the prophets. In this era, we have the greatest speaking ever, God has spoken in the person of the Son - see Hebrews 1:1-2.
Does that mean we do nothing? Not at all. This feature of God’s righteous government does not do away with our responsibility of doing the work of an evangelist. We are not to be unduly distressed by a lack of apparent results in nations where the gospel has been preached for centuries. God is merciful. He still blesses widely. During the last 100 years or so, the Holy Spirit has been working extensively in areas of the world that for millennia seemed to be ignorant of God. But in Christendom, where the grace of God has been preached, we find that depravity has come into the public church! If God were to ignore such decline, it would be condoning evil. Therefore judgment is near. To abbreviate a little the verses in Hebrews 10:28-31: He who disregarded Moses’ law died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much worse shall be the judgment for those who have trodden under foot the Son of God and insulted the Spirit of grace? It is a fearful thing falling into the hands of the living God.
Is the last great revival of this period envisaged in Revelation 22:16-17? “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is athirst come; he that will, let him take of the water of life freely”.