Blind Faith

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Blind Faith

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Although you may have splendid physical vision could you be suffering from spiritual blindness? Is it time for a spiritual eye exam?

Transcript

[Steve Myers] What would it be like to be blind? Most of us have played games where we're blindfolded. We temporarily experienced how difficult it is to move about. Now, what's momentary entertainment for some becomes a sudden reality for others. Now, believe it or not someone in the world goes blind every five seconds and yet most of that blindness could be prevented or treated. 

Now, what would it be like to be spiritually blind, would you even know it if you were? How is your spiritual eyesight? Stay tuned to Beyond Today as we discuss blind faith, a true story that will help your vision.

[Announcer] Join our host, Steve Myers and his guest as they help you understand your future on Beyond Today.

[Steve Myers] What would it be like to be blind? Perhaps the closest most of us have gotten to being blind is playing the game pin the tail on the donkey or maybe it was whacking that piñata or perhaps a sherpa walk. You know that blind trust walk where you get blindfolded and someone leads you around, perhaps in the woods and you just can't see anything and you're totally dependent on someone else for your sight. Imagine being totally blind, completely unable to see. 

Now, there's a true Bible story that illustrates something that affects you more than physical blindness, and that's spiritual blindness. Now, that story is found in the book of Mark, Mark 10:46 Mark 10:46And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.
American King James Version×
. If you wanna go get your Bible, now's the time to do that. We can look over to the book of Mark and find this interesting story about blind Bartimaeus, funny name but an interesting story. 

This man Bartimaeus was blind and he wanted to be healed. And that story is found in Mark 10, and we can begin in verse 46. Let's notice that in Mark 10:46 Mark 10:46And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.
American King James Version×
it says, "They came to Jericho. As he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great multitude..." That's talking about Jesus Christ. It says, "Blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging." Now, this simple story begins by pointing out this blind Bart. He was blind. 

Now, being blind in that day was something totally different than today. There were no social programs. There were no books on tape. There was no braille, no public housing, or institutes for the blind. He was a beggar. He was poor. Now, blindness at that time was considered a curse, cursed by God. There was something wrong with Bartimaeus. Everyone around him knew that there was something wrong with this guy.

Now, the reason the story I think is included in your Bible is to show us something. It illustrates the fact that without God showing us the way, we're all like Bartimaeus. We're all blind beggars. We're all spiritually unable to see. Now, the interesting part is there's something spiritually wrong with each and every one of us when we try to live without God, when we try to see life without God's vision. In fact, there's an interesting proverb, over in Proverbs 29:18 Proverbs 29:18Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he.
American King James Version×
, it says something interesting about vision. It tells us here that "where there is no vision, the people perish." Now, some translations say "where there is no revelation or prophetic vision, the people cast off restraint."

Now, you see the point is that when you live outside of God's way, you lose your spiritual eyesight. You don't see the importance of God. You can't live life to its full meaning. You don't even understand the real purpose of life if you try to go through the motions of life spiritually blindfolded. Now, that's an interesting question for each of us. Are you spiritually blindfolded? Do you really see life the way that you should? 

Interesting illustration from when I was a kid. My mom was our Cub Scout den leader. We had an interesting little game that we would play when new Scouts came into the troop. It was called the chair obstacle course. Now, what would happen is we would set up all these chairs and the new kids coming in would study all the chairs in this course, and the object of course was to go from one side of those chairs and make your way through the obstacle of all the chairs to the other side, but there was a catch. You had to do it blindfolded. Well, we blindfolded every little kid and then before they started through the obstacle course, we moved all the chairs. Now, you see, life is kind of like that. Just about the time you think you've got it figured out, somebody moves all the chairs, and that's exactly what it's like with God. If we don't rely on God, it's like we're spiritually blindfolded and we're struggling to maneuver through the chairs of life. And it just doesn't work.

Do you know God's plan? Do you really understand why you were born? Why were you born? Perhaps you don't know. Perhaps you feel like Isaiah 59:9 Isaiah 59:9Therefore is judgment far from us, neither does justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness.
American King James Version×
, interesting passage in the Bible. The prophet Isaiah quoted something very interesting. He said this. He said, "We look for light, but there's darkness. We look for brightness but we walk in blackness. We grope for the wall like the blind and we grope as if we had no eyes. We stumble at noonday as at twilight." Boy, what a reminder for each of us. What are we looking for? What are we looking for? You know, even if we think we've got things religiously figured out, do we really? Isn't it time for your spiritual eye exam? 

You know, we've got a booklet to help you with your eye exam. It's a free booklet. It's called What is Your Destiny? Can you answer that question? Do you know why you were born? It's a tough thing to figure out on your own, and God tells us, "You're not gonna be able to do it on your own." And we've got a booklet that will help you, help you through that maze of life. We hope you'll go online, that you'll see the booklet, beyondtoday.tv. You can read it right now. You can download your free copy. It's brand-new. It's updated. It's interesting. There's some interesting things that will get you to be able to help understand your purpose, why you were born. And can you go online or you can call our toll-free number. That number is 1-888-886-8632. That's 1-888-886-8632. This booklet will help open your eyes so that you can see the truth that God wants you to live your life with. So, order that booklet. Go online, beyondtoday.tv. It will help open your eyes.

Now, back to this topic of blindness, do you remember that there was an awful freeway crash a number of years ago out in California on the I-5? It was an unbelievable circumstance. There were 50 mile an hour winds. It brought up this unbelievable dust storm, and it brought down that visibility on the highway to absolutely zero. Now, strange things happen because people were unable to see their way. The drivers drove absolutely blindly right into disaster. The storm left a three-mile trail of twisted burning vehicles all along the way. Many dozens were injured. Many died. 

Now, what a reminder how not to live your life. You cannot drive blindly as though you're just going through the motions, you see, without God's direction, He's the only one that's gonna clear that dust storm. He's the only one that can keep us from heading toward that tangled wreck that might lie just ahead in your life. You see, the Bible story of blind Bartimaeus is a reminder of exactly that. How do you avoid the dust storm of life? Where do you find the solution?

Well, you see, Bartimaeus knew where to find that solution. So if you go back to Mark 10. Go back to Mark 10:47 Mark 10:47And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, you son of David, have mercy on me.
American King James Version×
. Now, it shows us something very interesting, what Bartimaeus knew that all those religious people around him didn't understand. Notice what it says in verse 47. It says, "And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth..." You see, Jesus was coming towards Bartimaeus. What did he do? It says, "He began to cry out and say, 'Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me.' Then many warned him to be quiet, but he cried out all the more, 'Son of David, have mercy on me.'" You see, Bartimaeus knew something that so many don't understand in this life. Jesus was the only one that could help him. He refers to Jesus as the son of David. Now, this was not something about Jesus heritage. This was not about his lineage. What Bartimaeus understood is that designated that he was Messiah. Jesus was the Christ. Jesus was the savior. He was the one that could save Bartimaeus from his spiritual blindness.

Now, the question for us is do you know where your help come from? Where does your help come from? Acts 4:12 Acts 4:12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
American King James Version×
says, "There's no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Jesus Christ is the only answer. He is the only one that can clear up our spiritual blindness. But unfortunately, many don't see the need for God in their lives or on the other hand, so many are religious, they think they've got it all figured out. 

But, you know, the book of Revelation cast an amazing light on that scenario, Revelation 3:17 Revelation 3:17Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
American King James Version×
, a startling scripture especially for those who consider themselves to be religious. Revelation 3:17 Revelation 3:17Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
American King James Version×
. Jesus Christ himself inspired this, and look at what He said. He said, "Because you say, 'I'm rich and have become wealthy and have need of nothing' and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked." You see, Jesus Christ was talking to the church. He was talking to religious people saying they were the blind ones. They were going through religious motions. They were supposedly honoring God and yet what does he call them? He calls them blind. 

You see, that's for each and every one of us. We cannot close our eyes to the real truth of God. Don't assume that you know the truth. Don't assume that you know what the Bible says. Oh, you grew up believing these things your whole life, does that mean it's truth? Absolutely not. Open your eyes. God wants us to open our eyes. Get to know the real Jesus Christ. Understand really what He taught. He wants to open our eyes. He wants to rid us of that spiritual blindness. Do we really understand God's plan? Do we know He has a purpose for each and every one of our lives? It is time for a spiritual eye exam.

Now, it reminds me of a true story that I once heard of a lady who had been blind for 50 years. Now, imagine being blind for decade after decade after decade. And yet for the first time, after she had very delicate precise surgery, she began to see colors. She began to see dazzling forms and beautiful shapes and her eyesight began to clear up. But you know what was the most amazing thing about her story? These surgical techniques had been developed 20 years earlier. Imagine, 20 years before her surgery, she could have had her vision restored, two decades before her surgery. Now, what does that tell us? You see, we cannot assume that our situations are hopeless. Don't stay in a spiritual state of darkness, and don't wait. Don't wait. Don't wait another minute. Get that spiritual eye exam. Get into your Bible. Notice what the story of Bartimaeus is trying to tell us. He was in darkness, but you know, he didn't wanna stay there. He was not about to stay there.

Now, go back to Mark 10:48 Mark 10:48And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, You son of David, have mercy on me.
American King James Version×
. Notice what Bartimaeus did. In verse 48, it says that "Many warned him to be quiet, and he cried out all the more, 'Son of David, have mercy on me."' And so verse 49, "Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. And they called to the blind man saying to him, 'Be of good cheer. He's calling you.' And throwing aside his garment, he rose and he came to Jesus." You see, Bartimaeus wanted a different life. He wanted a better life. He wanted a future. He wanted his eyes opened. And so his behavior, well, some people thought it was embarrassing, "Oh, leave the Savior alone." Some people were telling him, "Shut up. Quit calling out. You're going into crazy territory." And yet it didn't persuade Bartimaeus to be quiet. He knew this was his opportunity. This was his chance to have his spiritual blindness removed. And so he ran to Christ. He threw aside his garment. For a blind man, that was his most important possession. That was everything that he owned, and he threw that aside and was going to Christ.

And like Bartimaeus, you know, God may be calling you and yet is it your job, is it your world around you, is it your busyness, does that distract you from God? Maybe other people around you are yelling at you. They're telling you you're crazy looking into the Bible. And yes, we need to have the reaction that Bartimaeus had. He was excited. He was ready to go. There was nothing that was going to stop him. The lesson? Let's not be distracted. Let's look at what's most important. What's most important? We've got to decide to do what's most important. 

Maybe we're like the three frogs that were sitting on the lily pad and one decided to jump off. Now, how many were left? Three on the lily pad. One decides to jump off. How many left? Three because only deciding to jump doesn't mean you actually do. And we all need to take that leap of faith. It's not enough just to make a decision. You've got to take the leap. We've got to follow through. That's the lesson of Bartimaeus. He was gonna follow through. Notice what it says in verse 51. In verse 51, he reminds us, Christ answered Bartimaeus, "And he said to him, 'What do you want me to do for you?' And the blind man said, 'Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.' And Jesus said to him, 'Go your way. Your faith has made you well.' And immediately, he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road." 

You see, Bartimaeus had a response that showed Jesus Christ his gratitude. What did he do? He not only decided but he acted. He followed Christ. We need to have the right response. Don't let the opportunity pass. Change your life. Choose to follow Christ. Don't assume you know the truth. If you don't understand that God has a plan for you, if you don't know what your destiny is, if you don't know what God's plan is for all of mankind, you don't know what to do. Follow Jesus Christ. He wants to heal that spiritual blindness. 

So do you have that vision for your life because it's time? It is time for your spiritual eye exam. "For you are once in darkness but now you are light in the Lord." That's what Ephesians 5:8 Ephesians 5:8For you were sometimes darkness, but now are you light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
American King James Version×
says. So what does it tell us to do? It says, "Walk as children of light." Let's follow Jesus Christ. Don't live your life blindly trying to somehow pin your tail on the donkey. It's not gonna happen. Call on God and ask Him to bring His true life to your life. 

Up next, stay tuned and we're gonna talk to the Beyond Today panel. We'll be right back.

[Announcer] Is mankind destined to inherit and inhabit the entire universe or will he end in a simple flash of the Sun? Find out the spectacular truth you've never heard before explained in your free copy of What is Your Destiny? Go to beyondtoday.tv or call 1-888-886-8632 to find out, a mystery not known or believed today by religion or philosophy. Get your free copy of What is Your Destiny? Go to the web or call now. 

Does God really exist? Scientists now say you can prove it. What's the best way to rear your children for success? Questions need positive answers to the world's greatest issues and your personal ones as well. That's what you'll get when you get your free subscription of The Good News magazine. Call toll free, 1-888-886-8632. That's 1-888-886-8632 or go to beyondtoday.tv for your free subscription. You'll be glad you did.

[Steve Myers] Our program today has been focusing on spiritual blindness. We looked at the story of Mark 10 of blind Bartimaeus and how desperately he wanted to be healed of that spiritual blindness. And he had to follow Christ. He had to go to Christ for that healing. Now, we've got the panel here today. We've got a Gary Petty, of course, fellow presenter here on Beyond Today and pastor We also have Darris McNeely, editor of The World News and Prophecy magazine. And as we think about the story, guys, it's so interesting because this example, I think, points something so specifically about where to find healing, where to find the solution to our problem.

And I think it's a little confusing when you talk about following Jesus because at the end of our story, it says that Bartimaeus followed Jesus. So it gives us the impression that well, he threw off his garment. He just kind of started walking along. And so it doesn't really give us, I think, the full meaning. So, maybe that's a good place to start. What does it really mean to follow Jesus?

[Gary Petty] Well, this is gonna sound like a very judgmental statement but it's true. A person can be very, very religious and still very, very spiritually blind. Christianity has enough believers. What Jesus Christ wants are disciples, people willing to follow him, people willing to know what he taught, believed what he taught, believe who he is and practice what he taught in their lives. So to follow Jesus Christ isn't just to know Jesus or like they're just to walk down the street with Him. It is to follow Him daily in the way that we think, the way that we feel, the way that we act.

[Darris McNeely] Following Jesus is more than people realize. They may have a concept about Christ. They may feel that they have a relationship with Jesus and understand Him, but it's more than an emotion. Unfortunately, the real Jesus has been emotionalized in our culture today to the point where it's become very trite, very fashionable in some circles almost a crutch. But the counting...the cost, the real cost of following Jesus is something completely different. 

You know, people like today to wear these bracelets, WWJD. Maybe some of our audience may have their own WWJD bracelets. What would Jesus do? And it raises the question but unfortunately, people just don't know what Jesus did, therefore they would not know more than to ask the question of what Jesus actually did, what He accomplished, because it is just not there as part of their life, their understanding. What Jesus did requires reading the Bible, reading and understanding exactly what the Word of God says regarding Jesus's life and then it comes down to a decision as to whether or not a person will follow that. 

[Steve] Yeah, that's an interesting point too, and you begin to think about who Jesus was dealing with. And He was talking to the Pharisees. He was talking to those who were the religious ones of the day. And so how religious are? If you're very religious, does that mean you've got all the answers or do you need to look at the truth? And, of course, Bartimaeus was not like everybody else around him. He saw that there was something different in Christ, that following Christ meant more than that. You know, it really was a way of life rather than thinking you had all the answers when you really didn't.

[Gary] Well, most people, even most Christians would be literally shocked to get into the Bible to see what Jesus actually taught. I have a daughter, and when she went into...Jennifer, when she went into grade school, we didn't realize that she couldn't see very well. Of course, we didn't know that. Of course, as parents we felt terrible. I did this eye exam and we had to go buy her glasses. And we bought her these glasses and she put them on and suddenly she could see. And she said, "Wow, look at this. I didn't know. You know, you could see the leaves on the trees that I didn't know. I could see all these things, all these colors." Of course, we felt terrible, but we realized she couldn't see. She didn't know she couldn't see. 

Most people think they know, but they don't know that they can't see. You have to go to the scripture to see what Jesus actually taught. You have to go to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. You have to read it. You have to study it. You're gonna find out a lot of it isn't what you've been taught. And that's how that blindness starts to come off by going and finding out what he actually taught.

[Darris] You might remember, Steve, that we have earlier done in our series of programs on Beyond Today. We did a program entitled "The Man Nobody Knows," which focused right in on Jesus Christ as the man nobody knows, and we went through specific points of Jesus's teaching regarding the Sabbath, the fact Christ kept the seventh-day Sabbath and that He is the Lord of the Sabbath that he taught that the Kingdom of God is something that is going to come on the Earth in a literal sense. And when you go right down point by point, the teachings that Jesus Christ had, you come to understand that Jesus Christ did things that people just don't really understand. And that begins to lift the blindness off of people's eyes when they begin to understand that the reality of that.

[Gary] Darris, it's like we've made Jesus a caricature. He's a baby in a manger. He's Savior on the cross but as a Master...

[Darris] He's a slogan on a bracelet.

[Gary] He's a slogan on a bracelet. He's not someone we go to to find the keys on how to live life.

[Steve] What a great point. There's a passage in 1 John where it says we're supposed to live as He lived. It's in the past. You look at what His life was like. Walk as He walked. So many people may have a shallow understanding of actually how He lived his life, but what did He do? So, when you look at that, it was a whole different vision, a whole different vision that Christ was trying to open the eyes of society around him, and Bartimaeus was one of those that did have his eyes open. And the story itself then shows us how important vision really is, why is vision so important because?

[Gary] All right, let's just take if you were walking and you want to walk 100 yards. There's a point you see that you walk to. There's a goal that you can see. If you couldn't see, you would wander all over the place. Maybe fall off a cliff. You couldn't get to the point you wanna go to. If the Kingdom of God is the goal of life, then we walk towards it. We can see it. And everything in life is in clear. We can see it clearly in relationship to that point that we're walking to.

[Steve] Yeah, you've got to be able to have a point to walk through or they say, you're gonna end up somewhere else.

[Gary] That's right.

[Darris] You don't know where you're going, you're going to end up nowhere. I think it's also important that people realize their audience understands that it's important to have the right vision, not just a vision. Many people who are successful and motivated have a vision for life, goals where they want to wind up, when they want to retire, what they want to accomplish, all well and good, but it's important to have the right vision. And the right vision is the Kingdom of God and having...being zeroed in and centered on that as for the understanding the purpose in life, what God is bringing to pass with humanity and where history is going, the right vision is critical to getting to the right location, to the right point that you're talking about.

[Gary] When we talk about the Kingdom God, we're talking about Jesus Christ coming back to this Earth to bring His way of life for the entire human race and wanting to be part of that. That's the goal.

[Steve] The ultimate vision.

[Gary] The ultimate vision.

[Steve] Now, you talk about this kingdom. How do we get there? Because there's something we have to do in the meantime, it's just not gonna appear tomorrow. And so in the meantime, what do we do? If we suspect that we are spiritually blind, what is it that we can do to come out of that spiritual blindness?

[Gary] Let's go back to blind Bart. First thing you do is you go to God and you ask Him to take the scales off your eyes. You ask God to give you His vision for your life, not one you've made up or something somebody else has told you but your vision for your life from God. So you go ask Him for it. And then secondly, go do the teachings of Jesus Christ and find out how to live. 

[Darris] And also realize that part of the blindness the people have is hardwired into the design of God. The Scriptures, many Scriptures do teach that blindness has come upon the world. And there is a reason for that. It's part of God's plan. But as people begin to come out of that, there's also going to be resistance. There are going to be problems. There's a...

[Steve] There's a problem with Bart in the story.

[Darris] There was a problem with Bartimaeus. There's a story that HG Wells wrote a number of years ago, "The Country of the Blind," where there was this fictional story of a kingdom of blind people. And one person, through circumstances, separated himself from it and discovered the world of color, much like your daughter, and life and everything beyond their dark world. When he came back to talk to people about it, they couldn't relate to it and they stoned him and rejected him. People will be rejected in one sense or experience hostility and opposition once the blindness comes off their eyes as they begin to understand the truth of God, the Scriptures and begin to live by it.

[Steve] We can't allow that to hold us back. What other people think doesn't matter. It's what God thinks. It's what His calling is about. God may be calling you. Open your eyes to the truth. Let God speak to you so that you will have that blindness removed. We'll be back in a minute.

[Announcer] Is mankind destined to inherit and inhabit the entire universe or will he end in a simple flash of the Sun? Find out the spectacular truth you've never heard before explained in your free copy of What is Your Destiny? Go to beyondtoday.tv or call 1-888-886-8632 to find out, a mystery not known or believed today by religion or philosophy. Get your free copy of What is Your Destiny? Go to the web or call now.

[Steve] How is your spiritual vision? Don't allow the distractions of your world or your own thinking warp your spiritual outlook. Now, don't assume just because you're religious that your spiritual eyesight is 20/20. Remember, three-quarters of the world's blindness can be prevented or it can be treated. You have a choice to prevent spiritual blindness. It is time. It's time for your spiritual eye examination. Read your Bible. Focus on the truth, the coming Kingdom of God. Dedicate yourself to God's way of life. Open your eyes to His truth and truly follow what Jesus taught and how He lived. God wants to bring you out of darkness into His marvelous life. 

Thanks for watching.

[Announcer] For the free literature offered on today's program, go online to beyondtoday.tv. Please join us again next week on Beyond Today.