Blind Eyes Opened
By Jerry Miranda
The devil, the god of this world, has covered their eyes so that they cannot see the light of the gospel, but once they see it they will want it. We can parade God’s goodness in front of them every day but they will not see it. We can tell them all about Jesus ‘day and night, but they will not understand because they have been blinded. Somehow we have to take the blindfolds off.
The principles in the Word of God, if followed, will pro-duce what is intended. The principle of sowing and reaping is, simple in its application and if properly followed will produce the fruit. But you may take the seed, and instead of planting it in the soil, place it in the ashtray of your car, or maybe lay it on the mantle of your fireplace. The oxygen is still there. The sun may be present. Water is close by. Fertilizer is readily available, but the seed will not germinate until the principle of sowing is followed—the seed must be placed in soil. Once it is placed in dirt, then all the other factors that God has made avail-able will do their part, and the seed will die, break, and give forth fruit and more seed.
Every July we celebrate a special “Friends Sunday.” It is intended to ,be an evangelistic service with a special emphasis on inviting our friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers to come and experience the presence of Jesus Christ. In 2006, we had sixty-three first-time visitors. We invited coworkers. We visited neighbors. We called people, passed out tracts in the mall and in the parks, and invited families to dinners. The altars were full at the end of the service.
In 2007, we did it a bit differently. Paul said, “If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of ahem which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (II Corinthians 4:3-4). People who do not know Jesus are blind to Him because the god of this world has blinded them.
Who does not want to have a doctor on call 24/7? Who does not desire peace in their home? Who does not wish to a have a happy marriage? Who does not dream of hope for the future?
Everybody does! But millions are blind to their needs. The devil, the god of this world, has covered their eyes so that they cannot see the light of the gospel, but once they see it they will want it. We can parade God’s goodness in front of them every day but they do not see it. We can tell them all about Jesus day and night, but they do not understand because they have been blinded. We have to remove the blindfolds.
While teaching about this at our church, I sat one of my ministers on a chair in front of the audience and had a four-year-old boy place a blindfold (my neck tie), over the minister’s eyes. I then pulled out a $100 bill and waved it in front of the blinded man and asked him if he wanted it. He would shrug his shoulders and smile big, but he did not attempt to reach for the $100 bill. The people in the audience were shouting, “Take it. You’ll like it!” His wife said, “Say yes, honey! Get it!” But he smiled and made no move for the money that he could not see.
“That little boy,” I told the church, “is the god of this world that Paul spoke about. Now our God is an awesome God! He is so big that He uses the earth as His footstool. We are now going to call on our God and ask Him to remove the little god from blinding the eyes of our friends and family.” I then asked our biggest usher to take away the little boy. With one hand, he carried the little boy away. The minute the little boy was taken away, the blindfold fell off the man’s eyes. He then saw the $100 bill and lunged for it and said, “You better believe I want it!”
That night we wrote the names of our friends and families on a slip of paper and tacked them on the .bulletin board. For twenty-one days we prayed for every name on the board. People came in every day and laid hands on them asking God to remove the enemy’s blindfold.
On the Wednesday before the appointed Sunday, we read aloud all the names on the board—144 families—and asked God to allow us to reach them. That evening I challenged everyone, “Now go and invite them. Call them. Visit them. E-mail them. Do what you can, but invite them for Sunday. We have been praying for them for twenty-one days but you have only three days to invite them.”
That Sunday morning, we pre-pared – the church building. Our seating capacity is 162, but we made changes and had seating available for 275. We had a “Jumper House” outside in the yard for the kiddies. Alvin Davis came from Baker City to provide a puppet show. The ladies prepared ham-burgers and hotdogs. The Sunday School Department had ice cream bars ready. The men’s group had a couple of piñatas. The youth had treat bags for the kids. We had Bibles and books to give away. Prayer and fasting was offered. The “Hands of Worship” drama team was ready. Musicians were prayed up. We did all we could do; now it was God’s turn.
Just before it was time for the service to start I was in my office getting ready to pray with our ministerial team when the head usher knocked on my door. He said, “Pastor, we are completely packed! Every seat is taken and people are standing.” I opened the curtains of my window and looked out to the parking lot and there was a stream of cars still coming into the lot.
On that Sunday, July 22, 2007, we had our largest attendance ever: 403! Over 100 first-time visitors were present! There were people standing, two and three deep, all around the sanctuary walls, the foyer was full, and children were sitting on the floor in the altar area.
The most moving part of the service was watching the altar fill up and seeing first-time visitors with their hands in the air and tears streaming down their cheeks. Many were touched by God’s presence, many repented of their sins, and that day we baptized five in the wonderful name of Jesus. The following Sunday we baptized one more, the next Sunday two more, and the following weekend one more. Seven Sundays later, we baptized seven more in Jesus’ name.
The Word of God is filled with simple principles that, if followed, will bring great results. Whether your church has 20, 200, or 2,000 you can follow biblical principles and have great success!
This article “Blind Eyes Opened” written by Jerry Miranda is excerpted from Pentecostal Herald a special issue.