The Things Not Seen II Cor. 4:17-18 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
2 Cor 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. How do you look at things you can’t see?
You’ve heard of no see ‘ems. They bite you but you can’t see them; all you see and feel are the results, the red welt and the pain. Likewise, our eternity is a bunch of no see ‘ems. They are here but you can’t see anything. Yet these things that you can’t see are real.
Have you ever passed a construction site where the construction is fenced off with large sheets of plywood that say “post no bills?” They are usually covered with bills like a collage on a billboard obstructing the view of the construction site. If you look around you can usually find a little hole through which to peek and a single door through which to access the site. The hole reminds me of looking through the Bible into eternity and the door reminds me of Jesus, the only way into those things that are not seen.
How can we look at the things not seen?
By faith – Jn 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. You cannot see Jesus but you can look upon him by faith and see that he is the only Saviour of the world. Believing him by faith and not seeing him is better than seeing him with your eyes and not believing, like the Pharisees. Believing what you read in the Bible allows you to “see” the Lord, New Jerusalem, and the many wonderful things not seen.
By the revelation of the Holy Spirit –1 Cor 2:9-10 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. We are so taken by the beauty of things we can see, that we don’t look at the things not seen. But the things we see fade and decay. The things not seen never pass away. When we believe what we’re reading, while looking at the eternal things revealed to us in the Bible by the Spirit, we learn more and more about these things. So, spend more time letting the Spirit reveal them to us. A person who doesn’t believe the word will never see these things. A person who does will never quit seeing even more than he has seen before.
By Fear – Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. Notice that faith relates to each of these points in this outline. Noah certainly believed what God said. But he got moving when he feared. We believe in hell. But it doesn’t have much effect on us because we’re not going there. However, if we could “see” hell, we would fear for our friends and loved ones who are going there. It would get us moving in our prayers for them and our attempts to preach the gospel to them.
By Love – 1 Pet 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Love and fear are the two greatest motives in your life. You can’t see Jesus with your eyes but you can see him by faith in the pages of your Bible. Next time you come across a passage about Jesus, just slow down and really get a look at him. You will love him even more than you already do.
Conclusion: Looking at things not seen requires blindness to the temporal things that obscure faith and sight to the things that reveal.