Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. (Ephesians 4;17-18 (ESV)
If you describe someone or their attitudes as enlightened, you mean that they have sensible, modern attitudes and ways of dealing with things.
It can seem quite the contradiction that those who claim “enlightenment” – and have done so for ages – are in fact rejecting the source of light and knowledge. In many case their ignorance is not if the form of a lack of general education, but in a fashion where their education seems futile when it is combined with a hardness of heart when faced with the truth of the Gospel.
Paul sees that, no matter how else a person may think, unless it is enlightened by the Gospel it can only, ultimately, lead to futility and darkness. Hardness of heart separates a person from the light of the Gospel and the life of love and fulfillment in relationship with God in the power of the Holy Spirit.
It is a shame that the current use of “enlightenment” refers to anything but knowing the “light of life, Jesus Christ” and has only succeeded to leading people into increasing darkness.
Let us pray that the light of Christ, the love of God, will shine in our hearts and through our lives to a dark and hurting world.
It is our faith and comfort that no matter how much this hardness of heart pervades all around us, The Lord will keep his promises because they come out of his nature and purposes.
7 I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.(Jeremiah 24;7 NIV)
14 So the prophecy of Isaiah applies to them: ‘This people will listen and listen, but not understand; they will look and look, but not see, 15 because their minds are dull, and they have stopped up their ears and have closed their eyes. Otherwise, their eyes would see, their ears would hear, their minds would understand, and they would turn to me, says God, and I would heal them.’ (Matthew 13:14-15 GNT)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it. (John 1:1-5 NIV)
“God has blinded their eyes and closed their minds, so that their eyes would not see,
and their minds would not understand, and they would not turn to me, says God,
for me to heal them.”(John 12:40 GNT)
19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. (Revelation 3:20 NIV)