"Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their
eyes: lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand
with their heart, and convert, and be healed."
In some cases, the god of this world (devil) has blinded people's eyes to not follow after the truth. Paul speaks of this in II Corinthians 4. In other cases, our fleshly nature and desires keep us from doing the things that we should. The thorny ground let the cares of the world choke out the things of God. The rich young ruler let his riches stand in the way of true discipleship and conversion. In other cases, the Lord Himself keeps some of His children from conversion because of their own disobedience. This was the case with natural Israel during the days of Isaiah the prophet. They had become so enamored with their own glory and pomp that the Lord gave them up to their own desires (the fulfillment of that was being led into captivity for 70 years).
He even tells
Isaiah that his preaching is going to make them even less desirable to follow
after Him. Many times, the gospel points out our own shortcomings by showing the
perfection of Christ. That is a tough pill for man to swallow sometimes.
However, true conversion comes when we lay aside self and follow after
selflessness. Our Lord has every right to do anything He desires, but He chose
to give us an example of servitude to follow. So, conversion can be stopped by a
number of different things. Sometimes, the child of God can get in such a state
However, if He has blessed us to see some things that He has kept from others (for so it seemed good in His sight), we ought to be ever grateful for that knowledge to carry it through in our lives to the praise, honour, and glory of Him. One final thought, conversion is not something that happens once (like regeneration). It is a continual work that we must keep after. Once one is converted, they can still fall away from that. Let us never err from the truth, and if we do, may we ever listen to the sound advice from good brethren that are trying to save our souls from death and hide a multitude of sins. Our conversion and walk is for His glory and not our own.