Summary: This dark world needs Light. Jesus is the Light, but we are to be bearers of the Light. How can we do that, thus, Dismantling The Darkness? This message discusses some of those issues.
The late President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, was a man of few words. He returned home from attending church one Sunday. His wife had been unable to attend, but she was interested in what the minister spoke about in the service. Coolidge responded with just one word: "Sin." She pressed him for a few words of explanation. In his very scarce wording he said, "Well, I think he was against it!"
You know, that’s more than can be said for a lot of people today. And sadly, but truthfully, it seems that it’s more than can be said about many "believers." We are living in days, in a time and season, when I think we all need to reexamine and evaluate our feelings, our thoughts, and our opinions about SIN.
One of my favorite illustrations in relating what we can and do see happening today, is to imagine going into a darkened restaurant. When you first walk in, your can’t see too good. But as you sit there, amidst the darkness, your eyes will adjust to the darkness. In many cases, that’s a sad, but true, assessment of many people’s approach to sin. Even believers seem to be easily deceived, almost without detection. We’re like Eve, in the Garden of Eden: We’re listening to ungodly voices of reasoning instead of God’s voice of authority!
In his book, "The Dawn’s Early Light," Joseph Stowell says, "We have watched, wondered, and worked. Yet in spite of our work, which is like attempts to stem the tide with a pitchfork, a ’new day is dawning.’ But it is the ’dawning of night.’ That which was right is now wrong, and that which was wrong is now right. Those values and principles that made our nation great, are by an large culturally despised."
Wow! That being true, therefore, it is a challenge to bring the "light of the glorious gospel of Christ," the gospel of truth, into a land much like that described by Jesus in John 3:19 - And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light..." The light and darkness Jesus is referring to is spiritual. Men love to sit in spiritual darkness, and Jesus went on to say, "because their deeds are evil." They do not want the "spotlight" of God to shine upon them, for it would reveal their sinful nature, which is evil.
That was true then, and it’s the same today. Men’s works are wicked, and their deeds are devilish! *And the increasing level of evil in the world has risen to even affect the currents in the Church! And it has sent waves of wickedness, that have, many times, been very distructive to our ability to call for a change in the morals and values of society.
Many times there have been believers that have preached and proclaimed the need for a change in the culture, but we’ve failed to address the change that is needed in the Church! I submit to you that our thinking must change! The way we view sin must change. We can no longer embrace the declining levels of morals that society is projecting. Because as they decline, or go "downward," if we try and compromise with them, it brings us "downward," provoking us to lower our standards for the sake of "peace."
But James reminds us of a truth that we should never let escape us.James 4:4 says, "The friendship of the world is enmity with God...and whoever is a friend of the world is the enemy of God." Did you hear that? That’s a powerful statement! When we compromise with the world, and begin to embrace its thoughts and outlook of sin, it brings us to a place of actually opposing God. Hostility arises between us and God. I’m afraid, but assured, that we don’t always remember that. It’s very evident that everyone doesn’t remember that, but I believe we all need to be regularly reminded of it. "Friendship with the world is enmity with God."
And if compromise becomes the essence of our being, of our existence, then we will never be able to fulfill the purpose for which we’ve been called. Jesus described that purpose in Matthew 5:14-16. When you read that text, it is clearly stated that we are to be the "bearers of Light." We are to be the light of the world. Paul said, "What fellowship does light have with darkness?" The Bible says that "God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all." And so, if we’re to be effective light, we must let God burn in us brightly, not allowing any darkness or evil to be mingled with that light!
And even though we may be bearing forth that light in measure, I believe that the light can increase. I believe we can make it brighter through the Power of the glorious Gospel of Christ! We must strive to project pure light, not light that is dim and insufficient. And the Lord has set us in this world to bring His light into the world.