Summary: This sermon challenges the audience to be a shining light in the midst of a dark world.

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Text: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).

Message: Be a witness for Jesus in this world.

Doctrine/Teaching: Witnessing

Response: To make a commitment to share one’s faith with the spiritually lost.

I. Introduction

A. Several years ago my family visited one of the greatest natural wonders in the world. It’s a place called Carlsbad Caverns. It’s a huge cave system in the state of New Mexico. Thousands of bats live in the mouth of the cave. Trails have been built so that tourists can walk down into the dark depths of this cave. As we walk down, down, down into the cave the guide told us stories about the original explorers of the cave. They were extremely brave men and women who explored the cave using nothing but a tiny candlelight. When we arrived at the bottom of the cave the guide sat us down on a bench and then she walked over to the light switch and she turned out the lights. Suddenly it was dark. It was so dark I could not see my hand in front of my face. It was so dark I could not see the person sitting next to me on the bench. She left us in the dark for five minutes so that our eyes could adjust to the darkness. Then she told us that she was going to duplicate for us the conditions the original explores experienced. She reached in her pocket and pulled out a cigarette lighter. When she said she was going to light the cigarette lighter I thought to myself, “This cave is so dark that that tiny cigarette lighter is not going to make much of a difference. Perhaps we will be able to see the guide’s face or at the most a little area around her feet.” We were in a large room and when she lit the cigarette lighter suddenly we could see the entire room. We could see the stalactites and the stalagmites. We could see all the people in our group.

B. That cave was a very dark place, but all it took was one light to light up the dark cave.

C. The world is a dark place, but all it takes is one light to light up a dark world.

II. You are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14a).

A. The world's population recently exceeded seven billion people for the first time and less than two billion of them claim to be Christians. There are masses of unsaved people in China, India, the Middle East, and right in your neighborhood. I believe that Jesus is coming back soon. It is vital for Christians to begin bringing crying, dying humanity into the kingdom of God. Our great commission is to "Go into all the World and preach the Gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15). The world is a dark place, and God wants His children to act as a bright and shining light to draw people into heaven.

B. We need to witness to people who need Jesus.

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