“The hope of Christ is that light will never be defeated. Light will never give way to darkness. The world will never again go dark. The Light has come and He is here to stay.”
This was my claim in the previous post and I wanted to address here the issue of light that can be hidden for a time in particular historical and cultural times. Let’s review the facts for a moment. Light has come into the world. That light is Jesus Christ, the second person of the Triune God. He came to overcome the darkness of sin and death. This is all summed up in the first chapter of John’s gospel. In the third chapter of the same gospel we get the second group of facts. This light was not received in the way men in darkness would be expected to receive the gift of light into utter blackness. They hated it because, as John tells us, “men loved the darkness rather than the light.” And now the plot thickens. They loved the darkness because their deeds were evil. They were soaked through with sinfulness from root to fruit. And guess what sin happens to love…yep, it loves darkness.
So here we have a basis for measuring how much light a particular society or culture has. By light, I mean the light of the gospel of Christ which brings grace and truth wherever it shines. Want to know how “enlightened” we are as a people? Look at how many sins are comfortable hanging out right in the middle of town. Do we find wickedness in the shadows or on billboards? Are the lusts of the flesh covered in smokey, run-down hotel rooms or welcomed into our homes every night during prime-time? Are adulterers shamed or excused? Is sexual perversion really seen as perverse or a form of cultural advancement?
The more publicly acceptable a nation’s sins, the less that nation is living in the light. Remember, sin hates light. It would not come out of hiding unless there were a lot of bushel baskets hindering that light. The enemy hands them out to Christians like samples at Sam’s Club. “Don’t stop being a Christian,” he might suggest with a smile. “Don’t cast aside your personal convictions or beliefs. Don’t even feel like you have to become like the world. Just stop insisting that the world become like Christ. Stop shining that light into everyone else’s eyes. It makes them uncomfortable. It will make them hate you. Put a shade on all that Christendom stuff and tone it down a bit.”
We just started a new year a few days ago. What do you think would happen if we stopped covering ourselves? What if we stopped being afraid of how we might look under all that light or worried of how others might react to being exposed and began to dream of how the world would look in the full light of the Son? What baskets do we need to get rid of this year? Let’s send the shadows back into the corners where they belong.