As I hear the latest news and read the biggest headlines, it is ever more apparent to me that this world has become a dark place– and it’s going to get darker. We “need a light,” HIS light, to shine into the dark corners of the earth.
The impending darkness to come is foretold in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 24. While sitting on the Mount of Olives (a beautiful place– I’ve been there), the disciples came to Jesus and asked Him: What will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places… And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another… And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Throughout these 14 verses, Jesus warned his followers that these things “must come to pass” but that those who endure will be saved. Jesus says further: “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace” (John 16:13).
We are to have peace in the midst of the storm, friends. Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb 13:5), despite the fact that the darkest hour has not yet come. While this may not sound like the “Good News” of the Gospel, we are to take comfort in knowing that during this time, the gospel of Jesus Christ is being preached to all nations, whether from media outlets, newspapers, word of mouth, television, social media and even mainstream Hollywood movies.
Most anyone utilizing social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) knows that it can be a very effective means for reaching out to a lot of people quickly; so, being in ministry, I have all of those accounts. However, they can also be used for highly destructive purposes, too. Just read some of the posts surrounding trending topics (i.e. gender neutralization, Supreme Court legalization of nontraditional marriages, black market organ harvesting and so forth). It’s disheartening to see who’s feuding with who, who’s shaming who, who’s bullying who, who’s ridiculing and backbiting another—and often, it’s Christians against Christians. This should not be so. We, as believers in Christ, should not be evoking humiliation and embarrassment of our faith online or in any other public forum, and we certainly should not be degrading or insulting others who lack Biblical understanding and wisdom.
There’s a place on Facebook where you can define what your political beliefs are (Republican, Democrat, etc.). For mine, I simply put: “I hope my life demonstrate my beliefs.” Friends, study it out, every political party and every political candidate is flawed. So let us get off our high horse (or donkey or elephant) and let us be identified as a believer in Christ—a true follower.
Doesn’t the Bible say: “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). It doesn’t say they will know you are my disciples by screaming your head off at someone on Facebook and calling them profane names– or by picking up mud and hurling it up in the air and slinging it at them. In fact, that will only make the world a messier, darker place. Yes, stand up for and support those who support the cause of Christ, but make sure YOU are representing Christ in the process. Proverbs 16:24 tell us, “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.”
My response on social media to all the darkness that is going on in the world was simply this quote of my own: “Darkness will only grow darker, if the light doesn’t shine brighter.” Darkness is dark. Sinners sin, that’s what they do. Is this surprising? Is this anything new? And may I remind you, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 8:23).
In Matthew 23: 29-30, Jesus warns: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven… and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Darkness is coming. It is visible. It is palpable. But, we don’t have to contribute to it. Jesus said, “As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the World” (John 9:5). Ah, there’s the problem: Jesus was crucified as punishment for our sins, was buried and rose from the dead on the third day. He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19). So, He’s no longer here, in the world, and that’s why there is so much darkness, right? No, He is still here in this world; He is alive and well and He lives inside of you (John 15:4, 2 Cor 4:6-7, Gal 2:20, Col 1:27). The “Light of the World” is in YOU. You are to be a light to the world. One little flame of light can dispel an entire room of darkness. You are to carry forth His light to the dark places.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 5: 14-16, “You are the light of the world… let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” You do not light a lamp only to put it under a basket where it is hidden. No! You put it on a lampstand so it gives light to all who are in darkness.
Don’t let your flame grow dim; it’s time for the real Christians to please stand up…and shine!
By Sherry Anne
First published by SGN Scoops in October 2015
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