Never Fear The Darkness
Tonight, we have before us a candle. The atmosphere surrounding the candle is predominately lit. Lights are on in the sanctuary. When you look at the candle in this atmosphere – an atmosphere of light, the candle blends in with the lights on in the sanctuary. In other words, the two lights in this room – the lights of the sanctuary and the light of the candle are in harmony with one another. But, if we darken the lights of the sanctuary, what happens to the light of the candle? In reality, nothing happens to the light of the candle. It remains exactly the same as it was when the sanctuary lights were on. It maintains the same brightness. But, can you see the candle better than you could when the lights of the sanctuary were on? Why? Because the light of the candle is no longer in harmony with its surroundings. It no longer blends in. The candle never changed but the surroundings did. The candle now shines in marked contrast to its surroundings.
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” /// Matthew 5:14-16 (NKJV)
The candle in the light represents a believer who shines in the midst of a Christian culture or inside the church of Jesus. Its light blends in with the surrounding culture. The culture is in harmony with the light and appears to support it.
But the candle in the darkness represents the believer who shines in the midst of a post-Christian culture – an apostate civilization – anti-Christian – anti-biblical and anti-Christ. The cultural props and supports are removed. The light of the Gospel of Christ – the Holy Ghost living within the believer is no longer in harmony with the surrounding culture. The surrounding culture is in opposition to the light. The light cannot blend in. It increasingly stands out in contrast to its surroundings.
Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. /// Philippians 2:14-15 (NKJV)
It is not Christ who is changing but the culture. If you are to reflect Him accurately, then you will stand out. If you begin to blend in, the light within you has become darkness.
"The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! /// Matthew 6:22-23 (NIV)
Your vision of who Christ is must be clear. If that vision is compromised, then the light that was once shining within you becomes darkness – it begins to blend in with the culture around you. No matter how great the darkness around you becomes, it cannot change the power of the light!
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. /// John 1:4-5 (NKJV)
But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. /// 1 John 4:4 (NLT)
You must be comfortable with who you are! If asked if we prefer to be lights of the day or lights of the darkness, most of us will say we prefer to be lights of the day – our culture in harmony with the light within us. But, it is the light in the darkness that is most needed. It is the light in the darkness that shines the way for the lost traveler. So, never fear the darkness! Your light is needed to reflect the truth to the world of a living Christ. You are visible because you are made of the same substance as your Savior!
Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. /// Isaiah 60:1-3 (NKJV)
The resurrection of Jesus is seen within you!
- Matthew 5:14-16 (NKJV)
- Philippians 2:14-15 (NKJV)
- Matthew 6:22-23 (NIV)
- John 1:4-5 (NKJV)
- 1 John 4:4 (NLT)
- Isaiah 60:1-3 (NKJV)
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