GETTING USE TO THE DARKNESS
What has happened in our world? How have we come to just accept and get use to sinful things of darkness? A friend of mine, John Hall, recently told me about waking up after working at night. He said he turned the TV on, but was watching it yet. He was reading his mail. When he looked up he saw two men engaged in a very passionate kiss. How are we willing to accept homosexuality, immodesty, fornication, adultery, dishonesty and all the other evils that go with the day time (and night time) soap operas? How have we come to accept such vulgar music, vulgar movies, vulgar internet and vulgar books? How have we come to believe that that darkness is light and light is darkness? John and the other apostles preached the message that “God is light.” “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5) There is no darkness in God. This message did not come from John or the other apostles. It was Jesus who declared that in God there is no darkness at all. John also wrote, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.” (1 John 1:6) As Christians we are called by God to walk in the light. “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7) Those who walk in the light have left the darkness of this world and are walking in purity, righteousness and godliness. The first consequence of a Christians walking in the light is fellowship with other Christians. A second consequence of walking in the light is forgiveness of sins by the blood of Jesus. Walk in the light; or to say it another way, live a holy life by following the word of God. As you walk in the light you enjoy fellowship with God and with His people. Do not allow yourself to get use to the darkness that is so much a part of day time soaps and of other TV.
Turning from the darkness of our present world to light of God: Paul was an apostle to the Gentiles. He was called by God to “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” (Acts 26:18) Salvation is turning someone from darkness to light. To turn them from darkness to light is to turn from heathenism, superstition or religious error to the knowledge and worship of the one true God. Most of our media, TV, movies, music and print are controlled by Humanist. Humanism is a philosophy that puts the emphasis on humans solving the problems of life without God having any authority. “Humanists believe that human beings are part of the natural world with all other forms of life, and that nature is indifferent to our individual existence.” In other words, “Do what makes you happy.” Humanists are convinced that the meaning and purpose of life must be found in living not in dying. They say it is all about the here and now. They say, do what you want to do because this life is all there is. It is no wonder that we are getting use to the dark.
The people of God are not in darkness: People are of the night when they turn away from the light and refuse to accept God and His truth. “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” (1 Thessalonians 5:4-5) These brethren are of the light, or they are of the day, because they have come to Christ for light. They have learned His word and they are living by His truth. They will not accept the darkness by slowly getting use to it! God people will not watch, listen to or participate in things of darkness. God deserves better from us than to fill our minds with things of darkness.
Christians are delivered from the power of darkness: Paul wrote that Christians should be, “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:12-14) When a person becomes a Christian he becomes a citizen in "the kingdom of God’s dear Son." This is the kingdom of light, as opposed to the kingdom of darkness (Satan’s kingdom) in which we lived when we were outside of Christ. “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ephesians 5:8-11) Those who want to live and serve in God’s kingdom of light cannot fill their minds with the soap opera filth or with other darkness and ungodliness.
We must follow Jesus or, if not, we will walk in darkness: Jesus is the light of the world. Without Him everything is darkness, misery, and death. “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12) Jesus said, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” (John 12:46) It was prophesied, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.” (Isaiah 60:1)
No Christian can ever walk in darkness and at the same time please God. If we are in fellowship with God, we must walk in the Light. Being a Christian is a serious responsibility. Christianity involves your salvation. Your Christianity may affect hundreds of others. To become a Christian, you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), you must believe in Jesus (Mark 16:16), repent of every sin (Acts 2:38), confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10) and be baptized to be saved. (1 Peter 3:21) After baptism the challenge for every Christian is to walk in the light and to avoid any act of darkness. Sin is to be avoided. Paul wrote of those, “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:25-32) Observe that the one who did the act of darkness was condemned; also observe that anyone who took pleasure from their sinful acts was likewise damned.
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA