Jesus said that people prefer darkness rather than light because people don’t want their sinful deeds exposed (Jn.3:19-20). Of course this is an analogy. Your willingness to sit in the sun or your desire to dim the lights in the family room has nothing to do with your sin or righteousness. Christ meant that one’s readiness to embrace him and his message constituted a willingness to step into the exposure of the “light” of God’s truth. On the other hand, one’s avoidance of him and his message was depicted as a selfishly motivated retreat into the “shadows” of one’s own opinion. On the surface, it is easy to read Christ’s words about sinners loving darkness with feelings of immunity. After all, every reasonable person loves the “light”. Right? Not actually. Consider some of the avenues through which the “light” of Christ’s truth shines today. The Bible is the brightest record of that light. A biblical sermon aimed at life-change can feel like a laser of concentrated truth. Christian friends who are quick to speak of Christ’s commands can be bright reflectors of God’s light. But how do most people respond to those conduits of God’s light? Most avoid their Bibles for days on end. Many look for excuses to miss church and those “convicting” messages. And who hasn’t heard the “Bible-thumping” Christians dismissed as “holier than thou”? We must see that simply imagining that “Christ would agree with me” while avoiding the avenues of Christ’s light, constitutes nothing less than hiding in the darkness of one’s own opinions. Jesus said “whoever lives by the truth comes into the light” (Jn.3:21). So then, it behooves us to give attention to how we are interfacing with accurate conduits of Christ’s light. Avoiding them is never a good sign. Eagerly and regularly diving into them is indicative of those who are actually living by the truth.
Times are changing, and at a dramatic pace. Much of the shift in our culture has been over just a few short years. Not too long ago the kinds of things happening today would have provoked public outrage. This is no longer the case. However, we should not be surprised; the Bible tells us that people will be “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3).
As our culture continues down this path, calling “good evil and evil good,” we are challenged more and more to live as a countercultural Christian in today’s world. In his book Prepare, Dr. Paul Nyquist, president of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, urges us to prepare for a future none of us could have imagined just a few years ago. This book will help you understand how to live faithfully in this new America.
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