It never ceases to amaze me how one may see illustrations of the truths presented in the Scriptures in the everyday world. Not too long ago, I was driving rather late at night (around 1am or so) through western Illinois for a weekend vacation. It amazed me to see how dark this region was at night– when one is used to the perpetual “neon haze” of the city, one easily forgets how dark it can truly be at night. The darkness seemed so great that it appeared to actually swallow any light from the occasional headlight or lamplight that passed by.
As I drove through this darkness, I was reminded of the following passage in John 12:35:
So Jesus said to them, “For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes.”
It was very evident to me that night how great the darkness was, and how easy it would be to get lost in such a darkness. A person would have no bearings nor perception enough to travel in such a landscape without some form of light.
A day and a half later I was back on the road, this time heading northeast through western Illinois, but this time during the daytime. What a difference the day makes! The landscape was discernible and travel was made much easier.
We ought to be so reminded concerning Jesus the Christ. We read the following concerning Him in John 1:4-5:
In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
We are told further the following in Ephesians 5:8, Colossians 1:12-13, and Matthew 5:14-16:
for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light.
giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
Thanks to the love of God, we, who were formerly in the darkness, have now been brought to the light! We need no longer stumble in the darkness, without hope and still in our sins, for we have turned to Christ for the remission of our sins and the ability to share in the eternal life that is to come.
We may look around our world today and see that it is in the darkness. Violence, sensuality, lasciviousness, immodesty, and every form of immorality is not only present but in many cases flaunted. We are beginning to live in a society where the morality inherent in the Christian lifestyle is a strange thing to see. Verily did Paul speak in Romans 1:21-25 concerning the Gentiles, and we may certainly apply it to those who do not honor God today:
For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
Many in the world have given themselves over to the darkness. We must remember this and strive diligently to fulfill our commission to show the light of Christ to all men who stand in the darkness, without guidance, without truth, and without hope.
Spiritual darkness has most assuredly pervaded our world today; it resembles western Illinois at night more than during the day by far. The darkness is tempting, and John tells us in 1 John 2:9, 11 that many profess to be in the light but actually live in darkness, with hardened consciences no longer fulfilling the will of God. The time is coming, however, when the Lord Jesus will return and all will be light, and there will be no darkness at all. Those who have lived in the spiritual darkness will be consigned to eternity in the outer darkness, and for the righteous there will be nothing but light. Let us hold fast to this hope, always striving to remain in the light and to bring others into the light, for, as we see in 1 John 1:5:
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
Let us resist the darkness and pursue the Light!