August 8, 2019
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” John 3:19.
The world is in a mess. Everywhere we look we see doom and gloom. Chaos seems to rule and liberal beliefs are infesting the hearts of men…and women. In the United States, there were two tragic shooting incidents recently, and the nation has had our hearts broken. These tragedies are becoming all too frequent. Though we are horrified, this shouldn’t be a surprise to Christians because we are in the last days and Scripture tells us that the hearts of humanity will grow colder. I’m not writing today about those shootings, but about the darkness that lives in the hearts of secular people. That darkness permeates our world and is trying to extinguish the Light of God. That darkness is from Satan.
People will often blame God when tragedy strikes. Whether that tragedy is a mass murder, an evil rape, or a single murder of any kind, the first reaction is to blame God. In many cases, it’s our choice that puts us in a perilous situation. Not always, but quite often that’s the case. Did the young woman who cries rape choose to go to a frat party? The rape shouldn’t have happened, but if she wasn’t in the wrong place she wouldn’t have been put in danger. When a person chooses to pursue carnal lusts and worldly pleasures, they choose to follow Satan. Christians must learn to make choices based on Biblical truth and turn from the wickedness of the world. “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.” 1 John 5:19. The god of this world is Satan. Many video games, TV shows, movies, and song lyrics glorify Satan and mock the one true God. It isn’t always easy to turn from the darkness because those things tempt us to sin. They often offer temporary pleasure, but that pleasure doesn’t last.
Christians make a mistake by keeping silent and playing the games, watching the shows, and listening to the music that promotes evil. Those things control our hearts. How many hours do you spend studying Scripture, talking with God, or doing good works in His name? How many hours do you spend in secular activity? Parents…take the iPhone away. Look into the vaccinations your children get and the mind-altering drugs they are prescribed to counteract the side effects of those vaccinations. Learn about the drug list that most, if not all, of the shooters, were prescribed. Parents put your foot down and don’t allow secular music and movies to shape your child’s life. Parents, here’s the tough thing you can do, homeschool your children. Easy? Not really because most parents have given in to the temptations of this world. You might have to give up some of your toys…multiple cars, big mortgage payment, or that spectacular vacation, but the soul of your child is more important than the secular teaching you allow them to be brainwashed with. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6. Lead by example. Most parents encourage secular sports or allow their kids to “hang out” with secular friends. Ask the parents of the young girl who was brutally stabbed by two “friends” who were obeying a demon what they would do differently. Give your children the courage to stand for Jesus rather than wanting to be accepted by secular friends. Teach your children to not be ashamed of following Christ, even if people mock them. Teach them what Jesus did for them on the cross and how He endured the mocking and rejection of many people around Him. He chose men to “hang out” with who were willing to draw closer to the Light of the World rather than follow the darkness of Satan.
Here’s another very real part of the mass murder tragedies, or any other death: How many of the victims knew Jesus? That question won’t be addressed by the news media, but it could be the eternal tragedy of these deaths. The partiers in Dayton, the shoppers in El Paso, the crowd in Las Vegas, and even those sitting in the pews when a killer entered a congregation with a gun, have all stepped into eternity. If you’re a victim tomorrow, your choice today makes the eternal difference. Jesus Himself sent Paul on a mission to spread the Gospel. “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. That mission is given to every Christian. If we don’t put Christ first in our lives, live so others can see Him in us, and speak boldly for His truth then the darkness will grow stronger and the power of Satan will infect everyone. A person living in darkness and serving the god of this world can repent and turn their life over to Christ if a Christian will be a witness to him. Jesus will forgive every sin whether homosexuality, abortion, mass shootings, or telling lies. If you’ve led someone to a saving faith in Jesus, don’t walk away. That new babe in Christ must be guided in their walk. Teach them to follow Christ. Use Scripture, both the Old and New Testaments. Be firm about what Scripture discloses as sin and help them to turn away from darkness. Don’t let failures stumble them in their walk, but teach them to recognize their sin and confess to Jesus and seek His forgiveness. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:8-9. We all need to examine our way of life so we can turn from the darkness and draw nearer to the Light of Jesus.
Everyone was dead in sin before accepting the free gift of salvation only found in Jesus. Prior to accepting Christ you may have willingly participated in much sin and found temporary pleasure in it. True acceptance of Christ’s gift of salvation should change your mind about what things you find pleasure in. “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of the light: (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” Ephesians 5:8-10. Christ saves us but then we have a responsibility to allow Him to change us. Darkness and Light cannot exist simultaneously, and we can’t continue in sin and claim to follow Him. Temptations will always come our way, and those stumbling blocks are satanic. Be careful about the things you see. The eye can allow darkness into your whole being and even the strongest Christian can stumble. “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, they whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is the darkness!” Matthew 6: 22-23. It’s a sad commentary on life today that Christians cannot be distinguished from non-Christians. Rather than putting Christ first, He is put on a back shelf. Because of our silence, we have allowed Satan to take over our schools, our politics, and even our churches. Jesus said “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” John 12:46. No wonder Satan’s darkness is overshadowing the Light of God…Christians choose to abide in darkness rather than drawing closer to the Light.
We never know when our life will be taken. No matter how you die or when you die, you have a choice as to how you will live. You may be shopping at Wal-Mart when a demon-possessed person pulls the trigger and your life is over. Make your eternal choice now. When you choose to accept Jesus Christ for salvation you then need to draw closer to His Light. If you’ve accepted His free gift of salvation, no matter how you die you will live eternally with Him. Don’t leave the choice of your eternal destination until it’s too late. Draw near to the Light of God today or forever dwell in darkness.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.