As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.
Jesus indicated that we are to work while it is day. Just as we can see the light fading into dusk, so it is becoming in the world today. In the Middle East, there is almost no light at all. It is reported that Jesus is revealing Himself to people in visions and dreams because the people there have effectively put out the light. It truly is night there – no one can work.
In very rapid succession, countries that were once brightly lit with the light of Christ have become dim. In England, the cathedrals are being turned into mosques. There are fewer and fewer people who would darken the doorsteps of a church. Faith is failing. And nature abhors a vacuum. A most egregious evil is now afflicting those people. When the light is placed under a bowl, it does no one any good.
Here in the United States of America, we are experiencing the same kind of withdraw by people. Once our young people reach adulthood, they go off on their own, and reject the teachings of their youth (if they were brought up in the church). Seeking to validate the claims of Faith by looking at the practical effectiveness of Christian living, they wrongly conclude that because Christians aren’t living out their faith correctly, that faith doesn’t work.
Abandoning their faith, they are drawn by the pleasures and values of the world, the devil, and their own evil desires. Those that do come back only come to their senses after 15-20 years, and only after great consequences have befallen them. The Millennials also flock to the preachers that tickle their ears with what they want to hear. Downplaying sin and righteousness, they receive a weekly dose of psychology that tells them God is Love and Grace (and He is!), but there isn’t mention of transformation and sanctification into the image of Christ. Believing then only that God loves them just the way they are (very true!), they fail to grasp their need to repent, and go on to live their lives just as the rest of the world does, indistinguishable from those who are perishing. And others, failing to look in the Bible to see how faith is truly vibrant, real, and effective, even if the outcome here on Earth is unpleasant, conclude that faith is foolishness.
As God slowly withdraws his protection and stabilizing influence from all of us as the world continues to reject Him, night falls and lawlessness increases. The darkness HATES the light, and will do anything it can to flee it, or extinguish it, so that its wickedness will not be exposed, and permit the continuation of its evil practices.
But fear not! Jesus has overcome the darkness! Walk in the light, let your light shine before men, complete the works that God has given you to do, and let God deal with the consequences of obedience.
A short prayer of preparation:
Father in Heaven, You have given us a Light that cannot be extinguished, and shines brightly for all to see. For Your Son Jesus Christ said that if He was lifted up, He would draw all men to Himself. Father, I have been drawn, and grow weary today, not of doing what is right, but of wading through the thick molasses of evil and wickedness in the world. Help me to overcome. Grant me strength to keep on walking. And as the path to righteousness grows more narrow every day, help me to not be swept away or held in place. You have declared that I am an oak of righteousness, and that no one can snatch me out of Your hand. Guard me, guide me, try me, prove me. Help me to be a bright light on a hill. And whatever you allow to happen, even to the point of death, keep me strong that You may be glorified. This I ask and pray in the precious and faithful character of Your One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.