The Greatest Darkness

Mathew 6:23But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”

I have a confession I must make, it is an admittance of guilt for lack of love. It probably is a result of myself having committed the same offenses toward others and then seeing the darkness of sin in me causes a recoil of disgust.

When a confessing believer lives in habitual sin without remorse, I believe that person exemplifies the worst of mankind. I know I’m not perfected yet, I am striving for perfection daily but I admit the flesh gets in the way. I do not excuse myself for my behavior, I simply recognize my weakness, pray for grace and forgiveness, and seek to learn from my mistakes.

Those who claim to exemplify Christ and yet deny Him by their actions, they blaspheme His name to the world. These lifestyles lead others down paths of darkness that claim to be leading them to the light. Hypocrisy is a position of shame that reveals a lack of sincerity. Whether someone is a confessing believer or in a position of unbelief, hypocrisy looks ugly to everyone.

I often question whether the hypocritical christian only denies their sin by refusing to own up to it or if they have somehow justified their position by their belief system. Take any scripture out of context and you can make it sound supportive of any number of heretical views. Set your mind on things below and block out the things of God, it’s easier to forget the shame.

What should I do?

Many would say that to bring condemnation would be to place myself into a position of judgement. Didn’t Christ condemn those who judge?

Matthew 7:1,2 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”

If I am riding with a friend and who likes to run through stop lights, is it being judgemental to remind him that it is against the law to drive in that manner? My concern is not as a judge over him, I have no power to enforce the law, my concern is for his safety and potential for being arrested and thrown into prison.

Judgement is enforcing the law, sharing the law is only showing love.

If I routinely run stop lights when I am driving, my concern given to him wont carry much weight. My friend might say, “well, you do it, why can’t I?”, then my warning might then go unheeded for my lack of discretion.

Warning someone who claims to be of the light and yet walks in darkness is done so by sharing with them the measure by which they are judged. Our judge sees all, knows all, and will have the final say at the end of our days. If we think an affiliation with Christ is adequate and yet walk in darkness, we are only lying to ourselves and the truth is not in us. That Truth is God and God manifests His presence by way of His Holy Spirit in the life of a true believer.

Romans 7:7,8 “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead.”

If I don’t share the law of God with someone who has placed themselves in danger of Hell, I am not showing them love. The one who calls themselves a christian and thinks their lifestyle is in accordance with their belief system is walking in a greater measure of darkness than an atheist with no belief.

I am compelled to share the gospel

If I don’t share the true gospel with a fake christian, I myself am sinning. The Lord has relegated His people with carrying His message to the world. I don’t place my own cultural beliefs in the way of the message, I share the Word of God and that places God’s standard before them, not my own.

Romans 5:20 “The law came in so that the trespass would increase; but where sin increased, grace increased all the more,”

“The biblical way to express God’s love to a sinner is to show him how great his sin is (using the Law—see Romans 7:13; Galatians 3:24), and then give him the incredible grace of God in Christ.”

― Comfort , Ray, The School of Biblical Evangelism

Parody of the Plane

Let me give you a short illustration from Ray Comfort on sharing the law:

The way we present the gospel determines the kind of response the sinner makes. Let me illustrate.

Two men are seated in a plane. A stewardess gives the first man a parachute and instructs him to put it on because it will “improve his flight.”

Not understanding how a parachute could possibly improve his flight, the first passenger is a little skeptical. Finally he decides to see if the claim is true. After strapping on the parachute, he notices its burdensome weight, and he has difficulty sitting upright. Consoling himself with the promise of a better flight, our first passenger decides to give it a little time.

Because he’s the only one wearing a parachute, some of the other passengers begin smirking at him, which only adds to his humiliation. Unable to stand it any longer, our friend slumps in his seat, unstraps the parachute, and throws it to the floor. Disillusionment and bitterness fill his heart because as far as he is concerned, he was told a lie.

Another stewardess gives the second man a parachute, but listen to her instructions. She tells him to put it on because at any moment he will be jumping out of the plane at 25,000 feet.

Our second passenger gratefully straps the parachute on. He doesn’t notice its weight upon his shoulders nor that he can’t sit up upright. His mind is consumed with the thought of what would happen to him if he jumped without it. When other passengers laugh at him, he thinks, “You won’t be laughing when you’re falling to the ground!”

Analyzing the illustration:

The first man’s motive for putting on the parachute was solely to improve his flight. As a result, he was humiliated by the passengers, disillusioned by an unkept promise, and embittered against the stewardess who gave it to him. As far as he is concerned, he will never put one of those things on his back again.

The second man put the parachute on to escape the danger of the coming jump. Because he knew what would happen to him without it, he had a deep-rooted joy and peace in his heart. Knowing he was saved from certain death gave him the ability to withstand the mockery of the other passengers. His attitude toward the stewardess who gave him the parachute was one of heartfelt gratitude.

Now listen to what the contemporary gospel says: “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ; He will give you love, joy, peace, and fulfillment.” In other words, He will improve your flight. In an experimental fashion, the sinner puts on the Savior to see if these claims are so.

What does he get? Temptation, tribulation, and persecution. The other passengers mock his decision. So what does he do? He takes off the Lord Jesus Christ; he is offended for the Word’s sake; he is disillusioned and embittered, and quite rightly so.

He was promised peace, joy, fulfillment, and all he got were trials and humiliation. His bitterness is directed at those who gave him the “good news.” His latter end is worse than the first—another inoculated, bitter backslider!

The apostle Peter acted in misguided zeal when he tried to dismember the Roman servant in the garden of Gethsemane. Many misguided Christians are also cutting off ears—the ears of potential hearers. Once sinners think they have given it a try, they no longer have an ear for the gospel.

Why are sinners turned off and tuned out? Because we no longer preach the full message of the gospel. We have omitted the key to genuine repentance—

the Law of God.

Being Honest

Romans 7:25 “I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

Our sinful nature wants to embrace darkness, it is only by the power of God in us that we can walk in His light. Sharing the law in evangelism is one thing, living it out is another. The unbeliever is given knowledge for the consequences of sin by use of the law, the believer in Christ follows the law out of love for God. The one who claims to know Christ and yet walks contrary to the law, only lives a lie.

Are we being honest with ourselves in regard to how we practice our faith?

I hope you have a friend that will share the Word with you when you start to stray. That is the measure of a true friend, not worrying about being a little intrusive so that others might be brought into alignment with God’s purpose.

As a believer in Christ I must get past the anger of seeing God’s name blasphemed by someone else and remember I am called to love those who ignorantly walk in darkness. I have found that sharing the law is one of the best ways to be that light.

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