JOHN 3:19-21: “And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, so that his deeds will not be exposed. But the one who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds will be revealed as having been performed in God.” NASB
OBSERVATION: What is the oldest battle known to man? Is it the struggle for political power? Is it the war between the sexes? Is it the battle for competing ideologies? The oldest battle known to man is…
The battle between light and darkness.
This is the ultimate battle. This is the battle that takes place in the heavenlies and in our own backyard. It is the battle that will one day be settled once and for all when Jesus Christ returns in glorious light and overcomes and dispels all darkness once and for all. When Jesus Christ sets up the New Heavens and New Earth there will be no darkness at all – either physically or spiritually!
- “And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illuminated it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed…” Revelation 21:23-25 NASB
What a glorious day that will be! Yet, today, we find ourselves in the battle of light and darkness as we look for this day. We are all thrust into this battle. There is no way to escape the battle. However, there is a way to have victory. Our victory is found only in the light. We cannot dispel or overcome the darkness. Only the light, the True Light can do this.
- “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of mankind. And the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not grasp it. ‘ John 1:4-5 NASB
Jesus is the True Light. We need to always keep this forefront in our minds and hearts. The battle that wages in the world, the battle of light against darkness, sin against righteousness, is ultimately a battle of the enemy against Jesus Christ. The kingdom of darkness, under the rule and authority of Satan, is constantly battling against the Kingdom of Light, ruled by Jesus Christ our Lord.
As believers, we know and understand the end of the battle. Jesus wins! We win in Christ! Yet, we often forget this fact amid the battle when the struggle becomes personal. When we are accused of being intolerant, unloving, narrow-minded, haters, bigots, and all sorts of vile things, we begin to take it personally. We forget that the attack is not against us but against The Light!
- “And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light; for their deeds were evil.”
Jesus is the light. We are called to be reflections of His light. The world and its system are under the rule of the prince of darkness. Therefore, the world will hate The Light and us as we reflect His light. So what is our call as lights to the world? Is it to be exposers of darkness or reflections of His light? This is where many become confused and also discouraged in this ongoing battle.
As children of the light our call is to proclaim the Light. The Pharisees were famous for pointing out the darkness in others. Yet, when God sent forth His Light, it was not to expose the darkness of the world – it was to proclaim His light – His love!
- “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17 NASB
Jesus came to proclaim the love of the Father. Jesus came to be the true light to a world lost in darkness. Jesus came so that everyone who believes in Him could have eternal life. He did not come to judge the world. He came to die for it! This is the message of the Gospel. This is the purpose of the light. So then the question remains – why doesn’t everyone embrace the light? Why doesn’t everyone embrace Jesus Christ through faith?
Light does not have to point out darkness. Light naturally exposes it. When one turns on the light whatever is broken, dirty, or deficient is immediately exposed. It is not that the light is looking for these things. They already exist. It is simply that the light exposes that which has been hidden in the darkness. When the light exposes these things then a choice has to be made.
The choice is repentance and faith – or rejecting and hating the light.
- “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, so that his deeds will not be exposed.”
This is why the battle continues to wage on. The enemy or our souls hates the light. Those who embrace evil hate the light. They hate it because it exposes the true nature of their deeds. The truth of God’s Word, the call of His love, and the person and work of Jesus Christ, all shine a light that exposes the reality of their life and their choices. There are only two decisions that are possible. Either you come to the light in repentance or you hate the light and avoid it at any cost.
This is the battle that defines our current day. This is why we are caught in its crossfire. Yet, in all of this, it is important that we do not internalize this struggle or allow our message to be changed. Jesus said that the world will hate the one who embraces the light because they hate The Light. It is always about Jesus. The battle is between the kingdom of darkness against the Kingdom of Light. Our victory is not through becoming light police. It is through becoming light heralds!
- “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin in our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 NASB
The world is waiting to catch us in our failures and accuse us of hypocrisy. We fall prey to this when we make the message about us and not about Him. The Gospel is not about how much better we are than anyone else. The Gospel is about Jesus Christ, the Light of Life, coming to this world and taking the full penalty of our sin upon Himself. The Good News is that we were all once children of darkness but have become children of light through Jesus Christ alone!
Lord, in this day in which we live, help us to let our light shine brightly in the darkness that surrounds us. Keep our light focused on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Help us to be ambassadors for Christ, proclaiming His love, His sacrifice, His victory over death, and His promise of eternal life to all who will believe. Keep our lights burning brightly with the oil of Your love!
In Jesus’ Name!