There is a creeping darkness invading the Church. Yes, evil is encroaching on cities and countries around the world, but of utmost concern is the way it is taking up residence within the Church. The worst part is this is happening on our watch. Less than five hundred years ago, brave men stood up and refused to bend to the perversion of the gospel. From these men, among other movements, came the reformation, the puritans, and the Great Awakening.
They turned and sought the Lord. Neither these men nor the movements in which they involved themselves were perfect. The result, however, was a return to the scripture and the King of kings, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Look at us now. Where is the conviction and power of the Church? We have squandered and shamed those who came before us by falling asleep at the wheel.
It’s impossible to pinpoint where it all went wrong. Certainly, there are moments to which we can look, but all are but one more point along the line of a long, slow slide. It is a creeping darkness we find ourselves in, not one that came over us all at once. One compromise led to another until the Church of today is scarcely even a pale reflection of what it once was. We are all to blame. Not one of us has any excuse.
Why haven’t we stood against the tide? Why haven’t we done more than sign a few petitions and make a few phone calls? When did it become more important for Christians to be well-liked by everyone than to offend people with the gospel? Jesus said the world would hate us because it first hated Him (John 15:18 ; Matthew 10:22). He said they would persecute us because of Him (Matthew 10:16-20; John 16:33). As Christians, our lot in this world is to be despised and abused, but we consider that to be a minor inconvenience compared to the reward for staying true to our King (2 Corinthians 4:17; Hebrews 3:14). We’ve forgotten this and have instead pursued success by this world’s standards and live in a way so as not to offend our friends and neighbors.
Yes, we are to live peaceably with all (Romans 12:18), but never at the expense or compromise of the gospel. Every person we interact with who does not know Christ will go to Hell. If we do not tell them the good news of Jesus, we are complicit in their fate. It is not ours to save, but it is ours to speak and disciple (Matthew 28:19-20). How will we explain our silence when Christ calls us to account for the life He entrusted to us? How will we explain the rationalization of our endless concession and compromise?
The creeping darkness is subtle but not undetectable. We are watching it happen. It may be too late for the world to repent, but there is still time for us to tell one more about the love of Jesus. We’re still breathing. Let us use whatever time we have left to tell others about Christ and perhaps lead them to salvation and away from destruction. Push back against the darkness. Shine the light of Jesus everywhere you go. Never be ashamed, never compromise, and never be silent. The darkness is strong, but the light will overcome it (John 1:4-5).