Fighting the Pull of Darkness, Part 5 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #61)

Pilgrim's Progress
Pilgrim’s Progress

TEXT: Ephesians 5:11-16

11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

——- PRAYER ——-

Fighting the Pull of Darkness, Part 5 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #61)

As we wrap up our focus on fighting the pull of darkness, we are going to look at what God wants us to do as it relates to the world. We have already seen how we, as Christians, ought not to be engaged in the deeds of darkness. And, we have also seen how we are commanded to reach out and lovingly rebuke our brothers and sisters in Christ who are engaged in such deeds.

However, we also bear an obligation to the world that lies in the lap of Satan. Look at verse 14: “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” The “he” speaking in this verse is God. Scholars believe that the words quoted here are either based on a verse in Isaiah or from an early Christian hymn, as it is not found elsewhere in the Bible. Joseph Exell and Donald Spence state in their commentary, “The fundamental idea is that when the Church gets the light of heaven, she is not to lie still, as if she were asleep or dead, but is to be active, is to make use of the light, is to use it for illuminating the world. The apostle maintains that the Ephesian Church had got the light of heaven; she, therefore, was not to sleep or loiter, but spring forth as if from the grave, and pour light on the world.”

That is what God calls the church to do. The church on earth is the light of God in a dark world. We who have been delivered from the darkness ought to let our lights shine so that others may come to Jesus and be delivered from the darkness of their sin. Doing this places us on the frontlines of the war against Satan. He tries to keep people enslaved, but we unite with Christ in order that many may find freedom in Him.

Some Christians look at the world today and believe it is time for the church to close ranks, to withdraw into its ivory towers, and leave the unsaved to the devil’s devices. In the past few years some have begun to talk about losing the so-called “culture wars.” However, retreating in the face of darkness is not an option for the church of Christ. That strategy is not in God’s playbook. As Russell Moore stated in his new book, Onward, the perceived loss of ‘Christian America’ is not a “tragedy”; rather, it is an opportunity for the church “to speak of sin and of righteousness and judgment, of Christ and his kingdom… Our end goal is not Christian America, but the kingdom of Christ, made up of every tribe, tongue, nation, and language.” Certainly, we will face setbacks and disappointments, but the battlecry of the church ought always to be, “onward, Christian soldiers!” We are obligated to keep moving forward.

Part of our shining a light involves our day-to-day lifestyle. Verse 15 says, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise…” Walking circumspectly means “living carefully.” We ought to be diligent and attentive to the way we live our lives. We ought not to be people who live for the thrills of life or to just go with the flow. Often, going with the flow involves getting into foolishness; and we are commanded to live wisely in this wicked world. Matthew Henry said, “Another remedy against sin is care or caution; it is otherwise impossible to maintain purity of heart and life.”

Part of living wisely in the world involves using our time wisely. Verse 16 says, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” This verse carries with it the idea of a businessman seizing upon a good opportunity to turn a profit. Strong’s Lexicon provides this definition: “To make wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good, so that zeal and well-doing are as it were the purchase money by which we make the time our own.”

The word translated “time” literally means a “fixed and definite time” or an “opportunity.” Every day, we are given specific opportunities to do good, to preach Christ, and to shine a light in the world. Every day, we are called to do as Christ did — to share the message of the Kingdom, to provide for the poor, to preach deliverance to captives and freedom to those who are enslaved. Let us awaken from our slumber and reignite our light. The days we live in are evil, but they are full of opportunities to do good.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you briefly how you can be saved from your sins and be guaranteed a home in Heaven with God today.

First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve eternal punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell. That is the bad news.

But here is the good news. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

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