Sunday, January 29, 2023

The Darkness Does Not Win!

 The Darkness Does Not Win (article by Kevin De Young)

“We know that the darkness will not be victorious over the world, because it was not victorious over the One through whom the world has made.”

“As you immerse yourself in God’s Word, your faith and understanding of God’s perfect nature is being built up and strengthened so you can stand firm.”

What we see today:

-rising secularism in the world and in our country has brought rift within the family.

-the world has become darker and more anti-Christian, but all answers are anchored in the Bible.

-we are hearing about wars and rumors of wars, terrorism on American soil (Jan. 6th), Christian persecution all over the world, and cultural degradation.

-we see cities of homelessness gripped in addiction give safety and ability to exchange needles and heroin so sidewalks in front of businesses are overrun with feces and addicts zomby bodies lying all around with no intention by the government to help clean up the cities being affected.

-people are saddled with chronic pain (ex. Shingles nerve damage) but push for more Covid shots and booster-follow the money-which one gets the government and pharmaceuticals richer?

-people are mired in depression, futility of life, and no hope of the future-following the money-the lie of climate change puts money in the pockets of the government along with full control over how you as a citizen use energy. The Earth will not fall until Jesus is ready to return. Being good stewards of the Earth matters, but it seems that going green destroys the natural setting (ex. Hundreds of windmills inserted in the ocean in clusters destroys the fishing industry and is killing whales as it is in the path of their migration). Then the ridiculousness of actors pushing that climate change is a result of racism. Who buys into this today-follow the money!

Do not be discouraged:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God. All things were made through Him, and without was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome” (John 1: 1-5).

-the symbolism of “light” in John’s Gospel has many layers. Light refers to
Christ and that when you follow Christ you become the light as he shines through you.

“I am the light of the world” (John 8:12).

“Everyone who does wicked things hates the light” (John 3:20).

-the light can also refer to eternal life and living an abundant life that can only be found in Christ

“In him was life” (John 1:4)

“The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood” (John 1: 5)

John wrote that he knew he was not replacing Jesus and his teachings, but to reveal the only path to reach the light as His light is victorious over the entire Dark Side.

“He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world” (John 1: 7-9)

Awake Christians:

-Christian will not be swallowed up by the darkness amid lifetime struggles with sin as Jesus sanctifies believers and welcomes them into a life of eternal bliss to come.

-We belong to the One who is the Light of the World. The fallen world of sin belongs to Satan. Do not be deceived in who you represent. Satan will not prove victorious in its ong, persistent fight against the light.

-The light is more powerful even when it seems the darkness is distinguishing the light. 

-No matter how much darkness, light pierces the darkness. Look at the dark sky at night and what pierces through are the stars as a testament of “I set every star in its place, so you would remember my name” (lyrics from Dancing on the Waves).

Be Confident:

-if God can summon light into existence when there was only darkness, surely He can send His light into the world with assurance of complete success, so matter how impossible the odds.

-The Light of the world was born in the darkness of night, as the Word of God lay in the manger unable to speak a syllable. The story is true-all of it-the baby, the virgin, the shepherds, the angel in a manger, the star, the wisemen-all true.

-our confidence is rooted in history; our faith is based on fact. The Bible from the beginning of to end has an overarching plotline which is Jesus being the redemption of all people. The disciples wrote as eyewitnesses of Jesus’ life. Revelation warns of the impending defeat of Satan and his followers so be prepared as Jesus will come like a thief in the night.  

What to do? God’s word is eternally trustworthy:


1-Be transformed:

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12: 2).


-there are only two options for those who call upon Christ as Savior. Either we’re being transformed by the renewing of our mind (which comes through prayer and anchoring ourselves in Scripture), or we’re being conformed by the persistent draw of today’s culture. (Will Graham)


-Do not neglect time in the Word, or instead you are being shaped by the world. BE TRANSFORMED, NOT CONFORMED


2-Discern truth from lies:

-We live in a deceptive age, where right is called wrong, and wrong is called right.

-Do not allow the misrepresentation of the Word and leading others astray ignorance or purposeful lies. DON’T FALL FOR IT! SPEND TIME IN SCRIPTURE AND KNOW WHAT IT SAYS SO THAT YOU ARE ABLE TO DISTINGUISH TRUTH FROM LIES.


“He is a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).


“All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16)


3-Stand:

-Apostle Paul write repeatedly to stand against the schemes of the devil and to withstand  in the evil day and to stand firm


“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6: 11).


Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place” (Ephesians 6: 13-14).


-currently our days are filled with evil as we watch people all around us fall for the schemes of the devil. 


-immerse yourself in God’s Word, your faith and understanding of God’s perfect nature is being built up and strengthened so you can stand firm.


4-Be encouraged and victorious

“for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).


-If you only fix your eyes on the world you will find only despair where the darkness seems like it is winning.


-If you fix your eyes on the truths of Scriptures then you will see the world through a different lens which is eternal victory that overcomes the world.


-It starts with the true, inerrant, infallible Word of the Most High God. Dig into scripture and stand firm in His glory 


-Repent, Believe, Trust, obey, and choose to take up your cross and follow Jesus.


-Worship and Rejoice that you are saved by Jesus, the Savior of the world.


“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).


The true Light, which gives light to everyone, has come into the world! And the darkness does not win.


Reclaim a God-Centered Faith in a Human-Centric World


-we tend to think of and treat the world as a place that we construct, rather than as a place designed and given to us by the hand of a loving Creator.


-sinful human nature rejects that there are givens in the world-absolutes and fixed realities to which we must adjust. Ex. redefining gender, marriage, parenting, and the family


-we can no longer rationalize that the kids are flexible so they will be just fine as an excuse for doing whatever we think is best for us. Even though we see the contrary, ex. De-transitioning young people speak out against chemical castrations and gender surgery regrets.


Human-centric lies: no absolute truths, so live your own truth, divorce is actually good for kids, gender is fluid, and children don’t really need their moms and dads.


-ideas have consequences, and bad ideas have victims


-a culture untethered from truth and its Divine Source is a culture full of bad ideas


Secularism’s source on society:


-the loss of a fixed reference point by which to orient our understandings of self, right and wrong, progress, and meaning or purpose.


-secularism shapes the culture by disproving God as an objective reality, but by dismissing Him as a matter of subjective preference.


-God has been turned into a personal and private belief, rather than concern ourselves, even in the church, with who God is, we instead concern ourselves with who God is to me.


-secularism has radically privatized faith, and in doing so, untethered our understanding of reality from our Creator. This leaves us without a fixed reference point by which to orient our lives.


-privatized understanding of God and truth has infected the church as it keeps Christians from loving God and our neighbors. It neutralizes the  power to change not only people but entire societies, and prevents Christians from understanding what it truly means to love our neighbors as ourselves.


Love of God defines Love of Neighbors:


-without God, people cease from loving our neighbors 


-Jesus summarized the entire law in the command of love as first tethered to our love of God. Only by loving God first can we love others.


“You shall over the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22: 37).


-when love or truth, law or regulation, education or leisure are untethered from God, there are victims. In today’s world, the victims of our worst ideas are most often children. We rob them of the clarity, the protection, the learning, the mother and father, the truth and the meaning they need to survive and thrive, and we simply expect them to adjust but instead they suffer. 


-to care about our kids is to care about the ideas that are poisoning their hearts, minds, and culture. 


-we risk being canceled, falsely accused of hate and violence and of losing social status, but merely being outraged by what we see is not enough.


Fixing our Eyes on Jesus brings True Fulfillment:


-Christians tend to be somewhere between angry and panicky, or both. 


-there is no way around the cultural chaos, so take it seriously, but outrage is not a strategy-truth reins


-we must be tethered fully to God and to His truth so we must look beyond ourselves, religion, traditions, and culture to keep our eyes on Christ. We need to look beyond what is within ourselves.


-there is no substitute for the truth and clarity of reorienting our lives and worldview to God. There is no substitute for loving God which moves us to love our neighbors. 


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