In the wake of a society in which we glorify perversion, celebrate murder, indoctrinate school students with false religious practices and allow hatred for Christians to run rampant, it's time to get serious.
As the days are getting darker, and the light of Jesus is needed more than ever, many churches, pastors and everyday believers are wandering around with empty lamps. And you know what an empty lamp will do for a lost and dying world: nothing. Without oil, there is no light. Without light, there is no revelation of sin and the need for a Savior. Without the revelation, there is no direction of repentance. Without repentance, there is no hope.
So why are we as Christians allowing worldly influences and power to dim, empty and dictate our lives?
If we are tired of the powers of darkness from news agencies and social media outlets that censor, mock and persecute Christian values, yet allow people with demonic platforms to freely share their messages, let's stop using their outlets until there is a change of heart.
If we are outraged on behalf of our fellow Christians who are persecuted for running their businesses the way they want to, maybe we need to stop giving our time, money and integrity to businesses that openly support values that contradict God's Word.
If we as Christians are tired of seeing evil presented as good, we need to stop enabling that behavior by watching shows and movies, playing games and engaging in activities that that promote sexual sin, taking the name of our Savior in vain, and any other murderous, adulterous and demonic influences.
If we as Christians want revival to reach the nations for the kingdom of God, we have to stop mimicking the kingdom of darkness.
What are we so afraid of? Persecution? It's already here. The fact that many churches in this nation are too concerned about their fans, popularity and revenues and are blinded by the same darkness as non-believers does not dismiss the horrific and heartbreaking persecution around the world. There are people around the world dying daily for their commitment to Jesus who shine brighter than many self-proclaimed Christians who are so self-absorbed they do not even see what is happening.
As the days get darker, it is vital that our lights shine brighter. We have to stop misrepresenting Christianity by intermingling with other religious practices, promoting a false sense of security for sin through sloppy grace and enabling the powers of darkness to dictate our everyday lives.
What happened to preaching the pure and simple gospel? What happened to speaking the truth about eternity, and that only followers of Christ will be in heaven, and everyone else will be in hell? What happened to repentance for sin and acknowledging the holiness of God? Those are the things that will fill our lamps back up with the precious time that is left.
How did we as the church let it get this far? It is not the world's fault; it's ours. They are in the darkness; we know better. "For the time will come when people will not endure sound doctrine, but they will gather to themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, having itching ears, and they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn to myths" (2 Tim. 4:3-4).
We need to stop waiting for someone else to take action to turn our nation back to Christ. We need to unify as followers of Christ and act now. Here are five instructions from 2 Timothy to help fill our lamps with the oil needed to light our paths to reach the lost for God's kingdom.
- We need to drop to our knees and repent for being silent to, tolerant of and compromising with darkness. "But the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, 'The Lord knows those who are His,' and, 'Let everyone who calls on the name of Christ depart from iniquity" (2 Tim. 2:19). "So flee youthful desires and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart" (2 Tim. 9:22).
- We need to take the fluff out of our sermons and preach the pure and life-changing gospel of the Lord Jesus. "Study to show yourself approved by God, a workman who need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But avoid profane foolish babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness, and their word will spread like gangrene" (2 Tim. 2:15-17).
- We need to value and make prayer and Bible study the center of our lives, our families and our ministries so we can clearly hear and obey the Holy Spirit. "Follow the pattern of sound teaching which you have heard from me in the faith and love that is in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 1:13).
- We need to be bold to call evil out and have no part of it. "Know this: In the last days perilous times will come. Men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, slanderers, unrestrained, fierce, despisers of those who are good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying its power. Turn away from such people" (2 Tim. 3:1-5).
- We need to boldly and unashamedly preach, live and share the truth of God's Word. "All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
We as believers and followers of Christ are called to be the light, and it's time to stop blending in. It's time to shine for Jesus, the one who gave us the chance to live and serve Him before His return.
He needs our lamps full, because time is running out.
Pastor Meg Hart founded Restored Women in 2015 and Restored Global in 2018, both ministries birthed into her heart from God as a result of the great revelation, redirection and restoration she experienced through Jesus.
She is an ordained pastor through Global Ministries and Relief Inc. and the Full Gospel Fellowship. She holds a master's degree in organizational leadership from Regent University and is currently in her final year as a doctoral student for the Ed.D. in performance improvement leadership.
She is the proud mother of one daughter, Mackenzie, and serves at Life Church in Williamstown, New Jersey.
This article originally appeared at restoredwomen.com.
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