"YE ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD"
I. THIS PRESUPPOSES THAT THE WORLD IS IN DARKNESS.
A. Is this so?
1. About 250 years ago, according to historians, the world came out of the dark ages, and the age of enlightenment was born.
2. Mankind it was said was ushered into a new age where science would become the savior of the world.
3. It was declared by the prophets of the day that the 20th century would usher in the golden era for mankind, as the golden calf of scientific knowledge was worshipped by man.
4. Well we are watching the dying embers of the 20th century and as we look at our world today, would you describe this as the golden age?
5. It is true that science has brought us many conveniences.
a. We no longer travel in the horse and buggy.
b. We can eat breakfast in Europe, and dinner in Los Angeles.
c. We have automatic washing machines, we have vacuum cleaners and dishwashers, but do we really have a more time to enjoy life?
d. We have electric blankets instead of a hot water bottle to keep our feet warm at night, but are we sleeping more soundly and secure?
e. We have all kinds of convenient fast foods, but are we really eating better? Why is it we have to supplement our diets with all kinds of vitamins?
f. With the computer age and the modern media of T.V. newspapers, magazines, to keep us informed about life, do we really have a greater understanding of what is truly going on in our world?
g. We have an explosion of knowledge and we know a little bit about everything, but not much about anything.
h. We have psychiatrists who can do analyses and classify your disorders, but beyond that they can only make you dependant on drugs to cope with life.
i. The big question is, if life is so much better why do we need so many psychiatrists? They did not exist 300 years ago when poor mankind was so deprived of all the blessings that science has brought to us.
j. It should also be mentioned that science has also brought us stealth bombers, and cruise missiles, ICBM's and atom bombs, by which we can destroy cities thousands of miles away, are we living more secure lives?
k. We can put a man on the moon and talk about colonizing and living on the moon, but with all of the scientific advancements we really haven't learned how to live on the earth.
l. Crime is at an all time high. The jails are overcrowded, families are in disarray with divorces at an all time high. Babies by the millions are being sacrificed on the altars of Molech because of the worship of Ashtoreth.
m. Let's face it, we are living in conditions that parallel Sodom and Gomorrah. The pagan gods of sex and pleasure are being worshipped by greater numbers than in any period of history.
6. What John said of his day has always been true of every age, "The whole world lies in wickedness."
7. The problem is not the lack of the knowledge of the material Universe, but in the lack of the knowledge of God.
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
a. Worldly wisdom does not bring to man the knowledge of God, but quite the opposite, it tries to deny the existence of God.
b. Paul describes the situation in Roman's 1
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God,neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever.
8. It is interesting that this whole darkness of the world which has deliberately denied the knowledge of God ends in perverted activities as men try to fill the void left in their lives. They not only do things that, according to God's laws, are worthy of death, but they take pleasure in those that do them. Just look at the things that are done in movies that people watch watch for pleasure.
B. When the Lord called Paul to the ministry, it was to go the Gentiles:
To open their eyes, [and] to turn [them] from darkness to light, and [from] the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
C. Jesus told Nicodemus that the problem with the world was the love of darkness rather than light.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
II. THE EFFECT OF LIGHT.
A. It exposes the things that are hidden in darkness.
1. When you go into a dark room, you have no idea what might be lurking in that room. There may be scorpions all over the floor. We were staying in a condo in Hawaii and had been fixing our meals and fixing our sandwiches on the bread board, but one dark evening when we went into the kitchen and turned on the light, it was like the sink was in motion as the cock roaches scurried to get back into their dark recesses.
a. We surely changed our food preparation process, and we set traps all over the kitchen.
b. The light revealed what was in the darkness, and we were uncomfortable with what we found.
2. One of the purposes of light is to expose the things that have been hiding in the darkness.
3. Paul said,
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them].
For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
4. As the light of the world, wherever you go the things that are being done in darkness are exposed.
a. That is why sinful people are so uncomfortable around you.
b. Suddenly their sinfulness is being exposed, and they do not like that.
c. This is why they were determined to get rid of Jesus.
B. Light helps you to keep on the path.
1. Walking on a dark path at night, it is so good to have a flash light so that you might follow the path.
2. David said, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path."
3. The light keeps you from stumbling on a rock or a log that might lie in the path.
4. Proverbs tells us,
The way of the wicked [is] as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.
5. Your life is to light the path for others to follow. For light can lead you out of darkness.
III. JESUS SAID, "I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD."
Then spake Jesus unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
1. John tells us concerning Jesus,
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
a. The Greek word katalambanoo is translated comprehended here in the text, the word actually means overcome it is literally to throw down. The darkness could not overthrow it.
2. Now Jesus said to His disciples, "You are the light of the world." He also said, I am the light of the world.
3. How can I be the light of the world? By Jesus dwelling in me.
4. I am not the light. The light shines forth from my life.
5. The moon and the planets have no light of their own, they appear as light in the night sky, but in reality, they are only reflecting the light of the Sun.
6. In the same token we are to be as the moon reflecting the light of the Son.