Shining in the Darkness
In New Orleans, the situation is desperate. Just to pump the flooded city will take a minimum of 30 days. Then the drinking water system will have to be flushed to clean out the contaminates in it. The power grid will take weeks, perhaps months, to repair. The stagnant water contains deadly chemicals and the remains of countless animals and humans. Most residents will not be able to get back to their homes for months.
Jesus said, “When you see these things begin to come to pass, then look up, for your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28). “These things” does not refer to a great spiritual revival upon earth. Rather, “…signs in the sun and in the moon and in the stars, and upon earth distress among nations with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring, men’s hearts failing them for fear…” (Luke 21:25-26).
The New Testament has a lot to say about the future, and it nowhere indicates a glorious finish to this age. Rather, false doctrine and abating love, earthly disasters and perilous times await us. But when the outlook is bleakest the uplook is brightest. While men’s hearts are failing them for fear our Lord says, “Be not afraid; be of good cheer.” The Lord Jesus is not building a world church. The popular and prosperous church, which today is on such good terms with this age, is in league with Caesar. Yet one day God will establish His kingdom, and when He does the Lamb will be on the throne.
New Orleans is America in microcosm. It stands for commercialism and money-making and ease and worldly pleasure. Into this darkness shines the light of Christian testimony. As thousands of Southern Baptists and many other Christians make their way to the stricken states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama they will expose the unfruitful works of darkness, not by denunciation, but by letting their light so shine before men that they will see their good works and glorify their Father who is in heaven. These are men and women whose field is the world, and they realize that the corn of wheat must die if it is to please God and bear fruit. They say,
Come ill or well, the cross, the crown/The rainbow or the thunder,/I fling my soul and body down/For God to plow them under.
They remind us that the Christian life is not a vacation but a vocation, and that we all need to be “with God on the go.”
Let us, then, do all we can to support them. And may their tribe increase.
September 1, 2005
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com. If you would like to know more about becoming a follower of King Jesus, please feel free to write Dave.