Lights in a Dark World - 1
A. SOCIETY'S CHANGE CAUSE FOR CONCERN.
B. SOME SUGGEST A "POST-CHRISTIAN CULTURE."
1. The old values are no longer accepted by the majority.
2. Modernism the rule among theologians.
3. Many ridicule and no longer accept basic principles of morality in the Bible.
C. WHAT CAN CHRISTIANS DO TO CHANGE THE DIRECTION SOCIETY IS
HEADING, AND TO PROTECT OURSELVES AND CHILDREN?
D. THE ANSWER IS FOUND IN OUR TEXT, WRITTEN TO CHRISTIANS LIVING IN A
E. HOW ARE WE TO LIVE IN THE MIDST OF A CROOKED GENERATION?
A. FIRST REMOVE THE BEAM FROM YOUR OWN EYE( Matt. 7:1-6 ).
B. WE MAY LOSE OUR SALVATION IN THE WAY WE REACT TO OTHERS!
1. Many people go about trying to change society for the better, using methods
that will keep themselves out of the kingdom of God!( Gal. 5:19-21; 6:1 ).
2. Paul saw the need to be very careful( 1 Cor. 9:27 ).
3. Our motives must be honest and controlled( 2 Tim. 2:24-26 ).
A. THE WORD "FEAR" IN CONNECTION WITH GOD IS NOT POPULAR.
1. Perhaps a reaction to the "hell, fire and brimstone" preaching. But could it be
that we have gone to the other extreme?
2. Jesus certainly taught the "fear of the Lord"( Matt. 10:28 ).
B. THE NEED TO HAVE PROPER "FEAR AND TREMBLING."
1. Without it, it is unlikely we will seriously make the effort.
2. Could this be a reason there is so much apathy in the church today?
A. WE ARE GOD'S INSTRUMENTS TO ACCOMPLISH HIS PURPOSE.
1. For example( Phil. 1:6 ).
2. His might is greater than we realize( Eph. 3:20-21; Phil. 4:13 ).
3. The force behind this strength is faith( 1 John 5:4-5 ).
4. God exercises HIS will in us( 1 Pet. 4:2, 11-12; Matt. 7:21 ).
C. BUT WE MUST DO WHAT HE BIDS( James 1:22 )..
A. BY MAINTAINING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE!
1. Living in this generation can get us down, where we become murmurers.
2. As with Israel, murmuring can lead to our own downfall( 1 Cor. 10:10-12 ).
B. BY GETTING ALONG WITH YOUR BRETHREN
1. Unity is important as we try to convince the world( John 17:20-21 ).
2. Division a result of immaturity and worldliness( 1 Cor. 3:1-3 ).
C. A NEGATIVE ATTITUDE WILL NOT INFLUENCE OTHERS.
A. WHICH REQUIRES US TO BECOME "BLAMELESS."
1. Not that we are perfect, but "ABOVE REPROACH."
2. Nothing hides our light like inconsistency and hypocrisy!( Rom. 2:24 ).
B. IT ALSO REQUIRES US TO BE "HARMLESS"( Matt. 10:16 ).
A. OUR SWORD, OUR ONLY OFFENSIVE WEAPON( Eph. 6:10-17 ).
B. THE SPIRIT WORKS THROUGH THE WORD( James 1:18; Rom. 1:16 ).
C. WE MUST "HOLD FORTH" THIS POWERFUL WORD!
1. A lantern held up in the dark lights up a dark world( Matt. 5:14-16 ).
2. Our light makes known sin and shows the way( Eph. 5:13-14 ).
3. So, we are to be seen as lights in a dark world( Phil. 2:15 ).
A. THESE VERSES TELL HOW WE ARE TO BE LIGHTS IN A DARK WORLD.
B. ARE YOU A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS?