Want Out?

Brother or sister, do you ever wish you could live in a place where it would seem people are more godly?  No matter where we are, ungodliness surrounds us, so how does God call on us to live?

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).  Light shines brightly in dark places.  The world is a realm of darkness, lying under the sway of the devil.  God is light (1 John 1:5), and His word is a lamp and light (Psalm 119:105).  Christians walk in the light, in the truth of the word of God, and they shine as lights in the midst of wicked and perverse generation (Philippians 2:15).  Christians are lights to the lost to lead others to the true light and life of men, Jesus Christ (John 1:4).  This does not suggest we “hang out” with the wicked or become unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14), but you cannot be a light if you are not interacting with those in darkness.  If you are walking in the light, then you are a needed light regardless of where you are.

“Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another” (Mark 9:50).  If you are keeping yourself pure and unstained from the world, then you are salt, a preserving agent.  Sin is leaven.  Leaven corrupts, but salt preserves.  Living distinctly as a Christian, you are influencing the world for righteousness, and “righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).  Righteousness has preserving power then.  But salt only impacts that which it comes into contact with.  So as salt, we must come out of the shaker and be in the world without being of the world (John 15:19).

But we are bothered by the conduct of the world around us.  The Lord has not left us alone.  We have Him and His assurances in His word.  “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’.  So we may boldly say:  The Lord is my helper; I will not fear.  What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5b-6)  And in the house of God, which is the church of the living God (1 Timothy 3:15), we have brothers and sisters of like precious faith (2 Peter 1:1) who share the same sentiments and concerns.  Is it any wonder that the New Testament pattern has Christians being a part of a local church, in which we have encouragement to “stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God” (Philippians 1:27-28)?

  If you are vexed and oppressed by the filthy conduct of this world, you are in good company with every righteous man, including Lot of old (2 Peter 2:7).  Remember what Peter tells us in 2 Peter 2:4-9 – if the Lord saved Noah from a world of the ungodly and delivered righteous Lot from the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, then He knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation.  That is just as true today as when Peter wrote it.  Be salt and light and encourage and be encouraged by your brethren in Christ.

                       -Larry Jones