We live in a world where darkness is visible. Sin is evident. And everyone is destined for the same fate.
But somewhere along the lines, something miraculous happened! God's son, Jesus, came to earth and paid the penalty for us... died upon the cross, and then rose again. He set all those free from the bondage of sin who profess Him to be Lord! They are no longer in the darkness... but in the light! John 8:12 says-
"Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows ME will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of LIFE."
Now, being a new creation, we are called to imitate Christ... we are made in His image and are to be a reflection of who He is!
So what does that mean exactly? Well, by living a Christian life, and being a reflection of who Christ is, we should be noticed by the world. We should be different. We should not be the norm. We should be seen by all! And if we are, that's Christ SHINING through us! He's the Light, and now we have the privileged of shining that light to this dark world!
Jesus calls us to put away our old self (the desires of the flesh), be filled with the Spirit, and walk in His light! I love the way Ephesians 5:1-14 puts it-
"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.” "
Now to tie back to what I began with: Nero was making human torches out of the Christians... but the thing that I find most intriguing about this situation, is even though they were being persecuted because of their faith, they were still shining the LIGHT! They were the ones who- when it was dark- were beacons of light so that others might see the pathway. Though they were tortured and persecuted for their faith, they would not recant! And through much pain, being burned alive, they ENDURED! They are an example to all of us!
In the end, when all is said and done, they will be seated at the right hand of God the Father, and live for all eternity with Him!
So my challenge to you is, be a light to this world! Don't stand by and give into the desires of the flesh (forsaking godliness and fleeing your faith) because it "feels good" or you are "tired of living the Christian life". Persevere, and never give up! For in the end, you will receive the crown of everlasting life!
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."-Matthew 5:14-16
Be the LIGHT!