Ephesians 5:11 ~ "Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them."
A popular quote attributed to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in the face of the wickedness of Hitler's regime, states, "Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act."
As we step into this new year, and with the continued decline of our world, how much should a Christian get involved?
It is true that most Christians want to live in peace, to worship and obey the Lord, and to walk through this world with the love of Christ and the gospel that saves those who believe. The problem lies in the fact that the world does not want that. Believer, you must understand that this world is not a friendly environment for the faithful follower of Christ.
A.W. Tozer is noted as saying that this world is not a playground, it is a battleground. And though the Scripture commands that we strive to live in peace with all men (see Romans 12:18), it is also incumbent upon the faithful of Christ to shine the light of the truth into the darkness of this world.
Remember the words of our Lord Jesus, "For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed" (John 3:20). And, Jesus said in Matthew 5:14, "You are the light of the world." There is a reason that the world hates the Christian, because the light of the Christian exposes the darkness of the world and uncovers the wickedness therein.
So, to answer the question above: a Christian should get involved in as much as their lives and testimony brings forth the light of Christ and reproves the darkness.
First, from our text, we are to "take no part" with darkness.
There can be no fellowship with light and darkness and no partnership with righteousness and wickedness (see 2 Corinthians 6:14-15). The first part of a believer's involvement in this world is to reject worldliness. This does not mean that you reject friendships, but that you must not participate in anything that is of the unfruitful works that would lead you to disobey God and His word. Titus 2:11-12 says, "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age."
Second, we learn from our text that, instead of participating in darkness, we are to "expose them." And this part might be the more difficult of the two.
To "expose" in this context, literally means to "reprove or rebuke." It is a public illumination and refutation of the conditions of darkness that fill this world. For a believer to not expose and refute those things that lead people astray is to become participants with them. Proverbs 29:24 says, "The partner of a thief hates his own life; he hears the curse, but discloses nothing." To remain silent in the company of wickedness is to hate your own life and be found complicit with it.
This does not mean that a believer is to go about "pointing fingers" at every person around, but to bring clear exposure to the truth of public wickedness for the purpose of warning others against it--and especially the church. Jeremiah lamented the fact that the prophets did nothing to expose the iniquity of Israel (see Lamentations 2:14).
Beloved, let us shine the light of Christ, taking no part in darkness, but exposing it in order to rescue those who are ensnared. For someday the Lord Himself will come and all the works of the earth will be exposed in the fire and heat of His wrath.
"But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed." ~ 2 Peter 3:10
In His Grace,
From the Mountains to the Sea
Every step we take on this journey called life ought to be used for greater understanding. I've lived from the mountains to the sea, and this blog is my personal thoughts and observations with a desire for Biblical understanding. Welcome.