“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” John 3:19-21
Why do people not come to Jesus? Why do they avoid reading their Bibles and going to churches where the Word of God is taught and proclaimed? Why do they even try to silence the preaching of God’s Word and keep its message from being posted and proclaimed on the internet and in the media? They love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil!
This is true of every one of us as we are by nature. What did Adam and Eve do after they had sinned and then heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden? They hid themselves from the presence of God (Genesis 3:8).
What do we do when we fall into some sin? Are we eager to hear God’s Word? Are we anxious to go to church where we might be reproved for our wickedness? No, none of us likes to have our evil deeds exposed. So, we attempt to hide, cover up and make excuses for our sin. We would rather stay in the darkness instead of letting the light expose our wickedness.
Instead of allowing that light to shine and agreeing with God that our thoughts, words and actions are full of evil and wickedness – instead of letting the light shine down deep into our hearts and acknowledging that our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (cf. Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 15:19-20) – we love the darkness where we can pretend that we are not all that evil, that our sins are only diseases and weaknesses for which we should not be held fully accountable. We like the darkness where we can imagine that God is pleased with us and will accept us on the merit of our own works and accomplishments. But, of course, it’s all a lie – that same lie of which the father of lies has tried to convince mankind from the beginning.
The light, on the other hand, exposes evil and wickedness. It reveals the utter sinfulness of sin. It shows us the wickedness of our own hearts and reveals to us that even our best righteousnesses are filthy before God (Isaiah 64:6). But the light – the truth of God’s Word – also reveals to all who stand in its brightness that Jesus is God the Son in human flesh, that He went to the cross to suffer and die and make atonement for the sins of the world, that He rose again in victory on the third day, that in Him there is pardon and forgiveness, and that through faith in Him there is life everlasting! (Cf. John 3:14-17).
People don’t like to come to Jesus, the Light of the world, because He exposes the sinfulness and wickedness of our hearts and deeds. They would rather stay in the darkness and not be confronted with the unadulterated truth, but the result is death and condemnation; for they do not accept the truth about their utter sinfulness and they do not look to Jesus and trust in Him alone for life and salvation (John 3:18)!
In his first epistle, the apostle John writes it this way (1 John 1:7 – 2:2): “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins [the Greek word homologeo, which means to say the same thing as God], he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
In Psalm 32:1-5, David wrote: “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.”
It does no good to hide from the truth. It will benefit us nothing to pretend we are not sinners deserving of God’s everlasting wrath and punishment. The end result is to die in our sins and bear our just punishment.
But, when we acknowledge our sins and agree with God’s truth about our sinfulness and look in faith to Jesus, who was lifted up on the cross to be condemned for us and atone for all our sins and iniquities, we have forgiveness and life eternal. God grant that we walk in this light!
Dear Lord Jesus, shine the light of truth upon my heart and life and expose my sin and guilt that I might see the wickedness and error of my ways and turn to You and Your shed blood for cleansing, forgiveness and life everlasting. Amen.
[Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible.]