This world is a dark place, but I don’t have to tell you that because all it takes is picking up the remote and turning on the news or looking at Facebook to remind you just how dark it is.

With the terror attack in Brussels last week, more local events and so many other things going on I’m just bringing myself to posting this now.  For several reasons, but mainly because I had to first wrap my mind around what I had to say about it before I said it.

When events like what happened in Brussels happen I grieve over the lives lost, especially over those not saved.  This is my immediate response.  Why? Because Jesus died to redeem them of their sins, yet His gift was not accepted.

Because of this, my next thought and feeling in a situation like that is always hurt for the families.  The families of victims and the families of suspects alike.

My next, and final thought, is where is the church in this?

“You are the salt of the earth.  But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.  You are the light of the world–like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.  No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket.  Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly father.” Matthew 5:13-16 NLT

I haven’t heard much about churches stepping up in helping to address the Brussels attacks, and maybe that’s a good thing.  Maybe that just means its the churches not calling attention to themselves.  Maybe they are.  That’s actually not what I’m talking about, let’s talk about a broader picture.

Here are a just a few of the startling statistics given by Evangelism Is by Dave Earley and David Wheeler:

  • “Recent research indicates that there are now more than 200 million nonchurched people in America.”
  • “Only three other nations–China, India, and Indonesia–have more lost people.”
  • “The George Barna research group did a survey in 2007 asking Catholic and Protestant believers if they felt a responsibility to share their faith with others. Eighty one percent of Catholics said no; 53 percent of Protestants said no.  Barna also found that 75 percent of American adults who said they were “born again” could not even define the Great Commission.”
    [^1]
    These all blew me away.  We have to stop and say “Wait, something needs to change.”  First of all, if Jesus has actually changed our lives, how can we not want to share that? Second, the Great Commission is something that Jesus commanded for all of His followers.

    “Jesus came and told his disciples, ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.  And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 NLT

    In this, Jesus is essentially leaving His disciples, with the Holy Spirit, to spread His message throughout the earth.  He’s saying I’m giving you the Spirit and the responsibility to teach the entire world. Did they listen? You’d bet they did.  They were receiving a command from God in the flesh.  They’re going to listen.

    What’s our problem? Why aren’t we?  Have we forgotten about the Great Commission?  Nope, I don’t think that’s our problem at all.  Our idea of salt and light has gotten completely distorted and we just push the Great Commission aside.  Let’s look at Jesus’ teaching on this again:

    “You are the salt of the earth.  But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.  You are the light of the world–like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.  No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket.  Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly father.” Matthew 5:13-16 NLT

    Our saltiness and light are not to glorify ourselves, but so that God will be glorified.  This, particularly, is where the church is getting it wrong.  We lose our flavor and our light when we strive to glorify ourselves.  We fail to reach those that are hurting in the times when they desperately need the members of the church to step up and help.  We have to use our light to shine in the darkness of this world for one purpose: to glorify God.

    References:

    [^1] Earley, Dave, and David A. Wheeler. Evangelism Is–: How to Share Jesus with Passion and Confidence. Nashville, TN: B & H Academic, 2010.

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About Author

22 year old Liberty University student, Majoring in Biblical Studies, minoring in Sport Outreach. Epilepsy Awareness. Married to Jonathan, Momma to Evelyn Two amazing dogs.

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