What do you do when it gets really dark?
FEBRUARY 8, 2023
What do you do when it gets really dark? Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
If you’re sick of guilt and manipulation and if you’re looking for an honest and thoughtful presentation of Biblical truth, you’ve come to the right place. This is Key Life with the founder of Key Life Network, Steve Brown. Keep listening for teaching that will make you free.
Thank you Matthew. If you’ve been following along with us, we’re looking at the subject of lament and laughter in the Scripture and in our lives. And the freedom that comes when you find out what the Bible says about both. Now, we’ve been talking about the importance of facing the reality of the pain, and even laughing in the middle of it. Denial is very dangerous. And I suggested yesterday, what if acknowledging and experiencing the dark without turning away is at the core of God’s purpose for us? What if the dark is designed to set us free? Let’s talk about it. In Ephesians 2:1 through 3. Paul makes reference to three areas that wood among other things make a good template for a discussion about the darkness we all experience. Paul refers to the world, the flesh, and the devil. That template is taught throughout the New Testament, so it’s not just this cynical old preacher saying it, the Bible says it too. And in all three, and they overlap, there is the darkness to which we don’t want to go, but must go if we want to be free. Okay, let’s talk about the world. It is an incredibly bad world. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t get e-mails, phone calls and letters from people all over the country who tell me their stories of pain and rejection and darkness. Just this morning I was told about a child with an inoperable brain tumor. Heard from a man about his losing struggle with pornography. Found out about a Christian leader whose marriage has just come apart. Heard from a friend whose daughter has just gone through surgery to change her biological gender. And talked to a pastor whose church and denomination are falling apart because both are so filled with hatred and division from dealing with political and social issues. I regularly, I know this is not up stuff, but it’s important. I regularly hear from people as they talk about abuse, physical, emotional, and sexual. I have a friend who is a psychologist and is just now in his sixties dealing with the sexual abuse he experienced as a child from Christian leaders in his church and then in public school. I have a friend who is dying of cancer and another who was just fired because she mentioned the name of Jesus in the wrong place. In the streets of American cities, including Washington D.C. the reality is one of disunity resulting in burned buildings, the killing of innocent people, the death of police officers, the death of those shot by police and the political hatred that created a canceled culture and its ugly sister insufferable self-righteousness. Everywhere ancient truths that were a reliable guide for personal, corporate, and national health throughout the history are being forgotten in some cases never taught, so there’s nothing to remember. What has always been good is now called evil, self-righteous hatred and condemnation expressed in social media and in a variety of other platforms is now being praised and talked about as being good. All replacing what had before simply been assumed, and I don’t want to talk about it anymore and you don’t want me to. Nobody wants to talk about it anymore, and thus lament becomes mute. When the Bible references the world as a negative thing, it is talking about that which in, is in opposition to God, his ways, his commandments, and his love. It is in fact a fallen world. The Scripture teaches that long before we were born, two people, that would be our parents Adam and Eve, messed up royally. And because of their action, we have all paid the price. That doesn’t seem fair to me, but things rarely are and I don’t get a vote. I have a friend who started making a list of what the world would be like if the Fall had not taken place. He thought he would list a few things, but as he worked and thought about it, his list became longer and longer filling several pages. Enough. We do live in an incredibly bad world and do you know the worst thing that we can do when we realize that? To turn away from it, to have a party, to turn on the television, to have a religious service where we sing nice songs about nice people doing nice things, and that isn’t where God would have us go. I titled this chapter that I’m referencing right now in the book, Life is hard and then you die. It is and you do. But there is freedom in facing it, in looking at it, in thinking about it, in lamenting and weeping over it because that is where God meets his people. You think about that. Amen.
Well, it’s Wednesday and sometimes when I have some extra time, I answer a question or two. And Pete will be in on Fridays and we’ll spend the whole broadcast answering questions. By the way, you’ve heard me say it and I mean it every time I do say it. We love your questions and the only dumb one is the one you don’t ask. You can ask your question by dialing 1-800-KEY-LIFE and that’s open 24 7. And often we use your own voice in asking the question on the air. Or you can send your question to
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Or you can send your question to [email protected]. And if you can help us financially, please do. Those are the places, the touch places where you could do that, if you feel you should stand with this ministry. Most people can’t afford it, so you help your brothers and sisters when you do, and you become a champion. So, if you can help us financially, be as generous as you can, you can charge it on your credit card, include it in your envelope. And I promise we’ll squeeze every dime for the glory of God. And if you can’t, we understand, say a prayer for this ministry. All right, let’s turn to a question or two. Will I, as a Christian have to face the judgment? Well, yeah, but not in the sense that you think. You would be very surprised how often we get this question from listeners. There’s this kind of worry that someday, sometime everybody’s going to be aware of what my sins are, that God is going to read them all for the world to see, and I’m going to be so ashamed, that is never going to happen.
There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
And when we get home and we stand before the judgment seat of God, it is a positive, exciting, and wonderful experience because in that time and your neighbors will see it and Billy Graham will see it and Mother Teresa will see it and John Calvin and John Wesley will see it and you will see it and I will see it. A gracious God, who had nobody but sinners to work with, who had great grace for them. And when we see that grace being applied to us and to them, all of them, no exception, we’re going to dance and sing around the throne of the God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Are you going to be judged? Yeah, but not in the way you think. Every time we think about judgment, we think about condemnation. And standing before a God when we get home is going to be a time of great praise and excitement and joy because of what he has done. Okay, this is, how do we know God’s will? An e-mail, we get that question a lot too. And you know God’s will by the Bible, of course, by your brothers and sisters in Christ, by God speaking sometimes to you, but let me tell you something that you need to know that’s kind of a good thing to remember. For heaven’s sake, quit worrying about doing God’s will. Thessalonians, Paul says something exciting.
This is the will of God, your sanctification.
He doesn’t say this is your will, the will of God to marry the right person, to do the right thing, to go to a certain place, to have a certain job, this is the will of God, your sanctification. So, be set aside to God. Be sanctified. That’s what the word means. Be set aside unto him. And then for heaven’s sake, quit worrying about it. God knows you. He created you. The circumstances he put in life are for you. And trust me, you’ll do what you’re supposed to do as long as you’re set apart unto him. Don’t thank me. I was glad to help. I’ve got to go. Key life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.