It was my daughters turn to read. As she skillfully parlayed the verbiage, we paused to reflect on a curious dichotomy presented by Jesus.
Our family was taking turns reading the few pages of the Introduction to Claiming Christ which presented the underlying thread to the book taken from a phrase repeated over 200 times in Scripture.
As I feel moved (which is becoming a habit with me), I occasionally interject. This was one of those times.
In context of those who persist in rebellion while claiming to be God-followers, Jesus presents the reality of eternal judgment with what appears to be unequal terms. In our Lords own words, we are put on notice that so long as “no part” of a person remains in darkness, then such a person will be judged as full of light (Lu 11:36).
In other words, a mixture of part light and part dark equals full dark.
That is not what we might normally expect. Why would Jesus condemn a person if most of a person’s life was on the light side of the spectrum and only part was dark? Once a baptized believer, doesn’t such a person automatically move from darkness to light with no potential for anything in between? Isn’t it a reality that no one will be perfect in this life?
It was worth a family discussion.
Thanks be to God for his gracious patience for our continual struggles in weakness and sin as Christians. Such failures are not the darkness being addressed by Jesus in Luke’s Gospel.
The issue at hand, and the reason this passage shows up in the introduction to Claiming Christ is with regard to the actual warning Jesus was conveying. Those who claim to be believers in God and yet who insist on retaining some foothold in this world to live out their desires, in the end will find themselves dismissed into what their duplicity reveals, full darkness.
To truly be in Christ, does not mean moral perfection, it means consistent faithfulness in surrender to Jesus as Lord of all parts of one’s life, desires, choices, interests, and beliefs. That translates into a humble willingness to hear what the Bible says and to demonstrate diligence in applying it. No exceptions. No multiple masters.
If Scripture reveals a description of true Christian existence (which Claiming Christ attempts to present) that differs even “in part” from what one currently believes, then those full of light will acknowledge the truth as presented and willingly adjust their lives accordingly, no matter the cost. Those who insist on maintaining their traditional doctrinal views, like those in Jesus’ audience when he spoke his warning, should expect that such partial darkness will be considered as full rebellion in the eyes of God.
The moral: Step into the light and make no provision for the flesh. Be “in Him”. The alternative is not worth it.
Are there any aspects of your religious tradition that you are learning to shift to bring yourself more in line with what Scripture calls for in a Christian?