Before the appearance of Jesus Christ upon the Earth, the world was basically divided into two camps:
One was either a Jew or a Gentile.
If you were a part of Israel, then there was a certain spiritual “ambience” that pervaded the entire country. You would be aware that there was only one, true God. You would be aware of “sin” and the need for a blood sacrifice to be forgiven of that sin. The very idea of a coming Messiah that would usher in the Kingdom of God on the Earth would be a central theme of your very day-to-day existence.
However, if you were a Gentile, you had no such thoughts or concepts running through your mind. The deep human desire to “worship” would have been misplaced into worshipping many “gods” that were either created by men’s hands from wood or stone, or taken from the form of worshipping a man himself as “god”, as was the case of the Pharaohs in Egypt. No matter what form that spiritual darkness took around the globe, it was all under the curse of ignorance and despair. Paul described it best when speaking to the Ephesian church:
“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh … That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:11-12)
At least the Jews had a sense of hope for a future redemption based on the words of the Old Testament prophets … but the Gentiles had nothing! Can you imagine what it was like to walk this Earth as a Gentile before the coming of Christ? You would have felt a continual sense of dread and darkness hanging over you as you went about your daily existence.
But once Christ appeared, LIGHT permeated the darkness of this world and gave every human an opportunity to UNDERSTAND the things of God and partake of His glory.
“And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not … That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” (John 1:5; 1:9)
Though faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ would still be the avenue into the entrance of the Holy of Holies, the very atmosphere of the entire world must have been shaken by the entrance of the Light of God! And the Earth-shaking glory of that changed “atmosphere” still exists today! Humanity takes the presence of “light” for granted now; but before Christ, there was only darkness and the ever-present pall of the “fear of death” hanging over their heads.
Today, the only requirement to receive the benefits of that Light (i.e. being born again) is the reception of the risen Christ into one’s heart as a free gift from God.
Ironically, the Jews (who were already in possession of the promises of God), failed to recognize their Messiah and crucified Him through their Roman masters. Their devotion to “religion” (rather than God) blinded them to His presence.
Or, as the Apostle John so eloquently wrote:
“He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:11-12)
“Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13)
One must take the time to realize that NOTHING has changed in over 2,000 years.
That Light is still in the world. It still “lightens” any who are born into this world.
The Light that shook the darkness of the world that then was, is still shaking the world today … beckoning anyone who “will” to come and partake of the abundance of grace which God has already “shed” throughout the Earth through His Son Jesus Christ.
“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1John 2:2)
But why have so many refused to come? Now that the veil of darkness has been stripped away in order that ALL might be able to SEE the Light, why are so many still groping in darkness?
The answer is simple:
“Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.” (Romans 1:19-20)
“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” (Romans 1:20-21)
“Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” (Romans 1:25)
Even though every human being has been “lighted” with the Light of Christ and can behold the very eternal power of God by just beholding the beauty of those things which God has created, many have chosen to disregard the truth and have…
“… changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.” (Romans 1:23)
In modern times, this takes the form of celebrity worship, gender perversions, the worship of sports and entertainment and a blinding trust in a technology that eliminates any thinking about God. The “list” of corruption and evil activity in the Earth and the minds of men today is actually endless. And all of this in spite of the preaching of the Gospel for thousands of years … especially in the last 100 years where the advent of radio, television and social media makes it possible for a handful of Christians to literally reach potentially millions … even billions … of people!
And though God is STILL “not willing that any should perish”, He will not usurp that most precious gift of all that He created within the heart of every human being:
A FREE WILL!
“For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” (2Peter 3:5-7)
When a man willingly chooses to trample underfoot the blood of Christ by rejecting the witness that God has given of His own Son, that man sets himself up to be judged before the Lord in the strictest of terms. Of course, only God knows of a certainty who those individuals are from generation to generation.
But they all have one thing in common:
“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22)
“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:” (Romans 1:24)
“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” (Romans 1:26-27)
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful” (Romans 1:28-31)
“Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:32)
Does this not describe what we are witnessing today more than at any other time in history? At times, it appears that Christians are being literally and continuously surrounded by “reprobate minds”!
And yet God still beckons … leaving the door open for repentance.
It remains to be seen what humanity as a whole will do with that “open door” of Light. Many Christians believe that there will be one, final glorious revival of the nations before Christ returns in His glory! And laying aside the great controversies concerning all of the “pre-trib”, “mid-trib” and “post-trib” debates … may that be the case! Amen!
“For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” (Romans 8:19)
“For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (Romans 8:20-21)
“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” (Romans 8:22-23)