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The Open Door

 

Summer evenings reveal a phenomenon of nature that I have appreciated since I was a child. When I was a boy, our family would travel to Lexington, Kentucky every summer to spend a week or two with my mother’s parents.

This special time of family vacation would be unusually fun for all the cousins as we would get to spend some quality play time with family that gathered in Lexington from Florida, Ohio, and Kentucky. In the evenings we children would run around the yard at dusk catching lightning bugs. As I think about it, it wasn’t a very pleasant experience for the bugs as we put them in glass jars and watched the on-and-off light that they so wondrously produced.

In more recent years, Janice and I have looked for lightning bugs, or fireflies as some call them, and have been disappointed not to see them as prolifically as in years gone by. This year seems to be different though, as there is an apparent return of lightning bugs in greater numbers.

I have no desire now to put them in a jar. I just enjoy watching them across the yard.

Late one night after all the other lightning bugs had bedded down for the night, or wherever lightning bugs go, I looked out the window and noticed one persistent lightning bug that kept on glowing on-and-off. Because it was now totally dark in the backyard, his light seemed all the more brilliant.

I stood at the window mesmerized as I kept watching for the light to come on. Indefinitely, it seemed, he kept on going until finally I left the window. I wonder if that one lightning bug went all night, blinking on-and-off through the darkness, shedding light, though all the other bugs had turned out their lights for the night.

On June 26, the Supreme Court ruled on the Defense of Marriage Act in favor of homosexual marriage. The Court struck down the part of the law that declared marriage as between one man and one woman. This was a sad and disappointing decision by the Supreme Court, though I must confess that by now with the way things have been going, I was not surprised.

Regardless of the decision of the Supreme Court, the Word of God defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman for life. The changing of laws in the culture has nothing to do with the reality of the laws of God. How are we to respond as followers of Christ?

The changing of laws in the culture has nothing to do with the reality of the laws of God.

There is no doubt that there is a serious divergence of our government from those principles of the Christian faith that have kept our nation free and strong since our founding. The family is the most basic institution of any culture. The erosion of the family is detrimental to the nation.

The family has been under attack now for many years. Deeply troubling decisions regarding abortion, the morning after pill being as accessible as baby aspirin, and the decision on same sex marriage has a much deeper impact on the nation than proponents can begin to imagine. The years ahead will demonstrate clearly how wrong these decisions have been.

The laws of God cannot be successfully challenged by any people. Judgment always follows.

Therefore, the church, more than ever, must remain true to Scripture and the clear proclamation of the Gospel of Christ. Our responsibility as believers is to demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ to the lost world around us. For this reason, we love the homosexual and pray that the power of the Gospel will profoundly influence his or her world through the preaching, teaching, living, and communicating of the Gospel by believers who understand themselves to be sinners saved by the grace of God.

We must continue to preach the truth of God’s Word without reservation. Preach it aggressively and lovingly. For this, we may expect persecution in days to come. We are already marginalized as bigots by many in our highly secular culture.

So what does all of this have to do with lightning bugs? The one that kept going through the darkest part of the night was a good illustration of what we must be and do as the church. Light shines the brightest in the darkest part of the night. Jesus instructed us:

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).