Pastor Jim Stultz
Occupy the Darkness
Updated: May 1
On his second missionary journey the Apostle Paul had just left Athens and arrived in Corinth. Corinth was an especially wicked city. The culture had totally embraced a sexually deviant lifestyle. Corinth's reputation for wickedness was known all over the Roman Empire. The city was steeped in the darkness of temple prostitutes, plenty of money and vice, along with strange philosophies and new religions. Paul would face an uphill battle to start a church in the midst of such darkness. Yet Paul moved into Corinth got a job with a tentmaker and began to occupy the darkness of the city with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I can’t help but see a powerful biblical challenge in Paul’s actions. I believe our Lord has called all of us as His followers to be a part of a powerful movement. I would like to call it the “Occupy the Darkness” movement. Jesus told us in Matthew 5:14 & 16: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven”. Our holy lifestyle, our gospel message, and our deeds of compassion should be the light that shines brightly to all we meet. We are told not to hide our light under a bushel. I think that sometimes we Christians are guilty of keeping to ourselves and shining our lights only in the confines of places that are already well lit.
The longer we live, the darker it seems to be getting. We must occupy the darkness. The church of Jesus Christ must shine that wonderful gospel light in our own Corinth. We don’t have to go to the mission field to find places where sin reigns supreme and the darkness of Satan prevails. We can find places that are pretty dark in our daily lives. Places like the halls of academia, the dinner table of relatives, and the break room at our place of employment can be pretty dark.
Jesus has issued a challenge to His church that we must obey. Be the light and occupy the darkness.