By Patrick Hawthorne
Through the darkness he creeps. It used to be that he was mindful to avoid the lusts of the world but not of recent. His heart had changed, growing as black as the shadows from which he hides. He had now become one with the world and the darkness thereof.
Once upon a time, he claimed to have carried within him the light of Jesus. The Light dispelled all darkness and, by virtue of its radiance alone, provided a great sense of peace even in the midst of the most clamorous of circumstances. Yet, having the light of Jesus was not enough for him. He wanted recognition. He wanted fame. He wanted only what the world was willing to provide.
He was content to play both sides of the field. However, to maintain the façade of a man of righteousness he was front row center for most church services. Undeniably he felt a tug on his heart in the meetings; a sense that he was being called home. Yet, it was not enough to turn his heart back towards a relationship with Jesus. The services served only to soothe his conscience.
He was a good man, or so he thought. So what if he crept across the line once in a while? Jesus would forgive him. After all, he was covered by God’s grace.
Deception was the key to maintaining a “Holier than thou,” mentality, especially around those who were weak in the faith. However, to those who walked in a close relationship with the Father, it soon became obvious that he was a charlatan. Yet, he continued to play the game, deceiving and being deceived.
One day, it happened. The man died. Standing before the throne of God, he smiled. He knew he had made it. After all, once you receive Jesus as Lord and Savior you can never be rejected…right? “But…why does God look sad? Shouldn’t He be smiling and with outstretched arms ready to receive me?”
Without acknowledging the thoughts of the man, the Father opened the Book of Life. Looking sternly at the man, the Father read, “You have been charged with the crime of being an enemy of the Kingdom. Your punishment is to be banned into outer darkness.”
“But, but…” The man stammered. “How can that be?” I received Jesus as Lord! I became one of your very own. You can’t do this to me,” he shouted!
A deep sadness fell over the Father. “Did you not read My Word? Did you not read that friendship with the world makes you my enemy? You spent your time seeking the pleasures provided by the world while turning your back on my Son. You exalted yourself above others, stepping on whoever got in your way. Did I not call out to you in those meetings? Did I not try to turn your heart back towards Me? Yet, you made the choice to follow after Darkness. And, to Darkness you belong.
Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:4-6 NKJV)