The Nation's Lighthouse

Our country is like a large ship fighting through stormy waters in foggy weather.  Spiritually and morally, we’ve lost our sense of direction.  Sexual sins, greed, pride, indulgence, slothfulness, ungratefulness, and irreverence characterize our nation.  Prayer and Bible reading are no longer allowed in schools, and it’s become legal to kill unborn babies.  We are on our way to becoming a pagan nation where ungodly ideas and morals are not only accepted but celebrated.  Our country is on a collision course with disaster.

Amidst the darkness of our age, the church is called to be like a lighthouse.  In foggy weather or on dark nights, lighthouses warn ships of danger and help guide them safely through treacherous waters. Jesus said:  "You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven"  (Matt. 5:14-16).

Because you and I have the light of God’s Holy Spirit within us, we have a responsibility.  We are to send out a beam of truth into the circle of our family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors. Scattered across our land are literally hundreds of thousands of churches.  Every week, millions of people attend services.  So why is our nation, morally speaking, in a fog?  Why are we almost sunk by the waves of philosophies and false religions?

In the early part of last century, liberal theology began to penetrate the churches and seminaries of America.  Church authorities began to doubt the truthfulness of Scripture.  They asserted that only part of the Bible was inspired by God, but that it contained some errors.  They also taught that it was outdated.  As a result, sermons grew weaker and less convicting.  Pastors compromised the truth to keep from offending those with wealth or position in the community.  Children raised to doubt the Bible learned not to trust the Lord.  Later, as adults, they had no place in their lives for God.  Our generation is reaping the awful harvest of years and years of liberalism.  Even today, many pastors fail to send a clear message about the holiness, judgment, and power of our awesome God.

The Individual Believer
A malfunctioning lighthouse can mean danger and destruction for ships seeking safe harbor.  What causes a lighthouse beam to grow dim or go out completely?  If the glass is dirty, the light will be muted.  If there is no power, there can be no illumination.  Why is the church not operating as the lighthouse it should be?  Sin has lessened our ability to shine for God.  We’ve cut off the power of the Holy Spirit, who desires to work through us.  In cowardice, we have compromised our convictions in order to please the world.  Believers have been afraid to offend the ungodly by speaking truth; instead, we end up offending almighty God through our disobedience.

Ultimately, the sovereign Lord holds the destiny of this nation in His hands.  But He has graciously chosen to involve you and me through our thinking, conduct, and prayers.  If we want to see America change for the better, that change must begin with us.  When many believers allow God to work through them, the radiance of the church will grow stronger.  Its beam of light will penetrate the darkness and provide the direction that our nation so desperately needs.

Peter wrote, “It is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?”  (1 Peter 4:17).  The church must begin by repenting—turning from the direction we are headed.  I challenge you to ask yourself, Am I in the center of God’s will for my life?  Am I in some way contributing to the sin in our nation?  Is there something about my life that God would like to change?  How does my parenting style need to adjust so that my children will have the foundation to be godly, Bible-believing, devoted, obedient Christians?

If the church does not wake up and begin to send a clear message of accountability, forgiveness, and genuine hope, our nation is headed for shipwreck.  Do your part to help restore the church in America to be the lighthouse God intended.

By Charles F. Stanley