Jesse M. Kelley
(Editor's Note: It has been suggested that we occasionally insert a sermon outline. If you have a good outline to submit, send it.)
Text: Jer. 13:15,16
1. Darkness is the absence of light. In its physical sense, it is mentioned four times in the scriptures: At creation; on Egypt before and during the Exodus; accompanied the convulsions of nature at crucifixion.
2. Figuratively, the word is often used to express ignorance and sin. This is the sense in which Jeremiah uses the word in the text. "Hear ye, and give ear; give glory to God before He cause darkness." This says; in effect, that there is a "day of grace" after which darkness will come.
3. This lesson will suggest some things that cause darkness.
I. The Removal of the Gospel is Darkness.
A. The gospel will never be removed from the world; it may, however, be withdrawn from a particular place or people.
1. Jews an example. Because of unbelief they were broken off (Rom. 11:20, 21).
2. Where now are the seven churches of Asia? Rome? Jerusalem? These were once mighty bulwarks of the Faith.
B. This church is today sound; it enjoys health and spiritual vigor. This, however, does not guarantee that it will be so tomorrow, or, that it even will exist tomorrow.
II. Impenitence is Darkness.
A. One is surrounded with food; yet he will perish if he does not partake of it. This is true of the gospel.
1. The Bible teaches that God punishes one sin by another, and that He blinds those who provoke Him (Rom. 1:28; 2 Thess. 2:10-12).
2. Those of whom the apostle speaks delight in error and they find it; they seek objections to the faith once delivered, and they are overcome by them. They trifle with the gospel, and at length cannot seriously regard it. Thus is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah quoted by Christ Matt. 13:14, 15). Their impenitence brought darkness.
III. The Loss of Reason is Darkness
A. Christianity can operate only through the medium of thought and reason-- understanding.
1. For seven years Nebuchadnezzar ate grass like an ox (Dan. 4:33). God took away his reason.
2. A reprobate mind (Rom. 1:2S). All ability to reason on spiritual things has been taken away. In the losses of such reason darkness settles down and renders one hopeless.
IV. The Loss of Health is Darkness.
A. Solomon's advice (Eccl. 12:1). Whatever can be said of age can be said of health (2 Cor. 6:2).
V. Death is Darkness.
A. Then, one must give up all--employments, possessions, relations, etc., and stripped and silent retire from human activity forever.
The darkness is certain; it cannot be remote (Heb. 9:27). Therefore, John 9:4.
VI. Hell is Darkness.
A. This is more than darkness; it is darkness without hope! Cf. Rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16).
1. It is outer darkness. Separation from God (Matt. 8:12; 22:13).
2. It is a darkness of punishment (Matt. 22:13).
3. It is darkness without opportunity. Conclusion. The Present offers the only opportunities for escape. "Now is the day of salvation"--Now is the accepted time.
Truth Magazine VII: 11, pp. 8