The Light Of The World

The Light Of The World

Thursday’s Column: Captain’s Blog

Carl Pollard

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’” (John 8:12).

In the first century, the word “light” carried with it a deeper meaning. Light often described knowledge from the spiritual realm. Light meant true knowledge, in contrast with the darkness of ignorance. Knowing this gives more power to Jesus’s statement here. By saying these words Jesus is claiming to be the one who brings the true knowledge of God from heaven. 

Jesus isn’t just saying “I am a light” but that He is the light! The only way to know God is to recognize that Jesus is the ONLY light. Not Joseph Smith, or Buddha, but Christ alone is the light. 

Christ illuminates knowledge for this dark world. Jesus gives us real answers to the fundamental questions of life. Who am I? Where did I come from? What is my purpose? Where am I going?Questions that billions have struggled with are all answered by Jesus. Without Jesus, these questions will never be answered. Life following Jesus is a clear and wonderful life, a life where we have a purpose. We know who we are, and where we are going? 

Do you want to know why most people have nightlights in their homes? Because some guy was tired of hitting household objects when he got up in the middle of the night. We’ve all experienced it, perhaps the worst pain you can ever feel. Stubbing your pinky toe on a table or dresser at night. Think about a world without the true light. It’s futile. It’s a life spent stumbling and tripping in the dark. Living a life contrary to Christ’s teachings is “to walk in darkness.” The world is filled with people who live in darkness. 

They stumble through this world with no purpose or direction, groping around like people in a dark room. Picture Velma from Scooby-Doo. She was useless without her glasses, and when she dropped them she got on her knees and had to feel around and hope for the best. John makes it very clear that those who live in darkness have no fellowship with God, because God is light (1 Jn. 1:5). Why do people live in darkness? Some have never heard of Jesus while others reject Jesus because of their love for the darkness of sin. 

John 3:19 says, “‘And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.’” On the other hand, those who have chosen to follow Jesus, “come to the light,” and are walking in the light (1 John 1:9). These people have a clear direction in life. They know what pleases God, and they make the right changes. 

These are the Christians that have true joy. These are the Christians that experience the blessing of having their sins continually cleansed by the perfect blood of Christ. 

Which one am I? Have I accepted Jesus as the light of the world? Does Jesus give me my direction and purpose? Darkness or light are the two paths, and we must choose where to walk. 

“Rhosts!”

“Rhosts!”

Wednesday’s Column: Third’s Words

Gary Pollard

My favorite show is Scooby Doo (the originals, of course). It’s packed with ghosts and monsters, most of which are exposed as frauds or criminals. Mankind has been fascinated with ghosts and other postmortem apparitions for a while. They make great stories and nearly every culture has ghost stories. We point to widespread legends of dragons as one evidence of man’s coexistence with dinosaurs. Since so many cultures have these ghost stories, is it possible they’re true? 

Life and death are God’s jurisdiction, so let’s see if he’s said anything about the subject. Who better to ask about the other side than the one who controls it? 

Look at Luke 16.19-31. Whether this is literal or figurative is immaterial, I just want to look at something Jesus described in detail. A rich man neglected Lazarus (an impoverished man) and ended up in torment after death. He lets Abraham know that he has family on earth who don’t believe and he wants to prevent them from sharing his fate. 

Abraham points out that a large abyss acts as a barrier, preventing anyone from moving between realms. He’s specifically talking about passing from torment to paradise and vice versa, but the rich man was nonetheless incapable of leaving under his own power. 

Hebrews 9 says that we die one time and face judgment. This seems to indicate some permanence to our destination. We know that some spiritual entities are capable of interacting with our world (angels/demons) in some capacity, but the Bible doesn’t give us much detail. 

We can state with a decent degree of confidence, though, that the dead are stuck where they are. That’s a major comfort, too, because our future is secure if we die in Christ (I Peter 1.3-7). They make for great plots (and the best cartoon ever), but ghosts remain solidly in our awesome imaginations.