Some Christians desire to be a light to those in darkness, but then don’t have or make time to love their family in Christ.
“I pray for them. I am not praying for the world but for those You have given Me, because they are Yours … I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, protect them by Your name that You have given Me, so that they may be one as We are one … I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in Me through their message. May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me. I have given them the glory You have given Me. May they be one as We are one. I am in them and You are in Me. May they be made completely one, so the world may know You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me.”(John 17:9, 11, 20-23)
Jesus prayed FIVE TIMES that His people would be “one.” This is a continued theme throughout the old and new testaments. God wants unity amongst His people. But if we’re going out into the world to be lights on our lonesome, like the lone ranger, we will be corrupted by the darkness.
“Do not be deceived: bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
How many Christians go to Hollywood for instance with good intentions, but then end up denying the faith and becoming even worse than those they were trying to be lights to? Need I name some?
“Therefore I, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love, diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us. There is one body and one Spirit — just as you were called to one hope at your calling … Now grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of the Messiah’s gift … And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head — Christ. From Him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part.” (Ephesians 4:1-4, 7, 11-16)
There are some “children” or what we lovingly call “babes in Christ,” who are running out there like a fire-cracker who’s beaming brightly for a short amount of time and then gets snuffed out by the darkness they surrounded themselves with. Instead of getting discipled first, built up, and maturing in Christ before setting out to do His will for their life, they ran ahead without the body of Christ, leaving us in the dust like the Tasmanian devil, to their own downfall.
I’m not saying we don’t go out and evangelize. What I’m saying is their needs to be a root built up, a firm foundation laid in the life of the young believer before they go into the world. This is supposed to happen when raising children, but how many are raised in Christian homes and are truly being discipled by their parents? Based on the number of young people that walk away from Christ after high school and college, I would say not many.
So then the church takes in adults who are infants in Christ, nurtures them with the milk of the Word (the Bible), and then as they grow, we break down the meatier parts of truth until they are mature enough to stand on their own, though never thinking they’re fine without the body, for Hebrews 10:24 says:
“And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
So if you’re new to the Christian faith which means anywhere from giving your life to Christ yesterday, or two years ago, or maybe even ten years ago but you never got discipled, I strongly encourage you to please do so. Pray and seek out a bible-teaching church that walks in love and get plugged in, meaning ask about mentorship, where you can serve, sign up for a bible study group. Get connected! If you want to grow and influence the world for Christ rather than have them influence you away from Him, then please take my advice.