The Darkening of Christianity
by Dr. Ken Matto
(Gen 8:22 KJV) While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

One of the most beautiful times of the year is when the green leaves begin to turn to the various colors which God created. Last week I went out for a ride and saw some of the most beautiful leave colors. I passed some old cemeteries where every stone is a story lost in antiquity. In New Jersey, the peak time is normally the last week of October to the first week of November. It is a sad but beautiful time of year. The coveted leaves that shaded us from the hot summer sun have now fallen to their death but not before they gave us the most beautiful colors of the year. I say it is also a sad time as we set the clocks back last Saturday and sunset now comes at 5:00 PM. In the summertime it is light until 8-9 PM. We know that with the falling of the leaves that winter is right around the corner. November and December are the two darkest months of the year as the sun begins to set at about 4 PM. It isnít until around December 22 that the days begin to get longer again and we begin to count the days till spring when once again life will come back to our area and the beautiful green leaves will form on the trees.

In the month of November my thoughts turn to the Pilgrims which came here in 1620 for the purpose of spreading the Christian Faith and being able to worship God without interference from the religious establishment or the government. I visited Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1989 and saw the area where the Pilgrims landed. I was able to see Plymouth Rock which had 1620 etched into it. The historians are not sure if this rock was etched by the Pilgrims or not since the first mention of it was in 1716. Winter must have been rough for that small group of Pilgrims since they lost half of their people in the first winter. Yet, God had honored their request and the remaining group was able to see Plymouth become a thriving community and the worship of God and the spreading of the Faith was beginning to happen. If you have not read the Mayflower Compact, I would suggest that you look it up on line and read it.

American Christianity has a great heritage as we read true history concerning the rapid spread of the Faith as the United States began to grow and expand. This was because each succeeding generation had taken the task in hand to evangelize their generation and then train Christians to pass the baton to the next generation. Christianity is a vibrant faith in the United States today because of the faithfulness of previous generations who chose to remain faithful to Godís command to go forth with the Gospel. We can easily deduce that the essence of the Mayflower Compact has become a reality. The propagation of the Christian Faith has not only happened in the United States but has flown beyond the borders to the entire world.

If the Pilgrims could return today, they would be pleased and saddened. Pleased that the Gospel still bellows forth from this country but saddened by the state of Christianity and its irreverence for God. Just as November is a month of darkening because of the early sunsets, Christianity has also entered a time of darkening here in the USA and I would probably venture to say the entire world. In the USA, we have handed our schools over to Satan, we have handed our institutes of higher learning over to Satan, we have handed entire generations of children over to Satan. We have handed the Federal and State Governments over to Satan. We have handed our courts over to Satan. We have handed our workplaces over to Satan. Now I am not saying that there are Satan worshipping parties at these places but we have handed over these institutions by reason of allowing unbelievers to run them.

Even though this sad situation exists in this country that should not affect the performance of Christians in reference to their duty of evangelizing. God has His Elect in every generation and He expects His children to continue to send forth the Gospel until the last one is saved. (Acts 13:36 KJV) For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: As David served his own generation, we too are to serve our own generation. Now we know that David sinned with Bathsheba and had brought troubles to his own family because of it, yet God states that he served his own generation. This should be an encouragement to every true Christian that even though we are imperfect in our lives, yet the Gospel of Christ is perfect. We are not propagating ourselves but we are propagating the Gospel which can save to the uttermost. Our imperfections will never affect the perfection of the Gospel.

As we enter the winter months, it is a perfect time to begin to plan your outreach ministry. You can begin to assemble your teams and to begin to focus on what ministry you desire to do. Ask anyone who plans events how fast the time goes between initial planning and the execution of the event. Anyone worth their onions in planning will tell you, the earlier you plan, the easier it is for the final execution. If you plan an ongoing ministry then you will need extra time to plan since it will not be a one time event. Remember, we are to serve our own generation and that is not just a one time event. The Christian life demands that we evangelize on a continual basis. I remember when I was a young Christian, I knew a fellow who had a bible ministry. He used to buy imperfect bibles from the publishers at very deep discount, and resell them to Christians at a very low price. It was good ministry as I bought one for my mother and kept others as giveaways.

As the days get physically darker, we need more light and as we plunge deeper into societal darkness, there is needed more gospel light. This generation is seeing the darkness increase more than any other in history. We have a great opportunity before us to serve our generation. Never before are people walking around in a miasmic fog looking for answers. People are looking to all kinds of evil spirituality to fill the void in their hearts. The person that you know who is the most vile, is the most hungriest for spiritual truth and since we have that spiritual truth, we need to give it away. Let us always keep in mind what awaits those without Christ. (Mark 9:44 KJV) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

This is not meant to be guilt manipulation but rather there are so many Christians who gather in their churches and do nothing but complain about the darkness, yet they wonít even light so much as a spiritual match to displace some of that darkness. If you are not involved in any type of personal ministry, I would suggest that you begin to start assessing where God has gifted you and start building on that spiritual gift or gifts. Then you will have a better idea as to what type of ministry you would be suited for. Then when springtime rolls around, you will be ready to serve your generation.  (11/5/04)