“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.” – Matthew 5:14-15
There was once a light hung in the steeple of a church on a hill, who’s light was not hid for fear of men or the approaching army of the enemy, but rather shined bright to bring the truth of that enemy to others, effectively saving a people and starting a revolution that birthed a nation.
There were many famous men of great renown involved in the freeing and founding of America, how ever there was one less known, a common man, a silversmith, a watchmen with a light to shine and a message to spread. This mans name and story went virtually untold and would still be so today if not for the famous poet Longfellow’s chance reading of his tail at a local inn one night 88 years later, and writing the now famous poem, “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere”.
You see Paul Revere was no one special, he was just a common man like any of us, except that he loved people and their being freed from bondage more then he feared the retaliation of the enemy. He was a member of the “Son’s of Liberty” (the American resistance against the British occupation) and on April 18, 1775 he was informed that British troops were coming to confiscate the people’s weapons in an attempt to overcome them once and for all. Upon hearing this, realizing what was coming, Revere had lanterns hung in the steeple of Old North Church. The light shining forth from that one church in the darkness served to send out a warning to all who saw it that the enemy was coming by sea. Once the light was shining Ravere then took off on horse back spreading the message to all that he crossed, while going to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock who were being sheltered by a local Pastor in the town the enemy troops were heading for. As others saw the light from the church and heard Revere’s message, they too joined the ride spreading the word to others who in turn did the same. Because of this it was recorded that towns as far as 25 miles away were warned before the enemy had even finished unloading their boats and were more then prepared when they arrived.
Revere was actually captured and interrogated at gunpoint just before he reached Lexington. However, as he and his captures drew near they heard the church bells beginning to ring and knew the people had received the warning and were gathering to fight. When the enemy heard the church bells they asked Revere what it was and he replied, “The bell’s a ringing! The town’s alarmed, and you are all dead.” At that, the enemy released Revere and fled as a single shot rang out in the distance, the shot heard around the world, the first shot of the American Revolutionary War. It was a Revolution of Freedom from captivity that would never have happened had it not been for a light in a church steeple in the dark of night at the midnight hour, and a man who cared more about seeing others freed from bondage then he cared for his own well being or the retaliation of the enemy.
This kind of selflessness is born in Scripture (which is why the motto of the American Revolution was “resistance to tyranny, is obedience to God”). You see scripture tells us in Matthew 22:36-49 that we are to love and serve God first, others second, and self last. This mentality is not a recommendation, it is a commandment, and furthermore it is identified by Jesus as being the greatest of all commandments. Jesus also said in John 14:15 that if we truly love Him and are really serving Him then we “will” keep His commandments. So if we don’t have this character then we aren’t truly Christians, though we may claim to be. If we truly have the light of the world, which is Jesus Christ (John 8:12), living in us and the Spirit of Truth, which is the Holy Spirit of God, (John 14:17) then, like Revere, we will arm ourselves with the one thing the enemy seeks to take away from us more then anything else, our spiritual weapon and armory, the Word of God. We will shine our light for as many to see as possible, we will spread God’s message and warnings to everyone we pass, and when we find ourselves surrounded by the enemy we will find that those we have labored to reach with the truth will ring the church bells, gather together, and fight in prayer and intercession, causing the enemy to flee.
If you want to see a spiritual revolution take place in this generation that can free a nation from the bondage of sin? Then it will take selflessness, discipline, sacrifice, and people willing to shine their light for all to see being holy and pure examples, sounding the alarm, delivering God’s message to all they cross, having no concern for self, and they must be willing to fight the good fight of faith to the very last never compromising or wavering. This is what it will take. Are you willing to shine your light, spread the message, sound the alarm, gather together, get on your knees, and fight for the souls of men with purity and integrity? If you are truly a Christian (and not just playing the part), it’s not an option, it’s a requirement. So then the real question is, are you really a Christian after all?
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” – Matthew 16:24
“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” – Ezekiel 33:6-8
The Lord’s Generation