“Some of those converted have now walked consistently for four years; the greater part from one to two years. Some have had their falls into sin, and have thus opened the mouths of their adversaries; but the very noise that this has made, shows that such instances are very rare. Some have fallen into spiritual darkness; many, I fear, have left their first love; but yet I see nothing in all this but what is incident in the case of every Christian Church. Many there are among us, who are filled with light and peace, and are examples to the believers in all things.” - M'Cheyne
“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” - Acts 26:18 [2 Cor. 4:3-6]
The moral and spiritual essence of God is light (1 Jn. 1:5); therefore, John said, “in Him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4, Rom. 8:10). This being the case, it is to be expected that “there shall be no night” in the Kingdom of God (Rev. 21:23-25). Why? Because "the glory of God [will] lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof” (Rev. 21:23-25); therefore, all those who “are saved shall walk in the light of it” (Rev. 21:23-25). Anything else is simply inexcusable in the past, the present, or the future. Everything else is unacceptable whether in the Old Testament, the New Testament, or in the Consummated form of the Kingdom of God in the End of the World. For, the spiritual essence of the Kingdom of God is opposed to sin as light to darkness. Therefore, in all ages, the divine mandate forbids darkness from the Church. However, sadly, the backsliders of the Church don't comply with these spiritual laws (Rom. 8:2, Jas. 1:25).
“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as Children of Light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” - Eph. 5:8-11
Therefore, in describing the fallen estate of mankind, Paul warned that we should "henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened", for all such things are a product of being "alienated from the life of God" for want of true salvation in Christ (Eph. 4:17-18). Hence, true Christians are obliged to live on the contrary by virtue of being in Christ (Jn. 16:33, Rev. 2:26-27). This is exactly why Paul exhorted the Christians of Colossae, “as ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him” (Col. 2:6). He wanted them to walk in the Spirit by faith in the Gospel instead of the alternative; for, to "walk as men" (1 Cor. 3:3), or, if any true Christian is found out to be a backslider who "walketh in darkness" (1 Jn. 2:11, Num. 32:23), he or she is doomed to suffer the divine verdict: "...if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die" (Rom. 8:13). In other words, according to 1 John 3:14, this is as good as abiding in death (Rom. 8:6). This is why the pastoral epistles make urgent appeals to all such backslidders, saying, "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light" (Eph. 5:14).
The Spirit of God rouses men from the spiritual slumber of human depravity! Howbeit, the spirits of demons will cast men into the deep sleep of fearless disobedience against God. This is exactly what it means to be overcome by "the rulers of the darkness of this world" (Eph. 6:12), or, to be "taken captive by [the Devil] at his will" (2 Tim. 2:25-26, Eph. 2:1-3, 6:12). This miserable condition of spiritual darkness and sleep has been spoken about for ages (Isa. 29:9-10, Rom. 11:7-10). Furthermore, with Babylon approaching and therewith the End of the World, things will only get darker from hereon out (Matt. 25:1-13). Illustriously, and urgently, Paul speaks of this hazardous situation of unprecedented darkness in Romans 13:11-14. We would do well to take heed.
"And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the Day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." - Rom. 13:11-14
A day of reckoning is coming for the "Sons of God" sooner rather than later (Php. 2:15-16); and, therein, God will judge the truthfulness of our profession by discerning the blamelessness of our walk before God - whether or not we are truly shining as "lights in the world" (Php. 2:12-16), or whether or not "the salt of the earth" has already lost is savor (Matt. 5:13-16, Rev. 2:1-7). At such a prospect, I bid the reader to soberly reflect upon the following pastoral warnings with a renewed understanding. For, if things are really as bad as Robert Murray M'Cheyne openly confessed, when he said, "Some have fallen into spiritual darkness...", we would do well to look to ourselves and discover if we, like others, have fallen into spiritual darkness.
“But the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the Day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” - 2 Peter 3:10-14
“Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the Children of Light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.” - John 12:35-36
“But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that Day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the Children of Light, and the Children of the Day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation,” - 1 Thess. 5:4-8
“For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” -Mark 13:34-37
“Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when He will return from the wedding; that when He cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when He cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that He shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if He shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of Man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” -Luke 12:35-40