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Confronting Life's Darkness

Author of “Be Light,” Rev. Samuel Rodriguez will discuss shining God's beauty, truth and hope in dark times. Read Transcript


[MUSIC PLAYING]

Well, as Christians, we know we're

supposed to be salt and light in our troubled world.

But practically, how do we do that?

Well, that's the subject of a new book

by a man who is the president of the National Hispanic

Leadership Conference, an international organization

of more than 500,000 evangelical churches.

Take a look.

NARRATOR: Reverend Samuel Rodriguez

has been called the leader of the Latino evangelical

movement.

He describes himself as a blend of Billy Graham

and Martin Luther King, Jr., with salsa on top.

He's also the pastor of New Seasons Christian Worship

Center in Sacramento.

We are the light of the world!

We are a city on a hill!

We are people of the Word!

We are salt and light!

NARRATOR: In his book, Be Light, Reverend Rodriguez

uses the analogy of spiritual light

to deliver a message of hope for a darkened world.

(YELLING HOARSELY) --already did for us!

Please welcome back to The 700 Club, Reverend Samuel

Rodriguez.

It's great to have you here.

Thank you for having me.

Your book is so timely.

You know, we live in an age that, I think almost daily, you

hear someone lamenting the darkness, if you will,

of the time that we live in.

But you say that when the darker things

get, the brighter the light.

Indeed.

Some have argued that we live in the darkest hour.

But, I mean, what are we going to do with this energy?

Are we going to spend our time whining about the darkness?

Complaining, critiquing, cursing the darkness?

Why not allocate all of our energy,

the mandate of Jesus in Matthew 5:14-16,

"You are the light of the world"?

Instead of cursing the darkness, and whining about the darkness,

why not turn on the light?

So this book is a clarion call.

Don't drink the Kool-Aid.

I get we're living in dark times.

But there is light inside of us, through the reality

and the vicarious atoning work of Jesus Christ.

And that there's even a mandate for us in this hour.

In some ways, we could say we're living

in the most exciting time, because of the opportunities.

I'm an optimist.

I believe we're at the precipice of a Great Awakening.

There are things that guide me to be light every day.

And it's a principle.

I call it "the prophetic rubric."

One, today's complacency is tomorrow's captivity.

Second, you are what you tolerate.

Third, there is no such animal as comfortable Christianity.

Number four, we should never sacrifice truth

on the altar of political expediency.

And number five-- and I adhere to the prayer of John

in the Book of Revelation, "Come, Lord Jesus, come."

But while the church is waiting for Jesus to come down,

Jesus is waiting for his church to stand up.

So this is the quintessential hour

to be light in the midst of darkness.

Because every single time light stands next to darkness,

light always wins.

You talk in the book about some of the unique properties

of light, and actually compare them, or use them,

to show us some of the things that we can be and should be.

Everything from the principle-- all the rules-- refraction,

reflection, the albedo, bioluminescent.

I discussed a component of, we emit what we absorb.

We emit, we can only emit what we absorb.

What are we absorbing?

If we are absorbing toxic relationships, and ideas

and constructs, and in an atmosphere that

is not conducive to righteous living,

we're going to emit that.

So it behooves us to clear up and detox

our atmosphere, our relationships, our language,

who is speaking into us.

Surround your life not with people that speak about you,

but people that speak into you.

And it's that sort of clarion call.

And even the refraction.

When light hits an object, it bends.

So, whatever obstacle has come your way--

in your family, your home, your marriage, your health,

your finances-- when the light of Christ is in you,

it is never the end of the light.

It may-- it will bend, but at the end of the day,

that light will reach its purpose in the name of Jesus.

Well, Samuel, you say also that,

because of the call on our lives at this time as believers,

that we need to self-examine.

I wonder, as I listen to you talk about some of the things

out there in the world that are challenging,

if we're dancing with the Devil a little bit,

but calling ourselves followers of Christ?

There is light and there's darkness.

And two objects cannot occupy the same space.

The prophetic and the pathetic cannot occupy the same space.

So, we really, by turning on the light,

it's a repudiation of darkness-- with truth and love,

but it's turning on the light.

We can't compromise.

We can't permit dark areas.

We can't sell out the light for the purpose of pleasing

the greater culture.

The culture does not define me.

One of the big-- the statement out of Matthew 5,

is that you are the light of the world.

There's definition coming from Christ.

You are the light of the world.

So what defines us?

Are we defined by culture, politics, moral relativism?

Are we defined by this generation's sort

of world view?

We're defined by the word of God.

By the spirit of God, by the work

of Jesus Christ in our lives.

And we can never compromise truth

on the altar of expediency.

So in that last story, you heard

the couple, of the woman who had this tragic accident,

talk about the fact that they had

had this kind of passive relationship with Christ

before.

And then tragedy hit, and baboom!

They came back to the truth of the rock they stood on.

On occasion it takes great darkness.

It-- this is going to sound a bit crude,

but-- it takes prosecution, the persecution

of our Christian world view, via legislative powers

and authorities.

It takes these sort of moments to wake up the church.

That's why I do believe.

We do live in the darkest hour, but it is

the greatest hour to be light.

Only if we let go of comfortable Christianity.

Only if we let go of the spirit of complacency.

Only if we push back on the spirit of Jezebel and Ahab,

and act like an Elijah, and function

with the mantle of fire and light for the glory of Christ.

Yeah, we have to understand what we're called to.

So where do you begin that process?

If you feel like maybe you've given yourself

over to some things you shouldn't have,

or that maybe you're just passive enough that you're not

filled with that enthusiasm that we should be filled with

to accomplish what God said to us, where do we start?

Matthew 5:14.

Understand that Christ defines you.

You're not even defined by what you do for God.

You're defined by what God already did for you.

But Christ defines you.

You're not defined by your failures,

you're defined by his forgiveness.

And embracing that fact, that Jesus Christ

makes you light because he is the light.

And the moment you embrace that reality,

you are free to push back darkness.

Again, we channel so much energy in complaining about the things

around us, the darkness in our lives, in our thoughts,

in our families, with our children.

There is greater power in turning on the light.

And that's through the faith, and the faith

and the glory of Jesus Christ.

It works!

Every time it's turned on, darkness flees!

I mean, test it.

It really works.

It is what it is.

You know, your book is a clarion call to all of us

as believers, to self-examine, come home to the heart of God,

and then reflect the light in us out to the world around us.

It is such a good book.

It's called Be Light.

It's so timely for the day that we live in.

It's available wherever books are sold.

You'll know it, because Reverend Rodriguez

is this guy on the cover.

He's also our guest speaker today

during our Week of Prayer chapel.

And you are in for a treat.

So please join us for that live-streaming event

by logging onto CBN.com.

That's at noon eastern time.

You always bring a wonderful word.

Thank you.

Thank you for having me.

Thank you so much.

So great to have you here.

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