PARABLE OF A LIGHT HOUSE
Dr. 0. Wilburn Swaim, Th.D.
There was a land, just like the one where you live, that was ruled over by a great king. The Inhabitants of the land, however, were in rebellion against him.
Now, the king had pronounced judgment upon them, the nature of which was death in darkness. The land was oh so dark! The darkness meant death for all who dwelled in, and failed to escape there from. However, in his benevolence, this good king had also devised a way that they could escape his wrath—a way to live in light, and escape the death of darkness.
The people, in their pride and arrogance, for the most part refused to accept the king’s benevolence. In stead, they got together and devised their own way of deliverance. They built a structure large enough to provide shelter for each one, from the king’s judgment. Within, they set up stationary bicycle type units, with built in generators. The generators, in turn, were wired to a system of lights, inside the building. Those chosen to take turns pedaling the cycle machines generated electricity sufficient, they hoped, to keep the lights burning. Their guidelines established that all one had to do was to dwell within the protection of the shelter, follow the chosen ones’ established rules, and perform certain rituals, partake of prescribed ceremonies, observe certain sacraments and obey declared ordinances, and they would be protected from the looming judgment of darkness. But actually, they labored in some fear, as no one seemed to know exactly just how much work must be expended—just how much light was sufficient to earn their deliverance. Much diligence was required, as well, for they were told that if they let up too much, darkness could again overtake them, and they would again be doomed.
The reader must be aware that the light produced and relied upon was artificial—not at all the light of deliverance provided by the good king. But, the people were proud of their wise devices, the beautiful light produced by their system, and felt really good upon participating in the rituals and ceremonies. They were assured by the chosen ones that the king was very pleased by their self efforts and provisions for deliverance from his wrath.
But, the king was not pleased, for he had established a way for deliverance for his subjects. He had declared that no other way would be acceptable to him.
The king had also established a place of refuge—it, too, was a house of light. However, the light was not artificial, but the direct work of the king himself. It was not generated by any device of man. Nor was it an ongoing process. Rather, the king had accomplished a certain work of his own that had produced this light. The light was perfect and permanent. No further work would ever be required to either renew or enhance it.
The king’s subjects were given only one responsibility: It was to come into the light. That is all! They just must freely enter into the freedom that the king had provided, simply trusting in his provision for them, and none else. No works were required. No self effort was demanded. Just freely enter in and depend completely upon the king’s provision. Such would insure their safety forever.
Now, dear reader, you may be thinking that that is just too simple. Well, so did the majority of the king’s subjects. But, a few believed the word of the king, and entered into his place of safety.
Strangely, if you might be permitted to just peek inside the king’s place of safety, you would see something that might surprise you. Those who had entered in were also seated on bicycle-style machinery, and were pedaling away. We have already established that the labor of these inhabitants was not at all producing the light, on which they were depending. No, they were instead, using the light to live and labor.
Now, one might inquire as to what their labor was accomplishing. Well, it is good that you asked. For, their machines (not being manned only by selected ones, but by all the inhabitants who so desire to labor), were connected to message boards, placed in strategic locations throughout the land. The messages’ displays were enabled by the labor of these who had themselves seen such a message, and had entered in. The more faithfully they pedaled, the more numerous, and more plentiful were the message boards.
The message was simply a warning to the inhabitants of the land to not trust in their own devices, or in the errors concocted by their chosen ones. Also included, was a call to repent, and come to the light provided by the king—the free gift of his great benevolence—and simply enter into his deliverance.
Indeed, dear reader, so it is in your land. Religious leaders abound who are striving to lead you in the ways of their own devices. God is not pleased. He will not accept your efforts to provide your own deliverance—your self works, rituals and ceremonies. Only through the grace of God, by the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary, can you be delivered from the wrath to come. It is, indeed, a gift of grace to be received by faith.