<%@ Page Language="VB" ContentType="text/html" ResponseEncoding="iso-8859-1" %> Untitled Document THE GREATEST INFLUENCE

In last weeks issue of Gospel Power I asked the question, Why be a Christian? I suppose this is a question that many have asked. We noted in last weeks article that becoming a Christian requires dedication and commitment to God and His Will. Being a Christian requires sacrifice. People have concluded that being a Christian is not the easiest life one may live. Some have wondered why anyone would want to be a Christian. We started a discussion of this last week and sought to make the point that one should be a Christian in order to wear the Grandest name on mortal tongue. It is great that we may wear the name that God has given us. I gladly wear the name of Cecil Franklin because I was named this by my parents. But as a disciple and follower of Christ, I gladly wear the name Christian, because it is the name given to us by God. And I do not desire to wear any other. How about you? So, in answer to our question: Why be a Christian? We answer: To wear the greatest name.

I want to continue this discussion by pointing out in being a Christian, one possesses the Greatest Influence for good. He is the light of the world and salt of the earth. This world is in darkness and is not very palatable to the taste God requires of it. Men cannot see their way clear. Jesus said to his disciples, "Ye are the light of the world..." (Matt. 5:14).

What a glorious power the Christian possesses. In a world full of darkness, the Christian is an influential light. Let this be clearly understood. The Christian is not the light within himself...he is not the producer of the light...it does not originate with him. He is actually just a reflector of the Light Of The World, Jesus Christ. In Jno. 8:12, Jesus said, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." Paul wrote the church in Philippi and said: "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world. Holding forth the Word of Life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain." (Phil. 2:15,16).

As we hold forth the Word of Life and walk in the steps of Jesus we reflect His light into a dark and dismal world.

Paul said in Eph. 5:8-13: "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. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light."

Why Be A Christian? To possess this kind of influence. This world is lost in sin and is wandering around in darkness. The Christian's influence is needed. "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people" (Prov. 14:34).

The power of a righteous influence is clearly seen in Gen. 18:23-32. In this passage we learn that God decided to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of their wickedness. Abraham asked Him if ten righteous ones could be found in these cities would He still destroy them? God told Abraham, "I will not destroy them for the sake of ten righteous people." But, would you believe that ten righteous souls could not be found, so the cities were destroyed.

Concerning the destruction of the city of Jerusalem, Jesus said, "And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (Matt. 24:22).

Let each of us do all we can to guard our influence and be sure that it is a good influence. There are influences in the world that are evil. Remember the words of Solomon in Prov. 22:1, "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold."

By Cecil F. Cox, adapted from Gospel Power, Vol. 15, No. 34, Aug. 24, 2008.

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