I won't say I don't want to be critical. The fact is, Biblical truth may set you and me free, but it is quite often critical, pointing out areas in which we can do better!
So, when should the church make the greatest impact in a godless world? In my humble opinion, it is when the darkness is the most pervasive. It's when sin seems to abound more than ever. The Apostle Paul said in Romans 5:20 that the Law caused sin to abound, because it declared you and me unable to attain to God's standard of righteousness (the Law itself). He said that where sin increased, grace increased even more. Of course, Paul is referring to God's grace being poured out on you and me through Jesus. But there is a very powerful Spiritual principle here. The darker our world becomes, God's grace in us, increases even more to reach those who are still bound to the darkness. You are a vessel of God's infinite grace.
Stated another way, the darker the night becomes, the brighter the light in us IS. The light in us is designed to always exceed, and overpower the darkness. We, the church, are the light of the world. If the light doesn't shine, the world remains in darkness. "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:14 - 16)
I was so blessed to see the church taking the love of Jesus, which is the light of the Gospel, to the city of Portland, Oregon recently. There was opposition from a terrorist organization, but these truly Christian men, women, boys, and girls stood their ground as they stood in praise to Jesus. Hearts were touched. Lives were changed. Souls were saved. Bodies were healed and set free from drug and alcohol addiction! Is this not what the church should be doing? The world is already trying to debunk this event. The religious are already trying to crucify. However, what was was done IS done! Now there are vacancies in hell because the church was not missing, but ever so present in a devastated and ravaged American city.
At the event in Portland I noticed a unity among those worshiping Jesus that has been absent from the church. It wasn't the cohesiveness of another gathering. It was the unity born out of lifting up Jesus and sharing His love in an area controlled by the darkness. There was purpose there. Godly purpose gives birth to the unity of the Spirit. The darkness had no power because the light overpowered the darkness!
If you are a born again Christian, God has a purpose for you. NO ONE is called by God to no purpose. What is that purpose? It is to live wholly for Jesus and always seek God to make a difference. Jesus called it "being the salt (not of heaven) but of the earth." Jesus also referred to Himself as the "Light of the world". His light can only be shone through His purchased vessels, His church. The Apostle John said that Jesus is "...the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man." Jesus came into the world over 2,000 years ago. Now He lives in those who have surrendered their lives to Him. The only way He can light up the world is through His blood-bought church.
I am convinced that God's church is beginning to awaken. People are beginning to realize by the Spirit of God the enormity of the call upon their lives to be a follower of Jesus. Many are beginning to understand, as a result of seeking God's face, the power of the God they serve. There is nothing menial about our God. His arm is not so short that He cannot reach into any situation through His church. Folks are truly awakening to the truth and undeniable fact that we are the body of Jesus in the earth. It is through His body that Jesus moves in the earth.