Why do People choose Darkness over Light? (John 3:19)
In the Bible, what does it mean, that people loved darkness rather than light? Why do people choose darkness? What practical actions or behavior reflects that people love darkness instead of light?
In John 3:19 Jesus says: “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.”
In the Bible, God is light and for us to love the light, it means that we should love God and desire God’s truth to the extent that we are willing to follow Christ and obey His word. To walk in the light means that we live to please God by reflecting godliness in our daily living and seeking to glorify the name of Jesus.
However when people love darkness, it means they do not love God nor do they desire to obey God’s word. To walk in darkness means that people desire a life apart from God and they express their love of darkness when they wilfully oppose God’s word and take pleasure in living sinful lifestyles.
1 John 1:5-6 says: This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
John 8:12 reads: Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
3 Ways People Love Darkness instead of the Light
1. Loving Darkness through embracing Sinful Lifestyles
People express their love of darkness through sinful living. Unfortunately sin can be pleasurable to many. For example many would not commit adultery, homosexuality or even idolatry if they did not derive some type of pleasure or reward from such acts.
Some examples of embracing darkness through sinful living are found in Galatians 5:19-21 which reads: Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 lists other lifestyles by saying: Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Living in sin separates people from fellowship with God and leads us into spiritual darkness and eternal punishment. However, when we have Jesus as our Savior and allow Him to be our Light, our sins are forgiven and the Spirit of God will enable us to live righteously.
2. Loving Darkness through embracing False Doctrines & Opposing the Truth
People also embrace darkness through believing in false ideologies and worldviews which oppose Biblical teachings. The world has standards, value systems and cultures which are in direct opposition to the word of God. It is the very reason why Scripture tells Christians not to conform to the standards of this world.
Colossians 2:8 reads: See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
Belief in false teachings and heretic ideologies will ultimately lead us into darkness. Bad or unbiblical doctrines such as evolution, atheism, LGBTQ ideology, humanism, universalism, the occult, New Age teachings and many other religions and worldviews can ultimately lead people into spiritual blindness and total separation from God.
It’s therefore important to beware of embracing false philosophies and ideologies that oppose the word of God (Colossians 2:8).
Furthermore we must also beware of following false teachers who propagate false doctrines. In Matthew 15:14 Jesus says: “Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
So when the blind lead the blind it is an indication that both teacher and follower are walking in darkness and both will ultimately arrive at the same tragic destination.
Psalms 119:105 says: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
This means that the Bible has the purpose of providing spiritual enlightenment, guidance and direction in our daily life. Through Scripture we can discern the difference between good and evil and make the decision to obey and walk on God’s righteous path.
Unfortunately people who love darkness will vehemently oppose the word of God and its principles in order to justify their wrong beliefs.
3. Loving Darkness through Denying Jesus Christ
Finally, people love darkness when they deny Jesus Christ who is the Light of the world. If Jesus has no personal influence in your life then you are living in spiritual darkness.
In John 12:46 Jesus says: “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in Me may not remain in darkness.”
So rejecting Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior means that one has decided to love darkness instead of walking in the light.
Jesus Christ is essentially everything we need in order to walk on the right path to please God and to live in accordance with God’s word.
1 Peter 2:9 says: But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Why do people love darkness?
Walking in darkness appeals to the sin nature. We are all born sinners and because we are sinners (Romans 3:23), there is a natural gravitation towards desiring darkness instead of walking in the light.
The sin nature prefers the pleasures of sin and it cannot gravitate towards the things of God unless the Spirit of God intervenes through salvation or regeneration.
So the only way we can avoid the love of darkness is through a personal relationship with God by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
It is through Christ that we become born again or a new creation with a new heart and new desires. When Christ genuinely lives in us, the desire to walk in His light and please God grows within so that we hate what is evil and cling to what is good.