Saturday, December 13, 2014

Happy Holidays in Place Of Christmas

We hear it so often around this time of year: "Happy Holiday!" "Season’s Greeting!" Everyone seems to be in the mood for some kind of festive celebration.

Exactly what is the holiday that we are celebrating? Are we allowed to say it? Is it a forbidden word? Are we afraid to say it? Will people be offended if we actually tell them what the holiday is?

What ever happened to Christmas? What ever happened to the Christ of Christmas? Long ago there was no room in the inn. Is there any room for Him in today’s celebration? Are little children ever told about Him?

What ever happened to the birth of the Saviour? Should it even be mentioned? Was it a significant event? Has it been a giant mistake that all of our calendars mark His birth as the starting point, and that His birth divides all of this world’s history into B.C. (before Christ) and A.D. (anno Domini, in the year of the Lord)?

In the past we were concerned about the secularization of the Christmas holiday and we urged people to keep Christ in Christmas. Now it seems we have even lost Christmas! Look at the decorations people put up on their lawns: blown up snowmen, beautifully lighted reindeer that sometime move back and forth,
Santa Claus in all kinds of shapes and sizes, etc. If an alien from outer space were to visit earth at this season of the year and look at the holiday preparations and decorations, would he have any idea what Christmas is all about? (Not that I am a believer in alien visitations).

We observe a holiday at the beginning of every year and people don’t seem to be ashamed of it. They say, "Happy New Year!" They don’t say, "Happy Holiday!" They understand exactly what the holiday is all about and they have no problem celebrating the coming of a new year. Why are we embarrassed to celebrate the coming of the Saviour into the world? "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15).
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If an alien from outer space were to visit earth at this season of the year and look at the holiday preparations and decorations, would he have any idea what Christmas is all about?

One might object: "If we make too much of Christmas we might offend our Jewish friends and we might offend the Muslims and we might offend the atheists." When our Jewish friends celebrate Hanukkah, for example, they are celebrating their deliverance from a brutal tyrant, King Antiochus Epiphanes, in 164 B.C. They have every right to celebrate this remarkable event and the courage of Judah the Maccabee and other heroes of that day. Indeed, most of the Jewish holy days (Passover, Day of Atonement, etc.) have their basis in the Bible and are highly instructive.

Muslims observe their holy days and are neither ashamed of them nor embarrassed by them. In our country they have a right to do so, and that right should be respected (even though in Muslim countries where religious freedom is unheard of, such rights are rarely if ever given to Christians). Do not Christians have a right to celebrate the birth of the Saviour, the time when God became a man? Or should we only do so secretly, behind closed doors, without anyone finding out what it is or WHO IT IS we are celebrating?

Atheists don’t have any holidays to celebrate their unbelief. There is little motivation to hold festivities in honor of a world view in which man finds himself in the middle of a universe governed by blind chance, having evolved as a freak accident of nature, facing a future without any rhyme, reason, or purpose, and headed for a death that ends all.

Should we give up Christmas and abandon it as a holy day? After all, no one wants to mention it anymore, and it seems to have evolved into a meaningless, festive, gift-giving occasion apart from any spiritual significance.

I don’t know about you, but as for me, I refuse to give it up. If the God of the entire universe, the Maker of heaven and earth, decided to pay a visit to this earth, then that event is highly significant and worthy of at least a yearly remembrance and thankful celebration. "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world" (1 John 4:14).

Here is the Christmas story according to John, a man who knew Jesus Christ very well: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made...And the Word was made (became) flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:1-3,14).
John also makes very clear the reason God came to earth as Man. He came on a saving mission: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:16-17).

Why was the incarnation so important? Why did God have to become a man? In order to save sinful men, God would have to die for sinful men. But God cannot die. Therefore God would have to become a man in order to be able to save mankind. This was made possible through the miracle of the virgin birth. Although God could not die, the God-Man (the Lord Jesus Christ) could die and did die for our sins: "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him (the Messiah) the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6). "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

On that first Christmas night, the angel announced the good news which summarizes the true meaning of Christmas: "And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:10-11). If it really is good news for all people, why should we be ashamed of it? The Saviour’s entrance into this world should be shouted from the housetops!

The Saviour has been born! He died as the sinner’s Substitute and He rose again to provide eternal life for all who believe in Him. Do you know Him as your personal Saviour? "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:12). Jesus said, "Him that cometh to Me I will I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:35).

"But these [things] are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have LIFE through His Name" (John 20:31).

The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!

GZ I.F

The Christmas Reality
The Gospel of John Challenge
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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Almighty God’s "Steel Curtain" Defense

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As a boy growing up in the late 70’s I was a passionate Pittsburgh Steelers fan. The Steelers were notoriously known for their solid defense and were nicknamed the "Steel Curtin”. This solid defense of the Steelers allowed very little offensive gain from their opponents and is legendary and highly acclaimed by football fans unto this day.

Almighty God “as it were” puts up His “steel curtain” defense of EVERLASTING grace and mercy against His lost and perishing creature (man).

In the light of ETERNITY, Almighty God “as it were” puts up His “steel curtain” defense of EVERLASTING grace and mercy against His lost and perishing creature (man) in a desperate attempt to prolong and derail our godless rebellion and ETERNAL destiny of perdition and doom in the ETERNAL prison hold called, “the Lake of Fire” (John 3:16-17, Rev. 20:11-15).

The Bible states,

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:16-17).

My friend, can you not see how Almighty God’s grace and mercy and providential management on our behalf – when we were once lost and dead in our trespasses and transgressions (Isa. 53:6, Rom. 5:10, Eph. 2:1-2) – has spared and kept us from our own self destructive will and lawless rebellious desires against our Creator and against His ETERNAL RIGHTEOUS absolutes (Isa. 53:6, Rom. 2:4, 5:6, 2 Peter 3:9,15). He has - through out all of our lives prior to our salvation - always put up His Heavenly Steel Curtain defense as we in our past unbelief and godless rebellion beat our drum to the course of this world and have sought to rush and carry our self willed and godless agenda straight in to the HELL Zone (Gen. 3:22-24, Rom. 2:4, Eph. 2:1-10).

How else could we have ever come to a saving knowledge of the truth if it had not been for Almighty God’s Steel Curtain of grace and mercy (Luke 18:13, Rom. 2:4, 1 Tim. 2:3-4)?

It is with ALL of Almighty God’s ETERNAL BEING that He desires ALL to come to repentance and to a full acknowledgment of their transgressions against the ETERNAL RIGHTEOUS absolutes of His ETERNAL Person (John 3:17, 1 Tim. 2:3-4, 2 Peter 3:9). Almighty God also greatly desires ALL to come to a saving knowledge of His Son - The Lord Jesus Christ – man’s only means for propitiation and pardon for ETERNAL redemption (Acts 4:12, Rom. 10:2-4, 1 Cor. 1:30, 1 John 2:2). Oh beloved, what Divine wondrous love! What could ever – in FOREVER - compare to the ETERNAL Divine righteous love of man’s omnipotent and omniscient Creator (Jude 1:25)?
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Rushing Ones Rebellion into the Hell Zone

These wondrous truths of time and ETERNITY also apply to all of the world’s - past and present - lost and unregenerate children of Adam’s fallen race (Rom. 5:12). My friend, NO ONE will ever end up in the Lake of Fire for all ETERNITY without choosing to go there for themselves (John 3:36, 1 John 5:12). My friend, NO ONE ever ends up FOREVER in the Lake of Fire without fighting tooth and nail against the EVERLASTING grace and mercy of Almighty God’s Heavenly "Steel Curtain".

When an unregenerate individual - whether morally virtuous or wickedly vile - out right rejects Almighty God's ETERNAL sovereignty, he as a raging bull seeks to push the limits of Almighty God’s grace and mercy.

There comes the point in each individual’s life (this temporal earthly existence) in which they have solidly chosen and have set in concrete their decision for or against their Creator (Ezek. 24:13, Hosea 7:13, Matt. 23:37, Rom. 1:18-32). When an unregenerate individual - whether morally virtuous or wickedly vile - out right rejects Almighty God's ETERNAL sovereignty, he as a raging bull seeks to push the limits of Almighty God’s grace and mercy. What is most tragic is that God will eventually step out of the way and lets these God haters beat their godless drum in this "brief existence" called "time" unto their ETERNAL doom (Rom 1:18-32). History is filled with these countless precedents of the godless virtuous and vile who have rejected Almighty God’s saving grace through out the 6000 year history of creation. As Almighty God’s infallible Word so truly states, All have sinned (Rom. 3:23)! All have violated and have transgressed Almighty God’s ETERNAL RIGHTEOUS absolutes and His Ten Commandments in their hearts, souls, minds and with their actions (Rom. 3:10-23)! My friend, Virtuous or vile ALL have Sinned! ALL are violators of God’s ETERNAL righteous absolutes! ALL need God’s saving solution and Savior!

Beloved, God is Righteous!

My friend, for years some of us have prayed vigilantly for loved ones and individuals to come to a saving knowledge of the Savior, only to have these individuals choose to die in their sins and transgressions in the end (John 8:24, Rom. 6:23). My friends, has Almighty God turned a deaf ear to our desperate pleas and petitions for our loved ones? GOD FORBID!!!! Almighty God wants these individuals saved and regenerated more then we ever could. God fully comprehends the entire magnitude of their ETERNAL destiny and loves them more then we ever could with A PERFECT AND ETERNAL LOVE (John 3:16-17, 1 John 4:9,16). God the Father sent and gave His only begotten Son to meet our ETERNAL dire needs (Rom. 6:23, 10:4, 2 Cor. 5:21, 1 John 3:5). God the Son put on humanity and violently died and shed His sinless blood on the cross for the sins of the whole world to be our perfect propitiation and Savior (Gal. 1:4, Heb, 10:7-10, 1 Peter 1:18-19, 1 John 2:2, Rev 1:5).

God fully comprehends the entire magnitude of their ETERNAL destiny and loves them more then we ever could with A PERFECT AND ETERNAL LOVE.

Through out these individuals’ (our loved ones and the whole world’s ) entire lives (existence in time) Almighty God has put up the “Heavenly Steel Curtain” and has made every attempt to deliver these godless and lawless individuals (whether virtuous or vile - good or evil) from their fallen state and ETERNAL doom, but in the end these choose ruin and destruction instead of ETERNAL righteousness and fellowship with their Creator in spirit and truth (Matt. 25:41, John 4:24, Rev. 20:11-15). What is most tragic is that these individuals chose to rejected God’s saving grace through out their entire short “flower of the field” lives and live in a delusion about the ETERNAL realities of righteousness and judgment. These - in the end - dive head first over Almighty God's "Heavenly goal line stance" into ETERNAL perdition, ruin and judgment (i.e., into the Hell Zone). Each human being is the sole captain of their ETERNAL destiny. In the end, it is each ones own personal decision that chooses their ETERNAL destiny and habitation.
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In the end, it is each ones own personal decision that chooses their ETERNAL destiny and habitation.
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My Beloved, always remember that in Almighty God is no evil or unrighteousness (Job 34:10, Psalm 116:5, Rom. 9:14). He NEVER can lie (Titus 1:2, Heb. 6:18). He is only LOVING, MERCIFUL, GRACIOUS, LONG SUFFERING and most of all RIGHTEOUS (Psalm 86:15, 103:8, 116:5, 145:17, John 4:9,16, 2 John 1:3)!

“Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? (Gen 18:25c)”

There are many hard and overwhelming realities to deal with today in this lost and dying world. May we be bold as lions to see these realities for what they are from Almighty God’s Eternal perspective? It is from this Heavenly position that we will be set free from all of the temporal overwhelming realities of time and ETERNITY (John 8:32, 36, Col. 3:1-2).

My friends let me quote Almighty God once more.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:16-17)."

My beloved, I do not know how to state anything more wonderful than that! Beloved, enjoy God and let him LOVE you as only He can in these trying days.

The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!

DJP I.F.

Heaven’s Eternal Perspective Will Set You Free!
What is Sin -  A must read!

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