Saturday, December 16, 2017

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
Available in tract form


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Monday, December 11, 2017

THE FALSE GOD OF CHRISTMAS


Parents, often without even realizing it, have been teaching their children the following things about Santa Claus
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SANTA IS OMNISCIENT
He knows how children behave throughout the year. The familiar song says, "He knows if we've been good or bad." Also he knows exactly what children want for Christmas even if the child does not have an opportunity to tell him personally.

SANTA IS OMNIPOTENT
No storm is too great to hinder Santa from performing his annual miracle of delivering gifts throughout the world. He also defies the laws of nature by flying and by coming down the narrowest (and hottest!) of chimneys! Nor should we forget his amazing ability to produce millions of gifts throughout the year. Is anything too hard for Santa? With Santa all things are possible!

SANTA IS OMNIPRESENT
To visit every home in the world in one evening requires nothing less than omnipresence! Every child in the world can wake up in the morning and say, "Santa has been here! Santa was present in my home!" Prior to Christmas Santa also appears at hundreds of street corners and shopping centers throughout the country at the same time!

SANTA IS FAITHFUL
You can always count on Santa! Santa never fails and he never breaks his word. When Santa makes a promise he keeps it! When he promises a child a gift, that child will never be disappointed. Children are fully persuaded that what Santa has promised he is able also to perform. The child that believes in Santa will not be put to shame! Santa is totally dependable and trustworthy!

SANTA IS ETERNAL
Santa with his white beard and weather-beaten face is the very essence of eternity. Year after year goes by and Santa grows no older. Generations have come and gone but Santa is still here. His life is endless and Santa cannot die. To Santa belongs an unending life.
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SANTA IS IMMUTABLE
Yesterday, today, forever Santa is the same! He never seems to change. He is always happy! He is always jolly. He is always kind to children. In a changing world you can always count on Santa being Santa!

SANTA IS LOVE
Santa loves all the boys and girls in the world. Santa is no respecter of persons. He loves them all--red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight.

SANTA IS RIGHTEOUS
All that Santa does is right! He makes no mistakes. He does all things well. Every child's stocking contains exactly the right thing.

SANTA IS GOOD
Santa showers his blessings upon all. Every good and perfect gift comes from Santa. He is the supreme GIVER of Christmas. It is Santa who brings the best gift of all!

SANTA IS SOVEREIGN
On Christmas Eve Santa is in complete control of the situation. Circumstances do not phase him (such as storms, sizes of chimneys, red-hot fire places, etc.). He is the King of Christmas!

SANTA IS COMING
Santa is coming to town. You better be ready! You better watch out! You better be good! He's coming! Are you prepared when Santa comes to reward every boy or girl according to his work? Millions of boys and girls each year wait with eager expectancy for the glorious appearing of the great Santa god. What a blessed hope for countless numbers of children! His reward is with him! What a comforting hope the boys and girls have as they prepare for his coming! And during the night he may come at any time. Even so, come, Santa Claus!

SANTA IS WORSHIPPED
Santa is worshipped and loved by thousands of children the world around. Children love him so much that all through the year they seek to please him in such a way that when they see him they will not be ashamed. O come let us adore HIM!
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.[Parents, is this the god you want your children to know and love? Is it important to tell our children the truth even when they are very young? What have you taught your children about the TRUE GOD, and His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ? Have you taught them who the Great GIVER of Christmas is (John 3:16)? Do they know about the gift of God which is eternal life (Rom. 6:23)?]


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)

Merry Christmas! The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!

GWZ I.F.


The Gospel of John Challenge
The Christmas Reality

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A note;

All this post is seeking to communicate is that Christ must have the preeminence at Christmas. If “Christians” would seek to exalt Santa above the reality of Christ’s Person and birth – which many do - they are dead wrong. These “Christians” are the ones who usually get the most offended at this post! If one seeks to be objective and truly believes the Christmas reality they would have no problem with this post. We did not post this piece to start a Santa War, but to make the individual consider the majesty and Devine Message of Christmas. That God Gave His Son! (John 3:16-17)
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