ONE MONTH AWAY                                                                                                                  Andy Hollifield 11-25 17

Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour,which us Christ the Lord.

John 3:16 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.

The greatest day of the year! We are a mere 30 days away from celebrating the greatest gift ever given to anyone. The day that God gave his Son who brought salvation to a lost and dying world. The day that we have set aside to honor that event is December 25th. There are different theories and explanations as to why this date was chosen centuries ago but the date actually makes no difference. It is to celebrate “the reason for the season”. The birth of Christ. In spite of all of the various opinions as to the date, there is a general consensus as to the purpose and I could find no other reason for the holiday except to celebrate the birth of Christ. It is defined as a religious holiday among Christians and a cultural holiday among non-Christians. One question I have always had and have often wondered is why anyone would celebrate a day that is set aside to commemorate something or someone who they don’t even believe in and have never accepted as truth. I, as a Christian, have never had any desire to celebrate the birth of Muhammad or Buddha or anyone one else that I don’t accept as a deity of any kind. That is why it seems odd to me that Christmas, or (mass of Christ) is celebrated by so many.

Nevertheless, I am a Christian and try to live my life in accordance to his teachings and have accepted him as my Savior. Therefore; Christmas is my day! I do not celebrate the birth of an ancient deity but the birth of an everlasting king, my everlasting king. The fact remains that there is no way to get around the meaning of the word “Christmas”. Now for just a minute, I want to talk about the purpose for the day. To sum it up in the short version; mankind was alienated from God by sin in the Garden of Eden when Adam gave in to the wishes of his wife and partook of the fruit of the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3). This event is never questioned throughout the bible and is referred to as an actual historical event. From that point on, man’s direct access to God was broken as far as physical access and personal communion. There had to be a sacrifice to bring about forgiveness for the sins of mankind going forward. God hates sin and refuses to have communion with it yet he loves his creation (man) so much that he wanted to re-establish the broken relationship with him and thus allow man the opportunity to worship him as the one, true, eternal, God of creation and giver of life. After having made a search throughout heaven and in the earth and beneath the earth, there was none found without sin that was worthy to be the perfect sacrifice that forgiveness of sin required; none except one: Jesus Christ who is one-third of the Holy trinity. In his perfection, he volunteered to come to earth and give his life as a sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. Then, they could be forgiven if they only prayed believing and asked God for forgiveness. Accepting the free gift from God which is the ultimate sacrifice of his Son’s life would restore fallen man to fellowship with God . That is found in Revelation chapter number five. Following that search throughout the universe, by an overshadowing of the Holy Ghost a young Jewish virgin girl became became miraculously pregnant. Nine months later, the perfect Son of God was born into this world to be the supreme, perfect, eternal, sacrifice for the sins of man. His crucifixion would be carried out a little over 33 years later. The story of his life was told by the Holy Ghost inspired writings of four men. Each writer emphasized different points of many of the same stories. The events of Christ’ earthly life as 100% God and also 100% man, can be found in the four gospels of the New Testament in the books bearing their names; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The Christmas season is the time set aside to celebrate the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ. In the words of the late Paul Harvey: now you know the rest of the story.

This time of year brings benefits to everyone by way of receiving gifts and increased revenue from the sales of those gifts. Another benefit is the peace on earth and good will toward men as proclaimed by the angels visiting the shepherds near Jerusalem on the day of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:14). For those that may be in places where the material benefits may not be present, they still benefit by the gift of God that provides them with the same access to forgiveness of sin that those in developed areas of the world have.

So whether you celebrate Christ birth for religious, monetary, or just because of traditional reasons; the fact remains that you in some way acknowledge the birth of Christ. That means that you have knowledge of his birth and the need for forgiveness of sin which makes you accountable for your sin to an almighty eternal God. The bible says in Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” and also says in Philippians 2:9-10 that at Jesus name, every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. That is not an exact quote but a summary of those 2 verses. None of us are excusable and there are no excuses for rejecting Christ. God has done everything possible to make the way for man to obtain mercy and receive forgiveness for his sins. To refuse to accept that forgiveness, God’s free gift (John 3:16) is to accept eternal separation from God in hell with the Devil and his angels. If you don’t accept Christ as your Savior and repent (turn away) from your sin and worship him, you wouldn’t like heaven anyway because worshipping Christ is what we will be doing for all eternity without end.

So for those of you that are born again Christians having repented of your sin and accepted God’s free gift of forgiveness of your sins, we are only one month away from celebrating the giving of that gift from God; our day. The day that the whole world stops to acknowledge the birth of our Savior. No other person in history can lay claim to that kind of acclaim for that many years world-wide. According to Guinness Book of World Records, the bible, which is God’s word and the official biography of the life of Christ as well as the history of creation and mankind, is the best-selling book of all time.  Over five billion copies have been sold and distributed. Others may lay claim to that position but have not been certified factual by Guiness Book which is the widely accepted standard of fact. Imagine that, not only do we have the gift of God in our hearts but the whole world has set aside a day honoring and celebrating his birth. Most however, have never accepted him as Savior and believed his word. We are only one month away from participating in one of the oldest and longest lasting, most widely accepted, celebrations of all time. And it is OURS! Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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