By Diana Shaw
December 6, 2013
Today, many people are making the attempt to “remove Christ” from Christmas. It is a futile attempt at best. Even our method of dating time reflects His birth. Before Christ’s birth, the Gregorian calendar used B.C. (before Christ) and after His birth, A.D. (“Ano domini” is Latin for “in the year of our Lord,” which does refer to Christ.)
You cannot even spell the word “CHRISTmas without “Christ.” Why? Because Christmas is the time that we celebrate the birth of the Savior of the world — Jesus Christ. The Bible says in Romans 10:9-10,13, “With the mouth confession is made unto salvation and with the heart, man believes unto righteousness.” What does that mean? As much as God wants the entire world to be saved, salvation is only to those who will receive it. Like a gift, salvation must be received. It is not enough to “believe” with your head (brain) that Jesus Christ is Savior and God’s Son…you must also believe with your heart (the center of life) and ask Jesus to come into your heart (into our life) and receive Him as your Savior. That means, there is nothing you can do to save yourself from your sins.
Church membership will not save you. You can be a member of every church in the world and still spend your eternity in hell. (Many people will.) Baptism will not save you. You can be baptized until you are water-logged and still spend your eternity in hell. (Some people will.) Taking the Lord’s Supper will not save you. You can take it until you are stuffed and still spend your eternity in hell. (Many people will.)
Your good works are as filthy rags in God’s sight. You don’t have enough money to buy your salvation. The only chance you have at Heaven is by accepting God’s gift of salvation and receive Jesus Christ into your heart (life). The sad fact of life is this…many, many, many people will be a church member, be baptized, take the Lord’s Supper, give to the church and be generous with their money for things to benefit their community and world missions, treat others as they would want to be treated and yet…they are going to miss Heaven by 12 inches. (The distance from their head to the hearts.) All because they wouldn’t or didn’t receive Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Many, many, many “good” people…fully expecting to go to Heaven when they die, will wake up 1/100th of a second after death and realize they missed Heaven. But it will be too late. The decision is final and your eternal place of abode is hell. There is no hope. No escape. Hell is a place where “the worm never dies” and there is “gnawing and gnashing of teeth” in “utter darkness” and where the “fire always burns.” People who go to hell will want to kill themselves to end the pain and suffering and will not be able to do so. The fires of hell will burn with such intense heat, yet they will not burn anything up. People will chew on their tongues to take their mind off their pain. This is not the place where I want to spend my eternity. Do you?
If you’d rather know that you will spend your eternity in Heaven…(What’s that? Someone is saying, “Got ya, Pastor Thad. No one can know where they will spend their eternity.”) Would you take your Bible and read I. John 5:13 please? I don’t use a “trick Bible” and I could have printed what that verse says here…but I want you to read it for yourself.
O.K. where were we? If you’d like to know where you are going to spend your eternity, it “boils down” to three things: 1) Accept the fact that God says we are sinners. We all are. Everyone of us are sinners. (Romans 3:23 says “All have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God.” 2) Believe that God loved you so much, He allowed His Son, Jesus Christ to die for your sins. (John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” And then the last point is, 3) Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior (Romans 10:9-10, see above and verse 13 says “For whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Calling on God means praying to Him. Let me suggest a prayer that you can pray to receive the free gift of eternal life: “Dear God. I know that I am a sinner. I understand I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus died for my sins and today, I accept Him as my Savior. I receive the free gift of eternal life. Thank You for saving me, and now help me to live for You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.” If you have prayed that prayer, and meant it, then you have been born into the family of God. (Write the date and time that you prayed this prayer. It is your “spiritual new birth” certificate and you will want to remember this special moment. Now…one other thing. If your pastor or your spiritual leader does not believe this, they do not believe God’s Word and you need to remove yourself from false teaching. God’s Word says we must be born again (see John 3:1-7 for a start.) If someone doesn’t believe what I have just shared with you, they are leading themselves and their congregation astray and one day, they will give an account for it. But you do not have to spend your eternity in hell because of their unbelief and wrong teaching. I encourage you to get away from wrong teaching and false doctrine and seek out a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church.
There are many who will celebrate Christmas this year as the time we honor and remember the birth of Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas to you. There will be many others who will continue their attempt to remove Christ from Christmas, and they do not believe in God. The Bible says to them, “The fool says in his heart there is no God” and you will be celebrating what you believe on April 1. Merry Christmas everyone. And that is Something To Think About for this week.