Share on Facebook 224 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Devotionals   

When the Birth of The Savior of the World Just Isn't Enough

By       (Page 2 of 2 pages)   3 comments

These charges are leveled by Jesus against the Pharisees and teachers of law who swallowed a camel to strain out a gnat. They loved their traditions of men. Perhaps there is no greater icon representing the traditions of man then Santa Claus. If you think about it for a minute, Santa is a replacement for God. The same parents who think children cannot handle being told about God have no problem lying to them about some old guy who sees everything they do, whether they are good or not, and rewards them seemingly regardless to that monitoring. I am not suggesting either that a Christian cannot celebrate Christmas. It is a part of our overall culture. I am saying it has no place in the church. Santa should not have third billing on your Christmas service advertisement when Jesus did not even make the cut. Why? Because that is not the role of the church beloved. After the services this Christmas at New Destiny we can be sure of a few things. Everyone will leave fully entertained by a rock concert. Two lucky winners will have brand new flat screen televisions. Many happy children will have their picture taken with Santa. And everyone will still be marching merrily down the broad path that leads to destruction.

You remember heaven and hell right? The reason the church actually does exist. Do not strive for that which perishes beloved. Seek out that which is eternal. There is a heaven to gain and a hell to be very afraid of. God has placed us on the scales and found us lacking. We have fallen far short of His mark. His law shows us our sin and convicts us of it. The wages we earn for that sin is death. Eternal death. But God is so loving, kind, merciful and full of grace that He sacrificed His only Son to pay the price for our sins. Think about the enormity of that for a second. That while we were yet sinners in complete rebellion towards Him, He would do this for us. Who is this man that would step down from deity to hang on an old wooden cross for you and me? Who is this King of Glory? Who is the one that would take a crown of thorns I earned? Who is this that would take a spear in the side that belonged to me? Who is it that could forgive the men who were killing Him while they were driving the spikes into His hands and feet? I will tell you who He is beloved. He is Jesus and Christmas, at a bare minimum, is supposed to be about Him.

The sadly ironic thing is we seem to get all upset when the world refuses to acknowledge Christmas. When Starbucks doesn't make their holiday cups red, green, and gold with nativity ornaments hanging off of them. When the checkout girl at Target says Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. This we find offensive but an actual Christian church who does not even acknowledge Christ for their Christmas services? That's just good church management. How utterly absurd. Beloved it is not just Paula White either. She is just the low hanging fruit for this week. I heard a sermon last week entitled "The Force Awakens"; seeking to capitalize on the opening of the new Star Wars movie. This was part of their Christmas series - all of which were based on Star Wars. To top it off, all new visitors were to receive free tickets to the upcoming movie.

The point being is that Paula White and the Star Wars Christmas nonsense are merely microcosms of what is occurring across modern Christianity today. The purpose driven, seeker friendly schemes of church growth are built on the premise that Christ is not enough. That the Gospel is no longer enough to draw people. Faith however is not built upon an offer for a free television, movie tickets or a rock concert:

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?"So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. - Romans 10: 14-17 (ESV)

Only the Gospel is the power unto God for the salvation of men. Only the true Gospel can save. Here is the truly sad thing about the Paula White version of Christmas on display throughout the mega-church landscape each year. It is so much worse than the actual truth. The actual message of Christmas is so much better. Just look at the key verses again:

And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. - Luke 2: 10-11 (ESV)

The true message of Christmas is good news in a world where every day we are bombarded with terrible news. Famine, disease, war, terror, politics, hatred and death. Instead the Christmas message is one of good news. It is good news of great joy beloved. In a world that constantly sells happiness it cannot deliver, Christ is joy. You may like you new flat screen television but one day it will be out on the curb for trash pickup. I am sure the new Star Wars movie will be a blockbuster but at the end of the say it is just a movie. Jesus Christ is real and He is forever. This good news of great joy is for all people! No one is exempt or excluded! In a world that divides to conquer, Jesus draws all to unify in His Gospel. The only divisions that exist, do so because people stray from the true Gospel and chase after myths:

For the time is coming when people will not endure soundteaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. - 2Timothy 4: 3-4 (ESV)

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Hallelujah! Keep your Santa photo-ops and rock concerts. Give me the Savior born unto me this day! Give me the Christ! That is the real present we need. He is the gift beloved! Forget the "reason for the season" nonsense. He is the reason for every season! He is all we need! He is enough!

Then the icing on the Christmas cake is when you draw people with the Gospel then all you need is the Gospel to keep them. You do not need to come up with slick marketing ideas for Easter like taking pictures with the bunny during service or giving away a new car. People will come not for a television but for their Savior. Of course that means you have to explain that they need to be saved. In order to do that you have to talk about their sin and their desperate need for a Savior. Therein lies the rub.

Beloved, when you see advertisements such as the one Paula White produced for this Christmas realize that it is not just that they do not believe in the sufficiency of the Gospel. It is not just that they do not believe in the relevance of the Gospel. It is that they do not believe in the Gospel at all. They do not believe it is the power of God unto the salvation of men. They do not believe it can change a man's wicked heart. It also reveals that their motives are rooted in building a church not the kingdom. Look, Jesus was not born in December. His culture did not even celebrate birthdays. I get that. But if you are going to call yourself a "CHRISTian church that is celebrating CHRISTmas, you ought to give CHRIST top billing. Otherwise it simply is not about Him. At the end of the day that is such a shame because His story is so much better. Unto you this day is born a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Amen and Merry Christmas.

Reverend Anthony Wade - December 12, 2015

Next Page  1  |  2

Rate It | View Ratings

Anthony Wade Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
 
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

 
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Joel Osteen Blasphemes "I Am" (55072 views)

Why I Have Left the Assemblies of God (38990 views)

Joyce Meyer Teaching the "Relationship over Religion" Heresy (19896 views)

Joyce Meyer -- A Prisoner of Heresy (17580 views)

Francis Chan Stands With Outright Heresy, Again (14660 views)

Bethel Teaches to Declare God is in a Good Mood and Other Insanities (14340 views)

Total Views: 160538

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: