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Merry Christmas

"Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men." Matthew 2:16

Herod had faked his desire to worship Jesus to the wise men (Matthew 2:8.) God knew of Herod's hatred and fear of Jesus, though only a Baby, and countered his deceit toward the Child (Matthew 2:12.)

The issue today, as was then, is not about holidays or holy days; not about commemorating Christmas or not; not about greeting people with "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays." The firestorm centers around keeping Jesus Christ alive or allowing Him killed off by His enemies. The controversy is not about a manger scene, nativity display, a star in the east or wise men bringing gifts. The issue was then and is still now, is Jesus Christ the Saviour of the world?{C}

God gave us His account of that night:

"And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 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 2:9-11

Herein lies the problem. If a man has a Saviour, he has recognized the fact that he is a sinner. People who are not lost do not need a Saviour, only those that are. Even Mary the mother of our Lord, when announcing her pregnancy to her cousin Elizabeth, recognized her sinfulness and her need of a Saviour:

"And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour."Luke 1:46-47

Men may worship Mohammed and they are given that freedom to do so by Christians. Men may worship Buddha and no real Christian threatens their life. Masses may pray to the Pope and Mary, and no Christian threatens anyone with purgatory. Since the beginning of time, religions of all kinds have fought against Jesus Christ. Christ has always upheld holiness, righteousness and sanctity. Man has always hated those same three things. Jesus told men that they "loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." (John 3:19) This alone made Him their enemy. His very honesty, which should commend Him to men, caused mankind to cry out, "crucify Him, crucify Him…" (John 19:5)

Since that night over 2000 years ago when Jesus Christ left His glory as perfect God to take upon Himself the form of the perfect man to pay our sin debt that nothing but the blood of God Himself could atone, men have hated Him.

No, it is not about a holiday, it is about a Saviour! It has nothing to do with December 25th, a tree with a star on it, the sharing of Christmas gifts, three wise men or even old Santa Claus. What that night ultimately has to do with is man's eternity…heaven or hell. Men may plot against Him like Herod did and end up like he did, only mentioned in connection with Christ's first coming to earth. Men may harass Him, as the Pharisees, Sadducees and scribes did, only to be pointed out as worthless in God's scheme of things (Matthew 23:13, 14, 15, 16,17, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 33.)

We may receive all kinds of accolades and awards. Our name may be noteworthy. We may have accomplished many worthwhile achievements, but the fact remains that we will be forgotten sooner or later; more sooner than later. Let me give you some examples:

Who was the MVP of the 2009 Super Bowl? Who was the NASCAR champion in 2010? Who was the Vice President of the United States in 2003? Who was the best-selling author last year? How quickly fame evaporates.

Men lie to each other. At times, men even lie to themselves, but it is impossible to lie to Jesus Christ:

"Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man." John 2:23-25

What will make a difference to you ten seconds, ten years or ten thousand years after you die will be whether you trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour and ended up in heaven or hell. Also remember, that no one who knows Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour will be offended if you say "Merry Christmas" this year. Merry Christmas!

Keep Looking Up!

Leland Maples

This blog was written by Leland in December of 2013 and we wanted to share it with you this 2017 Christmas.  Leland went to be with the Lord this year but all his writings are timeless so we thought we would share again!