The real reason for the season, Jesus Christ
Greetings precious people, I hope that you are doing well today and enjoying the goodness of the Lord. We are just a week away form Christmas. I want to invite you to attend our Christmas Eve service wed. the 24th at 7pm or attend your own church service on this wonderful day.
In today’s article I would like to talk to you about the real reason for the season. It is Jesus Christ the Lord. Maybe you have seen on a billboard or in the newspaper the advertisement “The reason for the season, Jesus”. My friend Leo Giovinetti and the people at Mission Valley Christian Fellowship have put these adds all over San Diego for the past few years. It is ironic that there would be such a need in a country such as ours that was founded on the Word of God and has enjoyed the blessings of God over the years. But it has gotten to the point that an entire generation doesn’t know that Jesus is the real reason for the season. And the generation before them has either ignored this fact or has tried to deny it by removing all mention of Jesus Christ from the government schools, work place, and society in general.
You no doubt are aware that the term “Christmas vacation or break” are no longer allowed to be used. Instead the term winter vacation or winter break must now be used. Schools are no longer allowed to have Christmas programs or pageants. If they do have any type of program at this time of year, they are forbidden to make any mention of God, Jesus Christ, or the Bible. I just read of a number of schools that are permitting so called “Christmas” programs to be held and even Christmas songs to be sung but they must remove any and all mention of God, Jesus, and the Bible.
As I have traveled around various parts of the world I have found that many countries celebrate Christmas but they do so in the same manner that we do in our nation. There is no mention of Jesus Christ rather Santa Clause has become the focus of attention for Christmas. We know that the character of Santa Clause came from a real individual (no not form the North Pole) who became known as Saint Nicholas. He was a kind man who lived many years ago that did a number of nice deeds during Christmas time. Of course the present day Santa Clause is a totally fictitious character known to live somewhere in the North Pole and travel the world one day a year at the speed of light delivering toys to all the good girls and boys.
I find it both interesting and tragic how we have substituted a make believe character like Santa for the real person of Jesus Christ. How can this be, you may ask? There are a few reasons for this occurring. First, generally speaking, man prefers to believe a lie to the truth. Just look around you! Much of the advertisement industry, business, stock market, government, etc. is based on lies. I know this may seem a bit cynical but it is reality non-the less. Do you really think that the government genuinely cares about your welfare?
Accompanying this is man’s refusal to accept not so much the baby Jesus in the manger but what He would grow up to be and do. This is really the heart of the issue. For you see, Jesus came into this world for one reason, to go to the Cross of Calvary. Everyone is born to live, Jesus was born to die.
In being crucified Jesus proved what the Bible, the Word of God says concerning all of mankind. In Rom 3:9-18 we read, “What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." "Their throats are open graves;
Their tongues practice deceit." "The poison of vipers is on their lips." "Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness." "Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know." "There is no fear of God before their eyes." John 3:19-21, “This is the verdict: Light (Jesus) has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God." Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
This is a real blow to man’s ego and pride. We say, “There is no way that I can be as bad as all that.” Yet this is how God sees all of us. His measuring tool for this summation is the Law of God and the Perfect Holy One, Jesus Christ.
It was because of our poor wretched state, our inability to save ourselves from the penalty of sin (death), that God sent His Son into the world to go to the Cross and pay for our sins. We see this in what is the best known verse in the Bible, John 3:16-18, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
I want to close this article by quoting a number of verses from the Bible that gives the real reason for the season. Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” Isaiah 9:6-7, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace. There will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” Micah 5:2, "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting."
Luke 1:26-38, “Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end." Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?" And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible." Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.”
The story continues in the Gospel of Luke as well as Matthew, Mark, and John. Due to the lack of time and space I cannot print it here but I encourage you to read it for yourself in your Bible. If you do not have a Bible and would like one let us know and we will send you one without charge.
I do hope that you celebrate Christmas this year by giving thanks to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ. That you accept God’s greatest gift ever, forgiveness of sin through faith in His Son Jesus Christ. And that you give to Him in return your life that He may bring about the necessary changes in your life.
May the Lord richly bless you as you seek Him. I encourage you to go to church this Christmas Eve and if you do not have a home church you are welcome to come and worship with us. Our service will begin at 7pm. Also I want to ask that you pray for me. I will be leaving for Israel the day after Christmas to lead a group through Israel and Jordan. Next week we will continue our study through the book of Philippians.
If you have any questions, comments, or prayer requests you can contact me at: Calvary Chapel of Alpine, P.O. Box 1528, Alpine, Ca. 91903 or call 619-445-2589, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our web site to read all previous articles at www.calvarychapel.org/alpine/index.htm
Drew Macintyre is pastor of Calvary Chapel of Alpine