Sunday, 4 December 2011

The Verse - John 3:16

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. John 3:16 (NKVJ)

Fact: I love Christmas. First and foremost, because we get to celebrate the day Jesus Christ was born. Every year it blows my mind. When you actually stop and think about Christmas, it's incredible - I know, I know: the 25th of  December wasn't the exact date Jesus was born, it's off by a couple of months, and the only reason why it's celebrated then is because some silly people decided to combine pagan holidays with Christian celebrations...silly rabbit - but still it's incredible. The God who created the universe stepping off his throne, humbling himself and becoming like one of his creations - being born in some outback stable in the middle of nowhere. Just let that sink in and boggle your mind for a moment.

I think sometimes we, me included, get so caught up in the whole "Christmas thing" - present buying, holidaying, plum pudding eating - that we forget what it's all about. I know not everyone believes what I believe, but what I will say is that baby in the manger grew up and made pretty much the biggest claims you can make: "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6) He proclaimed He was God. Now He was either telling the truth, or a huge lie. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis: There was certainly no motive for Jesus to lie, since He died a horrifying death on a cross for what He said and taught. Such commitment would not have been shown by someone who knew that it was all untrue. His disciples were also martyred for their faith, claiming to have seen Jesus risen from the dead; this was a strange thing to do if their story was a lie. Jesus did not appear to be insane either  - the things He said were not the words of a lunatic, but rather reasoned and knowledgeable. The only remaining alternative is that He really was God, as He said.

The Bible teaches that essentially what you do with Jesus determines your fate - heaven or hell. You can believe what He says, repent of your sin and put your trust in Him for salvation from the penalty for sin; then you will live eternally with Him in Heaven. On the other hand, you can not believe Him and be separated from Him in hell forever. You're either for Jesus or against Him - if you spend your life not making up your mind, this is the same as rejecting Him. It might sound very un-postmodern, 'narrow-minded' or whatever, but if it is the truth, and I believe it is, wouldn't you rather hear about it this side of eternity?

So I challenge you to think about the true meaning of Christmas and John 3:16.

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