“So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.’” (Luke 2:15)
What would it take for you to have gone to Bethlehem? Would an angel declaring the birth of Christ be enough, or would heaven have to throw in “a multitude of heavenly host praising God” to get you up and moving?
What made the shepherds leave their lowly station in life and go see of what they had just heard? Would it not have been understandable if they merely passed off what had just occurred as some strange dream, albeit a dream they all experienced?
They were seeking Christ. Why?
“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” (John 12:32)
Are you drawn to Jesus on this Christmas morning? Or is your attention solely focused on the gifts you’ve given and received? Giving and receiving gifts are a wonderful tradition; it’s a sign of our love for one another. That is a grand thing.
However, where is Jesus this Christmas morning? We’re celebrating His birthday you know? What kind of gift are you giving Jesus? You might be wondering what someone could give the King of kings and the Prince of Peace; give Him you.
He wants you.
“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)
That’s right, He want you and He wants you just as you are. You don’t have to get yourself in a better station in life before you go to Him. You couldn’t get to a point lower in life than the shepherds, and yet the good news of Jesus’ birth came to them first. And now it has come to you, just where you are in life, no matter where you are. The gospel of Jesus Christ, the whole purpose of Christmas, has come to you this Christmas morn, regardless of whom you are.
“For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
Oh but Brother Dave, you’re talking about Jesus’ death on the day that we celebrate His birth. Yes, that is why He was born.
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:17)
“Might be saved” is an important part of Jesus’ statement. It is an aorist usage of the Greek verb sozo, which means, “to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction.” The aorist usage here means something that could happen in the future. Notice I wrote could and not would.
Universalism teaches that all people are going to heaven. That’s a nice sentiment, especially on Christmas morning, but it is unbiblical and not true. It is a lie, one that Satan would love for you to warmly embrace next to the fire this Christmas morning.
You have to go to Jesus, through faith, and trust Him to save you. You cannot trust yourself to save you, no matter what you believe or have been taught. The Bible is clear on the matter of salvation:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
It is important to remember that the Apostle Paul was writing to Ephesian Christians; this is not a verse that Universalists can use to apply to their false teachings, even though they try.
The Apostle Paul reminded the Ephesian church that salvation “is the gift of God.”
That is the purpose of Christmas.
That is what the angel of the Lord declared to the shepherds on that starry night in Bethlehem.
That is why they made haste to “now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass.”
Will you go?
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Copyright © 2014 David Jeffers
Bible, Christmas, Covenant, Culture, Faith, False Teachers, Forgiveness, Grace, Guilt, Hope, Israel, Joy, Mercy, praise, Revival, Sin, Truth, Wisdom, worship