Tuesday, December 02, 2008

*Just* Another Christmas?

Our local paper has a circulation of about 40,000 according to their numbers last year. I've written and submitted the following to our paper (Galesburg Register Mail) as a Letter to the editor. They have published such articles from me in the past...so I figured, why not now too?

Please. Please. Please! Feel very free to copy and paste the following as a letter to the editor of your own local paper. In doing so, you will be publishing the Gospel to potential thousands of readers...for FREE!

****NOTE**** If you want the tract version I have created, click here!

Here is my submission...:

"Just" Another Christmas?

Here we go again. Another Christmas. All the stores have their lights and trees on display. All the toys are on the shelves and the kids are lining up. This is the time of year when our commercialism comes to full bloom and even the most atheistic of businessmen and women cash in on a holiday that has its roots in something that happened in a manger nearly 2000 years ago, even as some of them fight against public expression of it in the courts.

But is that all it is? Tinsel? Lights? Spending money on Uncle Ed and hoping you get the same value in presents back so at least you break even?

Thankfully, no. Not at all. That is the humanistic, secular, commercial Christmas. And in the end, it is as empty as the boxes and paper that will be left on the floor after it's all over.

So, am I another Christian who is going to just say “Jesus is the reason for the season”? No. That is just triteness and I won't insult you with that. Rather, let me give you why it was necessary for Jesus to come here in the first place.

We have all broken God's Law, the ten commandments. We've all told lies, no matter how small and how long ago. Most of us have stolen something and, regardless of how small it was, that still makes us lying thieves! And that is only two of the ten commandments, yet God says in His Word that if we break even one commandment, we are as guilty as one who has broken them all! How many of us have been guilty of lust (which God calls adultery of the heart)? We've all held hate in our hearts against someone for whatever reason and God says that is the same as murder. And who hasn't blasphemed God by taking His holy name in vain? Need I go on? It's obvious – we all are guilty before God of breaking His law!

God is the holy, righteous and just Judge that must punish sin. The bad news is that merely asking for forgiveness isn't going to help any more than asking a local judge to just forgive you if you were guilty of robbing a bank. There is a penalty that must be paid and any judge that simply forgives a thief would rightly be considered unjust and rightly thrown from the bench. The judge would only be right in sending that thief to prison for a very long time. And in the case of the sinner, the destination is hell.

But God! -- Those are good words aren't they! But God sent Jesus Christ, His one and only Son, to come here and dwell among us. The Judge of the universe took on human flesh. He took off his robe. He came to us a child. The Bible says he “pitched his tent among us”. He lived the sinless life that you and I could never live. He was nailed to a cross and suffered the wrath and indignity of human abuse and murder at the very human hands He created. And He died. But even worse, he suffered the infinite wrath of his own Father because he became our sin. He cried “Why have You forsaken Me” because God the Father, for the first time in eternity, could not look upon Him because he became our sin. Yet, three days later, he rose from the dead showing that He had conquered death and proved that his sacrifice for us was acceptable to the Father.

Such is the love of God. It's how He showed His love.

In turn God calls all of us to turn from our sin (repent) and put our faith in what Jesus Christ did on that cross so long ago. You must “put on” the Lord Jesus Christ as a man would put on a parachute before jumping from a plane. Because, whether you want to or not, you will one day make the jump into eternity. 10 out of 10 people die, you know. Think you're a good person? Visit www.needgod.com.

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