Christmas is trying to tell you something. Because America is exalting evil, America also feels it must shame Christmas. This year, celebrating Christmas feels forced. Many believers find themselves defensive as they celebrate this joyous and miraculous holiday. Christians can feel helpless and downhearted in the face of this avalanche of depravity. These intense feelings should come as no surprise. Jesus warned us that in the last days it would be about feelings—unnatural feelings. Matthew 24:12, “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” We are watching Americans become inhuman—driven by passions that are utterly unnatural. The battlefield is now in the realm of the emotions. We are watching Americans become inhuman—driven by passions that are utterly unnatural. Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.”
We, as children of God, are often vexed by the hatred and perversion that is showcased in our culture. 2 Peter 2:7-8 tells us, “(God) delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked, for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds.” It is a new experience for American Christians to face blatant persecution and public filth which even takes place right in front of our children. In this new world we have new feelings. We see that natural emotions have died in unbelievers. We see that believers—just as with Lot in Sodom—are vexed by everything they see. And, at this time of the year, all those feelings are intensified. While we may be struggling to defend Christmas—ironically, Christmas is actually trying to speak to us. Let’s clear away the smoke and dust, and hear from God. While we may be struggling to defend Christmas—ironically, Christmas is actually trying to speak to us. The first Christmas provides us with the strongest argument for hope and joy in this dark time. I will lay out the reasons why—and I will provoke us to rebel against the vileness and despair, by receiving peace, joy, and great hope. The first Christmas happened when evil controlled the world which was under total Roman domination. All rights were suspended. And—at the moment of Jesus’ birth—the global tyranny had reached its zenith. Everyone in the known world was on the move because of an edict from Caesar Augustus. Talk about globalism. Talk about hedonism. Jesus arrived just as Daniel chapter 7 said He would. Daniel said it would be when the fourth empire would reach its peak. At the time Christ was born, the Roman Empire was at the height of its power and size—and we know what affect Christianity had on bringing that Empire down. God forced the whole of the Roman world to return home, just to get Joseph and Mary back to Bethlehem. God forced the whole of the Roman world to return home, just to get Joseph and Mary back to Bethlehem. At the time, it must have seemed to God’s people that evil operated unchallenged. But God was in such total control of the situation, that He provoked Caesar Augustus to write a law which would put everyone in his Empire on a trip back to their place of birth. He did it to force Joseph and Mary all the way from their native Nazareth, back to the City of David, Bethlehem. 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 Who is to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” Beloved, God is still in total control of our world. Christmas is the divine pause button to quell all of our fears and anxieties. It is so powerful that it compelled the Kings of the east to leave their thrones for two years, in order to come and worship Him. The angels told the shepherds to leave their sheep and go and see this wonderful thing that had happened. We can do that today! There is no reason why we should allow the wild raging of the wicked to steal our celebration. There is no reason to look at their vain threats, when we can join the triumph of the skies! O come, let us adore Him!
Seating Limited Come Early