God came down in the form of His son, Jesus, to walk among men and, by living as a man, free men from the eternal damnation justified by their sins and sin nature. 33 years after his birth, celebrated by Christianity at this time of year, he was sacrificed as a holy offering to atone for the sins of mankind. Because of this atonement, man can know their sins are forgiven and receive the grace of God and not have to look forward to eternal Hell and separation from the Creator of all things.
It is so easy to forget the real reason we celebrate Christmas. Cute little catch phrases try to remind us: “Jesus is the reason for the season,” “Keep Christ in Christmas,” etc.
For a country that identifies itself as predominately a Christian country, too many of us are “C&E” Christians. We only go to church for Christmas and Easter, in an attempt to get our “Religion Card” punched for the year. Those who attend church regularly see the pattern. The closer it gets to a “Holy holiday”, the more the seats are filled at church. And then, after “the day” passes, they’re gone for another year.
We who call ourselves American Christians have never had to suffer for our faith. Oh, I’m not talking about the occasional “Why does your God allow sickness, etc” question that’s thrown at us. While that will make someone uncomfortable who is a armchair Christian, it is not a tribulation.
The average American household has 7-9 bibles. There are Christian believers in Africa, the Mid-East and Asia Minor who have never SEEN a bible. All they know is from memory and what they are taught. How many of us could recite more than 4-5 verses of scripture from memory? Maybe a Psalm or two, as long as they were the shorter catchy ones…”the Lord is my Shepherd,” etc.
“The Cold War was horrible, as long as I didn’t have to sacrifice.” “The War on Terror is a major sacrifice for me. It’s been 7 years now, when will it end?” “My crime TV show didn’t wrap up in it’s usual hour time slot. I have to wait till next week to find out the ending.” We live in a sound-byte generation, as has been said numerous times before.
Here’s a sound byte for you. We live in the end of times. Are you prepared to be driving to work tomorrow and suddenly end up standing before the throne of God, preparing to have sentence passed on you? Will the Ancient of Days look down upon you and say “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” or will you hear “I never knew you.”
The choice is in your hands, now.