Merry Christmas! :: by Grant Phillips

Notice that I did not say happy holidays. My wife and I do not buy Christmas cards that say, “Happy Holidays”, and if we receive any that state such, they are immediately discarded in the proper receptacle … the trash can. Christmas is supposed to be a celebration about thebirth of Christ. Please take note … Christmas. I do not see either the word “happy” or “holiday” in the word Christmas, but I do see the word “Christ”. Why do we sit back and allow Satan’s entourage to throw his garbage in our face?

I have no problem with Christmas trees and the exchanging of presents, as long as we remember the real reason for the season … the commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ inBethlehem.

Can you imagine going to little Johnny’s or little Suzie’s birthday party, and completely ignoring the guest of honor? Think of the hurt it would cause a child, or anyone else for that matter. God the Father must be hurt that this world is ignoring His only begotten Son Jesus, and on His birthday no less. (I realize that we do not know the exact date of Jesus’ birth, but this is the day we have always celebrated it.) The terrifying part of the whole thing though, is that people are “ignoring” themselves right into Hell. God will have the final word.

Christmas is a joyous time. The one and only God of the universe, the Savior sent to a dying-hell-bound world, has come to us and become one of us in body. He came, not that we might act like greedy savages on “black Friday”, but that we might find salvation in His redeeming work for mankind. God, who made all we see around us, who made us, has come to give life to those who will come to Him. Are we Christians getting this message out? Is He ever mentioned during this time of celebration? Is He mentioned on Christmas Eve? Is He mentioned on Christmas Day? Is He even thought of during this time? I believe that many of God’s children do remember, but is it possible that they may be in the minority … among fellow Christians?

As I write this article, I wonder if this could be our last Christmas on earth with our families and friends. Obviously I do not know. I must wait and see just like everyone else. But when I lay the newspaper down next to my Bible, the removal of Christ’s Church from this earth (the Rapture) seems to be very close. Whether we meet Him via our death or the Rapture, if He mentions the Christmas season to us, will we be embarrassed at to how we behaved as His children at the celebration of His Son’s birth?

An old song says “This world is not my home. I’m just a passing through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue”. Our behavior at this time of year should give us a pretty good indication where we think our treasurers are. Having had time now to contemplate this, where are your treasures? What are you teaching your children, your grand-children? Do they know where their treasurers are, or do they think they are under the tree?

Referring again to the song in the previous paragraph, this world isn’t our home. Therefore, we should not allow ourselves to get too comfortable in it, but sometimes we do. I’m sure you’ve noticed that the world, as the Bible calls those outside Christ’ Church, is attacking our Savior in every corner of our lives. We the Church have sat back on our haunches over the past fifty years and allowed a small minority of Satan’s followers to kick sand in our face. The time is quickly approaching that God’s people will have no voice at all in this country that was originally founded on the principles of the Word of God. Not only that, we will be persecuted if we speak out at all. Many are now. We foolishly think that Christian persecution could never happen in this country, but look back over the years. What do you see? The airwaves, from the television, the movies, the internet, and music (if you can call it that) reek with the stench of sin. Homosexuality is rampant among both sexes. The prisons are overflowing. God has been removed from the schools, the courts and the political scene. We now see God’s name and message being removed from His own birthday celebration … Christmas, and if we interject a defense for the things of Christ, we are labeled hate-mongers.

We are reaping what we have sown. One hate-filled atheist, Madeline Murray O’Hair, got the “ball rolling” for Satan by removing any vestige of Jesus from the schools. For many children, the schools were the only place they ever heard about Jesus Christ. Now they hear nothing, and it shows. We have at least two generations upon us that have never heard about Jesus Christ, other than to use his name in mockery or cursing. And here we are. These are the very ones who are saying happy holidays, because they want nothing to do with the Christ this Christmas is all about. Why is that? It is because Jesus and His Word convict of sin, and the world around us is eyebrow deep in sin. His Word says, “For the Word of God is alive and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight, but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” {Hebrews 4:12-13} There it is in a nutshell. If we say He is not real, and remove Him from us (out of sight, out of mind), then we don’t stand naked before Him with all our sins dripping from our wretched beings. But He is real. He is God. That will not change, no matter how hard some may try.

I personally feel that this world is rapidly coming to a close as we know it. Jesus will soon return and remove His own from this world that will undergo His judgment. He is bringing all things to an end, and then to a new beginning. If this is our last Christmas on this earth, whether by death or Rapture, I pray we remember the real reason for Christmas. I reiterate that I neither know the time of my death or the time of the Rapture. That is God’s business. This may be the last Christmas for you and me, and then again, there may be many more to come. I do not know. I keep reminding myself though that each day should be lived as though it is my last. Each Christmas should be lived as though it is our last. Therefore, we give Him, Jesus the Christ, all the glory for this time to remember Him.

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. Few things bring greater pleasure than to see the smiles on others faces as they open their gifts, especially the children. The beauty of the decorations is breath-taking. All of that is to be enjoyed, but let us just remember whose birthday it is we celebrate. I pray that we especially teach our children what Christmas is really about. Hopefully when they become adults, they will greet others with “Merry Christmas” instead of happy holidays.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Grant Phillips