What does Christmas mean to you?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by evangelist6589, Dec 24, 2013.

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  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    What does it mean to you? Lots of churches will do a excellent job presenting the Christmas story, but will not do as much of a job at preaching on the REASON why He came into the world and what sin really means. This is because many have a flawed or weak understanding of the doctrine of Regeneration which impacts their evangelism methodology according to Paul Washer. So tell me what does it mean to you? Is christmas all about you getting a new TV, iPad, clothes, or other toys? Is Christmas all about you spending time with your family? Is Christmas all about you giving gifts to others? While nothing wrong with these things, they do not address the central tenant of Christmas which is about Christ and the reason he came into the world. So I challenge you to present this message when you preach your christmas sermons or be attuned to it when you hear them.

    Maybe the third time will be the charm but the pastor in our church has missed the ball twice in a row, and I am praying tonight he will not. The strategy of Jesus was always to be frank, direct, and to the point when witnessing and so should we be in our christmas presentations. We need not side-step sin and when we offer the gospel it must hit sin right on the head so people will see the REASON why we have Christmas.
     
    #1 evangelist6589, Dec 24, 2013
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  2. Scarlett O.

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    I've written some Advent devotions for this season and here's one from a couple of weeks ago.

    It pretty much sums up Christmas for me.

    "I was talking to a non-believer once who was so angry. He believed God to be cruel and unjust. He said that God was heartless. I shared with him Ezekiel 33:11 – “Tell them: ‘As I live’—the declaration of the Lord GOD—‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked person should turn from his way and live. Repent, repent of your evil ways! Why will you die, house of Israel?’” And I shared that the New Testament says that it’s God’s will that nobody should perish but instead God patiently waits for all to repent. (2 Peter 3:9)

    In the days of the great Flood, things were pretty bad. Why? Long story, but in a nutshell – mans’ heart was evil. But God – before He sent the judgment of the terrible waters – prepared a way to save those whom He found favor in. The Bible said that Noah found grace in the eyes of God – and that God had Noah prepare the way of safety.

    Things were really bad in the days prior to Christ’s birth, too. Why? Same song – second verse. The heart of mankind is on evil continually.

    God chose a young girl this time whom He found favor in – and the Holy Spirit prepared her body to receive THE Way of Safety.

    God told Joseph that the baby’s name would be Jesus – because He would save His people from their sins.

    Joseph believed it. Mary believed it. Mary’s cousin Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist believed it. Zechariah, once able to speak again, revealed he believed it.

    The Magi believed it – they sought Him out for almost 2 years – just to adore Him for it.

    The angels – they believed it. Gabriel proclaimed to both Mary and Joseph in jubilant belief. The entire heavenly host proclaimed it to the shepherds. The shepherds, after seeing Him for themselves, ran and told everyone they knew. They believed it, too.

    When Mary and Joseph took baby Jesus to the Temple to be circumcised, Simeon – whom God had promised would not die until he had seen the Messiah – saw the baby and believed it. Anna, the old prophetess who lived at the Temple saw baby Jesus that day, too, and proclaimed the “redemption of Jerusalem” to all she could find. She believed it.

    Why do people today not believe it?

    It’s because the flood of sin and judgment is here again – to be honest, it actually never left. It’s not coming – it’s here. Same song – fifty thousandth verse! People are drowning in the flood of their own sin and lack of repentance and are suffering the inevitable consequences for it all.

    The baby Jesus in that manger became the man Jesus who hung on a cross. The man Jesus – who was also the God Jesus – became the Sacrificial Lamb who did indeed save His people from their sins and is STILL saving His people from their sin.

    The flood is here. Do you feel like you are drowning sometimes?

    Jesus saves. He saves to the uttermost. Praise His name for it.

    I believe it. What about you?"


    [​IMG]
     
  3. Jordan Kurecki

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    Well for me personally it's a reminder of what Jesus has done in my life.
    But my family is all pretty much lost, so for them it's all about buying gifts or drinking wine/beer and being around the family.
     
  4. salzer mtn

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    Most sovereign grace preachers I know of realize Dec. 25 was not the day Christ was born on so they preach what they always preach fifty two weeks a year and that is Christ. We don't have plays of any kind because the scripture say's to preach the gospel, not play. No nativity scenes out front because Christ is at the right hand of the Father not in a manger. Most kids until they are old enough to know better think of Jesus as baby jesus in a manger. I wonder how many children have been led down the Romans Road thinking this jesus their believing in is still in a manger ?
     
  5. JonC

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    To me, particularly this year, I have been reflecting on Emanuel - God with us. Christmas is a time of reflection of what God has done (as is every day of the year), but I enjoy this time to truly set aside a day to consider the implications of “God with us.”
     
  6. preacher4truth

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    What does Christmas mean to me?

    Simply, it means that Christ came to save His people (including me) from their (including my) sins, Matthew 1:21.
     
  7. padredurand

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    Crib, Cross, Crown. I can give you the names, addresses and phone numbers of at least five pastors who took the Christmas story all the way to the Ascension this past Sunday.

    How many is "lots"? "Lots" of churches will present the Christmas story.... Is it 100? Is it 10,000? Is it a million? Lots is not a number. Lots is an unsubstantiated opinion. BTW, He came! Don't under estimate the power of the Incarnation. It leads to a Cross and an empty tomb.

    How many is "many"? "Many" have flawed or weak...." Is it 100? Is it 10,000? Is it a million? Many is not a number. Many is an unsubstantiated opinion.

    I know it's Christmas Eve and all but this post just puts a burr under my saddle. I have been honored to serve under and along side many Godly men called into ministry. The way you started this post is akin to declaring everyone of them incapable of proclaiming the Gospel without some silly opinion of yet another person who snaked $20 out of your pocket.

    There's a lot of good preachers and pastors out there that have been FAITHFUL to their calling, proclaiming the whole counsel of Scripture from "In the beginning...." to the Amen of Revelation. They have spent their lives joining Paul when he said, "For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." (1 Corinthians 2:2 KJV) Every day from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets proclaiming JESUS in His fullness.

    You, sir, do not have a clue. You couldn't get a clue in a field full of clues during clue season.

    In spite of your fears, folks are going to hear the plain and simple facts of the Gospel of Jesus Christ tonight. In spite of your misgivings somebody is going to come to Jesus tonight. In spite of the opinion of this Washer feller there's going to be a preacher fumbling and stumbling his way through a sermon tonight and somebody will fall to their knees before the Lord with a broken and contrite heart.

    When you get to be a big boy and have a church of your own maybe you can preach through the Christmas season the "right" way. Your Pastor missed the ball? I have a feeling you went to church with a chip on your shoulder. He didn't hit all the points you thought were obligatory so you declared "he missed the ball". Who are you to determine what the Holy Ghost lays on his heart?

    I hope you get a ladder for Christmas so you can get down off that high horse you've been riding.
     
  8. beameup

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    December 25th reminds me of when the wise men from the east visited Jesus, when he was 15 months old,
    and brought him valuable gifts which provided the funds for the family to flee to Egypt.
     
  9. JonC

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    I was thinking the same thing. I have set under many pastors in many locations across the US and overseas. Perhaps I am just fortunate but I have not sat under the preaching of one that didn't present a faithfulness to the gospel message. I've experienced a variety of different views on secondary doctrines and various views on the direction of the local church, but never a pastor who was unlearned or unwilling to proclaim the whole counsel of Scripture. In my opinion this is the same stereotypical boogieman mentality that people like Brian McLaren used to introduce his “New Christianity.”
     
  10. padredurand

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    I will send you a shiny new quarter if you can tell me who wrote that E6589. I can't account for "lots" or "many" but I know I used it last Sunday. I can't give you a number or a percentage but my heart tells me "lots" and "many" preached along the same line.

    Just pretend for a minute you're reading this in the latest and greatest book for $24.95....

    FAITHFUL. I'm telling you the church is brimming with FAITHFUL men, called of God to preach and proclaim Jesus Christ and Him crucified, FAITHFULLY proclaiming the whole account of the Gospel at every occasion. FAITHFULLY presenting "...the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Beheld by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory. (1 Timothy 3:16). FAITHFULLY preaching the word "in demonstration of the Spirit and of power".
     
  11. evangelist6589

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    Excellent response. Sad about your family and most of mine are in that same boat. Have a blessed Christmas.
     
  12. evangelist6589

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    Sad is it not? Although there are Reformed churches that have plays and use the Romans road, although not many. So how do you propose we preach to children?
     
  13. evangelist6589

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    A well thought out response thank you. Thank you also for the beautiful picture of our Lord.


     
  14. evangelist6589

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    Amen!!! Well said. Merry Christmas.
     
  15. evangelist6589

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    Very good post.

    Bye the way I was given The Holiness of God by RC Sproul and The Five Points of Calvinism: Defined, Defended, and Documented by Steele, David. Good books? I wish to dive deeper into Reformed theology.
     
  16. evangelist6589

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    Pastor missed it again

    I am very sad but the pastor missed the point again tonight. Not one mention of sin, Hell, Judgment, Holiness of God, Justification by faith, etc.... He is a very gifted counselor, and he teaches through OT books well, but he is no evangelist. Unbelievers that walked into the Christmas eve service tonight would have thought all they had to do was say a prayer and then they would get peace regarding their unrepentant sins, and their life of sin.....
     
    #16 evangelist6589, Dec 24, 2013
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  17. salzer mtn

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    You preach to children the same message you preach to adults. Several years ago there was a movie that was popular called Burning Hell. An evangelist got permission to show this film at a juvenile criminal institution I was working in. Ninety percent of the 300 juveniles came to his alters after the film. The next couple of day's proved to be the very same kids were just as delinquent as they ever was. The very same churches that put on plays and dress up like Joseph and Mary and the wise men will go hide eggs with the Easter bunny at church come Easter. My wife once told me about two Ladies having a conversation around Easter time. One lady was a CoC which don't believe in easter egg hunts at church and the other lady was a Free Will Baptist which do. The FWB lady told the CoC lady the hiding of the egg represented the death burial and resurrection of Jesus. You see how some things get all messed up, same thing with kids thinking that Jesus is still a baby in a manger.
     
  18. Scarlett O.

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    E-6589,

    Merry Christmas. I'm having insomnia again. C'est la vie.

    I'm reading over this thread at 2:26 AM and I need to tell you that I've been on this board for close to 14 years. One of the most Christlike and powerfully spoken men on this board has been Padre.

    He can say more truth, in strength and love, in a few words than many can say in a book.

    For Padre to have spoken to you sharply as he has done means something to me. I had to go back and look at your original post again.

    I see his point. You've asserted that the majority of pastors aren't worth their salt in terms of bringing the truth of Jesus Christ in His fullness in a Christmas message. That was harsh, brother, when you don't know any of the pastors on this board nor have heard them preach.

    My own pastor brought a wonderful message last Sunday and tonight at the Christmas Eve/Lord's Supper service.

    I think your blanket criticism of pastors was hurtful to him and others.

    Heaven forbid, don't look to me as an example of meekness nor gentility. I'm not pointing the finger at you at all. I can't.

    But Padre ... that's a different story. Take his posts to heart.

    Have a great Christmas Day, brother.
     
  19. saturneptune

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    I can follow your reasoning. Our local church used to put on plays around Christmas with the manager scenes. It is always amazing three wise men show up when there was neither three nor were they there at the time of the Birth. However, over the years, our Christmastime celebrations are limited to one evening service of assorted Christmas music. We do not do the Easter egg hunts either. So, I do agree that children should be taught the Jesus of the Bible, like everyone else.

    Lots of things go through my mind at Christmas. Aside from the event that started the work of Christ on earth, I wonder what went through the minds of Joseph, Mary, and Zechariah during these months. I have often wondered, if I was given one chance to observe an event in the past by some miracle, would I choose the birth of Jesus or the Resurrection. As much as I would like to go to both, if given one chance, I do believe I would pick the Resurection.

    Christmas also brings back memories from childhood Christmases. I think there is an element of magic there that is lost as we go through life. As I think about all the things related to Christ, I make it a holy quest to ignore things we have invented around Christmas. I stay away from Walmart and malls. For the few gifts I do buy, I know what I want, enter the store, buy the object, and immediately leave. The commercials on TV are a nuisance to watch (guess everyone saw the Kmart commercial). I do not listen to or care about silver bells, chestnuts on open fires, good king Winchess, Tiny Tim, flying reindeer, or the drummer boy.

    One of the other things that comes to mind is giving to others in need. One thing I think we all could learn is that these folks usually need help all year long. Hunger does not just come around at the holidays.
     
  20. preacher4truth

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    Thanks and Merry Christmas. I have not read those books, but they sound good. Let us know what you think.
     
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