Summary: This morning I want to look at 6 ways our world has been shaped by the divine chain reaction that was started by a baby’s cry in a dark & dirty stable over 2,000 years ago.
A Chain Reaction in a Manger
(Inspired by Rev. John Hamby’s message “What if Jesus Had Never Been Born?”)
December 22, 2013
Chester FBC, Chester, IL Dr. Mike Fogerson, speaker
A In Frank Capra’s Christmas Classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”, the main character ponders the question of how different things would have been had he not been born.
1 The film stars James Stewart as George Bailey, a man who has given up his dreams in order to help others and whose imminent suicide on Christmas Eve brings about the intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers).
a Clarence shows George all the lives he has touched and how different life in his community of Bedford Falls would be had he never been born.
b What do you think our world would be like had Jesus not been born?
2 We rightfully shudder at the thought as believers!
B This morning I want to look at 6 ways our world has been shaped by the divine chain reaction that was started by a baby’s cry in a dark & dirty stable over 2,000 years ago.
I If Jesus had not come . . . human life would be cheap.
A “Sanctity of Life” is a spiritual concept which means life is sacred & holy to God.
1 Before Christ came into the world, abortion/abandonment/killing of infants was commonplace.
a Today, in areas where Christianity is not the prominent faith, human life is not as valuable or sacred.
b Once Christianities influence in the world grew, child killing stopped, that is until the recent revival of the modern practice of abortion (1973.)
2 Babies aren’t the only winners because of the advent of Christ, so are women.
a In the late 1800's, Charles Spurgeon told of Hindu woman’s conversation she had with a missionary.
aa She said to the missionary, “Surely your Bible was written by women.” The missionary asked, “Why?”
bb She replied, “Because it says so many kind things about women. Our experts never refer to us but in some reproach.”
b Before Jesus, women were viewed/treated as property, possessions . . . not as people.
B We as Americans take the sanctity of life for granted because we’ve got centuries of Christian influence.
1 Had Jesus not been born, the value of life would be cheap.
a Remove Christ from the world and you will see how quick human becomes nominal, contemptible, worthless.
b The morality of any society can be judged by the view it holds on human life.
2 Genesis 1:27 (NASB) 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
II If Jesus had not come . . . how we reach out to those in need would be very different.
A Prov. 14.21 (NASB) He who despises his neighbor sins, But happy is he who is gracious to the poor.
1 Before the advent of Christianity there were no organized charitable effort in the world.
a Jesus’ ministry & teachings changed the way the world reached to the poor, sick, widowed, orphaned.
b Hospitals grew out of the influence of Christianity.
2 When was the last time you heard of atheists/agnostics/deitest opening a hospital.
a In reality, there are none!
b The Red Cross was started by an evangelical Christian, Henri Dunant (Geneva, Switzerland, 1863.)
B A world w/o Christianity is a world w/o charity.
III If Jesus had not come . . . how we educate.
A Deuteronomy 6:5-7 (NASB) 5 "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 "These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 "You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
1 Virtually every school (public/private) is a reminder of the religion of Jesus Christ.
a It was Christianity that gave rise to the concept of education for everybody.
b In fact, the principles of modern education arose from churches Sunday School ministries.
2 The greatest schools of higher education were started by Christians for Christian purposes.
a Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Harvard, Yale . . . all started as Divinity schools (Seminaries)
b Today, many of them are hostile toward Christianity but their roots come out of Jesus!
IV If Jesus had not came . . . governments would be very different (Especially democracy.)
A As Americans, our nation should be very aware/thankful for the birth of Jesus.
1 In 1992, a statement by then Mississippi Governor Kirk Fordice got him in hot water when we said that America is a “Christian Nation.” (Sparked national debate)