Summary: This is the third and final sermon in a series that explores the question, "What if Jesus had never been born?" It uses themes from the book of the same title by D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe. We also had an original drama each week and video clip
What If It Was Always Winter And Never Christmas?
(What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?)
Part #3 – December 25 – “A world without Jesus would be a hopeless world”
What would the world be like without Christmas?”
Without Christmas . . .
1. The fruitcake market would completely collapse.
2. Our boring uneventful lives would have no stress at all – ha!
3. Eggnog would just be a slimy, high cholesterol beverage.
4. Santa would be a strange fat man with poor fashion sense.
5. Three words . . . “No Christmas bonus.”
6. You would have to spend your own money on stuff that doesn’t fit.
7. Your cat would never know the joy of coughing up tinsel.
8. But really what matters is this – without Christmas there would be no Easter.
I said two weeks ago that one of the people who thought the world would have been a better place if Jesus had never been born was Freiderich Nietzsche. Well, if Jesus had never been born, we would be living in
Nietzsche’s world. What would that be like? He praised the virtue of raw power. “Might makes right” he wrote. It would be a world of people doing whatever they could do – whatever they could get away with. Love, mercy, gratitude and other virtues we uphold would be relegated to the bin of weakness. It would be a cruel world, a dark world. But thankfully, that is not the world we live in. Nietzsche’s world exists in some places and in some people. But it has not won the day. Jesus has.
In a December 2002 article by English columnist Brendan O’Neill called “Eat Drink, Be Merry,” he wrote this: (Show Picture) “Guess who’s plastering posters around the UK this Christmas with the words ’I wish the baby Jesus had never been born’ on them? A Satanic group dreading another celebration of the Christ child’s birth? Radical atheists who want to open our eyes to the futility of religion? In fact it’s The Samaritans, Britain’s trendy ’listening charity’, which is keen to flag up just how ’excruciating’ the season of goodwill can be. The cheery charity says the anti-baby Jesus slogan is ’an attempt to illustrate the dread with which some people view the festive period,’ when ’increased expectations of "high spirits" among family or friends can lead to a deflating sense of anti-climax if they fail to materialize.”
The Samaritans, who offer emotional support to the vulnerable, say the slogan is an attempt to illustrate the dread with which some people view the festive period.
The real problem is that some people focus on the wrong things at Christmas. Christmas can be a time of incredible hope if we focus on Jesus’ incarnation and the cross and empty tomb that followed.
Jesus bought genuine hope to a hurting world by . . .
1) Showing us the heart of God the Father
The heart of God is a heart that is close to the hurting.
Psalm 34:18 – “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.”
A. We can know God is close to us.
Matthew 1:23 – “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and he will be called Immanuel (meaning, God is with us).”
This was prophesied about 700 years before Jesus was born by the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 7:14. God the Son became flesh, became human so He could be with us in a way that was easier for us to understand.
B. We can know Him as our heavenly Father.
Romans 8:14-15 – “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into his family--calling him ‘Father, dear Father.’”
Don’t pass over this casually. Think about it. We are God’s children when we accept Christ. Perhaps you had a less than perfect childhood. Perhaps you were abused by your parents or neglected. But chances are you still feel a connection of the heart to them. But listen to this. The perfect parent who loves perfectly calls you His child. Listen to how John puts it.
1 John 3:1 – “See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for he allows us to be called his children, and we really are! But the people who belong to this world don’t know God, so they don’t understand that we are his children.”
He can’t just say that God calls us His children. He has to put that exclamatory sentence after it that says “And we really are!” It is as if even John, who walked with Jesus and was his closest friend had a hard time believing it was true.