Sermons

Summary: A salvation message that helps us discover the difference between "when" and "where" Christmas begins using the account of the "fall" recorded in Genesis 3.

  Study Tools
  Study Tools

WHERE DOES CHRISTMAS BEGIN? WHERE…NOT WHEN…DOES IT BEGIN? SOME WOULD SAY THAT IT IS RIGHT AFTER THANKSGIVING WHILE OTHERS WOULD ARGUE IT IS USUALLY THE FIRST SUNDAY IN DECEMBER. BUT THAT IS STILL "WHEN!"

DECEMBER 25 THROUGH JANUARY 6 IS THE SEASON OF CHRISTMAS. THESE ARE THE "WHEN" DATES OF CHRISTMAS THAT ARE ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT LESSONS TO TEACH IN THE CHURCH TODAY.

ALTHOUGH SOME PEOPLE WOULD SCOFF AT THE "TECHNICALITY," MOST CHURCHES USUALLY GO AHEAD AND "BACK UP" THE ACTUAL CHRISTMAS DATES ANYWAY AND BLEND THEM IN WITH WHAT IS KNOWN AS THE SEASON OF ADVENT.

SOME CHURCHES AND DENOMINATIONS DON’T EVEN BOTHER WITH OR TRY TO TEACH THE CELEBRATION OF ADVENT. IT IS SUCH A WONDERFUL TIME, BUT ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS MUST BE SEPARATED IN ORDER TO LEARN THEIR PURPOSES.

ADVENT IS THE FOUR WEEKS AND SUNDAYS LEADING UP TO DECEMBER 25TH. THE WORD "ADVENT" IS LATIN MEANING "COMING."

THE SEASON NOT ONLY HELPS US GET PREPARED TO CELEBRATE THAT JESUS HAS ALREADY COME ONCE BY BIRTH BUT TO ANTICIPATE HIS SECOND COMING WHEN HE RETURNS IN FINAL VICTORY.

THE CHURCH ROBS HERSELF OF SO MUCH JOY WHEN THEY DON’T SEPARATELY RECOGNIZE THESE TWO IMPORTANT FACTS OF ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS. WHAT A SHAME TO BLEND THEM ALTOGETHER AND MISS A SPIRITUAL BLESSING.

ALTHOUGH WE MAY STILL TAKE TIME TO LIGHT THE ADVENT CANDLES AND LISTEN TO ADVENT SERMONS MOST WILL MISS THESE LESSONS BECAUSE THEY ARE SO FOCUSED ON CHRISTMAS THAT THEY UNINTENTIONALLY PULL IT BACK OVER THE SEASON OF ADVENT LIKE A THICK WOOL BLANKET.

INSTEAD OF PREPARING OURSELVES AND STARTING AT THE BEGINNING AND WORKING OUR WAY TO THE END, WE START AT THE FINISH BY REQUESTING CHRISTMAS-THEMED SERMONS AND THE OLD FAMILIAR POST- CHRISTMAS HYMNS.

ON JANUARY 17, 2002, WE WILL CELEBRATE OUR SON’S FIRST BIRTHDAY. WE ARE PLANNING TO CELEBRATE HIS BIRTHDAY JUST ON THAT DAY. SO IMAGINE HOW SHOCKED EVERYONE WOULD BE IF WE, INSTEAD, TOLD EVERYONE, "SORRY, WE COULDN’T WAIT. WE WENT AHEAD AND CELEBRATED THIS PAST WEEKEND."

I CAN’T IMAGINE THE HORROR THAT WOULD SWEEP THROUGH OUR FAMILY WHEN THEY RECEIVED THE NEWS. AFTER ALL THIS TIME OF PREPARING THEMSELVES TO EXPERIENCE THE JOY OF CELEBRATING JABIN’S VERY FIRST BIRTHDAY WITH US ON JANUARY 17TH THEY FIND OUT THEY MISSED THE WHOLE THING.

WHY WOULD WE MESS EVERYTHING UP BY CELEBRATING JABIN’S BIRTHDAY LONG BEFORE HIS ACTUAL BIRTHDAY? THEN WHY SHOULD WE DO THE SAME WITH JESUS’ BIRTHDAY?

WHY MISS OUT ON THE JOY OF RECALLING THE BIBLICAL EVENTS THAT LEAD UP TO THE DAY OF JESUS’ BIRTH? WE NEED TO HEAR THE CRIES OF THE PROPHETS, THE ANGELIC MESSAGE, THE WORDS MARY, AND THE STRUGGLES OF OBEDIENCE AND UNDERSTANDING FOR JOSEPH.

YES, ADVENT IS A FOUR WEEK PERIOD OF PREPARATION FOR THE BIRTH OF CHRIST. WE THEN CELEBRATE HIS BIRTH WITH THE CHRISTMAS SEASON WHICH IS DECEMBER 25TH THROUGH JANUARY 6TH. BUT THIS STILL ONLY ANSWERS THE QUESTION "WHEN" DOES CHRISTMAS START RATHER THAN "WHERE" DOES IT BEGIN!

FOR THOSE WHO HAVE CALLED UPON THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST TO SAVE THEM, CHRISTMAS DOES NOT BEGIN IN THE STABLE OF BETHLEHEM. IT DOES NOT BEGIN IN THE GOSPEL OF LUKE, BUT BACK IN THE BOOK OF GENESIS.

THE TRAGIC STORY OF SIN AND THE SERPENT FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT MIGHT BE SEEN AS INAPPROPRIATE FOR SUCH A HAPPY TIME OF YEAR. SOME MAY SAY, "THE SEASON OF JESUS’ BIRTH IS NO TIME TO TALK OF SIN AND DEATH. WHAT DO ADAM AND EVE HAVE TO DO WITH CHRISTMAS?"

TO WHICH WE ANSWER, "EVERYTHING." WITHOUT THE STORY OF SIN IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, WHAT CAN THE GOOD NEWS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT SAY?

WITHOUT SIN, WE HAVE NO NEED OF A SAVIOR. WE CANNOT SEPARATE OUR JOY AT CHRIST’S BIRTH FROM OUR DESPERATE NEED FOR HIM.

UNLESS WE HAVE WITNESSED THE TRAGEDY OF HUMANITY’S SEPARATION FROM GOD BEFORE BETHLEHEM, THEN THE BIRTH OF A BABY IN A STABLE WILL BE NOTHING MORE TO US THAN JUST A BABY AND A BARN.

BY COMPREHENDING THE FATEFUL DECISION TO EAT OF THE FRUIT AND SHATTER A PERFECT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD WE CAN BETTER UNDERSTAND JESUS’ BIRTH AND THE WORK HE CAME TO EARTH TO DO. HE CAME TO SAVE US AND TO REPAIR AND RESTORE OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.

ROMANS 5:8, "GOD DEMONSTRATED HIS OWN LOVE TOWARD US, IN THAT WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US." WITHOUT HIS DEATH, HIS BIRTH HAS NO MEANING AND THE BIRTH WITHOUT THE CROSS IS A GIFT HALF-GIVEN.

WHEN WE CELEBRATE THE BIRTH OF CHRIST AND GAZE INTO THE MANGER AT CHRISTMASTIME WE MUST LOOK BACK AT OUR SINFULNESS THAT BECAME THE REASON HE NEEDED TO COME WHILE ALSO LOOKING FORWARD AT THE CROSS WHERE CHRIST PAID THE PRICE TO SET THINGS ARIGHT.

Download Sermon With PRO View On One Page With PRO
Browse All Media

Related Media


Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion