Dec 24

Three Nights Before Christmas to Consider posted by John Sorensen on Dec 24, 2012

As the Founder of Evangelism Explosion and as a senior pastor, Dr. D. James Kennedy, loved preaching and teaching the claims of Christ.  It seems especially appropriate at this time of year to share with you some excerpts taken from one of his many Christmas sermons.

The first night to consider is the night before the first Christmas, when Christ came into the world, when he came step-by-step into the galaxy into a manger in Bethlehem. It was a night of all nights. It was in a real sense, night. Dark hung over the world. There was skeptism. The legalism of the Pharisees was thick. Heathenism hung like a pall over the world. Unbelief was rampant and so there was also the death of hope and life. Things were in a bad way. No hope. No truth.

Today we see it in universities across our country and they ask, “What is truth?”

But when Jesus came, all things changed. The night became like the day and how great was the joy he brought that replaced the dark and despair. It was indeed joy to the world!

John’s words were revolutionary:  God is love. To the heathen it was a veritable revolution in thought. A God who loved us so much that He gave his life. And so men began to love God and they began to love one another so much that the Roman pagans would say, “Behold how these Christians love one another!”

How bright was the light he brought. He was the light of God and the light of men.

The second night to consider was the night before that first real Christmas in your heart when Christ was born in you. He was born in Bethlehem, but He must be born in you as well. Do you remember the darkness before Christ with no hope, no assurance, no forgiveness, no conscious expectation of being on your way to Heaven’s paradise? You were lost. It’s exactly what you were before Christ found you. Do you recall how different your heart was after Christ found you?

This night is the third night to consider. Will you be celebrating the birthday of the One whom you know personally and intimately? Or is it simply a celebration of someone who lived centuries ago, just ancient history. But have you met Him heart-to-heart and soul-to-soul? Because Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship between Christ and the human soul, a relationship of trust where we place our hope in the broken body of Christ and gain the assurance of everlasting life. And it is the great desire of our hearts to serve Him out of love and gratitude.

Is going to church on Christmas a burden, and do you feel especially pious after you attend? Once Jesus comes into your heart, you’ll discover the delight of worship, of serving Him. This is no temporary experience, but a life-transforming permanent change in the human heart.

You may have great wealth, but without Christ you are a pauper, poor in your heart with poor prospects and about to lose everything. But Jesus can change all of that with meaning and purpose in your life that you never thought of, and He will cause you to sing for the rest of your days.

Tomorrow could be your very first real Christmas with Christ living in your heart. Don’t be satisfied with the wrappings and ribbons of Christmas. Feed upon the very Bread of Life. He has come. Wonder of wonders He has even said that He will reside in your heart. Is there room tonight for Him?

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