The Christmas Message You May Not Hear at Church
Church marketing gurus and the pastors who believe them and who faithfully follow them, love Christmas. Christmas is the church marketing bonanza of the year.
Church buildings are decorated in the spirit of Jeremiah 10:3, “For the customs of the peoples are delusion; because it is wood cut from the forest, the work of the hands of the craftsman with a cutting tool. 4 They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, so it will not totter (Jer 10:3–4).”
Pastors brim with the exciting prospect of big crowds of pagans, lighting candles to an unknown god. They hold hands with their Christian neighbors and sing biblically inaccurate songs about three kings and the joy that the world experiences because of the advent of Jesus Messiah.
Everyone anticipates the feel good message of, “God is love, only.” The marketing of Christmas is maniacal. People inquire, “Do you have the Christmas spirit, yet?” Some think it can be purchased (Simon the Magician would have loved Christmas). The materialistic idolatry is well-known, and many embrace the sin of financial debt, in order to make the necessary sacrifices to be the best giver in the family or among friends.
To whip up the guilt-ridden religionists (a.k.a. Christmas and Easter Christians), churches sponsor Facebook advertisements in competition with other churches, to score the most services with the most people in attendance.
The sights, the smells, the sounds, and the after-church parties with delectable foods, means Christmas is the biggest, best deal the church has to offer. They market baby Jesus with all their might. If the church puts on a show every Sunday, then the biggest show of the year is the Christmas production. It is guaranteed to make everyone feel good. Who knows…Santa Claus just might make a sudden, surprise appearance at church! Everyone is welcome…even false Christs, posing as angels of light from the North Pole.
In truth, the message of Christmas begins with the hopeless plight of man, dead to God and dead in sin (Eph 2:1). Christmas is about the total depravity of humanity (Gen 6:5), blinded by Satan (2 Cor 4:4), living in utter spiritual darkness (Col 1:13). Christmas is about man’s unwillingness and inability to change himself (Rom 3:10–12). There is nothing in him that even wishes to thwart his trajectory on the highway to eternal hell and the lake of fire (Rev 20:10, 14).
Christmas is about God’s electing some people to salvation (Rom 8:30; Eph 1:4-5); and God sending His only begotten Son into the world (Jn 3:16), to be the Savior of the people He came to save out of the whole world (Mt 1:21), that is, people from every nation, tribe, and tongue (Rev 5:9).
Christmas is about Christ Jesus’ perfect life under the Law and perfect sacrifice on the cross, which perfectly redeemed, and thus, reconciled God’s chosen people, a remnant of both Jews and Gentiles, to Himself (Rom 11:5).
God’s people needed Christ to replace Adam as their federal head (Rom 5:12–21; 1 Cor 15:22). The Son of God needed to take on flesh (Jn 1:14), to accomplish the creation of a new, holy nation, the true Israel of God (1 Pet 2:9; Gal 6:16).
God had been telling this story of Christmas to the Jews for centuries (Old Testament). The prophets foretold of the coming Messiah, who would be God Himself, Immanuel (Is 7:14; 8:8; 9:6). They preached His death (Is 53), as well as His birth (Is 7:14; 9:6). He was born to die, to propitiate the sins of His people (Rom 3:25; Heb 2:17; 1 Jn 2:2; 4:10). He would reconcile His people to God (2 Cor 5:18–20). He would pay for the sins of His people (Mk 10:45; Eph 1:7; 1 Pet 1:19; 3:18). He would cancel the debt of sin for His people (Col 2:14).
Through His life and death, He would honor God, the righteous and just God of heaven (1 Pet 1:21). He would honor the Law of God in His obedient life and death (Mt 5:17). Born to us, the universal catholic church, is our Savior (Titus 2:13; 3:4–6), our dread champion (Jer 20:11), who defeats all the enemies of God and His people (Rev 19:11–21).
His advent to redeem, reconcile and save His people, successfully secures all of the elect of every era of history. Those who receive Him, by His Spirit, will trust God’s Word and believe in God’s Son, with their whole heart, soul, mind and strength. God saves His people, and they are saved to the very last one of them (Titus 3:5; Jn 10:29; Rom 8:35–39).
Once the incarnate Christ’s blood reaches every elect soul, up until the day of the returning warrior King (Rev 19), the Spirit’s work of finding, baptizing, and regenerating God’s elect will continue (Mt 3:11; Jn 3:1–8; 1 Pet 1:3). Our Lord Jesus Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead (Acts 10:42; 2 Tim 4:1; 1 Pet 4:5). All souls will be resurrected from the dead (Jn 5:28–29), and the great separation of the righteous and the unrighteous will occur (Mt 24–25).
The elect, redeemed, regenerated, resurrected saints will be with the Lord in glorified bodies and souls, according to His promise (Rom 8:30; 1 Thess 1:10). The reprobate, unredeemed, unregenerate, unbelievers will be raised with bodies conjoined with souls, to endure the righteous wrath of God for all eternity in fiery hell (Mt 5:22; 25:41, 46; Jude 7; Rev 20:14–15).
This is the complete Christmas message. You may not get the whole story from the Christmas carnival service you may end up attending; but I write, so you might know the truth that will set you free from the annual Christmas marketing scheme of church growth pundits. Merry Christmas…in Spirit and in truth.
Spokane Valley, Washington
December 23, 2021