flowerOn the morning of Christmas Eve, I wanted to blog about the meaning of Christmas. I searched the recesses of my mind, but I just couldn’t find the right words. I wasn’t sure whether it was a case of writer’s block or whether I was just simply at a loss for words. For most of Christmas Eve, I mulled over the question, “What does Christmas and Christ really mean to me?” It wasn’t until later that night that I was able to finally answer the question.
A few days ago, I logged onto Facebook and happened to read a friend’s post on salvation. Days later, the words still resonated with my spirit.
According to this friend, if Christians truly believed in their hearts that Christ is the only way to achieve salvation, then it would be cruel of them to withhold the knowledge of Christ from those they love. He went on to say that if we use this line of reasoning, then the existence of Jesus is secondary to the point. The point is, if we, as Christians, believe that mankind is doomed to damnation without Jesus, then we should be falling over ourselves trying to disseminate the Good News to those we love. In other words, if we truly believe that Jesus Christ is the only way, then we should be telling all of our friends about Him. But many of us do not. Many of us do not share our beliefs because we don’t want to be viewed as imposing. We don’t want others to think that we are forcing our beliefs on them. Many of us would rather settle for the status quo than to ruffle a few feathers. But I would like to challenge all of us to consider the following scenario. Let’s assume that the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ (by the way, it is). Now, let’s imagine that time has faded and God has delivered His final judgment. What if your loved ones were eternally separated from God and sent to hell? How would you feel knowing that you ignored multiple opportunities to share God’s Word with them? How do you think they would feel? As your loved ones faced their darkened eternity, would they believe that you truly loved them? Would they care about your excuses—“I didn’t want to offend or impose.” Would the sounds of their wailing disturb you?
Luke 16:19-31 tells the story of Lazarus and the rich man. Lazarus died and was taken to heaven. The rich man also died. The Bible says that the rich man was “torment in Hades,” (NIV). He was in so much agony that he requested that the message of salvation be sent to his five brothers so that they would not suffer the same fate. Even from the grips of Hades, he tried to save the ones he loved. What about you? What will you do?
I am currently reading the book, Not a Fan, by Kyle Idleman. In the prologue, Kyle describes an incident where he struggled to create a universally palatable Easter message for his congregation. However, before he could put pen to paper God convicted him of this simple truth: The Word of God can stand on its own and should not be watered down for universal appeal.  Many of us try to water down the Word in an effort to heighten its appeal.  Let’s be clear, watering down God’s Word is not the same as delivering His message with love.  We should always share God’s Word with a dose of sugar, but it should never be so diluted that the message is altered.
So, if I were to share the truth about God’s Word with those I love, this is what I would say: The Good News is Christ came to save ALL OF US and give each and EVERYONE of us life everlasting. Christmas is a reminder that God loves us so much that He sent us a Savior who came to Earth to save us and shepherd us back to Him. The challenge for all of us this Christmas is to share the Good News with everyone, including those we love. Unfortunately, even though salvation is free, not everyone will receive it or even want it. However, we still have to do our part, in love, to tell others that salvation is available to them and that Jesus loves them very much. In fact, so do I.  I love you so much that I wanted to share Jesus with you this Christmas.  Merry Christmas. 12/25/13.

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