More snow fell in North Carolina in one day (December 9) than normally falls in an entire year. Meteorologists are saying, “It has never happened like that before.” As we approach Christmas and the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, we can say that such a birth has never happened like that before. Move forward to the Easter Season and the celebration of Jesus’ death on the cross to save us from our sins and we can say, “It has never happened like that before. And if you think of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, again we can say, “It has never happened like that before.”
The birth of Christ, his death and resurrection are all tied together in the marvelous plan of God to offer redemption, salvation and eternal life to all who will believe. “Once in a lifetime” events do occur and God is on the cutting edge to make them happen. The Apostle Paul, writing to the Christians in Rome said, “For the death he died he died to sin, once for all” (Romans 6:10) and the writer of Hebrews said, “He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Hebrews 9:26)
Another “Once for all” experience is our acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We either accept Him in this life or not at all. Contrary to the thinking of some, there is no opportunity after death for us to repent of our sins and receive Christ. (2 Corinthians 6:2). “Today,” “In this life,” is the day (time) of salvation. Nor does the Bible teach that the living can be baptized for the dead so that their souls can be moved from Hell to Heaven.
There is an urgency for people to believe in Christ and receive Him into their life while we are in the flesh. That is why we have the Great Commission from the lips of Jesus himself, “…Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” That is why we have Paul’s warning, “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire (The Holy Spirit convicts us of God’s Truth); do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil” (1Thessalonians 5:19-22). That is why the writer of Hebrews cautions us, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”(Hebrews 3:7). “See to it…that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God (Hebrews 3:12)
As we celebrate Christ’s coming into the world, give our mission offerings and send missionaries to the fields of other countries we are also to be missionaries in our own country and neighborhood. As the Angel of the Lord proclaimed to the Shepherds on the hillside over 2000 years ago, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM shall not perish but have eternal life.
“HAVE A BLESSED CHRISTMAS!
In His Love,