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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Redemption is in Jesus Christ, Not Santa Claus

(Originally posted Sunday, November 30, 2008)

Redemption is in Jesus Christ, Not Santa Claus

Unfortunately, even Christians in America often teach their children more about the mythical and magical Santa Claus than they do about the true and living Jesus Christ who really loves them and can really answer their prayers, and who is able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by Him.

It breaks my heart to see how the mythical Santa has stolen so much glory and worship from our Saviour, and how he has managed to steal the hearts and imaginations of the children in America.

It breaks my heart to know that the manger scene has been outlawed in many places because it "infringes" on the rights of others, but the mythical Santa is welcome everywhere.

It breaks my heart to consider that teaching children the lie of Santa Claus can often inhibit their ability to trust in the True and Living One. How much damage is done to the faith of a child when that child realizes his faith has been misplaced and his parents have deceived him?

If a survey were to be done, I would imagine that many more children in America would be able to answer a series of questions about the myth of Santa than could answer a similar series of questions about Jesus Christ. Kids in America memorize rhymes and songs and lists having to do with the mythical Santa at an early age.

Children are taught the song,

He knows when you are sleeping
He knows when you're awake

He knows when you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake

Are they also taught the Scripture? Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

Who is Santa trying to imitate? Whose invention is he? I remember the Scripture where one who was lifted up with pride declared, "I will be like the most High".

Children learn of Santa, who sees everything, goes everywhere, was not born and never dies, hears their requests, knows their behaviour, rewards good, punishes evil, lives in the north, and has an endless supply of whatever they need. That sounds like characteristics possessed by only one who is real - the Most High.

Santa has effectively replaced our God and Saviour in America and has done so with all subtlety, where even Bible-believing Christians think articles like this one are ridiculous.

Consider that the early years of life are a time when a young mind can be led to Christ in simple, child-like faith, but instead we make the mistake of deceiving them and leading them to Santa. What a tragedy.

For as long as I have breath, I will sing praises to the One who loved me and gave Himself for me. Santa will not get an ounce of the Lord's glory from me.

Christmas is about Christ and no one else. He is the one who came that we might have life.

Let us remember that glorious night:

Luke 2:8-14

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Let's sing praises to the One who alone is Worthy

Oh come all ye faithful
Joyful and triumphant
Oh come ye, oh come
ye to Bethlehem

Come and behold Him
Born the king of angels
Oh come let us adore Him
Oh come let us adore Him

Oh come let us adore Him
Christ the Lord

Sing choir of angels
Sing in exultation
Oh sing all ye bright hosts
Of heaven above

Glory to God all glory
in the highest

Oh come let us adore Him
Oh come let us adore Him
Oh come let us adore Him
Christ the Lord

Ye Lord we greet Thee
Born this happy morning
To Jesus to Thee
be all glory giv'n

Word of the Father
Now the flesh appearing
Oh come let us adore Him

Oh come let us adore Him
Oh come let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord
Let us give ALL the glory to the One in Whom we have redemption.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A double dose of encouragement

After fighting the flu last week and feeling fairly worthless, it was good to be able to get back out on the street today. As I was preparing to hit the street, I stopped by the ATM near the grocery store where a Christian man recognized me from seeing me on the street with a gospel sign many times before, so he called out to me and wanted to talk for a few minutes and tell me how much he loves to see someone lifting up the word of God on the street. He also said his teenage son brought home a gospel tract I had given him and he thanked me for reaching out to his son with the gospel message.

My next stop was the sign shop where I needed to pick up three new signs. The owner of the shop told me that he knows for a fact many people take notice of the signs during rush hour. He enthusiastically said the times he has left one of my signs standing in his lobby he has received all kinds of comments about it. He said people remember seeing them and are amazed that anyone has the courage and faith to stand that way. He reminded me that no one has ever seen anything like this in Croatia before, so it is amazing to them.

Well, we all know that God gives the courage and all the glory goes to Him. But, what a blessing it is to have these two words of encouragement today just before hitting the streets again. God knows exactly what we need when we need it.

Praise His holy name.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Andy Rooney - Heaven or Hell?

Anytime a famous person's death is published in the news, the first thought I have is, Did their eternal soul go to heaven or hell?

Admittedly, I can only know that I am saved and going to heaven and I cannot possibly know about anyone else.

However, I do know from the Bible that strong intellect, fame, and business success won't take anyone to heaven.

The only One who can save is Jesus Christ. By faith in Him you can be saved, guaranteeing you a place in heaven for all eternity, regardless of your popularity, talent, or wealth.

Did Andy Rooney ever place his faith for salvation in Jesus Christ and Him alone? Only he and God know that. Although apparently a gifted writer, the only thing that matters to Andy Rooney today is his relationship with Jesus Christ.

This is what the Bible says about how to be saved:

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Ro 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Ro 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Ro 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Ro 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Ro 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Ac 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved ...

Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Building a reputation as a great writer and making a mark on a worldly profession doesn't purchase a place in heaven.

God is not impressed with worldly success. God is not impressed with great wealth or talent.

God sent His only begotten Son Jesus to die on the cross to pay for Andy Rooney's sins. God offered him the free gift of eternal life, if only he would believe on Jesus Christ and call out to Him for salvation. God gave him 92 years to accept the free gift of eternal life.

Andy Rooney was quoted saying he was an atheist, but God's mercy is so great that if Andy Rooney turned to him in faith even in the last moment of his life, God would have saved his soul.

Did he ever accept Him? If not, it is eternally too late for him.  One thing is certain. Andy Rooney is not an atheist anymore.

It's too late for him, but it's not yet too late for you.
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