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The Real Christmas Story

If Not For God / Mike Zwick
The Truth Network Radio
December 14, 2022 8:30 am

The Real Christmas Story

If Not For God / Mike Zwick

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December 14, 2022 8:30 am

Mike Zwick tells the real story and meaning of Christmas in this heartwarming story.


This is Andy Thomas from the Masculine Journey Podcast, where we discover what it means to be a wholehearted man. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network. This is the Truth Network.

All right. For my YouTube channel, if not for God with Mike Zwick, just like subscribe and hit that notification bell so you'll be alerted when we have our next video. Welcome to If Not For God.

Stories of hopelessness that turn to hope. Here is your host, Mike Zwick. If not for God with Mike Zwick, it's glad to be back here.

I am glad to be back here today. It is the Christmas season. Is everybody ready for Christmas? Have you done your Christmas shopping? Uh, are you, are you talking to your kids about Santa Claus?

I don't know. There's a lot of stuff going on there, but the most important thing is are you talking to your children about Jesus? Um, you know, when we, when we think about the Christmas story, when we think about what the whole Christmas season is really about, I come and I think about Luke chapter two. So if you've got your Bibles, and I hope you do take them out with me to Luke chapter two, uh, I've got the new King James version and I'm starting in verse one. And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be registered.

This consensus first took place while Quirinius was governing, governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee out of the city of Nazareth into Judea to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem because he was of the house and lineage of David to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife who was with child. So it was that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid it laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the end. Now there are in the same country, shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night and behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them and the glory of the Lord shown around them.

And they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, don't be afraid. I bring you good tidings of great joy, which will be to all people for there is born to you this day in the city of David, a savior who is Christ the Lord.

And this will be the sign to you that you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothing, lying in a major. 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 man. So it was when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherd said to one another, let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made no, no, no, no to us. And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph and the babe lying in a manger. Now, when they had seen him, they made widely known the saying, which was told them concerning this child and all of those who heard it marveled at those things, which they were told, which were told by them by the shepherds, but Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds return glorifying and praising God for all these things that they heard and had seen as it was told unto them. And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the child, his name was called Jesus.

The name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. You know, it's wonderful when you think of these things about Jesus, being born of a Virgin and, and that he came into this world to save this world, to save this world really from ourselves, which is sin. The Bible says in, in Romans three 23, that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. But Jesus came to this earth to die.

He came to this earth to die for the sins of the world, but you must believe in him. John three 16, for God to love the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. And, and if you believe that friends, then that is the good news. That is the good news that we want to share with other people. That is the good news that Jesus saves. And so that's good 2000 years ago, but what is God doing today? God is saving sinners today.

He is saving the loss and he's doing it one at a time, one person at a time by telling one person at a time. And the cool thing is now is we have things like radio. We have things like video. We have things like YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, and where immediately we can send out a video in thousands and thousands and thousands of people can hear that good news. And so I want to encourage you today that if you believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, that he died for your sins and that you, by believing in him have eternal life, just by faith in Jesus.

I want to encourage you to share that with other people. And so that's what he's doing today. And, and I tell you what, God is moving in a mighty way. Every Tuesday night, it just like Jesus ministries right now, we're praying for a revival. We're praying that God will move in a mighty way and in a powerful way, and that he will save sinners who were lost because, you know, without God drawing sinners closer to him, then no matter how much we tell the sinners that they need a savior, Jesus Christ, without them actually believing it themselves, without, without their hearts being drawn to God, it doesn't matter how much we tell people.

It doesn't matter what we do. We can't save anybody, but we can share the good news with them. But what we also need to be doing is we also need to be praying for a revival and every Tuesday night at just like Jesus ministries over in Burlington, North Carolina.

That's exactly what we're doing every Tuesday night at 6 PM. We're praying that there will be a great revival. There will be a move of God in this country like we've never seen before, because I believe that God is going to do it. Um, and we are seeing things right now.

I'll give you some examples. Uh, lady Christie real, who I've, uh, recently had on the hat on the air. And real is R E E L. Um, we were praying at the, praying at the prayer meeting this past Tuesday and Christie saw me praying. I was on my knees and I was crying out to the Lord. And she said that she saw Jesus actually walk up to me and she saw him play something in my heart. And she said that Jesus, I saw him that he was giving you a gift. And I was thinking, wow, that's kind of cool.

I didn't know exactly what she was talking about, but you know, the Bible talks about having the gifts of the spirit, you know, for, with some it's a word of knowledge with summit speaking in tongues with others, it's the interpretation of tongues. Um, and so I, with some it's healing. And so I didn't know exactly what it was, but I go out and when I sell insurance, I go out and I pray for people. And so I'm praying for people not like I normally am. And I'm sharing the gospel like I normally am. And, uh, all of a sudden I, I started to, I started to talk to this lady.

She was in Oxford, North Carolina. And I said, what do you need prayer for? I said, if, if God could answer any prayer for you right now, what would you ask him for?

And she says, my leg is killing me. I said, okay. I said, do you want me to pray for you?

She said, yes. And so I started to pray for her that her leg would be healed. And I said, stand up, tell me how your leg is feeling.

Is your leg feeling better? And she started walking around and she says, what are you some sort of a magician or something? And I said, no, it's not me. I said, it's Jesus. I said, Jesus healed you because God is the same.

Yesterday, today, and forever. If God, if Jesus performed miracles 2000 years ago and his disciples perform miracles in the book of acts, then we can do it today. We're no different than he, we're no different than the disciples were.

Jesus actually said it like this. He says, those who believe in me, he says, these works that I do, these things that I do, he says, greater things will you do the friend of mine, Jason Hamlet over in wake forest. I said, Jason, what do you need prayer for? He says, Mike, I need you to pray for my leg.

My knee right now, I'm having a tough time with my knee and uh, I need you to pray that it'll feel better. So I prayed for him and I got a message back from him this morning. He said, I just wanted to tell you something to encourage you. Mike.

I was like, what's that? He said, my knee is feeling better. I said, glory to God in the highest because Jesus doesn't change.

And if Jesus healed people 2000 years ago, he's still healing people today. Jason came to our prayer meeting last night and uh, there was a guy named cliff Sutton who was there at the prayer meeting and uh, Jason said, you know, we started praying for people and Jason said, uh, Mr. Cliff, what do you need? And uh, he said, well, he said, I'm, I'm having trouble with my shoulder, with my back.

And he said, I'm also having trouble with my knee. And Jason said, Jesus is the same today, yesterday and forever. He said, if he healed 2000 years ago, he can heal you right now.

And he will. And so Jason prayed for cliff and cliff stood up and he said, praise to the Lord, glory to God in the highest. My knee is healed.

He said, I have no more pain. And the truth is, is that when we see these things happen, we should not be surprised. We should not be surprised when we see people healed, we should expect it. You know, it's funny. I think sometimes we can get a little crazy when we, when we talk about, Oh, we, we just, it, you know, Oh, we, you didn't have enough faith and you weren't healed or something like that.

And that's not always the case, but sometimes it is. Remember when Jesus prayed for him and Jesus said, according to your faith, so be it said, okay. And he was healed. Another, another time there was a centurion who came to Jesus and he said, you know, he says, my servant needs to be healed. And, uh, Jesus said, you know, do you want me to, you want me to come and I'll, I'll pray for him in the centurion says, no, he says, you just say the word. And he said that my servant will be healed.

Jesus says, I haven't seen that kind of faith anywhere. There was a woman who, who, who wanted something from Jesus. She wanted a healing and Jesus said to her, he said, well, he said, uh, he said, well, you know, you know, I can't do this.

And he, he gave her an explanation. Uh, but the lady says, well, even, even the dogs get the crumbs and he says, woman, you have great faith. Your faith has healed you. So many times, I believe what we have to do and what the word of God says is that we have to use our faith and we have to have faith. We have to believe that it's going to happen.

But if we have faith as a mustard seed, we can say to this mountain, go into the sea and it will be removed to the sea. I remember a lady that I, you know, I met, I think it was seven years ago and Annette Noel and I used to come to her meetings. She would, she, you know, she invited me to these healing and prayer meetings at her house and she would put on these videos by Todd white and I would come there and I would see these people miraculously healed. I remember one day there was a lady, a young lady, she was probably 15, 16 years old and, uh, she, her leg was completely shattered and, uh, Nanette prayed for, we all prayed for her that she would be healed. She took her brace off and started running up and down the stairs. And this was a lady who had a broken leg, broken kneecap.

Amazing. Another lady, a broken wrist. We started to pray for her.

She took her, she took the, uh, the whatever brace that she had on her wrist and she literally threw it to the side. You know, we talk about, Oh, I want something to happen in the old days. I want, you know, I want something to happen like it happened in the old days. Well, guess what? Jesus is the same and that stuff is still happening today and it will continue to happen. Let me ask you a question, friend, do you want to see it happen yourself? Well, you just have to have faith. Number one, number two, you have to take action. You know, Jesus told us to pray for the sick and they will be healed.

He told us to cast out demons. You know, I don't know. I know my friend Justin and Brooke knew friends, Justin and Brooke, Snoop they're doing it. I'm S and I'm seeing what's going on with them. And I'm excited. But guess what? I'm starting to do it myself now. Have I seen all the stuff that they've seen? Not yet.

So do I just quit? You know, the Bible says that a righteous man falls down seven times, but seven times he rises again. I can't tell you for how long I wanted to see, healing. Like they see, like we see in the, uh, in the new Testament, like we see in the book of acts, you know, even one of the guys who, uh, who I recently had on my radio show, Matt, he's a, uh, he's a missionary over in India, Baptist guy. And he says, Mike, he says, what the stuff that I'm seeing over in India, it's like the book of acts. I said, so if you become a Pentecostal, he's like, well, Pentecostal ish. So, uh, you know, the miracles, the works, the signs and the wonders that are happening, you can't deny them.

And guess what? They lead people to Jesus. You know, it's funny there, there had been so many books that have come out, whether it was a Lee Strobel, um, you know, and so many, it was 20, 30 years ago, he had a, he had probably about 20 years ago, 20 years ago, he had a book that was really, really popular. And it was the case for Christ.

And, and then he had another one, you know, something else like that. And he tried to logically argue people into the kingdom of God and show them that the resurrection is absolutely true. And I'm on all four apologetics. I'm actually reading a book right now, uh, that my good friend, pastor Steve good from a North side Baptist church over in Greensboro, uh, lent me. And, um, it's by Alex McFarland, a guy who comes on the truth network. Um, and, and, and the book is, is going step by step to explain why Jesus is the son of God and why the gospel is true. And I'm all for that.

Okay. But you know, I usually, usually people do not become Christians because they read some book on apologetics. I think a lot of these books are more for Christians. Now, I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but usually that's not the case. And I believe if we really want to see people come to Christ, that it's going to be through the supernatural. I mean, you know, for the first 1600, 1700 years, uh, after Christ, what happened was, was that Christians would, would meet somebody who was a non-Christian and, and they would share the gospel with them. And, and many times, this is what they would say. They said, well, what do you need prayer for? And the person would say, well, I need prayer for, you know, I need my back to be healed or I need this or I need that or whatever it is. And the Christian would pray for them and their prayer was answered.

And they would many times say, wow, this must be true when they would give their lives to Christ. Um, St. Patrick, who many of us are familiar with, he would, he actually, um, he would go out and he would go to see the different tribes. He was in Ireland. He was a, um, he was a missionary from Ireland. He was actually stolen from his home when he was a young boy. He was brought over to Ireland and he got saved while he was in Ireland.

He went back home. Then the Lord told him to go back to Ireland and share the gospel with these people. And so the many of the ways that these people found Christ was through the supernatural. He literally, he would pray. Yeah, I think he prayed one time for, uh, it was a chief of a tribe. He prayed for their, their, their son or their daughter to be healed.

They were dying. And he said, listen, he said, if I, if Jesus, if I pray for you and Jesus heals your child, will you give your life to Christ and the, and the chief of the tribe said, yes. And not only would they give their lives to Christ, the chief, but their whole tribe would ended up giving their life to Christ as well because the, because the chief was a leader. And so I think sometimes we tend to make it more complicated than it has to be, heal the sick, cast out demons, share the good news of Christ. You know, Justin, when he had come on the other time, one of the things that he said, um, was he said, Mike, he says, you know, I said, well, do you share the gospel with people? And he said, well, there's four different accounts of the gospel, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. And, uh, he says in those gospels, he said, part of the gospel is casting out demons, healing the sick, sharing the good news that Jesus Christ is the son of God.

Now from the moment that we give our lives to Christ, from the moment that we're born again, from the moment that we believe that Jesus is the son of God, we become born again and the Holy spirit lives within us. But I heard a, uh, video that he did this morning. He said, it's almost like a balloon. He said, you can get a little bit of an error in a balloon. It'll still be a balloon. It'll be blown up. It'll look blown up. He says, but you can get more and more air in that balloon.

And the balloon would still be blown up, but it's just bigger and it's more powerful. And so it's the same thing with a Christian. I mean, you can believe you can be born again, you can be saved and you can believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God. But when God continues to fill you with the Holy spirit, whether it's speaking in tongues or, um, whether it's through healing or whatever ministry that you've got through the supernatural, many times that will point people to Christ is, as many of us remember, you probably heard of Missouri being the show me state.

You used to see the license plates that said me said the show me state. Well, a lot of times we'll say, Hey, you got to believe in Jesus. Jesus is the son of God. And you have many people who are atheist or they're spiritual or they're this or that or whatever. And they'll try to argue with you and argue with you. And sometimes it may seem tough to overcome some of the, um, some of their objections and we can because we have the truth.

Okay. But if we can pray for somebody and we say, Hey, if God can answer one prayer for you right now, what would you ask him for? Well, my mom's got cancer. Well, I'm going to pray that God heals her over cancer. Well, God heals that God heals that mother of cancer.

They're going to remember that. And so there's many, many different ways that we can be the light of Christ to the world. You know, one of the things that, uh, there was a guy named John priest who was actually, uh, at Wednesday in the word this morning. And what John did was he, he said he went over to one of these prisons.

I think it was in Davidson County or Davie County. And he said, this prison is absolutely horrible. He said, so what we did is we started sharing the gospel with people. And he said, 11 of those guys got down and they decided to give their life lives to Christ. He said, but then we went somewhere else and he said, there was another guy over there. And he said, this other guy, uh, he said, this other guy who wasn't even in there with them, he said, he decided to give his life to Christ as well.

The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Let me ask you, do you, do you have what it takes? Are you excited about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with a loss in a dying world? I mean, if you really believe that Jesus is the son of God, if you really believe that heaven is possible, and that if people don't go, if people don't give their lives to Christ that they'll go to hell and it's eternal.

If you don't share the gospel with them, how much do you have to hate someone? And I've shared that story before about, uh, it was the guy who was a magician Penn Jillette. He said that was, there was one night there was a, he was finished. Uh, he was finishing with one of his magic acts. And he said, when he was finishing up that one night, he said, there was this big guy who came up to me and he said, you know, he said, he was, he was looking at it, looking at, he said, what's, what's going on.

He said, this guy was helping him out with one of his magic acts. And he said, at the end of it, this guy started sharing the gospel with him. He gave him a Bible. It was a new Testament Bible. And the guy said, and this, this guy who was sharing the gospel with Penn Jillette said, you know, Hey, I know you're an atheist. Um, he said, but I just wanted to give you this Bible because I want to share with you that Jesus is the son of God and Penn Jillette, instead of being angry, he said it was a beautiful thing. It was a beautiful thing that this guy cared about me enough to share the gospel with me. This guy cared enough that he didn't want me to go to hell, even though it was socially awkward for this guy, even though it was probably uncomfortable for this guy to share the gospel with me, an atheist, he said, it makes me feel good that this guy cared enough about me to share the gospel with me. And let me ask you today, if you believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, do you care enough about that lost person that you know, to share the gospel? You know, the Bible says that we had become fools for Christ.

The Bible says that we're going to face persecution. There was a lady, a young lady who was, uh, who was not a Christian at all and she was getting a tattoo and she said, when she got a tattoo, she prayed to God. She said, Lord, show me something.

If you're real. And she, she, the Lord literally showed her hell. And now she's actually out on the street corners and she is sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with people.

I believe it's in Australia. And so what she's doing, and she says that the kind of stuff that she gets is she'll get a lot of people who are happy, but she says she also has people who spit on her. They curse at her.

They pour drinks on her, but you know what? That doesn't bother her at all because the Bible actually says that that can happen to us. Let me ask you this. When was the last time that somebody came against you for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with them? What was the last time that somebody says at, you know, F you get out of my face because you're sharing Jesus with them. You know, the truth is, is that the Bible says, if we're out there and if we're doing what we're supposed to do, sharing the gospel, praying for the sick, praying that, praying that people would get healed, casting out demons, we should receive some, some blowback. We should receive some pushback. And if we're not receiving any pushback, maybe that's a problem.

Maybe that's a problem. I've got acts chapter 10. Um, and I'm looking at the ESV. So if you've got your Bibles, pull out acts chapter 10 and I'll start in verse one. It says at Caesarea, there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian cohort, a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people and prayed continually to God about the ninth hour of the day. He saw clearly in a vision, an angel of God come in and say to him Cornelius. And he stared at him in terror and said, what is it Lord? And he said to him, your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God and now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging with one assignment. He is lodging with one Simon, a tanner whose house is by the sea. When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those who attended him.

And having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa. The next day, Peter had a vision. He was up on the sixth hour and he said, um, you know, he, he saw all this food and Peter said, well, God, I, I'm not going to kill anything that's unclean. And the Lord's, the Lord tells Peter, he says, don't call anything. Uh, what God has made clean.

Do not call common. This happened three times. And the thing was taken up at once to heaven. Now while Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what the vision he had seen might mean behold, the men who were sent by Cornelius having made inquiry for Simon's house stood at the gate and called out to ask whether Simon who was called Peter was lodging there. And while Peter was pondering the vision, the spirit said to him, behold, three men are looking for you rise and go down and accompany them without hesitation for I have sent them. And Peter went down to the men and said, I am the one that you were looking for.

What is, what is your reason for coming? And they said, Cornelius, a centurion and upright and God-fearing man who's well-spoken of by the whole Jewish nation was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and to hear what you have to say. So he invited them in to be his guests. The next day he rose and went away with them. And some of the brothers from Joppa accompanied him.

And on the following day they entered Caesarius. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him.

But Peter lifted him up saying, stand up too, for I am a man as well. And as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered. And he said to them, you yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate or to visit any one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without objection.

I asked them, why you sent for me? And Cornelius said, four days ago at this hour, I was praying in my house at the ninth hour. And behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing and said, Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon, who was called Peter. So he sent for him at once, Peter shares the gospel with him.

And this guy gets saved, this guy gives his life to Christ. Well, when you think about it logically, you say, well, why didn't the angel just share the gospel with Cornelius? Because that's not the angel's job. The angel's job is way too much for me to explain right now. There's a lot that angels do.

And you can look into this. Christie Real talks a lot about this, but the job to share the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ lies with us, the Christians, those who believe in the Son of God, because it would have been a lot easier for that angel just to share the gospel with Cornelius. And that was the end of it. He already had his attention. He knew it was an angel, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

But no, he says go and he's going to send for Simon. And Peter shared the gospel with him and he got saved. It is our job during this Christmas season to share the gospel with people, to share the gospel with the lost.

Share it with people you think are saved. You may be surprised, you know, but it's funny. Unless people know the truth, they'll never be set free. You know, I was looking at something the other day and one of the things that I saw was that it was Arrhenius. Arrhenius was somebody who was actually taught under Polycarp. And Arrhenius says that the book of Revelation was actually written right around 95 AD. And most scholars today believe that the book of Revelation was written around 95 AD. And so I was watching Mike Winger and he says, if the book of Revelation was written after 70 AD, then the preterist view can't be true. And so, so in other words, post-millennialism can't be true. All millennialism can't be true.

It means the pre-millennialism must be true. And that the book of Revelation is, is, is coming in and it's coming soon. So God bless you.

I want to wish you a Merry Christmas, if not for God. All right. For my YouTube channel, if not for God with Mike Zwick, just like, subscribe, and hit that notification bell. So you'll be alerted when we have our next video. Bye. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-14 10:44:03 / 2022-12-14 10:57:00 / 13

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