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Christmas, B.C., Part 2

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
December 20, 2009 7:45 am

Christmas, B.C., Part 2

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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December 20, 2009 7:45 am

The Christmas Story (Message 30)

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Harvest podcasts featuring Pastor Greg Laurie are brought to you by harvest partners to receive Pastor Greg free online daily devotions or to become a harvest partner, please visit us online@harvest.org, let's turn our Bibles to Luke chapter 2 the title of my messages Christmas PC part two a quick call.

How many of you have been married longer than 10 years raise up your head. How many of you been married longer than 20 years raise up your hand longer than 30 years raise everything okay longer than 40 years. As of your hand while impressive, impressive longer than 50 years.

Raise up your hand while back there, longer than 55 years.

Raise up your still okay well you to longer than 60 years old to month that couple though. How many years has it been with that. I'm sorry to hear that Helen is this couple been married. The one that you were in the Bexar 62 years. Thank you very much, so what's the secret.

62 years with the secret death that appeared to have them say it saved his own for the benefit of what is yes dear, how are you I hear the story about a couple that were celebrating 50 years.

Not as many as a couple back there 50 years together. And so the husband wanted to honor the wife and all of the family and friends are gathered, we stood up in front of everyone and he said my dear wife after 50 years, I found you tried-and-true. She was a little bit hard of hearing. She said what he said my dear wife after 50 years I have found you tried-and-true. She shot back. Well, after 50 years. I'm tired of you to show said yes dear more.

Maybe what you know the reason I bring that up is because sometimes as we read and reread and once again read the Christmas story well we can become a little tired of not because it is not a beautiful story, a powerful story but it's just such a familiar story.

So what I want to try to do with you as we look at it once again it's a sort of strip away some of the things that have clouded our mind in the way we see it easy this story is been so sanitized and romanticized to the years in many ways we unlock the essence of what really happened. So if you know a little bit about the birth of Jesus might be best for you to forget it and just start from scratch without question six BC was a lousy time to live in Judeo Israel was living under the tyranny of Rome and their puppet governor. Also known as Herod the great.

To make matters worse, the people of God had not heard from the Lord for 400 years not one prophet standing up and saying, thus saith the Lord, not one angelic appearance want not one single miracle justice Tony silence but the silence was broken by the cry of a baby. As one commentator put it, quote great plans laid in eternal ages past.

Now begin to activate" suddenly and right on time. The mighty Gabriel appeared to be aged three Zechariah was in the temple offering the sacrifice of the people and said you are to be the father of the forerunner of the Messiah. Of course this game is news to him because he was on in years.

As I said, as was his wife Elizabeth. But now the whole story was beginning to unfold and then we shift gears and we come to the arrival of the angel at the home of Mary and he announces to her that she married is going to be a fulfillment of Bible prophecy. This young teenage girl living in a city known for its immorality.

Nazareth was to become the mother of the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world. She literally would fulfill Isaiah 714 heads of the Lord himself will give you a sign in the virgin will conceive and bear a son, and you will call his name Emmanuelle to hear one of those things that we need to strip the tradition away from we look at Mary and Joseph and stained glass as one-dimensional characters and we see them in religious art with halos over their heads and so forth. We need to see them is what they really were, who they really were Joseph. He was a blue-collar worker.

He was a construction God if he were here today to drive a pickup truck construction guys don't have little pooh-poohed dogs you know they that big mean dog that they keep in the back of their pickup truck to guard their tools you would live got pedicures and manicures hidden in the kind of guy that would fix something.

It was broken a kind of man that was not afraid to put in a hard days work.

The kind of man that would get things done and not only dump of the Bible says he was a righteous man, a righteous, hard-working salt of the your man. And then there was Mary, a teenage girl we see her as a sainted figure, and indeed she was a saint because he believed in Jesus and by the way, everyone who does is also a saint, but Mary was a teenager. I mean, we wonder if she taught them like teenagers talk today. Can you imagine her explaining to Joseph what does happen, Joseph. I like hanging out at the Nazareth Galleria.

This angel duty. Three people to be the mother of the Messiah. I like no way he's like way I like shut so to be the mother of the Messiah and I say all you know this can't be. This can't be true.

All my God, and he says exactly. She says that is so sick totally birth is a positive term when your teenager is not so much when you're older and indeed the Lord confirm this message would Joseph. It was revealed to him that yes Mary had the son of God, conceived in her womb, supernaturally by the Holy Spirit. Up to this point.

Joseph thought Mary frankly had been unfaithful to him. He loved her so much, though he was not going to cover publicly stone which was his right, but he would put her away quietly and heartbroken in the relationship. What a joy it was when it was revealed again that she was telling them the truth and know she had not been a moral child was not conceived out of wedlock. This really was a fulfillment of Bible prophecy so everything was going well but there was one problem. Mary and Joseph were in the wrong place. You see that with the right people at the right time in the Wrong Pl., God wants to do a work he always puts the right manner the right woman in the right place at the right time. Well the right place was Bethlehem, about 90 miles away from Nazareth and so the Lord needs to get them from point a to point P and it's interesting how he brought this process about let's now read that story. Luke chapter 2 starting in verse one, it came to pass that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered intact. This ancestors took place when quite rainy, as was governing Syria so all want to be registered. Everyone to his own city.

Joseph 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 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 cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the end were introduced to Caesar Augustus in verse one. History tells us that Caesar Augustus was the great nephew of Julius Caesar, and he had clawed his way into power. He was the first Caesar, to be called Augustus, which is not a name as much as it is a title it means holy revered of the gods back. It was under Augustine's role that strides were made toward making this Caesar's God, and remember that many Christians lost their lives as they were put to death by the Romans, because they would not simply say Caesar is Lord. Augustus was a guy that that that kind of thinking in the motion of back about the time Luke was writing these words.

Some of the Greek cities in Asia minor and adopted Caesar's birthday which was September 23 at the first day of the year and interestingly, there were beginning to hail him as the Savior inscription was found dating back to this time declaring Caesar Augustus, the Savior of the whole world and with that in mind, we better understand the words of Dr. Luke when he writes there is born unto you in this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, and assuming the society you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling claws lying in the manger doesn't say there's a monarch in Rome at Savior name Caesar Augustus, but rather there's a baby wrapped in rags and Bethlehem, Christ the Lord. You see, Caesar thought he was such a powerful man than he was, but he was also upon in the hand of God Almighty. Because history is his story.

So the Lord moves Caesar Augustus to accomplish his purposes. Reminding us that God is in control. God is sovereign over all nations and overall people. The Bible says the nations of the world are like a drop in a bucket to God and these great rulers.

The Bible says the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord and he will move it wherever he wants to God to move the heart of a king or a queen or a prime minister or a senator or a congressman or a president or a CEO or a what ever that person may be whatever they do, God will accomplish his purposes. Caesar Augustine thought this exercise the power would give him greater control over the world, but in the end, all he did was run an errand for God. Lord needed Mary and Joseph and Bethlehem, so he used Caesar Augustine is to accomplish his purpose in the fact of the matter is as great as Caesar was. We don't know much about them.

In fact, we wouldn't even know anything about him if he wasn't mentioned in Luke's account unless you're a real history buff, what we really know about most of the Caesar's today. Well Caesar salad know a lot more but the birth of Jesus Christ divided human time Roman established control over much of the world at this point most of the world was united under one system of imperial government. Rome had bludgeoned the world and the submission vanquishing all enemies. It was called Pax Romana which meant the piece of wrong but it was a brutal piece and that the Romans cared most about two things.

Number one submission aroma number two. A steady flow of wealth into Roman conference. But here's the thing with the absence of war. Many people were rediscovering art and literature and in philosophy and people were asking questions that were talking about human destiny and the purpose and meaning of life.

The time was just right. The Bible says for God to send forth a son, born of a woman, made under the law, to redeem those that are under the law, but first, God wanted Mary and Joseph to go to bed again because the Scripture set a Micah 52.

But you, Bethlehem, will you be little among the thousands of Judah get out of you shall come forth. One whose origins of been from everlasting or literally. The vanishing point.

So they made the journey 90 mile now, along with everything else in the Christmas story. This too is been romanticized. We've seen the scenes you and others. Mary on the donkey and Joseph is walking they had in their silhouetted against a full moon and it's such a beautiful scene with music swelling in the background but the reality is, it was a very dangerous journey a very difficult one, especially for a woman in the ninth month of her pregnancy a biblical biblical archaeology professor at the University of South Florida wrote about how hard it would've been. He said it was not a flat paved road, but very much uphill and downhill. His journey would've been in the winter and temperatures would've been in the 30s at the highest and freezing at night there with the dangers of the poorest lions and bears living in the woods while before not to even mention the robbers and the bandits out there. You would've hope the hardships would've ended when they finally arrive in the town, but there greeted with unknow vacancy sign because the Bible says there was no room in the end that we sort of that idea of a hotel or a motel, you know, no room no room but in reality that this was not the Bethlehem Hilton. This was not even the Bethlehem Motel 6. These were primitive accommodations to say the least. The end of this time would have simply been a common courtyard, travelers would have to bring their own food, all the innkeeper would generally provide would be hey and MediaFire and there you are. In this primitive setting and you would've thought that that innkeeper could have found it in his heart to make a little room for a woman, obviously ready to give birth at any moment.

The Bible does not identify him.

The Bible does not vilify him. The Bible just present them for what he was a man who was too busy. I man who was preoccupied a man who wanted money and because Mary and Joseph didn't have any to give him they were sent to a bar or probably more literally okay or the Savior of the world would be born.

This problem was he just had too much going on and he didn't make time for what really mattered.

You want to talk about opportunity knocking at your door and there are people just like this innkeeper to date are too busy all I would love to get into Christianity. You know, but I have so much on my plate right now. I would love to go to church and so busy right now. I just don't have any time for God reminds you of a poem I read called no room in the end. Here's how it goes. No beautiful chamber cradle bed no place but a manger nowhere for his head. No phrases of gladness, no thought of their sin, no glory, but sadness no room in the end no thought of the Savior, no sorrow for sin, no prayer for his favor. No room in the end no room in the end no room for Jesus will give him welcome free lest you should curate Heaven's Gate. There is no room for the listener. We don't have room for Jesus. Now he won't have room for us that we better make room for As the old Christmas song says let every heart prepare him room make room for him. Make time for you because if you say no to Jesus now will say no to you then if you say in Orinda.

My life now the Lord he will say enter into the joy of the Lord to you that, but really this reception that Jesus received her Mary and Joseph received before Christ was born, is typical of the reception.

The Lord himself received when he was here in the Sir Christ himself said foxes have holes and birds have nests with the Son of Man speaking of himself has nowhere to lay his head may think about it.

He was born indicate he borrowed food to feed the crowd he borrowed. According to illustrated true. He borrowed a donkey to ride into Jerusalem. He borrowed room to celebrate Passover, even dark bar borrowed or died rather on a borrowed cross meant for another Barabbas, and he was laid in a borrowed tomb belonging to a man, Joseph Varma, Thea, it seems like the only place where there was ever room for Jesus was on the cross brace suffered and died for this in of the world.

Think about his birth. You know, we romanticize this, along with everything else we have a little nativity scene that we set up on our table and and there's Mary and Joseph, and there is the baby Jesus. And then there is the little angels overhead Northstar in the distance and the wisemen bowing but you know what this was cold.

It was unsanitary. It was difficult, and not to me does not diminish the story.

Rather, it enhances it to show the humiliation that Christ went through to enter this world of ours, and of course we have the wisemen there with their guessers always three wise men and usually have different colored outfits try so they don't clash. The other camels parked nearby. But the fact of the matter is, the Bible never says there were three wise men. Did you know that no there were three. They even have names. No Bible doesn't give me and doesn't say there were three it says they were three gifts without knowing most guys.

They probably went in on the get three gifts called frankincense and myrrh doesn't say three wise men. Maybe there were six wisemen. Maybe there were nine wise all I can afford that much of it. He said that's too much. While you don't even have to worry about it because they weren't even there at the birth of Jesus. They were not there. They came later.

In fact, we read over in Matthew's gospel in chapter 2.

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with great joy, and they came to the house and saw the young child with Mary and doesn't say they came to the manger or the cave. They came to the house doesn't say they saw the baby.

It's as they saw the young child. They came later, the doesn't mess up your Christmas scene you want to be accurate.

Take the wisemen out right now way to Christmas is done, bring about a week later. That'll be good but we need to know the real story. The key for the stable where Christ was born was cold, damp and unsanitary. The smell of animals filled the room was the least desirable place you can have a baby.

He was not wrapped in satin but in cheap rad.

It symbolizes whole life on this earth from the cradle to the cross. Jesus Christ could have been born in the most elegant mansion on the Ritz ES Boulevard in the Roman Empire. He could have had aristocratic parents boasting of their great pedigree to get up and have the finest closed the most from the most exclusive shop.

He could have had legions of angels respond to his beck and call, but he did not file that all aside. Philippians said being in the form of God, he thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but took upon himself the form of a servant, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Theologians call this the canola says it's a Greek word that is used therefore made himself of no reputation, and it could be better translated, he emptied himself, but what of the empty himself of his divine attributes. No to the empty himself of his deity.

Again, no Jesus was God in heaven.

He was God as an embryo.

He was God as a baby he was God as a man he was God in the cross and God rising again. You never cease to be God. But he laid aside some of the privileges of deity, he humbled himself and walked this earth and breathed our air and lived our life and then he died our death so we would know that we have a God in heaven that understands what it's like to walk through this life. He literally felt our pain went through all of this. All of this for us. CH Spurgeon said and I quote he was infinite yet he was an infant, eternal, get born of a woman supporting the universe, yet needing to be carried in a mother's arms. He was the king of angels, yet the reputed son of Joseph, the heir of all things and get the carpenter's son" is he he who is larger than the universe became an embryo he who sustains the world with the word chose to be dependent upon the nourishment of a young girl. Jesus Christ was deity and diapers. So now the message is going to be announced who will be delivered to. How about Caesar Augustus, the guy that thinks he is the Savior of the world. No, how about the religious leaders know about the influential powerful people that could tell others again. No, who was the message given to shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night. Let's read about in Luke chapter 2 verse eight. Another were in the same country shepherds living out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night; angel of the Lord stood before them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid the angel said to them, do not be afraid, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. There is born, unto this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign you will find the babe wrapped in swaddling cloths 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 inner peace, goodwill toward men. And so it was when the Angels are gone away from them and they have in the shepherds said one to another. Let's go to Bethlehem and let's see this thing that has come the past with the Lord has made known to us again who did the Angels announce the good news to shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night. Now we have romanticize shepherds along with everything else in the store we think of shepherds. Today we have a positive idea about that. Will shepherds.

Moses was a shepherd.

David was a shepherd of the Lord himself is compared in the Bible to a shepherd. David said the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

But here's what you need to know in this culture. I shepherd was looked down upon. There were almost the lowest you could be on the social ladder. The only thing lower than a shepherd. At this time was a leper and you didn't get any lower than a leper who is declared unclean was not allowed human contact with anyone shepherd just a little bit about that and that's who the Lord sends a message of I don't know what to compare it to our culture today if the Lord were to come in our day and the birth was announced to Woody announce it to if I name a profession all offend somebody and angels appeared to telemarketers working at their computers and I don't know who Mindy Hewitt appeared a bunch of outlaw biker sooner unexpected messengers, not the ones we would think the Lord would additionally come to. I was in up in LA last weekend had that opportunity to speak in an these. This is not a Christian event per se. This is an event that was actually started by some biker people limits attended by outlaw gains and in fact when I was up there. There was some cops up there and I talked to someone from the LA PD and asked where they were there this year because they want last year and he said there's another outlaw gang expected and if a shopper can have a definite fight care and I thought, is this going to be Indiana.

Greg and his last crusade here. I mean talk about being that the wrong place of the wrong type you know that these guys were not want to be weekend warrior writers like I am that they're the real thing. This is kind of what they're into and I wonder what kind of reception.

What I be given when I spoke to was no music proceeding. What I was about to do their you know it's not like we're worshiping together, and I opened up the word in the stand up on a stage and preach to a bunch of nonbelievers for the most part some of them are pretty rough around the edges, and I got up there that to say they were one of the most respectful, responsive groups of people I've ever spoken to….I think of Christian event type into Christian festivals were a bunch of Christian bands will play.

I can think of more than one occasion where it stood up to speak and a lot of these young church to exert jabbering and talking and walking around back and forth in front of the stage where Baxley had to say could you guys to sit down and please pay attention to what I'm saying this is the word of God are disinterested and yet I'm sending before a bunch of sinners who know they are sinners they listen and I told him how to accept Christ, and I love them in a prayer and many of them were praying we took 150 new believers Bible and every one of them was taken. How is my point. Who in the Angels of come to today. I don't know. But Jesus always seem to find his way to the outcasts of society. Nobody was here. Who does he spend time with the woman at the well.

A woman who is been married and divorced five times and is living with a man she was such an outcast.

She didn't have a friend in town. That's what you do water the hottest part of the day at 12 noon.

The other ladies would let her in on their gossip. We don't want to hear you're an immoral woman is waiting for her one day at lunch time. Jesus must have a conversation.

Then there's little Zaki is a small guy has to climb up into a sycamore tree to get a good view of Jesus. Jesus thoughts as these press with people in front and behind in any type a letter to the executive going down from the tree coming over to your house for a meal ticket was a tax collector. He was a Jew that worked for Rome and was thought of as a turncoat penetrator.

He didn't have a friend in the world except Jesus who took time for him or the woman caught in the act of adultery thrown at the feet of Christ. The religious leaders are ready to kill her on the spot. Jesus write something in the sand. We don't know what and then he looks at them and says whoever is among you, that is without sin, you cast the first stone and they left from the oldest of the youngest that woman was left alone with Jesus and he said, woman, where are your accusers. Several have none. Lord says neither do I accuse you: sin no more. Jesus always had time for people like this, so it's only fitting is completely appropriate that the announcement was made to the lowest of the low shepherds behold unto you this day in the city of David a Savior is born Christ the Lord.

The 12 words of Christmas, a Savior has been born to you.

He is Christ the Lord that we've all heard about the 12 days of Christmas. I don't think the 12 days of Christmas have ever change anyone's life and all I liked was really in ruins until I heard the 12 days of Christmas that save my marriage and of course not. I mean actually if you enacted the 12 days of Christmas if you woke up one morning and the 12 days of Christmas work was there on your front lawn.

I don't know if you'd be very happy about it.

When you open up the door and there were 12 drummers drumming 11 pipers piping 10 lords a leaping nine ladies dancing eight made the milking seven swans a swimming 6 Giza Ln. 4 calling birds three friends tends to turtledove and of course a partridge in a pear tree is a funny thing.

We all know the lyrics of that stupid song but do we know the 12 words of Christmas. Both are far more profound. Those can change a person's life. The 12 words of Christmas, a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord. Those words can change your life.

See the message of Christmas is for those that maybe feel their low on the spiritual ladder. Maybe you don't see yourself as a very spiritual person as a dedicated person is a this doesn't relate to me know.

It really relates to you because God made that announcement to these men. There is born unto you this day in the city of David a Savior is Christ the Lord love the fact that the angel prefaces were marked with don't be afraid almost every time. Angels appear and talk the people they start with. Don't be afraid. Why because people were afraid to take, don't freak out. It's okay to kill you arrive. Ha. Don't be afraid. Let's get that out of the way.

Now let me tell you what I'm here to tell you here's a message I have to give to you in one of the angel come Willie came on tax day effectively became during tax time. That's a bad time for everybody to be like an angel coming to you and texting April 15 hide good news for you.

What taxes are God know better than that. Even there, is born into you this day in the city of David a Savior, Christ the Lord. Whenever the time of bad news all around us. What a year this is been swine flu threats of nuclear attack economic meltdown war on two fronts. Bad news, bad news, bad news is a lot more I could say and there's your own bad news things happening around you and you think, why can't I have a perfect life like those people in the commercials. You know the ones they play at Christmas there gathered around the iron everybody so happy and so perfect to me. A perfect residence and have perfect parties and perfect life yes what their actors are not living the life either. Knowing that we all come from dysfunctional families that we live in dysfunctional families okay to skip out on the table right now actresses it would be nice if we went and visited mom and dad and grandma and grandpa. Here's a more realistic scenario to go visit mom whose divorce from your dad and her new husband that she wants you now to start calling dad and Eli got one bit and then he got a go visit dad who's living with his like what tense girlfriends was like younger than you. His daughter Nono then you have to go hang out with a bunch of weird family members and the sad thing is is they think you're the weird family member to pretend to be living this happy life and it's because there's an allusion that is promoted at Christmas and illusion of perfection and illusion of happiness. That's not real and not some of the Bible talks about any of this traditional thing set aside and forget about Alyssa, get real life in the real dark world of the first century. Good news came it was for hurting people that did not feel they were very high on the spiritual ladder that God gave this announcement and the same is true for us right now. Maybe this is a hard Christmas for you. You been laid off. You don't know where you get your next job. It's difficult.

Maybe this is your first Christmas with cancer he just got the news recently in thinking yourself a Merry Christmas now have to live with this. This uncertainty hanging over me.

Maybe it's her first Christmas without your spouse, your marriage fell apart last year, or maybe within a few years. I had lunch with the man the other day has been divorce a number of years and he told me how every Christmas was so painful for him without his wife. How hard it was for him. Not a happy time, but actually a set time maybe for others.

This is your first Christmas without your loved one. They died last year. I talked to man the other day, whose son died last year and he was crashing and he didn't know what was happening and I told him that Christmas is one of the hardest times you need to know that everything is amplified and easy everybody else supposedly having a lot of fun and you look at yourself and you wonder what's happening. Why did this happen to you and you get Christmas cards from your friends and there they all are, with all the children for everyone's in good and there you are with this loss of a wife of husband of a son of a daughter and your thing. Why did this happen to me. It's not fair, it's hard. I've good news for you on you this day, the city of David a Savior is born born is Christ the Lord. We got to get perspective the perspective it says life is hard. Life is rough. Life is filled with pain, but life is not just about the short time we have on earth it's about eternity as well that God sent his son to die in the cross and a rise again from the dead, so you could live life to its fullest on earth. And so that you could live forever in eternity in heaven. It's a gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

That's the real gift of Christmas, so we only just a few days will be giving and receiving gifts you're like most men out there talking to guys now, obviously you have not finished your Christmas shopping hoping he got the right thing for that love one some of your hoping you'll get that right thing from a loved one you left all begins. The links that they can click to an order it online detailed map to the store you hope it will get to that lame thing they always get you every year and that would you give the gift card. Hope they love it and you see they're not that it's so graded it so hard to fake it is and it never seen anything like it before. Try to be diplomatic is in God's given you a gift such an amazing give the gift of eternal life. Now if someone gives you a gift you need to receive it. Now check this up let's say that I gave you a gift like that. I love you so much.

I've bought something for you and it's literally cost me everything I had to sell everything I owned on her. I don't have any left.

But I got this gift for you because I felt you wanted this, and I felt even more you need this so Merry Christmas cricket so thoughtful of you think you so much. I just took my gift and set it on the table which can open it.

We all get to it later after dinner so you eat dinner and then will open the gift of certain okay we have dessert over the get well you have difficulty now to find a copy on the get, you know, I really can't act. It looks very expensive.

Actually, it really is. I paid everything port will leave you could take it back. No, I can't take it back. I can't return it, open it and see what it is that's so sweet of you to get this for me Greg. I really appreciate it. To give it back. So I really can't receive this gift know I really want you to receive the gift. Please take the gift I really couldn't do you know when you're insulting me now okay you went from rude to just insulting to. Here's God I have the gift of eternal life bought with the blood of my son. Oh God, that's so sweet of you think so, I'll open it later. I really wanted open it now. I paid everything for this gap. I sacrificed everything for this gift, open.that's so nice of you. I just am amazed you would do this for me, but I really couldn't. Could you take it back actually know you want to give why do one thing gift.

I guess I'm not really sure. Maybe later I'll think about it you just, you're insulting. Okay so we have a choice. As we close the service today. God's given us the ultimate gift, the gift of eternal life, and I ask you today.

Do you have do you know that you will go to heaven when you die you have the certainty that your sin is forgiven.

That's the message of Christmas there is born unto you this day in the city of David a Savior, Christ the Lord. The 12 words of Christmas that can forever change your life but you might say, Lord, to my life and forgive me of my sin. And if you haven't done that yet, to give you an opportunity to do it right now. Wherever you are sitting here you're one of our overflow venues. Your listening by radio for every law. If you want God to forgive you of your sin if you want the gift of eternal life. If you want to go to heaven when you die, please respond to this opportunity as we close now with prayer. Let's all bow our heads father I pray for any person listening to this now. Help them to see their need for you help them to come to you. We pray for the heads up.

Your eyes are closed and were praying. How many of you today would say I want Jesus Christ in the my life. I want my sin forgiven.

I want to know that when I die I will go to heaven. I'm ready to receive the gift of eternal life. Pray for me that your desire. If you want Christ to come in your life and you want him to forgive you of your sin. Would you lift your hand up wherever you're sitting there like to pray for you today. Just look to him accomplish. God bless you. Anybody else slipped her hand up if you would pray for you today, bless you there in the middle up in the balcony. Bless you. Maybe outside your hearing this year in the courtyard or Europe in the in the overflow building you. You can lift your hands up as well.

Alright, now you that are lift your hand I want you to just pray this prayer out loud right where you are again as I pray this prayer prayed after me, Lord Jesus, I know I'm a sinner but you died on the cross for my sin. I churn from that sin now and I receive you as Savior and God and friend. I choose to follow you from this day forward.

Thank you for the gift of eternal life bought the blood of Jesus. I receive it from you.

In Jesus name I pray, amen


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