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December 24, 2021 1:30 pm
Episode 866 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.
1. Was Jesus actually born on Christmas Day? I have heard theories that he was born sometime in October.
2. Do you know that Christmas song, “Mary did you know?” I know some people make fun of that song, but I thought that that question was pretty good. In Luke 1 it doesn’t quite seem to allude to the fact that Mary knew her son was going to bear the sin of his people. So, did she know or was it a surprise to her?
3. Is it ok to tell my kids that Santa is real?
4. Does the Bible command or forbid us to celebrate traditions like Christmas? I have heard both views from various churches. I know Catholics are big on celebrating Christmas and I have heard some protestant groups and even Jehovah’s Witnesses say that we shouldn’t.
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Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God's Story by Dr. Michael Horton
This new episode of core Christianity was recorded so did Mary know that's just one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity why there is Merry Christmas Abdul Meyer along with Pastor Israel Sanchez. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day.
Here's our phone number if you want to call us or leave a voicemail. It's 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 realize you might not want to call our Christmas Eve Christmas we can but feel free to call us next week. You can also post your question on her Facebook, Instagram or twitter account so you can email us anytime with any questions at all. Add questions at core, Christianity.com overslept today drill have to say, do, you'd given the you know tomorrow is Christmas. Are there any particular Christmas traditions you got five little ones at your house. Anything that you and your wife do on annual basis to to celebrate the Lord's birth yeah well well to celebrate the Lord's birth.
You know, we go to church and we worship and we we read the gospel account that sexy something we typically do will will read the gospel account to the children and then just more and more general around this time of the year. We typically will walk to one of those Christmas tree lot sits nearby her house and will pick up on overpriced tree around 6 feet because I don't want to spend any yeah and and you know I'll all carry the tree that the six footer dummy will just walk it home. You know, that's not too far from where I live and so will you have this this train of kids behind us and I got the tree and we we walked home and we decorated and we listen to Mariah Carey Christmas songs and and eats.
You know, Christmas cookies and drink hot chocolate and just have a great time so we do that about every year and that's that's one tradition. How about you, what will tenant traditions do you guys close together the Christmas tree one and for years living in Minnesota. We actually got up and picked our own Christmas tree at Christmas tree farms, but you gotta remember in Minnesota in December. It's cold yeah and there's snow on the ground. So what we have to do is we take our four-wheel-drive vehicle. We pull up into the farm which is no lot usually is a lot of snow on the ground and were all bundled up on got my chainsaw go my stuff, and in order to get the tree usually from the lot for Marie Pickett. My wife tested. By the way find the perfect tree so I'm like what I would really looks not know.
It's not quite full on the left outside of the top is slightly to the right and and so after about 50 trees that she doesn't like we find the one that she does like and that's dad's job to chop down and before I budget I would just use a handsaw and that I should know until I get it and that we all over. Then we had to put on a sled to get it to the car so I would give my daughter who 16. The job of pulling the sled with the tree on her but she loved that she loved to pull the sled and we put into the Honda pilot and you don't get snow off of that sounds like if I lived there I would lose a limb trying to go that had I not pick a Christmas tree like yeah I know that I've operated chainsaw before pastors you know Bible guys like me. This I guess that's is an excuse for six now the big question is, and I know that this is on everyone's mind can a fake Christmas tree be pleasing to the Lord, you know, because it doesn't have the smell is a set stuff on it is tree status and abomination. I think I don't I don't know but everybody's sorta switching over. I'm still holding onto the real deal Christmas tree okay so you and my wife are on the same page. There, she went never in a million years ever and you know they're looking so beautiful I look at these fake ones are more beautiful than the real ones. At times there just I mean you you walk up and was the real is a fake. But she said that would be a total abomination.
Satan disguises himself as any light he had a venerable armory just you know it just deceives everyone.
And so it there's a lot to be on the lookout for Bill are a will is good to a question from one of our listers.
This is actually Patrick who has a YouTube question for us and he says, was Jesus actually born on Christmas day.
I've heard some theories that he was actually born in October.
Yeah there are theories out there like that men and there are some people who will say well you know this whole idea of celebrating the birth of Christ.
On December 25 that's rooted in you know pagan festivals that the Romans had and I just ask you recently heard this I was speaking to someone on the phone and they were they were bringing this up now let me just say this the day of the birth of Christ. I don't I don't know that we need to fight about that persimmon. The important thing is that the son of God was incarnate for us and for our salvation, but from pretty early on in the history of the church you you have business testimony that that Christ was born on December 25 now. Is there any biblical or exegetical evidence for that. What some people do was build a point to the timeframe of John the Baptist birth you look in Luke chapter 1, for example, in verse five it says in the days of Herod the king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah of the division of Abbaye and he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth and so he serving in this priesthood during a particular time and then people will you know go back and I do that do the numbers and soak it will will John was probably born conceived around this time and inborn around this time and we know from the Gospels that he was about six months older than Jesus that he was born six months after bath before Christ was, and so people do that math know so that that would put the birth of Christ around the end of December so I think that the there's a case actually bit that can be made but again I don't know that we need to that we need to really focus on that per se. The reality is that he was born and that he came for us and for our salvation. That's we celebrate and Dino throughout the history of the church. Actually, this is one of the things it early unbelievers would really fight about is the that the proper date of Christmas or the property of Easter and sorta seems unfortunate when when were when were going back and forth about the days if you will, instead of marveling at the reality of what's taken then there are still differences with the Lexus of the Orthodox Christian church in East Germany learn.
This difference is even today. Yeah, that there there are and so you know insisted that I think for for us being charitable and and really celebrating the fact that Christ was born. That he rose again from the dead after you tone for our sins. And that's what it's about. That's what that's what this time of the year you know for for it. Unfortunately for many people sorta turned into just consumerism, but you know it's an opportunity for us to stop and reflect in and to remember the greatness of God's love for sinners that he sent his son into the world and that his son assumed our humanity so that we might be redeemed man. It's awesome.
You know that's what it's all about that's majoring in the majors instead of the minors as you mention, I think there's a danger you point this out a minute ago, even among Christian families to let the consumerism getting the perfect gift. The Black Friday sale the Christmas dinner with all the trimmings letting those things take precedence over what this holiday with this day is really all about.
Yeah it's it's really I think we've completely lost sight of its and in in our culture. Generally speaking, is something we can't lose sight of. As the people of God, we have to I think recover right these core doctrines of the Christian faith, which is what were often talking about and so if this time of the year is an opportunity for us to remember one of those core doctrines, the incarnation and think about the beauty, the wonder that the richness of all the theology related to that then then boy let's take advantage this is core Christianity well happy they before Christmas, happy Christmas Eve to you and to your family. Let's go to Emily in Portland, Oregon, Emily, what's your question for pastor.
Israel I you know that Mary did you know and I know people coming out of it happy that I question was actually I was wondering like Emily Klein. It's not quite clear with the fact that Mary knew that her son was going to bury bear our stand on the cross to did she know the time or was it a surprise to her great question and answer to what extent did she know I mean, obviously she has this this amazing revelation in Luke chapter 1 verse 34.
Mary said to the angel, how will this be, since I am a virgin because the Angels just told her she's going to she's going to conceive a child you know your to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the son of the most high, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob, and all these great promises of associate. She does know something in her womb in her belly is going to be that the king that the heir to the Davidic throne, the son of God Jesus house is impossible. I'm a virgin and that this is a make any sense. And the angel answered her. Verse 35. The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the most high will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy. The sun of God and and as the text continues, you know, this is where you have that great song of praise, the Magnificat of Mary in verse 46 and following where she says my soul magnifies the Lord in my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, where he is looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed and so she does have some understanding.
Does she does she have the you know a full understanding of the Mary was not omniscient, but does she have a full understanding or something but she's just you know she's just getting a glimpse of right now. Through this revelation from the angel we can't really expect what we know the sheep. She does know something and she's praising God because of the knowledge that she does have and I want to just honing actually on my favorite verse in this chapter in one of my favorite verses to meditate upon. Around this time of the year.
In verse 35 again were the angel says that the Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the most high will over shadow you now that word brothers and sisters overshadow is a very interesting word.
In fact it was used in one place in the Old Testament and the Greek translation of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint. If you go to the end of the book of Exodus where that the tabernacle has finally been completed.
In Exodus chapter 40 and we read about the spirit of God settling on overshadowing the tabernacle if you will, why because God had made his dwelling place.
There God is he's he's in the house. He's in the building and the spirit of God overshadows the tabernacle. It's this great moment in redemptive history in here.
The angel says to Mary the spirit of God is going to overshadow your womb you now what does that mean that means that God is entering the house that God himself is assuming humanity from your womb.
Now did she understand all that I'm know that that be bits that were not sure but we do know that she recognizes that God is intervening in history, delivering his people in this magnificent way and she says my soul magnifies the Lord so so beautiful and and really need to see how the Scripture just a sort of woven together like that you get you get in a one verse in Luke chapter 1 verse 35 and how it ties all the way back to something we see at the end of Exodus chapter 40 revealing to us more clearly the identity of Jesus. You know it's it's verses like that federal and we talked about this a lot. There are those in our culture who will say Jesus was a great teacher.
He was a wonderful prophet. He was a good man, a moral leader.
We should follow, but they deny his divinity, and we just see throughout Scripture. These amazing men even mentioned a lot of times that the foreshadowing that the types and shadows weekly in the Old Testament, Jesus was God, fully God and fully man absolutely yeah and it's clear I mean that the deeper we go into the Scriptures, the more and more we see that we don't even have to go that deep in John 11 in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God heads like it it's it's when people say Jesus never claimed to be God.
They just need to keep reading. John 858 you know Jesus is before Abraham was, I am verifying himself as as the Lord is exactly what he was studying about they picked up stones to throw at him because they were so angry that anyone would make these kinds of claims and so yeah, it just just open the text read it and receive it.
Yeah, that's it.
So it's it is so important for us. Amen this time of year to be digging into God's word and really understanding. If you have not fully understood who Jesus is and what he did for you and then to share that message with others. What great time of year. This is to do that.
By the way, because many churches are having special Christmas services this weekend. Why not invite a friend or neighbor who's never been to church to attend church with you and chances are they will say yes this is core Christianity with Pastor April Sanchez.
Now it was we got to the end of the year.
We want to do something at that we normally don't know but it's it's important for us to mention that our ministry here at core Christianity is fully supported by you are listeners, we don't receive money from a particular denomination or particular church of the government. We rely on our listeners to keep this show going and if if you listen to this program over the past year and you felt. It's been helpful in your spiritual growth. We ask you to consider making a one-time year-end gift yeah yeah we are so grateful to be able to do this. What a joy it is to to get on on in and talk about the things the Lord to open up the Scriptures together and we can't do it without your support and so as we get to the end of the year would you would you consider if you've been blessed by core Christianity making a one time gift were were grateful for your generous gifts. Your donations which help us to continue to share the good news of Jesus that he came that he lived the perfect life for us and that he suffered for our sins and rose again from the dead, these truths that we know the world desperately needs to hear you're helping us to communicate these truths to the world and so again thank you freight for your generosity. And as as we get to the end of the year.
Please consider making a one time gift to our ministry going to core Christianity.com/donations you could do that right now or sometime next week if you want to do before the end of the calendar year core Christianity.com/donate to actually make a year-end gift. This is core Christianity with Pastor April Sanchez now heads up this next question we received has to do with Santa Claus. So if you have little kids in the room you might want to occupy them elsewhere because this is a good question that we received from one of our listeners named Pam Pastor Angel I love you show second question for you and I have younger kids and I have some other Christian friends and they say that they let their kids believe for now that Santa is real and I think that that can't be right.
According to the word of God. So if you could just clear that up for me or give me some advice that I can save my friends. Thank you. Well Pam I've heard, and I know that there are differences of opinion with Mr. Gigot we weaved we talk about matters of personal conscience and liberty from time to time on this broadcast. If you're if you're talking to your kids about Santa Claus in a way that's deifying him and it's this this sort of thing that that is unhealthy. I was a yeah that that's not good if it's if it's a family tradition again that you guys do. Were you talked about getting getting presents from Santa because personally I don't have an issue with that. I don't think it's editing is that big of a deal now, Bill. I don't know about. Did you guys do the whole Santa Claus thing with with your kids. We kind of did they still believe that we counted it in a way no other 1860 to 14 will help you, but we we actually brought in historical event. We talked about St. Nick. The real St. Nicholas who is the Bishop of Myra in Turkey and that's where St. Nick came from. That's where St. Nicholas. Then Santa Claus this man who was a Christian who was a believer follower of Jesus Christ and incredibly generous to the poor, and so we say that's room until we talk about Santa Claus we get, read it where the magical stuff we talk about what he stands for goodness and kindness and generosity. So the question is not interested. St. Nick exist is he real, we could say yeah he is and there's actually some some neat things we can learn from from his example which is why you have that the traditions we have today as I like that I like that approach Bill being able to have that that conversation it.
It's neat because especially as we we've been talking about things can become so wrapped up in consumerism and greed and all these other things you having examples of charity and love and caring for the poor boy. What if we recovered that around Christmas time and that's that was that this sort of tradition that characterized us as believers in particular in our own family like it would've what if every year. This was a time where we knew we were going to give and in our kids knew that's what this was about it that's that's a beautiful thing. But again, I'm it just isn't in terms of Pam's questions I I don't think that I wouldn't I would say you know to someone who was in in my church, and you know they were going to the Christmas thing and they're talking their kids about Santa Claus, and I don't know that I say.
How dare you, you liar, you were to put you to bring your bond on charges in the church for you know breaking God's law it now.
I mean it's it's I don't think we don't know that we have to go.yeah yeah and so appreciate appreciate that question. You believe in talking about majoring on the majors and not majoring on the minors. I think there's a major that we have not gotten to yet and that is just that that your favorite Christmas meal because this is an important thing around this time of the year and I'm curious to know what's the dish in the Meyer household.
Well, we always okay Thanksgiving is turkey and Christmas is typically ham but sometimes the turkey thanks got my Christmas time.
But my wife is a pie expert, and so she will make sure she will often make three or four different types of pies at Christmas time, which is that means leftovers for the following week so and I bother way make a mean cobbler oh boy, I can do the Apple cobbler.
I can do peach cobbler.
I can do the crab which this holiday since the cranberry apple cobbler and I'm good. Can I make a confession yet one Thanksgiving when I was in college I ate an entire key lime pie and I've repented since. But you have to be careful around the holidays brothers and sisters because there's just so much of lift felt like bills and have five pies on his and met your short-lived three teenagers at arms about one for every person that I am pretty much ready to go. Wonderful wonderful. Yes, we have time for one work festivals once for Marjorie ties in with a lot of we've been talking about.
Does the Bible command or forbid us to celebrate traditions like Christmas. I've heard both views from various churches. I know Catholics are big on celebrating Christmas and I've heard some Protestant groups and even Jehovah's Witnesses say that we shouldn't yet know the Bible does not command us to celebrate Christmas has some sort of in a holy day and so that me that's just a real simple answer. I think there there's wisdom here, you know, just in terms of churches is there as their thinking through what they're going to preach about you know throughout the year. I typically will do a Christmas message around this time of the year so that the people who were coming, you know, for Christmas or Easter will hear a message about the incarnation or about the resurrection of the dead, and so but it is not an issue where we need to find people's consciences, and so this is this is a part of you know that God's law divine worship we know according to the new covenant that that it isn't that God hasn't given us a bunch of these these days to celebrate and prescribe the specific ways in which were supposed to observe Christmas you know you go on the first day of December to cut down a Christmas tree and then you know there's nothing like that in the Scriptures is supposed to watch the Charlie Brown Christmas special yet IPO skill for money and that of yellow light quotes the Bible that still there you go, but so that's what I would say there's there's freedom here there's freedom here for us to be able to enjoy this time with our families and let's as we enjoy our freedom not get swept away by the flood of consumerism and in all the things that we've been talking about already not get swept away with the tinsel in the glitter and all that stuff. Boy, let's be swept away by the gospel, by the love of God for sinners by the fact that he sent his son into the world to redeem us and and God loved us so much brothers and sisters that he didn't do it from afar, he didn't need to rescue us by putting gloves on and the just sort of reaching out.
Did you know didn't want to touch, as do I get to close know he assumed our humanity. He came Jesus, the eternal son of God came and walked among us. That's that's something that we should praise the Lord for today and every day of our lives.
Merry Christmas. Thanks for listening to core Christianity request your copy of today's special offer. Visit us at core, Christianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833 when you contact us.
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