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December 24, 2020 6:00 am
Whether it is permissible for Christians to celebrate Christmas or not is an annual hot topic debate. Join Evangelist B.C. Thomas as he answers the question: Should Christians celebrate Christmas?
In the second segment, we look at a case in which a Raleigh, NC family was ordered by their HOA to remove a cross as a Christmas decoration.
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Welcome to God for committing to encouraging you to put God while viewing life through the window now only true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob left doing fine. See Thomas for today's message greetings in the name of our wonderful Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My name is Brian Thomas I want to wish everyone out there a very very Merry Christmas. We are in the Christmas season. This is the time in which we recognize and honor the fact that our great Lord Jesus Christ came to this earth. This fallen Earth.
He came in was born in a lowly manger and he lived a perfect sinless life, and he died in our place so that we could have the opportunity for eternal life and for that we are forever grateful that we praise him, we adore him we magnify the holy name of our great Lord and I'm just excited today about being in the Christmas season, as we are here to again recognize our great Savior Jesus Christ.
But you know the interesting thing is that there are some out there who profess to be Christians.
They say that we should not celebrate the birth of our massage. Yes they say that even though they are followers of Jesus Christ.
They say that we are in error for celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. So were going to look at it today. Should Christians celebrate Christmas. I want to draw your attention to the book of Matthew chapter 1 verse 21 and there we fine and she will bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins every year as we are approaching Christmas as we get to the holiday season of Thanksgiving we see this debate start to ignite a source to reignite every year.
This hot button topic concerning Christians and the celebration of Christmas and I remember as a young Christian. When I first heard about this years ago and heard people say will.
Should Christians celebrate Christmas and my reaction was what why should we not celebrate the birth of our Savior, but I took the time to look into the arguments for those who say that we should not celebrate, to find out what their concern was all about.
So as I did my research. They make the case that Christmas is derived from paganism and note things like the exchanging of gifts, the burning of the Yule Log.
The decorating of the tree. The medieval Dutch Santa Claus, which is where we get Santa Claus and of course the over-the-top ridiculous amount of commercialization that we see in the holiday today and of course they note that Christmas was birthed from the Roman Emperor Constantine will replace the worship of the sun god Mithra on December 25 with the worship of Jesus Christ so well as again. I researched this all over the years, these claims and I have found them to actually be true.
There are numerous pagan symbols used in the celebration of Christmas. Let's think about it for moment. If we throw Christmas away. We also dismissed Easter which I prefer to call resurrection day along with Sunday worship services and and we returned to the Old Testament practice of only celebrating the feast of the Lord. We must remember that to be a Christian means we are living under the grace of our Lord.
The impact of how we approach God's moral standard is clearly illustrated in Romans chapter 8, acts chapter 11 in the entire book of Hebrews now in this message. I cannot read through the mall, but I encourage all your time to go and read through those passages because there we find that we are free from the law was given to Moses and that is due to the fact that the law was a pointer to sin but cannot cleanse us because no one can meet that standard.
No one, but Jesus Christ, that is, Christ our Lord was God in the flesh, God in human form, he came as the perfect sacrifice, and fulfill the law. If you look at first Corinthians chapter 9 verse 22 we find there to those who are without low as without low not being without low toward God, but under low toward Christ that I might win those who are without low so thanks be to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We are no longer under the law of sin and death.
If you look at Romans chapter 8 verse two for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Now this is not give us a license to sin. As we look at Romans chapter 6 verses one through two because we have the freedom to worship our Lord beyond dues and don'ts, but it doesn't give us a license to sin. We also though have the freedom when it comes to celebrating holidays. Romans six verses one through two reads what shall we say then shall we continue in sin that grace may abound certainly not, how shall we who died to sin and live any longer in it. Now, many argue that Christ was likely born in the fall and not on December 25 and that is likely the case but doesn't really matter will, according to the apostle Paul does not because, in Romans 14, five through six. He writes one person esteems one day above another mother esteems every day alike. Ladies, be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord, and he who does not observe the day to the Lord.
He does not observe it so we find here that Paul was saying that living under grace gives us the freedom to give spiritual significance to any day we choose or choose not to do so. The apostle also warns that we do not have the right to judge and condemn those individuals for their choices. Look at Romans 14 verses 10 through 13, but why do you judge your brother or why do you show contempt for your brother, for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, for it is written as I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me and every tongue shall confess to God, so that each of us shall give account of himself to God.
Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way. So due to the fact that the Romans exchange gifts to celebrate the pagan festivals of Saturnalia. Does that mean Christians should not follow the example of the wise men who gave gifts to baby Jesus. Of course not. So we can follow the example of the Scriptures and give gifts as a celebration of our Lord in the same within the wise men do and also must point out that God gave the rainbow as a symbol and reminder that he will never again destroy the earth by fluid, we find that in Genesis chapter 9 verses 11 through 17, but as Satan often attempts to desecrate the things of God. He is influence those who want to practice a sexual lifestyle that is contrary to the Scriptures to claim it as their symbol. So does that mean that Christians should view the rainbow is evil. Absolutely not. We are instead to redeem it to his original meaning. So in the same way that I can celebrate the resurrection of Christ without participating in the pagan practice of the Easter Bunny and Easter eggs. I can also celebrate the birth of our massage without accepting the pagan symbols that Satan has attempted to taint the holiday with. We must not throw the baby out with the bathwater. If the Angels the shepherds in the heavenly host celebrated the birth of Christ. Why should we do the same so many that are asking, what are you talking about that the Angels and in the shepherds in the heavenly hosts turn your Bibles to Luke chapter 2. Let's look at verses eight through 20. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night, and behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel of the Lord said to them, do not be afraid, for behold 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. You will find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger subtly that was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God and saying, glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.
So it was when the Angels are gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that is come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us and they came with haste. I found Mary and Joseph and the babe lying in the manger.
Now when they had seen him. They made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this child and all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds but Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart, then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had seen, and as was told to them. So, did you see that folks here they are giving glory and honor and praise over the birth of this baby that was in the manger, which was Jesus Christ our God coming to this earth in the flesh, so is the shepherds, the Angels and the heavenly host if they all celebrated if they all said glory to God and then in peace and goodwill toward men. They are are are given praise and given adoration over this event that is taken place that truly happened in history. So if it is okay for them to do so. Why is it not okay for us today to recognize and to honor and to commemorate the birth of our Lord see that the question I have are you excited and thankful that Christ died for your sins because I'm excited and I'm thankful that he died for my sins very grateful because it if he had not died for our sins. We would all be headed for eternal suffering.
Since he had to be born before he could die. I will always rejoice.
I will always celebrate his birth. Regardless of when it actually occurred. I will not allow the great deceiver, Satan to stop me from honoring the birth of our Lord.
So I want to encourage those out there today want to say that we are not true Christians. The ones who say that we are wrong and that we are in error.
I want you to re-examine this thing. And again, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater will have to participate in the paganism that we see in the holiday we don't have to participate in the idolatry that we see in the holiday with people just focusing on spending a lot of money, even going into debt to buy gifts know that is not what is all about.
The reason for the season is Jesus Christ and we come to commemorate and to remember his birth because again he had to be born before he could die for our sins, and that is why we we just honor him and we we look forward to this day. Christmas in which we can honor our Lord in which we give him praise and we just adore him for all the great wonderful things that he's done coming to desert this fallen earth and standing in our place of the region have eternal life and he didn't have to do but he did it because of love and there's no greater love that can be found anywhere the love that we have in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
But the thing I want to make clear on is that I don't condemn those who choose not to celebrated if you feel in your heart that it is best that you not participate in the day, so be it. I'm not going to say that you're not saved, and I want to say that you're wrong, but in the same manner. I ask that you also respect those of us who do celebrate the day.
For those of us who do want to honor Lord for those of us who do want to remember his great birth. For those of us who have the excitement and the joy in being so grateful and thankful that he came to this earth to die for our seniors do not condemn us. Remember the words of the apostle Paul, which he said one Philistine one day one will not, but it does not mean to either of us are wrong. Celeste love one another. Let's not get divided over issues that are not salvific type of issues. Remember to keep our focus on the great love of our Lord Jesus and how he came and made a way so that we could have the opportunity for eternal life. We want to take a short break, but on the other side of the break going to come back and talk about a family living in my area right them all back door that aren't celebrating Christmas that are thankful for Christmas. There are some out there that have a problem with the way in which they are doing don't always go to into the conference program you're listening to Brian.more crying as God not all around the library.
There you will find articles and messages available and downloads on various topics such as salvation, marriage lesson is just to name a few. Also, sign up for our monthly newsletter and visit with God back to the golfers program. My name is Brian Thomas, and I am so honored that you have joined me today as we are looking at the topic of Christmas and should Christians celebrate Christmas you want to listen to this message in its entirety share with a friend. You can visit email@example.com you'll be the number one ST.org you can also write us at God first Bible Fellowship, PO Box 266, Knightdale, NC 27545.
Well, it is the Christmas season.
It is a time in which we recognize it is a time in which we celebrate the birth of our great and wonderful Savior Jesus Christ will hear my area in my own backyard. There's actually a Raleigh family in which they are celebrating Jesus Christ. Now they are doing so by displaying a cross at their home and what we found is that the homeowners association actually has a problem with this cross, so I want to lick you want to have you listen to this news soundbite from W. TBD.
The local ABC affiliate WTO W TBD 11 news and listen to this report concerning the facings and their battle with the homeowners association right now is for a Raleigh homeowner is battling his homeowners association over his Christmas decorations. The HOA telling him he needed to take down this cross and there is the reason why one North Raleigh family put updates across for their Christmas decorations, never thinking that it would ever cause a controversy during this time of year. Now they say it's a symbol of hope and not taking it down. Reason for the season or in HOA violation longer hold after putting it out right after Thanksgiving. We got a notice in the Maryland and it was just that short messaging space and his wife have lived in the community for five years this Christmas, a 6 foot cross in their yard to we believe that the cross is symbolic of salvation and deliverance that is so important that we have this cross Christmas and HOA believed it was a violation. Sending this letter thing. The class is not considered a Christmas decoration, but for Easter or Passover to be removed or pay $100 fine Merry Christmas refer.
When the patient's question violation, HOA respondent, they didn't mention anything in the bylaws.
They didn't say going look here in the bylaws. As far as as it relates to today join the community. This is the reason why they been saying those things, but they asked me to provide the biblical references despite the confusion, the facings provided biblical references to connect Christmas and the cross wasn't until I was contacted HOA they responded saying the cross can stay that the case is still under review HOA.
Residents love the community. Great community, nice neighbors and everything but the same time HOA what they have done the cross alone is either considered a Christmas decoration HOA said that it does have to be done within 2 to 4 weeks after the holiday dinner that 11 so as you heard Jane space and state.
During that interview with the local news affiliate that they view the cross as a sign of salvation is a sign of hope that is certainly what it represents or represents Jesus Christ and his death on the cross and also want to just mention that James basin is a personal friend of mine actually had him on the program a couple months ago wonderful man who has a wonderful wife, wonderful family and they are displaying the cross as a symbol to honor Jesus Christ at Christmastime but you can see here through this report that the homeowners Association has issued with the cross. So when the faces were questioned or over the facings question the violation I should say as you get here from the report, the homeowners association responded, asking for Scripture to connect the cross and Christmas, and despite their confusion. The faces provided biblical references to connect Christmas with the cross. Now people think about this for moment we are living in in an era in which their people asking the question, what does the cross have to do with Christmas.
What does the cross have to do a Christmas that is where we have arrived. Now Jesus Christ again came in was born in a manger live the perfect sinless life and was a perfect sacrifice that was required so that we could have eternal life in the way that he died was on the cross and so that should be obvious to anyone but we are in an era in which they are being challenged because of their faith in Jesus Christ and there their decision to display that by cross now. The statement reads, I want to share with read the statement in which the homeowners association wrote to the face and family. Quote I did share your response with the board of several members of the board are devout Christians, and are intimately familiar with the cross being the foundation for which Christianity is based. The cross represents the death of Jesus Christ who died for our sins so we could have eternal life. The Christmas season is associated with the birth of the Savior, such as nativity scenes would be appropriate representation of the season. The board believes that the Bible is very clear on the distinction between these two major events in Christ life on earth. The cross is appropriate for display during the Easter season but not as a decoration during the Christmas season, unless biblical references can be provided. Noting the cross as a symbol of the Christmas season for the board to reconsider the cross is not considered to be a Christmas decoration." That was the statement that the homeowners association sent to the face and family so it wasn't until eyewitness news, which is you just heard on the report that they contacted the homeowners association and then they said the cross can stay up, but the case is due under review photos. What this boils down to is the world does not want to admit that Christmas is about Jesus Christ is simply what it boils down to if you look at the word Christmas.
The root word is Christ can't have the word Christmas without Christ. It is all about Jesus Christ. That is why we say Jesus is the reason for the season and what was his purpose for coming to earth.
His purpose was to come and live a sinless life and be the sacrifice that was required so that we can have eternal life to die on what the cross and so the faces are simply displaying the crows to recognize that to to remember that to commemorate the sacrifice that our Lord made the homeowners association says no Christmas is about. It is about his birth and they don't want to recognize anything related to the cross. And you know as over the years I have heard and listen to people talk about Christmas. I've even found their atheists that celebrate Christmas because they know there's something special about it, heard an 80 is on a radio program years ago and the hose was was challenging him and he was asking the question will why do you celebrate Christmas. If you are an atheist because atheists believe there is no God. And so the man responded. He said well you know is just the a joyous time of year. Just where everybody is loving each other in given gifts and just having a great time. Was he deep down inside that atheist knows there is a God deep down inside that it is knows that the God of the Bible is the supreme creator and that that God of the Bible came to the earth in the form of a man and die for our sins. See they don't want to admit that because they don't want to follow the rules of God. They want to live their own life. They want to do their own things they wanted to live in Siena so they don't want to recognize the fact that he truly years.
God, the sovereign one who was above all things deep down inside they know he exists and that is something special about the Christmas season and therefore they participate.
The Bible says that they will come when all who have ever live will bow the knee and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, but we see the hostility towards the cross we see the hostility towards Jesus Christ. Because Satan is influencing people to be rebellion against him this season is about our Lord and I commend James face and his family for display in the cross for standing firm of I've known for number of years.
He's always been one whose then strong on the faith and does not compromise not just applaud what he is doing in standing for the faith, and recognizing the cross is a symbol of Jesus Christ withers that Christmas where there is that resurrection day weather is at any time of the year. The cross represents the sacrifice of our great Lord we are forever great forever grateful for that sacrifice.
The book of Matthew chapter 2 verses 11 verse 11. The B clause reads and when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to him gold, frankincense and myrrh. So you ask yourself the question why these specific gifts when they are highly symbolic because the goal speaks of the sovereign dominion of God.
Jesus Christ was God in the flesh, and he was born 18 then we see the frankincense which symbolizes his sinless deity. He is God in human flesh and then the murderer represents his sacrificial death. He was born to die so that we might live. So we see the text.
Even at his birth in which there were indicators of his impending death, even as he came in the manger, because they gave her murder as a preparation to point to his sacrificial death is so the cross is offensive to many. The blood of Jesus Christ is offensive to many.
But had it not been for that she had blood had it not been for him going to the cross. Had it not been for him coming out of a perfect heaven leaving all the great wonders and splendors.
As the apostle Paul says eyes are not seen in years of not heard the great and wonderful things fall who have their their faith and trust in Jesus Christ for all who believe in him and accept him as Lord and Savior. He left all of that and came to this fallen world, where they had to be suffering with her had to be paying, but he did it because he loves us. He did it because he didn't want us he doesn't want us to go to eternal damnation.
He did it so we could have the opportunity for eternal life, and therefore the cross is a symbol of the birth of our great and wonderful Lord, I want to encourage you today foiling for any out there who have not yet accepted him as Lord and Savior.
Give your heart to Jesus Christ. Don't listen to the devil's deceptions, in which he tries to tell you. You've done too much wrong he will never accept you the blood of Jesus Christ can and we'll wash away all sins.
If you would just give it to him and say Lord Jesus. I confess that I'm a sinner I repent. I profess you as my Lord and Savior, and you two could have eternal life is that simple folks, it is really and truly that simple. It is a free gift. He came, he was the best gifts that has ever been known to man. The birth of Jesus Christ coming and in being born in a lowly manger and the thing about it folks he's coming back again. He didn't just come one time. The theme of the story, but the Bible says he coming back another time second time but is coming back to rule and reign on desert is coming to judge all who have rejected him as Savior someone encourage you today. Give your heart to Jesus. The time is near.
He said that you would see the signs and we look around the world. We see the things that I will lose it would be indicators of his second coming and therefore I feel truly in my heart that we are the generation that was see the Lord cracked this God is in a come back and rule and reign on this earth and I get excited about it because he is coming back and there's going to be perfect peace is going to be nothing but joy. No more sickness no more death, no more pain when our Lord comes to set up his great and wonderful earthly kingdom will folks I want to thank you for joining me this week. Remember Jesus Christ is the reason for the season. Please come back and join us again next time unsealed and remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, bless God's great nation of Israel, and so the only wise God be glory through Jesus Christ, forever Mary Christmas to all a myth.
You can blame God for Ryan and I first was protected under our copyright is firstname.lastname@example.org until next time great nation of Israel first