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TNG The Story of Christmas

Truth For a New Generation / Alex McFarland
The Truth Network Radio
December 29, 2018 9:03 am

TNG The Story of Christmas

Truth For a New Generation / Alex McFarland

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December 29, 2018 9:03 am

TNG 12-23-18 The Story of Christmas by Truth for a New Generation

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Best-selling author, speaker and advocate for Christian apologetics Dr. Alex McFarland, best-selling author and apologist Dylan Burroughs together bringing you truths for a new generation. This is TMG radio.

The Christmas story. Only the Lord knows how many songs, poems, paintings, how many wonderful works of art, literature and music have been birthed by the Christmas story. The story of Christ's birth and today on TMG radio were going to talk about the story on which all other stories are based welcome to the program Alex McFarland. Dylan Burroughs so gradually this and I want to read a Scripture from Luke chapter 2 but out.

Dylan, first of all let me say is this show begins and is a year and incredibly busy year of events, publishing and broadcasting winds to a close how thankful I am for you. All of our board and staff and there's a lot we could say but Dylan Merry Christmas good to be with you around the microphone and thanks for all that you bring to the ministries of truth for a new generation a Merry Christmas to you too Alex and it's been an exciting year ministries you mentioned, we are now starting our second year truth for new generation radio and reaching the next generation of young people with the gospel of Christ and equipping them with the Christian worldview.

There's been no greater time and no greater need in our nation's history to equip the next generation, the now so it's been a thrill to see that happen over the past 12 months and looking forward to what God does in 2019, and ahead and for all those listening and all those who been partnering with us in praying.

We thank you and encourage you to join us today as we talk about the true reason for the season.

The birth of Jesus Christ, absolutely, absolutely. You know him as I turned to Luke chapter 2. It's interesting it Christmas people get a little bit introspective, sometimes they think about memories in the journey that been on it really is astounding. The journey that this ministry is been on over the last couple of years in terms of our events and people accepting Christ and even as we speak. One of our gospel booklets is being put into Spanish and right now in El Salvador is being printed 100,000 copies. I don't know if I've even told you about this album to bring this up at our board meeting next week, but we've got 100,000 Spanish language gospel booklets going out in El Salvador. You and I finished the book this year that will be out in the spring of 2019. The conferences, but you know regardless of all the myriad of things God's called us to do. There's one message and it's the message that for 2000 years. The church is proclaimed Jesus Christ, and it was the message of the angels in Luke chapter 2 and we give God the glory folks we give God the glory. But let me read this from verse eight of Luke two and following Mrs. Heather were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night and load the angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them and they were sore afraid. And the angel said under them, fear not for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you, you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger and suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying Luke 214, and we say it is well glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men. Dylan I guess that Luke passage Luke two is not only some of the most well-known Scripture from the Bible. Those are probably some of the most famous words most often repeated words in all of history aren't they. They may be. And it's interesting. I was talking just this past Sunday night with a group of high school guys about their favorite Christmas movies and they had their favorites whether his buddy the L4 weather is polar express area, but I always think of the Charlie Brown Christmas and as I think about the Charlie run Chris is one thing I love is that it includes the real story of what Christmas means these very verses you talked about that Linus says from the stage and I love the still to this day many places you can watch that on television or watch it on a DVD or streaming on video and hear the real message of Jesus and pretrade in a way that anyone of any age can appreciate a man amen. You know, we are recording this well I at least am in Greensboro North Carolina and grown up in grade school, Dylan. We learned about a man named William Sidney Porter, Henry, and many people will know about Henry. He he wrote a number of things. But probably the most famous Emmy this is a worldwide famous stories been put in many languages. The gift of the Magi and it's a story about a young couple there very deeply in love that they were financially poor and so Christmas is coming and they sacrifice to give a gift to each other and the husband sells an heirloom pocket watch in order to buy his wife a set of columns for her beautiful hair and you know it like 100 years ago. That would make these combs in these hairpins out of tortoiseshell or pearl or something. They're very expensive and the wife. Her hair was her pride and joy, but she caught it and sold her hair in order to buy the husband a gold chain for his beloved pocket watch and the point of the Henry story was that selfless love was demonstrated in their actions and when I was a kid this story the gift of the Magi frustrated me and I knew it was really famous we studied it in school. We went downtown to the museum to see where O. Henry this famous iconic writer wrote but but it really took me years of grappling with the story. I thought well you know he sacrifices for her. She sacrifices for him, but they both end up with a gift that can't do the other in a good and then I began to realize that you know Henry was renowned for his surprise endings, but the. The ultimate act of sacrifice on which of Henry story was based was the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the son of God and that the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament points to a number of things about salvation message how that the son of God would come the perfect righteous sinless son of God, and he would come and he would show love like had never been displayed. He would teach truth and in fact even in his day. They said never man spake like this Dylan. I was on the phone earlier today with our friend Michael Acuna renowned New Testament historian and Mike said this, that there's not a scholar in the world, a reputable scholar, even nonbelievers. There's not a scholar in the world that doesn't recognize that Jesus was viewed as a worker of miracles in his own lifetime. So here's this perfect righteous sinless son of God who does miracles even renowned recognized in his lifetime, and yet Isaiah 53, seven, said that he would be led like a lamb to the slaughter, so we got up a way for a break, but Christmas is the ultimate example of how God can solve an insoluble dilemma. The Catch-22 that can't be fixed. God can fix it. And Christmas is a promise of that stick with this will be right back a ton more about the true meaning of Christmas here on truth for new generation Christians don't necessarily agree with one another when it comes to questions of religious pluralism, homosexuality, the role of government proportioned in war. Too often, we manage these disagreements by ignoring them, yet were called to engage the world for the sake of Christ.

How can we be effective if we avoid society's most pressing questions in 10 issues that divide Christians Alex McFarlane challenges us to drill down to the biblical core of 10 current issues such as social justice evil and suffering, photography, and environmentalism as he echoes the biblical invitation, this reason together only by engaging the Scriptures deeply thinking clearly and speaking truthfully can we, in God's family address our differences and discover the peace that comes with unity of purpose. 10 issues that divide Christians find this book and many If you're a Christian parent, you will of course want to instill a biblical view of life in the hearts of your children, your pastor, you want to offer ministry that draws young families to your church. This is Alex McFarlane encouraging you to check out my new book and video curriculum. The 21 toughest questions your kids will ask about Christianity. I interviewed hundreds of children ages 5 to 12 and we address actual questions from actual children. The spiritual issues that are on the minds of your kids the book and video lessons are great for groups of any size and was produced with the goal of equipping kids to stand strong for Christ in any situation.

The 21 toughest questions your kids will ask the book study guide and video series.

You'll find that AFA and Como, and many will and ransom captive Israel that mourns in lonely exile here until the son of God appear very famous song. There based on Isaiah 714. The course I love, rejoice, rejoice. Emmanuelle shall come to the O Israel, welcome back to TMG radio, this is a Christmas program were talking about the story of Christmas, which is really the story on which all other great stories are based Dylan a few years ago there was an article I read about you know now that we are solidly into the 21st century almost 2 decades into the 21st century there were talking about throughout world history the greatest stories, even things like Les Miserables or Moby Dick or the Sistine Chapel, or the great Symphony's Canon in D the great works of music past and present. Art, literature, music, sculpture, regardless of the media. The greatest most beloved most iconic works in history that have inspired the imagination lifted the soul and lifted the emotions and and frankly contributed to the betterment of the human condition. The majority more than 80% are based on biblical themes is not interesting how so many of our beloved stories are really drawn from the story which is the story of God so loving the world that he sent his son.

I think that's a point that needs to be noted. Would you agree yes it is very interesting when you observe the structure of modern films, even how many of our superhero films are based on this special chosen one who comes in. Stanley has special powers yes and is defeated but comes back from the dead. In some miraculous way and sometimes even ascends often to the sky at the end he think of the end of matrix. For example, to give one older example or illustration, but also many of the Marvel films do the same type of plot line where it's based on this idea of a coming one who would give themselves for others and be the special chosen one, or in biblical terms, the Messiah, as Jesus Christ is here at the Christmas season I was doing research for a book I was writing and it was. The question was Superman Jewish and if this was not being flippant or anything like that.

It wasn't a joke. This is a very serious scholarly book and it looked at all the superheroes, like you mentioned the Marvel heroes and just recently the world mourned the passing of Stan Lee who made so many of his hearers very very messianic.

Yes.we love stories you know I think about the Green mile, which is a film a lot of people love John coffee was kind of the hero's savior of that film and certainly it wasn't lost on movie viewers that his initials JC were like Jesus Christ. What we say about the art end of the literature and the music and the stories that seem to really stir our soul. I think it's it's because of this objective reality known to all people that there is a need for a Savior we are waiting on the hero to write up on a white horse and save the damsel in distress and even the book of Revelation talks about the return of the King, Christ the King will return, and he'll come on a white stallion. He left on a donkey that is an amazing talk about story I was an English major in my first go-round of college, and I do love stories there that there was a donkey at the birth of Christ. There was a donkey at the end of Christ's life. Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem.

Mary and Joseph fleeing to Egypt to escape the killing of the innocents by Herod. Then in Zechariah 13 Palm Sunday, Christ is on his way to the cross. He comes as a man of peace on a donkey at the beginning of Christ earthly ministry at the end it was a donkey, but he when he returns it will not be as a suffering servant, it will be as a victorious king, and he will come on a white horse and the book of Isaiah I mentioned before the break, it says that in Isaiah 53 five by his stripes we are healed and first Peter 224 references that I think about this seven centuries nearly 8 centuries before the birth of Christ Isaiah amazingly betrays the scenes from Christ's life that we would later read about in the Gospels, born of a virgin, Isaiah 714, Luke 134.

He would be God incarnate. That's Isaiah 96 and we see that in Mark 1461 and John 1033, 33, he would be beaten beyond recognition.

Even before being put to death on the cross. Isaiah 5214 Matthew 2726 through 31, and so the good news is great news.

How that God so loved the world that he would lay down his life for each one of us and I hope your family is celebrating this. I hope you're you're planning to be in church and go to a Christmas Eve service utilize this time to bring an unsaved friend or young person under the sound of the gospel and Dylan if you can tell that I'm pretty enraptured and just so committed to all that is Christmas. It's because it is truly the greatest story ever told yes, and it's interesting and families at many times that manger scene or that nativity that you look at is a big part of the Christmas story and we look at it as the cuddly animals and the shepherds and the wise men, but for Jesus it would been a time of humiliation.

He was born in a manger, a place where animals would come and we see that again in his death to give a parallel that he died on the cross, a place where criminals would be put to death so he came in humility, but he was also humiliated that his life on earth, but then he came proved himself as the risen son of God will come again is king.

So when encourage people that often we see this is the story of the baby Jesus cute, meek and mild, but the truth is he came and humbled himself as a servant, as Philippians 2 speaks about even to the point of death on the cross.

Why did he do this he did it for you. He did it for me.

He did it to give us eternal life, and life abundantly. The story of Christmas is much more than wise men are angels or shepherds or even Mary and Joseph. It's about the baby in the manger, who was and is the Messiah, Jesus Christ, you, it is amazing the shepherds the lowliest cast of society and then the wise men rich leaders from Persia Jews Gentile the lowly the elevated for all people. Christ came and it is the greatest story ever told. And so he did it in love for the world and he did it and love for you and we've got to take a break. This is TMG radio stated we have another segment to wrap up as we talk about the story on which all other stories are based the story of Jesus stated as we take a break, let me tell you about 310 three books that will answer questions that come your way from others or even yourself about the Christian faith book number 110 answers for skeptics today.

Skeptics are looking for authenticity, integrity, and straightforward faith in this book you will learn how to answer intimidating questions. Identify the roof issues behind those questions and dismantled the spiritual bombshell dropped by nonbelievers. Those usually end up just being a puff of smoke, number 210 answers for atheists were Alex looks at the philosophical assumptions at the root of atheism and agnosticism exposing logical historical and conceptual fallacy. Alex shares clear explanations of beliefs and biblical answers to those questions that often leave you stumped, but no more in number three. The 10 most common objections to Christianity and how to answer the no many Christians hear these objections and have a crisis of faith, but Alex and Dylan have been around.

They visited many places and talked with many people through the years and could offer straight answers that will give you confidence and understanding about your beliefs, so the 310s once again 10 answers for skeptics 10 answers for atheists and the 10 most common objections to Christianity and how to answer find them wherever Christian books are sold for Alex is a group more than $1 trillion in purchasing power by 2025 will comprise 75% of the workforce, so employers are watching the millennial's losing our faith is watching GMAC's for millennial's by millennial a closer walk with Jesus because above all, God is watching Nothing is going on Christmas day, the tidings of comfort and you will and comfort and joy that is a great tidings of the birth of Jesus Merry Christmas everyone will collect the radio.

I do remind you that we have a big big 2019 ahead of us with at least five citywide events and so much more advanced broadcasting, publishing to try to evangelize the lost and equip the saved we give God the glory for all it is doing. We would ask you to pray for this ministry to stay tuned. You can visit out one of the websites is truth for a new that's truth to our UT HFO war truth for a new there's an app also works on all mobile devices regardless the type of mobile device. You've got and we are in the very first quarter going to be doing some major major updates to the websites and the apps posting articles content so stay up to speed with what God is doing. When we come to your town or near your city. I try to come out and I do want to remind everybody that I will be at the Cove, the Billy Graham training center at the Cove in Asheville March 22-24. I'll be doing Daniel and Revelation Bible prophecy. We would love to see you come out and love to meet you. So wherever you are in America. The Cove is just so beautiful very very affordable world-class accommodations. The greatest food you ever eat and together will open up the word of God and look at Bible prophecy, and their website is the will Dylan as we look at this, the story on which all of the stories are based the story of the cross. I used to also.

Not only was I sort of pondering the O. Henry this surprise ending of gift of the Magi. I used to also scratch my head a little bit on Isaiah 5310 it says in Isaiah 5310 that it pleased the father to bruise him literally mean to crush him. And here is the one that in Matthew 17. The voice from heaven says this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. Hear him. And yet Jesus was rejected, despised, falsely accused was beaten was whipped ripped his beard out by the roots ultimately nailed across the most vicious brittleness treatment of the sinless son of God and yet it says it please the father to bruise him in the heavenly father was pleased in all this happening. Have you ever like pondered on that Dylan. How could the father have been pleased at the the treatment received by his son in this world riding even here skeptics to get to that next level saying that God is somehow abusive of his son like that is an equivalent that fits but this is nothing like what we see in Isaiah 5310. We see it please the father to bruise him or to literally crush him. It's an idea that there is a greater plan involved than just having Jesus coming to earth and being born in a manger. His life was to fulfill many prophecies, including those in Isaiah 53 in which he would live and suffer and die and be resurrected to prove himself as the Messiah, the Christ, the son of God as part of a larger plan that God had for his life and it's a good time to point out the fact that God is not promise us a pain-free life when he calls us to live for him. It sometimes involves persecution and sometimes involves suffering. It sometimes involves pain. We are not called to a carefree existence.

We are called to follow Jesus to be like his example. No matter how difficult it may be at times and know that God has a greater plan that includes his love for us. You know that's true that's true, and in Isaiah 52 it's talking about the Savior, the son of God, and it says in the King James.

He will sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths at him they will hear what they were not told, they will see what they have not known now, some skeptics will say okay will.

It doesn't say sprinkle has in the blood of Christ. Sprinkling. Although many people have preached on that and and I agree that that is what he did he shed his blood to wash our sins away. Some translations say he will startle many nations well either one works and people have shut their mouths at Christ. They have been confounded in the GK Chesterton in his book orthodoxy.

He talked about how he found Christ and he said you know and this was 100 years ago Chesterton was reading the critics and some said he was you know too much Jewish and not enough Gentile and then to Gentile and not enough Jewish and he was too much this and not enough that and Chesterton said it hit me like a bolt out of the blue. Maybe Jesus was just right. Maybe it was Jesus who was saying and all the critics were mad or crazy and and he said it hit me like a bolt out of the blue. Jesus was just right. In fact, perfect.

Not just a good man but the God man. Jesus was not merely one who spoke for God. Jesus spoke as God, and we bring all this out now because it is the greatest story ever. And not only that, not think about brace yourself prophesied coming born in a manger. King yet humbling himself to be born among the animals were lambs are raised, and he would be called the Lamb of God, and he would give his life here is that the thing that is just so amazing. Not only is it a good story a great story a personal story. It's a real story. It really did happen. Second Peter 116. We have not followed cleverly devised fables and so the good news of Christmas. Dylan and I know Christmas can be a hard time for some people and and dear friends, we want to say and love. We are praying for you. We thank God for you. Maybe there's an empty chair at your table this year and maybe a beloved family member has gone on. Or maybe you're in the middle of things that are pretty tough right now. The great thing about Christmas and Christ is that his love and his restoration and his forgiveness and his soon return and the, the reconciliation of all things. It is reality Dylan.

I think the greatest truth of Christmas is that there is something wonderful coming and it its eternity with the Savior in the joys of heaven for for all who will believe me, the greatest part about Christmas is that in Jesus. It is really really real.

Yes, we don't only look back to the manger and Jesus as a baby in the manger. We look forward to is coming again, and our eternity with him as followers of Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas again from everybody treat for any generation radio. We look forward to being with you next time. Thanks so much truth for a new generation in association with Alex McFarland evangelistic ministries exists to equip Christians with the biblical worldview through conferences and camps for information about upcoming events visit for a new or give us a call at 877 yes God one that's 877 yes, God, and the number one TMG radio is made possible by the friends of Alex McFarland evangelistic ministries PO Box 10231, Borough, NC 27404. That's PO Box 10231, North Carolina 27404. Give or truth for a new Thanks for listening and join us again next time. As we bring you more true for a new generation on TMG radio

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