It's Christmas time, a time for celebrating the life of Jesus Christ, our Savior. While it's doubtful that He was born on Dec. 25th, we do, however, know why He was born and when He died...and why. While everybody is opening presents from Santa and enjoying time with family, we must never forget that Jesus laid down his life so that we might have life everlasting. Are you willing to go that far for Him?
Are you willing to lay down your life so that Jesus word might survive in America? It may come to that. There is a growing antipathy toward Christians in this country and we must all determine what side we will be on. This life is a test, nothing more...a test to determine where you will spend eternity. There are two choices; the easy, comfortable one and one that is much more difficult. It's easy to say "Yes, I'm a Christian." But, it's far more difficult to be one. It's easy to embrace the pop-culture Jesus and a watered down version of Christianity being proffered in churches where all one has to do is claim kinship to Jesus and declare "I'm Saved!" But, that's not Christianity.
Christianity is about how you choose to live your life. The Bible talks about "the narrow way." The narrow way is never the easy way despite what many preachers tell us. The Joel Osteens and Benny Hinns of the world lure people away from the Word, offering them an easy way to salvation. In James, the Bible tells us that "faith without works is dead." The Bible also tells us that "man cannot serve two masters." Will you serve God or mammon?
In II Thessalonians God talks of a "Great Delusion" that he will set forth upon men. This delusion is saved by faith alone. This is called Luther's revelation and was, in fact, a political ploy by the Venetians to cause dissent among 100,000 German lancers that were closing in on the city. This "vision" was given to Luther courtesy of one Gasparo Contarini, a high ranking political figure in Venice.
We are saved by Grace and by Faith, but not alone. In Isaiah it says that "I will turn your heart of stone into one of flesh...and I will make you Israel." The word Israel does not refer to a country- it means literally wrestles with God. Or in common parlance, one with God. Therefore, being one with God would naturally change one's behavior. If one is to be a Christian, it is not enough to say you're a Christian...you have to act as one.
There is a saying that Satan's greatest accomplishment was convincing mankind he doesn't exist. I say his greatest accomplishment was getting people of faith to fight amongst themselves. As Christians, we must never forget that we are on the same side- Catholics, Methodists, Baptists... For Christianity to survive we must stop fighting amongst ourselves, or Satan wins. Because we are divided, pop-culture has taken over. The Joel Osteens sell a feel-good brand of Christianity that is easy to do. Christianity is difficult. If you are not willing to live or die for Christ...you are not a Christian. Merry Christmas!