This is my Christmas message I gave to my Aviation Class at Central Washington University, 2001.


 

I have edited and updated it a bit, here:

 

 

WHAT YOU DIDN'T GET FOR CHRISTMAS

 

PART 1

 

This is December, 2010. The designation is recognized almost everywhere in the civilized world.

 

What do we mean, "2010?" Well, of course, that means "2010 anno domini," or the "year of our Lord, 2010." The world's calendar, in other words, is based on

 

the honor of the entry into the world of a Man known to most as "Jesus Christ."[1]

 

So, when we speak of Christ, or of Christianity, we aren't talking about a “religion.” We are talking about the central fact of all history, that the whole civilized

 

world, whether it likes it or not, is firmly aware of and has recognized.  And the following are not religious beliefs; they are facts from the best ancient history

 

records in existence[2]. If the following are not facts, then as Napoleon said, “history is all so much bunk:”

 

     His coming was announced by the Hebrew prophets since the beginning of man[3].

 

               The moment of His birth was announced by angels and prophets[4], and accompanied by astronomical signs[5].

 

               Thousands of hopelessly sick people came to Him, and "He healed them all![6]

 

               He completely controlled animals, men, weather, and space and time around Him.[7]

 

                He already knew, intimately, people He had never met[8].

 

 

               He raised the dead back to life.

 

               He claimed to be God[9]; and the Scriptures and the men who knew Him agree.

 

   He fulfilled the prophecies about the coming Messiah (that is, The Christ) to the exact date and day of the week.

 

               He was murdered on the exact day specified in the prophets.[10]

 

   Accompanying His murder was three hours of total darkness over all the world, attested to by secular history, and which was 

 

   lifted by His words at the end: "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani."[11]

 

               He returned to life on the third day, attested to by over 500 people still living 15 years afterward[12].

 

               A large crowd saw Him leave the earth, alive, from a mountain top, with the promise that He would return in the same way[13].

 

The world remembers, in spite of all the efforts made by rulers, churches, universities, foundations, scientists, historians, journalists, teachers, and armies, to

 

eradicate His record through the ages since.

 

A higher caliber of men than these, in general, have been the great scientists of the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries. Men like Isaac Newton (the

 

"father of modern mechanics," inventor of the calculus, etc), Louis Pasteur, Blaise Pascal, Galileo, Robert Boyle, Michael Faraday, Lord Kelvin, Johannes

 

Keppler (the "father of modern astronomy"), etc, were, even more than they were scientists, men who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and were therefore avid

 

Bible students and scholars[14].

 

“The Star of Bethlehem”

(Which had nothing to do with Bethlehem, and probably was not a star)

 

 

Bible students know that the Magi (wise men) didn't actually follow the Star from the East, contrary to the popular ideas. The star wasn't even in the sky while 

 

they were traveling, It had  been long gone for two years[15]. Further, even if it were in the sky, they were not following its position; but rather they were

 

traveling in the direction OPPOSITE from its position; they were traveling WEST. And it didn’t lead them to Bethlehem; they went, rather, to Jerusalem, (the 

 

logical place to find out where the Child would have been born), and they were asking where the Child was. Also, there was no spectacular object in the sky 

 

prior to their arrival, or Herod wouldn't have had to ask them about it. Its spectacularness would only exist to those who, unlike the masses of people, studied 

 

such things and saw their significance. The "star" was probably seen by everyone in the countries around; but only such as the magi would have seen any 

 

significance in it.

 

 

However, the Lord did a "rerun" of the star for them as they left Jerusalem to find the Child, in Matthew 2:9‑‑‑an absolute miracle, and the magi were extremely excited; it guided them to exactly the HOUSE (not manger, as the shepherds had found 2 years earlier) where the Child (Grk. pais ‑‑‑ not the word for
 an infant)
was with his mother (Joseph was apparently not present when they arrived).

 

Our “Christmas” scenes show the shepherds and the wise men visiting the Lord together with all the animals at the manger. The shepherds visited the Lord on

 

the day of His birth, at the manger, in Bethlehem; but the magi visited Him 2 years later, in a house, which most likely was nowhere near Bethlehem[16]. Our

 

songs say “we three kings of orient are. . .” but there weren’t three of them; they weren’t kings; nor were they from the orient[17].

 

The story of the Birth and the Shepherd's visit is found in Luke 2; that of the Magi's visit is found in Matthew 2. They did not occur at the same time, not even in

 

the same year, nor at the same place. There is no statement in the Bible that the Lord was even at Bethlehem16 when the magi found Him. Some commentators,

 

missing the point, and faced with the following "difficulty," declare definitely that He could not have been, in fact: shortly after the shepherd's visit (8 days), the

 

Family returned to their home, about 75 miles to the north, in Nazareth, of Galilee, it tells us in Luke. However, following the magi's visit, the Family fled in the

opposite direction, about 80 miles to the southwest, to Egypt, because of the threat of Herod.

 

And the most likely place where the magi actually found Him would have been in Nazareth, of Galilee.  Unless their visit occurred during the annual Passover

 

season (Luke 2:41), the Family would most likely have been at their home in Nazareth.  This would mean that the magi made a trip of  like 700 miles to

 

Jerusalem, and then 75 miles to Nazareth, and then another 700 miles back to their home for something like 1500 miles in all for their visit.

 

 

“The Meaning of Christmas”

 

Just as the world has everything wrong about the shepherds and the star of Bethlehem, so also it has everything wrong about the meaning of Christmas. 

 

And as is true of every person who, like myself, believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, I have the command and awesome responsibility from God to tell every person

 

I ever meet about “the meaning of Christmas.”[18]

 

Usually we are told that the meaning of Christmas is that the Lord Jesus was born to bring “peace on earth . . .” whatever that might mean.  But He Himself

 

said, “Think ye that I am come to bring peace into the world?  I tell you NAY! But a sword!  . . .”

 

Again and again and again the Bible tells the primary reason why He came into the world: “The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” 

 

--- Luke 19:10

 

1.            What does He mean, “that which was lost?” 

 

It means a person who is lost to God[19]. It means a person who does not believe, a person who is under the condemnation of his sins, a person who is

 

headed for Hell[20], rather than Heaven[21]. It means the vast majority of people on earth[22].   Not knowing you, personally: statistically, it

 

probably means you.[23]

 

2.            How does He save those who are lost?  God has promised that the soul of any person who sins would die[24]. Just as the FAA promised each

 

of you in this classroom that any who make less than an 80 will flunk the whole year’s course, God has promised that “the wages of sin is death.” “The

 

soul that sinneth, It shall DIE” --- meaning the description given in the above footnotes.  He describes all men, before He has saved them, as “dead in

 

trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).

 

For any person to escape the punishment of sin, he must be  innocent of the sin.  There are two ways to be innocent of a crime:

 

               a.               To not commit the crime, or

 

               b.               To be pardoned of the crime.

 

We can certainly forget the first possibility.  “Behold, even the heavens are not pure in His sight!  How much less man, that drinketh in iniquity like water,

 

day after day!”  Another great misconception people of the world have is that “good people go to Heaven; bad people go to Hell!” It has nothing to do

 

with whether we’re “good or bad.” Because, in His sight, “all have sinned, and fallen short of the  glory of God.” Because He has said, "There is not a

 

just man on the earth."  Because He has said, "Except your righteousness shall exceed that of the scribes and the Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter

 

into the Kingdom of Heaven."  Ours does not, as any study of those people will show.  Because He said, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die!"

 

    

            The only possibility is the second one; and THAT is how He saves those who believe.

 

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His onlybegotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” 

 

--- John 3:16

 

The Gospel by which we are saved is that “Christ died for our sins, according to the Bible, and He rose again the third day, according to the Bible.  If we

 

believe, REALLY BELIEVE that, we will call on Him: “Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.” - Romans 10:13.

 

“If you believe, in your heart, and confess with your mouth, that Jesus is Lord (God), and that God hath raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” 

 

--- Romans 10:9-10.

 

It’s been good to have had you in class, and to have gotten to know some of you a little bit.  May you find all the best God has for you, and wants to give

 

you, forever.  Give heed to Him --- get into His Word, theBible!

 

Bob

 

Christ Died to Save You

 


[1] The confusion and controversy about the actual date of His birth doesn’t change the point at all. (I have been persuaded that it was in the Jewish month of Tishri, the 15th day, of 7BC. Because that was The Feast of Tabernacles date, which was prophetic of His incarnation {John 1:14}; and because that’s astronomically the date that what must have been the “star” appeared {Matthew 2:16})

 

[2] The Bible contains none of the scientific nonsense, self contradictions, mythology, geographical, archeological, and other historical inaccuracies that characterize every other ancient literature.  It is written in simple journalistic form.  It predicted ancient world empires by name hundreds of years before they existed, the natures of those empires, and did the same regarding individual men. It is vastly superior to any other ancient writing in existence --- too superior to be explained on any natural basis.

 

[3] Isaiah 9:6, Micah 5:2, Isaiah 53, Genesis 3:15, Genesis 49:10, etc.

[4] Luke 2:11‑14, Matthew 2 (see text discussion following), Luke 2:25‑38.

[5] Matthew 2:2,16

 

[6] Matthew 12:15, Luke 6:19.

[7] Luke 19:29‑48, John 6:15‑21.

[8] John 1:43-51; 2:24-25; Psa 139.

 

[9] John 8:58, 24.  If you don’t know that He is God, you don’t know Him. See footnote 9, and endnote.

 

[10] The fourteenth day of the Jewish month, Nisan (Friday, Apr. 3, AD 33) --- Exodus 12:6, Lev. 23.  See, for more detail, study of “The Seventy Weeks.”

 

[11] Not an "eclipse." This occurred at the time of the Paschal full moon, when an eclipse is scientifically impossible. 

And eclipses are local in effect, not world wide, as secular historical references indicate this event was.

11  1 Cor. 15:6

 

[13] Acts 1:9-11

 

[14] Every person who belongs to the Lord, every person who really believes, every person who is headed for Heaven, is avidly into the Bible, as those scientists I list were:

 

“. . .but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish “ --- John 10:27-28. “If they hear not Moses and the Prophets, neither will they believe, even if one come back from the dead.” --- Luke 16:31. “When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on all those who know not God, that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ . . .”

2 Thessalonians 1:7-8

Etc.

 

[15] Matthew 2:16 directly states so, as does the whole understanding of the story.

 

[16]The family had no reason whatever to be in Bethlehem after the Lord’s birth.  The only reason they were there for the birth was because of Augustus’ decree, affecting Joseph since he was of the Royal line of David. And the Bible repeatedly emphasizes that they had no connections in Bethlehem, which was why they ended up in a manger, rather than with relatives, or even friends, with whom they otherwise would have stayed.

 

[17] It’s pretty likely that they were the descendents of the caste of the magi whose lives were saved by God through Daniel, in the story in Daniel 2. The Grk, “magoi” is the same as in the Septuagint (the Greek version of the OT in use at the time of our Lord) of Daniel 2. If anyone’s interested, I have pages of stuff from studies on these things from the past 20-30 years of fascinated studying of them.  bwmeyers@toast.net

 

[18] “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel unto every creature . . .” --- Matthew 28:18-20.

 

[19] 2 Cor. 4:3, John 17:12, etc.

 

[20] When you’re dealing with an infinite God (and you ARE!), you’re dealing with infinite consequences: And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:12-15.  This is what is meant by “the lost.” There is nothing in all the literature of man more awful than this:

 

“And the smoke of their torment riseth up for ever and for ever.”

 

[21] “The eye has never seen, nor the ear heard, nor has entered into the imagination of any man, the things that God hath prepared for them that love Him.”  1 Cor. 2:9

 

[22] Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. --- Matthew 7:13-14.

 

[23] “Go in through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are the ones who go through it. For narrow is the gate, and constricted is the way that leads away into life, and few are the ones who find it.”  --- Matthew 7:13-14.

 

[24] Ezekiel 18:4,20