Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Christmas Crisis (printable tract included)

(Note: this is the content of a tract that can be printed out for sharing.)

No, this is not about the crisis some people feel regarding how to greet others during the Christmas season. It doesn’t matter whether people say, “Seasons Greetings”, “Happy Holidays”, or “Merry Christmas”. It is just a holiday after all.

Rather, this is about the crisis every one faces when confronted with the question: What must I do about the Christ?

You see, the Christ is a person, not a season. Even though the historical event of the Christ coming into our world took place two millennia ago, everyone living today still needs to know what we must do in relation to him, and what he did for us while he was here.

No matter what we think of Christmas, the root of the designation is “Christ”. Christ is a title, similar to King, or Queen, or Prime Minister, or President. The title describes the roll, or the job this person fulfills.

However, every person who holds a title also has a name. After each election, our country knows which specific individual is our Prime Minister. We know the reigning monarch of England has the personal name Elizabeth and the title of Queen. As soon as we refer to Queen Elizabeth we know this Elizabeth is distinct from all the other Elizabeths in the world.

The same is true of the one who came as the Christ; he also has a name. Do you know what it is?  

There is only one person who has ever fulfilled the title of the Christ. His name is Jesus of Nazareth. The title, Christ, refers to the person God promised would come and deliver his people from their sins.

Hundreds of years before Jesus came, the prophets wrote: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”[1]

Only months before Jesus came into the world, God’s angel announced: “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”[2]

On the night when Jesus was born, the birth announcement to local shepherds was: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”[3]

Why was the birth of Jesus the Christ “good news of great joy”? Because he came as the “Savior,” specifically, “Christ the Lord.” He was the one and only Savior who would save God’s people from their sins.

How would the Christ save people from their sins? By laying down his life as the sacrifice for sin, making full payment for our sins, and so opening the door for us to be forgiven.

Why is this so important? Because God says that all of us have sinned against him.[4] He also says that, “the wages of sin is death,”[5] meaning that each of us would die as the condemnation our sins deserve.[6]

However, with all of us earning the judgment of God against our sins, securing our everlasting death, God offers us something very different in his Son. He says, “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”[7]

The crisis we face to this day is all about our response to the Christ. Receiving his gift by faith is life; rejecting his gift leaves us under the condemnation against our sins.

When Jesus asked his friends, “Who do people say that I am?”[8] the men gave the popular answers. However, when he asked, “But who do you say that I am?”[9]they replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”[10] Jesus was indeed the Christ that was promised by God, and he indeed was the very Son of God himself.

Knowing this, then, that Jesus is the Christ, what are we supposed to do with him? God’s invitation is: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”[11]

The crisis every Christmas, in fact, every day for that matter, is whether we receive what God says about his Son, the Christ, or reject it in favor of our own will. At the return of Christ, we will be judged on the basis of our answer, and the exam will be final. That makes today’s decision about the Christ a crisis indeed.

© 2016 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)

PS: for a printable tract version of this post, please follow the links in footnote.[12]

[1] Isaiah 9:6
[2] Matthew 1:21
[3] Luke 2:10-11
[4] Romans 3:23
[5] Romans 6:23
[6] See also John 3:18,36
[7] Romans 6:23
[8] Mark 8:27; Matthew 16:13
[9] Mark 8:29; Matthew 16:15
[10] Matthew 16:16
[11] John 1:12
[12] This is designed to fit on both sides of letter size paper, quarter-folded to make a card. To download a pdf file, pick from these links. Choose either side 1 A or 1 B based on whether you have contact info to add, and side two which is the same for both (Print side 1A or 1B on one side of the paper, and side 2 on the other side):

~ Side 1 A (cover + first part of tract) – includes my contact info, John 3:16, and John 1:12 ~

~ Side 1 B (cover + first part of tract) – includes my contact info, room for your contact info, John 3:16 (John 1:12 removed to make room) ~

No comments:

Post a Comment