Making the ‘Christmas sermon’ relevant for today’s culture
If you think that the average ‘Christmas message’ doesn’t move non-believers, you’re not alone.
by Bodie Hodge
It’s that time of year! During this Christmas season, I heard several sermons on the birth of Jesus. Now, in our Western culture that is rapidly losing its once-Christian worldview, Christians and Christian leaders need to use this time, more than ever, to challenge non-Christians. But will they give the vital message people need to hear at this time of history?
I was thrilled to be able to bring a friend who has struggled with the Christian faith for his entire life to church this Christmas season. Just before we arrived, he asked me a question that has been troubling him. I was fascinated to note that he didn’t ask about Jesus and the manger, or about the shepherds or the angels who proclaimed the birth of Jesus on earth—instead, he asked, ‘Why do many Christians use organ transplants to prolong their life or try to prolong the lives of their children when they’re born with problems when God has deemed it was their time to die?’ He continued, ‘Why wouldn’t a Christian accept their death that comes from God? Shouldn’t they just accept it if they are true Christians and want to go to heaven instead of trying to survive on this earth?’
Now, why would he ask questions like that? The answer is that increasingly, the culture is losing the true meaning of Christmas because the education system and the media continues to indoctrinate people to reject the Bible as absolute truth. Instead, the Christian faith and the Bible is attacked and ridiculed and condemned as a ‘book of stories’ because so-called science has supposedly proved it cannot be true—particularly in its history in Genesis.
I’m sure my friend wasn’t expecting an answer. After all, such questions as the ones he asked have been leveled at Christians for years. (Sadly, many Christians don’t know how to answer such questions, because they, like him, have not believed the true history of the world from Genesis—which explains the origin and meaning of death.)
Now, I was sure the sermon we were about to hear would be from a pastor who assumed people believed the Bible. I thought he would remind them of the babe in a manger and why He came to earth. I realized that my friend needed answers, so he would know that he could trust the Bible before he even heard the sermon. I was pleased he had asked me what was on his heart and what was obviously stopping him from considering the Christian faith.
My friend had viewed death, suffering and dying as something God must be responsible for. He did not understand that death was an enemy (1 Corinthians 15:26), an intrusion due to sin. Death wasn’t something that God made and declared ‘very good’ in Genesis 1:31, but a result of sin. I explained that God created a perfect world, and because the first man Adam sinned, death entered the world as the punishment for sin. I had to explain that the earth was not millions of years old as he had been indoctrinated to believe, and thus there was not death, disease and bloodshed for millions of years before man’s existence…
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image credit: Evelyn on Unsplash