How God Wants the World to Know That it is Christmas!
I. Introduction -
A. There are lots of signs that it is Christmastime: Sales in the stores; the crowds downtown; the songs on the radio; the trees and decorations; the ailes and ailes of toys; the colder weather; the grumpier attitudes
B. But there ought to be some other signs that it is Christmas - more than any thing else, there ought to be some things that stand-out above all the rest. Things that God uses to announce the birth of the Saviour!
Message - The
Five Signs of Christmas (Luke
A. You know it is Christmas when Somebody is Announcing It (2:8,9)
1. God never commanded the world to go to church (most everybody will go to church Christmas, and then again on Easter) - God rather commanded the NT Church to go out to the world!!!
2. Here (2:8,9), the Angel interrupts the lives of the shepherds, and really messes up their “quiet” evening by showing up and saying “Hey Boys, It’s Christmas!” The news was too good to come in “natural” - so, this angel burst upon them with great delight!
3. Mostly today, we leave it to the Radio, TV and news media to announce the birth of a baby Jesus:
a. The radio stations that have music that worships sex, rebellion, and self, for a brief few weeks are interrupted by “Joy to the world, the LORD is come...!” and “A long time ago, in Bethlehem, so the Holy Bible say...”
b. The TV that is driven by sex-crazed programmers all of a sudden puts on Willy Wonka, It’s a Wonderful Life, and a few cartoons about the Wise Men from the East.
c. But this is not as it should be!
d. Kris Kringle still gets more attention than Jesus Christ, as does Madonna, and Michael Jackson, and Bing Crosby
e. That’s why we can’t leave it to TV, radio, and advertisers...
4. Oh how Christians need to see OUR task of interrupting the “course” of this world - the routine, the apathy, the sleepiness - and announcing the arrival of not just a baby, but THE SAVIOUR!
a. Use Christmas as opportunity to tell why Jesus came!
b. Go ahead, interrupt people’s lives to tell them of a Saviour, not just a “manger” or an “opportunity to make some money”
c. Don’t let the busy-ness of this time of year “crowd-out” the reason why Jesus has us here - to announce His love & grace, and gift of salvation! That’s our JOB, our ministry!
5. Thank God for obedient Angels (2:8,9), Shepherds (2:15-18), Soul-winners (Maureen Smith), and Parents (telling their children the true meaning of Christmas, not about Santy)!
B. You know it is Christmas when The Fear of God is again Present (2:10) - Not when people dread going into town, or geting into debt
1. There are a lot of things that people fear in this life:
a. Drugs - destroy lives
c. Economic collapse
e. BSE, angel’s dust, radiation
f. Taking wrong medications
g. Failing the Leaving Cert
h. Death - physical death
i. Hell - eternal death (there is NO hope after death)!
2. Most people have false hope, or false sense of security (Isa 48:22)
3. This angel shows up and demonstrates if you are going to be afraid of something, then you had better fear God (Mt 10:28)! People get lulled into fearing the “supernatural” (ie the unknown). But when it somes to eternity, and reality, people had better wake up to the fact that God is worth some fear - YOU HAD BETTER FEAR GOD (1 Sam 28:7,11-12).
4. This old world needs a good dose of some real FEAR before people can appreciate the LOVE and GRACE of God! God’s love and grace are NOT candy sticks - but are treasures and priceless!
5. O how people need to see God’s presence as something incredible
6. This world will know that it REALLY is Christmas when they realize that GOD really did interrupt history, and show-up here!
C. You know it is Christmas when The Gospel is Preached (2:10,11) The GOOD News!
1. God is not delighted with “Ho Ho Ho” from a dressed up clown
2. God wants the “HO” of Isa 51:1 declared - AMEN! On radio, TV
3. Christmas is not all about giftS, but about THE GIFT (Rom 6:23)
4. Note the Gospel message that God commands should be given:
a. With Jesus, there is no more need to fear - He is the answer
b. This news is for all people - not just “the elect”!
c. This news brings not just joy, but GREAT joy!
d. “Unto you” is given a personal gift from God - not to “the world” in general, but to each and every individual - AMEN!
e. The gift is not a great leader, economist, teacher, or musician, but a Saviour - Someone who saves sinners from HELL!
f. And one more thing - This Saviour is LORD - He is GOD! Don’t treat Him like a nobody. He is the Messiah!
D. You know it is Christmas when People are Finding that God is True to His Promises (2:12,16)
1. When God gives a promise, you can count on it- “Ye shall find”
2. God works in the lives of everybody presenting them with all the signs and wonders necessary for them to find Him:
a. The very existance of this immense universe - like clockwork
b. This Bible - it is a miracle
c. Transformed lives of those who have already come to Christ
d. Answers to prayer
3. Oh how this world needs to know that THEY TOO can find what God has promised in Jesus Christ (Rom 10:13; 1 John 5:10,11)
4. How YOU found God to be true to His word/His promises? He is! But He offers us what is most important - not blank checks
E. You know it is Christmas when God Gets All the Glory (2:13,14)
1. Christmas is all about CHRIST - not the Church, or the kids, or the decorating of the house, or the Christmas tree, or shopping
2. Christmas is all about “praising God” (2:13)
3. The praising was infectious - it attracted an innumerable crowd
4. The birth of Christ brings great Glory to God. Because it is great what He has done FOR us, not what we do for Him!
5. Only Christ’s birth brings peace on earth - one heart at a time
6. Salvation is therefore God’s will for all mankind (2 Peter 3:9)! It is God’s will for each of us, and for Blarney, and Cork, etc!
7. Make sure that this Christmas, God gets all the glory in your home - don’t let your kids rejoice in the gifts as much as they rejoice in the Saviour!
III. Conclusion - The Five Signs of Christmas Are:
A. People Announcing the Birth of the Son of God
B. The Fear of God is Present in People’s Lives
C. The Gospel is being Preached
D. People Finding that God is True
E. God getting all the Glory
these signs evident first in YOUR life?
1. Are you saved? Has anyone told you about the Saviour, and how you need to be born again? I’m telling you right now!
2. Does ANYone here fear God? I mean, realize that He is not some “buddy-buddy” but the ALMIGHTY GOD, holy, pure, righteous!
3. Is anybody here willing to present the gospel to this confused and dark world? Telling them that they too can “Find the Babe”
4. Let’s give GOD all the glory this Christmas - in our homes, and lives!