In “a little gift of Christmas honesty” Jefferson Vann apologizes for those who sometimes misrepresent the gospel in their Christmas presentations.
It’s going to be a slim Christmas this year for me and my family. I have had a couple of years of meagre to no employment, so mostly I will be trying to keep things I have not totally lost – a grateful attitude and a helpful spirit, and my faith in Christ.
But I do have a gift to give this Christmas. I want to give a little gift to my fellow human beings, especially those who consider themselves agnostics or unbelievers. It is a little gift of Christmas honesty.
You see, this season every year my fellow Christians make one last effort to convince you of the truthfulness of the gospel. Since the Christmas season owes its origin to the birth of Christ, my fellow believers will try their best to share the good news with you as part of their holiday celebration.
Sometimes it works. Sometimes an unbeliever is so tired of going year after year without any real hope, peace or joy, that they stand still long enough for the gospel of God’s love in Christ to sink through.
I’m so thankful that it sometimes works, but I regret that it does not work for so many. For them, Christmas is either an excuse for excessive self-destructive partying, or a reason for despair and contemplation of suicide.
So, for those of you who intend to spend another holiday season without repenting of your sins, I am offering you a little bit of Christmas honesty. God loves you – this is true – but it does not mean everything is going to turn out alright. In fact, God’s love for you can only result in one outcome: you will be permanently destroyed in hell.
Wait… what? You heard me. The only logical outcome of God’s love to you is permanent destruction.
But what about Joy to the world?
“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people…”1
Ignore the context and that verse sounds like Jesus’ birth is good news for everyone. But the truth is, it was not good news for Herod, or Caesar, or the billions who have rejected Jesus as their saviour. Joy can only come by surrendering to Jesus as king and Messiah.
But what about peace on earth?
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people with whom he is pleased!”2
If my fellow Christians in their zeal to share the good news with you have given you the impression that God is pleased with all people, I apologize. They did not mean to tell you that, because it is not true. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, but he only brings peace to those who recognize his authority. He himself said “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace but a sword.”3
Look at what God’s word says about the so-called peace for the wicked:
- ““There is no peace for the wicked,” says the LORD.”4
- ““There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.””5
- “They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace.”6
- “They heal the brokenness of the daughter of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace.”7
- “On all the bare heights in the wilderness Destroyers have come, For a sword of the LORD is devouring From one end of the land even to the other; There is no peace for anyone.”8
…and much more like that. The Bible is not interested in giving anyone peace who refuses the Prince of Peace.
Is there no hope in the Christmas message?
Yes, there is hope, but the hope is Jesus himself.
- “Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God. “Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, That her iniquity has been removed, That she has received of the LORD’s hand Double for all her sins.” A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. “Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley; Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”9
The hope of Christmas is a Saviour who we can believe in, a Messiah who reveals the glory of his Father God. Rejecting Christ as one’s saviour is rejecting the Christmas hope, and that leaves a person … hopeless.
I’m sorry that I have to be so blunt. But sometimes we have to face up to unpleasant truths. God loves you, but if you have rejected his only solution to your sin problem, he must eventually destroy you. He cannot allow evil to exist for eternity.
I have every confidence in ultimate, eternal peace, joy, love and hope for myself and for all others who – like me – have found a Saviour in Jesus of Nazareth. You can have that confidence too, but not if you continue to reject him. I don’t mean to offend you, but I thought you might appreciate a little honesty.
1 Luke 2:10 NASB.
2 Luke 2:14 NET.
3 Matthew 10:34 NET.
4 Isaiah 48:22 NASB.
5 Isaiah 57:21 NASB.
6 Jeremiah 6:14 NASB.
7 Jeremiah 8:11 NASB.
8 Jeremiah 12:12 NASB.
9 Isaiah 40:1-5 NASB.