WHY DID JESUS COME?
Well, it looks like we all made it through the Christmas season. I enjoy the time with family and the great memories we share, but I hate what Christmas has become. Like so many things in Christendom we have turned this holiday over to the Humanists.
Please don�t write to me about the pagan origins of Christmas. I am aware of all that. But in my family, at least, it has been a special time when we shared with our children the significance of the birth of Jesus and what it truly meant to the world. We have tried hard not make it about Santa, his reindeer, Frosty, or ourselves, but the commercialization has bombarded us so hard that it really is easy to lose the true meaning of the season.
As the popular refrain goes: �Jesus is the reason for the season.� Indeed, He is.
But what does that mean? If, in fact, He is the reason? Then why is He so very much missing from the celebration?
On Christmas Eve, after returning from a family gathering, I happened to turn on Fox News to catch up on the latest news of the day. I sat with great interest as the 10 O�clock hour featured a special, aptly named, �The Purpose of Christmas with Rick Warren.� I watched the show with mixed feelings. I was happy that a major news channel would so directly talk about the reason for Christmas, but I was leery of what the message might be. I�m not here to beat up on Pastor Warren, but I always question why and who the media chooses to highlight. �If Jesus is the reason for the season, why is there so much focus on Rick Warren?� I asked my wife. To my chagrin, this feature was only the tip of the iceberg.
The next day Fox ran another special called PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE: CAN RICK WARREN CHANGE THE WORLD?
�Hmmm��I thought to myself. �I thought Jesus came to do that.�
On December 22 Larry King Live featured Joel and Victoria Osteen. How can you not like Joel Osteen? He seems like such a great guy, focusing so much of his attention on the �life-enhancement Gospel.� His message of love and acceptance seems so, well, nice. It makes us feel good, especially at Christmas.
�Why is it,� my bride Michele wondered aloud, �that the media wants to focus our attention so much on these two guys?�
Why indeed, I pondered. What makes these two men the face of American Christianity? Could it be because between them they have sold over 80 million books? If the truth be told, more Christians have read their books than have read the Bible.
Remember the old game-show tag line, �it�s not what you say that counts, it�s what you don�t say.� Yep�it is what you don�t say that counts.
I carried that thought with me to my radio show the next day. The message of Warren and Osteen lay in my belly all night. I knew something was wrong, but what they said seemed so good. It is hard to argue with someone so�nice. But then I remembered the phrase that started the whole thing, �Jesus is the reason for the season.�
�Why did Jesus come?� I asked my radio audience on Saturday. �Did they crucify Him because He was so �nice'�? (I just did a Bible search and �nice� does not show up in the Bible. Try it yourself) Why is it that the media wants to focus on Christian leaders who are so accepting of everyone? Is there an agenda at work here? Are they trying to show us that Christian men are tolerant and loving of everyone and everything? WWJT? What would Jesus tolerate?
Why did Jesus come? You might be surprised.
I John 3:8, �He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.� The devil, huh? When was the last time you heard him mentioned at Christmas?
Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. He didn�t come to be nice. He didn�t come to die for you. He didn�t come to make you healthy, wealthy, and wise, and he didn�t come to give you a purpose or your best life now. He came to destroy the works of the devil. Wouldn�t you think that Pastor Warren and Mr. Osteen could find time to mention the works of the devil, and how "sin" is devastating so many lives?
So, what are the works of the devil? "He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning."
What is sin? It is rebellion against God. It is knowing what is right and refusing to do it. Sin separates us from God. Jesus came to mend that broken relationship.
2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself�
Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
He came to save us from our sin, not merely to comfort us in our sin!
We waste so much time, effort, and money fighting against the consequences of sin. We would be so much better off if we focused our efforts on defeating (facing) sin itself.
The world is becoming a crazier place every day. Sin is running unchecked because no one will call it what it is because it has become one of the pillars of diversity. All sickness, all sadness, all poverty, all anger, all grief, all trouble is the result of somebody�s sin. Our churches have become nothing more than trauma centers for those ravaged by the effects of society's decadence.
So how does modern evangelicalism respond? Do our pastors rail against sin? Do we preach a Holy God who demands that we too be a holy people? Do we preach a Gospel of victory over sin? Do we preach a Gospel of laying down our lives, or one of getting the most out of our earthly lives?
Sadly, we preach treatment of our sickness, not delivery from it. Sin is the disease, death is the result. Not calling sin, sin is like calling adultery �fooling around.� Doesn�t it make more sense to prevent the sin of divorce, rather than helping restore those ravaged by it? �An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.�
Imagine for a moment that you are driving in the beautiful Rocky Mountains and as you come around a bend, you are horrified to see bodies of wounded people strewn along the roadway. As you get out of your car to bind the wounds of the injured, you are nearly smashed by another body that falls from the sky. As you look up, you discover that a bridge has been washed out and that hikers are unknowingly walking off of a steep cliff. After a few minutes you realize that more are falling and there aren�t enough workers to minister to the wounded. You turn to another stranger who has recently come upon the carnage and plead, �Please help me bind up the wounded.� To your surprise he turns and begins walking the other way. �Where are you going?� you cry. �Can�t you see these folks are dying?�
�Yes,� the stranger responds. �But rather than taking care of the wounded, I think we would all be better if I went to the top of the hill and told others to watch their step.�
Watch your step, indeed. Jesus came to give us victory over sin, not merely grace in the midst of it.
The word gospel literally means �good news.� Wasn�t that what the angel declared, good news to all people? And what was that news? That Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil and because of Him we now had victory over sin.
It seems to me that the devil is working overtime to make sure that no one mentions sin. If he can keep us focused on our best life now, we will miss the real purpose driven life�Christ�s.
John 8:34-36 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Are you a prisoner to sin? You can be free.
Jesus destroyed the works of the devil. That �good news,� is the message of Christmas. Talk about a purpose driven life!
That�s why Jesus came.
you think like a Christian or a humanist? Did the Founders really
separate Church and State? Is Judicial tyranny ruining America? Check
out these great teachings by the Coach.
� 2006 Dave Daubenmire
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Coach Dave Daubenmire, founder and President of Pass The Salt Ministries www.ptsalt.com and Minutemen United www.minutemenunited.org, is host of the high octane Pass The Salt radio show heard in Columbus, Ohio.
In 1999 Coach Daubenmire was sued by the ACLU for praying with his teams while coaching high school in Ohio. He now spends his energy fighting for Christian principles in the public domain.
E-Mail: [email protected]
As the popular refrain goes: �Jesus is the reason for the season.� Indeed, He is. But what does that mean? If, in fact, He is the reason? Then why is He so very much missing from the celebration?