Here we are, heading into Christmas season, the advent of our Lord, as we begin to turn our focus to the most significant event for all humanity. Yes, 2000 years ago, God did His Son on mission to to die for the sins of the world. John 1:14 tells us that “the word became flesh”, and He did this in the form of a child, birthed by a virgin, Mary, as He made His way onto history’s canvas and would forever change the world.
What is amazing about this story, is that here we are today, approaching Christmas, and our picture of Jesus is still one of a child in manger. Nativity sets are on display, the shepherds, wise men, and of course, “little baby Jesus”, are the picture we portray. This story is included in almost every Christmas film, even showing up in the race car spoof Taladega Nights.
To look at this directly, isn’t it strange that the world accepts the picture of plastic baby Jesus? Of a diaper wearing child who does nothing more but lay silently alongside our Eggnog, Mistletoe, and never ending Christmas lists and plans?
See this year there is much to anticipate, much to look forward to and await upon, by definition what advent means, but if I could, is the picture we have of Jesus one that really presents Him as He is today, and as the world should come to see Him as?
We make a big deal about keeping “Christ” in Christmas, and so we should, if He really is our Lord and Savior, but aside from this, it is even more important that we present Christ as He really is.
What I am saying is that it is not really the first advent that we should be focused on, but His second, the one where He returns not as a child, without words, and needed to be waited upon by others. No the picture we need to Evangelistically be presenting to the world is the one of a coming King, Lord, and surely as important, Savior.
See when we take into consideration all that the prophet Isaiah wrote some 750 or so years before Christ was born, yes the prophet does tell us that “the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14), and even on into Isaiah 9:6 we are told that “unto us a child is born”, but is this the right representation when in reality, this child grew to be a man, walked the shores of Galilee and spent three years challenging the world to repent from their sins, as God has now made a way for “all who call on the name of The Lord” (Rom 10:13) can be saved?
My point is that the first advent is great to remember, but upon His second coming, the second advent, the picture The Bible gives us of Jesus is one very different. He came as a Lamb to be slain when He walked the shores of Galilee, as One Who would lay down His life for many, and “for the joy set before Him endured The Cross” (Heb 12:2), but when He comes again, He is coming not to die for many, but instead to pour out Gods wrath. Can you imagine how different the Christmas cards may sell if they actually pointed to the scripture of His second coming? “Merry Christmas, He will rule them with an iron scepter”, or “Seasons Greetings, before the coming day of The Lord”?
If you would, please read along in Revelation 19:11 and consider, Who is this we are reading about? Who is this that will ride out after the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, after the seals of Revelation 6 are broken?
Rev 19:11-15 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. “Sounds like a nice guy!” 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven “have you seen the movie 300?” Disney Club compared to this army) were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.
If I may, this Jesus above would not be welcomed on our Christmas cards, would not be featured in so many Hollywood hits, and surely would not be mocked by a Ricky Bobby. The Jesus of Revelation 19 is the One Who will one day ride out to put an end to all wars, end time, and establish His Kingdom here on earth as He finally does away with the dragon once and for all (Rev 20:10).
Christmas has become just that, a season, and along with every new flavor of Starbucks, fall fashion, and a focus on self, we have missed that Our God is seated beside His Father in Heaven (Luke 22:69 ) interceding for us and the mission we have been sent on. Also praying “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
Of all the gifts and so called blessing people will be receiving december 25th, is their anything that comes even slightly close to the free gift of eternal life? We have to remember that the world is “condemned already because they have not believed in The Son of God” (John 3:18).
I don’t write this to discourage, but to encourage. We are here on mission, and His first advent has already taken place, but upon the next, there will never be another Christmas, another season, another opportunity. “Today is the day of salvation” (2 Cor 6:2). How radical this may sound, but honestly, how Biblical? Is it really Biblical for Paul to say that God “now commands people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30).
Here is a message I was invited to teach at my home Church of Rock Harbor Huntington Beach this past sunday. The focus is on that of Isaiah’s prophecy, and how so much of what he promised is left out, not magnifying the reality of Jesus coming as not only a child, but growing into a man, Who today offers the world, forgiveness, salvation, restoration, and a place in all eternity with God Almighty Himself.
Click below to view!