I want to thank the congregation here for allowing Pam and me to use our last week of vacation during this time so we can go spend time with our family. I also want to thank Roy Coffman for coming to preach God’s word today in my absence. And, also, the men who will be leading the songs and prayers in the special devotional service this evening. Lord willing, Pam and I will be back next Lord’s Day for the 1st day of 2017. It’s hard to believe that 2016 is at it’s close and 2017 is right upon us but, it is!
Brethren, this special holiday season we are in right now could be a very special time and opportunity for us to have a good discussion with some special family or friends. Many people ask why we don’t celebrate Christmas as a religious day or as the celebration of the birth of Christ. When they ask this, it may be a God-given opportunity to sit with them and show them God’s word. We don’t celebrate the birthday (anniversary of the birth of Christ) because it is not found in the Bible. While there was an awesome celebration of the actual birth of Christ, that is the only celebration of His birth in the scriptures. How many times do the scriptures refer to Jesus celebrating His birthday? None! How many times did Jesus ever refer to or teach concerning His birth? None! What about the apostles, how many times did they celebrate the birth of their Savior? None! What about the 1st century church, how many times is it recorded for us that it celebrated the birth of Christ? None! In fact, the actual birth of Christ is mentioned only twice in the entire New Testament after the actual birth itself. That is in Romans 1:3 where it says He was born of the flesh and Galatians 4:4 that says He was born of woman. It is very clear that a religious celebration of the birth of Christ was never intended to be a part of Christianity by God or Christ. And, the scriptures are very clear that we must not add to or take away from what the scriptures say. Deuteronomy 4:2 says, “You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” Then we also see what God says to us in Revelation 22:18-19 which says, “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.”
Brethren, may we use every opportunity to encourage those we love to see the truth of God’s word in every way possible!
Until next week, I love you all,