His Birth — The Greatest Story Ever Told — Our Destiny
This Weekend on Valley Radio, Dec. 16-17,
with Pastor Todd Pruitt, or Online HERE Anytime
There is no doubt that Christmas is the most celebrated season of every year, with its beautiful lights and decorations, wonderful music, great food, tinkling bells, gift exchanges, colorful parades, and touching displays of Baby Jesus in a manger!
But it’s so easy to take it all for granted, and that is what our Crossroads program is all about this weekend as we take on the big question from a challenging book by the late D. James Kennedy entitled “What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?”
To help answer that question, Pastor Todd Pruitt from Covenant Presbyterian Church here in Harrisonburg breaks it down for us in seven different ways, as we repeat our program from last year.
1. Jesus’ Birth: The Immaculate Conception and the Incarnation
We begin with Jesus’ birth. It’s all recorded in the Gospel of Luke beginning with Angel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary that she was going to have a baby, even though she had never had a relationship with a man. In addition, Gabriel said the baby would be called Jesus, the Son of God.
On top of that, the Gospel of John reports that “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us as the only begotten Son of God” But how could Jesus Himself later claim that He was one with God the Father, and that the Father was in Him and He in the Father. How could this be, fully man and fully God?
No one else could or ever would make that claim, and it’s not surprising that religious leaders of the day charged Him with blasphemy and deserving of death on a cruel cross.
Finally, however it happened and whatever it meant at the time, why is it still such a big deal more than 2000 years later, so that even our calendar is divided before and after His birth, BC and AD!
2. His Redeeming Life
So we move on to explore the purpose of His life, His death, and His resurrection. For example, what does it mean in John 3:16, that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, and that whoever believed on Him shall not perish but instead will have everlasting life.”
How can it be that belief in Jesus would give anyone eternal life? Or that Jesus could later take on the power of God to forgive and to redeem men of their sins?
3. His Miracles and His Mission
In addition, we must go on to explore the purpose of His three years of public life that included His Miracles, His Mission, and His Message.
Regarding His Miracles, how could He turn water into wine, heal the sick, raise the dead, feed the multitudes, walk on water, quiet the storms, and then Himself rise from the dead? Was it out of simple compassion for those who were suffering?
Or was it part of His Mission to prove His divinity and His power as the Son of God? Or maybe it was simply to call attention to His Message of Love for all men and to highlight His offer of Salvation from sin and for eternal life with Him in heaven?
4. His Ministry and His Global Impact
Finally, what impact, if any, did His ministry have on the world and on the pages of history over the past 2000 years? Alternatively, what would our world look like today if He had never been born or if His church had never existed?
For example, what about the vast network of Christian hospitals and relief organizations that were established by His church? Or the corresponding network of Christian schools that have grown over the centuries in so many countries? That includes the early schools in America where even our colleges and universities were established to train young leaders for service in their churches and in the development of our country.
Beyond that, what about the great cathedrals, the incredible art of masters like Michelangelo, and the beautiful music of Johann Sebastian Bach that he created solely for the glory of God or, in his words, “Soli Deo Gloria”.
And what about the great work of Christians like William Wilberforce who led the drive to abolish slavery in Great Britain, or about the wisdom of our early clergymen and the Founding Fathers who built America on Judeo-Christian values and Biblical principles, and many others.
As Dr. Kennedy concluded in his book, “The Church has made more changes for the good than any other movement or force in history.”
5. Our Worldwide Rebellions against God
Sadly, despite this proven record of Jesus’ positive influence on the world throughout this 2,000 year period, a hateful group of detractors still insist today that Christianity has been and continues to be a negative force in the world, and demand that its voice be silenced and removed – just as Jesus was attacked in His day.
However, the historical record shows that where Christ is not recognized and where God is not glorified, tyrants have left a trail of blood across the landscape.
For example, in the last several centuries alone, some 125 million people were killed by godless dictators like Josef Stalin in the Soviet Union (40), Adolf Hitler in Germany (15), and Mao Tse-Tung in China (70). Over 100 million others were also killed in WWI and WWII.
So that is a clear answer to our big question: “What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?” Very simply, if left unchecked, we would have a world of ruthless dictators who create rivers of blood in their personal pursuit of power and in their rebellion against God.
6. Our Personal Rebellions and National Challenges
But it’s not just about other leaders in distant lands. We also need to recognize what happens in America when we turn our own backs on God and reject Jesus’ call on our own lives.
— For example, we too have blood on our hands from the more than 63 million babies who have been aborted in America since the Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade in 1973.
— And we too are witnesses to the growing sexual immorality fed by pornography which, like cancer, leaves a trail of ruined men, exploited women, broken marriages, damaged children, disease, crime, and violent death.
— We have also redefined God’s beautiful design for marriage to now include same-sex relationships. And we too face growing attacks on our Christian beliefs and on our religious freedoms just as Jesus, the prophets, and the disciples also did in their day.
— Bluntly stated, it is a situation that Dr. Kennedy likens to the pagan cultures that existed before, during, and after the time of Christ, and which rejected God in favor of their own idols of wood and stone or, in our time, in favor of our own personal idols of power, prosperity, and popularity.
7. Our Need of a Savior
This all brings us back to Christmas, when God sent His Son into the world, not to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved. It is a clear recognition that we too are in need of a Savior.
We too can claim the promise that Jesus gave that we could be saved from a life of slavery to our sins here on earth and for a life in eternity with Him if we confess our sins and believe on Him. It’s a decision that affects both our earthly well-being and our eternal destinies.
So that is why we celebrate the birth of Jesus as we do, joyfully and thankfully, every day and every year. It’s a celebration of how Jesus, His disciples, and His Church have turned the world upside down over the past 2,000 years, and how He continues to call all of us to Himself. Laus Deo.
For more on all of this, please join Rita and me with our special guest Pastor Todd Pruitt this weekend for a repeat of last year’s program on the big question: “What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?”
It will air on WBTX (1470 AM and 102.1 FM) today (Saturday) at 4:00 p.m. and again on Sunday at 7:30 a.m., followed by WSVA (550 AM and 92.1 FM) at 8:30, ESPN (1360 AM and 106.9 FM) at 9:00, and on WNLR (1150 AM) at 11:30. If you miss the broadcast and would like to listen again, you can also listen online by clicking on the Crossroad’s menu shown on our home page at www.valleyfamilyforum.org.
Crossroads is almost entirely listener supported, and we deeply appreciate your prayers, your encouragement, and your financial support. If you would like to help, please send your check to Crossroads at PO Box 881, Harrisonburg, 22803. All donations are tax-deductible.
Thank You and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year
Finally, on behalf of the entire Crossroads Team and with appreciation for our radio hosts, our sponsors, and our other supporters and many listeners, we hope you have a Very Merry Christmas and a Time of Worshipful Remembrance and Joyful Adoration for Jesus Christ and what His Birth means for us today, and as we prepare for the coming New Year.
From Dean, for the Crossroads Team, with Thanksgiving and Praise.
Working and Walking Together, We Can Make a Difference for God and Country