Friday, December 22, 2017
God asks, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4–7).
“Where is the way to the dwelling of light? And darkness, where is its place, that you may take it to its territory, that you may know the paths to its home? Do you know it, because you were born then, or because the number of your days is great?” (Job 38:19–21).
“Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the belt of Orion? Can you bring out Mazzaroth in its season? Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you set their dominion over the earth? (Job 38:31–33).
These are not the result of evolution, but the work of Almighty God in Christ! “In the beginning was the Word, [Jesus Christ] and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:1–5).
Yet, because of God’s love for you and me “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:4–6).
Since the unbelief of Adam and Eve every human being is born into spiritual darkness, separated from God, destined to eternal judgment and hell fire. But God in Christ did what man could not do – provide redemption. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life…He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:16, 18).
To effectively believe “in” the Son of God unto eternal life, the Holy Spirit clarified that “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36). Therefore, to actually “believe the Son” is to gain eternal life, but to disbelieve the resurrected Son of God who suffered our penalty for sin, places the unbeliever in a position to suffer the eternal judgment and wrath of God.
This Christmas, rather than traditionally focusing on Jesus’ infancy, set your love and worship on the resurrected and reigning Christ who said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matt. 28:18). For, in that authority, “His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matt. 3:12). Jesus is not an infant, but the sovereign Lord and Ruler of heaven and earth, reigning in authority to bring this present age to its prophetic end!
No man’s pride and unbelief is sufficient to save himself from God’s wrath. The free gift of eternal life comes only through Jesus Christ who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Is eternal life, then, exclusive? Yes! It’s exclusive for those, who, in humility, repent, confess their sins and believe Jesus Christ.
And to every unbeliever, “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 10:9–10).
Do you hear His invitation at the door of your heart? “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Rev. 3:20–21).
Indeed, “unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isa. 9:6–7).
Eternal life comes by humbled repentance, confession and faith in Christ. He suffered the cross of Calvary for your sins and mine. To disbelieve Christ will result in the eternal judgment of hell, the torment created for Satan and his fallen angels. To believe Christ by true faith, however, is to live eternally with God and His Christ in the glories of heaven. God sent Jesus Christ to suffer for our redemption, but to believe the testimony of Jesus Christ is entirely your choice.
God’s Spirit has already convicted you of “sin, righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8). You know right and wrong, good and evil, and belief from unbelief, by that conviction. Man’s free will to believe was revealed when Adam and Eve sinned and God said to the Triune Godhead, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil” (Gen. 3:22).
After God expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, they had sons named Cain and Abel. When Cain became angry because God did not accept his grain sacrifice but accepted Abel’s sheep sacrifice, God asked Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it” (Gen. 4:6–7). Cain and Abel made their choice. In like manner you have the choice to believe or disbelieve Christ’s Word of truth.
Yes, “unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given”, and He now reigns in power and glory. May you know His redeeming love and glory through a deeply rooted faith that will keep you until “the last day” (John 6:40), at “the first resurrection” (Rev. 20:4–6), “at the last trumpet” (1 Cor. 15:51–52), when “the Lord Himself will descend from heaven” (1 Thess. 4:16). Have a blessed Christmas celebration of Christ who gave Himself that we could have eternal life!
Marlin J. Yoder