Dave Welch is the founder and executive director of the U.S. Pastor Council and Houston Area Pastor Council, interdenominational and interracial ministries of and for pastors based in Houston, Texas. Over the past 24 years, he has held numerous leadership positions including founding executive director of Christian Coalition of Washington, national field director of Christian Coalition and executive director of Vision America.More ↓Less ↑
Beyond what Christmas means to you, the soul-penetrating question is “Who is Jesus to you?” If he is just a good teacher, a great religious leader or even a revered prophet, we should cancel the festivities and the holiday.
If He is not Emmanuel, “God with us”; was not born of a virgin; did not live a sinless life; did not take the sins of the world upon His shoulders; was crucified needlessly; and did not rise from the dead to defeat sin and death … He was indeed a liar or a lunatic, not Lord.
For skeptics who might read this, I urge you to buy, borrow or check out the now-classic “Case for Christ” by former agnostic and award winning journalist Lee Strobel; then decide. Your eternity depends on what you do with this Jesus.
Unfortunately, many in this country who define themselves as evangelical, Protestant and/or Catholic do not believe that Jesus is the only means by which we can be saved. Beyond belaboring the many Scripture passages that prove “beyond reasonable doubt” of Jesus’ own claims to this truth, the question is whether it really matters.
It matters to me, it matters to you, and it matters to our nation as well as the world. With “Peace in our time” still reverberating through history as Neville Chamberlain’s tragic misreading of reality, the irrational protests of the “Seek World Peace” leading only to chaos and myriad other counterfeits claiming the mantle of peace – there is still only One Who has brought it or will produce it for people or nations.
Amidst the furious, dying quacks of the lame ducks in Washington, D.C., determined to return fire at the “hunter” – We the People – before leaving town prior to the changing of the guard, there is a still, small voice penetrating the noise.
That voice is saying that instead of turning to pork-laden, debt-spiraling spending on programs that at best are temporary and at worst scandalously wasteful – He calls out to:
… seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things (food, drink, and clothing, v. 31) will be added to you (Matt. 6:33).
That voice is calling out to urge us that rather than cry out for government to create jobs, pay for our benefits, provide us health care, take by force from those who have produced to give to those who have not, etc.:
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light (Matt. 11:28-30).
As our military is attacked from without by foreign enemies and from within by domestic enemies such as Islamic terrorists passed off as psychologists, social change agents passing as senior brass and sexual deviants on the cusp of being given favored status, we can rest on His assurance that:
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful (John 14:27).
If the truth be told – and it should be from every pulpit in the nation – our only hope lies in the authenticity of the Nativity story and the road to the Cross. If it is true – and it is – we can lean not on our own understanding that is so often weak, selfish, shallow and faulty, but on the loving, merciful and perfectly just Creator of all things for our peace.
We are not promised lack of troubles, trials, tribulations and tumult. They will come.
We are promised that through His love shown to us in the form of what He describes as “no greater love,” God the Son stepped down from heaven, entered the world at the lowest possible level (in the immortal words of the great sage, The Genie in “Aladdin” – “Cosmic powers, itty bitty living space!”), and walked the dusty roads directly to the worst form of torture devised by man to that day.
It is finished – if you believe.
So while we do the daily grind of living, work to provide for our families, exercise our sacred duties to self-govern righteously as well as govern collectively likewise, turn your life over to the One who suffered so you can have an eternity in the wonder, splendor and majesty of God’s presence. You can also have His power to rise above those “t’s” listed above.
The name of Jesus is scorned, ridiculed and rejected by most today, but it will never change who He is, what He did and the greatest gift you will ever receive … if:
… you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation (Romans 10:9).
Even the outgoing majority in Congress can’t mess that up.