The message of Christmas begins long before the birth of the Christ Child. It began long before the prophets of old who foretold of His birth. It began in a garden — a perfect garden in a perfect world — called Eden. It was here that sin entered the world through the disobedience of Adam.
God’s standard is absolute holiness. He can’t accept anything less because He is holy. God hates sin! The ultimate result of sin is separation — a separation from a holy God.
This separation from God is an immeasurable distance, a distance so vast that we on our own are completely incapable of bridging the gap. We can never be good enough or do enough good to merit God’s favour. Anything we do will fall short of God’s requirements. On our own, we will never be able to fix the problem of our sin.
The story of Christmas doesn’t end with the birth of the Christ Child. It continues to Calvary and the Cross where the crucified Christ shed His blood and gave His life to pay for our sin.
The good news is that God loves sinners. God Himself has determined to bridge the gap between us by giving us His Son, Jesus Christ.
This is the message the Angel joyfully announced to the Shepherds that night so long ago. It’s the message that the multitudes of Angels celebrated together saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men.”
It is the message that the shepherds responded to. They simply accepted by faith what the angel told them. When the shepherds went to visit Bethlehem to see the newborn Messiah, they didn’t worry about who was going to watch their sheep. They didn’t get bogged down in debates about how they were going to find one small baby in the crowded town of Bethlehem. They acted!
Will you do that today? God didn’t send an angel to give you the news, but in this place, at this time, He did provide you with the opportunity to hear His good news.
God is inviting you today, just like He invited the shepherds. Will you allow Him to bridge the gap that exists between you? Will you believe what He says and do what He asks? Will you acknowledge your need of forgiveness and put your trust in Jesus Christ for salvation? You just need to believe and obey.
Listen to Christ’s promise: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NIV) Jesus has promised that “whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” (John 6:37, NIV)
I pray you will make that decision to trust Christ today, and please let me know. We at Creston Baptist Church would love to help you as you begin your relationship with Christ!
Rick Bettig is the pastor at the Creston Baptist Church.