The Christmas Season
By Hal Lindsey
With the Thanksgiving holiday behind us, we find ourselves fully immersed in the Christmas season. This year, it is even more welcome than usual. Few seem to be complaining about Christmas displays going up, in some cases, before Halloween. In such a strange year, it seems that almost everyone has been looking forward to the familiar comforts of Christmas.
Yes, there will be debate over the level of celebration we can have this year. But as the Grinch learned, nothing can stop Christmas itself. Despite the global pandemic, we will celebrate. Some may choose to stay clear of Grandma’s house, only visiting by means of the internet. But no matter your personal choices, it will still be Christmas.
At bottom, it will be worth celebrating this year for the same reason as last year and the last two thousand years. It will be celebrated because, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
Those words from John 3:16 may be the Bible’s ultimate Christmas verse. Sweeter words were never spoken. A greater gift was never given. The verse starts with God and His love. His love then prompts the greatest gift — the gift of His only begotten Son. That gift erases what Hebrews 2:15 calls our slavery to the fear of death. Finally, John 3:16 brings us to eternal life in God and joy everlasting.
In commemoration of that greatest of all gifts, we give gifts at Christmas. By comparison, ours are meager. But at their best, they express God’s love flowing through us. That’s the love expressed in John 3:16 — the love that took Jesus to the cross to receive in Himself the judgement for all our sins.
I came to Christ while reading the third chapter of John. For me, it holds the dearest words in all the Bible. I’ve been thinking about that a lot, partly because we’re getting ready to show a study of John on Hal Lindsey Presents. Matthew, Mark, and Luke follow roughly the same presentation of the life of Christ. Each is magnificent in its way. They contain many of His teachings, His miracles, His attitudes, and His actions. They tell us unequivocally that He is God the Son, and Israel’s Messiah. They are priceless.
But John takes us higher and farther. John’s true story of the life of Jesus lifts us to new places. The other Gospels let us know that this Jesus is God the Son, a full member of the Holy Trinity. John shows us what that means. And it is breathtaking!
In John, we revisit the opening words of Genesis, but with a more complete understanding. Genesis begins with the words, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” John starts by showing Jesus “in the beginning.” John 1:3 says, “All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”
This Jesus that so many relegate to “good person” or “great teacher” is in fact God the Son, Creator of everything that was created. So, yes, I get excited when I think about an in-depth study of the Gospel of John. I think the study will thrill you, too.
I would be remiss this time of year if I didn’t mention my thankfulness for the many people who give to keep this ministry going. People like you have prayed for me and given to the ministry enabling us to keep on presenting teachings like the recent series in Revelation and the one starting this month in the Gospel of John.
So, as you go about both the joys and frustrations of this great season, remember why we celebrate and Who we celebrate.