“ For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour , who is Christ the Lord…” ( Luke 2: 11)
Today we give our heartfelt thanks to God our Father for the fact that He had caused His Son to be born as a human being by a supernatural conception as the Holy Spirit overshadows a Jewish virgin called Mary, who in due course gives birth to the Son of God , who is at the very same time is also the Son of man !
I take it that you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ !
There are of course those who have denied the historicity of our Lord Jesus altogether ; others have denied aspects of it (His sinless life , crucifixion , death , and resurrection), but no serious scholar will attempt to do that, since the evidence of Christ’s physical life is overwhelming. In the Bible He is the central figure and hope of mankind . Christ’s life has also been attested to in non Christian literature , which has been preserved throughout the centuries .
Christ was as real as Plato , Socrates , Aristotle , Julius Caesar or Nero or any other ancient historical figure you may choose . Christ is even more real than any of these men mentioned . There is no one that has made such an impact in this world as Jesus Christ . The Lord Jesus Christ is so real today. Even 2000 years after His ascension He continues to change people , making them into better men and women . Apart from this great fact He has changed virtually every aspect of human life . Unfortunately many people just cannot see this, because His influence in the world has just become to ordinary .
It is a very great tragedy that the world through satanic deception has learned to commercialize and , even worse , trivialize this great event . Many speak now of the ‘ spirit of Christmas’ without any reference to the Lord Jesus Christ .
But now the question : “What if Christ had never been born?”
1. The most obvious conclusion would be this : We would not have celebrated Christmas ! If there were no miraculous birth and no announcement of a Saviour born who would save sinners , then there would have been no reason for celebrating Christmas today !
2. If Christ had never been born there would have been no restraint from sin , and humanity would have wiped itself out by its own sinful greed and selfishness . Many people grossly underestimate the person and work of Christ in this regard . A few years ago I read a classic , “ the Mutiny on the Bounty” , which illustrates this fact so very well. It is the story of Christian Fletcher a lieutenant on the HMS Bounty which was sent to the island of Tahiti in the Pacific . He led a mutiny against their captain William Bligh on the 28th of April 1789 . Some of the mutineers and some Tahitians eventually settled on Pitcairn island – one of the remotest islands in the world . The tragedy was that there, after having had an opportunity to start their lives all over in seclusion , they actually wiped each other out in anger . One man , John Adams and 9 women survived until they were picked up by the British navy in 1814 . The point is this : give people a confined space to get on with , and they kill each other .
We see this amply illustrated in the Scriptures . The first great sin after the fall was when Cain killed his brother Abel . (Gen 4) The next great crisis came in Genesis 6 when God saw “ that the wickedness of man was great in the earth , and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” ( Gen 6:5) . We learn from this that man is simply not able to live for any span of time without becoming corrupt . In that instance , God had found it necessary to wipe all of mankind ( except Noah and his family ) from the face of the earth. And yet , once Noah was settled after the flood, the tragedy of man’s sinful nature continued .You know the story !
And so we observe that the history of the world is the history of the continual rise and fall of nations. No nation is able to create its own utopia . Sin and selfishness always gets the better of us .
But thankfully , Christ was born to save sinners . Those who become Christians can testify that He has made a better woman or man out of you . The world unfortunately does not recognize that true Christians make better citizens, better workers , more honest people , better husbands , better children – you name it ! The truth is however that where societies have been affected by the Christian faith in a large measure ( such as the 16th century Protestant Reformation) those countries had been visibly blessed with prosperity ! Unfortunately , as Cotton Mather a Puritan Pastor observed , “ Religion begat prosperity , but the daughter has consumed the mother”. The point remains - If Christ had not been born we would have remained in our sins !
3. If Christ had never been born , civilization as we now know would not have existed. It is true that there have been great men and women in history who have changed this world for better . We thank God for those who discovered penicillin and X-rays and all sorts of cures for the physical body . But none have ever achieved what Jesus did in His brief 33 years on earth . None of these had discovered an effective cure for the sin nature of man .
Jesus alone could do it , because of who He is : The Son of God – the Son of man . It is Jesus who says in Rev 21:5 “ Behold , I make all things new” . He came to transform this world comprehensively .
He transformed time when He was born into this world . His birth date altered the way in which we measure time . Everything is measured from the perspective of BC (before Christ) or AD ( Anno Domini – “ the year of our Lord“) . Even atheists must acknowledge Christ when they date a letter . Christ is at the center of history!
It is even more amazing to think that most of Christ’s influence came after His ascension to heaven . For most rulers their influence (for good or evil) seizes when they die . Countries are visibly relieved when an evil ruler dies . The deaths of Lenin , Stalin , Hitler , Mao Tse tung , Idi Amin came as a great relief. Those rulers left nothing but the smell of death and ruins . But Christ came to build and to reform a people for Himself out of the ashes of humanity . His greatest work ( apart from His death on the cross) lies in the church , which He began with 12 humble men . Despite its humble origins the true church has made more changes for good on earth than any other movement in history . Remember that the church would have not existed of Christ had never been born ! The church has made the single most significant impact upon the world !
Here are a few examples . ( I speak of biblical Christianity) :
· The true church of Jesus Christ has always been pro life . Many would –be- aborted children have been saved by Christians from the early Roman times until now .
· Christians have always been at the forefront of establishing mercy ministries . Christians have consistently cared for the poor and the hungry ; the good Samaritan ethic is deeply embedded in a Christian life. Christians have fought for the emancipation of slaves.
· Christians have always encouraged literacy and education for the masses. The translation of the Bible in to many languages has greatly helped many civilizations. Consider the beginnings of Namibia ‘s heritage. Who was it that started schools and hospitals in the country ? The church !
· The church of Christ has laboured for the dignity of men and women (because of the doctrine of the image of God in man – Gen 1:27) . The church has helped us to understand the respective role of men and women in society. Sadly much of the gender confusion today arises from the forgotten fact that the wise Creator has assigned respective roles for men and women, and that societies are always better off when we do things God’s way .
· Christians have fought social evils such as alcohol and drug abuse.
· Christians have fought for higher standards of justice .
· Christians have stood against moral evils such as adultery , homosexuality and other sexual perversions. This has greatly helped to preserve the human race .
· But most significantly , the church has helped countless broken people to find Christ as Lord and Saviour , thus enabling them to return to a God honoring pattern for living and betterment for themselves . Christians understand that a man’s chief purpose is to worship His Creator . This fact has caused the Christian faith to be a missionary faith. Christians understand than men and women who do not worship their Creator will be consigned to a godless eternity . Christians understand that the birth of Christ into this sad world was indeed God’s only remedy for mankind . Christ made salvation possible by His birth ( Advent) and death ( giving His life as an atoning offering for sin) for men and women who are in a broken fellowship with God and with one another . And so the church labours day and night to make the person and work of Christ known to the world. This is the primary goal of Christianity .
That is why the angel said : “ Fear not , for behold , I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour , who is Christ the Lord !”
Now imagine again that Christ had been never born !
I rest my case . Amen !