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A Little Ocean Ambiance
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Doctrinal Writings
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Dr. Richard Flanders
Juniata Baptist Church
Vassar, Michigan
The Christmas season is an important time in everybody's life, and this is true for several reasons. Scripture readings from the books of Matthew and Luke remind us of Who Jesus really is and how He came into the world.

The accounts of His virgin birth, the angels' announcement, and the visit of the wise men are true stories, full of important meaning. However, it is the book of John that confronts us each year with the decision that is required of us all in regard to God's Son. This wonderful book begins with wonderful words:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men." (John 1:1-4)
In verse 14 we are told that this Divine Person, Who is the Light of Life, became a man.
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."
In verse 17, His name is given: "Jesus Christ." But it is in the tenth through twelfth verses that we are given the true meaning of Christmas, and pressed to make the Christmas Decision.
"He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name . . ." (John 1:10-12)
Thursday, December 12, 2002 Christmas is about God coming in the flesh to give Light and Life to darkened mankind. Most in His day, as in ours, "received him not." Those who "received him" received new life, eternal life. This is the big decision Christmas brings before us every year: Will you receive Jesus Christ as your own Savior, or will you not? When one receives Him, he becomes a Christian. Everyone who has not personally received Jesus Christ for salvation is not a Christian, and is not headed for Heaven, even if he is affiliated with a Christian church!

Receive-or-not decisions are made by nearly everybody every Christmas. When somebody gives you a present, you can either accept it or reject it. Every time a gift is offered, this kind of decision is made. Somebody who loves you goes out and finds just the right gift for you, and pays for it with his own money. Then he wraps it up nicely, and brings it to you as an expression of his love. When he does this, you can either thank him and accept the gift, or you can say, "No thanks," and refuse it. You can decide you don't want the present and will not receive it. A gift is not actually possessed until it is received. Two things must happen for a gift to pass from one person to another: it must be given, and it must be received. You might react and say, "What a rude and wicked thing it would be for anybody to reject a gift sacrificially bought, carefully selected, and lovingly offered!" And this is the very point that must be made about the Christmas Decision.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
God gave His Son for us because He loved us. He purchased eternal life for sinners with the Blood of His Son. He offers the gift of His Son and eternal life to any sinner who will repent and receive it. How rude and wicked it is for some to refuse that gift every year when they are reminded of it at Christmas. Make this year different. Make it the most significant holiday season of your life. Make the Christmas Decision. This year, receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior!

Monthly Article
Thursday, December 12, 2002
by Dr. Rick Flanders
currently Pastor of
Juniata Baptist Church
Juniata Baptist Church
5656 Washburn Road
Vassar, MI 48768
(517) 823-7848

Dr. Rick Flanders Biographical Data

Converted in 1963 through a radio ministry.
Earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from Bob Jones University.
Honorary D.D. from Pensacola Christian College.
Pastor at Juniata Baptist Church since 1973.
On BCPM Board, (Baptist Church Planting Ministry)
and also MACS. (Michigan Association of Christian School)

Articles published in the;
Sword of the Lord
Baptist Preacher,
Christian View of the News,
Pulpit Helps,
Maranatha Watchman
Church Bus News,
and other national periodicals.

His Majesty's Service
In His Service,
Teaching the Word
To Glorify Our Lord
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Doctrinal Writings

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Please email all other comments to WindJammer