- From the Editor -
What If He Had Not Come?
by Dr. Dennis Corle
“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 1:11-12)
The Christmas Story is a true account of God’s provision for man’s need. Jesus Christ came as our Savior and sin’s Sacrifice, but in spite of the fact that He came, there are still many who have not yet received Him, and not yet laid hold of what He provided through His coming. He provided a way for us to spend eternity in Heaven, a way to have our sins forgiven, a way for us to be born again, or born spiritually into the family of God. We each have the opportunity and responsibility to ‘receive Him’ and receive all that He paid for and provided through His shed blood.
The fact of Christ’s coming is historically indisputable. There is more evidence of His virgin birth, His sinless life, His atoning death, and His bodily resurrection than there is of any other event in history. No other event in history has so much evidence, overwhelmingly so, to support it. The Bible tells us the Son of God came. You know the story.
The coming of Jesus was through the virgin birth, of course, and it had to be. The Bible said He was conceived, not of man, but of the Holy Ghost of God. This was the God-Man. Now if He had been conceived of man then, of course, He would have been a sinner like us, and completely unable to redeem us. That sin nature, they tell us, is passed on through the blood line of the father, and therefore He would have been a sinner like every other human being if He had been born of an earthly, human father.
But the Bible tells us that He was the seed of the woman and the Word of God makes it clear. He was conceived of the Holy Ghost of God. “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.” (Matthew 1:18-25)
This is not a man who attained Godhood. This is God, who came down and dwelt among us, and veiled Himself in the same kind of flesh that you and I live in. “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...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.” (John 1:1-3, 14)
Man attaining Godhood is Mormon doctrine. Joseph Smith penned in his writings, “As man is God once was. As God is man shall be.” He taught that through Mormonism people could attain Godhood, becoming God’s plural.
There is but one true and living God. We will never attain Godhood, but that one God came down and revealed Himself to us in flesh. First Timothy 2:16 makes that very evident. It said, “...God was manifest in the flesh,...” We saw the person of God in Jesus Christ. He was God manifest in flesh. “...God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” That’s how I Timothy 3:16 describes the entire life and events that took place in the person of the Lord Jesus.
He did come. Prior to His coming, the world knew that there is a God. “In the beginning God...” Did you ever notice that God did not try to explain His existence or His whereabouts? There are two reasons. Number one, you couldn’t comprehend it anyway. Number two, it’s unnecessary that I know where God came from.
There is enough evidence of His presence. The Bible tells us in the book of Psalms, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1) It’s evident by the very creation that there had to be a Creator. It’s evident by this universe. There had to be a Designer, an Organizer, Somebody who made it. When I see this watch, I know that there is a watchmaker, even though I cannot see him right now.
But I want you to understand that before the Lord Jesus came, many people had impersonal ideas about God. There were many religious beliefs. The Stoics thought that God was impersonal. Yes, He did create, but He was not really interested in man, that He had withdrawn Himself, and He was universes away, or so they said.
But the Bible tells us that this God who created is interested in us, interested enough that He came and was veiled in flesh, interested enough that He was willing to suffer and die as your personal Substitute on the cross of Calvary. I’m talking about Somebody, Who is the God of creation, and yet He loves you personally, intimately, and He paid the full penalty of your sin.
I said the coming of Christ into this world historically is indisputable. You couldn’t argue it and win the argument. The promise was given at least 700 years previous. Of course it was given in Genesis 3:15. That’s several thousand years earlier, but in Isaiah 7:14 His coming was promised and described Him as being virgin born. “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign;...” Here’s the sign. “...Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” That name Immanuel is used in Matthew chapter one, and it means ‘God with us.’ Jesus being the God-man, the God of Heaven, Who came down and was brought forth through a virgin birth to be a man.
I want you to understand the providence of God in this thing. You know, it’s not an accident that things work out the way they do. God is able to use all kinds of circumstances. Luke chapter two, the first 12 verses, is commonly read and referred to as the Christmas story, and it is. But do you realize that there was a wicked king, Caesar Augustus, that God used? Here’s a king who decided because he’s a world ruler he is going to tax the entire world. According to Micah 5:2 the Lord Jesus had to be born in Bethlehem. “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” God used the greed of a wicked king to see that Mary and Joseph were where they needed to be when the child would be born, so that prophecy would be fulfilled to the most minute detail. Not only was His coming promised and prophesied in detail at least 700 years previous in the writings of Isaiah, but we see God’s hand in bringing everything to pass. If He kept everything in order to that point, you can rest assured that whatever else He says will come to pass.
There was a purpose for the coming of the Lord Jesus. In John 12:46 He said, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” He said this is a sin-darkened world. If you remember, the devil is described as the prince of darkness. The Lord Jesus came as a light into this world to open the eyes of people. You can get pretty content with the shape you’re in until somebody turns the lights on. If you’re filthy, in the darkness you may not be too bothered about it, but when you get in the light, you’re going to get concerned about the filth. You might relax in a rattle-snake pit if it’s dark, but when you turn the light on and see the danger, you’ll know that you need to do something about it right now.
The Lord Jesus opens our eyes and helps us to see our need. He is the Light of the world. In Luke 19:10 the Bible says, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” In John 6:38 He said, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” In John 10:10 Jesus said, “... I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” He’s not just talking about eternal life. He’s talking about eternal, abundant life. There are many people that have eternal life that have not gone far enough in their relationship with Jesus Christ to enjoy everything that He has provided, everything that He intended for them to have -- the abundance, the joy, the peace that comes with the will of God. He said, “I am come, not just so they can escape Hell, but so they can have the abundant life here, and enjoy it for all eternity.”
Peoples’ lives are crumbling before their eyes, and they can’t seem to get a handle on it, can’t seem to figure out why, and yet they have no time for God and the Bible. They don’t know Christ as their Saviour, and when you ask them, they claim they’re not even interested in knowing Him. They’ll go to the counselor, the psychiatrist, the psychologist. They’ll go anywhere but to God for the answer, when God is the only One Who has an answer. The solution is in the person of Christ. That’s why He came. He came to shed light on things. He came to provide salvation. He came to perform the will of the Father and help me to do the same. He came that I might not only have eternal life, but eternal, abundant life, and enjoy it right now.
Jesus came to manifest to this old, ungodly world all the attributes of the God of Heaven. Remember what Philip said in John 14:8-9? “...Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father;...” He said, “I am everything the Godhead has to offer in My person. I came to manifest that, to make you see and understand that.”
But in John 15:22 Jesus made this statement, “If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.” He said, “If I hadn’t come and turned the lights on, they would never have seen and understood what shape they were in. They wouldn’t have had the responsibility. Now they don’t have anything to hide behind.”
You say, “That’s bad. When He came He made us accountable. When He came He made us responsible.” That being true, there are a lot of things that you and I would not enjoy if He had not come.
This morning I spent some time thinking about that -- “What if He had not come?” I got to looking at John 15:22, and thinking about how different things would be in this world if He had not come. He said, “If I had not come...” He said if I hadn’t come, they had not had sin, but now that I have come they have nothing to hide behind, no cloak to cover their sin. Friend, if Jesus had not come, just how would things be?
If He had not come there would be no Christmas holiday. We take that for granted. You think, “Well, well, now wait a minute, preacher. There would be Santa Claus.” No, there wouldn’t. and I’m going to prove it to you. In 1934 a man by the name of Vaughn Shoemaker drew his famous Christmas cartoon of the first Christmas. It had a star and light coming down from Heaven, and a baby lying in a manger, and it had John 3:16 written in the sky. As early as 1934 in this country, the newspaper editors were worried that would be ‘politically incorrect’ or offensive. They told him that the rest of it was okay, but John 3:16 in the newspaper might offend somebody, so we ought to take that out.
He said, “I’m not taking that out. If you won’t put John 3:16 in, I’m not giving you the art. I’m not giving you the cartoon at all without John 3:16. I don’t give you permission to edit that out.” He stood his ground. Finally, the publisher, Frank Knox, told the editors and I quote, “Let’s be sensible.” This is the editor of a newspaper, not a pastor or an evangelist. This is the editor of the Chicago Daily News. He said, “Let’s be sensible. If it were not for John 3:16, there wouldn’t be any Christmas. It’s a good cartoon. Run it. We need more like it in the news.” I shout a hearty “Amen” to that in this day and age, where there is a dearth of anything Christian anywhere
You say, “Preacher, you don’t understand. There would still be a Santa Claus.” Do you think so? Do you realize that the story of Santa Claus that we talk about in conjunction with Christmas originated with a bishop or preacher whose name was Nicholas? He was the pastor of a church in the southern coast of Asia minor about 1600 years ago. In Dutch folklore, they carried on his memory. He was declared to be a saint because of his kindness, his generosity to people, his goodness to the poor, and he was patronized and canonized as a saint. They carried on his memory and related and identified it with Christmas as they put gifts in their children’s shoes or stockings and told them that Saint Nicholas had left it.
First off, there wouldn’t be any saints if not for Jesus. There wouldn’t be any salvation so there would not be any saints. There would not have been a pastor of a church in southern Asia minor by the name of Nicholas, because there would be no pastors and no local churches. If no Saviour had ever come, there wouldn’t be any Christmas holiday season and you would have nothing to celebrate. There would be no secular holiday to get attached to it. There would be no Saint Nick, or Santa Claus, the German version or shortening of the name Nicholas to Claus and Santa for saint. Same character, same fella they were referring to, and had it not been for Christ’s coming there would not be a Christmas holiday season of any kind.
I can’t help but think that if He had not come there would be no churches. He said, “...upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) Oh, there would be Jewish synagogues. There would be pagan temples, where they worship all kinds of things. There would be pagan religions, like those in India where they worship literally millions of false gods. Everything imaginable is worshiped in India, and they’re starving to death in abject poverty. Not because they do not have resources, but because their religion won’t allow them to eat a cow since it might be one of their relatives. It won’t allow them to kill a mouse that’s eating the grain or an insect spreading disease because it might be one of their relatives reincarnated.
America has been blessed of God because it’s been a nation that was founded and built on Christian principle. It would be a sad day if there were no churches and no steeples rising. I’m talking about even the churches that are “Christian” in name that don’t preach the Gospel, who no longer proclaim the Gospel of Christ and get people born again. There would be no “Christian” religion, therefore there would be no churches. There might be some mosques or pagan temples. There would be some Jewish synagogues, where people are looking for the One Who has already come, but there would be no churches.
Did you ever stop to consider the benefit that a church provides? I’ve been to places where there are no churches. Russia has been in oppression for over 70 years. They have the “state church,” that’s run by the government. They’d like to have those in America, too. A church is a lighthouse in a community. It gives people a light who are about to crash their lives on the rocks of sin. It gives them hope. It gives them direction.
I want you to understand that the church is the conscience of a nation. I’m not just talking about the building. I’m talking about the people because a church is the gathering of people, the ‘ecclesia’ or ‘called-out assembly’. The assembling of the people is the church, not the wood and mortar and beam. It’s the people, the gathering. I want you to know that the church is the conscience of a nation, and a nation without a church is a nation without a conscience. As evil as things have become in America, there is still an outcry against sin and wrong-doing from a certain segment. There is still something withholding evil to a degree. I want you to understand that the church is the moral fiber of a nation, and when a nation’s morals are gone, that nation is well nigh unto destruction, and we’re getting close in America. The church is the moral fiber. It’s the restrainer of evil.
In II Thessalonians 2:6-7 it talks about the Rapture of the church, the removal of the church from this world. It tells us some things are going to transpire. “And now ye know what withholdeth...” There is a ‘what’ that withholdeth. That’s the church that withholdeth. “...that he might be revealed in his time.” The ‘he’ that’s going to be revealed is the antichrist after the Rapture. Verse seven says, “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work:...” He said there is already evil permeating the society, but there is still a restraining, withholding force in this world. It said, “...only he who now letteth...” (Or withholdeth) “...will let,...” (Or withhold) “...until he be taken out of the way.” That’s the person of the Holy Spirit and the ‘it’ is the church, that which is going to be taken out of the way is the church. The Holy Ghost of God has a ministry through the local church in this age as He’s never had in another generation. The church and the Holy Ghost in His present ministry will be removed at the same time when the believers are raptured out.
Then do you know what it says in verse eight? “And then shall that Wicked be revealed,...” You think things are bad now. Just wait till the church is gone. The world is going to get what it always wanted. They’re going to get a world without God, a world without religion, a world without religious people, a world without the influence of the Holy Ghost of God, and holiness, and a Bible, and a local church. If you read Revelation chapter six and find out the natural calamity that will come, men murdering one another and the death and the doom and the gloom that will come, not as the judgment of God. That happens after chapter six. You’ll find that the first judgments are just the result of man in this world without the influence of God, man without the influence of a local church, man without the influence of the Holy Ghost of God.
I got to thinking. If He had not come, there wouldn’t be any Christmas holiday. We wouldn’t have anything to celebrate right now, not even in a secular fashion because even the secular is a take-off on the birth of Jesus Christ. They’ve taken Santa Claus and given him the attributes of Christ. “He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows if you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been good or bad, so be good for goodness sake.” There is only one person who knows all that. That’s God, and Jesus is God. There would not be even a secular Christmas celebration had it not been for His coming.
Had it not been for His coming there would be no church, nor its influence on this world. As evil and ungodly as this world has become, there is no way to imagine what it would have been without the influence of Christianity, the church of Jesus Christ in this world. There is no telling.
Do you realize that if Jesus had not come there would be no America? I don’t mean the continent, the land mass, wouldn’t sit here. I don’t mean it would not be populated. I mean this country was established and built on Christian principles. The whole reason that the Pilgrims sailed here on the Mayflower was in search of a land where they could practice their faith without persecution and raise their families in accordance with their beliefs. There would be no America as it is today, the land of the free and the home of the brave.
When they met in Philadelphia to frame the Constitution, after they had labored to compose a document to be governed by, Ben Franklin finally said, “If a sparrow cannot fall without His notice, then a nation cannot rise without His blessing.” Do you realize he’s quoting a New Testament text? I have hundreds of quotes by our founding fathers and proofs of this fact. Rest assured, if Jesus had not come to earth as our Saviour, there would be no America.
Do you understand there would be no New Testament in your Bible had He not come? There wouldn’t be a Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, I & II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James and so on all the way through the book of Revelation. There would be no New Testament had He not come. Since there would be no New Testament, Ben Franklin couldn’t have quoted the New Testament, Matthew chapter six. I want you to understand he was quoting out of the Word of God.
Patrick Henry is famous for his saying, “Give me liberty, or give me death.” But in years previous to that statement he was more famous for another statement that’s not as highly publicized today. “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not upon religions plural, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” A nation built on Christian principles. Do you understand if He had not come, there wouldn’t be any Christian principles to build it on? Had He not come, you wouldn’t live in the America you live in. You might live in this same continent. You may have been born in the same era of time, but you would not enjoy the liberty. When our Founding Fathers established the three branches of government, the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch, they got that from the Word of God. Over 90% of the Constitution is either direct quotes from the Bible, or principles that were derived from the Word of God.
Thomas Jefferson said, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”
A Frenchman came in the 1800’s to America. He was interested in finding out where the greatness of America could be found. He checked the institutions of education and said, “America’s greatness was not found there.” He checked her industry and said, “Her greatness was not found there.” He checked in every realm. He said he never found the greatness of America till he entered her churches and saw the pulpits aflame with righteousness and truth. He said, “There lies the greatness of this nation.”
Proverbs 14:34 says, “Righteousness exalteth a nation:...” The Bible says in I Corinthians 1:30 that Jesus is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. He is our righteousness, and righteousness exalteth a nation with Him being the center piece. God has been able to honor and bless this nation because it has been a nation founded, established and guided by the principles of the Word of God. If He had not come, there would be no America as you know it today.
No Christian Music
If He had not come, there would be no Christian music. I didn’t say there wouldn’t be any religious music. I said there would be no Christian music. In Ephesians 5:18-19 the Bible says, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;” Do you realize that if Jesus had not come there would be no, “Jesus loves me, this I know.” If He had not come, there would be no “Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found; was blind, but now I see.”
Had He not come, there would be no “Jesus saves. Jesus saves.” Had He not come, there would be no “Christ receiveth sinful men.” If He had not come, there would be no “Rock of Ages cleft for me. Let me hide myself in Thee.” There would be no song lyrics like, “On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, The emblem of suffering and shame. And I love that old cross where the Dearest and Best for a world of lost sinners was slain.” There would be no such song.
If He had not come, there would be no “Blessed assurance Jesus is mine. Oh what a foretaste of glory divine.” If He had not come, there would be no “My faith has found a resting place.” There would be no “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus. Just to take Him at His Word. Just to rest upon His promise, just to know, ‘Thus saith the Lord’.” If He had not come, there would be no Christian music. The most precious music on the face of the earth, the most soothing music, the most moving music, the most comforting music on the face of the earth is Christian music, and there would be no such music had Christ not come.
If He had not come, there would be no comfort for the sick and the bereaved. Jesus was the comfort of His disciples when He was here. In John 14:18, preparing them for His departure He said, “I will not leave you comfortless:...” He said, “I’ve got to leave, but I will not leave you comfortless.” Do you know what He said? “...I will come to you.” He said, “If I didn’t, you’d be comfortless.” We have a bunch of people to whom Jesus Christ is available, but they are still comfortless. They still live without the comfort and the peace of God. They still live without the joy of God. They still live with a storm raging in their soul unnecessarily. It’s a tragedy. We’d have nothing to offer sick and bereaved and hurting people, if He had not come.
I love what it says in II Corinthians 1:20. “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” It says twice in that verse that the key is in Him. “For all the promises of God in him are yea,...” Yes, the answer is going to come. The promise can be claimed in Him, and in Him alone. Without Him, there is no claim of a promise because He is the root and the offspring of everything that you and I try to claim.
Can you imagine as a preacher coming to the bedside of a sick person trying to comfort them, and you open your Bible and there is no New Testament? There are none of the promises of the New Testament. There is no risen Saviour. There is not One to whom we can look and say, “He’s conquered Hell and the grave and death. He healed sick bodies. He handled the courses of nature and turned it at will by His Word.” He spoke to the storm and the waters lay down at His feet. He spoke to the devil and he had to get behind Him. He spoke to disease and it departed. He spoke to unclean spirits and they obeyed. He spoke to nature and it obeyed. He was crucified, but He conquered Hell and the devil, and death, and the grave.” We’d be a comfortless people. I wouldn’t want to have to come to the side of a bereaved person, who has just lost the dearest on earth to them, and try to explain to them anything, if I didn’t have this New Testament.
Could I just say a word to you, ladies? This Christian religion that has permeated our society, the Judeo-Christian philosophy, and the principles of the Bible, is what has given women a place of dignity and honor in this society. In direct proportion to America departing from the Bible and Christianity, women have lost their place of honor and respect among society. You think the answer to everything is Women’s Lib and Equal Rights, and turning your back on the Bible? No, the truth is that women enjoy more respect and honor in a Christian culture than in any other setting you can find. If Christ had not come, women would still be regarded as little more than slaves. It is the Bible and Christianity that commands women to be cherished and treated with honor and respect
Had He not come, there would be no hope for the lost. In Ephesians 2:12 the Bible says, “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:” No hope of escaping Hell, no hope of Heaven, no hope of being raptured, no hope of a glorified body, no hope of seeing your loved ones again, no hope of being reunited forever in Heaven, no hope of a sinless and perfect place where you’ll get to enjoy the presence of God. He said when they were without Christ, they had no hope. If He had not come, we’d all be without Christ, and that would be our permanent condition -- having no hope.
The sad and tragic thing to me is the fact that He has come and some of us are still without Him. Some of us still have never received Him, still have not laid hold of the free gift of eternal life. We still are without hope if we’re without Him. That’s a tragedy.
In I Thessalonians 4:13-14, that rapture passage, He said, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep,...” He’s talking about those that have preceded him in death. He said, “...that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” He said, “Those of you that are believers in Jesus Christ, certainly when you lose a loved one you grieve, but you don’t have to grieve like those who have no hope. I want you to understand you’re going to be reunited. You have a hope, a promise, a guarantee for the future. Your separation is only temporary, but those who have no hope and no Saviour face a separation that is eternal. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” There is a promise there.
If Jesus had not come, there wouldn’t be any saving Gospel. In I Corinthians 15:3-4 the Bible says, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” Had He not come, it would have been impossible for Him to die as my substitute, be buried and rise again. There would be no Gospel.
There would be no plan of salvation. Jesus said in John 14:6, “...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” In Acts 4:12 it says, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” There would be no way to Heaven without Jesus. There would be no name with saving power had He not come.
Judas had rejected the Son of God and in despair, in a hopeless state of mind, he went out and hanged himself. If we have not the hope of the Gospel, we’re a very miserable race of people. I care not how much money we have. I don’t care how many possessions we have. I care not what we may possess, if we are without hope for eternity. The Bible says, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (I Corinthians 15:19) He said if this is it, and if this is all there is, then it’s a miserable thing.
You say, “What if He had not come?” He did come. The Bible said He came. “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:” He’s still doing that today. As many as receive Him today, He’s still saving them. He’s still making them sons of God, children of the Father in Heaven. Jesus Christ is still receiving sinful men. He’s still giving eternal life to ‘whosoever will.’
What if He had not come? No Christmas holiday to celebrate or nothing that’s related to it, no church and it’s influence, no moral fiber, no sanctity to marriage, no honor and respect for ladies, no America as you know it. I don’t mean the continent wouldn’t be here, but this nation that was founded as a Christian nation. No Christian music, we’d be like the people in Russia who sing nothing but sad, mournful ballads. No comfort, no hope, no Gospel without Jesus, but thank God, He has come. If He hadn’t come, I wouldn’t be preaching to you today. If He had not come, you wouldn’t be sitting in church listening to a Christmas message today.
It’s a pretty scary thought... What If He had not come. But since He has come, in John 10, He said He came to give you life and to give it to you more abundantly. You say, “What do I have to do to get it?”
He said, “Well, I’ve come all the way from Heaven to earth. All I expect you to do is come to Me.” He said, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17) No charge. You don’t have to earn it or buy it. He said, “I’ve come all this way, and I paid all this price for you on Calvary. All you have to do is come to Me in faith and receive Me as your personal Saviour.”
Since He came, you don’t want to miss out on the advantages and all that He has already purchased and paid for with His blood. He came through a miraculous virgin birth. He lived a sinless life. He died a vicarious death and shed His blood in payment for our sins. He arose victorious over sin, death, hell, and the grave. He did everything necessary to provide salvation and a home in heaven for anyone who will believe and receive Him, but He left that choice to us.
Isn’t it sad that many will miss Heaven and spend an eternity in the lake of fire after all that He paid so that we wouldn’t have to? If He hadn’t come, there are all kind of things that wouldn’t even be available, that wouldn’t be as they are. There’s still an America and a Gospel-preaching church because He came. But for some of us in this room, when it comes to the state of our soul, the fact that He came won’t benefit you at all unless you come to Him and take the water of life that He offers you. You don’t have to come half way. He came all this way. All you have to do is willingly take that one step to come to His person and receive Him by faith.
He came so you could come. If He had not come, there wouldn’t be anybody for you to come to for salvation, for forgiveness, for cleansing, for eternal life, for hope, for security. But since He has come, don’t forfeit all that He’s made available in His coming by you refusing to come to Him.
Today Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, extends an invitation to you. He’s already come into this world, and thank God He did. Today He extends a personal invitation to you. If you come as He’s invited you, you can lay hold of all that He has made available in His coming, and you will thank God you did. But if you walk away a Christ rejecter today, in spite of His coming, you’ll throw everything to the wind He has supplied and live without hope, live without comfort, live without joy, live without peace, and die without hope. Jesus said, “...for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” (John 8:24)
If you are willing to come to Him and trust Him to save you and make you a child of God like He promised, then just admit to Him that you are a sinner and unable to save yourself, and invite Him as the Son of God to come into your heart. He promised, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20) That is His promise, “I WILL come in,” if only you will invite Him.
“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 1:12) Have you received Him? He came unto His own, and if He had not come, we would be without one ray of hope in this world. But He has come, and now He invites us to come to Him. Will you receive Christ into your heart right now?
“Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and deserve to go to hell. But I am asking You right now to come into my heart and save me, just like You promised. I am trusting You to take me to Heaven when I die, and to help me live the rest of my life for You. Thank you for saving me. In Jesus name, Amen.”