A “Feel-Good” Christmas Having an easy, comfortable, good time
We Make the Christmas Story a “Feel-Good” Time • Go with an easy, traditional date • Feel good with singing angels announcing • Comfortable with three wise men • We like the wise men at the manger • Comfortable with the traditional Bible story of the “first” Christmas • Although no shepherds in the field • Although no text says they were singing • Although the number is not given • Although scripture points to a house, later • Although no apostle taught/wrote/honored such an activity
Why Are Churches/Believers/Religion so Caught Up in an Unbiblical Practice • Part of a culture shift? • Moving toward “easy” religion • And a “feel-good” church For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, (2 Timothy 4:3 ESV) • Will not endure • sound doctrine? • Having itching • ears? • Will suit • themselves?
…knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. (2 Peter 3:3 ESV) These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage. (Jude 1:16 ESV)
How Can We Tell a “Feel-Good” Church? • It isn’t committed to sacrifice (of Christ or self) Birth celebration Music Drama Special services Celebration of His death
On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. (Acts 20:7 ESV) When(?) you come together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat. (1 Corinthians 11:20 ESV) On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. (1 Corinthians 16:2, ESV)
How Can We Tell a “Feel-Good” Church? • It isn’t committed to sacrifice (of Christ or self) • It isn’t committed to obedience …in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! (Mark 7:7-9 ESV) Weekly day of praise and worship is inconvenient Great focus on an annual day of praise
What is “continually devoted”? So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they (continually, NASV) devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. (Acts 2:41-42 ESV)
What is “continually devoted”? On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. (Acts 20:7 ESV) On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. (1 Corinthians 16:2 ESV)
What is “continually devoted”? And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV)
How Can We Tell a “Feel-Good” Church? • It isn’t committed to sacrifice (of Christ or self) • It isn’t committed to obedience • It isn’t committed to personal responsibility Versus clear and plain examples of believers being saved Focus on Jesus coming to us, asking into our heart, sinners’ prayer, etc.
Plain examples of “doing” Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37 ESV) Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30 ESV) But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to (must, NASV) do.” (Acts 9:6 ESV)
Holidays should be easy, comfortable, and recreational… • But don’t get that attitude mixed up with the church • God’s people are a faithful, committed people • Committed to sacrifice, of Savior and of self • Committed to obedience, trusting, serving • Committed to personal responsibility