george hancockstefanIn this time of Christmas we deal with something that happened 2,000 ago. The historicity of Jesus cannot be denied. Even people who do not believe in the divinity of Jesus, such as Bart Ehrman, have to agree that his historical presence cannot be denied. He walked among us in the land of Judea, had followers, and by many non-biblical accounts was crucified in the days of Pontius Pilate.

A number of years ago, James Kennedy preached a series of sermons entitled, “What If?” What if Christ was not born? What if Christ listened to the Devil during the temptations? What if Christ did not rise from the dead?

Since his coming is uncontestable, the question for this article follows - What happens if those for whom he came decided not to receive Him? Both Apostles John and Paul present this reality. In Romans 3:3 Paul writes, “What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true and every man a liar.” Or Apostle John in his Prologue writes, “He came to that which was his own but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave them the right to become children of God.”

Apostles Paul and John writing in their own days were primarily writing to their Jewish kinsmen. Jesus was ethnically one of them, yet, he was rejected by the majority of the Jewish people. I have observed that sometimes our church children and grandchildren, those that are brought in contact with Jesus, who know the Jesus story, make a decision against Jesus. Some of them become atheists, some agnostics, and some join other religions.

As we are in the 21st century since the birth of Jesus Christ, according to most of the statistics, the percentage of the world that has not heard about Jesus Christ has become very small. The countries that comprise the United Nations have the Bible translated in the majority of languages spoken in their countries. Bible translation organizations, such Wycliffe Bible Translations, foresee that within a short span of time, every group of people, including the newly found tribal groups will have the Bible in their language. Even before there are written languages, missionaries have gone in to learn their spoken language. Very soon, we can say that He is being preached throughout the world.

Once the Good News about Jesus is being preached, people have to make a decision about him. In the words of the well-known English author, C.S. Lewis, they must decide if Jesus was delusional, a lunatic, or the Son of God as the angels and shepherds proclaimed and millions have believed since that first Christmas morning.