Christmas

Santa Claus – Convenient Replacement for Jesus Christ

Here’s my Christmas post that comes to you 5 days late – or 360 days early – depends how you look at it. Before the next Christmas, let’s settle a few things…

  1. Where is Santa Claus the rest of the year? 
  2. Who IS Santa?
  3. Is Santa correctly spelled as S-a-t-a-n?

These questions beg being answered. So let me give my two cents here!

  1. Where is Santa Claus the rest of the year?
    He is hidden from view except during the Christmas season. He is a spirit, a movement. A counterfeit for Jesus Christ. While it may or may not be a sin to accept goodies from him (ask Jesus about it), keep in mind that he is not the Provider. All he can do is get a human to don his attire and spring sweets and toys from his bag and give a few light moments to his audience. He cannot save a dying man or restore marriages or finances. He certainly cannot give you a glimpse of what to expect the other side of life – more life…or agony…or cessation of existence (also called Nirvana). So if you do not see him the rest of the year, do not be surprised. He did not say in the Bible, that “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Jesus did. So expect only Jesus to be with you 24 x 7 x 52.
  2. Who IS Santa?
    Legend has it that he was a European saint called Nicolas. Saint Nicolas became Santa Claus over time. He loved kids and would give gifts to children. I just hope he taught those kids about the giver of every good gift and every perfect gift – the Father of lights, God Himself. But it’s amazing how this concept was preserved for so many centuries. I think there is a malevolent spiritual force behind the Santa Claus movement. If the saint is in Heaven, he must be feeling sorry he ever gave gifts to kid (thank God there is no sorry feeling in Heaven – but only clear knowledge of one’s works)!
  3. Is Santa correctly spelled as S-a-t-a-n?
    Not the original one. But Satan has definitely hijacked Christmas and taken focus away from Jesus Christ to someone who looks like a poor caricature of Jesus. Jesus does not dance and roar with laughter – at least not on Earth. But Santa Claus makes all the right marketing moves. Santa is for the Happy Holidays culture. Jesus is for the Merry Christmas culture.
 

So what should you do?

 
Get the real deal. What’s more important – getting a big bar of chocolate or a close friend in who will stand by you in life’a thick and thin? You decide. You decide if you want to follow the one who put on a red robeor the one who created a red robe for himself, shedding blood and being covered with it until every sin of yours was paid for in full. If you feel Jesus deserves your attention more than Santa, head over to this post and do yourself a favour.
 
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Is This the Last Christmas Before the Rapture?

“For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:2

The Bible says that the day is coming when Jesus Christ will come down (but not step on Earth) and resurrect the bodies of those followers of his who are already dead at that time. These bodies will be given to their respective persons (who are now in heaven) and the bodies will be incorruptible (indestructible). Immediately after that, he will also supernaturally lift up those followers of his, who are alive at that time on Earth. The bodies of these followers will supernaturally be translated into incorruptible bodies. No matter which group we are in, we will be united with the Lord Jesus Christ forever. This event, as you might know, is called the Rapture. 

And after that, the 7-year Great Tribulation will begin. Those who have not repented of their sins and accepted God’s Free Gift of Salvation by then, will be left behind. The Antichrist will appear on the scene and woo the hearts of as many people he can deceive. All this will reach a climax with a war at Armageddon, when Jesus and his forces will defeat the Antichrist and his forces.

Some scholars say that Jesus saying in the Bible that a generation shall not pass since Israel will be re-formed, that the Rapture will occur. They say a Biblical generation is 70-80 years. Israel was re-formed in 1948. This means Jesus could come for the Rapture anytime from 2018-2028. Others say the 4 Blood Moons that will occur from April 2014-October 2015 will likely bring this event. 

Some other people believe not in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, but a Mid- or Post-Tribulation Rapture. They say the first 3.5 years of the Antichrist’s wooing the world’s people will pass and then the event will occur. So when is it really going to happen? Or is it even important for you if you are a born-again child of God? Well, here is my take on it, with helpful insights from a Christian friend…

Scenario 1: Pre-Tribulation Rapture

Well, this is what most Christians would want, wouldn’t we! Supernaturally airlifted out of the danger zone before the zone turns dangerous like it never has in history. But there is another side to it… 

This also means you and I have less time to preach the Gospel and do the other works that destroy the works of the devil. So if your loved ones or friends are unsaved, maybe you need to develop a plan soon, to witness to them. 

Mark 16 says that believers shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. It also says that the disciples went about obeying the commands of Jesus and preached the Gospel everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word with signs following. So if you think you only need to preach the Gospel but not lay hands on the sick or cast out devils or raise the dead, better re-read Mark 16 again a few times. If the Lord needed to confirm the message with signs, and he is the same yesterday and today and forever, he needs us to yield to him so he can confirm the word with signs following today as well. So make yourself available to the Holy Spirit. If the Pre-Trib Rapture is what it’s going to be, then you might just have 3.5 years less to get your loved ones into the Kingdom.

“The day you realize that who you lay your hands on will live and who you do not lay your hands on could die…from that day, you will start looking at your hands differently.” – Curry Blake, General Overseer, John G. Lake Ministries

Let your hands and feet be the hands and feet of Jesus. Allow him to continue his ministry today…this time through you!

We will look at the Scenario 2: Post-Tribulation Rapture in the next blog post. Till then, keep witnessing and demonstrating the Kingdom!

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Hidden Story of Christmas Revealed

We all love Santa Claus, don’t we? Especially if he gives gifts to us or our kids! But did you know that while this fun tradition is good in a sense, it has also concealed the truth behind Christmas to an extent. Christmas is not about Santa. It’s about Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind. While the gifts that Santa gives to kids are perishable, the gift of salvation that God gives through Jesus is everlasting. Here are some interesting facts about Jesus and the Bible:
  1. There are 332 prophecies in the Bible about Jesus Christ.
  2. These include his virgin birth, his birthplace, how he was wrapped as a baby (in a white cloth meant to wrap dead bodies – ‘Kafan’ in Urdu – because he came to die for us), his sinless life, the exact day of his entering Jerusalem riding on a donkey, his death on the Cross, burial in a rich man’s tomb, resurrection, ascension to Heaven and even his return for the battle at Armageddon.
  3. All of these have come true so far. His return is expected too, as all other prophecies till the present time have been fulfilled.
  4. The Bible contains 8,000 promises.
  5. 27% of the Bible is prophetic – meaning, that 27% (8,352) of all (31,124) its verses give a total of 1,817 prophecies, all of which have come true so far.
  6. The Bible predicted thousands of years ago that the nation of Israel would be re-established exactly on 14th May, 1948 and also that it would regain Jerusalem precisely in 1967.
  7. The principle of quarantine to prevent the spread of contagious diseases was discovered from the Bible.
  8. The Bible mentioned thousands of years ago, that the Earth is suspended in outer space – long before Columbus discovered this and Copernicus “formulated a heliocentric model of the universe which placed the Sun, rather than the Earth, at the center”!*
  9. The Bible mentioned thousands of years ago, that the stars in space are innumerable, even though this was discovered by Galileo only a few centuries ago. Until then, people used to believe that there were only a thousand odd stars in the universe!
  10. This same Bible says that all humans have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. But as we ourselves sinned, we cannot pay the price required for the forgiveness of our sins. If we die in our sins, God would have no option but to send us to hell for eternity, because he is a just God (perfect judge). So if we were to get to Heaven where God lives, someone had to pay the price on our behalf. As no one else was worthy, God sent His only begotten Son Jesus as a human being, letting him die on the Cross to pay our penalty and then God raised him from the dead back to life, 3 days later. He has not died since then – he is alive and in Heaven right now. He ascended to Heaven 40 days after his resurrection from the dead.
  11. God worked out this plan for our salvation because He is a just God, yet a loving God. He had to punish sin while leaving the way open for the sinner to be set free. And that salvation plan is found in Jesus.
  12. Jesus is the only person in history so far who has met all the criteria required for a sacrificial Saviour: first-born male, without sin or defect, sacrificed on the Jewish ‘Passover’ festival day (Good Friday)…
  13. The Bible also says that if you confess that you too have sinned, that you cannot save yourself and ask Jesus to save you, he will really save you (your spirit – atma – rooh). His blood will wash away your sin. All you need to do is pray a simple prayer for salvation with a true repentant heart, accepting him as your only Saviour and Lord. Click here to see what that prayer is.

* Source: Wikipedia

If you are to trust your family’s future into the hands of an insurance company, which one would you choose – one that does not have any record of honouring any claim, or one which has honoured a claim in the past – just as it had promised? Of course, the latter! Now if you are to trust your eternal destiny into the hands of someone, then into whose hands would you trust it? Someone who has never come as a human being and understood your pain? Someone who died and you have never heard of them after that? Or into the hands of someone who died, rose again from the dead and has not died again – and thereby fulfilled hundreds of prophecies and promises? Again, of course the latter! 

Well, my friend, the only real historical person who fits in that category is Jesus Christ. I am not trying to convert your religion. Christianity is not a religion. Jesus’ biggest enemies were the religious leaders of his day. It’s not a question of “my god is bigger than your god” – it’s a question of where you want to spend eternity. I urge you that you study the material I am linking to below, and thoughtfully consider praying the salvation prayer – knowing that you will be accountable before God for praying or not praying it. Jesus asked his followers only to preach the Gospel (Good News of forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God in Heaven – all for free!). He did not ask us to convert anybody.
So remember, God has given you a free volition. He has not given you the right to make the wrong choice, but He has given you the power to make the wrong choice or the correct choice. Just like how we have the power to abide by the law of the land or to break it, but we do not have the right to break it. So, then…
If you have doubts, rush to www.allaboutgod.com.
To learn more about the Bible, click here.
To pray the salvation prayer, click here.
God bless you…and have a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Merry Christmas

Wish you a Merry Christmas! Whether you are a new or old visitor, if you do not know much about Jesus, read Good News Friday – you will learn a lot about God. Also visit a wonderful site called All About God – most of your questions about God will be answered there. If you want all questions to be answered, proceed from that side to pick up a Bible for yourself; because we speak to God through prayer, but God speaks to us through His Word – the Bible. God bless you!

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