The Remarkable Power of Christmas Part III
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I [Jesus] would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."1
How can we know if the Christmas story is true or not? The person of Christ is not in doubt. He was as much a fact of history as were Julius Caesar and William Shakespeare. But was his birth on that first Christmas that of God on earth?
That, of course, is a question each person needs to answer for him or herself. However, for those who sincerely want an answer there is great evidence to verify that Jesus Christ was and is the Son of God.
Among the best evidence is the fulfillment of more than 300 biblical prophecies concerning his birth, life, and death that accurately predicted his birth in Bethlehem, his being betrayed for thirty pieces of silver, and his death by crucifixion.
In his book, Science Speaks, Peter Stoner applies the science of probability to just eight of these many prophecies. He states that the chance that any one man might have fulfilled just these eight prophecies would be one in 1016; that is one in 10,000,000,000,000,000, not to mention the chances of fulfilling all 300 prophecies.
Stoner says that if we took this many silver dollars (10 to the 16) and laid them on the face of the state of Texas, they would cover the entire state two feet thick. If one of the coins had a special marking on it and a blindfolded man had to find it, what would his chances be?
Stoner claims that he would have as much chance as the biblical prophets, without God, "would have had of writing those eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man."
Christ also confirmed his deity through his many miracles and especially through his resurrection from death. He came to earth specifically to pay the penalty and die for the sins of mankind. In rising from the dead, he not only showed that he was the Son of God, but also conquered sin and death so that all who believe in him would receive the gift of eternal life.
The exciting news about Christmas is that it is not only a reminder of Christ's first coming and all he did for us, but also a reminder that he is coming again to take to heaven all who put their trust in him and to do away with all wars, sorrow, and tears forever. Only then will his promise of "peace on earth" be fulfilled. Based on his other promises and biblical prophecies already fulfilled, we can be just as certain of Christ's second coming as we are of his first.
Exactly when that will be nobody knows for sure. However, the signs of the time indicate that Christ's return could be very near—perhaps just around the corner.
The critical issue is to be ready for his coming. You can be by believing that Christ died on the cross for your sins and by responding to his invitation to receive him into your heart and life as personal Lord and Savior. To see how to do this see the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at: www.actsweb.org/christian.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for the promise that Jesus will return to earth again for all those who have put their faith and trust in him. Please help me to know for sure that I will be ready when that time comes. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. John 14:1-3 (NIV).