What if Jesus Had Never Been Born
(pastor Lincoln Vellacott)
One movie, often shown around Christmas, is “It’s a Wonderful Life,” with main character George Bailey. He has tough times, and after drinking, considers suicide. A bumbling angel saves him and shows what would have been the case for the community and the people around him if George had never been born. It is a feel good movie, which ends up with George Bailey seeing how it was good for so many that he had been born into this world.
As we move towards Christmas, let me ask the question: “What if Jesus had never been born?” What kind of world would that be? What kind of consequences and despair would have resulted if Jesus had never been born?
Let me suggest 7 things that would result if Jesus Christ had not come into this world and lived and died and been raised to life again. First, we would be lost – spiritually and eternally speaking. Luke 19:10 in the Bible tells us, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” That is each one of us.
Second, we would be dead in our sins and unable to change or do anything about that. Ephesians 2:1 says, “As for you, you were dead in your wrongdoings and sins.” Isaiah 59:2 reminds us that our wrongdoings have separated us from God.
Third, we would be unaware of the extent of God’s love. 1st John 4:9 reads, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.”
Fourth, we would be without hope in this world. From Ephesians 2:12, we are separate from Christ…without hope and without God in the world. 1st Peter 1:3 says, “In His great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
Fifth, there would be no forgiveness. Quoting from Acts 13:38, “Through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.”
Sixth, we would remain unreconciled to God. Romans 5:10 declares, “For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”
Seventh, we would remain eternally condemned by the judge of all the earth. In John 3:18 we find these words of Jesus about himself: “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” And again from John 5:24, Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”
Because Jesus Christ WAS born, those 7 or more things don’t have to be the case, or our consequences anymore. We can be alive, spiritually and forever, thru faith in Christ Jesus; encountering God’s love; filled with confident hope; forgiven, pardoned; in union and friendship with God; and experiencing God’s great salvation. Thank God that Jesus Christ WAS Born, and thru trusting in Him, life for each one of us can be far different from what life would have been.
Peace be yours thru Christ Jesus the Savior.
I encourage you to take in a church worship service this coming week-end, so that you can be encouraged - with those - who like us, needed a living Savior. Merry Christmas from myself, my family, and Living Faith Fellowship church.
(pastor Lincoln Vellacott)
In 1829 George Wilson, in Pennsylvania, was sentenced to be hanged by a United States court for robbing the mail and for murder. President Andrew Jackson pardoned him but this was refused, and Wilson insisted that it was not a pardon unless he accepted it. The president called the Supreme Court to decide.
Chief justice John Marshall gave the following decision: “A pardon is a paper, the value of which depends upon its acceptance by the person implicated. It is hardly to be supposed that one under sentence of death would refuse to accept a pardon, but if it is refused, it is no pardon. George Wilson must be hanged!” And he was hanged.
Speaking of Jesus, Mark 10:45 in the Bible, says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, & to give his life as a ransom for many.” Ransom and pardon are very similar in meaning. A ransom is the price paid to free slaves or captives. Jesus death on the cross was to ransom or pardon many from the penalty of their sins.
Many of us may not even realize that we are in bondage, or that we are captives, and that each of us are under a death penalty. Lot’s of us, as people, may not want to recognize or admit that. But that doesn’t change the reality of it. The Bible makes it clear that all have sinned and that the cost or result of being a sinner is death – eternal separation from God (Romans 3:23, 6:23). None of our lives measure up to the standard of a Holy God. We can’t pay the penalty, and the eternal cost is very steep.
The good news is that we can be set free. We don’t have to held captive by our sin, or a prisoner held over for eternal consequences or punishment. Christ’s death on the cross pays the ransom for each one of us. But Jesus ransom for you depends upon your acceptance of it. It is hard to believe that someone would refuse Christ’s pardon from eternal condemnation, but if it is refused, then the ransom is without effect in your life.
A Texas Governor visited the State penitentiary and spoke to the life term convicts. The only man pardoned that day was the man who admitted his guilt and that his punishment was justified. None of the men who made excuses for their imprisonment were pardoned and freed.
Similarly, don’t make excuses for your sin. Call out to Jesus with a genuine “Pardon Me.” When you admit your guilt & your need, God will pardon you. Your eternal pardon depends upon trusting in and receiving God’s forgiveness of your sins thru Jesus Christ. When you admit your sin to God and ask for His forgiveness, then you can enjoy the eternal pardon and freedom that comes thru accepting what Jesus Christ did on the cross for you.
As I conclude my devotional article, let me also encourage you to be a part of a Worship Service this week-end.
Feb. 14th, 2019
Love from the Heart
(pastor Lincoln Vellacott – Living Faith Fellowship Church, Herbert, Sk.)
February is the month with Valentine’s Day – a celebration of LOVE.
Around Valentine’s Day, we think about giving cards, maybe chocolates or candies or flowers. Maybe we make or receive phone calls around Valentines, to let people know that we love and care about them. If you had a special someone in your life and they never called, or sent a card, or helped you out with something you really needed, and they said they loved you, you might rightly wonder about that. You might say or think, if you loved me – really loved me from the heart, wouldn’t you show it, and couldn’t I feel or see it and know it??
God not only says that He loves us, but He showed us that He loves us. From 1st John 4:9 we read, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.”
We tend to show love mostly to those who are nice, kind, easy to get along with, and to those who are our friends. Romans 5:8 in the Bible tells us, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” That is another way of saying while we were still His enemies, Christ demonstrated His love for us. While He rightfully had something against us, because of our sins – and He is to pure and holy to be able to stand sin – God demonstrated love for us then.
When we as people give a gift, we sometimes are kind of cheap. We get it from the dollar store, or at a discount flower store, or maybe we re-gift something someone gave to us, because we already had it or we didn’t want it, or didn’t like it, and so we pass it off as a gift to someone else. God’s gifts to us are not cheap. His great gift, came with great cost - the life of His One and Only Son. God’s love for us, meant He came in the person of Jesus Christ, and died on the cruel cross, so our sins could be wiped out. He gave His very self for us, so that we wouldn’t be enemies with God anymore, but instead His dearly loved friends & children, thru faith in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross.
Remember though, that love and gifts need to be received. How many of us have Christmas gifts still unwrapped at our homes? That would be rare indeed. It is only to those who believe what He came to do, and will receive Him, that Christ Jesus has given the privilege of becoming children of God.
God loves us from The Heart. He showed His love thru the precious gift of His Son on the cross, while we were enemies because of sin, and His love needs to be received.
His love will also change us and the way we love. 1st John 4:11, in the Bible says, “Dear Friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
As I conclude my devotional article with that, let me also encourage you to be a part of a Worship Service this week-end.
Dec. 18th, 2018
CHRISTMAS MESSAGE – 2018
A Modern Christmas Parable …
Take the hint - “Take my Son”
(pastor Lincoln Vellacott – Living Faith Fellowship Church, Herbert, Sk.)
Someone sent me this story, and I pass it on to you to enjoy and consider this Christmas.
A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.
When war broke out, the son went. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.
Just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands. He said, 'Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art.'
The young man held out his package. 'I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this.'
The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture.
'Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift.'
The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.
The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection.
On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. 'We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?' There was silence.
Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, 'We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one.'
But the auctioneer persisted. 'Will somebody bid for this painting. Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?'
Another voice angrily rose up, 'We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Gogh’s, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!'
But still the auctioneer continued. 'The son! The son! Who'll take the son?'
Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the long time gardener of the man and his son. 'I'll give $10 for the painting.' Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.
'We have $10, who will bid $20?'
'Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters.'
'$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?'
The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.
The auctioneer pounded the gavel. 'Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!'
A man sitting on the second row shouted, 'Now let's get on with the collection!'
The auctioneer laid down his gavel. 'I'm sorry, the auction is over.'
'What about the paintings?'
'I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!'
If you were at that auction, wouldn’t you have wished that the auctioneer would have given you a hint?
What that auctioneer couldn’t do, we can do this Christmas. Here is the hint, the encouragement … maybe even a frantic warning – take the Son, the Lord Jesus.
To distill the message of Christmas down to its clearest point, is that the central aspect of Christmas, is that God came in the person of Jesus Christ, to save and free people from there sin.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 from the Bible).
From our home and congregation to you, MERRY CHRISTMAS!! And remember to take the hint from this Christmas – don’t get taken up with what everybody else seems to think is so valuable. Receive Jesus Christ, who came to be your Savior, - the greatest gift, and true riches for now and forever.