Friday, December 18, 2015

The Christmas Gospel In Prophecy and Persecution

I came across a video  that brings home what the Bible says about the Advent of Christ: both His first and His second Advent. The text cited by the old man in the video is the Old Testament lesson for Christmas Day, Isaiah 9:2-7.

Before watching the video it would be good to read what the Apostle Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3:
Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), 2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, 3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

It is vital for us as Christians to understand that the sin denying and prosperity teaching liars like Joel Osteen, Rob Bell, Mark Driscoll and many other pop-Evangelical American teachers are undercutting and destroying the faith once delivered to all the saints. They are not preaching Christ crucified for the forgiveness of sins. Instead they are preparing their listeners to fall into pressure to give up.

Christmas, the first Advent of our Lord, is a day the true Church uses to focus on the gift of God Who chose to become also a human baby boy. He truly is Immanuel, "God With Us" and our Savior.

The video was filmed in Hyde Park, London, England and uploaded in February 2015.

At the heart of the video is the prophecy from Isaiah chapter 9. This prophecy is of the first Advent, the coming of Christ in the flesh.



Lifting up and praising God with vague lofty choruses that make no reference to sin, grace, the means of grace, or the forgiveness of sins in Christ will not prepare any Christian for a confrontation like this.

Focusing on what God can do for me now to make my life, my retirement, my stress better does not prepare any Christian for this kind of confrontation.

It is only the solid preaching of the actual written Word of God, His Law, His Gospel, the very words of His prophecy and fulfillment in Christ and dwelling in His means of grace that can prepare any of us for this day. That, my friends, is exactly what the liturgy of the Divine Service does. This is exactly what Confessional Lutheranism is preparing us for by teaching the Small Catechism.

Surrounded by the enemies of Christ, this man, however imperfectly, was enabled by God to preach forgiveness in the Christ. He directed them specifically to the promise of Christmas in Isaiah 9. His speech to his persecutors is also a prayer for them, their forgiveness, their deliverance. It must come with warning.

Christmas is such a warning as well as a promise.

May God keep us all steadfast in His Word until our ends. And may He enable us also to speak the Truth with love even to those who would seek our public disgrace, ruin and death. Amen


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