The Greatest Gift

For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
–Colossians 1:19-20

2000+ years have come and gone, and yet another celebration of the most wonderful event in human history is being observed. And I find myself with a sense of sadness along with all of the joy. I’m saddened because of the fact that Christmas is celebrated by far more people than have any reason to celebrate.
And my heart aches to think that in the midst of competing messages about the “reason for the season,” the true meaning of Christ’s redemption of the lost is the most ignored and least understood message out there. One of the songs of Christmas rings in my mind as I ponder it. A song in which a little four-word phrase summarizes the true meaning of Christmas. The phrase is “God and sinners reconciled.”
Christmas means that although we do not in any way deserve God’s favor, He became one of us to take the punishment we deserve and bring us reconciliation with a Holy God. It was a plan well-pleasing to the Father, because the sacrifice made by Christ on our behalf would be completely sufficient to save us forever.
The Creator of the universe, Who lay on a bed of cattle feed that first Christmas, grew up and lived a perfect, sinless life. “But He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. The punishment that (earned our peace with God) was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5) Healed of the great physically and spiritually terminal disease of our sin. If you have placed your trust in nothing but Jesus’ sacrificial death in your stead to make things right between you and God, then you have received this great Christmas gift of reconciliation. If you haven’t, then God awaits your decision, so that He can save you from your sins and from the penalties your sins have earned you.
That’s why my heart turns directly to you today. I want to ask you, dear reader, what about you? Have you been reconciled to God through the blood shed by Christ on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins? Or do you remain unreconciled? I’m not asking if you are religious. I’m not asking if you’re good. I’m not asking if you’re sorry for the bad things you’ve done. I’m not asking if Christmas and thoughts of Jesus make you feel warm inside.
I’m asking you if you have received God’s forgiveness of your sins by taking the gift of Jesus’ death as your own road to heaven. It’s the greatest gift. Please don’t mark it “Return to Sender.”
It’s important that you receive salvation, if you have not already. Because if you do not do so, there is no Christmas peace in your future. There is no hope in your future. There is no love in your future. There is no comfort or joy in your future. The only thing that awaits you if you haven’t understood the true meaning of Christmas and received this greatest of gifts is the pain of being eternally separated from God. The pain of being punished forever by His holy wrath is your inescapable destiny. Ten trillion centuries will pass by and the suffering of those who have rejected Christ’s offer of free salvation will not be over, but just begun.
However, heaven will be a wonderful place! I want more than anything in the world for you to be there with me one day. (And God wants that even more. Heaven will be a place where you’ll never hurt again. You’ll never be lonely, bored, angry, frustrated, scared, sick or unfulfilled again. The perfect and perfectly satisfying intimate fellowship with a wonderful God for whom you were created will be yours forever. And you shall never be in want of anything else for all eternity.
Are you sure you’re saved? Are you sure your eternal destination is heaven with God? Be sure. Be very sure. And be sure now You can come to Jesus today, right where you sit in front of your computer, because God will hear you call upon Him, and “Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  (Romans 10:13)
Simply turn to Jesus now, and in your heart confess to Him that you have sinned against Him. Tell Him in your own words that you acknowledge you have done things that violated His law and made you unacceptable to God.
Then express to Him that you believe He loves you and that He came and died on the cross, willingly taking the punishment you deserve for sinning against God, and that He rose again from the dead.
Then tell Him that you are receiving the forgiveness of your sins that He promised you, and ask Him to be your Savior, giving you the gift of an everlasting relationship with God.
It’s that simple. No one who comes to Him will be turned away. Don’t delay. Accept God’s loving gift of salvation today. Then pass this message on to others you know need to hear it. (You can even put it in an email that you send to others, so that they, too, can receive the greatest gift this Christmas.)

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