A Week of Christmas Past: Christmas Eve Message (2017)


Tuesday Guy's 2017 Christmas Eve Message.


Welcome to No Compromise Radio, a ministry coming to you from Bethlehem Bible Church in West Boylston.
No Compromise Radio is a program dedicated to the ongoing proclamation of Jesus Christ, based on the theme in Galatians 2, verse 5, where the apostle
Paul said, but we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.
In short, if you like smooth, watered -down words to make you simply feel good, this show isn't for you.
By purpose, we are first biblical, but we can also be controversial. Stay tuned for the next 25 minutes as we're called by the divine trumpet to summon the troops for the honor and glory of her king.
Here's our host, Pastor Mike Abendroth. Welcome to No Compromise Radio ministry. Today is Tuesday, just two days after Christmas, but we're still on the
Christmas topic. Getting ready for New Year's. And I'm your co -host, JC Ryle. Well, there is a
Ryle that has written recently, but I think that would be, I was going to say Paul McCartney's mentor.
Well, because he did that hippos in the garden. Yeah, that's right. Today on No Compromise Radio, we're going to start off with a little insight from a six -year -old girl who is in a public school, and then we'll get to our
Christmas quiz for Steve. Pasto Mike. Pasto Mike. The teacher, by the way,
Steve was trying to explain evolution to the children. So here's what he said. Tommy, do you see the tree outside?
Yes. Do you see the grass outside? Yes. Go outside and look up and see if you can see the sky.
Okay, yes, I saw the sky. Did you see God? No. That's my point. We can't see
God because he isn't there. He doesn't exist. A little girl spoke up and wanted to ask the boy some more questions.
The teacher agreed. Tommy, do you see the tree outside? Yes. Tommy, do you see the green grass outside?
Yes. Do you see the sky outside? Yes. Tommy, do you see the teacher? Yes. Tommy, do you see her brain?
No. Then according to what we were taught today in school, she must not have one.
That was just a free little, you know, that was just a free humor for what it's worth.
Worth every penny that you paid for it, ladies and gentlemen. That's right. All right, today, since it's two days after Christmas, we are going to get into some
Christian lore, some Christian legends, fables. What would be another synonym for fable or lore or legend?
Well. Story. Yeah, I'd prefer, you know, history. Okay. There are many myths that surround
Christmastime and I'm holding my paper so Pastor Steve can't see. Okay. He's smarter than I am, but I have the notes.
So I'm using that to my advantage. True on both counts. That's true. Many surround
Christmastime, these legends and lores, and I found some on the internet. False. So I'm going to ask you a question and then you're going to try to give me the answer.
Okay. In Syria, Christmas gifts are distributed by. How are
Christmas gifts distributed in Syria today? In terms of their lore, not
UPS or anything like that. Back in the day. Camel. You are so right.
You're a cheater. I just hit Steve in his bad shoulder. One of the wise men's camels, the gift -giving camel is said to have been the smallest one in the wise men's caravan.
So when you go to a nativity scene and you see the little camel that couldn't, he's usually the one that does.
Well, that's my one lucky guess. Yeah. That is amazing. Steve, when you see a nativity scene on December 27th, what do you usually think?
Day late and a dollar short? Yeah. Although we were driving by the local congregational church the other night and they actually had one out there.
A lot of people out there too. Was Jesus smaller than Mary? I think so.
I think so too. Yeah, because people like the little baby. They don't like the grown
Jesus. I mean, they're really not going to like the grown Jesus who comes back to judge the world. They're not going to like that one. That is so true.
Well, Steve, you are batting 100%. They say batting 1 ,000. Batting 1 ,000. Why do they say batting 1 ,000 when they mean 100 %?
If you're batting .354, you're really batting 35 .4%. Yeah, because I just don't think it has the same ring.
What's his batting average? 30 .4, 35 .4? It wouldn't sound good because we'd all know that was a failing grade.
Whereas it sounds pretty good to say that he hit .354. That sounds a lot better than 30. Yeah. 35.
Yes. In Greek legend, malicious creatures called Kallikantroizoi sometimes play troublesome pranks at Christmas time.
To get rid of them, you should. What do you do to get rid of those people? Those little malicious creatures, those little gnome -like things.
Chant Hare Krishna. I don't know. You know why
I said that, right? No. George Harrison, when he was confronted, an intruder, this is -
Oh yes, now I know. Please explain that to us. George Harrison, he was a
Beatle, but he didn't really believe in a whole lot of security. And so a madman broke into his house and was standing on the lower floor of his house and yelling up at Harrison, you know why
I'm here, you know why I'm here. And Harrison went out there and basically just started chanting Hare Krishna at him, which resulted in Harrison getting stabbed,
I think about 20 times. Did he get stabbed once for every time he said Hare? Maybe he thought he was saying
Hare Kare. Hare, Hare, Hare Nilsson, that's what he thought he was saying. Hare Kare. If one of these people try to play a prank on you, the legend says that you should burn either salt or an old shoe, because that drives them off.
Another effective method includes hanging a pig's jawbone by the door and keeping a large fire so they can't sneak down the chimney.
See, my next guess was gonna be saying smearing methylated in your hair. That was gonna be my next one, but I guess that would've been wrong too.
Okay. All right, which of the following was not one of the three kings? We know their names by the way, and I want you to tell me which one wasn't his real name.
Wenceslaus. Casper.
Balthasar. Yeah. Melchior. I think it was Casper. And you know what?
I don't have an answer on that one. Yeah. How dope is that? Yeah, I don't remember a King Casper, although he did have a really nice TV show,
Casper. That is bad, I don't have the deal. You don't have the answer? No, I don't. Then it must be right.
I'm two out of three then. Steve, I'll grant you that. Okay. But who reads these things before we start the show? Our crack research staff.
Obviously nobody. A boar's head is a traditional Christmas gift.
It's also a Christmas dish, if I can see. According to a popular story, the unlucky boar whose head began the custom in the middle ages was killed by what and how?
Bad wine. Excellent guess. Choking to death on a book of Greek philosophy.
A university student saved himself from a charging boar by ramming a book of Aristotle's writings down his throat, then cut off the boar's head and brought it back to college.
At least it wasn't Plato. Well, you know what? The first time
I read Socrats, I got a charlie horse in my brain. Which popular
Christmas song was actually written for Thanksgiving? Jingle Bells.
Really? Yes, 1857, James Pierpont, and was originally called One Horse Open Sleigh.
Joy to the World is actually written about which coming of Christ? The first or the second?
Well, I'd have to say the second. It is, it's the second. Let earth receive her king, and we wouldn't really think of him that way the first time around.
Steve, if you were given some frumenti at a medieval Christmas party, you would probably what?
Put it in my underwear drawer. I mean, that sounds fruit, fruit of the loom. What is that?
You would probably eat it because it was a spiced porridge, both enjoyed by the rich and poor.
It was a forerunner of Christmas puddings. Frumenti, sounds like ferment.
Sounds like it's some kind of alcohol. I wouldn't do anything with it. I wouldn't do anything with it.
In the Ukraine, oh, by the way, that frumenti also had its origins regarding the harvest god
Dagda, Dagda. Good old Dagda. In the
Ukraine, if you find a spiderweb in the house on Christmas morning, it is believed to mean what?
Santa didn't clean? It's meant to mean good luck.
On Christmas morning, a poor woman who could not afford decorations found that spiders had trimmed her child's tree in their webs, with their webs.
When the morning sun shone on them, the webs turned to silver. An artificial spider and web are often included in the decorations for Ukrainian Christmas trees.
I always wondered where the idea for tinsel came from. Now, I thought it had to do with icicles. No, it was spiderwebs.
See, there you go. Where are we going theologically? We only have a couple more to go. I don't know, but it looks like we're heading into a dead end.
In many countries, Christmas is considered a propitious time for fortune -telling. In Switzerland, an onion and salt are traditionally used to predict what?
You use salt and you use onion. What you're gonna get for Christmas? Yeah, bag of gold.
It's gonna predict the weather for the coming year. The grandmother of the house cuts an onion in two and peels off 12 layers.
Each layer represents one month in the coming year. Each is filled with salt. If the salt is dry on Christmas morning, the corresponding month will have fair weather.
If damp, there will be rain. I don't know, if that was me, I'd feel a little bit fleeced. Well, then you need to return to your underwear drawer and get some long underwear.
And then number 10, the most misconceived out of them all, Jesus was born on December 25th.
That's a misconception, isn't it? Yeah, I'm sticking with April 15th. Though Christians had adopted that date by 336
AD, Christ was born when the shepherds watched their flocks by night, most likely spring.
The Bible tells us Herod the Great ruled Palestine when Jesus was born. Herod died 4 BC, so Jesus had to have been born not long before that.
And then this little writer says, blame Dionysius' exeguse. That's right there,
G -U -U -S, for this one. He's the sixth century monk that came up with the idea of splitting history into AD and BC.
He just chose the wrong date to do so. That's all. Oops, slight miscalculation.
The rest of the show, Steve, I want to talk about the importance of the incarnation, especially when it comes to the eternal councils of God.
That is the eternal everlasting covenant that some call the covenant of redemption.
And why was it important for Jesus to take on a body so that he could be our representative and substitute?
Let's talk about that. So we're going to redeem the rest of the show then. Yeah, 10 minutes of horror, but I thought you did pretty well.
You're an expert with humor, responding to my dopey questions.
Thank you. Thank you very much. All right, here's the deal. Let's talk about first Jesus as representative and secondly, substitute.
Substitute's the easy one, but representative. Jesus as a representative does what we couldn't do.
Jesus as substitute dies in our place. So let's first talk about active obedience of Christ.
Jesus, our representative, that he lived fully discharging obedience to God's laws.
Then Jesus dying in our place as a penal substitute. So let's talk about the first one first.
Steve, you're reading a new book now, or a book you're reading with the guys on Saturday. Walk us through that and why representative nature of Christ is important.
Yeah, having to do with the active obedience of Christ. And you know, the main thing is somebody, we were talking about this earlier, somebody had to obey the law.
I mean, God gave us a law. He said that if we obeyed it, we would live. There would be penalties, namely death.
If we didn't obey them, we don't obey God's law. Adam didn't even obey the commandment that God gave him in the
Garden of Eden. I mean, there's never been an easier thing to do than to obey God when you are with him on a daily basis, communicate with him all the time.
And he gives you one rule. He says, all he says is, you can have anything you want. All you can't do is eat of this one tree.
And, you know, Adam and Eve couldn't even make that. But, you know, later on when the full law is revealed, even though we're told in the
Bible that we have God's law in our heart, the law was explicitly given through Moses.
And did anyone ever obey it? Was salvation ever possible by virtue of obeying the law?
And the answer is no, but somebody needed to do that. Why? Because we had to, in order to get into heaven, we have to be perfect.
We have to be perfectly obedient and we are not. We're talking today on No Compromise Radio. We're trying to clean up our mess with the
Christmas traditions. And now talking about the reason for the incarnation. Steve, when
I was younger, when I was a younger Christian, I think I, I don't know, maybe I misunderstood the incarnation or I didn't really think it was as valuable because I grew up in a
Judeo -Christian background where Christmas was important. Jesus became a baby and all that stuff.
But the more I grow in Christ, the more valuable the incarnation becomes to me because as we talked earlier in our study, when
Jesus says to the self -righteous lawyer, do this and live, I think he's serious.
I don't think he was saying to the self -righteous lawyer, do you know what? This is just a, it's impossibility that if you do this, you won't really live.
It was impossible for him to do it, that's for certain. But if it was possible for him to do it, would he have in fact lived?
Yes. And so here we have Jesus saying, do this and live. And we need somebody to do that and live because like the lawyer, we can't obey
God. We can't always obey. We can't perfectly obey. Do this and live.
He didn't say do your best, make it happen. Do this and live.
I need somebody who's a human to live in my place. What about 400? What if you could just get 40%, you know?
He's batting 400. Yeah, 400, you'd be in the hall of fame at a baseball, but in God's eyes, you might as well have zero.
One article said, this doing is essential to understanding the perfect performance of his law that God expects of his image bearers.
Our Lord summarized his entire earthly mission by saying that as the son, he was unable to do anything on his own initiative.
He does only what he sees the father doing, John 5, verse 19.
To John the Baptist, he declared that he had to come to fulfill all righteousness, Matthew 3.
Righteousness was something he had to do, do righteous things, do righteous acts.
And we have fallen short and we need a savior, not just to die for our sins, but to live for us as representative.
Okay, so we needed somebody to obey in our place because we were never going to do it. And it's that perfect obedience that, dare
I say this word, merits heaven. Perfect obedience merits heaven. We just know we're not the perfect one, so we have a works salvation.
The work of Christ earned our salvation. Amen. Interestingly, talking about doing things,
Jesus, John 4, 34, my food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.
I'm glad he did that. And he did that because the father sent him and that his obedience is credited to our account.
Why do we call that active obedience? Wasn't Jesus actively doing things on the cross? What's going on there,
Steve? Well, because prior to the cross, he was actively obeying all the things that we are commanded to obey and don't.
He did everything perfectly. You know, he never did anything that he wasn't supposed to do. You know, if we were to just summarize, as Jesus did, the 10 commandments in love the
Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, love your neighbor as yourself, we understand that we don't do that. Well, Christ did all those things perfectly in our place because we needed that.
I like to listen to S. Lewis Johnson, as you know, and S. Lewis loves to quote
Thomas Goodwin, the Puritan Thomas Goodwin. There's a lot of Thomases who are Puritans, by the way.
Thomas Watson, Thomas Perkins. No, no, that wasn't Thomas Perkins, was it? Who was the
Perkins? Oh, don't tell me I don't know. But Thomas Goodwin said that all men were hanging on Adam and Christ's girdles.
What does that mean? What does that conjure up in your mind? Well, I don't know, but I would say this, that basically we're all aligned.
We're on one team or the other. That's right. We're either on Adam's team or we're on Jesus' team, and we're either in Adam or we are in Christ, and there are no other positions.
There are no other teams, as it were. I like that. Romans 5 makes that very clear, that we were all born with Adam as our federal head, and all
Christians now have Jesus as our federal head. And Steve, as I was thinking about active obedience,
Jesus had to be a God -man. Interestingly, He's never called man -God because He was
God first and then added human nature. But Jesus is God -man, and His humanness allows
Him to be our representative, a human perfectly obeying the law and getting exactly what
He had earned. But since He's God, with an infinite amount of this righteousness earned or merited or accrued,
He is able to bestow an infinite amount of righteousness to all those who would ever believe.
In other words, this is a divine righteousness, and it has an infinite value. Therefore, He doesn't just bestow it to the thief on the cross, but we all get that wonderful righteousness from God and of God.
That's right. Just as we all get the same infinite forgiveness of sin based on His sacrificial death.
So when you think of Jesus' life, think about how He had to be our representative. He had to do things in our place.
Then think of Jesus' death, and Jesus would be our substitute. Tell us a little bit about substitutionary atonement.
Well, I mean, as pictured often enough in the Old Testament, all the animals that were slaughtered and everything just pointed to Jesus Christ.
The animals themselves, all those sacrifices never removed any sin, but basically pointed to what
He would do. So essentially what we have on the cross is the full wrath of God for every sin of every person who would ever believe, just focused, just concentrated and poured out entirely upon Jesus Christ on the cross.
He suffered as no one has ever suffered or will ever suffer. I mean, taking the infinite wrath of God for all eternity for the sins of all those who would ever believe.
That's a lot of wrath. That's a lot of pain. That's a lot of suffering. Steve, when
I think of Christ's death and how awesome it must have been, how awful it must have been,
Christ's life never, even though tempted, never giving in to any temptation.
And then you just think about the majesty of the second person of the Trinity and what He had accomplished and how condescending
His love was for us. Then when I read this from the Episcopal News, the
Diocese of Los Angeles, written by Reverend Benison, who is the Rector of St.
Mark's Church in Upland, California, it's pretty bad. And so I do like Upland, California because they have a good
In -N -Out Burger there, but the theology is not that good. They have a lot of smog there too.
There are a few causes to which I'm more passionately committed than that of Santa Claus. Santa Claus deserves not just any place in the church, but the highest place of honor, where He should be enthroned as the long -bearded
Ancient of Days, the Divine and Holy One whom we call God. Santa Claus is
God the Son. You better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout. I'm telling you why.
Santa Claus is coming to town, which simply refers to God the Son slipping into the secrets of our hearts as easily as He slips down the chimney of the house.
Two more paragraphs, sadly. Santa Claus is God the Father, the Creator of heaven and earth, in whose hand is a pack bursting at its seams with gifts of His creation.
Santa Claus is God the Holy Spirit who comes with the sound of gentle laughter with a shape like a bowl full of jelly to sow in the night the seeds of good humor.
Santa Claus indeed deserves the exalted and enthroned place in the church for He is God, Son, Father, and Holy Spirit.
So there He is, God the Son, God the Father, God the Holy Spirit. I've seen Him in the toy store. I've seen
Him in the car on the freeway, and when I saw Him with His crazy beard and His baggy red suit, I saw more than the seasoned merchant of cheap plastic toys.
I saw no less than the triune God." End quote. You know, in the beginning, I was laughing in disbelief.
And then as you continue to go on, I'm like, that is horrible. I mean, it just doesn't get any worse than that.
Listen, if I showed up at a church on, well, any day of the year, I don't care if it was a
Thursday in June, and they had, you know, Santa Claus, and let's all worship
Santa Claus, I just couldn't get me out of there fast enough. That is horrible for someone who says,
I'm a man of God, to, you know, promote basically the worship of Santa Claus. Don't you think it's kind of a modalistic
Santa Claus too? Yes, yeah, He's Father, Son, and Spirit all in one. And, you know, it's just remarkable.
That's just, that's goofy. I mean, I guess I want to give him some kind of credit because at least he didn't say it was the
Easter bunny or something. For once, Steve, I'm speechless. But we started off with quizzing on legends and lore, and I had to kind of finish at the end, legends and lore.
I bet you could probably get some cheap chocolate Santa Claus's right now down at CVS or Walmart, what do you think? Well, yeah, the after Christmas specials, those are the best times to get stale candy for the after holiday treats.
Actually, I prefer, you know, the Christmas M &M's for the after Christmas.
Yes, but you know what, Steve, with the incarnation and Christmas, it does prove the fact that God is still speaking now, doesn't it?
He is speaking. You know, I will readily say God is speaking through His Word.
You know, the question is, is anybody listening to His Word anymore or not? If they were, we wouldn't have people promoting the worship of Santa Claus and, you know, calling themselves
Christians. That is just bizarre. Today on No Compromise Radio, we've gone from the arcane to the insane.
And back to the insane. And to the asinine. Yeah. We welcome you to write us at No Compromise Radio.
You can write us at info at nocompromiseradio .com. Steve needs a good email, so send it to Steve at nocompromiseradio .com.
Millions of good emails. God bless you. No Compromise Radio with Pastor Mike Abendroth is a production of Bethlehem Bible Church in West Boylston.
Bethlehem Bible Church is a Bible -teaching church firmly committed to unleashing the life -transforming power of God's Word through verse -by -verse exposition of the sacred text.
Please come and join us. Our service times are Sunday morning at 1015 and in the evening at six. We're right on Route 110 in West Boylston.
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