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How Satan is Stealing Christmas
*** Watch: https://youtu.be/qFiRhHmoPIc
Today, I’d like to do something a little different, something that we can have some fun with as we look at the very real prospect of how Satan is trying to steal Christmas.
Now is the time of year that all the Hallmark Christmas Specials fill our airwaves; along with almost every Christmas special ever devised by Hollywood, along with many of the classic Christmas cartoons that have been the staple of Christmas’ past.
One of the cartoon specials that I always have liked to watch is “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
And what I found somewhat disturbing is that a week ago, the Lord seemed to wake me up around 2 a.m. and laid the ending scene upon my heart as I was wondering, prior to going to bed, what I would talk about once Thanksgiving was over.
Talk about one of those, “Really Lord,” 2 a.m. moments. But he laid upon my heart what happened down there in Whoville when they found everything thing was gone, not even a crumb for the mouse.
But no matter how the Grinch tried, he couldn’t steal Christmas, because as he realized that Christmas isn’t about ribbons and tags, and can come without packages, boxes or bags. And Christmas doesn’t come from a store, but instead, as the Grinch realized that Christmas is about a little bit more.
And this is what I find interesting is that while we know and have seen all these various Christmas specials, there are real lessons for us to learn from them if we become open to hear, and open to share with our family when we sit and watch.
For myself, what the Lord laid on my heart that night is how Satan is trying to steal Christmas.
And the premise of what the Lord began to show me is that Christmas is more than what the world offers as a substitute, rather it’s all about a divine present, a present from God, and that is the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. And when Jesus Christ is in our hearts, then nothing or no one, not even Satan, can steal the real and true meaning of Christmas.
So, I’d like to ask if you would please take this journey with me and maybe see what Satan is doing.
1. Changing the Meaning
I’d like for us to take a look at this ending scene from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
Let me set the scene, the Grinch has now taken everything, all the presents, every decoration, and all the food for their “whofeast,” and he even took the large Christmas tree in the town square where the Who’s gathered on Christmas morning to sing their Dahoo Dory, welcome Christmas song. And there with his stash, on the top of his mountain lair he heard something he thought he had done away with, and that was the spirit of Christmas.
So take a look at this scene. (WATCH VIDEO)
What Satan wants is to change Christmas’s true meaning into something else, so I kind of think he changed the spelling of this name and thus created the fictional character that all boys and girls love, Santa.
Now when the world thinks about Christmas, Jesus is no longer the main character. Now, whenever the world thinks of Christmas it’s all about Santa and his eight tiny reindeer. Talk about overworked and underpaid. Those little reindeers had it tough, as did the elves that had to make all the toys for millions of little girls and boys.
And even as a child I wondered how all of this was possible, but then in the morning there were all these packages under the tree. Yes, even though I was Dennis the Menace’s doppelgänger, or, he was mine. Hard to say, but I must have done something right.
Satan has made Santa into a substitute Jesus in a way, in that he was said to know everything about us and could do that which is impossible for us as mere humans. Satan had literally made Santa omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent.
But only God is all three.
These three are beautifully brought out in Psalm 139
“You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. … Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.” (Psalm 139:2-10 NKJV)
But Satan also wanted to change God’s wonderful divine gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, into worldly presents where we’re so caught up in the giving and receiving that we forget the greatest and most wonderful gift of them all.
You see, the real message of Christmas is not the gifts that we give to each other. Rather, these should be a reminder of the gift that God has given to each of us. It is the only gift that truly keeps on giving, because it gives eternal life and heaven in the end.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 NKJV)
There is no greater gift.
And so, one of the ways that Satan is trying to steal Christmas is to change what Christmas is all about! And this meaning about what Christmas is all about can be found in John’s gospel where the Lord God Himself came down to this earth so that we can have eternal life through the sacrifice He made.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1,14 NKJV)
Therefore, Christmas is about that baby in the manger and how through belief Him, and why He came in the first place, to die upon the cross for our sins that we can have eternal life.
2. Through Legalism
There literally are those who can suck the fun and wonder right out of Christmas, where we’re so concerned about the “rightness” of how it is celebrated, that we forget why we are celebrating it.
It’s what I continue to point out in that sometimes we can be so doctrinally correct, that we become devotionally wrong.
But Satan’s strategy begins with making us all think that we’re not good enough, that we’re all sinners and thus all candidates for hell, or as in Christmas it’s where naughty boys and girls get coal instead of toys.
This next scene is from Santa Clause 2, but let me set the scene. Santa, had to go find a Mrs. Claus, and so they created a fake Santa to take his place. But what happened is that the fake Santa kept to the letter of the law, and he found everything wrong about all the boys and girls, that is, he had no grace or mercy. And so, he stopped the elves from making toys and started them on gifts of coal.
So take a look at this scene. (WATCH VIDEO)
Satan is right now in heaven accusing us, and Jesus is there as well defending. This whole scenario is beautifully described by the prophet Zachariah in chapter 3, verses 1-4, in a vision he was given.
“Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! … Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel.” (Zechariah 3:1-2 NKJV)
“Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.” (Zechariah 3:4 NKJV)
And so, while the law reveals just how sinful we are, what God promises is His grace to counter the law.
“God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant.” (Romans 5:20 NLT)
And so, where sin abounds through the Law, whose soul purpose was to point out our sinful condition before a holy and righteous God, God’s grace supersedes and brings all who believe in Jesus into a right relationship with God.
But what is even sadder is how legalistic the church has gotten through this whole thing. Instead of giving out God’s grace and mercy, they condemn the practice of Christmas all together, mainly through saying the elements are Satanic and there is no way Jesus was born on December 25th, especially seeing that it was winter and the shepherds wouldn’t be keeping their flocks out at night.
Can I just add something into this mix, and that is, why couldn’t Jesus be born then, in fact, it makes perfect sense when we add in the mix, the feasts of Israel. Real quick, let me give you this to chew on. If Jesus was conceived on Passover, then exactly nine months later is Hanukah, which is on the 25th day of Kislev, and is known as the festival of lights, when He could have been born.
And Hanukah could have celebrated that year on Christmas Eve. It just happened in 2016, and on Christmas Day in 2005. Also, it isn’t always that cold at this time, and who says God couldn’t have had a warm spell, and shepherds were always to keep watch over the sheep no matter where they were.
And so the second strategy that Satan uses to steal Christmas is the law and legalism.
3. Changing Our Focus
This whole idea came as I was thinking about these Santa Clause movies, and what stood out and is funny is how in the third one Jack Frost becomes Santa and changes what Christmas as the world understood it to be, and in a way, canceled Christmas.
No words can describe or even set the scene you are about to see. (WATCH VIDEO)
As I’ve been reading and keeping up with the news, this pandemic is basically set to cancel Christmas, that is, the way the world celebrates it today. And is it any wonder given what is happening in our culture today, or what’s been described as the Cancel Culture.
It is where if a person’s views and opinions don’t line up with or follow the current thinking of today’s media and political climate, then they censor that person’s right to speak their mind, or the very first amendment of our constitution, which is suppose to protect the freedom of speech and religion.
And so, in essence our present culture wants more than anything else to cancel our speech and our religious values. Recently I entered into this debate with someone when I wrote how we’ve removed those biblical values that made our county great, and then how we need to get back to them.
Unfortunately, they didn’t understand our nation’s history nor did they understand the positions they were adhering to and how the Christian church has been at the forefront of righting these various wrongs that are happening in our world.
But now, these very values are no longer held by our nation, and are considered hate speech when we try to bring the truth out, and what Satan is doing is trying to cancel them from our society. And in these ways he’s trying to cancel Christmas.
Think about what is now the present ruling in our nation that we cannot even have family over to celebrate Christmas together, but oh goody, we can do it on line, that is we can have a virtual gathering and a virtual Christmas.
I wonder, does anyone know what virtual presents look like, and then what virtual food tastes like?
But it really shouldn’t surprise us that Satan is trying to cancel Christmas; he’s been trying ever since that very first Christmas as Herod sent his troops into Bethlehem to kill Jesus, whom the wise men called the King of the Jews.
“Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.” (Matthew 2:16 NKJV)
I believe today, Satan is using this pandemic to stop Christmas and/or cancel it, and it may very well be through the accusations of Jesus not caring, and so now people are literally turning away from their faith in Jesus because He’s not intervening, as they believe that He should.
But I always remember what the Lord said that His ways and thoughts are not like ours, and I have to also remember that God has a plan and a purpose for what is happening, so what we need to do is to stay faithful and don’t let Satan kill our faith through unbelief and steal Christmas as a result.
Now, while we had some fun with this message, I would just like to encourage each of us to get back to the original purpose and meaning of Christmas and what Christmas is all about, and that is a baby being born into this world who is our Savior and our Lord, and helping as many people as we can to unwrap this wonderful present in their lives.
And so, as we enter into this Christmas season, let’s prepare our hearts the right way so that the true joy of Christmas can fill our hearts and lives, as well as the hearts and lives of our family and friends.
Let’s stop Satan’s theft of Christmas, and restore it to its rightful place in our hearts, and in our world.
Wednesday Evening Bible Study