December 16, 2022
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The little kid with the round head and the pitiful tree! He's become a regular part of America's Christmas. Our kids watched "The Charlie Brown Christmas" when they were little, and that thing's been around so long, their kids love it and their parents never stopped loving it.
We can all hear Charlie Brown's angst-ridden question ringing out above the Christmas mayhem, "Isn't there anybody who can tell me what Christmas is all about?" Enter blanket boy. Yes, Linus to the rescue. As he steps into the spotlight on that little stage, he turns the spotlight on Jesus. "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord." But did you know that line almost didn't happen?
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "How Charlie Brown Almost Missed Christmas."
Charles Schulz, the creator of "Peanuts," was honestly under pressure to leave the Jesus part out of his first attempt at a TV special. But he stood his ground. He said, "If we don't do this, who will?" That's a little known story, but you know the rest is history. In our post-Christian culture, Linus' little speech about "to you is born a Savior" may be the only fragment of the Gospel some people have ever heard.
But you don't have to be a prime-time TV producer to feel the pressure to not bring up Jesus. Most of us who've ever tried to live for Him have experienced that pressure. Oh, it's OK to talk about church, and family values, and even God. But Jesus is the problem. How many times in a spiritual conversation have we choked when we got to the name of Jesus? So it comes out "God" that we talk about, which allows the listener to think whatever "God" means to them. But Jesus, well, there's not much mistaking who He is.
This should not come as a surprise. Satan has been trying to edit out Jesus for 2,000 years! The early disciples were hauled in by the same religious leaders who had arranged for the crucifixion of Jesus. And they were ordered to never again mention "The Name" in their preaching. The disciples' response? It says, "They never stopped teaching and proclaiming the Good News that Jesus is the Christ" (Acts 5:42 ). Why?
Well, as it says in our word for today from the Word of God, in Acts 4:12, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name, no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12 ). Well, hell knows that. Heaven knows that. And we must never again choke on that name. He wasn't ashamed of me. How can I be ashamed of Him? The power, the salvation is in the name. No Jesus, no heaven. That's why our enemy can't stand to hear the Name.
And, my friend, it may be that here we are in this Christmas season. And you may celebrate the fact that Jesus came into our world. But has He ever come into your life by your invitation to be your Savior from your sin? We were told when He was born, "Unto you is born a Savior!" And He came for you. Not just for the world; He came for you, to die for your sin. And there is no other way to get to heaven. Even a religion about Jesus will not get you to heaven. You need to pin all your hopes on Him in order to be with Him forever.
If you've never done that, there's no better time in the year that you can do it than this time when He came. Say, "Jesus, I'm yours." You can do it right where you are, wherever you are. And then go to our website, because we're set up there really to help you know that you belong to Him. Let's get this settled. Go to our website. It's ANewStory.com.
Listen, my brother in Christ, we can't afford to leave out Jesus. His name is where the power is. His name is where the hope is. His name is where the heaven is. Many Christmases ago a cartoonist made a courageous choice and refused to edit the Name. This Christmas would be a good time for you to make that same choice.