1. Hello, listening friends.
2. It is a joy for us to know that you have tuned in to listen to this program
3. As we celebrate this very special season of Christmas
4. And we began to describe to you what the real meaning of Christmas is all about
5. And we will continue to do so today
6. I want to begin by telling you a long story
7. Please listen very carefully and concentrate on this story
8. It is a true story
9. Years ago... there was a very wealthy man who had an only son.
10. Both father and son had a passion for art collecting.
11. Together they traveled around the world...
12. constantly adding only the finest of art treasures to their art collection.
13. Paintings by great masters adorned the walls of the family estate.
14. The widowed older man... looked with satisfaction as his son became an expert art collector.
15. The son’s trained eye and sharp business mind caused his father to beam with pride.
16. They dealt with art collectors from around the world.
17. The winter approached, and war engulfed their nation,...
18. and the young man left to serve his country.
19. After only a few short weeks... his father received a telegram.
20. “His beloved son was missing in action.”
21. The father... waited anxiously for more news.
22. He had a nagging feeling that he might never see his son again.
23. Within days his fears were confirmed.
24. The young man had died while rescuing a fellow soldier.
25. Distraught and lonely, the old man viewed the upcoming Christmas holidays with anguish and sadness.
26. The joy of the season that he and his son had looked forward to...
27. would visit his house no more.
28. On Christmas morning,...
29. a knock on the door awakened the depressed old man.
30. He walked to the door past all of the masterpieces of art on the walls,
31. which only reminded him that his son was not coming home.
32. When he opened the door,...
33. he was greeted by a soldier with a large package in his hand.
34. The soldier introduced himself... “as a friend of the man’s son.”
35. He said, “I am one of many people your son rescued.”
36. So, he was invited in,...
37. and the soldier handed over the package to the father.
38. As the father opened the package, it was a portrait of his son.
39. It was painted by this soldier.
40. Though the world would not consider it to be the work of arts
41. the painting featured the young man’s face in striking detail.
42. When the father looked at the portrait of his son,...
43. he was overcome with emotion.
44. The father thanked the soldier,...
45. and he promised to hang the picture in a prominent place in the house.
46. A few hours later after the soldier had departed,...
47. the old man set about his task of hanging the picture of his son
48. True to his word...
49. the father pushed aside tens of thousands of dollars worth of art to make room for the amateur painting of his son.
50. The father spent all of Christmas day gazing at the portrait of his son.
51. In the following months,...
52. the father learned that his son had rescued a large number of soldiers before a bullet stilled his own heart.
53. That somewhat eased the father’s grief.
54. But for the rest of the father’s life, the painting of his son became his most prized possession.
55. In his mind, his son’s portrait eclipsed all the interest in the priceless paintings that many collectors around the world would clamor for.
56. In fact, he used to tell his house keeper that it was the most prized and the greatest gift he had ever received.
57. The following spring the father became very ill and passed away.
58. The art world became abuzz with the expectations of getting their hands on some of these incredibly rare paintings.
59. According to the will of the father:
60. on Christmas day...the day he received his greatest gift... the auction should be held.
61. That day soon arrived.
62. And some of the world’s most enthusiastic collectors dreamed of getting their hands on those priceless treasures.
63. The auction began with the painting that was not on any museum’s list.
64. It was the painting of the man’s son!
65. The auctioneer asked for an opening bid...
66. but the room was silent.
67. Who would open the bid for $100?
68. Minutes passed and no one spoke.
69. From the back of the room came a voice:
70. “Who cares about this painting...it is just a picture of his son?”
71. Another voice echoed in agreement:
72. “Let’s forget about it...and move onto the good stuff.”
73. The auctioneer insisted... we have to sell this one first.
74. But no one wanted to take the son.
75. Finally the house keeper... with tears streaming down her face... said the following:
76. “Will you take $10 for the painting?”
77. “That is all the money I have.”
78. “I knew the son and I would like to have his portrait?”
79. After more silence...the auctioneer said:
80. “I have $10...will anyone go higher?”
81. When no one else spoke...the auctioneer said:
82. “Going once... going twice... gone”... and the gavel fell.
83. Cheers filled the room and someone exclaimed:
84. “Now we can get on with it...and bid for the real treasures.”
85. The auctioneer looked at the audience and announced that the auction was over.
86. Stunned disbelief...quieted the room.
87. “What do you mean it is over?”
88. “We did not come half way around the world for a portrait of the old man’s son.”
89. “What about all these paintings.”
90. “There are millions of dollars worth of art here.”
91. The auctioneer replied:
92. “It is very simple...
93. according to the will of the father...
94. whoever takes the son...gets it all.”
95. So, the housekeeper got to take all of the priceless treasures.
96. My listening friends listen very carefully
97. the Bible said
98. “That Jesus came to His own,
99. but His own received him not.
1. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to be called the children of God.”
2. When you receive the son of God today...
3. you receive all of the blessings that the Father has.
4. You receive the right to be called a child of God.
5. You receive the right to participate in God’s divine nature.
6. You will inherit the heavenly Father’s treasure.
7. This right is not given to only certain people.
8. This right is given to whosoever receives the Son.
9. Will you receive Him today?
10. Christmas means a lot of things to a lot of people.
11. But to God the Father... it means only one thing.
12. As far as Heaven is concerned, Christmas means only one thing.
13. As far as Jesus is concerned... Christmas means only one thing.
14. As far as the Bible is concerned... Christmas only means one thing.
15. And it is this:
16. That God the Son...who existed as one with God the Father before time began,...
17. God who has no beginning and no end,...
18. came down from the outer space in a virgin womb... and became a man.
20. So that only those who believe in Him will make it to Heaven.
21. The Bible tells us that there are only two categories of people:
22. Those who have received the Son as their only hope for Heaven,...
23. and then all of the others.
24. You might ask:
25. “Surely you only mean that only those who have rejected Him outright will not go to Heaven?”
26. No... that is not what the Scripture says.
27. What about those who live their lives in indifference toward Him?
28. They are in the same category as those who have rejected Him.
29. What about those who have warm feelings toward Jesus?
30. They are in the same category as those who reject Him.
31. What about those who say they believe that He is the Son of God?
32. They are in the same category as those who rejected Him.
33. Let me illustrate:
34. If I am on a plane from Rome to London and the plane stops in Paris...
35. it is as good as if I had stayed in Rome.
37. Being close to the target is not good enough.
38. Coming so far is not far enough.
39. Almost there...is not the same as being there.
40. It is the Father’s will that he who takes the Son for their Savior and Lord,
41. will receive all the treasures of Heaven.
42. To ignore the Son... is as bad as rejecting Him.
43. To merely have good feelings about the Son... is as bad as rejecting Him.
44. To be indifferent toward the Son... is as bad as rejecting Him.
45. To partially follow the Son... is as bad as rejecting Him.
46. Only those who have received the son as their Savior and Lord in their life... will receive ALL of the treasures of Heaven.
47. And He said He was coming back one day.
48. On that day... He will not be a cute little baby.
49. On that day... He will not be the helpless body hanging on a cross.
50. On that day... He is going to be the judge sitting on a bench.
51. And He is going to hold you and me accountable for our life.
52. I for one...do not want to stand before my judge and say to him:
53. “I tried to improve on your message.”
54. My only desire is to tell my Lord... and my Judge on that great day:
55. “I have truthfully passed on your message.”
56. But there is something else that I live my life longing to see.
57. It is that: Some of you who are hearing this true message of Christmas today...
58. would respond to it by giving your life to Jesus Christ.
59. That someone will respond to His incredible love.
60. The love that He showed us by coming into our world and living as the poorest of the poor...
61. dying the death of a criminal...
62. in order to reveal His love toward you.
63. I have only one longing in my heart...
64. whether I will ever know you by name in this life or not...
65. my longing is this:
66. That when you see me in Heaven... you will say... thank you for speaking the truth.
67. “Thank you for not confusing me about Christ.”
68. “Because of your preaching of the truth of the Gospel, I received Christ.”
69. “I received His forgiveness.”
70. “I received His love.”
71. “And that is why I am in Heaven.”
72. There is nothing that would make me rejoice more in life...than if one person... listening today... would respond to the message of Christmas.
73. Listen to what the Bible said
74. “There is no greater joy in Heaven than when one person’s spiritual eyes become open to the truth and surrender their life to the Lord Jesus Christ.”
75. Not just believe that He was a good man.
76. Not even just believing that He is the Son of God.
77. But believing that He is your only Savior and only Master of your life.
78. Will you do this today?
79. Will you do this as we pray?
80. All of the confusion, doubt and fear,... all of the anxiety, guilt and pain
81. Will melt away at the feet of Christ... when you come to Him.
82. Whenever I face a problem...my first thought is this:
83. I am a traveler on my way to Heaven...nothing else I life really matters.!
84. And you will be able to do the same.
85. let’s pray together
86. Father, God
87. We thank you that Jesus came from heaven
88. In order to offer us the forgiveness of sins
89. We come to you today
90. Receiving Him into our lives
91. Accepting the forgiveness he offers
92. And we submit to you as Lord
93. In his name I pray.