As the 20th Century is slip sliding into the history books, and the bright new 21st Century is about to dawn, it probably occurs to some of us to wonder, "What's next?" What plan has God had on "layaway" from before the foundation of the world that He is about to unveil at this eleventh hour?
Everyone has a different idea. Some Christians believe that we're about to take the ride of our lives and leave this tired old planet behind. Others think we'll be right here with front row seats when the beast and the false prophet enter the stage and begin their end time deception of the world. Many have seen that those end-time prophecies of mayhem and destruction were fulfilled in A.D. 70, when Roman legions, led by Titus sacked Jerusalem, destroying the temple, and everything pertaining to the Old covenant worship. (See "End Note A.") Still other folks, who have not a shred of religious apprehension in them, nevertheless think we're on our way out as a species and a civilization. According to them, if the hole in the Ozone layer doesn't get us, Aids, new drug resistant strains of TB, or out and out germ warfare perpetrated by the Bad Guys (whose identity changes from week to week) will end life as we know it on the planet. I don't know that they offer a solution for these dilemmas, but they surely like to bring them to our attention.
Historians tell us that it's a normal phenomena for "millennium madness" to grip the populace, sweeping some into a frenzy of fear, fraud, and fatalism. Oh, and I haven't even mentioned the Y2K Bug which is prophesied to eat us out of house and home, starting with our computer chips and ending with every facet of life as we know it. With all these portents of gloom and doom, it really is amazing that we bother to get up and go about our lives day after day.
If any of these doomsday sayers have put fear in your heart and dread in your soul, be of good cheer! I have some really Good News for you. God has always had a plan. Sometimes, we couldn't see it because our receivers were not plugged in, but nothing deters our heavenly Father. When our batteries are too weak to hear Him, He simply turns up the volume and here's His message: "I love you and I'm in charge of your world and everything in it. Nothing can happen that I do not approve and authorize." How do I know this is true? It's in "The Book," my friends. It's in "The Book" (Jn. 3:16-17; II Cor. 5:19; Eph. 1:11).
Of course, there are those who insist that Christmas is but a figment of our imagination, more evidence of man's folly, because they point out that Jesus was not born on December 25th, and they are quite right about that. But you know, I've always thought that it's pretty amazing that doctrinal and calendar error not withstanding, God still manages to get the world to pause long enough to hear His message of "Peace on Earth, good will toward men." If it's not the right date, oh well. The Prince of Peace is still the reason for the season. Men still glorify the Father and every year, some hard hearted Ebinezer Scrooge finds out that "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).
God's love for men and women is as old as eternity and as fresh as when the shepherds heard the Good News announced by the heavenly host almost 2,000 years ago. If you are praying for the Lord to return, the Messiah to come, consider this staggering thought. He's here! (He was only gone about 10 days from the Ascension to the Day of Pentecost, and then He came back in power, just like He said He would. See Acts 1:3,11; 2:1-21; II Cor. 3:17.) If you don't see Him, open your heart. He's living within you. You see Him by faith, the "coin of the realm" of the kingdom of heaven. The angels are still singing "Good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people" (Lk. 2:20). The government is still on His shoulders and this is why the Gabriel's proclamation to Mary rings as pure and true for us today as it did then. "Fear not," He said, and this is our prayer for all people everywhere this holiday season and beyond. May the one Isaiah called, "Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace" (Is. 9:6) dwell in your heart now and forever.
We love you.
Jan and Lenny Antonsson
Do you hear it? Can you see
God's call for you and me?
Listen to the angels singing,
a holy song, God's message bringing,
of His love for every man,
written in His celestial plan.
All men are loved and all set free.
Given grace eternally,
we're joined in union with each other,
and with Christ our elder brother.
A candle's gleaming in the night;
those in darkness have seen the light:
a burning flame of hope and glory,
as He unfolds the old, old story
of victory over the flesh's tomb;
Messiah birthed from Mary's womb
to live His life in you and me,
to make us holy, and set us free.
Our Christmas gift from the Father's throne
is God Himself, our eternal home.
May He light up your heart this holiday season.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
We send you love and hugs from
Jan and Lenny Antonsson
17178 Highway 59, Neosho, MO 64850 (Snail Mail)
End Note A: For a complete discussion of what happened in AD 70,
"A Mark of the Beast"
The Glory Road,
We'd love to hear from you!
Last edited on 7/4/09
by Jan Antonsson, Webmeister