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MONDAY, JANUARY 07, 200813 years ago
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Archbishop of Canterbury’s Blast Against the Bible
AUDIO BROADCAST: The Archbishop of Canterbury's Blast Against the Bible
Let the Bible Speak Radio
Dr. Alan Cairns

In an interview with BBC radio, Dr. Rowan Williams debunked some of the best loved tales of what is often called "The Christmas Story." He pointed out that there is no evidence in the Bible for the idea that there were three Wise Men or that the Wise Men were Kings. He said there was no evidence that Jesus was born in a stable with animals around him. These were legendary additions to the story of the birth of Christ.

Of course, in these and similar popular conceptions the Archbishop was right.  His spokesman wrote in the Times of London that Rowan Williams was sticking to what the Bible actually said. That is not really true for Williams went on to deal with matters that are clearly attested in the Gospels and rejected or questioned them. For example, he dismissed the story of the star guiding the Wise Men to Christ because "stars just don't behave like that." Then he went further. While stating that he personally believed in the Virgin Birth of Christ, he said that believing should not be a hurdle that new Christians felt they had to get over so as to be admitted or accepted.

Here Williams descends into abject infidelity. The doctrine of the Virgin Birth is not an optional add-on to the gospel faith, it is essential. The entire scheme of salvation depends on Christ's virgin birth. Yet Williams teaches that you can be a Christian while deliberately rejecting it. He is also wrong in his evident belief that the Bible is untrustworthy in some of its historical and doctrinal statements.

The religion of Rowan Williams is not Bible Christianity. Williams fears and despises the adoptions of moral absolutes arising from an acceptance of the Bible as the inspired, infallible word of God. He spoke disparagingly of the "Fundamentalist" attitude that the Anglican Communion needed to avoid-but which had caused division in the Episcopal churches of the U.S. A religion of moral relativism based on a merely human Bible with a host of factual and historical errors, presenting a Christ who may not have been actually born of a virgin is not Christianity. But it is the religion of Rowan Williams, a religion of apostasy and spiritual declension.

Keep that in mind and then see what you ought to do if you are a member of Williams' worldwide communion. What is that? Put Christ before your denomination. If you do you will get out; stay out; speak out.

Rowan Williams is the mouthpiece of a church that has mostly turned its back on Christ. His views are anti-Christian, a disgrace even to the Church of England. Williams is against the Bible but that is only half of the story. The sober truth is that the Lord is against him! God's word will stand without Rowan Williams but how can Rowan Williams stand against God's word? He cannot and the old message of Scripture that he so easily dismisses will continue to reach souls and bring them to Christ, the virgin born Saviour of sinners.

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FRIDAY, JANUARY 04, 200813 years ago
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The World’s Largest Bible Producer—in CHINA
AUDIO BROADCAST: The World's Largest Bible Producer -- in CHINA
Let the Bible Speak Radio
Dr. Alan Cairns

Yesterday I commented on the foolish and ultimately useless attempts of the Chinese Communist authorities to stop the flow of Christian literature and thought to their people. Today, I want you to hear another angle to that story: according to the Times of London, the fifty millionth copy of the Bible recently came off the presses of the only officially authorized Bible publisher in China.

 "Demand for the Bible is soaring in officially-atheist China, at a time when meteoric economic growth is testing the country's allegiance to Communist doctrine," the Times reports. Now, the demand in China for Bibles is such that Amity Printing, a joint venture between Chinese Christian charity and the United Bible Societies, a Protestant organization, can barely keep pace. Early next year it will move into a new, much larger factory on the edge of the eastern city of Nanjing to become the world's single-biggest producer of Bibles.

However, in careful adherence to China's laws that prohibit evangelizing, the Bible is not on sale in mainstream Chinese bookshops but through a distribution system managed by the official church, such as stalls set up for people attending morning service. The "official church" is the organization that the Communists hope to keep under control. It is not representative of the overall growth of the gospel in China, where unregistered churches are flourishing despite all sorts of official opposition and persecution. Disappearances, imprisonments and constant threats have not been able to stop the growth of the gospel. Nor will official limitations on Bible sales halt its flow into the hands of millions for though the Bibles that are being printed will not be on public sale it will not be long until they are distributed across China in unprecedented numbers. "The entrance of thy words giveth light," said the psalmist and China is about to prove just how true this is.

Now let the significance of all this sink in. Atheists and secularists have long prophesied the demise of the Bible. Voltaire believed that within a generation of his time it would be forgotten. Voltaire is now just a footnote of European history, forgotten by all but a few misguided literati, and his home became the headquarters of the Bible Society. Now we have the world's largest atheist nation with a hunger for the Bible. Fifty million Bibles in China is just a drop in the ocean but soon that drop will multiply into a torrent. The Bible has never taken hold of a nation without having profound effects and the same will be true in China. Millions already acknowledge Christ as their Saviour and Lord. We pray that with the spread of the word of God and with the courageous witness of God's people millions more will come to a saving knowledge of Christ. Who can tell what an impact it will have on the world if and when China's millions acknowledge Christ?

When Hudson Taylor and others missionaries labored in China their work gave fair indications of success. Then came the Boxer rebellion, Japanese occupation, civil war and finally Communist dictatorship. For a time all seemed lost for the gospel in that land. Now things are changing and the long awaited harvest for the labors of long ago will be reaped. God's word never returns to Him void. It will prevail and produce the result He has ordained and no atheist government will be able to stop it.

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THURSDAY, JANUARY 03, 200813 years ago
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China Purges Christians before Olympics
AUDIO BROADCAST: China Purges Christians Before Olympics
Let the Bible Speak Radio
Dr. Alan Cairns

Communist China is getting ready to host the Olympic Games. For her, it is a golden opportunity to boost her economy and, perhaps even more important, to show an acceptable face to the world. She desperately wants to make sure that there is little or no opportunity for the world's press to get inside the story of her brutal repression of minorities, especially religious minorities. Among those minorities, the Communists are paying particular attention to Christians.

China has been under the brutal heel of Communism since 1948. Her atheist rulers have done all in their power to eradicate all knowledge of God but without real effect. Today, the gospel is making significant inroads in China and many have been converted to Christ. That is a scary thought to the Communists. They are willing to bend their Marxist economic theories and assimilate what they need to take on board from the West to bring material prosperity. But the last thing they want is anything like genuine freedom. That makes Christianity public enemy number one, for if Christ does anything for a person it is to give him true liberty. Free people are hard to control, even if they are politically non-active and non-belligerent, as the believers in Communist countries have historically been.

So China is on another purge to suppress Christian witness. She is targeting pastors, evangelists and publishers of Christian literature. The latest victim is the father of a United States citizen, Weihan Shi, 37, a businessman who works as a travel agent and who recently got government permission to publish some Christian book titles. The U.S. embassy is making inquiries of the Chinese government because the man's daughter, Grace Shi, 7, is a U.S. citizen, and has been forced into hiding with her Chinese mother and 11-year-old sister. Mr. Shi is a life-long resident of Beijing, but was arrested in his Christian literature bookstore in a high-class business tower near the Olympics Village. Chinese authorities have refused to tell Mr. Shi's family where he is being held or what he is being charged with, essentially denying him any possibility of legal defense.

So, Weihan Shi has become one of the "disappeared," in China, in apparent violation of "The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance," a United Nations convention to which China has submitted. Suppressing any possible dissident voice in the run up to the Olympics is more important to China than any international human rights charter.

Pray for Mr. Shi and pray for China. Her Communist rulers are on a losing track. They will never eradicate the witness of the gospel. The advent of thousands of people from the West for the Olympics may well provide an unparalleled opportunity for believers to bring gospel literature into China-literature that the Lord can use to save many from that land and many others who will be visiting for the Games. Communist purges notwithstanding, the gospel will reach the Chinese people and it will continue to produce a precious harvest of souls for Christ.

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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 02, 200813 years ago
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Once Again, Hollywood Stinks
AUDIO BROADCAST: Once Again, Hollywood Stinks
Let the Bible Speak Radio
Dr. Alan Cairns

Hollywood is at it again. Hell's entertainment capital here on earth seems fascinated with the story of Christ and His nativity. It's not really that Hollywood intends any great good to come from its efforts; it's simply a way of making money from gullible people. And, of course, it's a way of taking a sideswipe at Bible Christianity. Few if any Hollywood productions of Biblical themes are really true to the inspired script. Somehow, the ungodly scriptwriters imagine that they can insert and delete material at will just to make the story say what they want it to say. That is offensive to anyone who believes the Bible to be the very word of God.

Just as offensive is Hollywood's casting of actors and actresses in key roles. I am totally opposed to any man acting the Lord Jesus Christ because it is a flagrant breach of the second commandment. And I am horrified at some of the more than dubious choices directors have made when it comes to filling the role of the Virgin Mary. Now, I am no Roman Catholic, burdened with all Rome's superstitious beliefs about Mary. But I believe the Bible and I recognize the mother of the Lord Jesus Christ as the most beautiful example of a godly woman I can find in Scripture. God chose her to be the virgin mother of Christ because she was in fact a pure virgin. Yet when Hollywood comes to cast actresses in the role of the Virgin Mary, as often as not the choice falls on seamy actresses of questionable moral character. The last one chosen was unmarried New Zealand teenager Keisha Castle-Hughes in The Nativity Story, who announced she was pregnant only weeks after finishing shooting the film last year. Then, just a couple of weeks ago, Hollywood announced another attack on the story of Christ's birth and this time the invitation has gone out to Britney Spears to act the part of Mary. Ms. Spears is "considering" the offered role.

Britney Spears! A drunken, drug-addicted, immoral, out-of-control rock singer and second rate actress-and she­ is supposed to represent the Virgin Mary! You could be forgiven for thinking that every time Hollywood plans any allegedly Bible-based film it looks on it as an opportunity to rub the noses of Bible believers-indeed, of decent people who value moral behavior-in the dirt.

In a society whose young people have been poisoned by the Britney Spears of the world, where immorality is now not only at epidemic proportions but is endemic in our national life, where drug addiction and alcohol addiction are national disasters, what kind of a message does it send to select this debauched actress for the role of Mary? One day you see her disheveled image on the front page as she is led away after yet another binge on drugs or booze-or you see her deprived of her children because she is an utterly self-centered and incompetent mother whose home and company make for a dangerous environment for them-and then you see her in line to play the role of the greatest of all mothers. That tells young people that morality and decency are of no real account-and the suggestion is that even the Virgin Mary was only a Britney Spears after all. That is the pernicious lie Hollywood is pushing. It is ultimately an assault on Christ even while it appears to promote His story.

I suppose we should expect no more from Hollywood. As usual, Hollywood stinks. This time, however, decent people should raise a stink and put a stop to this foul blasphemy.

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TUESDAY, JANUARY 01, 200813 years ago
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A Story of Christian Courage to Start 2008
AUDIO BROADCAST: A Story of Christian Courage to Start 2008
Let the Bible Speak Radio
Dr. Alan Cairns

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2008!

You are going to be bombarded with a lot of news this year, both good and bad. I want to start off the year with a story of courage from a young Pakistani Christian who lives in Britain. Her story will tell you something of the evil forces that stalk the world under the guise of the Islamic religion. It will also tell you of the overcoming power of faith in Christ.

The Time of London has carried the story of Hannah, a 32 year old Pakistani woman who was born in Britain. As the daughter of an imam, she was raised a strict Muslim and knew nothing outside the world of her Pakistani upbringing. When she started secondary school she became more aware of the outside world - and when, aged 16, she overheard her father on the phone arranging her flight to Pakistan to marry a cousin whom she had never met she was shocked into action. "I went to college and did not go home," she said. "I had nowhere to go. Everyone I knew was Muslim and knew my dad. I was on the street for about a week." She slept in bus shelters until her religious education teacher offered her a bed. Against the teacher's wishes, she started going to church. "I watched everyone and saw how they lived their lives. I heard about God's love, about how Jesus died on the cross. I was totally blown away by it. I asked someone how I could get to know Jesus. They said, ‘Ask him to come into your life. Ask for forgiveness'. So I did and that night I became a Christian."

At first her family did not take her conversion seriously. As she went to college and was baptized as a Christian, that all changed. Her life was threatened. A group of fourteen Muslim men arrived at her door with knives threatening to kill her for the "shame" she had brought on Islam. Her own brother has said that unless she renounces her faith in Christ he cannot be responsible for his actions-in other words, he will be justified in killing her. These constant threats have meant that this young woman has had to use an assumed name and move house 45 times over the past few years, just to try to keep one step ahead of her would-be murderers. Recently she has had to have police protection. And this is in England.

Despite all the threatening and the shadow of martyrdom, Hannah says, "Yes, there is a possibility I will be killed, just as there is for anyone that they can get run over by a bus. My faith means that I am not afraid to die. If I was to focus on that, I would spend my life at home, trapped. I am not going to let it stop me being who I am, from being a Christian."

There's a message for all of us in that statement. It should teach us to pray for Christians who live under the tyranny of Islam. It should make us more than ever vigilant for our liberties, especially when arrogant imams demand the introduction of sharia law into our western countries. And of course it should spur us on to greater devotion to Christ. If even the threat of death cannot stop Hannah living as a Christian, can we not rise above the petty obstacles that all too often stop us? This New Year will present its challenges. Let us rise up and meet them with courage by faith in Christ. He is worthy of our best.  If we give it to Him this year, 2008 will indeed be for us a Happy New Year.

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MONDAY, DECEMBER 31, 200714 years ago
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That Was the Year that Was
AUDIO BROADCAST: That Was the Year That Was
Let the Bible Speak Radio
Dr. Alan Cairns

For years the BBC carried a program at the end of each week that took a satirical look at the events of the week. They called it, That Was the Week that Was. I have no particular aim to be satirical but on this last day of 2007 I want to take a quick look back at this old year.

As usual, it has been a year of scandal both in church and state. Washington has limped from one moral scandal to another and we have been constantly lectured by either immoral or amoral politicians on what the moral values of the nation ought to be.  More serious, however, have been the scandals that have rocked the church. Ted Haggard, leader of the National Association of Evangelicals, brought shame not only on himself but on the cause of Christ both by his sodomite activity and even more by his blatant hypocrisy in leading an anti-sodomite crusade while he was a practicing sodomite. He has professed repentance but has, in my opinion, been far too quick at imagining that he can resume any place of trust or appeal, as he has done, for financial support in his endeavors. Rick Warren brought shame of another kind. He went to Syria, one of the world's foremost sponsors of terrorism, and while bad-mouthing the United States spoke well of the dictatorial Syrian regime and its policy of religious toleration. Instead of apologizing for his abject folly, Warren has rather engaged in a running battle with the journalist who did most to expose his shameful actions. Warren has made a habit of apologizing for other people's sins and crimes (for example, those of the Crusaders!) but seems incapable of recognizing his own. Then there is the scandal of the joint husband and wife pastors of a mega ministry who are getting divorced-and remaining in their joint positions! Add to these shameful events the continuing scandals of Charismatic TV charlatans who bilk gullible people out of huge amounts of money to fund their own worldly life-styles, preachers who routinely lie about non-existent miracles they have performed, and then the growing sell out of many major denominations that have moved toward accepting homosexuals in their ministry and you will see that 2007 has been a year of shame.

But that is not the whole story. Millions of godly believers have carried on their faithful witness for Christ. Across the world, faithful churches have stood fast for the faith once delivered to the saints. Courageous Christians have endured bitter persecution and many have stood firm in the face of imprisonment or even death. This year has seen some great answers to prayer for persecuted believers as some have gained freedom from prison or even death sentences. Millions of lost souls have been won for Christ. The gospel has made some dramatic advances.

God's program for the ages is still on track and we are privileged to be a part of it. I thank all of you who have stood with us, prayed for us and in any way supported this radio ministry. I rejoice with those of you who have been saved or blessed through our ministry. In many ways for us 2007 has been a year of challenge and yet of progress. Don't be discouraged by scandals in church and state. Don't be cast down by evil tidings of the devil's attack. The Lord is on the throne and He is working all things after the counsel of His sovereign will. That's the real meaning and message of 2007. THAT was the year that was!

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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 200714 years ago
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More Americans Believe in Devil Than in Darwin!
AUDIO BROADCAST: More Americans Believe in Devil Than in Darwin
Let the Bible Speak Radio
Dr. Alan Cairns

If you want to know one thing that gets Europeans mad at America here it is. You must remember that Europe is almost entirely heathen, anti-Christian, and utterly immoral. Given that mindset, many Europeans despise the religious beliefs of the majority of Americans. Those beliefs were set in stark contrast to European heathenism in a recent opinion poll.

The Christian Post carried the following report:

More Americans believe in a literal hell and the devil than in Darwin's theory of evolution, a new poll found. Over half of Americans, 62 percent, believe in hell and the devil compared to only 42 percent of those surveyed who said they believe in Darwin's theory, according to the findings of the recently released Harris poll. The poll of 2,455 U.S. adults, taken Nov. 7-13, found that 82 percent of respondents believe in God, according to Reuters. It further showed that 79 percent believe in miracles, 75 percent in heaven, and 72 percent of Americans believe that Jesus Christ is God or the Son of God.

Now, I know that opinion polls are no true barometer of this nation's spiritual wellbeing. However, I think that it is both amazing and encouraging that after all the time, effort and money that has gone into persuading the American public that Darwinism is true, only 42% can accept his theory. Evolutionists have for decades highjacked our educational system from grade school all the way through university. They have misused billions of dollars of state funds in their scheme to deify Darwin and raise his theory almost to the level of divine revelation. And after all that they have failed to convince the large majority of Americans of their claims.

I think that says a lot for the efforts of Creationist groups that have taken the battle to the enemy. They have gained the ear and the respect of millions as they have stood for God's Word. I think also that we are seeing that the residual effects of former times of revival blessing are still with us.

That, however, raises a troubling question. Where are the great, Scriptural movements of spiritual power today? They are conspicuous by their absence. Oh, I know the claims made by Charismatic charlatans. They know nothing of real, Biblical power and are more of a curse than a blessing to the nation. We need a genuine visitation of God's Holy Spirit to sweep America and turn many to Christ in true repentance and faith. This need is accentuated by the clear disconnect between the figures in this opinion poll and the moral and spiritual decline that is obvious all around us. In other words, for most people what they believe has little or no impact on how they live. Many deny Darwin's claim that they are descended from monkeys but they live like animals nonetheless.

More may believe in the devil than in Darwin but they seem blissfully unaware that the devil has them for dupes, allowing them to be satisfied with a form of belief in God and His Son that is devoid of all life-changing power. Either way, whether they believe in Darwin or the devil, the devil wins. That's one fact the poll doesn't report.

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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 27, 200714 years ago
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Savage Attack on Muslim Support Group
AUDIO BROADCAST: Savage Attack on Muslim Support Group
Let the Bible Speak Radio
Dr. Alan Cairns

Michael Savage, the San Francisco based talk show host, is not my cup of tea. I have heard him only infrequently and that by accident and not design. A few minutes of his raw diatribes has been more than enough for me. However, one thing you could never say about him is that he leaves you in any doubt about his position. One of those positions is that America is mad in bringing hordes of Muslims into this country because while America is a republic that cherishes the freedoms laid down in the Constitution Muslims are bound by a book, the Quran, that Savage is sure is the enemy of freedom.

Savage alleges that a Muslim group called the Council on American-Muslim Relations (CAIR) has taken copyrighted material from his radio shows and has used them in promotional video that are aimed to raise money. He is therefore suing CAIR for copyright infringement. He is also suing for a perceived attempt by CAIR to silence Savage's voice by using the misappropriated clips of his program to deter advertisers from supporting his show.

Savage is represented by celebrity lawyer, Daniel Horowitz, and his suit aims to expose something that many Americans have long believed: that Muslim "charities" are often fronts for Islamic terrorists. The lawsuit noted CAIR was founded in 1994 by Ibrahim Hooper, Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmad, "all of whom had close ties to the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), which was established by senior Hamas operative Mousa Abu Marzook."  Savage's legal action noted the FBI has concluded the IAP is "a Hamas front ... (that is) controlled by Hamas, it brings Hamas leaders to the U.S., it does propaganda for Hamas." Filed in U.S. District Court in California, the lawsuit boldly claims that CAIR is a "political vehicle of international terrorism" that seeks to do "material harm to those voices who speak against the violent agenda of CAIR's clients."

It is one thing to file a lawsuit; it is another thing to win it. Thus far, Muslim "charities" have been successful in raising enough dust to obscure their real agenda. Even the U.S. government has had little success in court against them. However, this is a lawsuit filed by an aggrieved individual, one who has access to the airwaves and who has millions of listeners. Additionally, he says what many Americans really believe and wish that someone in authority would say too. Michael Savage is not in a position of authority but he is in a position of considerable power. It will be interesting if he can convince a jury to declare CAIR an enemy to American freedoms and at last reverse the usual timidity that has just about everyone in public life backing off from Islam for fear of enraging Muslims. Nobody in his right senses wants to enrage or insult law-abiding Muslims or people of any other religious or ethnic group. But it is time that even law-abiding Muslims came out into the open and exposed those who act in their name and who behind a peaceful façade hide the venomous heart of Islamic terrorists.

In this lawsuit, I hope that Michael Savage can live up to his name. It's time someone got his teeth into groups like CAIR.

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WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 26, 200714 years ago
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Preachers or Puppets
AUDIO BROADCAST: Preachers or Puppets
Let the Bible Speak Radio
Dr. Alan Cairns

Many preachers have a dirty little secret. They would be embarrassed if their congregations knew it and so they go to great lengths to make sure they don't. And what is their secret? It is that the sermons many men preach as if they were their own are really lifted lock, stock and barrel from someone else. Years ago, a preacher who was candidating for a large Baptist church in Ireland inquired what kind of preaching would go down well with the congregation. He said that if they liked Spurgeon, he could give them Spurgeon. If they preferred the ornate oratory of Talmage he could supply that. Just tell him whose work he had to steal and he would do it! Thankfully he did not receive the call to the church.

If you think that is a bit far-fetched, consider this. Rick Warren has said that he regularly sends out copies of what he is going to preach so that all the would-be Warrens around the world may preach them too. And every year a publisher produces a handbook for "busy" pastors with everything a pastor needs for his pulpit ministry-both services on the Lord's Day and a sermon for the mid week meeting! Not only does the book supply the text, it gives the message in full, including illustrations. It gives the prayers to be prayed and just about everything else the preacher may need to do "his" work!

When a newspaper reporter steals another person's work and passes it off as his own, he gets fired. I don't think most of us have too high an opinion of newspaper men and yet we put up with preachers who regularly steal other men's sermons and pass them off as their own. I have no problem with preachers learning from the great preachers and expositors of the past. But I have a big problem with preachers who go to war in Saul's armor, preaching another man's material and never for a moment indicating that they might have taken it from him.

It's not just that lying and stealing are wrong. They are and will drive away the blessing of God. What worries me even more is the idea of preachers all over the world delivering some sermon text and never getting on their knees before God to receive from Him a message for the people, not just a sermon to fill in the time.

The world's first Gospel Telephone Service in New York City had a slogan, We have a message from God for you! Every preacher should seriously think of adopting that slogan. Here is something he should be certain of every time he enters the pulpit: I HAVE A MESSAGE FROM GOD FOR YOU. That is the kind of preaching that will do lasting good all over the world. It was said of the great Scottish preacher, Robert Murray McCheyne, that he entered the pulpit as one who had just come from the presence of God. May God raise up a race of preachers like McCheyne! Men who meet with God, spend time in preparation over His word-yes and who take time to research what great scholars and preachers have said on their text-will go to the pulpit with a message, not just a sermon. And having received a message from God, they will not need to steal someone else's work and palm it off as their own. What we need today is real preachers and not pulpit puppets, men whose every move is orchestrated by the unseen hands those whose work they steal.

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TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 200714 years ago
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Merry Christmas
AUDIO BROADCAST: Merry Christmas
Let the Bible Speak Radio
Dr. Alan Cairns

O.K. so we cannot be absolutely certain about the exact date when the Lord Jesus Christ was born. Nor are we commanded to have Christmas holidays or church services. So does that mean that we must not celebrate the greatest even in human history, the actual incarnation of the Son of God? I believe not.

I am not going to enter into a polemic this Christmas Day with those who seem to take some special delight in being sour and who pose as especially holy in their determination not to recognize any reference to the birth of Christ at this season of the year. And I give such people fair notice that they will be wasting their time to write me and expect me to reply. I have been there and done that. I have read and heard just about every argument you can make and I am more convinced than ever that it is good, wise and entirely consonant with Scripture to pay special attention to the coming of our Saviour into the world.

 So, with a farewell wave to all my sour-hearted friends who refuse to be happy with the rest of us, let me wish all of our listeners a very blessed Christmas. One of my favourite texts is, "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift" (2 Corinthians 9:15). When you consider it you will see that it speaks of a Giver, a Gift, and our Gratitude.

God is the great Giver. Idols always take; God gives. He owed us nothing and yet He gave us everything. He has given us every blessing we enjoy but when He gave His Son He gave such a gift as to make all other gifts pale by comparison.

The Lord Jesus Christ is God's great gift to men. While all too many people fail to give much thought to this, it is the foundation of our tradition of giving gifts to each other at this season. The Lord Jesus was an expensive gift. His worth cannot be measured in silver or gold. These precious metals are mere creations and God could multiply them as much as he pleased simply by saying the word. Not so with His Son. He is the "only begotten of the Father." When God gave Him He gave His all. Thus the Lord Jesus was an exhaustive gift. So vast is this gift that even God could add nothing to it. This gift was also an extensive gift. By that I mean that it includes much more than the birth of the Babe who was laid in a manger. That was an unspeakable miracle but it was just the first of an unbreakable chain of events that led from the manger to the Cross and the tomb and from there to the Throne of Glory. All God has provided for our salvation is in Christ. He includes all God's saving goodness to sinful men. If you have Christ, you have God's all. If you don't have Christ, you have nothing that will stand the test of time, death and eternity.

That leads to the last thought: Gratitude. The only way to thank God for His unspeakable gift is to receive it. Have you done so? Or are you one who may enjoy the festivity of this season but who has no time for Christ. Without Christ, not only Christmas but all of life and all of eternity must be bleak and sad. So make sure you receive Him today.

To all who have received God's unspeakable gift I can truly say, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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