We've examined how Christmas gave us all the fulfilled promises of Christ's coming. We've seen how Christ's coming gave us a clear revelation of God and what He desires. We've witnessed the controversy that Christ stirred up when He came and how His First Coming still breeds controversy today. Finally, we finish this year by examining one more gift that Christmas affords us. Read on to find out what it is and why it matters to you
The List of Chances
Ever since the fall of man, God has approached reconciliation with man from multiple angles. He allowed man to rule himself by his own conscience, but man proved they couldn't handle the knowledge they had accrued and we got the Flood. God allowed for man to rebuild from the flood and to set up government throughout the world in obedience to himself. However, man failed to serve God and we got the diversity of languages and cultures that have led to so many wars and conflicts over the ages. God offered a covenant to Abraham and to make his descendants as numerous as the stars and to establish them as a nation. While they did grow in number, the Israelite's chose to settle in Egypt and found themselves trapped in bondage. God redeemed and delivered Israel from the hand of Pharaoh and brought them to the Land of Promise. He established them as a nation and provided them with Laws. However, time and time again the Israelites broke the Law or tried to adjust it to meet their own desires rather than the desires of God. All of these attempts at reconciling man with God had been squandered by man.
The Last Good Chance
Finally, Jesus came and offered a new hope for us all: the hope of grace and reconciliation with God. We wouldn't have to go through a litany of rituals or attempt to navigate our own conscience to connect with God. All we had to do is accept the grace and mercy God provided through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through Christ's life, death and resurrection, we had access to God like never before and the plan of salvation was extended to all (Acts 2:38, Acts 8, Acts 9). It's the last good chance we have from a God who is desirous for all His creation to return to Him.
A Time Limit For Opportunity
This Last Good Chance has its limits. God's mercy endures for all of us in this dispensation of grace, however it does not extend beyond death and it will run out at some point in this life. God will come again. His Second Coming will be unlike His first. Grace and Mercy will be replaced with Judgment (Revelation 14:7) and Wrath (Revelation 6:17). Those who refuse to reconcile themselves with God will face the consequences of their actions. However, that time is withheld by the aforementioned grace and mercy that Christ has provided us.
God Endured It All So We Could Have This Chance
Christ, God robed in flesh, came and dwelt among us. He suffered like we suffered. He hungered, thirsted, felt loss, pain and sorrow. He had friends who died, had family that rejected him and followers who doubted and abandoned him. He was scoffed at, ridiculed and his life was threatened multiple times. He suffered the most brutal death imaginable, having been scourged beyond recognition, humiliated with a royal robe and crown of thorns and then crucified. God felt all of this, endured all of it, because He wanted to reconcile us to Him. He wanted to save us from eternal Hell and damnation. He does not desire to pour out wrath and judgment on His creation. He loves us, and He's provided us with our last good chance. Will we take it and pass it on to those we love as well?
Bring The Chance With You
This Christmas, we'll interact with loved ones, some of whom don't have a relationship with Jesus or who have stepped away from relationship with Him. Through this series, we've all seen what has been given to us through Christ's coming. Let's bring this message to those around us in the hope that they will latch on to their last good chance in this life. No amount of wealth, fame, possessions, accolades or relationships will satisfy or save us or them. Only the Last Good Chance can fulfill, reveal, stir up and offer us the hope we need this Christmas Season. I hope you latch onto this Chance and take it with you to the whole world:
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature...And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. (Mark 16:15, 20)
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.