Read: Acts 17:22-25
The Apostle Paul arrived in Athens, and as he looked around at all of the statues to various Greek gods, he saw an opportunity to challenge the people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Greeks were careful not to overlook any of the gods, and they had erected a monument to the "Unknown God". Paul used their superstition to introduce them to the One True God. Paul recognized that these folks were just searching for answers. They didn't know God, but they were searching. In this way, they are not unlike many people today. There is an unusual fascination with angels, demons, and the supernatural. Now, at this time of the year there is a great deal of focus on a character called Santa Claus.
There are a number of parallels between the character we know as Santa and the One True God.
(Psa 48:2) "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King."
(Rev 19:13) "And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God."
(John 15:11) "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full."
What is Santa famous for saying? Ho, Ho, Ho ! It is interesting that 'Ho' is a biblical word. It is found in only three verses, 'Ho, Ho, Ho' .
Today is Christmas eve, so stay with me for just a few more minutes and let's see what the Scriptures say.
I. The "Ho" of Salvation. Cf Ruth 4:1
A. Most of us know the story of Ruth and Boaz. (Read: Ruth 4:1-10)
1. Boaz wanted to marry Ruth.
2. He had to let the closest kin have the option to marry her first.
3. No one wanted to pay the price of marrying her.
4. Boaz offered to be the kinsman redeemer.
5. He was willing to pay the price of marrying her.
B. Here, Boaz is a picture of the love that Jesus Christ had for you and me.
1. Because of his love for Ruth, Boaz was willing to pay the price to redeem her.
2. Because of His great love for us, Jesus was willing to pay the price to redeem us from sin.
3. Our salvation is free to us, but it cost the Father His only begotten Son; and it cost Jesus Christ His life's blood on Calvary.
(Rom 5:8) "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
(John 15:13) "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
(Rom 6:23) "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
C. Eternal life in Christ is a gift from God to us.
1. Have you received this wonderful gift yet?
2. Santa supposedly brings presents, but they eventually wear out.
3. Jesus brings us the gift of eternal life, and Jesus assures us that once we have received this gift, it will never wear out!
II. The "Ho" of Satisfaction. Cf Is. 55:1
(Isa 55:1) "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price."
A. "Every one that thirsteth"
1. Perhaps nothing else compares with the experience of thirst.
2. All of us have been there.
3. Some of you right now are becoming thirsty just thinking about it.
4. This is a common need for every human being regardless of their background or social class.
5. We all know what it is to be thirsty!
B. Isaiah is talking about a different kind of thirst here.
1. This thirst is for spiritual things.
2. But the fact remains that we long to have this thirst quenched.
3. We long to be satisfied spiritually.
4. That is why the Greeks built so many altars to the gods.
5. That is why people are still fascinated with the supernatural.
6. People are thirsting for God whether they know it or not.
7. Man was created to be in fellowship with God, and if we aren't, then something is missing inside…we feel empty without Him.
8. We seek to fill this void in many ways, but none will truly satisfy the longing.
C. Only Jesus can Satisfy.
1. Jesus told the Samaritan woman in John 4:
2. If you drink this water, it will temporarily quench your thirst; but if you drink from my water, you shall never thirst again.
3. Our spiritual thirst is especially evident at this season.
4. People who never consider Jesus Christ the rest of the year will sing about Him at Christmas.
5. They will send and receive cards with verses and artistic depictions of Him.
6. They will view the Nativity scenes with awe and seek to feel good
III. The "Ho" of Separation. Cf Zech. 2:6
(Zec 2:6) "Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the LORD: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the LORD."
A. This is directed to the people of God.
1. There are two thoughts in this verse.
2. The first is 'come forth' and the second is 'flee from'
3. This requires movement on the part of God's people.
4. They could not stay where they were at and be in obedience to His command.
5. The same is true for us today…we must also 'come forth' and 'flee from'.
B. We are to be separated:
1. From this world and its thinking.
2. I am not talking about being a hermit and hiding out in the hills somewhere.
3. I am talking about what should be the natural result of growth in Christ.
4. We move toward God and away from the world.
C. This is 'holiness' or 'sanctification'.
1. When we are separated from sin and unto the Lord.
2. James tells us that 'If we will draw nigh to God, He will draw nigh to us.'
3. Only in Christ, will we be satisfied, our thirst will be quenched, and will we stand out for the Glory of God.
Ho - Ho - Ho Salvation, Satisfaction, and Separation. What do we need this Christmas? Have we placed our faith in Jesus Christ? He wants us to be saved today! Where do we look for satisfaction? It will not be found wrapped in pretty paper and bows. What about our walk for Christ? Is it such that others will see Christ in us? Or are we so much like the world, that no one could even tell that we are a child of God?
Ho - Ho - Ho