Sermon Transcript: Christmas Eve 2020

12/24/2020 Jeff Schwarzentraub 28 min read

- Again, Merry Christmas. We're so glad that you're worshiping. We have our online campus and our Broomfield campus. Would you help me welcome them today as we're worshiping our Savior. So great to worship together, glad that you're here.

And would you pray with me tonight. Lord Jesus, we just know that your word says that it never returns void that it is the living and active word of God. And Lord, our prayer tonight is that you would do a work in and through us that only you can accomplish. And for what you're going to do in advance, We give you all the glory, all the honor, and all the praise because you and you alone are worthy, and it's in Jesus name we pray, would all God's people agree with me tonight by saying Amen. Amen.

Well, you made it 2020. We're all the way through. Can you believe it? It's been quite a year and no matter where you stand politically, no matter how you understand the coronavirus, no matter how you understand masking, no matter how you understand the race issues in our culture, you made it. And we're so glad that you're here.

For those of you that were drugged here tonight by somebody. We're glad that you're here too, welcome. It's gonna be a great night. And so often when it comes to this time of year where we're talking about the Christmas story for many of us, we've heard it over and over and over again or we've heard people tell us about the story. So, it feels a little bit ad nauseum. And so I just want to read it to you because I want you to pick out what God is actually saying to us.

But before I do, I think the reason that it's so difficult to understand the Christmas story is that for many of us, we feel as if the Christmas story over promises and it under delivers. If you have an experience like that that's so disappointing. Then when you hear somebody tell you about something again you don't want to listen.

So my wife and I were originally from the Midwest, and we grew up taking our vacations by going to the beach. We like bodies of water. So, whether it was lakes or whether we were traveling down to Florida or got a privilege to go to Hawaii or wherever, that's where we go. And even being from the Midwest up near Chicago there's Lake, Michigan, you go further North Lake Superior. So I know what a Lake is. I know what it's like to go there. And when we moved to Denver, we didn't see any bodies of water anywhere. There's a couple of reservoirs. And we kept asking people, "Where do you go for water?" And everybody's like, "Oh, have you been to Palmer Lake?" And we're like, "No, where's that?" And they're like, "It's in Monument. It's unbelievable." And so in our mind's eye, we had this picture of just this incredible Lake where there'd be a bunch of people water skiing, and having a blast at the beach. So one night we decided to go down there for one of our date nights at a motorcycle at the time, we rode down there and as we're pulling up in Monument we see the sign that says Palmer Lake. And we look to our right and it's like a dried out pond. And I'm like, there's no way this is Palmer Lake. And so we went to the restaurant and I said, "Where's Palmer Lake. I mean, we saw the sign, we just didn't see it." They're like, "It's right there across the street." And I said, "That's it." So sorry to all you people in Monument, that's not really a lake. It's just a pond, right? And because of that when people in Colorado tell us about where to go in Colorado for these great lakes, they're just not here. We know what good lakes look like.

I think when we read the Christmas story, many times we hear things and we've heard them over and over. So we hear the story but we don't really understand the significance of the story because when God says something in His word, it's true and we can trust it. So, I want to read from Luke 2 a very familiar part of the story of Jesus's birth. On the night that he came to the world, an angel of the Lord showed up and went to Shepherd's which is pretty significant because shepherds were kind of like the village idiots of the day. It wasn't as if Jesus came with this huge fanfare. And here's what the angel says.

It says in Luke 2:8 "In the same region, there were some shepherds staying out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them. And they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people for today in the city of David, there has been born for you a Savior who is Christ the Lord, this will be a sign for you. You will find the baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger.' And suddenly they appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying 'Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."

Now you talk about an entry. Jesus' is born into this world and an angel comes and appears to shepherds. And then before they leave there's a number of shepherds, I'm sorry, angels. There's a multitude of angels that come and say, "Glory to God in the highest and what? And peace on earth."

Now you think about the word peace. Do you experience peace on earth? I mean, it seems like every Miss America pageant if you ask what they're looking forward to it's peace on earth, but think about it, do we see peace on earth? Are you experiencing peace on earth? Would you say 2020 would be defined as the year of peace? For most of us that would not be the word that we would say.

And so when it comes to the Christmas story, and we hear about God's peace, we think it's just something that's out there. Or maybe it happened a long time ago but it has nothing to do with significance for me today.

And I want to tell you God's word is always significant for today.

What makes this story so unique? And there's many uniquenesses is that when Jesus came to the earth it took away every other religion in the world. Because if you study the world religions and you go all around the world, and you try to discover what's unique about all these other religions, here's what every religion in the world promises, there's a code of behavior or a set of rituals or certain routines that you must do. And if you do them then you're gonna be welcomed into God's kingdom someday. Christianity has nothing to do with that.

Here's what Christianity is about. There was nothing you can do to get to God. And so God sent His one and only Son who is eternal means He's always existed. Who came to this earth, who put on flesh so that He could identify with humanity. He put on flesh for all eternity. In that manger what we have is the God man. The reason we did the graphic of the lion is because so many people, when they think about Jesus in the cradle, they picture this little baby boy under 10 pounds and he's there and he's so sweet, he's so nice. And I'm sure He was, but He's also the King of Kings. He's also the Lord of Lords. He's also the one who in the beginning said, "Let there be light." He's also the one that rained down fire on Sodom and Gomorrah. He's also the one who every story you see in the old Testament that appeared. He was the one that appeared to Moses at the burning bush. He is the eternal son of God.

There's never been a time that Jesus Christ didn't exist. But 2000 years ago, He put on flesh to come here. And what I want to talk to you tonight is about how the Bible defines peace. Because for many of us, as we think about peace, we think about tranquility. We think about ease. We think about comfort. And so sometimes when we hear the story about good news of great joy, peace on earth, are you kidding me? I don't see peace on earth. I don't experience peace in my life. I'm not experiencing peace in my marriage. I'm not experiencing peace in my family. I'm not experiencing peace at work. So certainly the story has nothing to do with me, and what the Bible talks about as something that's over promised and under delivered.

So, I want to let you know how the Bible defines peace. The Bible doesn't define peace as the absence of conflict. The Bible defines peace as the presence of a person, 'cause here's what I can promise you, however old you are, you're gonna have trouble in this world. Just keep living the longer you breaths, the more trouble is gonna come your way. Jesus said in this world, you will have tribulation. I mean, it's just part of the package, but it's really interesting that the word peace is bookended in Jesus's ministry because angels are proclaiming peace on earth.

After Jesus rises from the dead, and he meets his disciples and He walks through the wall. What's the first thing He says, "Peace be with you." How does Paul address many of his letters that he writes grace and peace, the Shalom of God. So, I want to talk to you. How is it we can experience this peace presently? 'Cause peace is in a person.

John 17:3 says, "Now this is eternal life that they may know you. The only true God and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."

Understand Jesus, coming to this world is not about you getting religion. It's not about you becoming a better person. It's about God's love for the world so much that He came to do for us what we couldn't do.

So I want to talk about three ways tonight that you can experience God's peace. You remember the outline will be really, really easy.

So the first is this, God wants you to experience peace with God. That's the first point. Jesus Christ came so you could experience peace with God.

Now think about your own soul. Think about your own life. Do you have peace with God? Do you really believe that if you met Him face to face right now in all of His glory that you'd be at peace or would you be absolutely terrified knowing that you really don't have a relationship with Him. Some of you don't have peace with God and the way you know you don't have peace with God is when you pray you feel like your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling. When you are asking God for Him to move in your life, you don't experience Him. God is somebody that you talk about. Maybe you believe in a God. Maybe you don't believe in a God. But if I ask you, have you heard His voice? Have you spent time with Him? What's He like? You would say, "I have no idea that's not what I have, I don't have peace with God."

But Jesus Christ came so you could have peace with Him. Romans 5:1 says it this way Romans 5:1, it says, "Therefore having been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord, Jesus Christ." Do you know that you can experience peace with God right now that in your relationship with the God of the universe, you don't need to fear death. You don't need to fear talking to God. You don't need to fear meeting Him because Jesus Christ came for mainly one purpose and one purpose only. And that was to do for you what you couldn't do for yourself.

You know why He came? He came to die for all of your sins. And we don't like I like to talk about sins. And sometimes when I'm talking about sins as a pastor I can feel people cringe in the audience because they think, "Well this is the time where the pastor is gonna get red faced and tell me all the bad things that I've done in my life and don't do them anymore. And then I'll be a good person.

And that's not what I'm talking about. I mean, just by show of hands just to give us a little comfort in the room tonight. I mean, how many people have at least send once they think I mean, just something, I mean, just something bad something that goes against God that, you know, I mean we would all admit to that. We don't have a problem with that. All of us would admit to that.

The challenge that we have is what we don't want to admit to is that our whole identity is sin. We'll admit that we've done some things wrong, but compared to other people, we're still better than they are. We don't want to admit that deep down in our core the way that God sees us is purely sinful.

And if you go back all the way to the book of Genesis, when God created the world, He created Adam and Eve without sin, but because of their desire to do what God didn't want and eat off the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, sin came into the world. And Adam and Eve both sinned by rebelling against God and by desiring something other than what God wanted them to do. And if you get a male sinner and a female sinner and you get offspring of that, you know what you get is we talk about all the time at Brave Church, you get sinlings. And when that gets reproduced, so all of us in our identity from the time we're conceived and we come out of the womb, the first one we think about and the only one we think about is who? Ourselves.

We don't cry because we saw a bad movie. We don't cry 'cause our parents had a bad day at work. We cry because we need to be changed. We need to be fed. We need to be held. It's all about us. And guess what? That doesn't change with age. It doesn't, you don't grow out of that stage. Every advertisement you see is all about you and what you need and how you can be fed. It's still about us because everything inside of us is sinful. So, even when we try to do good works it doesn't change our identity. We compare ourselves to other people like the people locked up in prison. Those sexual predators over there, those murderers in that camp those people that are sexually immoral over there. And we don't see ourselves the same way. We think some people are worse than us but here's what the Bible has to say about our identity.

In Isaiah 64:6 and spells it out clearly, we don't like it. It says this, "For all of us, all would be me and you have become like one who is unclean, and all righteous deeds are like a filthy garment and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away." In other words, the way God sees you is different than the way you see yourself. We can kind of try to polish ourselves up, and "I'm gonna start going to church now I'm gonna be a good person. I'm not gonna swear anymore. I don't even drink. Here's what I do. Here's what I... It doesn't change your identity because your identity on the inside is still doing the things you're doing. So, you'll look good for yourself. So, you'll present yourself better to God. There was no way for you to get to God, so God came to you.

And here's the other problem that we have with sin. Sin kills. The Bible says, All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and the wages of sin is death." Dying you will die.

There's been a ton of fear this year about COVID-19 and rightfully so sometimes. And if you catch that it can cause tremendous problems in your life, right? Let me tell you about a different disease. It's called sin. 100% of you have it. 100% of you have it to the full, 100% of you are gonna die. It is a fact. That's what the Bible points out. Your biggest fear shouldn't be COVID, your biggest fear shouldn't be whether you can pay the Christmas bill this year? Your biggest fear shouldn't be whether you're gonna get a better job? Your biggest fear shouldn't be your family members that are in town that you have to get along with for the next three days? Your biggest fear, should be the sin in your heart, because dying, you will die.

You've already caught a terminal disease. And we don't like to talk like that. I mean, we're aware that we're frail. We're aware that we can be sick. We're aware we can have symptoms. We go to the doctor and the doctor tells us, "Yep, this is what you have. It's gonna take a couple of weeks, take this medication or here's this therapy." We're okay with that diagnosis but we're not okay with the diagnosis when we go to the doctor and we hear words like this, "You have stage four cancer. I would give you one month to live, get your stuff in order." We don't like that diagnosis. Now we know we're gonna die, but no matter when we get that news, we're not ready for that news.

So, part of the job of a preacher is to tell you, get ready for that news 'cause dying, you will die. And I don't know if you'll live another 70 years, or tonight on the way home is your final time, but you better deal with your sin because if you don't deal with your sin, you're gonna stand before a Holy righteous God. And you're gonna hear these words, "Depart from me you worker of iniquity for I never ever knew you."

See God loved us so much. He didn't give us a set of rules so we could keep 'cause He knew couldn't keep them. Jesus gave us the law because He wanted us to know that He was the only one who could fulfill it. So, He came and that's the significance of Him being born of a Virgin, being conceived by the Holy spirit because He could be fully God and fully flesh all at the same time without having a sin nature. And what did Jesus do for us? He went to the cross. He died on it. He shed his blood. And then he was raised for the dead. And He began to offer life to everyone who believed in Him.

And we have a hard time with that message. I mean, we do because for many of us even gathered here even as you're thinking about sin, you say, "Well I'm not as bad as somebody else." Every time I go preach in a prison. And I tell people that they're sinners it's like move on to point number two, we got that. We know this. What's the solution? Preaching to us is hard because for most of us we dress up, we wear makeup, we comb our hair. Some of us we do different things to make ourselves look good. And then we think that we're better than other people. You're in the same boat. You're still dying and you're going to die.

It reminds me of a story I've told before about the the two brothers in town that were notorious. They had joined a gang. Everybody in that town was scared of them. They didn't like them. And they were criminals. And one day the older brother died and the younger brother was torn up. He didn't know what to do. So he found his way into this church and this pastor was there and he asked this pastor. He said, "Hey, would you do my brother's funeral?" And the pastor reluctantly said, "Yes." Thinking, Hey I'll get a chance to share the good news of Christ with all of these thugs, let's do it. And he was scared because all of these guys were in his office and they were talking to him and he just wanted to get them out. And on the way out, the younger brother said, "All I'm asking is one thing tomorrow at that funeral, you tell that whole congregation that my brother was a saint." Scared the pastor said, "Okay, I'll do it." Went home that night. And then wrestled. 'Cause with integrity, he said, there's no way I can stand up and say, his brother was a saint, when everybody knows what he was like. And if I don't say that he was a saint then I'm going to face the wrath of these guys that are coming in. What do I do? And so he wrestled all night, about two in the morning. He got his answer. He went to bed, got up the next day and did the funeral during the eulogy here's what the pastor said about the older brother, he said "All of you remember this older brother, he was a thug, he was a criminal, he was no good. He was sexually immoral. He was a thief. He was a criminal. Nobody in our town liked him. And it's better that he's dead. But compared to his younger brothers sitting right here in the front row, he was a saint."

That's how we view sin. We think other people are not as good as us. And here's what God's saying, "Hey, I came 'cause I want you to know you're not all that great. The only one good in the whole Bible is me. And I came because I have an incredible love for you. And you can have peace with God through me. I came on purpose to go from the cradle to the cross to fulfill the law and do what you could never do for yourself. And I will die in your place. And I will rise from the dead to show that I'm God, and I'll offer life to anyone who believes in me."

And you can have peace with God. Peace with God is not about joining a church. It's not about getting religion. It's not about going to Sunday school class. It's not about being a good person. It's not about being a better person than you were before you came. It's about admitting the fact that you're a sinner and you're gonna die and you need Christ. And that Christ is the only one who can save your life. That's the good news. Amen.

That's why the Angels are calling out good news of great joy. Well, what's the good news? The good news is what's called the gospel. The good news is that you don't have to die. The good news is that by believing in Christ the very moment you breathe your last breath you'll be as alive as you've ever been. That's called peace with God.

Here's the question. Do you have peace with God? I mean, my message to you tonight is not, hey, remember the gospel, join religion. Hey, join Brave Church. Come back. That's not the message. The message is there's a God in heaven who loves you. And He loves you so much that He sent His only begotten son and long before you ever knew it He died on the cross for your sins. He rose from the dead. He's the way, the truth, and the life. And no one comes to the Father except through Him. And you can have life and have life in His name and you can have it now.

See the problem is not that you're a bad person. The problem is that you're dead, right? Changing your behavior won't help your deadness. And there's only one who can make you alive, and it's the Lord, Jesus Christ. Jesus came so you could have peace with God.

Secondly, Jesus came so you could experience the peace of God. I mean, it's one thing to know that I'm going to heaven. And it's another thing to experience heaven on earth. You can experience the peace of God. Did you know that? I don't know how I would've made it through 2020 if I didn't have the peace of God. I mean, all you have to do is watch social media or read the news or listen to a talking head, and it can stir up all sorts of emotion. And you, regardless of how you think about any issue.

So how do you experience peace? Remember it's not the absence of conflict it's the presence of a person. And when you trust in Jesus Christ, He comes to indwell you through His Holy spirit and He will be with you wherever you go. Listen to this.

In Philippians 4, as Paul was writing to the Philippian church, here's the way he said it, in Philippians 4: 6-7, here's what he said. Talking about prayer. He says, "Be anxious for nothing." Let's just be honest.

Anybody here been a little anxious about anything all year this year? Here's God's command. Don't be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. In other words, don't worry, pray, seek the Lord.

And here's what He says, "And the peace of God." There's that word again? "Which passes all comprehension will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

When we tell the Lord, even as Christians that we're needy and that we need Him, and that God I need your peace and I need your presence. And I need you to go with me in this situation. 'Cause without you, I'm gonna have a lot of anxiety. God goes with us. There's a lot of people who have peace with God who know they're going to heaven they don't have the peace of God presently on the earth, and you can have both, they're gifts. Then not only can you be saved and saved to the full but you can have God walk with you every single place that you go, and you don't have to take matters into your own hands and control everything.

Because some of us think that peace is the absence of conflict. There's what we do. We control everything in our lives. We control our money. We try to control relationships. We try to control work. We try to control all these things. We work out eight hours a day. We try to control our health. We got to make sure that nothing ever happens and that we're just like living in this perfect place. I'll just save you some time. It doesn't work. It doesn't work.

The only way to have lasting ongoing peace is to have the peace of Christ dwelling rich within you. Because here's the truth. If you have the peace of Christ it doesn't matter what the circumstances are. You can be going through the death of a loved one. You can be going through the loss of a job. You can be going through relational insecurity. You can go through all sorts of different things but if you have the peace of Christ on the inside you can make it through anything. If you study the life of Jesus it wasn't like this blissful prosperity life.

I mean, He was born in a manger, which is just a basically a cement trough and His life ended on a cross cursed, as He was having nails driven into His hands and His feet. He didn't even have a place to lay His head 'cause He didn't have a home. And all he did was travel itinerant and preach to people who didn't like Him. That was His whole life. And yet, What did he have? He had the peace of His father the whole time, no matter what he was going through, God was going through it with Him.

And here's the truth. God's willing to go through anything with you just by spending time with Him and inviting Him. Says, "My peace. I give to you. My peace, I leave with you." I did not give peace as the world gives the world offers peace in all sorts of things like, hey, just have a little more alcohol have a little more drugs, have a little more sexual fulfillment. That'll give you a little piece. It never provides, only Jesus Christ can provide on the inside what you're actually looking for and what you're looking for and what you're searching for is a relationship with Him.

Circumstances will always change guaranteed, but Christ will go with you in all circumstances. God wants you to experience peace with Christ. He wants you to experience the peace of Christ, and then here's what God wants, finally, He wants you to experience peace through God, peace through God. Here's an interesting thing for most of us why we don't experience peace is in our relationships on this earth. I mean, just think about the relationships you wish you could have and you can't have 'cause there's no peace in that relationship.

I mean, think of our culture and think about different groups trying to sit down and have a conversation. Think about strong Democrats and strong Republicans sitting down and having a really meaningful conversation. Right? Think about people that are on polar opposites. I mean, our culture has become so polarized that we begin to think, well, I can never like a person like that 'cause they think wrong. They think and wrong be they think different than me, right?

How does God work? Some of you come into church tonight. Some of you are here. Some of you are dragged by family members. You can sit there and hold your spouse's hand. You can put your arm around each other. You can pretend like it's all good, but you know there's no peace, and you can fake it on the outside. But inside, you know, there's no peace and there's never going to be peace because this just isn't working anymore. The relational equity is gone or with your employer or with your family.

Here's what God does. He works through your situation if you let Him, if you have peace with God and you have the peace of God, God will work through your life to bring peace to others. You say, well, how does that work? Because Christians are able to do one thing that nobody else on the world can do, and you know what that is? Forgive other people Non-Christians can't forgive. You might say "Well, I'm a non-Christian I forgive not. Not at your deepest part. Not at your deepest hurt, not at your deepest wound because for most of us, we think forgiveness is well they hurt me bad, but when they come apologize and they grovel and they grovel for weeks and they promise me, they'll never do it again. Then maybe just maybe I'll forgive them. But when Jesus taught His disciples to pray which was the one thing they wanted to learn from Him part of His discipleship prayer. After He says our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, let your kingdom come let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread, what does he say? And forgive us, our debts or our sins or our trespasses in the same way that we forgive others.

Here's what we're praying. God, I want you to forgive me in the same way I've forgiven everybody else. That's the kind of forgiveness I want. That's a scary prayer, isn't it? Because we want God's forgiveness for all of our sin. We just want to be able to hold out on others.

And here's the truth. However, anybody's hurt you to the extreme that they've hurt you. And I know there's people here that have been hurt severely. So, I'm not trying to minimize it compared to the hurt and rebellion that you've given to God. It's small potatoes. And I'm telling you only Christians can truly forgive. Some of your marriages are jacked up. Not because you're bad people. Not because you shouldn't be married, but because there's no ongoing forgiveness in your marriage. Marriage is cannot survive without forgiveness. Just ask my wife, it's forgiveness and why do we forgive?

We love because He first loved us. We forgive because He's forgiven us. The more you understand you're a sinner, and you come to peace with God because He's forgiven all your sins, and thrown them all in the deepest sea. Then you can experience the peace of Christ. And if I have the peace of Christ, and I have peace with God, then guess what? I can let God work through me to forgive others.

And it's hard, isn't it? Because forgiveness is not a spiritual, emotional thing. It's an act of the will. I've always been moved by Corrie" ten Boom story, during World War II, who ended up in Ravensbrück Prison Camp for trying to hide Christians. And she was there with her sister Betsy and she tells the story about how one day she was preaching on the forgiveness and the love of God that God loves all people no matter how severe they feel their sin has been. And while she was preaching she was telling people that God takes your sin. And he drops it as far as the East is from the West. He throws it into the deepest sea which is what the scripture teaches which means you don't have to live with the shame and guilt of your sin, no matter how awful you've been as a person, God will forgive you, no matter what.

And after the service, after she taught that and taught about being in Ravensbruck and taught about how horrible it was. There was a man that came out of the Island, came up to her and she saw Him, and she saw his balding head and his protruding belly. And he was wearing a sport coat that was Brown. And one moment she noticed that and the next moment, she noticed his army uniform with skull and crossbones. And remember that was the man that beat her. That was the man that made all the girls strip down and walk naked in front of him while he held his belt. That's the one that beat her and her sister. And as she was walking forward. Her heart began to beat really fast. And he said, free line. You said you were in Ravensbruck. I was an officer there and she said who? He doesn't remember Me? And then he said, "I heard what you taught on the love of God tonight. And it's so warms my heart. I became a Christian after the war and I just needed to hear it over. Could you tell me again that God could forgive someone like me? So here's she's standing there with the one that brutalized her and her sister for no other reason than the fact that they loved God, but she thought about how God had forgiven her. and all that he'd done. And she knew forgiveness was an act of the will. And so she said, God, if you give me the strength I will raise my arm and shake his hand. And so she felt this tingling go through her whole body as she reached out and she said, "Mister," she goes, "I forgive you and God forgives you too."

That's what Christians are able to do that non-Christians can't, right? How do we experience peace on earth? We don't experience peace on earth in a rally. We don't experience a peace on earth by singing Kumbaya. We experience peace on earth by having been made right with God, by experiencing God's peace. We have peace with God. And then we experience the peace of God as His presence goes with us. And then we're always looking for opportunities to demonstrate God moving through us the peace through God which is Him working in and through us to extend forgiveness to others and be able to forgive those who have genuinely hurt us. That's what the world's looking for. Only Christ can offer that solution. We don't have the power on her own to do it. And it goes in that order, 'cause for most people they think backwards like, well if people forgive me, then maybe I'll go to a church. And if God's really real, then maybe I'll accept Him. And maybe one day I'll... No, it doesn't work that way. You have to come to an understanding first that you're a thoroughly depraved sinner and the reason Jesus Christ came and the reason the angels are singing.

And the reason we gather as a church every single week is not because we have great people that go to Brave Church. Although we do, we just have a bunch of sinners that were so in need and are still in need of the good news of Christ to continue to forgive us. And we want God to walk with us and we want to be people that extend His love to the world.

That's, what's so unique about the birth of our savior. It's God coming to us. So here's the question. Do you have peace with God?

Do you the peace of God? Do you have peace through God in all of your relationships? That's why Jesus came and for some of you here tonight, I would ask you to make tonight the night that you give your life to Jesus Christ.

Now notice what I'm not saying. I'm not asking if you prayed a prayer in church I'm not asking if you walked in I'm not asking if you're shaking a pastor's hand. I'm not asking if you've been baptized. I'm not asking if you become a better person, I'm not asking, well I've experienced a tingling feeling inside. I'm not asking any of those questions I'm asking when did you come to the realization that dying you are going to die and that your need you're in need of Jesus Christ and Him alone. And believe that He died on the cross for your sins and rose from the dead. When did that happen for you? Because if you've not called out to Jesus for that kind of salvation, you can call yourself whatever you want but you're not a Christian.

And for those of you who are Christians, here's a question, are you experiencing he fullness of the peace of God? Are you letting God work through your life and extend peace to others? Because God that's how you experienced the fullness of Jesus.

And so tonight the way I wanted to close is no matter where you are and no matter who you are is just to close in a moment of silence and pray while you respond any way that the Lord would have you respond for some of you here you need to give your life to the Lord. Jesus Christ.

For some of you here, you need to say, Lord, I know you but I haven't been living with your peace in me. And I need that. And for some of you, you know your relationships are strained, and the others there's some things people have done to you. And the others there's some badness and this and that but you realize I've been unforgiving towards somebody and Lord, while you've forgiven me so much, I know I haven't forgiven them. Would you change me and give me the ability to forgive them? And it doesn't mean you call them up on Christmas Eve and say, "You're a horrible person, but I want you to know. I went to Brave Church tonight and I forgive you." That's not what it means. What it means is you and your heart go before the Lord and say, "Lord, I'll do whatever I can to make that thing, right? 'Cause I don't want to hold onto this burden anymore. Amen.

So would you bow your head and close your eyes with me? Lord Jesus, we just come before you and ask you to do a work here among us today. Lord, what we're asking is for you to accomplish what you've set out to accomplish in each and every person here. If you're here tonight and you know, you're separated from God, there's never been a time where you've trusted in Jesus Christ. You can pray along these lines. It's not a magic prayer. It's just a desire of your heart. Lord, I know that I'm a sinner, but I believe that you died on the cross for my sin, that you rose from the dead. And you're the only one who can save me, save me, Jesus, right now, come into my life. I want a relationship with you For some of you're saying, I know I have peace with you God but I need more of your presence to go with me. I need the ongoing peace of God, rather than reading the news, I need to pursue you. And for others here tonight God has put on your heart. Somebody that you have not forgiven who you would say in the depth of who you are. They don't deserve to be forgiven. And Jesus would say neither did you. But I was willing to forgive you. Will you forgive them? And Lord for all you're doing and for all you're gonna accomplish We give you all the glory. We give you all the honor, and we give you all the praise in the mighty and matchless name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

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