The Shepherds and the Birth of Christ


December 28, 2014

Luke chapter 2, or course, we have the famous passage of the birth of Jesus Christ that a lot of people are thinking about this time of year. Begin with me if you would, in verse number 6 where the Bible reads

“And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.”

This is such an exciting scene in the Bible. Just imagine, if you’re a shepherd, keeping your flock by night, you’re outside, it’s quiet; it’s dark. You’re doing your job, and all of a sudden the angel of the Lord comes and speaks to you, and they’re afraid because of the brightness and so forth, but then after the angel makes this announcement it says that suddenly, there’s with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God.

So just imagine, these shepherds are there, this angel shows up and gives them this message and then all of a sudden, there’s just a multitude, instead of just one angel! Just a giant multitude, where there are thousands and thousands of the heavenly host all shouting, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

And then if we read later on in the chapter, it talks about how the shepherds, once they’d heard all this and then they’d gone and actually seen the Baby Jesus, the Bible talks about the fact that they made it known abroad down in verse 17

“And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.”

You know that God specifically picked these shepherds. I mean, there are all kinds of shepherds in Israel that were watching their flocks that night, but God picked these certain shepherds. What an honor and a privilege it would have been to be one of these guys, that God sends His angel to make you the messenger and you the one who’s going to make this announcement to all people that He shows them this great sight with the angel and with the heavenly hosts.

Then they actually get to go and see the Baby Jesus and then they go around just telling everybody that they can about it and just spreading the good news about what they had seen. And obviously, God picked these guys because He knew that they were going to around and tell everybody else. You know, He didn’t pick shepherds that were just going to see it and say, “Oh that was cool” and just keep it to themselves, but He actually picked guys that were going to make it known abroad and go tell everybody and spread the word about this great event.

Now, let’s look at some of the things the angel says when he speaks unto them. It says in verse 10

“Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”

Now, that term “good tidings” is something that’s used in the Bible over and over again, what we would say in our modern vernacular is good news because when the Bible used the word “tidings” it’s talking about news. And the Bible actually defines the word “gospel” as glad tidings or good news because when Jesus is preaching in Luke chapter 4, He says

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, for He hath anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor”;

And He’s quoting Isaiah 61:1 where it says

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach glad tidings to the meek.”

So, glad tidings in the Old Testament becomes gospel in the New Testament so the word “gospel” literally means good news or glad tidings.

Now, why is the gospel such good news because the good news is that the Lord Jesus Christ is our Savior, and that we can be forgiven of all of our sins and that we don’t have to perish in our sins and die the death of the ungodly, and go to hell when we die, but we can be forgiven and saved and redeemed through the blood of the Lamb, through the blood of Jesus Christ. That’s great news.

Now, if somebody came to me and told me, “Hey, if you join this religion and you know, join a church, and here’s a bunch of rules and if you do these things and if you live a clean life, you know, you might to get to heaven if you’re good enough. You might make it. I mean, is that really that good of news? I mean, if you work really hard and you’re good that you might make it because anybody who’s realistic would say, “You know what? I’m not good enough.”And the Bible says

“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

The good news is that we have hope, and we have a way to be saved through the Lord Jesus Christ and that the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord. But notice he says

“It’s good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people”

Notice that, to all people. Jesus did not come to die for a select few.

The Bible says,

“That He by the grace of God tasted death for every man.”

And the Bible says,

“He’s the Savior of all men, especially of those that believe.”

The Bible says,

“That He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

It says, go if you would to 1st Timothy chapter no 2, 1st Timothy chapter no 2 is a great passage on this.1st Timothy chapter no 2, it says in verse no 1

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”

1 Timothy chapter 2 verse 3

“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

Did you get that? God will or it’s God’s will or that’s what God wants to happen. God will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”

So over and over again, it says,

“He died for all. He wants all to be saved. He’s a ransom for all.”

The gospel is good news to all. Don’t ever let anybody tell you that Jesus did not die for all people, that He did not die for all men. He died for every single person that has ever lived and that ever will live. Now, does that mean that everybody’s saved? Does that mean everybody is going to heaven? No, because the Bible says,

“Unto us was the gospel preached as well as unto them, but the word preached did not profit them not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.”

See, the gospel doesn’t profit you; the good news isn’t going to help you if you don’t put your faith in Jesus Christ. If it’s not mixed in with faith in those that heard it, it doesn’t profit you, but it’s unto all men.

The gift is available to all men. The gift is wrapped and signed and sealed and delivered and ready for anybody who wants to accept it, but you have to accept that gift. And you receive that gift through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and if you don’t receive it, it’s not yours. You have to take the step of putting your faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

If you’ll believe,

“Whosever will may come and take the water of life freely.”

It’s good news today unto all men.

There are a lot of people who feel guilty for the wicked things that they’ve done in their life. They feel bad about it. And you know, people ought to feel bad about it if they’ve lived a wicked life, and a lot of people they don’t know how to fix it, and its great news to tell them, “Hey, you can be forgiven. You can be redeemed. You can be saved.”

“You can be washed of your sins in the blood of the Lamb”, the Bible says,

And that’s great news today. Its good tidings of great joy to all people.

Look down if you would there at Luke chapter 2 where we were. In verse 11 it says

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

I mean, there’s so much just packed into that verse there, just that thought of who Jesus is. He is the Savior and not only that, He is Christ. Christ means Messiah.

They say,

“We found the Messiah which is being interpreted the Christ.”

So, Jesus is our Savior, Jesus is the Messiah, promised in the Old Testament, the son of David and Jesus Christ is the Lord, not “a lord” He’s the Lord. The Bible says,

“There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all.”

There’s only one Lord today, and it’s the Lord Jesus Christ and He is God with us. The Bible says that His name, when He was born as a baby, that His name will be called Emmanuel, which being interpreted is God with us.

“For unto us a child is born, and unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder.”

It says,

“Upon the throne of David.”

I mean, I’m sorry. I’m in the wrong verse here.

“For unto us a child is born, and unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God.”

Did you hear that?

“Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given... and his name shall be called, The mighty God.”

I mean, if that doesn’t prove the deity of Christ, I don’t know what to tell you. I mean, right there it says,

“That that Child that shall be born is going to be called The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”

And I want to talk about that word “peace” as well because later on, when the angels are speaking, it says in verse 13

“And suddenly (this is in Luke 2) suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Now, what does that mean when it says, “On earth peace, good will toward men. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Go if you would to Romans chapter 5, Romans chapter number 5.

“On earth peace, good will toward men.”

So in heaven, it’s glory to God. And on the earth, it’s peace and good will toward men. What does that mean, good will toward men? You hear these terms talked about a lot this time of year, don’t you? You’ll see a lot of decorations that’ll say, “Peace on earth” right? And people will hang up a lot of things like that and you’ll hear a lot of slogans about good will toward men. What does that really mean? What is being said here in Luke chapter 2?

You know, the peace on earth and the good will toward men, that’s God’s good will toward men. That’s God loving us, that’s God having good will toward us and wishing us well and putting a blessing upon us through Jesus.

Now, what does it mean peace on earth? Did Jesus Christ come and end war? I mean, did warfare end because Jesus came? Of course not! There’s been all kinds of war all over. Now, if you talk to the unbelieving, Christ-rejecting Jews today, they will tell you, “Well, Jesus couldn’t have been the Messiah because He didn’t bring peace” and that’s what they’ll tell you. If you talk to any unbelieving rabbi, they’ll tell you, “Well, Jesus wasn’t the Messiah because He didn’t bring world peace because look at all the warfare that we have today. That proves that Jesus is not the Messiah.”

But let me tell you something. Anybody who knows anything about the Old Testament knows that Jesus was the Messiah. I mean, I preached a whole sermon just destroying the idea of them still waiting for a Messiah when Jesus in the Old Testament, God in the Old Testament gave so many time frames of when the Messiah is going to come. You didn’t say it’s going to thousands of years. And He gave all kinds of things that would happen in a certain order and so on and so forth. That’s another sermon.

But what Jesus brought when He brought peace, He didn’t bring world peace amongst the nations of the world. He brought peace with God. He brought peace and good will from the Lord. Look at Romans 5. I’ll show what I mean. Look at Romans 5:1. It says

“Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

So the peace is peace with God. You say, why would we need peace with God? Because the Bible says that before we were saved, we were at enmity with God. Let’s read this passage. It says in Romans 5:1

“Therefore, being justified by faith”

You say, what does justified mean? Well, I heard one person say it this way: Just as if I’d never sinned. Justified, just as if I’d never sinned because justified means you’re declared righteous in the sight of God. Just and righteous are synonymous and the Bible says,

“There’s none righteous, no not one.”

So we of our own flesh are not just. We’re not righteous people. We’re all sinners but when we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, we are declared righteous in the sight of God. We are made right and made clean and fit to go to heaven.

The Bible says,

“Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

So, its grace that gets us to heaven and grace is something that we don’t deserve. Grace is when you’re given something that you did not earn or we’re not deserving of.

And how do we get that grace? The Bible says by Jesus we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand. So, how do we get access to the grace of God? The grace of God’s available for us, the grace of God that bringeth salvation unto all men is there but we get access to it by faith, by believing in Jesus Christ. Does it say that access is through baptism? Access is through church membership. Access is through repenting of all your sins. Access is through quitting drugs. Is that what it says? No, it says we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand.

And the Bible says in verse 6

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies”

Do you see that? When we were unsaved, when we were unregenerate, when we had not been justified we were at enmity with God.

“For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

So the peace on earth, the peace that comes through Jesus Christ, is peace with God, not necessarily always peace with each other, because Jesus Christ flat out said in Luke chapter 12

“Think not that I’m come to send peace on earth.”

He said,

“I came to bring division. I came to bring a sword. I’m come to set a man a variance against his father and the daughter against her mother and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law and a man’s foes shall be they of his own household”

And you say what in the world that that’s peace on earth, good will to men? Yeah, it’s peace with God, peace with the Father, and that’s the most important peace that there is. You know, in the world we shall have tribulation but be of good cheer. He’s overcome the world.

And we have the peace of God which passeth all understanding, keeping our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. That’s the peace that we have. It’s inner peace. It’s peace in our hearts and its peace between us and God. No more enmity between us and the Lord. We can boldly enter into the throne of grace and we can make supplication unto the Lord, because He is our Mediator. Jesus Christ our Mediator between us and the Father that gives us that access and it comes through faith.

Go back to Luke chapter 2. This is the message today that needs to be going out in this season of Christmas time because today people are celebrating Christmas, Christmas Eve tonight obviously. Christmas is tomorrow. A lot of people think Christmas is bad. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Christmas. I think that some people celebrate Christmas in a bad way, you know, I mean, for example, if you’re going to sit there and celebrate Christmas and it’s just all about money and spending money and buying things and getting things and it just becomes all about covetousness and trying to get more than you give or whatever.

You know, if it just degenerates to that you know I could see how that could be destructive. A lot of people are under a lot of stress and spend money that they don’t have. And just you know worry about that aspect of it, when in reality the Bible says

“It’s more blessed to give than it is to receive.”

And obviously we should just give if we want to and not feel constrained to give things that we don’t want to give or don’t have.

But a lot of people also make Christmas all about Santa. Santa Clause and about you know the reindeer and frosty the snowman. You say, “Well, what’s wrong with that?” Well you know, if you think about Santa it’s kind of weird because he knows when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been good or bad so be good for goodness’ sake. And honestly, either you know, I don’t know if he is working for the government and spying on us or is he some kind of a substitute for God in people’s mind.

I mean, because it’s actually God that knows when we’re sleeping and knows when we’re awake and it’s God who knows whether we’ve been good or bad. Whereas, who’s this Santa Clause? You know, if you look it up it was some kind of a saint from that. Well, you know what? He’s dead so we shouldn’t be speaking to the dead, praying to the dead, writing letters to the dead you know its pagan. Right?

But then some people will just throw out the baby with the bath water and just say, “Well I just hate Christmas because you know Santa Clause is so bad or whatever, you know. But honestly, the good thing about Christmas and the good thing about it is that it gets people to think about the birth of Christ. And it gets people to acknowledge this and a lot of people, I don’t know if they still play it on TV but they used to play the Charlie Brown Christmas special. And Linus gets out and reads this whole passage from the King James Version. I mean, that’s great because at least people are hearing the word of God because you don’t know, I mean, how many people do we go out soul winning? They don’t even know who Jesus is hardly anymore because our society has become so de-Christianized and so at least at Christmas time, there are people that hear about Jesus and acknowledge Jesus and you say, “Well, it’s all pagan.”

But here’s the thing, none of the things that my family and I do on Christmas are pagan. There’s nothing pagan about hot chocolate, marshmallows, candy canes, giving gifts one to another and glorifying Jesus and celebrating his birth. You say, “Well, Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th. You know what? There’s a 1 in 365 chance that he was. And you know I’ve seen the calculations proving it couldn’t have been you know, December 25th but you know what? A lot of those are flawed and there are theories that have it on the 25thof December or thereabouts. Other theories that put it in March other theories that put in September. That’s not the point. We don’t know when it was. You know the Bible you cannot pinpoint it with any story. I’ve seen all the evidence and I’m not buying it. And honestly, you can’t pinpoint it but basically the Bible says one man esteemeth one day above another, another esteemeth everyday alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

So there’s nothing wrong with us just taking a day and just at least celebrating and acknowledging the birth of Christ, whether he was born on that day or not really isn’t relevant and it reminds me of a story I heard about a person who was born in Africa. They didn’t even know their birthday. There’s a lot of people in Africa they don’t really keep the same records that we keep in the United States. They don’t even know exactly how old they are, they don’t what month or day they were born in so they just pick a day and then that’s their birthday. Okay.

So that’s kind of what we’re doing with Christmas. You know, we’re just picking a random day and we’re celebrating the birth of Christ and it’s great because it gets people to think about it but I hope that they’re getting the full message today and hopefully, if you come into contact with family and loved ones that aren’t saved, you know, you could talk to them about what the true meaning of the birth of Christ really is.

You know, what is the meaning? Why did Jesus Christ come? I mean, when it’s being announced in Luke 2, what’s being emphasized here? You know the fact that a Savior has come. That’s what they’re saying. This is the message that God wanted these shepherds and your shepherd is like a pastor because pastor means shepherd. You know he says, “Here’s the message for you shepherds to go out and speak to people and spread abroad. It’s a message that He’s the Savior, that He’s the Lord, that’s He’s bringing good will toward men and good tidings of great joy a.k.a the gospel. Glad tidings or the gospel, that’s what it means. The two are synonymous.

So we should be using this opportunity to talk to people about the gospel and say, “You know why Jesus Christ was born? He was born as Savior. He was born to bring good news and here’s the good news that Jesus died for all your sins, that Jesus was buried and on the third day He rose again. That’s the good news.

Jump down to verse 28th and it’s the greatest news. And the bible says of salvation

“Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.”

You say well I don’t like my Christmas gifts this year. But what’s the unspeakable gift? Salvation. If you have that, you have enough. That’s all you need.

The bible says

“Let our conversation be without covetousness”

Covetousness is when we desire something that we don’t have for He hath said ‘I will never leave thee nor forsake thee’. That’s the thing that should satisfy us where we don’t covet. You know, I got a lump of coal for Christmas. Now, I never showed up though, because I got a UPS notice on the door to go down to the UPS and pick it up and I’m thinking do I really want to drive all the way across town to UPS and go pick up a lump of coal? Because there’s you know these people who hate me who organized a big thing to send me a giant sack of coal to be delivered on Christmas Eve so I got here and I didn’t get the sack of coal because they need a signature for it.

So there’s this UPS notice on the door and the thing is on the far other side of Tempe that UPS plant I think that oh man. I don’t even know if I’m going to pick it up. But anyway, look down to verse 28, It says

“Then took he” –

I got other good stuff for Christmas, too. I’m just saying. I didn’t only get the coal. But anyway, verse 28 says

“Then took he him up in his arms and blessed God.”

Now, this is Simeon. He‘s in the temple and they bring the Baby Jesus to the temple to perform the ceremonies of the law and it says that Simeon took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now letteth Thou thy servant depart in peace according to thy word for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.”Now, why was that? Jump back to verse 26.

It says that

“It was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.”

So this guy knew he’s not going to die until he’d seen him and he’s a very old man and he sees a baby, you know, but he saw the Lord’s Christ before he died.

God kept his promise and he says

“For mine eyes have seen thy salvation.”

And what was he looking at? A baptismal tank? Was he looking at a church spire? What was he looking at? Was he looking at a 12-step program where somebody quits drinking and quits the drugs and quits their addictions? No. He was looking at Jesus and he said, “Jesus is salvation.” He said, when I look at Jesus, I’m looking at salvation.

The Bible says

“Mine eyes have seen thy salvation”

Because salvation is through Jesus and when we say it it’s through Jesus, we don’t just mean, “Well, you know, you do really good for Jesus.” No, it's Jesus paid it all. Okay. It’s salvation through faith in what Jesus has already done and at this point in what He would do. But Jesus is salvation. Salvation’s of the Lord. It’s not of works lest any man should boast. But the Bible says here

“Mine eyes have seen thy salvation”, verse 31, “which thou has prepared before the face of all people”

Just such an emphasis. All throughout this chapter on its all men, all people. It’s unto all, it’s good news for everybody.

And it says

“A light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of thy people, Israel.”

So already, at this point, Jesus is being prophesied as being the light of the Gentiles. A lot of people will teach this weird hyper dispensational teaching and they’ll say like, “Well, Jesus just came to save Israel and because they rejected it like plan B, was to go to the Gentiles. You know, it was really for Israel but because they passed it up, He said, “Well okay. You know, I’ll offer it to somebody then” but honestly, God’s plan was always to take it to the Gentiles because even in Isaiah, he says over and over again how he’s going to send Jesus to be a light to the Gentiles, the Messiah is going to get the gospel to the Gentiles and so forth.

But the Jews didn’t really like that because they had this attitude of “Hey, we’re the chosen people” and nuts to everybody else. And that’s why when Jonah you know, they’re kind of like Jonah. Remember, Jonah didn’t want to preach the word of God in Nineveh. He didn’t want to do it. And then finally, God forces him to do it and he preaches to Nineveh and he’s hoping that they get destroyed. He wanted them to reject it. And then God says He’s going to spare them and he just goes and sits and says, “I’m just going to sit here and wait until you destroy it because you said you would. You said you’re going to destroy it.”And he builds a little booth and camps out and he camps out and just watches for God to destroy Nineveh. And God has to talk sense into Jonah and tell him “Look, you know, why should I destroy these people?” Because he had this attitude of saying, Hey, it’s you know, these people are nuts to him. We don’t care about them because they’re of a different nation. Okay?

In the New Testament, we see the Jews when they hear Paul preaching and the apostle Paul is preaching about Jesus and they’re listening, they’re bearing with him and then he says that God sent him to preach the gospel to the Gentiles and they said, “Take this guy away. He’s not fit to live. Kill him.”Why? Because he said let’s get the gospel to the Gentiles. So, the Jews missed this message that salvation was to all men, not to one nation, not to just one ethnic group of people, but red and yellow, black and white, the gospel is for all men and Jesus said

“Other sheep have I that are not of this fold. Them also must I bring. And there shall be one fold and one shepherd.”

That’s why in the local church it’s a house of prayer for all nations. That’s why we’re not to segregate the local church and have a special Jewish church of the Messianic Jews or Gentile church that’s a Baptist Church and then a Black church and a Chinese church and a White church. No. We should all have one fold and one shepherd, Jew, Gentile, white, black, red, yellow. We should all be together in the House of God because we’re all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus and so that’s what’s being taught here.

He says in verse 33

“Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which spoken of Him and Simeon blessed him and said unto Mary his mother, “Behold this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel and for a sign which shall be spoken against. Yeah a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

So, he begins to reveal a little bit of the negativity here. You know, it’s good news, it’s the gospel, it’s salvation but he says, “You know what? It’s going to be spoken against.” They’re going to be people that don’t want this gift and they don’t want to hear the truth and they will say of the Lord Jesus Christ, you know, we will not have this man to reign over us.” And they would reject Him and hate Him.

And it says here, “A sword shall pierce through thy own soul also.” We don’t really know, the Bible doesn’t really tell all to us what happened to Mary but one interpretation of this would be that she was actually literally physically killed with the sword. That’s what I believe. I’ve studied the Bible and that’s the conclusion that I came to is that it’s probably talking about her eventually being killed.

Many of the early believers were martyred and many of the apostles were martyred. We don’t know whether the sword piercing her soul is just figurative or whether it’s literal. But either way, it’s talking about suffering. It’s talking about a sign that’s going to be spoken against. And you know what? We ought to be willing to pay the price to preach the gospel to every creature and to stand with the Lord Jesus Christ at this season. And we ought not shy away from bringing up the gospel or talking about Jesus because of the fact that well, you know, our family might speak against it. You might be spoken against. They’re going to slay me with the sword you know, at the family gathering if I start talking Jesus, talking the Bible.

You know, you would say, “Well, okay. It’s going to be less persecution than that.” Well, then we ought to be willing to face it. You know, we ought to be willing to stand up for the Lord Jesus Christ and not to be ashamed of Him or His words in this wicked and adulterous generation. And so we have the good news today, the glad tidings. It’s for everybody. We need to preach the gospel to every creature and at this time of year, this is a good time to give people the gospel because people are thinking about it, and it’s in people’s minds even vaguely.

You know, we went out soul winning this morning and it seemed like people were really friendly. When we were out soul winning because they’re in that mode where and I said to them, I said, “So you know, you celebrate Christmas. You know, what are you celebrating? What’s it about?”And some people didn’t know. They said, “I don’t know.”I said, “The birth of Christ.” “Oh, yeah, that’s not, yeah. Now, that you say that, yeah you’re right. Sorry, I just wasn’t thinking about that.”

You know, so a lot of people you know, they need to be reminded, “Hey, if we’re going to celebrate this holiday, it should be about giving glory and honor to Jesus, if anything.”And then it’s funny I was giving the gospel to this girl today and I asked her, I said, “After Jesus died on the cross, so what happened three days later?”This 17-year-old girl she had no idea what happened three days later. Never heard that He rose again from the dead that He physically walked out of the grave.

Like I said, our society has become de-Christianized to where a lot of people don’t hear the details of the gospel of Jesus Christ and we need to be like those shepherds and just get the message out. Yeah you say, “Well, we didn’t see the host and everything.”You know, maybe we didn’t see the bright sky and the host and the glory to God and peace on earth, but you know what? We have more sure word of prophecy right here with the word of God and we need to take the word of God and we need to be like those shepherds and spread the message abroad today, and spread it to all men and to get the word out.

I wonder if God would have chosen you if you would have been shepherd living in Israel a couple of thousand years ago in the Province of Judea, I wonder if He would have come to you or if He would have said, “Oh, yeah. Well, I really don’t think he’s going to tell that many people.” Now, think about that. “I don’t think he’s going to tell that many people. I’m going to over to where the Faithful Word shepherds are at. You know, they’re going to tell people. You know, hopefully that will be said of our church.

Then if He was you know, coming to Phoenix, and He was going to tell somebody about a major event, He’d say, “Well, I’ll tell the people that they’re going to get the word out the most.”What kind of a shepherd are you tonight? Are you one that would have spread it abroad?

We have the gospel, we have a more sure word of prophecy, we have the good news, we have the truth. Are people going to speak against it? Sure. Is everybody going to accept it? No. Are some people going to get mad? Of course. But we have the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we need to get it out to as many people and this time of year is a good time to do it because people are thinking about these things right now and a lot of people are receptive to the gospel right now.

Let’s bow our heads and have a word of prayer:

Father we thank you so much for this great passage Lord, this famous chapter and we thank you so much for just the fact that you’ve given us this unspeakable gift of eternal life through Jesus. We thank You for the peace that we have Lord and the good will that You’ve shown us by sending us a Savior, by loving us, by dying for us while we were yet sinners Lord. And Father, we just pray that you would please just embolden us Lord. Fill us with your Spirit and send us forth as you sent those shepherds forth with the message of the gospel for all men, Lord and help us to be faithful in delivering that message and in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Alright, let’s sing another song. Alright, we broke the record again. How many people do we have? Wow, so our old Wednesday night record was 100 and tonight we had 129.