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Paul Mahan | Rocky Mount, Virginia
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www.centralgracechurch.com
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540-493-7090
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Central Baptist Church
3596 Franklin Street
Rocky Mount, Virginia, 24151
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CENTRAL BULLETIN 3/18/18
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2018
Posted by: Central Grace Church | more..
150+ views | 10+ clicks

­­­Central Grace Church

3596 Franklin Street Rocky Mount, Virginia

Website: www.centralgracechurch.com Email: centralgracechurch@gmail.com

December 23rd . 2018

9:30 am ------------------------------------------Brethren, Pray For Us – 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5

10:00 am ----------------------------------------------The Generation of Jesus Christ – Matthew 1

*** NO WEDNESDAY SERVICE THIS WEEK ***

Bi rthda ys: December 25th – Earlene Sheesley, 27th – Kathy Smith, 29th – Ron Fannin (70th)

30th – Polly Peters (60th) 31st – Kathryn Polk

Thank you all for the many cards, gifts, and expressions of love to Mindy and me. We thank the Lord for this church and thank each one of you for your love and faithful support these many years. You are our true family and we love you.

Christmas Celebration?

The question usually arises at this time of year as to whether true believers should ‘celebrate Christmas’. I know of some who have ‘seen the light’, as it were, and now seek to occupy the moral high ground in telling others that they should make a statement to the world by not recognizing Christmas activities in any way - no trees, cards, lights or festivities of any sort – the more frugal the better. But believers are also bidden in Scripture to avoid giving unnecessary offence to others apart from the offence of the gospel (Rom12:18; Gal5:11). We ought to aim to live at peace with neighbors, work colleagues, unbelieving relatives, etc. whilst recognizing the inevitability of them eventually taking offence at our belief of the Biblical gospel of sovereign grace and particular redemption. The mid-winter festival of Christmas in these days is largely a secular period of materialistic extravagance. In the northern hemisphere it coincides with the darkest days of the year. Bright lights certainly make things look festive; holidays and work closures enable most people to spend time with their families, and the exchange of Christmas cards still serves a useful purpose in maintaining contacts that would otherwise fade. How does presenting a dour, sanctimonious appearance ‘adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour (Titus2:10)’? But, at the same time, I want to be clear that society’s Christmas is most definitely not a celebration of the Saviour’s birth. It is almost certain that Jesus was not born on 25th December; that date for Christmas arises from the amalgamation of Roman paganism with early ‘Christianity’. It used to be said – perhaps it still is said in some quarters – that we need to try to ‘keep Christ in Christmas’ but, for myself, I want to avoid any significant, symbolical or sentimental mingling of the mid-winter ‘Christmas’ festivities with the incarnation of Christ. We do not hold special Christmas services, nor do we mix carol singing with attempts at evangelization simply because we want to avoid any possibility of confusing the message we preach. So, does that mean we do not attach any religious significance to the birth of Christ at all? Of course not! A Christmas popular song first appeared in 1973 by the band Wizzard. Its title is, “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day” and you will hear it on the radio every year at this time. The fact is that for true believers, it is Christmas every day; there is not a day goes by without them rejoicing that God, in the person of his Son, Jesus Christ, was born as a baby in real human flesh so that he might redeem his people from the curse of the law and secure their peace with God. In the same way, every day believers rejoice in the accomplishment of Christ’s death at Calvary and his resurrection, not just at the pagan religious festival of Easter. So I join in – moderately - with mid-winter festivities; we exchange ‘season’s greetings’ with neighbors and others. My family and I decorate our houses, we exchange gifts and we get together to share special meals and pleasure together. But rejoicing that the Son of God became flesh, ‘God contracted to a span’ for the purpose of saving his people from their sins, that is something I seek to do every day of the year.

– Allan, Jellett, Knebworth Grace Church, England

REPENTANCE -- "Except you repent, you shall all likewise perish." -- Luke 13:3

The text which heads this page, at first sight, looks stern and severe, "Except you repent, you shall all perish." I can fancy someone saying, "Is this the Gospel?" "Are these the glad tidings? Are these the good news of which ministers speak?" "This is a hard saying, who can hear it?" (John 6:60.) But from whose lips did these words come? They came from the lips of One who loves His own with a love that passes knowledge, even Jesus Christ, the Son of God. They were spoken by One who so loved us that He left heaven for our sakes—came down to earth for our sakes—lived a poor, humble life, for three and thirty years on earth for our sakes—went to the cross for us, went to the grave for us, and died for our sins. The words that come from lips like these, must surely be words of love. And, after all, what greater proof of love can be given than to warn a friend of coming danger? The father who sees his son tottering toward the brink of a precipice, and as he sees him cries out sharply, "Stop, stop!"—does not that father love his son? The tender mother who sees her infant on the point of eating some poisonous berry, and cries out sharply, "Stop, stop! put it down!"—does not that mother love that child? It is indifference which lets people alone, and allows them to go on each in his own way. It is love, tender love, which warns, and raises the cry of alarm. The cry of "Fire—fire!" at midnight, may sometimes startle a man out of his sleep, rudely, harshly, unpleasantly. But who would complain, if that cry was the means of saving his life? The words, "Except you repent, you shall all perish," may seem at first sight stern and severe. But they are words of love, and may be the means of delivering precious souls from hell. -- Ryle

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