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Celebrating the Birth of the Prince of Peace while Worshiping the Prince of Death

A Sermon for the
Compassion Internet Church Ministry

23 December 2007

Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References:

Isaiah 6:10
        7:14
        9:6
John 3:16-17
1 Corinthians 13:1
1 John 2:16

Celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace while worshiping the prince of death may seem like a strange title for a Christmas-time sermon, but it really reflects the way that the vast majority of professing and celebrating Christians live.

Let's begin our spiritual excursion by setting aside all our society's traditional ways of celebrating Christmas, and look at the true message we are taught from the Bible and compare it with the ways that Christmas is really celebrated.

Isaiah prophesied of the coming Messiah and who He would be, so that we would recognize Him (Isaiah 7:14):

14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.
NASB

And again Isaiah tells us in 9:6:

6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
NASB

We have heard these words sung by choirs every Christmas season, but for some reason they seem only to sound good as they flow in one ear and out the other.

The vast majority of Christians just don't seem to comprehend God's message and the way He wants us to live.

Could it be that the Church is under the same curse that Isaiah said was upon the Israelites (6:10)?

10 "Render the hearts of this people insensitive,
Their ears dull,
And their eyes dim,
Lest they see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears,
Understand with their hearts,
And return and be healed."
NASB

Let's just think about who our Almighty God really is: He's the God who created the heavens and the earth and a paradise on earth called the Garden of Eden, a place in which there was no suffering or death, and where an abundance of healthful plant foods were available whenever the animals or the humans were hungry.

And who is our Eternal Father? He's the God of heaven where there is also no suffering or death, and He's the God who tried to redeem us from our sinful ways by sending us His Son, Jesus Christ, just as we are told in John 3:16-17:

16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.
NASB

And what about the Prince of Peace and "Peace"?

We see and hear this word and message all through the Christmas season, but we really don't have it, for our world is filled with wars and violence against millions of humans beings and billions of other animals.

I doubt that any Christian would disagree with what I've presented so far; but for some reason, most of them don't understand.

Jesus didn't come to earth to save some human beings; God sent His Son into the world that the world would be saved.

Did you really hear the words of the Bible?

Jesus came to save the whole world!

What is He to save us from?

From the sin and corruption that destroyed Eden and permeates the whole world today, and to usher us into the true Paradise, heaven, of which Eden was only a copy.

Jesus came to free us from the prince of death and the father of lies.

Then why do most Christians worship the prince of death?

And these same Christians would also deny that they are, because the father of lies has rendered their hearts insensitive.

They no longer have the unconditional love and compassion that gave us Jesus.

They no longer have empathy, the ability to feel the pain and suffering of all other living beings that God created along with us, whether they are humans or non-humans.

Just look around the churches and see all of the leather and fur coats and trim.

The fur and leather didn't grow on trees.

The fur and leather came from the tortured bodies of once living, breathing, and feeling animals, who like us, just wanted to enjoy their lives, as God intended when He created them.

These people have been deafened and blinded from understanding what they are really doing, just as John also reminds us in his first epistle (2:16):

16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
NASB

Isn't this why people wear leather and fur?

Wouldn't non-animal clothing also keep them warm and protected from the weather?

Of course it would!

They're doing this because they like to wear the leather and fur, which is in reality putting the desire of their heart before the heavenly will and intent of God.

And by so doing, they are worshiping the prince of death.

We are to be celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace and to be worshiping Him, and not the prince of death.

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:1:

13:1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
NASB

Is this the message that our church bells and songs give?

From the animals' perspective, they sure don't see much love coming from the church.

What has happened to us?

And what about our church dinners and our family gatherings around a festive holiday meal?

People usually ask, "What are we going to have for dinner?" But what they really are asking is, "Who are we going to eat?"

Yes, who!

A turkey is a who!

A pig is a who!

Think about this past Thanksgiving. What was the main dish at the table for most people?

It was the tortured and roasted cadaver of a once living, breathing, and feeling turkey who only wanted to enjoy his or her life as we do.

It was death; the same death that most people will place on their Christmas table.

And then these same people want God to bless it, when it is clearly against His creation and heavenly intent.

It is hypocritical, if not outright blasphemous.

And the flesh of a pig is no different, whether or not we try to hide the truth by calling it "ham."

We need to face the reality of the living hell that exists for billions of animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses, and our complacency in their suffering.

We need to realize that the human desire for the flesh and body secretions of innocent animals is in reality putting these desires before God, and is a form of worshiping the prince of death.

Open your eyes.

Open your ears.

Truly see and hear the suffering we are causing upon this earth.

Soften your heart to feel the pain and suffering, and regain the empathy that God created us to have.  Bring His peace to earth in our own lives and the lives of everyone around us.

Then and only then will we be truly worshiping Jesus Christ, and have the peace He was born to bring us.

Then and only then will we have a truly Merry Christmas.

Amen?

Amen.

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