Christmas Eve Service | 24Dec2023
Pastor West: [00:00:01] Where we welcome our listening audience this morning and those who have joined us. And by the ways and means. Um. Hebrews chapter two. Verse nine says, but we see Jesus. Who has made a little lower than the angels. For the suffering of death. He was crowned with glory and honor that he, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man. For it became him for whom are all things, and by him are all things. In bringing many sons into glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through suffering. But for both he that sanctifieth. Now who is he that sanctifieth Jesus. And they who are sanctified. And that's who. That's us. So Jesus is the one who sanctified. And we're the ones who were sanctified. Watch here. It gets better. Now we're all one. For which cause he's not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I would declare thy name unto my children in the midst of the church, and I will sing praise unto thee. And again I will put my trust in him. And again behold, and I, the children which God hath given me for as much, then as your children of partakers of the flesh and blood. He. Jesus also likewise took part in the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil. And he delivered them, who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. We didn't have much of a future, did we? It says our future would have been all their lifetime.
Pastor West: [00:01:52] We would have been subject to death. But verily, he took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he Himself has suffered, being suffered, he is able to secure them that are being tempted. He goes on to say, Holy brethren, partakers of the of the heavenly calling, consider. What should we consider the apostle and the high priest of our profession, Jesus Christ, who was faithful to him, who appointed him as also was? Moses was faithful to his house. Well. We were made like unto him. And he said, from that he who sanctified us, and he that sanctified are one, and so were one with Jesus because of his sacrifice. So today we celebrate the birth of Jesus. We don't we don't think the actually was in December. Most scholars believe it was in the month of September. Won't really matter today. Today is the day that we're going to recognize, uh, his birth. His birth changed everything. Everything. Um, the celebration of Christians and believers all around the world. Those who believe in Jesus Christ. Born in Bethlehem. The scriptures throughout the scriptures prophesied that the one who would come prophesied that he would be God's gift to the world.
Pastor West: [00:03:37] God himself, through Jesus Christ, became a man. The Bible says forever, and now he will be known as the Son of Man. Well, we know from different parts of the Scripture that, you know, before Earth was certainly God was. Certainly the sun was and certainly the Holy Spirit was. The Holy Trinity was. But God had a plan for our family. He wanted a family. And so in that family, he made provision. He knew the day would come, that mankind would need a would need a Savior. And Jesus said, send me. But Jesus had to do something for him to send him. He had to lay down his godlike deity and he had to become human. And so forever. That's why he's called the Son of Man. Because he became man tempted in every way, just like you were. In other words, when we say tempted, I'm not saying just in the sense of temptations of to do wrong, although that was possible, but we're talking about understanding human frailty. He knew what it was like to be tired, hungry, sleepy. He could have been moody. He could have been a lot of things. But because he had human flesh. Well, we we see here that Jesus was the spotless, scentless Lamb of God who could have sinned but never sinned and became. You're an example. He only could do this through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Pastor West: [00:05:02] You say, well, how are we going to be able to do this? We're not. We're not like Jesus. No. I just read to you. You are like Jesus. You know, we've been told so many times that we can't live without sin. We've been told so many times that, you know, that we're that we're failures. And then you got, uh, half the segment of the church that still walks around and see, you know, we're just sinners. No, you. You're not just sinners. If you got born again, you were a sinner. There's no doubt about that. We need to understand that we were sinners. But once you're saved, you're you're. You're not a sinner. You put that off. You put off the old man. Now you're sanctified. Now you're saved. Now you're a new creation. God doesn't have a mixed up, you know, sinner saved man. You know, there's not 14 different natures to pick from this one. Size fits all. The Jesus of the Christmas gift. You don't have to exchange. It fits everybody if you'll just put it on and leave it on. Well, I don't know if it's my style. It's your style. It works in warm weather. Cold weather. It doesn't matter what the climate is, it just works. Well, it don't work for me. Well, then try hell. And I don't think that'll fit to fit anybody too well. But nevertheless, someone is going to go try it.
Pastor West: [00:06:18] You know, this time of year, it can become fun and exciting for other people. It's mixed feelings, you know, there's people who don't have family members here that they used to have with them. And it's a time of in some ways, sadness. And and they naturally miss people that they would like to be with and be around. They miss, you know, parents and grandparents or spouses or sometimes even children. And those are sad occasions. But we have the hope of knowing that one day we'll be reunited together with them forever and forever. Um, then you could just look at the commercialism of Christmas. It's always been there. Uh, you know, I was kidding. Before church, uh, telling some of the guys there, I said, I almost put out an APB on Friday and throughout the whole state. But because I noticed Amazon was missing for one day from my house and I thought, surely someone's kidnapped Amazon because it hadn't been here on one day. Uh, this whole this whole season. So, uh, y'all let me know if she's found somewhere, but, uh, or she could be home time I get there, she might be. She might be delivering while I'm at while I'm here. But, uh, I mean, there's, you know, you have all the things to do. There's, you know, and they're fun. You know, you can have all the shows. I've watched all hallmark movies. I understand both plots. Yeah, actually, there's just one.
Pastor West: [00:07:46] Uh, someone sent me a text yesterday, and it was about these men in the lab they had on their coats and their telescopes. And they said scientists are real close to developing a second plot for hallmark movies. And and so. And I thought, well, uh, they didn't they didn't make it this year. But you have all the things that people love, enjoy, do. And it's good to enjoy the season as long as we don't forget the reason for the season. And Jesus is the reason for the season. Uh, many people love the Christmas season. Someone said, let the sleigh bells ring. Let the carols sing. The more, the more sand is, the merrier. There's being in the tunes and Macy's. Balloons and mistletoe. Kisses and Santas. Favorite wishes and favorite dishes. Holiday snow's warm winter clothes and Rudolph's red nose. Hmm. Well, you have all that, and, uh, it can be enjoyed. And it can be fun. As long as we understand the real reason why we're celebrating. And that is because we have a Savior whose name is Christ the Lord. If you go with me to Luke chapter one, we want to read some familiar scriptures out of Luke chapter one and Luke chapter two. And we're going to start with verse 26. When you get there, Luke 126. It says. And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee. Named Nazareth to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.
Pastor West: [00:09:29] And the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in to her and said, hail, thou that art highly favored. The Lord is with you. Blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favor with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus. And he shall be great, and he shall be called the son of the highest. And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angels, how this shall be? How can this be, seeing that I know not a man? And the angel said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the highest shall overshadow thee. Therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold, thy cousin Elizabeth. She hath also conceived a son in her old age. And this is the sixth months with her who was called barren. For with God nothing shall ever be impossible. And Mary said, behold the handmaid of the Lord.
Pastor West: [00:10:49] Be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. Now if you will go to to Luke chapter two, and we're going to pick up in verse eight, and we'll make a few comments. Luke chapter two, verse eight, it says in the same night or in the or they 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 so afraid. And the angel said unto them, fear not. For behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you, that you 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 to one another, let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which has come to pass, which the Lord hath made known to us. And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph and the babe lying in a manger.
Pastor West: [00:12:10] 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 sayings which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in their heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all things. That they has heard and seen. And was told unto them. That was probably quite a night to be out in the field. And see angels appear to you like that. Then a host of them, a host of angels. Then coming and singing and worshipping God. It wasn't like any other night. Notice what their message was, though. In verse 14 they said, Glory to God on high. Glory to God in the highest. On glory to God in the highest peace. Good will. Toward men. I don't know what translation Bible that you have. Some of them say peace, goodwill among men. The trek, the trek translation is this goodwill towards men. If you have a TV, if you if you ever turn on the news, you might notice if it was a good peace among men, you might notice that hadn't taken place yet. If you look at what's going on in Israel and Jerusalem, you know there's not peace among men. What was God announcing he was sending the answer. He was going to reconcile his people. That which was against you.
Pastor West: [00:13:43] Through Adam's transgression. The answer was in the earth. And now there's going to be peace between you and among men, peace between you and God. The war that had been going on forever is now pronounced over. Amen. Peace on earth. Goodwill among men. And so, uh, when you think about this message about Mary and and the angel showing up to her and, and, uh, you think about it, we don't we don't know exact age. Uh. Most. Most Bible scholars think somewhere around 15 to 16 years of age. But here she is. And she's engaged already to be to be married to Joseph. And they're they're getting ready for a wedding. Uh, in an angel just appears and she's a teenage girl. Just think about it in those terms. This is what actually happened, and the angel appears. And, uh, when I say angel appears now, um, have you ever watched the movie It's a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart? Now, I don't mean an angel like Clarence. I lost some of you when I say Clarence. But anyway. But if you watch Wonderful Life, there is an angel there, you know, and he's trying to get his wings. He doesn't have wings. This is not who appeared. Clarence did a prayer to Mary and was need Mary's help to, you know, to get the first class. A second class? Uh, this is a mighty warrior. His name was Gabriel. Everyone knows who Gabriel and he. And he has to tell her.
Pastor West: [00:15:16] Of course, she's young. He disappears, and he says, don't be afraid. And, uh, he said, you've been highly favored by God himself. So she's a teenage girl. She's she's engaged to be married. She's doing what you do when you get married. She's getting ready to start a life together, uh, with her husband, Joseph. And suddenly God shows up through an angel. I mean, you know, she's had a she's had a busy schedule. Like, anyone who's who's getting ready to get married. She's picking out wedding dresses. And, you know, probably her and Joseph, you know, had been picking out cake toppers for the wedding cake, you know, and, and they were, you know, trying to see where they could rent a double humped camel, you know, for their limousine. And then they were planning their honeymoon destination. They were, they were ready to be engaged. They were ready to be married. And, you know, you think your life is busy sometimes. And you think sometimes, you know, your life can be dramatic. But just think about this 14, 15 year old teenage girl. I mean, it was pretty serious. I mean, an angel appears out of thin air and tells you that you're going to become pregnant. How would you like that? None of us in here would like that, I don't think, but he. But he just hears you. He says you're going to become pregnant and you're going to give birth to a son.
Pastor West: [00:16:32] Then tells him not only that, but you know his name is going to be Jesus. And so, you know, many people think of Mary as, you know, sometimes we forget, you know, uh, if you're in the United States and you've always been in United States, you just think the world works like it works here, but it doesn't. You know, Mary's not a blonde haired, blue eyed little girl with freckles and pigtails. She didn't have rosy cheeks and, you know, just adorned freckles all over her face. The truth is, there's more to Mary in the story than maybe what we think it is. Uh, for starters, she didn't have the, you know, the little pigtails and the blue eyes and the blonde hair. In other words, what I'm trying to say. Mary's not white. No. She's Jewish. She has a Jewish girl. She has dark skin and she has dark eyes. And she wasn't an Auburn or an Alabama fan. I mean, she doesn't even speak English. Shocker, right? I mean, wow. I mean, what are we going to do with someone like that who doesn't even know what ball, you know, team to be for? But it's important that we understand the implications of the messages that the angel gave to her and that she sees from Gabriel. I'll just lay some of it out for you. In other words, after she got this message, her reputation is now being ruined. She has a fiancé, you know, then they obviously live apart.
Pastor West: [00:17:51] And so now that she's going to, she'll be pregnant. I mean, the obvious thing is, Joseph, uh, what's happening here? You live here. She lives there and she's pregnant, so, you know, she's running around on you. You got a loose woman on your hands who's sleeping around on her fiancee and on her fiance, and then she becomes pregnant. Now that's enough right there just to get her stoned. So if you ever want to see angels, I'm just telling you these things can happen. Uh, can you imagine? Can you imagine trying to explain this to others? And you're a teenage girl. I had nothing to do with it. Yeah, I mean, I wrote down this way. I put a married quote. I'm engaged. I'm pregnant with a baby. That's not my husband's. Actually, we're not married yet. We're just engaged. But it's all really just because of an angel that came to me and told me this would happen. And to top it off, you could tell them that the baby daddy is God. See if that won't get you stoned. God did this. I was minding my business. Engaged to get married. And we, you know, just rented our limousine. And, uh, look what's happened to me. You know, and I had nothing to do with this. And, of course, everybody believes that, you know. And so, to a serious note, Gabriel. Didn't just take off after you gave the message.
Pastor West: [00:19:19] He was waiting on something. What is it that Gabriel waited for? Well, he waited for her response. You know, a lot of times. We say it's important to speak the word. And the reason why we say it's important to speak the word is not just because the power of the word itself, which is true and awesome. But it won't help you that the world that the Word of God is powerful. It won't help you by itself that the Word of God is true. What you have to have is you have to have a response to that truth and to that power. And only when you give. When only when you cast your vote. Do you put into force by faith that was God sent. Jesus said, all things are possible. To him that believes. Paul said, I believe, therefore I speak. See, faith comes by hearing, but faith is released in words. You can have faith come all day long. That's awesome. That's powerful. But it's still not in power form until you receive it into your heart and you release it into words, which puts you into a place called harmony in agreement. And so Gabriel was waiting around for an agreement. Now Mary has a lot of questions. She's a young girl. I don't care what age she would have been, anyone would have had a lot of questions. And it's okay to ask questions. God doesn't mind you asking questions when you don't understand something, as long as you understand the rules for asking questions.
Pastor West: [00:21:02] I mean. You can ask, Was Jesus? Was Jesus born or are you? Or you could ask the question, how could Jesus have been born without a natural father? Because the mind doesn't understand that. But you can't ask the question, was he? The reason why you can't ask the question, was he because the Bible said that he was. So if you understand the rules, you can ask the questions, the things that seem impossible to to to have revelation and what you don't understand. But you can't question the fact when God said something. You don't have to know how words make light or seas or oceans. But you can't ask, did they? Because the Bible said they did. Right. So Gabriel is hanging around and he. And to get Mary's response and it came to get her agreement and Mary gave her response and she said she said she said, I don't understand because how this could happen because I know not a man. Nothing wrong with that, nothing wrong with that statement. In other words, nothing like this had ever happened before. And I can tell you, nothing like this has ever happened since. Um, there's been a few people who thought they could pull this off. I had a woman a number of years ago, and, uh, she was trying to get married, and she said, I don't. She's telling me one day she said, I don't want so much to care whether I'm married or not.
Pastor West: [00:22:33] She said, I just want to have a child. And I said, well, that's that's not the way that works. And she said, well, I've been I've been believing God for a husband. And, uh, and she said to have a husband. And I said, she says, so I can have a child. She says, but she said, I'm tired. I'm tired of waiting. And I says, so. So what are you telling me? She says, I'm going to have a baby. And she says, man or no man? And she wasn't talking about any, you know, artificial whatever. She just come up. If I just had to believe God and just be pregnant, that's just what's going to happen. I'm thinking, well, you're a little out there. Yeah, a lot out there. Well, then I remember the day that she told me that she was. And of course she wasn't. And, you know, they're probably obviously were some mental situations, uh, going on with her, but, uh, it only happened one time. It never happened again. And so, uh, Mary gave a response and she said, I don't I don't understand how this could happen, seeing that I know not a man and and the angel, he says, well, the power, he said, the power of God will overshadow you. And you will conceive in your womb that which is from God. Do you know in like manner, in some ways that's what happened to you, and you got born again.
Pastor West: [00:23:52] When you said yes to Jesus. That which was not on the inside of you was. In other words, you can save the life of God on the inside of you through the new birth. It was the power that the same power of the Holy Ghost that overshadowed her, that overshadowed you. And that which was not before has now become new. And you. And so he asked for her agreement and, uh, and that's what she said. She said, well, then be it unto me. According to her, uh, according to God and to God's plan. So her her agreement brought the power of the Holy Ghost to overshadow her. And Jesus had to be born of a virgin, didn't he? He had to be, because the fall of mankind. So when God spoke the future of the seed of this woman, um, that would that would transpire and she would conceive seed. God would be the father by the power of the Holy Spirit. No man could redeem mankind who has fallen on earth. So only the Righteous One could redeem those who were unrighteous. But he had to come to the earth through a woman. He had to come through the seed of the woman that was prophesied in Genesis. And so Jesus comes as the seed of the woman. But the seed of the father. And so through the through this we have in the earth, we have the God of all gods.
Pastor West: [00:25:27] We have man, and the God man himself could stand in the place for fallen man, the one who knew no sin. If you remember Genesis 315, after man sinned, God told Satan. He says, I'm going to put enmity between you and this woman. About Eve and between your seed and her seed. And he shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel. Well, we know that Jesus. We know that Jesus defeated Satan. We know that he gave us the power to tread upon serpents and scorpions. We know that Jesus heel was bruised when he put his head. He put his heel on top of Jesus's head and defeated him. So the power of the Holy Spirit that was upon Mary gave her conception to give birth to that which is miraculous was the human mind cannot understand and never will be able to explain that. And she became impregnated, uh, with a very son of the living God. Now. There's a part here that it's not always read in, and you wouldn't think about it being a Christmas, um, or you wouldn't think about being, you know, I guess a part of a Christmas message. But I think it's one of the verses that that should always be thought of and looked at, as in Hebrews chapter ten and verses four through seven. It said, it's not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sin.
Pastor West: [00:27:07] Therefore, when it came to the world, he says, sacrifice and offering you did not desire. Jesus said, but a body you have prepared for me in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin. You had no pleasure. Then I said, when it says, then I said, who is he talking about? When he said, then I said he was talking about Jesus himself. Then I said, behold, I have come in the volume of this book, and it is written to me to do your will, O God. And so here we see here that Jesus is talking about from the old covenant, from the law. He came to fulfill a new covenant. It's not the will of God. Do you have two covenants at one time? You can't live in two places at one time. Can you? If you had two vehicles, you may have two vehicles, you may have four, but you can't drive it one at a time. There are two covenants. But but you're you're not to live in both of them at the same time. Jesus came to fulfill the Old Testament. Every bit of it. That means every dash, that means the dot, every t. The New Testament calls that when you call dot every, you know, cross every t, dot every I. That's called jot and tittle. You've heard them. Scripture, the Scripture, every Jod, every tittle there was he came to fulfill that. And he did that at the cross.
Pastor West: [00:28:41] When Jesus used the words on the cross, it was finished. He wasn't referring to the plan of salvation when he said, it is finished. What was Jesus referring to? He was referring to that he had fulfilled to jot and tittle every thing of the law. Every everything that mankind had tried and attempted in his own flesh to do, but could not do. He said he came into the world. Um, as a human. He came into the world as a baby. He came to accomplish the father's will. He came to bear our sin. He died not for your sins. He died as your sin. Then he went to the cross in your place. And he fulfilled every sacrifice. He fulfilled every law. Jesus fulfilled every feast day, every fast day from the smallest to the greatest. And by the time he went to the cross, he had even fulfilled every sacrificial law. Every one of them was accomplished. And just before he died, he said, it is finished. So that today, as a believer in him, you live in a New Testament, in a new covenant. Now we need to understand that Jesus did not come to destroy the law or to put it away. In Matthew 517, the law is still here today. The law has a purpose to be here today. Timothy said this. He said he said no, this. He said the law is not ever given to a righteous man. When people tell you, you know, you're supposed to still live by the law.
Pastor West: [00:30:24] They're just telling you, I don't even believe I'm righteous yet. The purpose of the law is not to make you righteous. The purpose of the law is not to build you up. If the law does its job right, it's going to tear you down. The law never made anyone good. Oh, just everybody tried it. The book of Hebrews tells you the law was a shadow of good things to come. I mean, the law is good. Why? Because it's God's law. Well, everything about God is righteous and holy. What was the problem? It had no power to make you what it was. The power of the law had no ability to make you righteous or make you holy. So the law, when it was given to man, attempted to keep it, would find out. You know, Brother Hagin used to have a saying. He said, every time I think I'm finally about to get somewhere, he said, then I'll stumble and fall and I'll find my head where my feet was just a moment before that. In other words, as soon as I think I'm having a great day and I've got it all together, he said, I've already stumbled and fallen. Here I am again. And so the law didn't didn't build you up, though. The law took you down. The. The Scripture says from it was it was the law that gave strength his power.
Pastor West: [00:31:46] I mean, the first thing to happen is when you say thou shalt better not. That's what people go do. If you go tell a 2 or 3 year old, you know, now there's there's presence right there behind the wall over there. But don't you go over and look. Now I gotta go outside for about an hour. But don't you go back to looking in the bags back there as soon as you leave. What's going to happen, you say, well, that's a three year old, but let me ask. Let me say this to you. Let me say this to you. I command you in Jesus name not to think of an image of a pink elephant. Don't do it in Jesus name. Do not think pink elephant. What do y'all think about pink elephant? That's the strength of the law. It can give out the right answer, but it doesn't have it doesn't give you the ability to carry it out. So Jesus came and he was your ability. Wrote John. Chapter one said the law was given from a was from a mediator from God to an angel to Moses. He said, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. So Jesus gave you truth, but then he gave you grace, which is the ability to walk it out and keep it in him. Amen. Amen. That's what he came to bring. That was the gift that he gave to mankind. Jesus didn't give you another way to do good things.
Pastor West: [00:33:05] And until he did. That's right. If I. If I read the Bible, it says all men have fallen short of the glory of God. Now I have a lot of study material. So I did a big extensive study on the word all. You know what it means? Yeah. It means all. All men have fallen short of the glory of God, which includes Billy Graham. Yeah. Which includes Mother Theresa. Yeah. Which includes your grandmother. But I'm sorry, but it does in mine, too. So there was none. Righteous? No. Not one. But when you don't understand your. What happened to you through the new birth? You'll go back and you'll. You'll pick up Old Testament scriptures, but you'll pick it up based on your situation and how you see yourself and how you identify yourself. So you can sit there and think, I'm. I'm broke, I'm poor, I have nothing, I own nothing. But if you know Jesus, you're one of the richest person on the planet. That's right. Amen. Amen. I don't care what you don't have. Let me tell you what you do have. I mean, I don't know what your problems are, but I know what your solution is. Yes. Huh? Amen. I mean, all your problems may not get fixed in white. Go get fixed in one night. But you just got to get started one night. Yeah, and you give your life to Jesus. He's not working on you.
Pastor West: [00:34:27] He's already worked. He ceased from his own labor. Yeah. He'll take your life and turn you around. You will no longer be a beggar. So people say, well, you know, they'll quote the Old Testament scriptures. They'll say, you know, our righteousness is just as filthy rags. Lost what the Bible says. Fuse them back. And in that covenant it does say that it's your right. Their righteousness was as filthy rags there was. Now when people say, well, you've fallen from grace, you read that in the book of Galatians. You say, well, I didn't think you could fall from grace. Absolutely. You can fall from grace, but it's not what you think it means. Most people when you say, well, what do you think falling from grace means? Well, that means that I've lost my salvation. Well, you don't understand the covenant yet. You didn't do anything to get it. So how did you lose it? Right. If you didn't become right by you, then tell me how you got rid of it. Amen. Amen. Amen. Now you became righteous because of what Jesus did. He did it. And you got the credit? Yeah. You didn't know how to play football. So he put on a jersey and got a touchdown for you and put that down for Joseph. Because I was used to preach. He got a touchdown and your jersey and he says. And before he left, he ran up the score. He said he wasn't going into overtime.
Pastor West: [00:35:48] Jesus came and cancelled your debt. You know, the the the Scripture said in Colossians chapter two in the law book translation said he took all your debt. He said, took everything that was against you, took the law book, all the laws that you could have broken. You did break. He said he took all those laws, and then he nailed them to the cross. In other words, anything that was contrary to you, Jesus took in your absence and he fulfilled it as if you did it. It's just like you kept all the law and fulfilled it. Now you got to get that, because I'm not saying this is just what he did. That's awesome. But he did it as your stand in, as if you did it yourself. It's as if you kept all ten commandments and never broke one. It is is that if you kept every 613 ceremonial laws and never broke one? Ever. So when you understand the new nature and old things passed away, there's no record of the past. You. People say, well, I've been divorced three times. Well, Jesus don't even know that. If you got born again and you just. Why do you keep bringing it up? Yeah. Huh? Now, I know the church are bringing it up and you know. And people are bringing it up to you all the time. But. But there's not an old you. So say, well, there's just some days, you know, things get, don't get on my mind.
Pastor West: [00:37:14] And that old man I used to be. Rose up. He rises up, he don't rise up. He's dead. Yeah. Amen. Brother Hagan said he got annihilated. He said he got an highlighted. What does that mean? That means God dropped the atomic bomb on you, blew you up so no one could put you back together again. Well, that's good news, huh? Man, that's better than any hallmark movie you saw. Romance in Vermont. Where everybody owns a cookie shop and muffins, and they work three hours a day. Drink hot chocolate all day long, trying to stay between the city boy and the country boy. You ever notice the city boy never makes it. He never makes it. They're going for them. Promotions and all that kind of stuff. And it's like, you know, well, you deserve this. You deserve that. You deserve this. You deserve that. It got nothing remotely to do with Jesus, does it? Nothing at all. And all that can be fun. Whatever, if you can stomach it. But I'm just saying, you know, it's all out there. But. But don't let that be. What? This this what this time of year is about. This is about Jesus. This is about your redemption. This is about when Jesus made you right. This is when you became the righteousness of God. Which means what? I'm just simply means when it comes to it. What Jesus did. He made you right. Amen.
Pastor West: [00:38:42] Amen. How many people told you that this week? Man, you were right. I said, what about it? Said it thing? Jesus made you right with him. Amen. Amen. You're right with God. The book of Jude, which is not hard to find. It's right before the Book of Maps. You know, when you get in there, there's only one. You said what chapter? There's just one. Jude, 24, says the day will come that Jesus is going to take you when you're in heaven, and he's going to present. This is what the Scripture says. Jude 24 said, The Father is going to take you before Jesus, and he's going to present you before the father. Righteous, holy, and without blame. Amen. Now, does that mean that you've never met? Am I saying you've never seen since you've been a believer? No. Colossians two said when he nailed the book to his. Cross. Then the the law book translation said he closed the he closed the book and he says he closed and canceled your account. What does that mean? That means he's not recording sin. That's right. He's recording. Righteous. So what do I do if I. If I make a mistake, what do I do if I sin? Well, the Scripture tells us in First John we have an advocate with the Lord Jesus Christ, and all we have to do is say what he says. In other words, you say, Lord, I, that happened this morning and I know you that you know there.
Pastor West: [00:40:12] And I do ask you to forgive me, but I know that you already have. But I acknowledge it because we're in a relationship together. Mhm. You know, this way I acknowledge it. That I made a mistake. But I'm going to acknowledge the truth, and that is that I'm the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, that you made me right, that you wiped away our every one of my transgressions. My name is the Lamb's Book of Life, and nothing is greater than your grace, and nothing is greater than the blood of Jesus. Nothing, no sin can can wash away the blood of Jesus Christ out of my life. And I thank you, by your grace, that I am forgiven. And I thank you by your grace, that I that that will never happen again, that I'll walk with you in righteousness and holiness, and there's nothing the devil can do about it. Then, even on my worst day, even on my worst day, I'm better than Satan's. The best day he ever had. That my future's bright and his is low. Real low. So that's the good news of Jesus Christ. Paul called. This is Paul called. This is his own gospel. He says, this is the gospel that I've been called to preach. He said, I've separated from my mother's womb to tell you all this. He said. And he says in telling this message, you think people get happy. Why wouldn't they be happy? Paul preached the gospel of grace and he said.
Pastor West: [00:41:29] He said there is no other gospel but the gospel of grace. Matter of fact, when you read over Colossians chapter one, read in different translations, Paul said, if any one preaches you any gospel other than this gospel of grace, he said, let him be accursed to hell. I'm thinking, how do you really feel about it? And I'm thinking, were you the very one who used to preach it? He said, I was, he said, that's why I consider myself least of all the apostles, I don't. He said, I'm not even worthy that I should even be called apostle. But Jesus came and he arrested me, and he said, I'm a new man. He said, Now I've so identified with this new man who I am. He said, I can't even think like the old man used to be. He said, as a matter of fact, he said, I, Paul, the new man in Christ. He said, I ain't never wrong nobody. And they're thinking, you ain't never wrong anybody. I mean, do you remember before you changed your name from you used to be Saul of Tarsus, going around persecuting Christians and beating them and throwing them off cliffs and stoning them, he said, not really. No. What was he doing? He was identifying with who he was in Christ. He was identifying with the new man, not the old man. He wasn't identifying with I can't and I don't do and I never have been.
Pastor West: [00:42:35] Woe is me. You don't know if you just knew where I came from. You knew all that. Hey, everybody's got a story. Yeah, everybody's got a story. You're one decision away from the biggest turnaround in your life ever happened. Amen. Amen. That's true. Just one decision is the biggest turnaround day that you're ever going to have. If you don't know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Father, in the name of Jesus, we just pray for everyone that's here right now, for everyone that's here with us today. Father, we thank you for them. We thank you for every individual here, those who are listening and watching. And father, we thank you for their life. We thank you for the plan that you have for their life. We thank you for Jesus who gave his life for them. We thank you, Father God. We understand their value. Because we understand the gift of Jesus Christ that was given. In other words, what had to be given for them had to be valuable enough to pay for that which was being paid for. So it took Jesus. Jesus himself to give his life for them. If you're here this morning and you don't know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you don't know beyond a shadow of a doubt. You don't know if you don't know for sure that if today was the your last day on earth, if you don't know for a fact beyond a shadow of doubt, that if Jesus Christ comes this afternoon.
Pastor West: [00:44:06] Tonight. As the Bible says he will, and the Bible says, those who are saved and those who have died went before us, and they're in the grave. They'll go first and we'll be right with them. The Bible says we will meet him in the air in the twinkling of an eye, which I told you is 1/40 of a second, and 1/40 of a second is not enough time for you to form a prayer. But Jesus said today, if anyone who loves me, who believes me, will come to me, I will no wise cast out. Someone said, well, I've done this 1000 thousand times. I know people have done it more than that. You, you, you're not even in the game count. That doesn't that doesn't matter. What matters is today. The Bible says today is the day of salvation. The question is, what are you going to do with Jesus today? What are you going to do with his word today? What are you going to do with your one and only life? Are you going to waste it? Are you going to invest it? Are you going to let Jesus take your life and become everything that the father has planned for you? If you're here today and with head bowed and eyes closed, if you don't know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you're born again.
Pastor West: [00:45:20] That you're right with God. That your name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life. That if Jesus were to come today, if you don't have a 100% understanding for sure in your heart. That you would be in heaven forever. Would you raise your hand? Say, just pray for me and I'll pray for you right where you are. Anyone here today who don't know for a fact that Jesus is your Lord and the Savior of your life. You say, well, I'm going to try to get my life cleaned up, then I'm going to come back to him. It doesn't work that way. You don't clean first and catch them. You catch him first. You don't clean yourself. He doesn't. He's the cleanser. He's the purifier. He's the savior. You're not the savior. You're the lost. Until you're born again. So if that's you or you're watching or you're listening and you don't know that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, I want you to pray this and say, father. Say this with me, father. In the name of Jesus, I thank you for this day. I thank you for the gift of your son, Jesus Christ, for the gift of your son who gave his life for every one of us who laid his life down, who paid the price, who paid my price with his own blood. I asked Jesus, Jesus to be my Lord and my Savior, to come into my life and come into my heart.
Pastor West: [00:46:46] Save me, save me. Change me. Make me new. Put my life in your hands. Use me, use me. For your glory. Your glory in Jesus name, forever and ever. If you've never prayed that, or if you've prayed it before and you're coming back to Jesus, you prayed that. I'm telling you. You know, the Bible says if one, one person, if one person gets saved, the Bible says, every angel in heaven rejoices. Amen. So we're we're encouraged this morning as people listen in different parts of the world that they'll make that decision today. You know, December can be for some people. It's not always merry for everybody. There's there's more that happens this time of year. People go through depression. They have situations, whatever. There's more suicide attempts in December. Look, that's not an answer. It may feel like it. It may feel real, but it's not the answer. Jesus Christ. Is the answer. And he can take that which depresses. You know, you might be depressed, but if you read this book, you'll get impressed. Amen. Come on. You might be depressed about a lot of stuff, but you'll become impressed with his righteousness so much that it'll it'll get off on you and get in you. Amen. People say, well, you talk a little bit big. Well, I do, why do I do that? Because I find out who I am in him. Yeah. I found out I'm somebody special. How about you? Amen.
Pastor West: [00:48:14] Well, Amen. Well, Michelle and I, we we bless you and we, uh, as you go today and and go to be with family this week. We pray that you have good times and wonderful times. And when you spend time with your your family, don't forget to tell people about Jesus. And, uh, and so, uh, we pray that you travel safely if you're going out of town or wherever that you are. And, uh, we'll look forward to seeing you. Uh, December 31st will be our kind of like, a New Year's, uh, you know, look into the new year. We've all said it this way. It's kind of how you end a thing. It's how you begin it. If you end wrong, you begin wrong. It's just like sometimes people, when they. If they go through a divorce until you fix what was wrong, you know, change in names and last names and dates and faces won't fix everything. That may all feel brand new, but after a while the same old thing show up again over and over and over again. Because you got this one problem with life. Wherever you go, there you are. You know. So I always said, y'all like yourself because you end up spending a lot of time with you while you're here. And so, uh, you know, we we want you to have a good, uh, holiday and, and, uh, we will tell you Merry Christmas. And and this year, y'all eat a little something. Amen. All right. God bless you.