What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?
Christmas is the high point for Christians. We are fully engaged in celebrating the birth of Christ. Each of us has experienced the exuberant hope, the inexpressible joy, and the ecstasy of knowing Jesus Christ personally.
But what if Jesus had never been born? Even though we as believers have experienced transformed lives—has the world at large been benefited by the birth of Christ—even those who haven’t yet believed?
I believe this marvelous gift has impacted the world, not just believers—in powerful ways:
Most of the hospitals around the world have been started by compassionate Christians. In fact many foreign lands have benefited tremendously from missionaries who come to preach the Good News of the Gospel, as well as helping with humanitarian needs. They were the first to finance and staff medical centers in these foreign lands.
The Quakers started the hospital movement in America by establishing the Pennsylvania Hospital in 1751. Florence Nightingale, an extremely devout Christian, was one of the first to establish the modern nursing movement. Florence stated, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within, but we must make it so without”. The early hospitals were created and motivated by Christians who felt a responsibility to manifest the character of the Healing Jesus in their individual localities.
Secondly, when the Pilgrims and Puritans arrived in America in 1620, they immediately began to work on a plan to educate their children so they would not be ignorant of scripture. In Europe during the dark ages and the middle ages, education was only available to the elite. Only the Christian Priests and Monks kept learning alive at that time.
In 1647, the Pilgrims passed the “Old Deluder Satan Act”. The name was a reference to the devil, who gets a foothold into people’s lives because of their ignorance of scripture. The first textbooks for the American schools were the Bible and the New England Primer (which taught
the ABC’s—with each of the tenets of salvation woven into the learning). Later a Presbyterian minister wrote the “McGuffey Reader”. This primary reading textbook directed the readers to live for salvation and holiness, to resist sin and damnation, and hope for eternal life. It taught and discipled 4/5ths of our American School Children for 75 years.
These are only a few examples of how the birth of Christ dramatically changed the world. Further examples would include: how Christ and Christ followers started the Civil Liberties Movement, the Anti-Slavery Movement, the University Movement (to train Christian Ministers), the Arts and Music Movement, etc. etc.
The evidence is clear. I wouldn’t want to live in a world void of the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. What a dark, hopeless, joyless, immoral, unsafe and utterly futile existence it would be.
Let us celebrate with new fervor and joy—this wonderful Birth of Christ!
Pastor Ron Enget