Christmas is the time of year many people in our society and around the world think about Santa and his “naughty” and “nice” lists. But the real reason for Christmas is because of two different kinds of lists.
The Bible tells us all have sinned and come short of the glory of God and the wages of sin is death (Romans 3:23; 6:23). We can call this the “bound-for-hell” list. We all start out with our name on this list because we’re all sinners by nature, and sinners by choice. The Bible also tells us there is a “Book of Life” we can have our name listed in (Revelation 20:15; 21:27).
Normally, we don’t take the first list very seriously. Many even scoff at and mock the idea of a literal hell. And concerning the second list, almost all of us hope we’re good enough to have our names listed there. But how good is “good enough?” Do you and I need to be Billy Graham “good enough?” Do we need to be Mother Theresa “good enough?”
No, there is only one “good enough,” and that is God Himself (Matthew 19:17). God came into this world as a baby boy born of the virgin Mary (Luke 2:1-20). He came to live the life we never could or would live, and He did it perfectly, sinlessly. Then, as an adult, He willingly offered His good and righteous life at the Cross of Calvary as a substitute for each one of us and as payment in full for the wages of our sin. When we repent of our sin and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, we receive forgiveness of our sin and eternal life as a free gift (Acts 16:31).
This truly is good news and reason to rejoice. No one needs to stay on the “bound-for-hell” list because Jesus was born, died and rose again to establish an eternal relationship with God and add our name to the “Book of Life.”
So, this Christmas, which list is your name on? If you know you have eternal life, rejoice knowing the truth of what Jesus has done for you. If you realize your sin has your name on the “bound-for-hell” list, you can change that by an act of faith (Romans 10:9-13)! Yes, it is that simple. The only thing keeping you out of Heaven is yourself. May you find the Christ of Christmas and place your faith and trust in Him for eternal life.
(Langelli is pastor of Grace Independent Chapel, Overlook.)