At this time of the year when people are talking more about Jesus than the previous 11 months combined, here are some interesting statistics.
♦Only 41% of American adults, in general, believe Jesus existed before His birth.
♦32% disagree with the idea that Christ existed before His Bethlehem birth.
♦28% say they’re not sure.
♦Only 63% of those who attend church 4 times or more a month agree Jesus existed prior to His Bethlehem birth.
This study, conducted by Lifeway Research and reported by Christian Post writer Leonardo Blair reveals not only a general lack of faith in our culture but also a surprising ignorance among church attendees.
The Old Testament prophets record no less than 300 prophecies regarding the coming of Christ, identified as the Messiah. Among the most famous is Isaiah 7:14.
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Some 800 years later, Matthew affirms Mary miraculously conceived a child by the Holy Spirit. While Joseph pondered the situation, an angel appeared to him in a dream saying,
“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Matthew then adds this was a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy.
So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
During His ministry, Jesus often affirmed His Godhood and pre-existence.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM”(Jn.8:58). This affirmation angered the Jews who understood its significance and sought to stone Him for what they believed was blasphemy.
More than once Jesus identified Himself as “the Christ.” To the Samaritan woman at the well (Jn. 4:25-26). To the man born blind that He healed (Jn. 9:35-38). And in response to Peter’s confession (Matt. 16:16-19).
On one occasion Jesus confirmed His pre-existence when He asked His followers, “What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!”
This was a difficult concept for some to accept. As a result, “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.”
Jesus then turned to the 12 and asked, “Will you also go away?”
“Lord, to whom shall we go?, Peter responded. “You have the words of eternal life. Also, we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Jn. 6:62-68).
Because Jesus pre-existed as God who came to earth in the flesh, He possessed the right to profess, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Jn. 14:6).
However, a recent survey by the non-profit Probe Ministries found that almost 70% of the respondents disagreed with Jesus’ assertion that He is the only way to God.
As the collective religious world bows down before the manger during this season, singing songs about Jesus and celebrating His birth, who do people believe they’re worshiping?
A mythical figure?
A mere man?
A Jewish rabbi?
A social reformer?
A religious zealot?
A wise philosopher?
I suppose it shouldn’t be too surprising that church attendees who’ve misconstrued so much about Jesus’ birth and its celebration, have also misunderstood who He was. And who He is.
Jesus is the Christ. The Son of God. The Savior of the world. Who has pre-existed with the Father from the beginning. And He wants to be the Lord of your life.
So with those surrounding the throne in Revelation 5 we shout and sing, not just in December, but every day. 24/7/365
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
To receive power and riches and wisdom,
And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”
“Blessing and honor and glory and power
Be to Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman