Christmas 1914 - Snoopy's Christmas
On Christmas eve 1914 temperatures dropped below freezing…In some places, it snowed...
It was World War I on the Western Front. Lights began to appear along the German lines. But instead of the expected rifle fire, German carols were heard. The lights had been placed on Christmas trees (tannenbaums). British troops responded with their own carols. Enemies applauded each other’s singing. From the trenches Captain C. I. Stockwell, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, heard the Germans say, “Don’t shoot, we don’t want to fight you today, we will send you some beer."
In one place, a German officer stepped out into middle of no-man’s-land. Stockwell went to meet him amid cheers from both sides. They saluted and formerly introduced each other. Enemies met, exchanged gifts, showed family photos, played soccer together and helped each other bury the dead. Dec. 26th 8:30am, the war was on again… but in some places, not until New Year and because of an unwillingness to fight, many troops were replaced. The song “Snoopy’s Christmas”, is based on this event.
Many know that Christmas is supposed to be about peace. You may have heard the saying: “Peace on earth, goodwill towards men”! But what exactly does this peace look like and how do we get it?
The words “peace on earth, goodwill towards men” were originally about God offering goodwill towards those whom he’d judged as guilty of sin and condemned to hell because of their wickedness (Luke 2:14). That's a pretty amazing offer to make to your enemies.
Some may think, "How could I be God's enemy? What have I done that's so bad as to deserve his condemnation."
So let's ask the question then: would you consider yourself a Good Person? Most people do (Proverbs 16:2). But would you be good enough for heaven? The way to find out is to ask yourself if you have kept God's moral law, the ten commandments. Here's a quick test based on just four of those (Exodus 20:1-20). See how you do…
Have you ever told a lie, no matter how big? Have you ever stolen anything regardless of its value? Have you ever used God's name in vain (blasphemy)? Jesus taught that if you look with lust (sexually) you commit adultery in your heart. Have you looked with lust? Who can honestly say they have kept these commandments! (Romans 3:20-23). If you have done those things, God (who is Holy) sees you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart. And you will have to face God on Judgement Day! (Hebrews 4:12-13 and 9:27, Revelation 20:12). You will be judged for every word, deed and thought.
If God judged you by His standards, would you be innocent or guilty on the day of judgement? If you're honest, you know you’d be guilty. Would you go to heaven or hell? Again, if you're honest, you know that by God's standards, you’d deserve hell. Hell is eternal with no hope of escape. But if God is loving won’t he just forgive you? Let's think that through. Would a good judge let the guilty to free? No, that would be a corrupt judge! Because God is good he must punish sin. (Matthew 10:28; Matthew 25:41 & 46; Luke 16:19-31; Revelation 10:20 to 21:8).
However, while God is Holy and just and must punish sin, he is also “not willing that any should perish” (2 Peter 3:9). In His amazing grace and undeserved mercy God did something incredible! God sent His Son Jesus Christ (God in the flesh), to be born of a virgin, live a perfect life and die on a cross for your sins. Then Jesus rose from the grave and defeated death.
His death was a sacrifice made in payment by God, on your behalf. You broke God's law, but Jesus paid your fine. "For God so loved the world [you] that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Does everyone now have peace with God? Will all now go to heaven? No! (John 3:17-21 and 36).
Jesus said, you must Repent and Believe the Gospel (Mark 1:15). Repent = to change your mind (in your attitude to God - admit He is Holy & you are sinful; the evidence of this change will be seen in a life that turns from sin to honouring God). Believe = personal trust, in Jesus. Gospel = the “Good News” that Jesus died for sinners. When you humble yourself before GOD, repent and trust in Jesus and his death to save you, God will forgive all your sin & give you eternal life (John 5:24-29). No one gets to heaven by being good because no one is truly good! (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Peace with God begins with personal trust in Jesus Christ.
You can get right with God, right now -
Humble yourself before God...
Repent, and Believe the Gospel (the Good News about Jesus).