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Thinking Bigger about the Baby–the eternality of Christ
Christmas Eve 2015
Periodically our children ask–where did God come from? We’ve all been taught everything comes from someplace. Every physical object has a maker–there was not an explosion at an electronics store that spontaneously created my iPhone. Every effect has a cause, and every complex design has a designer. Somebody made my house, built my car and designed my iPhone.
Just like that, humanly speaking, somebody was responsible for bringing me into existence. We teach our kids from their earliest days, the unique builder, maker and designer of all things is God. He created the universe of which every other tangible thing is a part. The next question they ask, the follow-up question, is a natural one. They will ask it. What is it? Who made God?
The answer you and I give is difficult for them to accept. The kids have no frame of reference to compare it to. It will leave them puzzled at first, but there is no other possible explanation. Ready? Nobody made Christ. He always was. The Bible never tries to prove His existence or explain where He came from. The Word of God merely assumes Christ is there and that He’s always been there. Christ had no beginning and no end–leading us to consider three amazing truths about Christmas tonight. That little baby was not merely an amazing child. Realize this about the baby Jesus . . .
#1 Jesus Christ has no BEGINNING and no end
When you open your Bible to the first page, verse one, we simply read, “In the beginning God.” He’s just there. And look at what He’s doing. He’s creating the heavens and the earth. God existed before all things, and He Himself brought everything else into existence. If any being existed before God, then that being would be God, and we’d have to begin our questioning all over again. So then—who made Him?
Jesus Christ is eternal God who made us–you and I. You owe your existence to Jesus Christ. What this means is, because Christ is eternal, Christ is also self-existent. Jesus Christ is the only being there is who does not owe His existence to someone else. Christ is independent of any other being or cause. He is over and above the whole chain of cause and effects.
Christ is uncreated, un-originated, without beginning, owing His existence to no one outside Himself–self-existent. Christ has life in and of Himself. Jesus put it this way in John 5:26, “For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself.” Were it any other way, God would not be God. An eternal being must be self-existent.
Scientists and philosophers often reject an eternal, self-existent God, because they can’t put Him in a test tube, nor explain away all His ways. But He’d not be God if we could fully explain Him. And it is pride alone that keeps the scientist or relative from embracing an eternal, self-existent, uncaused being.
Why? Because if they did so, they’d be forced to embrace another truth, one that is hateful to them. They’d have to admit that everything and everyone, including themselves, owes their existence to this self-existent God. That they’re accountable to this God who made them. To embrace a self-existent God means your next breath, your very life, is held in His hands alone.
And egotistical, self-sufficient, rebellious people are not willing to admit that. They want to believe they need nobody but themselves. And only a crisis, a disaster, or the death of a loved one reminds them they are not. Sometimes I think we need to be reminded that the same God who has no beginning also has no end.
Speaking of God’s self-existence, Psalm 102:25 to 27 says, “Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; …and your years have no end.” Now the eternal God also made beings and places that have no end. Christ, our loving Creator made beings like Himself, in that they are eternal. Who are they? Angels and human beings.
That’s great news for real believers, because we will someday enter into eternal life we already possess in Christ. Someday all the time pressures will be gone and we will be able to relax with total joy and a delighting fullness in the presence of the eternal Christ who made us for Himself. All people who are rightly related to an eternal God will obviously enjoy Him eternally.
It’s gonna be mindblowing, hashtag awesome. So good that 1 Corinthians 2:9 says, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.” Eternity in Heaven is beyond comprehension. But eternity is not good news for the unbeliever or make-believer.
A make-believer is a person who says they’re a Christian but they don’t follow Christ or obey the Bible, like rarely attending church. The eternal God who made people with no end also made places with no end. One place called Heaven is designed for His genuine followers–those who are related to Him through birth and the new birth.
But another eternal place was prepared for rebellious angels and their arrogant leader, Matthew 25:41, “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.” The devil and his demons go to a place of eternal fire–a place of torment day and night, forever and ever eternally.
Revelation 20:10, “And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” While God didn’t make this place for people originally, all unbelievers and all make-believers (the ones who accepted Jesus at some point, but do not follow Him) will go there. All those who reject God’s gracious offer of salvation and all those who claim Christ but still have not surrendered their will to His Word will spend eternity in Hell.
Revelation 20:15, “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” What will the make-believer, church-going unsaved say? Matthew 7:22 to 23, “’Many will say to Me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?” 23 And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.”’”
There is no way to escape eternal Hell, other than bowing in submission of life before the eternal, self-existent God, admitting you are unworthy of His favor, acknowledging your sins against Him and expressing your need of forgiveness. Then embracing His forgiveness He provides by sending His Son Jesus Christ to die in your place, in order to pay the penalty due from your sins, to satisfy God’s anger over your sin and prove it’s all true by rising from the dead.
Have you given your life to Christ–surrendered your will to Him? You and I are totally dependent on Christ, totally at His mercy. It cannot be any other way with a God who has no beginning or no end. We must give answer to the eternal, self-existent One. The little Christmas baby is eternal God. But it even goes further than this–eternity is more than forever.
#2 Jesus Christ exists outside of TIME
The little Christmas baby existed before the womb and His birth–because the little Christmas baby exists outside of time. Think about time for a moment. Time is measured by a sequence of events–past, present, future . . . yesterday, today, and tomorrow. As creatures who exist in time, we are bound to the fleeting succession of present moments. Like right now at this moment, you’re trapped in a vortex of time—“when is this gonna finish?” One moment after another.
We measure succeeding moments in our culture by the rotation of stars and planets. We use clocks to help us measure moments, slowly like a year, or as fast as a timer for the 100-meter dash. But we can’t escape the limitations of time–we’re in bondage to the succession of moments and the events that fill them. But to understand eternity and embrace a self-existent Christ, you must think differently than your life and beyond human experience.
Eternity’s more than the endless extension of the backward and forward–eternity supersedes time. Eternity is a mode of existence that is not bound by the succession of events. There’re no such things as past, present, and future with Christ. Christ created time. Yes, He can work within its framework, but He is not bound to it because Christ Himself is over it and above it. Christ as God lives in one eternal now.
Jesus Christ entered time, was embraced by His mother and stepdad, but as God He was not and is not limited by their time. Our tomorrows are just as real and present to Christ as our yesterday and today, because Christ has already experienced them. Imagine watching the Rose Parade on a street corner in Pasadena–you view the parade one float at a time, one band at a time, one group of horses at a time, all of it a succession of events. When it’s finished, you can look back on your experience and say, “I saw the parade.”
Now imagine yourself in the Goodyear blimp, viewing the parade from start to finish. You are aware of the sequence, but you can see the end from beginning and all of the parade area. It is all part of your conscience at once, rather than merely a succession of events. That’s the way Christ views our lives–in fact, all of human history, from the beginning of time to the end of time, all at the same moment, fully present all at once.
Christ does not acquire His knowledge from a succession of events like we do–not float by float or band by band. Christ knows the end as thoroughly as the beginning before it began, since He’s already lived it. It is eternally present with Him. For the true believer, this is a truth to rest in. God knows our tomorrows. There are no surprises for Him.
We may experience a great many surprises in life, but there are no surprises with God. He already knows the joys in store for us. And He already knows the tragedies we shall face. And Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Christ has a plan that will work all things together for good. But here is the restriction—only for His children.
Knowing a God like that helps us to face our future with courage. Christ is going to be there tomorrow, whatever it holds for us. As the next page of our lives open, He’s waiting there and has arranged things for His glory and our good. But only if you are truly related to Christ through salvation.
You must be one with the eternal One to spend eternity with Him. The little Christmas baby is eternal, self-existent, and . . .
#3 Jesus Christ is SELF-SUFFICIENT
Christ being eternal means He existed before any created thing or created being–meaning God can exist without anything or anybody outside of Himself. We know He can do that, because He already did it. Christ existed when there was nothing in existence. God doesn’t need anybody or anything. He’s totally self-sufficient.
Self-sufficiency is not true of any other being or creature. No living organism is self-sufficient except God. You and I need other things to exist–right? We can go without food for 30, 60, 90-plus days–some of us are more prepared to go without food than others. We can go without water for three days. We can go without air for three minutes. But we all need things outside of ourselves.
But not Christ–if He needed anybody or anything outside Himself then He’d not be complete. He has in Himself all He needs. If Christ was not complete, then He could hardly be God. When Paul preached to the intellectuals in Athens, he declared in Acts 17:24 and 25, “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things.”
Christ needs nothing outside of Himself. Ready? God does not need you! Merry Christmas! God does not need our worship, fellowship, even our ministry. Yet God does love you and He desires relationship with His children. By His grace, He desires to use us and allows us to experience the satisfaction and excitement of His eternal plan. But Christ does not need me–Christ doesn’t need you. And especially He doesn’t need Rob, Sally, Tom, Fred . . .
God did not create us because He needed us, but because He decided in His sovereign wisdom and good pleasure that creating us would be the best way to demonstrate His glorious character. Isaiah 43:7a says, “Everyone who is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory.” Rather than God needing us, we need God. We are incomplete and unfulfilled apart from intimacy with Him. We can only find true meaning when we submit to Him as our Savior and Lord. The newborn babe on Christmas is the self-sufficient God.
Search your heart and answer these two questions . . .
1 Does Jesus Christ live in you?
Did you experience an internal transforming change of heart where you want to obey Christ and it shows in how you live? Is Christ more important than your children and spouse? He is if you’re His child.
Have you fallen in love with Christ, His Word, and His Church? Have you embraced Christ’s death on the cross for you and His resurrection from the dead and does your life prove it? Cry out for mercy and grace from the only One who can save you. Surrender your life to Christ.
2 What are you living for in this life?
Politicians want to etch their names in the history books. Athletes want to memorialize their feats in the record book. Businessmen want to build an enduring financial empire. Everyone wants immortality–to not be forgotten. Sadly, 50 years after you die no one will even remember your name. Politicians are forgotten, records broken, and money evaporates.
If Christ is eternal, then no effort on Earth has a higher priority than knowing, loving, obeying, serving, and sharing Christ with others. “One life soon past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” Live for eternity now by submitting to the only One who is eternal and self-sufficient. That little Christmas baby is your only hope. Don’t leave here tonight until you have submitted to Christ as your God.
Bow your heads–right now, if you want Christ, if God is working in your heart and you want to turn from sin to follow Christ, then right now raise your hand. If no one does, no problem–God alone saves, not me, not this sermon. If God is working in your heart, then make certain you fill out the card in your bulletin and drop that in the offering plate as you leave this evening. I am giving you an opportunity to confess Christ right now. If you need to pray about it more, then come back as we open God’s Word. Make certain your eternity is spent in Heaven with Christ and not in torment forever without Christ. Let’s pray.