Does Christ Have a Room for You?
A little girl came home from Sunday school triumphantly waving a paper. “Mommy!” she said. “My teacher says I drew the most unusual Christmas picture she has ever seen!” The mother studied the picture for a moment and concluded it was indeed a very peculiar Christmas picture. “This is wonderfully drawn, but why have you made all these people riding on the back of an airplane?” the mother gently asked. “It’s the flight into Egypt,” the little girl said with a hint of disappointment that the picture’s meaning was not immediately obvious.
“Oh,” the mother said cautiously. “Well, who is this mean-looking man at the front?” “That’s Pontius, the pilot,” the girl said, now visibly impatient. “I see.” “And here you have Mary and Joseph and the baby,” she volunteered. Studying the picture silently for a moment, the mother summoned the courage to ask, “But who is this fat man sitting behind Mary?” The little girl sighed, “Can’t you tell? That’s Round John Virgin!”
Christmas has become familiar to us–maybe too familiar. The scene two centuries ago is unmistakable. Many people even have little nativities set up in their home, complete with stable, animals, Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus. But do you have it right? We like to have some fun at Christmas and test ourselves to see how well we really know the Christmas story–so let’s take the Christmas quiz together.
What Happened on the First Christmas Quiz
1. Who were the men who came to give gifts to Jesus?
B) wise men
C) rich guys
D) wise guys
2. What is frankincense?
A) a precious metal
B) a precious fabric
C) a precious perfume
D) an eastern monster story
E) none of the above
3. What is myrrh?
A) an easily-shaped metal
B) a spice used for burying people (see John 19:39)
C) a drink
D) after-shave lotion
E) none of the above
4. How many wise men came to see Jesus?
F) a small army
G) unknown–no one knows. They only gave three gifts (see Matthew 2:1)
5. The wise men found Jesus in a
C) house (see Matthew 2:11)
D) Holiday Inn
E) good mood
6. How did Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem?
E) Joseph walked, Mary rode a donkey
F) who knows?
7. Jesus was delivered in a
8. The wise men stopped in Jerusalem
A) to inform Herod about Jesus
B) to find out where Jesus was (see Matthew 2:1 to 2)
C) to ask about the star that they saw
D) for gas
E) to buy Christmas presents for Jesus
9. Who told Mary and Joseph to go to Bethlehem?
A) the angel
B) Mary’s mother
D) Caesar Augustus
E) Alexander the Great
F) No one told them to
10. A manger is a
A) stable for domestic animals
B) wooden hay storage bin
C) feeding trough
E) dumpy house
11. How many angels spoke to the shepherds?
C) a multitude
D) none of the above
12. What did the angels proclaim?
A) “Joy to the World, the Lord is Come”
C) “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given”
D) “Glory to God in the highest”
E) “Glory to the newborn King”
F) “My Sweet Lord”
How well do you really know what happened at the first Christmas. How much of the world’s commercialism has made its way into your thinking about Christ? After 2,000+ years of retelling and romanticizing, most people see the manger scene as a beautiful story eagerly anticipated–but it wasn’t. The world didn’t eagerly wait in line for the Christ-child to come. They were not waiting in line like the first Star Wars movie. On the contrary, the world was so busy with its own affairs, it didn’t even make room for Christ to be born.
And nothing has changed today. Many of your friends express sentimental thoughts about the infant Jesus as they go about their own affairs at Christmastime. But few pay any attention to the real Christ, nor do they make room for Him in their lives. All of us battle with busyness this time of year. We may come to a church service, sing choruses, feel the Christmas spirit with the lights and songs–but very few of us are really focused on the person of Christ.
What we don’t get is, Christ was not merely a baby born who would represent peace–He is the Creator God who took on human flesh in order to take the punishment you deserve for your sin as a rebel so you could have peace with God and not fall under His judgment and end up in Hell forever. As most think about Christ these days, it is not to bow before Him like a slave does to his master, nor as a creature does to His creator, or as a sinner does His Savior.
That is just like the first century world. They were not looking expectantly for Christ. Remember what happened when eternal God was born as a man in Luke 2:7? “And she [Mary] gave birth to her first-born son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” With Christ today, just like in the first century, there is . . .
#1 No Room for Christ with the LEADERS
There was no room for Christ in the palaces of the first century. Caesar would not make room. The idea of the great Caesar Augustus making room for a humble carpenter from Nazareth and his pregnant wife to be, Mary, is preposterous. Herod would not make room for Christ. He ruled within twelve miles of where Christ was born. Yet he was so far from making room, he actually plotted to have the infant killed when His birth was made known to him by the wise men.
Today is no different–senators, congressmen and presidents, judges and kings have no room for Christ. Oh, they acknowledge Christ, go to events that honor Christ, but they do not follow Christ nor submit to Christ, nor obey Christ as their Lord and Master. Christ is the Prince of Peace, but leaders often delight in war. The Lord Jesus is truth and conviction, but presidents are all politics and compromise. Rulers love grandeur, pomp and hail to the chief–but Jesus is all simplicity and weakness, a carpenter’s son and the companion of fishermen. Leaders have no room for Christ today.
Neither was there any room for Christ with the philosophers and educators of the first century. Today, many scientists, PhDs, college professors and media talking heads laugh at the reality of Christ as the only way to be right with God. They’re insulted, even indignant when you quote John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’” Or Acts 4:12, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
But it was no different back then—the educated leaders in Israel knew what the prophets had predicted about the coming Messiah in detail. They knew so much from Micah 5:2, they even told Herod exactly where the Christ was to be born–the city of Bethlehem. When the magi later inquired as to where the Christ was, Herod asked his brainy ones where the Christ was to be born and amazingly, they answered correctly. Yet not one of the educated leaders—not one bothered to go to Bethlehem to greet the infant Christ, let alone worship Him.
Seldom do we find submission to Christ in the seats of learning today. Few brainy, brawny or big shots turn to Christ alone to be saved. The Bible even warns us in 1 Corinthians 1:26, “For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble.” Few of this world’s professors, learned religious leaders, men of power or influence have room for Jesus. They’re too proud to admit their need–so the Gospel, the good news of how Christ has provided for people, the only way to be made into a right relationship with God is foolish to them.
Christ is God who died in your place for your sin, providing the only way to get to Heaven. And this salvation is so merciful–the good news declares it is Christ alone who must awaken your heart to see the need to turn from your sin in repentance and depend on Him alone by faith. Yet all of this is rejected by them. They say if man even needs God, he can work his way to Heaven–just choose to follow a religion so you can earn your way.
And because they oppose God alone providing salvation, people today refuse to call Christ the first cause. Creator? No. They say science proves the world created itself. They refuse to say that sin has terrible consequences, so they redefine sin as a small problem needing adjustment. They refuse to see Christ as the only way to Heaven, so they assert there are no absolute truths–everyone’s opinion is as much truth as anyone else’s opinion.
At every step, the people with a voice today–the entertainers, media talking heads, and politicians have sought to dismantle the true reason Christ was born a baby. They’ve rejected that Christ came to rescue you from your sins, that He came to offer you the only way you can be forgiven, that He came to provide the only way you can be rightly restored with your Creator, both now and forever. Like the politicians and learned men of our day, those back in the first century had no room for Christ either.
But were there not good families in Bethlehem who might have taken Him in? Undoubtedly, there must have been God-fearing, well-to-do families in Bethlehem, and godly businessmen who supported the poor, like Joseph and Mary. But I do not read that these good families made room for a woman in labor, or later welcomed her child. They may have been very gracious to each other.
But there was no more space for Jesus in the guestrooms of the well-to-do families than there was in the palaces of the kings or in the classrooms of the educators. The Bible says in 1 Peter 2:4 that Jesus Christ was “rejected by men, but choice and precious in the sight of God.” It wasn’t merely kings and PhDs, there was no room
#2 No Room for Christ with EVERYDAY People
If I could plug a projector into your head and see your secret thoughts, we would probably discover some surges of self-satisfaction. You may be thinking, even though it is true there was no place for Christ among the wise, mighty, or noble of this world, surely there was a place for Christ among the common people such as ourselves. I would welcome Him–or someone with a big house. But would we? In Christ’s day, inns were not the stopping places of the rich or noble–the rich stayed with their friends. Inns were the stopping places of the common folks who had nowhere else to go. And it was precisely the inn that had no place for Jesus.
We sometimes try to convince ourselves that common people are more charitable or sympathetic than the rich or the powerful. We speculate that everyday people are more responsive to the claims of religion or the needs of people. But that is not so. Rather, the Bible teaches that all of us–even common folk, in Isaiah 53:6, “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.”
Let’s be fair. It is easy to understand why the common folk who filled the inn that first Christmas did not receive Christ. For one thing, others had simply come first. The inn was full–and why should one who had possessed the wisdom to arrive early make way for those who came late, regardless of how pressing the need was? For another thing, there was no obvious difference. True, the woman was with child–but so were thousands of other women.
Perhaps if they had possessed money they might have been welcomed–but they did not. They were poor. So there was literally no incentive to show concern. So Christ was crowded out. Yet could this be a description of your life? If you’re honest and genuinely look at reality, you will admit that every chamber of your soul is so filled with human interests, there is little room for Christ. There is little vital interest in Him. There is little time for Him. And this is true, simply because our time is demanded by a thousand other things–some important.
Our interest is drawn in a thousand directions, and our life is full with possessions, pleasures and people–until, strange though it seems, there is no room for the Savior in our lives either. Except in a very small stable in our soul. I wonder if Jesus is in the stable of your life? Or is He in the spread of your life. I wonder if Christ is relegated to a stall? Or is He sitting on the throne of your heart? Is Christ centered on Sunday only, or central every day in everything.
So many have added Christ to their lifestyle with some sort of decision, but in reality, they’ve not submitted to Christ as their Master. The true Christ is never merely a resident in your life–if you truly know Him, He is the president of your life. Just because you call yourself a Christian, prayed a prayer, walked an aisle, served Him for awhile, even been baptized does not make you a genuine Christian. Remember the warning of Matthew 7:22 and 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?’ 23And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”
If you are a Christian, you will do what Christ says. If you are a Christian, you will follow Christ in all you do. John 10:27, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” And until Christ reigns upon the throne of your life, you cannot regard yourself as being any better than the people of Christ’s day–and possibly not a Christian at all. Often it seems that even Christians have no room for Christ, except to stick Him in a stall, until they really need His help in a crisis.
So many who call themselves Christians, don’t have time for Christ as the central, core priority and purpose of their being. We just have too much to do. We just don’t say no to good things in order to have time for the best things. So today, have you submitted to Christ, or have you merely stuck the sticker of Christianity on your car? Is Jesus in the closet of your life, or is He at the core of your life? Until Christ reigns upon the throne of your life, you can’t regard yourself as being in any better position than those who slept comfortably while Mary gave birth to God the Son in a stable. So . . .
#3 Do You Have ROOM?
Someone says, “Yes, I have room for Christ, but I’m unworthy.” Join the club. Of course, you’re unworthy. This world is unworthy of Christ–He is our Creator and King. But He still came here as a baby, and as if to make the truth obvious beyond all question, He had His birth in a place where they keep animals.
“My life is so vile,” says another. But wasn’t the stable vile? Did it not also smell of corruption? “But I am afraid of Him,” says a third. What–afraid of Jesus? What harm has He done to you? Imagine being so poor and so in debt, you are afraid to answer your door, because you don’t want to get a summons or get arrested. But knowing of your financial plight, a friend sacrifices to pay off your debts, then comes to tell you what he’s done. But when he comes to your door, you won’t let him in because you’re still afraid. He is actually the one who has rescued you, removed your debt and reason to be afraid.
Christ Himself has canceled the debt of your sin by His own death, and He has come to provide for us now. But your debt of sin will not be canceled unless you trust Him with your life and don’t keep Him out. There are many in this room who mocked Christ, rejected Him, and kept Him out of their lives. But one day, through a sweet compulsion of His grace, the Lord Jesus Christ opened the door of their hearts and they admitted Him into the deep recesses of their lives. And all those who have will testify they did not make a mistake in yielding to Him. They will say to you that submitting to Christ was the best decision they ever made.
Have you made room for the Savior? If not, cry out for Him to be born in your soul today. Do not say, “I hope that I will have room for Him.” Make room for Him–do it today. Plead with Him to change your heart so you might respond to Him in dependent faith and directional repentance. Plead with Him to cause you to be born again internally, giving you a heart that wants to obey Him and follow Him with your entire life.
The Bible says in Hebrews 3:7 to 8 NIV, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” God also says in His Word in 2 Corinthians 6:2 NASB, “Now is the acceptable time, behold, now is the day of salvation.” You don’t need a formula, you don’t need to walk forward. Nor do you need to pray after me. In your soul, you are meeting a person, submitting to your Creator and crying out for forgiveness from a Savior. And when it is real, Christ will convert you
from the inside out. He will make you new inside. When you submit to Christ, you don’t turn over a new leaf, you are transformed to a new life. So Chris, if I do respond to Christ, what will happen to me? How will everyone else react to me?
#4 The World Will Have No Room for YOU
If you make room for Christ, then from this day on, the world will have no room for you. We see this in Luke 2:7–for notice it does not say, “because there was no room for Him in the inn.” It says, “for them.” That includes Mary and Joseph as well as the infant Jesus. Who are Christ’s mother, father, sister and brother today? The Bible says in Matthew 12:50, “For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”
Everyone who follows the Word of God is the Lord’s brother and sister. Those who obey the Bible show they’re truly God’s family. Those who open their entire lives to Christ exchange all that they are for all that He is, and follow Him, are His true relatives. And if you’re following Him, the world will have no more room for you than it had for Him. You must not think that if you follow Jesus, you will be praised for doing so.
The angels will rejoice over every sinner who repents, no matter how insignificant you are in the world’s eyes. But the world will not rejoice. The world will scorn your decision. The world will seek to put you down. Then, if it cannot succeed in getting you to renounce your decision or compromise your stand, it will turn its back on you and 1) go its own way, 2) shutting you out, 3) ignoring you, and 4) marginalizing your beliefs.
That’s what Jesus promised–it was Christ who said in John 15:19 NIV, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” In fact, if the world doesn’t speak bad of you because of Christ, the Lord Himself warns you that something is wrong with you. Jesus said in Luke 6:26 NIV, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you.” And in John 16:33 NIV, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
To be Christ’s follower is to be a person without a physical country–a Christian is a displaced person. It is to follow Christ into the poverty of the early years at Nazareth, the loneliness of His itinerant ministry, eventually to the cross–all the time knowing that as His disciple, like the Master, you will have no place to lay your head.
But that is not the end of the story, for each one of His true children will have more than Bill Gates–in fact, more than the entire world can offer. More power than the greatest leader, more wealth than the richest man, more wisdom than anyone with multiple degrees, and more nobility than any king. For the next point reminds us that . . .
#5 God has PREPARED a room for His own
Even though the world will have no room for you–from the day you surrender to Christ and follow Him, God Himself will have room for you. Christ has gone to prepare the most glorious rooms for each of His followers. Christ said to you in John 14:1 to 3, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
Are you ready to serve Christ on such terms? Will you serve Christ when there is no room for you here below–only a cross? Yet knowing that He who went to a cross, has also gone on to prepare a place for you in Heaven. Others have followed Christ and have rejoiced, because He forgave them and gave them a new heart that knows real peace, real purpose, real joy and real love.
God has prepared a room for those who are His own–Heaven is ready. And those who have rooms awaiting them already taste what Heaven will be like now in this life. They know Christ intimately, and they can’t wait to be with Him in perfection forever. Does Christ have room for you? Are you one of His chosen children? Would you please bow your heads and close your eyes for a moment of silent reflection–are you ready to submit to Christ today?
If you admit you are a sinner who is condemned by God for your disobedience to His law . . . if you hate your sin and believe that God became a man in the person of Christ, born as a baby, lived a perfect life–then gave Himself on the cross for your sins . . . if you are willing to trust the work of Christ on the cross in your place, taking God’s wrath for your sin and rescuing you from God’s righteous judgment and Hell forever . . . and if you believe Christ paid the punishment for your sin, which is death, believing that having no sin of His own, Christ rose from the dead to provide a way for you to have a completely new life . . . if you are willing to follow Him the rest of your life, not opening up a stable, but submitting to Him as your Master . . . if you are willing to follow His Word over your feelings, relationships, and thinking–then you can now be forgiven.
Surrender to Christ–if he has been preparing your heart, surrender, submit, follow Him. Right now, cry out to Him to transform you. If He does, guaranteed, you will tell friends and relatives. It will not be a secret. There are no secret Christians. You will belong to the family of God and want to get interconnected to the people of a Bible-teaching church. If it’s genuine, you will follow Christ and obey God’s Word–not perfectly, but from a heart that wants to. If your heart desires Christ, but you’re not ready yet–then come back and study the Bible with us. Let God’s Spirit through His Word draw you to Himself, and possibly give you eternal life forever with Christ.
The scary part of submitting to Christ is that each and every one of you will someday submit to Christ. Some will do so in this life and find abundant life, love, joy, and eternal life forever in heavenly bliss. Others will only submit at the judgment of Christ–because of your rejection of Him now, you will be rejected by Him forever in eternal torment of Hell. Everyone in this room was or is headed to Hell, and it is only Christ who is (John 14:6) “the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
Christ teaches there is no other religion you can follow to be saved–no other path. Your ideas will not save you. Your own designer religion is just another form of rebellion. You can’t be religious enough, good enough, giving enough to earn your way to Heaven. Nice people go to Hell. When you stand before God and He asks you why He should let you into Heaven, the only answer that works is this—”I’ve trusted in Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone.” Let’s pray.