Unbelievers have an agreement/disagreement problem among themselves. They all agree that Jesus is not who the Bible says He is—God who appeared in human flesh, died for the sins of the world and rose from the dead. Yet in trying to define who Jesus is, what really happened, what it meant and what is really true, unbelievers disagree with one another.
Some claim that Jesus never lived and that the entire Bible account is just a comforting myth. Others say that Jesus lived, but He was just another rabbi, not the Savior.
Some, like the late Hugh Schonfield, have fabricated the idea that Jesus lived, even claimed to be the Messiah, and engineered a plot wherein He would pretend to die so that He could also pretend to rise from the dead.
Many such theories abound among unbelievers. Yet no matter how much they agree or disagree about what is true, they seem to share a general camaraderie of scoffing at the Christian faith. However, during Advent season, the cultural Christianity that is so much a part of Western society often seems to prevail, and sometimes it deals a blow to the doubts of unbelievers.
For example, over in the former USSR, even at the height of religious oppression, the atheists in power could not obliterate the joy many of the general public felt at Christmas. Though they tried to rename the holiday with titles like Winter Festival,” people still called it Christmas. They still celebrated it, and their celebrations were a constant reminder to the atheistic hierarchy that the government was not entirely in accord with the hearts of its citizenry.
A grain of God’s truth remained in those celebrations, and with the disintegration of the former USSR, God’s light is shining brightly once again in that part of the world. At least for a time there is religious freedom. Now many are curious, even hungry, to know what has been forbidden or kept hidden from them for so long. The formerly “Red” field is, in the words of Scripture, “white unto harvest.” Many Jews and Gentiles who remain in those countries, as well as those who are emigrating to other places, are seeking and finding Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel and Savior of the world.
The message of the Incarnation and the salvation that Yeshua offers can never be totally suppressed. The reality and the telling of it are vital to the human spirit, as air and water are vital to physical survival. Like air and water, the truth cannot be obliterated. It can be caged and buried. It can be transformed into an unrecognizable state and, for a time, it can even seem to disappear.
Yet this truth will never be destroyed. Like air or water in a balloon that is squeezed in one place, it will emerge somewhere else. The reality of Immanuel, God With Us, and the salvation and peace He brings will always resurface. And whenever it does, there will always be those who embrace it and find life.