Why do people choose to reject Jesus as Savior? This is a question that I have been thinking a lot about lately. Especially during the time where we all gather to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Why celebrate His birth if you reject Him the rest of the year? Some of the largest attendances in churches each year happen during Christmas time. According to some statics only 18% of Americans attend a weekly church service but out of the 91% of Americans that celebrate Christmas, 63% think Christmas should include a visit to church. These statics explain why our churches are packed each year for Christmas, but why do these same people go through the rest of the year living as if Jesus never existed?
I can only attempt to answer this question through what I have experienced while serving these last 5 years in ministry. At the prison that I serve at, I often encounter men that would rather recognize Jesus as a great man or prophet but reject Him as Savior! These men do not think they need a Savior. They think of Christmas time as a celebration of a great man rather then the One who was born into this earth to carry the sins of us all and pay the debt that we could not pay. Often what I find is that these men consider themselves to be “basically good” and do not realize that they, like all people, are sinners who cannot come to God on their own terms. And then there are also those who reject Jesus out of the fear of social rejection or persecution from friends and family. These men will go to great lengths to not associate themselves with anything Christian, until man lets them down or a family member dies, then they come to see the Chaplain. But for most, the things that this present world has to offer are more appealing than eternal things.
This Christmas season I am excited that 13 of my brothers in prison have went against all odds and have surrendered their lives to Christ! These are men that we had the privilege to baptize this year, men who recognized their sinfulness and have surrendered their lives unto God regardless of what those around them have said and are saying! This Christmas these men are celebrating their Savior rather than just a good person. This Christmas they are celebrating their salvation rather that what this present world has to offer.