One of my favorite Christmas season shows is Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. It is the post-war tale of a savings-and-loan manager who struggles against a greedy banker in a small town. Through the help of an angel named Clarence, who is trying to win his wings, do-gooder George Bailey (James Stewart) recognizes his life as wonderful and truly rich, only after being shown what his small town would be like if he was never born. In this edition of Bible Points I would like for you to imagine for a moment what would life be like if Jesus hadn’t been born. Jesus Himself raised that question the night before He was crucified (John 15:22). When Jesus was born three-fifths of the world was entrenched in barbarianism. Before Christ was born, tribal cultures were known for their brutal forms of slavery, human sacrifice and cannibalism. One change brought about by Christianity is emphasis on kindness toward enemies and avoidance of torture. It was Jesus said, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you…” (Mat 5:43-44 NKJV). When Jesus was born women were treated as property. In ancient cultures, a wife was the property of her husband. Aristotle said that a woman was somewhere between a free man and a slave. In India, widows were voluntarily or involuntarily burned along with their husband at his funeral. Even today, in places where the Bible is not taught and obeyed, women almost always get the short end of the stick. If Jesus did not come, women would still be treated as if they were property. When Jesus was born the abuse of children was a commonly accepted practice. When Jesus came on the scene, He exalted the worth of children. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God…” (Mark 10:13 NKJV) Christianity’s immediate effects were to bring an end to the practice of leaving unwanted children out in the streets to freeze or die of thirst. Pedophiles wouldn’t be under as much scrutiny if Jesus had not come to earth. In fact, it’s this writer’s belief that abortion (Wikipedia reports 51,888,303 abortions between 1970 and 2013) and the abuse of children has increasingly been a problem because the world has been systematically kicking Jesus out of their lives in the schools, courts and churches. If Christ had not come there would be no sympathy for the poor, sick, blind, bereaved and brokenhearted. Christians introduced in the 4th century what we know as the hospital. Before that, there were private physicians, potions and shrines, but no such thing as people being nursed or cared for in a facility. The Romans, Greeks and other ancients usually did not take care of their loved ones in times of plague. Plato said you shouldn’t give medicine to those who would die anyhow. In giving His reason for coming to earth Jesus said: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed…” (Luke 4:18 NKJV) If Christ had not come there we would have none of His parables to learn life lessons from. Try to imagine life without the teachings of Jesus found in the parables of The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:33) and The Prodigal Son (Luke 15:20). If Jesus did not come to earth, we would not know the lesson of forgiveness the Father offers to us and expects us to offer to others who offend us. If Jesus did not come to earth, our patience would be thin towards those who squander our friendship, resources or trust. If Jesus did not come to earth most parents, pastors and others in authority would give up on their rebellious children before they returned home with sorrowful hearts. Yet, Jesus came to this earth to reveal the Father who so loved the world that He would give His only Son to die as a sacrifice and pay the penalty for our sins. Salvation is now offered as a free gift to whosoever will turn from their sins and call on the name of the Lord Jesus. This is why we celebrate Christmas! It is the birth of God’s Son and our Savior from sin! This is why we give gifts to one another. We give gifts because God has given us the ultimate Gift (John 3:16). Much of the Bible Points content comes from the sermons of Pastor Chuck Brooks, a member of the Grace Bible Baptist Church on North Rolling Road. You can listen to or download more of Chuck’s sermons at www.mygraceway.org.