Six Ways to Miss Christmas – Idolatry

from John MacArthur’s booklet, Six Ways to Miss Christmas.


The Romans also missed Christmas. Micah’s prophecy that the Christ child would be born in Bethlehem was set in motion by a Gentile emperor. Luke 2:1-2 says, “It came about in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria .” The Roman soldiers registered the people and took the census.

Throughout the life of Christ we see the presence of the Romans. Before His death Christ appeared before Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea (John 18:28-40). He was executed by the Romans (Matthew 27:27-36). Roman guards lied about His resurrection, propagating a story to cover up the reality that He rose from the dead (Matthew 28:11-15). They all missed Christmas because of their idolatry: they worshiped their own gods. Christ didn’t fit in with them. They worshiped a multitude of gods, and the pinnacle of their worship was emperor worship. So in the midst of their pagan idolatry they missed Christmas.

The world today is full of people who worship their own gods. They don’t worship idols like they did at the time of Christ, but we still have idols and gods. Some people worship money. Some people worship sex. Others worship cars, boats, and houses. Some worship power and prestige. Those things are the pagan gods of today—the idols of the twenty-first century. And if that is what you’re worshiping, you’ll miss Christmas, too. You may receive some presents, eat a big dinner, and enjoy a beautifully decorated pine tree, but you’ll miss Christmas.