Jesus had human emotions.
One of the most interesting doctrines in the Bible is that of Jesus being 100 percent God and at the same time being 100 percent man (referred to as “hypostatic union”).
None of us has ever seen Deity—we only know what we read in Scripture. Nor have we seen perfect humanity—we only know what we read about in the Bible about pre-fallen Adam and our Lord. So it is somewhat difficult to grasp the fact that Jesus retained all His divine attributes while possessing all human attributes.
His humanity is also seen in these verses:
And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. —Matthew 4:2
. . . Jesus . . . said, “I am thirsty.” —John 19:28
(Note: We answer the “Should Christians do Santa” question below today’s Q & A.)
Where in the Bible does it discuss Christians knowing each other in heaven? When we leave this earth, we leave our bodies behind so how will I know my father, mother, husband, children, etc.? Or have I been misled and we really won’t know each other—we will only recognize God?
Yes, we will recognize God, and Scripture also indicates that we will recognize each other. When we die, our spirit goes to heaven.
we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. —2 Corinthians 5:8
At the Rapture, those who have died in Christ and those alive in Christ will get new bodies.
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. —1 Corinthians 15:52
We will have a new eternal body similar to Jesus’ new body after He died and was resurrected.
who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. —Philippians 3:21
People recognized Christ after His resurrection.
Luke 16 gives us a glimpse of the after-life. It discusses people in hell as well as people in paradise (pre-cross, waiting to be transferred to heaven after the Messiah’s death paid for their sins). They recognized each other and communicated with each other:
And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue; for I am in agony in this flame.” But Abraham said, “Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony.” —Luke 16:23-25
Also, Moses and Elijah were recognized when they stood on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus.
And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. —Matthew 17:3
Moses had died; Elijah was biding time. Therefore, we should be able to recognize each other in heaven even before we get our new eternal bodies at Rapture.
In his book Heaven, author Randy Alcorn correctly teaches that since the greatest commandment is to love God and then to love others, we know that God takes great pleasure in our love for each other. He concludes that “Our source of comfort isn’t only that we’ll be with the Lord in Heaven, but also that we’ll be with each other.” One of the passages he quotes follows:
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. —1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, 17-18
At this time of year we get a lot of questions about Santa Claus. Below is an article from a previous Compass Communique written by the Executive Director of Compass, Bill Perkins.
Is there anything wrong with Christians allowing their children to think Santa Claus is real?
Typical answers from Christians
“Give me a break, children are usually so young when they are doing the Santa thing that it could hardly matter!”
“My parents played the Santa game and it didn’t hurt me, so what’s the big deal?”
“When my children ask if Santa is real, then I will tell them the truth. But until they ask, I enjoy watching their little eyes light up on Christmas morning.”
A pastor with a large national following once said:
“I find it impossible to believe God will be eclipsed by the silhouette of Santa’s sleigh rising in the Christmas sky.” (www.livingway.org/articles/SANTA2.html)
An MSNBC article said this:
“Fully 86 percent in the (Santa Claus) poll believed in Santa as a child. And despite the multi-ethnic nature of the country, more than 60 percent of those with children at home consider Santa important in their holiday celebrations now.” AP-AOL News poll
So, with so many Christians intertwining Christmas with Santa, at least when their kids are at an early age, could anything really be wrong with it? I think there’s a strong case it’s VERY wrong. Here’s why.
Let’s start with a simple question, “Should Christians lie?” God says:
Truthful lips will be established forever, but a lying tongue is only for a moment. —Proverbs 12:19
We know our iniquities: Transgressing and denying the LORD, And turning away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving in and uttering from the heart lying words. —Isaiah 59:12-13
There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue . . . —Proverbs 6:16-17
Based on the Word of God, I think it’s safe to say God hates lying—all lying—about anything, anytime. He hates it so much that lying will be non-existent in the new heaven and earth.
and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. —Revelation 21:27
Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. —Revelation 22:15
So the next question is: “Is allowing your kids to believe that ‘Santa’ is real the same as lying to them?” And once they realize that you misled them about Santa, no matter how good your intentions, how do they know that you won’t do the same thing when you tell them things about God? They can’t see Santa, they only believe what you say about him. They can’t see God either . . .
Webster’s definition of “lie” includes this phrase:
“. . . a situation involving deception or founded on a mistaken impression.”
So it seems pretty clear that Christians who play the Santa game are lying to their kids and that’s not what God wants.
What’s more remarkable is that the truth is so much better. What in the world is wrong with teaching our kids that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, our Savior?
I realize that debunking Santa in your home, especially if you have kids, is not easy. We took the “no Santa tack” as we raised our two girls. It caused several awkward moments because there were so many kids and adults into Santa Claus. My wife and I simply taught our kids that Christmas was Jesus’ birthday and Santa was a lie. I also taught them that they were sinners and needed a Savior.
You can imagine what happened when a well-meaning adult would come up and say, “Is Santa coming to see you?” They would respond, “Nooooo.” That invariably brought on the next question, “Well, have you been bad?” And the kids would respond, “Yes.” By the time they explained their limited understanding of “He who says he has no sin, deceives himself” and that “Santa was for non-Christians,” the adult was usually red-faced with embarrassment.
But the upside was that our Christmas celebrations have been, and still are, full of joy. There are gifts, and surprises, and wonderment—but it’s all centered around Jesus, not a fictional character who mimics the omniscience and omnipresence of God. Santa Claus is nothing more than a poor Jesus substitute promoting a works doctrine (“He knows if you’ve been bad or good . . .”).
Susie and I are the first to admit we made a lot of mistakes with our kids. So don’t think for a moment that we’re saying “do what we do.” Just that it can be done by the graciousness of God—and a lot of prayer! So our hope is that you will ask the Lord to give you wisdom and confidence in this tricky area.
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