The thrilling message of Christmas




We greet the brethren on this wonderful Christmas morning. This is a great day in the history of the world. Everyone acknowledges this day - whether they are saved or unsaved. There is no one who is unfamiliar with this day. He came as the King of the world, the King of kings.

Welcome and may you be blessed. We wish you God’s richest blessing on this day and wherever you are gathered, may the Lord be with you and may you experience His presence.

The story of Jesus is amazing. You will find it in music and history. To whom is it directed? To each of us - great and small, young and old. To people with great knowledge but also to simple shepherds. It is for all. This kingdom is for everyone. This message is for us all. This Gospel is ours. Jesus is for all of us. Even though some deny it. Even though some do not want to acknowledge Jesus, He came for everyone.

We thank the Lord for His love and grace and that He was willing to sacrifice His life and come to earth. He did all of this so that we might be saved from our sin, living unto God.

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favoured one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. Luke 1:26-31

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation 31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” Luke 2:25-32

I remember Rev Stegen saying, ‘There is no gospel like the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is no faith like the faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.’ He said that one can go to all the different religions, but there is no religion like ours. In other words, there is no reason to be ashamed and timid, we can come out boldly for our Lord. Paul says, ‘I am not ashamed of this Gospel.’ There is something he had experienced and seen in the Gospel. This Gospel is alive, not like other messages or religions. If the Gospel is not alive within it means you are falling short of something – something is lacking in your life - which is why you have not experienced the power of the Gospel.

When you enter a service, you ought to have a prayer, ‘Lord, may I not leave empty handed.’ Do not enter a service and allow yourself to doze off. Some people are influenced by demons and when they come to a service they become drowsy, fall asleep and wake up as soon as the preacher says ‘Amen.’ They remember nothing of the service. It seems as if they were not even present.

There is no Gospel like the one of the Lord Jesus Christ. It delivers, it sets us free, restores our humanity. After meeting with God, even a street sleeper’s humanity and dignity are renewed. He is unrecognisable.

God sent Gabriel to Mary with a message that would have been shocking to her and Joseph. Humanly speaking, it was not a good message. She was betrothed to Joseph but suddenly something completely different happens. Mary was perplexed because how could something like this happen since she was a virgin. She was surprised. This would bring disgrace on her. The Lord’s eyes searched throughout the world and He found this girl, Mary. She was a fit vessel to bring the Lord Jesus into our world. She was a girl who would not easily become upset. She had a question: how would this happen because she knew what kind of life that she was living? However, because she had God within her, she could discern that this was God speaking.

Girls, it is important that you discern God’s will. In the Gospel we need girls who can discern whether something comes from God or Satan. When you receive a message, do not just swallow it. Discern: what its origin is and where it will take you. There are people who suddenly become Christians just before they get married because they want to marry. ‘I have heard God’s voice speaking to me about whom I should marry,’ they say and that will be the first and last time they hear God’s voice.

I admire this girl, Mary, for her question 34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” She could discern the voice and the will of God and bow to it.

Consider Joseph and how he must have felt. If he had been a carnal man, things would have gone wrong. He would have opposed God’s will and fought against God. But he had learnt to listen and discern, and if something was from God, to accept it.

28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favoured one, the Lord is with you!” Luke 1:28

Listen to the greeting from the angel. What a wonderful greeting. Mary received grace to carry the Saviour of men. She was favoured above all else. For Mary to have the privilege of bearing this child was grace and favour. She received grace multiplied from God. This was an amazing event where God sent this angel. She was told she would conceive and bear a son and the Holy Spirit would come upon her and even though she did not know any man, she would conceive and bring forth a son.

31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David…Luke 1:31 & 32

Mary knew she was a pure virgin, untouched. It was not a problem to her. She was not in a rush to change anything. Girl, do not just accept anything that comes to you even if it is wrapped in gold. Discern whether it is from God or not.

Reverend Stegen related the story of a girl who desperately wanted to get married. She prayed and asked God for a husband. ‘Who will I marry?’ was her great concern. One day she prayed under a tree, and in this tree was an owl. She was praying aloud desperately. As she prayed, she woke an owl and the owl called out, ‘Who, who?’. She thought it was God speaking and said, ‘Anybody Lord!’ When you pray without any discernment, this will happen to you. An owl will answer you and you will think it is God.

Mary was not like that. She heard and discerned the voice of God. She tested and accepted it. She bowed to the will of God and everything she did was successful and reached its conclusion. Everything we do will reach a conclusion.

In the Old Testament there were many prophecies concerning this Child. The Messiah will come, the One who will save His people. You may be in bondage to some sin and who do you go to with this? God or an owl.

32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 1:32 – 33

His kingdom will not end. He will reign for all eternity. This is the Lord we serve. This is the Lord to whom we have come. He will bring us deliverance from all types of Satanic bondage. It ought to be seen in our lives that we have been delivered and there are no chains because we are led by the One who has come to break all chains. We are invited to come to Him who has been given all authority.

Reverend Stegen told the story of a young man who needed to travel overseas to visit his family during the Christmas period. He travelled by ship. Everything was prepared for him. He got a ticket and some food to take along. Travelling by ship takes weeks. When all the passengers would visit the dining room for their meals, he would eat the food that his mother had packed for him. As time continued his bread became stale and dry. He was rather embarrassed about his food and ate it in secret. People noticed that this boy was never present at meals. A man asked him, ‘Why don’t we see you in the dining room, enjoying the meals with us?’ The boy said that he could not afford it. His mother had given him food and there was no more money and this was the only food he had. However, the man explained that the meals were included in the ticket price, and he asked to look at the ticket. When he saw it, he said, ‘My boy, rejoice. Your food is included in the price of this ticket. There is no reason for you to go around a corner and eat your dry, stale bread. The meals are included. Come and enjoy the meals with me. Come and celebrate with joy.’ This boy could enjoy the meals freely, knowing that it was all included. He received the grace which he thought himself unworthy of.

How many people are like this boy? They have the ticket with everything included but their lives are oppressed and depressed. There is no joy. Jesus has paid the full price. Nothing is excluded. There is full forgiveness of your sin. There is cleansing from sin. Everything is available. He has paid it all. For how long will you sit in your corner and eat your stale, dry bread when Jesus has something much better in store for you? This freedom and liberty are brought to us by the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. A person is set free completely from his sin, lies and arguing. It is terrible if you are a child of God who tells lies. Your lies do not even trouble your conscience.

31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David…Luke 1:31 & 32

His Name was not only special, but it indicated that He would save His people from their sin. The Name above all names is the name of Jesus. The name through which we can be set free - no matter what sin you are in bondage to. He would save His people from their sin. If we meet with this Saviour, this Redeemer, the Lord Jesus, surely our lives must be changed - if we receive this Christmas gift that will save His people from their sin. Do you see the fulfilment of this in your life? Is the fruit there? If not, there is something wrong. He who meets with the Son of God will live.

36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. John 3:36

He who has the Son has eternal life. He who has the gift of Christmas will have life within them. The old has passed away and everything is made new. We have received new life from the Son of God. Have you met with this power from the Son of God?

An announcement was made that a census would be held. So, Joseph and Mary had to be counted at the city of David.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David…Luke 2:4

When they got there, it was very full. There was no room for Mary, in the condition in which she was. Everybody was anxious for their own place, there was no room in the inn for the one bearing our Saviour. It is the same today. Many have closed every door. There is no room for Jesus. ‘I don’t have time now.’ ‘I don’t feel like it now.’ You have heard so many messages, but you have not reached the point where ‘you feel like it.’ ‘I haven’t decided yet. If I do, I will miss out on things, I’ll see about it later.’ For how long will you shut Jesus out? You have so many excuses, but Jesus needs space in your life and heart. May Jesus find room in our hearts and lives in 2024.

Some people were expectantly waiting for the Messiah. They longed for His coming and expected that it would happen in their generation.

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. Luke 2:25,26

The time came for Jesus’ birth and for Him to be revealed to this man, Simeon. He spoke amazing words: 29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace according to your word; 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation… Luke 2:29,30

In this little infant, Jesus, he saw the salvation of God and deliverance for the people. He saw all that God was going to do in and through Him. When that was fulfilled which had been announced concerning Him, Simeon said that there was nothing else that he was living for and he could now depart in peace. Have you met with this Saviour and seen Him in your life? Have you met with this Jesus who brings abundant life. A young man who has experienced salvation has a spring in his step, life, vigour and the holy boldness of Christ.

When I came to KSB for the first time in 1978, I was terribly oppressed by my sin. I did not know this place, nor anyone here. I was just brought here because of my problems. When you are oppressed and depressed, you think everyone else is like you. However, when I met other young people here, they sang songs of praise, they were free. I noticed how even the young men walked with vigour, they were filled with vigour and life, but I was to be pitied. When they sang, they were not acting, I could see that what they sang about was part of them. Nowadays people wear a mask and they put on layers of paint to make themselves look younger. When I met the Lord, I experienced that joy and life. Something different happened in my life. What have you experienced? Has that life entered and transformed you? Some people are not attractive, but there is a glory that radiates from within them that makes them beautiful.

29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace according to your word; 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation… Luke 2:29,30

What have your eyes seen? Have you received this joyous gift or have you reached the end of this year and it is still dark and miserable? What is the problem? Where are you stuck? Maybe you are still in bondage because of sin from the 90s. You say you are a Christian, but somehow there are still things that hold you in bondage. The problem is with you, not the Lord Jesus, He has come to give us full salvation and full deliverance. Here is the Gospel. Here is salvation. Here is peace. Here is fullness of joy that the Lord Jesus is offering you, here is your Christmas gift.

What will you give Jesus? Do you give Him your heart? He does not want much, just your heart. He wants you to give your heart to Him completely and then do what He has planned for your life.

That is why Simeon spoke as he did. May it be that each of us will have the assurance that we have received this salvation. Jesus cried out on the cross, ‘It is finished.’ He had completed the full plan of salvation for us and now it is up to us. Will we finish our part? The salvation that the Lord Jesus prepared for us is complete. It is for all people, no matter who you are. That is what the heavenly hosts said to the shepherds out in the fields at night. ‘Glory to God in the highest,’ and afterwards they testified that they had seen and heard it with their own eyes and ears. What have you heard? What have you seen? May it be that our eyes have truly seen, and our ears have truly heard.

Conclusion Jabulani Dube

We are thankful for the message. I was truly blessed. When Elizabeth experienced the child leaping in her womb, I experienced that same response in my heart while the word was preached. When you listen to the word or a song and you experience nothing, you need to ask is Jesus still alive in you? A whole family is heartbroken if a child is stillborn. They have looked forward to a new baby. If you meet and greet someone, what happens within? Is there a joyful reaction or a complaint, ‘Oh, him again, I don’t like him.’ Yet that person is a child of God. If there are some people you can speak to, and others you do not want to talk to, know this that Jesus is dead within you. It is terrible to live such a double life. Repent. Do not enter the new year with that life.

The angel said: Oh you, favoured of the Lord. When Jesus greeted His disciples said He said, ‘Peace be upon you.’

Paul says, ‘I am jealous to betroth you as a pure virgin.’ He adds, ‘I am afraid for you lest the serpent who led Eve astray has led your minds astray.’ Young women, have you been led astray because you seek marriage? Older people are you leading a life that pleases God?

21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

Jesus came to save you, why are you still leading an unsaved life? How can a person say they are saved but they smoke and drink? Can a person sing but they drink and smoke? Singing about Christ does not make you a Christian. It must be seen in your life. Do not deceive us by making as if you are so good but there is unconfessed sin in your life. It will just harden people’s hearts when you preach or sing. Reverend Stegen taught us this. Does Jesus rejoice about our lives?

When Satan enters you, how terrible you are. A person has evil dreams, they cannot sleep properly. It is as if the devil is riding them bareback.

You will never experience the sweetness of this Gospel if you still sin. You say you are a Christian, but you steal? You indulge in sin yet call yourself a believer? You haven’t received this Jesus who sets you free from sin. That is what we must cry out to God for. If He comes and you are still living in your sin, where will you end? Jesus needs to grow in your life. The Child needs to grow. That faith needs to grow and be evident to all, not that we hurt one another.

Herod hated Jesus and aimed to destroy Him. But the angel appeared to Joseph. So many boys were murdered because Herod was after the blood of Jesus. Look at the life you live and the words you speak, does that not kill the Child in you? The whole of Jerusalem was troubled because of this Child. It will be the same in your life - when you separate from sin, people will be troubled by you.

He did not go to the high and mighty, but the lowly ones. Is the ego, still ruling in your life? Let people see Jesus alive and well in your life. May your family and other people see it.

How long will you remain in your sin? Jesus came to save us from our sin. Why have you not been saved from your sin? Which Jesus do you have? You may have received Him and then He has left. After you sinned, your peace disappeared because Jesus left you. If you have sinned and the Holy Spirit convicts you, you will go to a person and apologise, but if you have quenched the Holy Spirit, your conscience will be dead, you will feel nothing. Revival is when God convicts you and you respond. You apologise, whether you have to travel far, to your wife or children. If the I rules, you will say, ‘I cannot do that.’

David prayed, ‘Lord, do not remove your Holy Spirit from me.’ You may say that you are a child of the Lord and living for the Lord but you have lost the Lord long ago. God has taken the Holy Spirit from you.