Here we are in the very thick of the most frenzied Christmas shopping splurge in American history. Unemployment has gone to a new LOW. People are enjoying incomes at record levels —they have more money to spend than ever before—and they are in a spending mood right now—with this "Christmas spirit" inspired by commercial advertising to sell goods gripping them.
But also, HERE WE ARE, in the very crusade of the living CHRIST—the Work of God which is the Work of the most important magnitude of any activity on earth—at this time of CRISIS, having to SUFFER and be threatened by this commercial shopping spree.
While people spend their money freely and lavishly TRADING GIFTS with one another, nearly all are forgetting any gift for CHRIST! They suppose Christmas is Christ's birthday. IT ISN'T! Jesus was not even born in the winter. Have you read the factual article proving WHEN He was born in the December issue of The Plain Truth? READ IT! Have you read the free booklet, "The PLAIN TRUTH About Christmas"? If not, be sure to write for it by return mail—READ IT!
People suppose the Bible teaches us to give presents at Christmas. IT DOESN'T. The wise men did not EXCHANGE GIFTS between themselves—they gave THEIR gifts to CHRIST—not to each other. IT WAS NOT HIS BIRTHDAY. He was born in late September or early October. The wise men did not arrive until many days later. Their gifts were not birthday presents at all. It has always been CUSTOM to present a GIFT when visiting a KING or chief of a government. These wise men knew Jesus was born to be KING of the world. People present gifts to President Kennedy when they visit the White House—and these are not birthday gifts at all!
People suppose that Christians are taught by the Bible to give birthday presents. NOWHERE does the Bible recognize honoring birthdays, except by pagans who are in defiance of God.
The shocking TRUTH is that Christmas is one of the PAGAN holidays celebrated long before Christ—and the BIBLE CONDEMNS IT! (See Jer. 10:1-5, where Christmas trees are condemned as IDOLATRY!). People say, when this fact is recognized, that it is all right to use a PAGAN CUSTOM, as long as we worship and honor CHRIST with it, instead of pagan gods.
But YOUR BIBLE says plainly: "Take heed to thyself, that thou be not snared by following them..." —that is, following pagans and their customs of worship. "...that thou inquire NOT after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. THOU SHALT NOT DO SO UNTO THE LORD THY GOD: for every abomination to the Eternal, which He hateth, have they done unto their gods. ....What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it." (Deut. 12:30-32)
People talk about "worshipping God according to the dictates of your own conscience." But GOD WILL NOT ACCEPT THAT KIND OF WORSHIP. The BIBLE says: "God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him MUST WORSHIP HIM IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH." (John 4:24). What is TRUTH? Jesus said Thy WORD—the words of the BIBLE—are TRUTH. We must worship GOD as He directs in HIS WORD, not as pagans did, or as we may please!
But, even if one does not yet understand all this, and gives Christians gifts anyway, SURELY you would suppose that one would GIVE HIS GIFTS TO THE LIVING CHRIST, not trade presents with other PEOPLE! Or, at the very least, put Christ—whose birthday he falsely supposes it is—at the head of the list for the BIGGEST gift of all!
Recently I figured up the records and found that every one of you Co-Workers, as an average, by your tithes and offerings, is getting CHRIST'S GREAT MESSAGE out to TEN THOUSAND people.
THINK OF IT! If you are an average Co-Worker, whose tithes and offerings are an average amount for our Co-Workers, the money you have put into God's Work this year, 1961, has gotten this Message of CHRIST to TEN THOUSAND people. Of those, many have received The Plain Truth. Many have received the lessons of the BIBLE Correspondence Course.
But we are not yet reaching anywhere near as many people as Christ says we must! We are still far from reaching all nations. We must do MUCH MORE—and time is running out! It is later than we think!
WHERE, else, does a dollar go so far—clear around the world, as this Work does? WHERE, else, can a dollar DO SO MUCH?
Yet right now this great dynamic Work is having to SUFFER! The income is dropping down about 25% below the absolute required quota! At no time before, this year, or all last year or year before, has it dropped SO ALARMINGLY.
Co-Workers, WE MUST TIGHTEN OUR BELTS, AND MAKE THIS UP IMMEDIATELY, before the situation becomes desperate.
As the world is in a GENEROUS mood, right now, in the frenzy of the "Christmas spirit" which helps MERCHANTS make bigger profits, as people trade presents back and forth, LET US BE IMBUED BY THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST TO GET INTO A GENEROUS MOOD TOWARD OUR LIVING LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST—let us give, as never before, to HIM for HIS WORK, that it may go forth in still greater power than ever to this dying world!
We still need LOANS of larger sums, if you cannot give it outright just now. We need THOUSANDS of the "widows' mites" from those who do not have larger sums to give. Give for CHRIST and His Work just whatever is the largest you are able—whether a dollar or many thousand—and it is urgent!
Because of the congestion and slow-up of Christmas mail, why not use AIRMAIL? And remember, PRAY EARNESTLY, and CONTINUALLY for this Work, for me, and for all our staff around the world! From my heart, THANK YOU!