Have you ever stopped to consider the similarities between the life and death of a Christmas tree, as compared to that of a non-Christian? No? Well, perhaps it’s something to not only consider, but to possibly share in some form or fashion with a non-Christian if you have the opportunity this holiday season. Consider…
When a tender little baby Christmas tree breaks forth from its earthen womb and begins to grow in the nursery of a Christmas tree farm, great care is taken to nourish, nurture, and protect it so it can grow. This is similar to how a helpless little human baby born in the nursery of a hospital is likewise lovingly looked after and cared for.
As the helpless little Christmas tree eventually begins to grow stronger, straighter, and up through its green, pristine, “sapling-hood,” after a while a very terrible and life-stealing event occurs to it. Suddenly, one day, it is tragically and in an instant severed from its life-giving trunk and roots, by the ripping force of a mighty chainsaw! Balance is now totally lost, and since the tree can no longer stand before the sun, it comes crashing down – and great and painful is it’s crushing fall from its pure and lofty, sunlit heights above, to the deadly, dirty, tangled depths below…
This is similar to what happens as a human being begins growing up, goes through childhood, and eventually reaches what we refer to as the ‘age of accountability,’ suddenly one day sinning, and at that moment, instantly losing the innocence and purity they previously had before almighty God. At that terribly tragic moment, sin immediately severs their relationship with God, just as surely as a great and mighty chainsaw rips through and severs the tree from its life-supplying and supporting roots!
From that moment on, existence for the Christmas tree is one wild and exciting, but at the same time, painful and tumultuous ride. Bound by strong cords and unceremoniously dumped onto the back end of a flat-bed semi-truck amongst hundreds of other similar trees now separated from their life-giving roots as well, the tree is soon exposed to things it never dreamed of. Interstate highways, high-beam headlights, and big city high-rises all come and go by with blurring speed, as the huge diesel engine up front powers the trees through the darkness to be delivered to market.
And while all of the excitement, new experiences, and never-before-seen world might be enough to make the little tree actually forget for a time, that from the very moment it fell, it’s severed state of existence was actually fatal and its destruction determined, sadly, this whole ride is all due to its now ‘fallen state,’ the inevitable results of which will be a very painful, burning, and fiery end. Even when our now-fallen tree is finally unbound, stood up, later further examined, purchased, re-bound, taken home, given help to stand, and covered and surrounded with glitz, glitter, lights, presents, ornaments and glamour, it doesn’t change in the slightest, the fact that it is now – and has been since the very moment of its fall – a dead tree, severed from life, and destined for destruction once “the day” arrives.
People are all too often like that as well. Once they’ve been cut down by sin, severed and separated from the God who is life (Isa. 59:1-2) and have fallen from their pure, innocent, and pristine position before Him, all too many of them allow the ride they’re on to blur the reality of the fact that they are, from that moment on, dead in their sins, alienated and separated from God by them (Eph. 2:1-3, 11-12), and headed for a very painful and fiery eternity – not end, for there is none – where “Their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched” (See: Mk. 9:43-50). It does not matter how many stunningly beautiful awards, amazing achievements, or incredible accolades one may come to be adorned with in this life; how much gold, silver, glitz or glitter they may have amassed around themselves in the process; or how pricy, precious or popular they may have seemed to the people who surrounded them with ‘stars in their eyes’ and love in their hearts; the bottom line is, that once “the day” arrives, their story is the same. When “the day” comes this year, the same as it did last year and the year before, countless Christmas trees will be summarily stripped of all their presents, and shortly thereafter, of their lights and ornaments, and then be discarded to be either burned and/or destroyed. But this was the inevitable end determined for them from the very moment they were separated from their life-giving roots and fell to the dirt below.
But thanks be to God, that this is where the similarity ends; that even though from the moment that we as an individual human being first fell, sinned, and was separated from the God of life by our sins (and that the end for all such sinners was already determined – Rom. 6:23), it is not absolutely inevitable or irreversible that all such sinners must perish in such a fiery fashion! For although in God’s plan and purpose dead trees might not be completely thus restored, praise Him that human beings can be! And not only that they can be, but that it was His very plan since before the beginning of time that they should be, could be, and ought to be! Almighty God, in His great love, has provided, by and through the blood of His one and only begotten Son, THE way for the life-giving relationship, once severed, to now be restored for us as human beings, so that those now dead, living under the curse and sentence of eternal fire, destruction, and damnation, don’t have to stay that way if they don’t want to! There is a way – ONE WAY – of renewal, revival, and restoration (Jn. 14:6, 15-24)!
The day is coming. Will you be more like the Christmas tree when it arrives, or would you like to be restored and escape the searing fate of those eternal flames? The day is coming. If you’ve not been restored and reconnected to the God of life through Jesus Christ (Jn. 15:1-14), don’t delay (Hebs. 3:1-19)! Come today! And if you have, then let’s focus on and appreciate His incredible love like never before! Now THAT’s something worth celebrating (Ps. 100)!