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Here I am, sitting in the living room of my house, on Thanksgiving Day. My appetite has just been satisfied with plenty of turkey and stuffing and the rest of the Thanksgiving Day dinner. The radio is on, the table is cleared, dishes washed; a perfect time for a snooze.

Almost nodding off, my ears picked up “Jingle Bells” from the radio. Jingle Bells? On Thanksgiving Day? The aroma of turkey was still in the air and the radio stations are playing Christmas songs already?

Yes, once again, we hit that special time of the year where the kids write out their Christmas lists for Santa Claus and bring them to jolly St. Nick when he shows up at the local mall. Those same malls are filled with frantic shoppers looking for that elusive Christmas bargain. On the weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas the streets are filled with these money-spending gift-givers.

Back at home, everybody is decorating the house for the Christmas season. Inside, the annual decorating of the Christmas tree is taking place. The ritual started with a trip out to the local nursery to find the “perfect” tree for the living room. Once it gets home, out come the ribbons and streamers to adorn the tree. The presents are then placed underneath it. On the outside of the house Christmas lights are draped on the bushes and outline the frame of the house. Many neighborhoods are famous for their light displays.

If you are a child with a television at home, this time of the year is filled with exciting Christmas specials on television. Such classics like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty the Snowman,” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” fill the airwaves. Oh, I almost forgot one more of my favorites, “The Night the Grinch Stole Christmas.” If you are a grown-up, this is a time of year filled with Christmas parties. You and your friends go out and sing Christmas carols until the wintery cold sets in. Others get involved in the Toys-for-Tots program to see that the needy children are not left with an empty Christmas.

Before you know it, it’s Christmas Eve. The children scramble to get their Christmas stockings up by the fireplace for Santa Claus to fill with goodies. The last remaining presents are wrapped and placed with the others underneath the Christmas tree.

Finally, Christmas morning arrives. The family arises from its slumber and the kids rush over to the tree to unwrap their treasures. Junior gets a new basketball, a GI Joe space station, and a BMX bike. The girl receives a new Barbie doll, a new dress, among other things. Grandpa and Grandma come over for the huge Christmas dinner. The day is filled with Christmas spirit.

However, before you know it, Christmas has passed and gone for another year. We look back on it with fond memories of all the joyous occasions that went on during the holiday season. It almost makes you want to wish that the Christmas spirit would last all year long.

I almost forgot something. Christmas is also the time we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

How many examples are there in the Bible where the people of Israel who, through their lack of knowing and understanding the laws of God, have suffered afflictions and troubles sent by God. There have been countless times where this has happened especially during the period of judges. The people were not instructed properly and, as a result, found disfavor in the eyes of God exactly as described in Hosea 4:6.

Unfortunately, the lack of knowledge of the laws of God has not only affected the Church in the Old Testament times, but throughout history, even to the present day. We, as the Protestant Reformed denomination, have seen this to be the case. The origin of the Protestant Reformed Churches came about in 1924 due to improper instruction of the doctrines of truth which we so dearly love. The split of 1953 again is another example of a rejection of the proper knowledge of God and His ways. The results of both of these times have been dramatic to the Church of Christ.

I am deeply afraid that there is a threat in our churches today. There is a serious lack of the proper knowledge, even a rejection of some of that knowledge that could lead to the serious implications found in Hosea 4:6, “..because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee. . . seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.”

We have many outstanding Protestant Reformed teachers in our schools today that are delivering that truth of God to their pupils in the classroom. However, there is still a need for another generation of Protestant Reformed teachers to carry on that instruction so desperately needed in the classroom, whether it be biology, government, economics, or even history, which I intend to major in and teach to future generations of God’s children in our schools. It is my intention to carry out that proper instruction and knowledge of God and heed the warning given by God to Hosea.

The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon to his young adult son. Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs was “that the generation to come might know them [God’s wonderful works]…that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:6–7). Throughout the book, Solomon […]

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The Christian is placed in many different circumstances while on this earth. Some are characterized by hardships and trials, and others are full of joy and peace. How should the Christian respond? Throughout the Bible there are numerous times where God’s people sang in response to their various circumstances. Singing in response to God’s ordering […]

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The group of churches that John writes to in this trio of epistles had recently experienced a split because of doctrinal controversy. We do not know the exact content of the error that these false teachers were spreading, but it is apparent from John’s writing that their teaching somehow denied the truth of the incarnation—that […]

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Jael: An Example of Christian Warfare

This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021. Jael lived during the era of the judges. Deborah the prophetess was the judge who served Israel at the time of Jael. During this time, the Canaanites under the rule of king Jabin […]

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Indiana Mini Convention Review 2021

One of this year’s “mini conventions” was hosted by Grace and Grandville Protestant Reformed Churches at Quaker Haven Camp. Located just over two hours away in northern Indiana, the camp was a perfect fit for the 120 kids and 15 chaperones who attended. A total of twelve different churches were represented: Byron Center, Faith, First […]

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Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

At the point that this edition of Beacon Lights arrives in the homes of our subscribers, most young people in the Protestant Reformed Churches will have been sitting under the catechism instruction of their pastor or elders for more than a month. If our readers are honest, that observation probably comes with a (quiet) sigh […]

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