In England in 1938 no one wanted to face the reality that Germany was about to go to war. Many historians criticize British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who tried to “appease” the Germans, and failed to lead England to get re-armed to fight — but the truth is, the British people themselves were in no mood to fight. They had lost almost a million young men only 20 years before, in the first World War, and they did not want to think about another war. They just wanted to get away from it. They wanted to be entertained. So they flocked to the movies. And there were some great movies to see: the Wizard of Oz, Gone With The Wind, and Walt Disney’s Snow White all came out that year. They lost themselves in those movies, and in the new songs like “Roll Out The Barrel, we’ll have a barrel of fun,” that were all the rage in the late 1930’s. (Manchester, p. 308)
But their escapism into entertainment didn’t save them. If they didn’t want to think about war, Hitler did. Judgment Day was coming, in the form of Panzer tanks and Stuka dive bombers and Blitzkreig, Hitler’s “lightning war.” England had made a huge mistake. They were caught unprepared, and only survived World War II with the help of the United States. It ended up costing them their Kingdom – Britain was never again the same world power they once were. Their negligence came within a hair’s breadth of costing them their country, and it cost many of them their lives.
Why do I tell this story? Because many of us today are on the verge of a very similar thing. The Bible tells us that God’s judgment is coming — it’s time to be serious about living for Him. But all that many of us want to focus on is Thanksgiving Break, or Christmas, or the next vacation, or the next big game. Our country as a whole, and many of us personally, are doing just what England did in that fateful 1938: trying to “escape” into parties and games and entertainment, while God’s judgment is waiting right at the door.
That’s why I’ve entitled this message: “The Biggest Mistakes You Can Make This Christmas.” Continue reading