“Imagine”

Posted: December 21, 2014 in Bible Study, Christian Life, Christianity, Compassion, Gospel, Resurrection, Salvation

Imagine the shock Mary must have felt when the angel told her that she was going to be the mother of the promised Messiah (Luke 1:26-38). Imagine what went through her mind as she thought about how she was going to explain her situation to her husband-to-be, Joseph and then to her parents and his parents. What had Joseph determined to do prior to his receiving the information from the angel (Matthew 1:19-25)? Would others believe or accuse her of having an illegitimate relationship with Joseph?

Imagine the sympathetic and encouraging words Mary received from her cousin, Elizabeth (Luke 1:42). Which one was Holy Spirit filled (Luke 1:41)? How do you think Mary would feel today if she knew that people were praying to her and worshipping her instead of her Son, Jesus who is the only Mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5)?

Imagine the strength and comfort others would receive if you stimulated them to love and good works (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4)? Why is it so important for Christians to assemble together regularly (Hebrews 10:24, 25)? Where did the early Christians assemble and what did they do when they got together (Acts 2:42-47)? What dangers are associated with one’s staying away from other believers (Hebrews 2:1; 1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31)?

Imagine the shame and accusations that Mary most likely had to endure her whole life as some of her neighbors and the town’s people snickered or pointed an accusing finger at her and Joseph for having, what they thought, was an illegitimate child – Jesus. How could they prove otherwise?

Imagine the sorrow Jesus may have felt, especially in His human consciousness, when His own half brothers and sisters didn’t believe that He was the Son of God until after His resurrection (John 7:5; 1 Corinthians 15:7). What if Jesus had been your half brother? Do you think that you would have believed your parent’s account of His birth? Would you, like His actual half brothers and sisters, refuse to believe that He was the God-man and the promised Messiah even though He performed many sign miracles to prove who He was (John 20:30, 31)?

Imagine the simplicity of the Gospel. What did Jesus’ disciples have to believe to be saved (Matthew 16:16)? What does one need to believe today to be saved (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Acts 16:31)? In what ways do some people “believe in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2; See Matthew 7:21;23; James 2:19)? What is the unforgivable sin today (John 16:9)?

Imagine the stigma of being thought to be crazy every by your own family as Jesus was (Mark 3:21; Isaiah 53:4) and to be questioned by His cousin, John the Baptist, as to His true identity (Luke 7:20). Would it take a personal appearance by the resurrected Christ to convince you that He was/is indeed the God-man who shared/shares full deity with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (Colossians 2:9; Matthew 28:19)? Are you willing to believe the eye witnesses of His bodily resurrection and ascension back to heaven (Luke 24:33-43; 1 Corinthians 15:6; 1 John 1:1-4; See John 20:27-29; Acts 1:9-11)?

Imagine the stress and emotional suffering that Jesus (and possibly His mother, Mary) must have felt when the scribes and Pharisees accused Him and His parents of His being an illegitimate child when they said to Him, “We [in contrast to You] were not born of fornication; we have one Father – God” (John 8:41). What made His enemies so angry that they wanted to stone Him to death (John 8:58, 59; See John 5:18; 10:30-33)?

Imagine the surprise of the woman who was taken in the act of adultery when she heard Jesus’ words to the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees who wanted her stoned to death as the Mosaic Law demanded (Leviticus 20:10), “He who is without sin, let him throw a stone at her first” (John 8:7-9). It has been suggested that these same hypocrites may have been guilty of the same sin themselves because no one was willing to throw a stone at her (See Romans 2:1, 22). Did Jesus, as the God-man, know everything about them (John 2:24, 25)?

“Imagine the [strain] pressure Joseph and Mary must have felt when they learned that Jesus would be theirs to raise and nurture! Imagine the complexity and pressure of having the Son of God living with you every moment of every day; a constant call to holiness by His very presence. What a man Joseph must have been to be trusted by God for such a task! What a wonderful example for us to follow, whether we’re raising our own children or those born to others who are now entrusted to us.” – Randy Kilgore

Imagine the serenity of the responsibility if, instead of Joseph’s and Mary’s having this responsibility, you and your spouse had to raise Jesus, the Son of God, as they did. Would your life be lived differently if you knew that the One whom you were raising would one day be your Judge (John 5:22; 2 Corinthians 5:20; Revelation 20:11-15)? Would you say and do what you are currently saying and doing?

Imagine the severity of God the Father’s disciplinary action that will come on you, if as a Christian, you deliberately act lawlessly (Hebrews 12:5-11; 10:26-31; 1 John 5:16; James 5:19, 20). What if you knew that He, and the Holy Spirit (John 14:17), knew your thoughts and motives too (John 2:24, 25; 1 Corinthians 4:5)? Does it bother you to know that God the Holy Spirit, who indwells all true Christians (1 Corinthians 6:19), is grieved when you sin (Ephesians 4:30)? Is your conscience seared (1 Timothy 4:2)? What is the conscience? Is it a reliable guide in life?

Imagine the sophomoric attitude of the professed or practical atheist who says, “God has forgotten; He hides His face; He will never see”? Don’t fool yourself. A day of reckoning is coming. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise…but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). “And it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9;27). “But each one [who dies physically will be raised again bodily from the dead] in his own order…” (1 Corinthians 15:23; Daniel 12:2). “The last enemy that will be destroyed [by Jesus] is death” (1 Corinthians 15:26). Jesus will do this by raising everyone who has ever been conceived and died. (Life begins at conception – Psalm 139. Abortion is murder – Exodus 20:13.) Do you know in which one of the five resurrections you will be raised if you die? What do you know about those who won’t die physically (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; See Genesis 5:22; 2 Kings 2:11)? Annihilation of the wicked or reincarnation are not taught in the Scriptures (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 21:8).

Imagine the stupidity of the one who mocks God. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7). If you want to be saved from the lake of fire and go to heaven, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). “…not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us [i.e. true believers in Christ], through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5; See Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Imagine the seriousness of the decision you have to make in this life. “He who believes in Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name [person and work] of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).

Imagine the suddenness of death that comes to many people. “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14). “Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1). “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).

Imagine the supplication that goes up to God on your behalf by those who are truly concerned about you and your eternal destiny (Ephesians 6:18; 2 Timothy 2:10). “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men…[for God] desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1, 4). “…the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Who is the only way to God in heaven, the absolute truth, and the giver of eternal life (John 14:6; See Acts 4:12)? Of all the religious leaders, why is Jesus unique?

Imagine the service we render to fellow Christians to let unbelievers know that we are Christ’s true disciples (1 John 3:16, 17; Galatians 6:10). “By this [i.e. your loving fellow believers] all will know that you [Christians] are My disciples, if you have love to one another” (John 13:35).

Imagine the spiritual help you could receive it you just asked (James 4:2). If you are concerned about your spiritual well being and need some additional help from God’s Word, we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com.  If this articles has helped you, please let us know how it has and then share it with someone else. It may be just what they need too. If you’d like to receive future articles on the Internet as the come out,  click on “Follow.”

 

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