“It’s Hard To Imagine”

Posted: March 29, 2020 in Christian Life, Heaven, Hell

Because of the limitations of our finite minds, and our failure, at times, to accept God’s Word as the absolute truth (John 14:6; 17:17), we often see things differently than God does. His thoughts and His ways are so much higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8, 9). But by faith we are able to put substance to what we can’t see (Hebrews 11:1). Christians have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ (1 Corinthians 2:9 ff; Ephesians 1:3 ff).

Thoughts. Most of us think more highly of ourselves than we should (Romans 12:3). We also would like to believe that man isn’t quite as bad as he/she is portrayed in the Scriptures (Romans 3:10-23; Jeremiah 17:9; Isaiah 64:6). But God’s Word tells us the truth about God, the devil, and about us sinners. We’re not as bad as we could be but we all are as “bad off” as we can be if we’re without the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. We all have a very serious problem, but God has a solution that can keep us out of the lake of fire and take us to heaven.

Let us consider some things that may be hard for us to imagine –

Judas. He was one of Jesus’ twelve disciples (Matthew 10:4), who followed Him for over three years. He was entrusted with the money box (John 13:29). He went out with the other eleven disciples to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom. He was involved in healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, raising the dead, casting out demons (Matthew 10:8; 7:21-23). But he went on to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12, 13; Matthew 26:15). Why did Judas do this? Perhaps his hope of being the treasurer in Christ’s kingdom vanished when Jesus told His disciples about a temporary delay in His plans as it related to the setting up of His kingdom on/over the earth (Matthew 16:20-23). Jesus did this because the Jews, as a whole, rejected Him when He didn’t meet their expectations (John 1:11; Isaiah 53:1 ff). And so Judas betrayed the Lord to the Jewish authorities. But after he did this, he regretted what he had done, returned the money, and went out and hanged himself (Matthew 27:5). Even though he was a disciple, he never was a true believer. He was so close, and yet so far away from the only One who could save him from the lake of fire. In fact none of the other disciples suspected him in any way when Jesus told them that one of them would betray Him (John 13:21). Are you like Judas – a follower/disciple, but not a true Christian?

Peter. He was a part of Jesus’ inner circle, along with James and John (Matthew 17:1; Mark 5:37). He declared that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16). He boasted that he would never deny the Lord, but he did it three times before the rooster crowed just as the Lord predicted (Luke 22:34, 61). When wicked men came to arrest the Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter tried to defend the Lord by cutting off the ear of the High Priest’s servant. The Lord rebuked him for doing that but He didn’t tell Peter to get rid of his sword (Matthew 26:51-53). He had good intentions, but he planned to do it in his own strength. He yielded to a temptation from the devil to play the part of a coward when he was asked about his being a disciple of Jesus (Luke 22:31, 32; 2 Timothy 1:7). Try to imagine how Peter must have felt for the next three days. After His resurrection, the Lord appeared to Peter to restore and strengthen him (John 21:15-18). On the Day of Pentecost he preached a powerful sermon that resulted in 3,000 Jews being saved (Acts 2:43; Romans 1:16). If you’re a true believer, have you ever denied that you know the Lord by your words or your deeds?

The Other Ten Disciples. They all fled from Jesus when He was arrested in the Garden, even though they had just seen Him display His power that caused the wicked men who came to arrest him fall backwards when He said, “I AM” (John 18:6; Exodus 3:14). He told His disciples that He could have called twelve legions of angels to deliver Him had He wanted to do so (Matthew 26:53). But that wasn’t part of the Decree/Plan that had been made in eternity past (Ephesians 1:11) that included God the Son’s becoming a man by adding to His Deity a true human nature and a real body (Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 10:5) so He could live a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15) and then die as a Substitute for the sins of all mankind (1 John 2:2; 4:10). Do you flee when you should stand firm? Do you hang around when you should flee? (See 1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:10-17; 2 Timothy 2:22).

The Other Followers Of Jesus. Many of the Jews followed Jesus and wanted Him to be their “Welfare King” (John 6:15) and their “Conquering King” (Isaiah 9:6, 7) who would deliver them from Rome’s oppression. But they forsook Him when He talked to them about their spiritual need to be saved from sin (John 1:29; 6:66). They thought that their relationship to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob automatically entitled them to enter Christ’s kingdom on earth (Matthew 5:20; John 8:33). They didn’t see themselves as sinners in need of a Savior from the penalty and power of sin.

All The Rest Of Us. We’re all sinners by birth, and sinners by choice (Psalm 51:5; 1 John 1:8). We all start our physical life as children of the devil (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10). This is why Jesus told Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, that he needed to born again from above (John 3:3 ff). We all have a sinful nature that was passed down to us from our first parents, Adam and Eve (Romans 5:12). This sinful nature takes what is good and pure and turns it into that which is unclean and vile (Galatians 5:19-21). Even though a true Christian receives a new nature from above at the time of his/her salvation (2 Peter 1:4), we don’t lose our sin nature until we die or are raptured (1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25; 8:23; 1 John 3:2). The devil wants us to believe that we can save ourselves by our good works (Humanism), or by our faith plus our good works (Man’s Religions). Both things are a big lie (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5; John 8:44). So is John Lennon’s song “Imagine” which is leading many people to hell to suffer forever. Jesus talked about a real heaven and a real hell to which people go. If they’re not real, then Jesus is a liar and unworthy of our trust (John 14:6).

God. Thankfully God offered to us sinners a way to escape so we wouldn’t have to spend eternity in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46). God the Father did this by giving/sending to us His only begotten Son, who came into this world to die as a Substitute for our sins…and rise again bodily on the third day (John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). The Lord Jesus Christ is the only One who can save us from hell and take us to heaven someday (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Is your faith and trust resting in Him alone to save you? If not, why receive the gift of eternal life today (John 1:12; 3:16, 18, 36)?

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2;2, 15; 3:16, 17). Not only do we want you to know for sure that you’re saved, we also want to help you grow spiritually (2 Peter 3:18, and then serve God and others effectively (1 Peter :410). You can reach us through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this has helped you, please let us know how it has and then SHARE it with others.

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