More Than We Can Imagine
If you are a John Lennnon fan, I hope you are not offended by my comments today. John had some great songs and made history as one of the Beatles and then had his solo career. He was an accomplished person for sure. John had one song though that I never appreciated. Perhaps I totally miss the meaning, maybe he's saying something I don't understand, so maybe what I'm about to say isn't true, but I think it is.
He had a song that contained these lyrics, "Imagine there's no heaven, it's easy if you try. No Hell below us, above us only sky. Imagine all the people living for today.." The 2nd verse, "Imagine there's no countries it isn't hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too. Imagine all the people, living life in peace..." The 3rd verse, Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can. No need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man. Imagine all the people sharing the world..".
My opinion here, you are welcome to yours if you disagree, but John had some good ideas in that song. "...Living life in peace", Good. "Nothing to kill or die for.." again, good. "Imagine no possessions...no need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man, sharing all the world..." Again, good. These are things we would love to see too, they are also what God expects of His people. We pray in fact, for the world to be ridded of hunger and for peace between nations. We pray that we will not be greedy, but generous and willing to share. These are actually all Godly principles taught in scripture, and things we as Christians strive for.
Where John and I differ, is that he seems to think we can get there by denying God and religion, doing it man's way, pretending God doesn't exist. I believe the Bible is clear, that we can ONLY get there by obeying God, putting into practice what He commands, holding firmly to His teachings, and by NOT living for today only, but living with purpose, loving as God does, and doing as God commands, looking forward to the day Jesus comes back to take us home.
Regardless of my opinion about John's song, God tells us some things. We do live for today, (Eph 5:16) we are to live every day to the fullest, knowing it might be our last (Eph 5:5, Col 4:5). But we don't live for the earthly fleshly desires that many in our world pursue, nor do we worry about our daily necessities. Jesus tells us not to be anxious about food or clothing. He tells us to not be anxious about what we have today or what we will need tomorrow. He says ..."But seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matt 6:33) John infers that we live this blissful life, one with our fellow man where everyone is treated right and cared for, but that we do it without God. Jesus on the other hand says to seek God, first in everything we do.
We are instructed to live at peace with everyone, if we can (Rom 12:18). We are to do good, and share with those in need, (1 Tim 6:18). God doesn't want us to imagine no Heaven and believe that there is no Hell. He wants us to diligently pursue Him so that Heaven can be ours some day (Heb 11:6, 1 Cor 13:11-12, Heb 9:27-28), and He wants us to know full well that Hell is real and will be the final destination of most people (Rev 21:8, Matt 10:28, Matt 25:46, Matt 25:41, Matt 7:13-14). In fact, Hell is one of the most often mentioned topics in scripture. While it would be nice to not have to worry about spending eternity in Hell, the reality is punishment is reserved for those who do what John suggests, live life denying the reality of God. We can't just imagine Hell away.
In observance of our world, I believe many live just like John's song, living a worldly life with no thought to pleasing God, and no worries about what happens when life is over. They just put those things out of their minds or choose to deny them. For sure, we want to live at peace with our fellow man and care for them and share when we have opportunity, John has that part right. But that's what God tells us to do. Those things are inherently right(eous) things God intended for us from the beginning. John didn't just come up with this plan, it's been God's plan all along.
I guess my closing thoughts are that most people seem to want to do it their way, just as John imagined, without God in the picture, when some of the things they say they want to accomplish, like living at peace and caring for others, are precisely inline with what God desires. The only way to really live at peace with everyone and love them appropriately is to do it God's way. He is the author of the plan to accomplish it, yet His plan is rejected by most. While many of the things man pursues are evil and an abomination to God, man does at times push for honest and upright (Godly) principles in life, but he wants to accomplish them without God being part of the process. Would it not be much better to pursue Godly principles with God leading the way? He can exceed by far whatever we can ask or IMAGINE! (Eph 3:20)