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Could You Imagine?

An angel without the revelation of God (II Pet. 1:20-21)? People often talk about someone looking like an angel. How would they know? Many times the reference is made about women or girls, but as to gender, inspiration assigns masculine gender to the angels. Who started the idea of an angel?

Without the revealed will of God, could you imagine the devil? Destructive from the beginning record (Gen. 3:1), the devil is referenced 57 times in the New Testament. Jesus warned about him (John 8:44). His origin is believed to be a fallen angel [pride] (I Tim. 3:6)—one who tirelessly works to destroy all that is good.

How about Heaven? Could you imagine it without divine inspiration revealing such a place (Deut. 4:26, 36, 39)—the place identified with God, the God of Heaven (Ecc. 5:2). Heaven was the destination of our Lord’s ascension as revealed by the angel (Acts 1:11). The Revelation letter gives a picture of the place (Rev. 21). Many talk about Heaven. Some use it in ways very different to revelation, but the question remains: where did such an idea originate?

There is a place that few want to talk about. It is used in cussing and slanderous speech. Many in the church find sermons about this place offensive and negative, but Jesus warned about it more than any other inspired preacher. The first official reference is found in Job 26:6 with sheol—translated hell earlier in Job 11:8. Jesus described the place of destruction (Mark 9:43, 45, 47). Our Lord warned about the place (Matt. 10:28), and the finality of God’s judgment upon all that is evil being sealed and delivered to hell (Rev. 20:14-15).

Could one know the fullness of a great Redeemer without God’s revelation? From the very beginning a picture is drawn of one who would be able to defeat the devil (Gen. 3:15). A Prince of Peace [Shiloh] (Gen. 49:10) was coming. It was Christ the Messiah [anointed one] (Matt. 2:4). This Redeemer was coming of old, came in the beginning of the new and brought “Eternal redemption for us” (Heb. 9:12) to all who would obey Him (Heb. 5:8-9). Though revelation is clear, and one may be obedient, it is still hard to imagine such a great Savior, Redeemer.

Can man imagine God? Man can know something of God very easily (Psa. 19:1-3). Different from the above is the clear revelation of God by the things which He has made (Rom. 1:20). The psalmist said only a fool can look at creation and conclude there is no God (Psa. 14:1). But, important to knowing God is the creation of His inspired revealed, written Word embodied by Christ (John 1:1-14), written so that all may know the truth (John 8:32) and obey (II Tim. 3:16-17). Can you imagine these things? You don’t have to because God has revealed Himself and the things needful to us by His inspired Word—the Bible.

David Hill

Northeast Church of Christ December 3, 2023

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