What If?

Posted: August 30, 2021 in Uncategorized

Marvel Studios has a new show out on Disney + where they ask hypothetical questions about what would have happened if story lines went different ways. It’s a fascinating premise, but online several ministry groups have take to applying the question to stories from God’s Word. I have to admit it’s a fascinating concept. Of course we’ve been playing this game for millennia in the church. What’s would have happened if Adam and Eve had not fallen into sin? The quick and easy answer is we would be living in the garden, blissfully naked, super healthy and living in peace and tranquility with our God. This is both true and arrogant. It’s true because if sin had never entered into the world, humanity would have been able to remain in Eden. It’s arrogant because what that line of thought presupposes is that we personally would have somehow done better than our first parents and continued to be sinless. I find that very hard to believe. After all there were only two people in the world when sin knocked us for a loop. I would have to imagine the odds of someone falling into sin would have to have gone up exponentially with each new addition to the population.

One of my favorites is “What if Jesus had told us when He was coming back?” On the surface it would seem like this would have been great information to know. We think, If He had told us, we would be able to prepare. I think one of God’s greatest acts of mercy is the fact that he didn’t tell us. After all, how do you handle a deadline? Maybe you’re one of those wonderful organized people, who plans ahead and reaches their deadlines. Most of us wait til the last minute and then tell ourselves the lie that we work best under pressure. The truth is if humanity would know the day and hour of His return they would have procrastinated for so long and fallen so deep into sin that we would have destroyed ourselves long ago.

A few have even asked “What would have happened if Jesus hadn’t died for us?” or even “What would have happened if Jesus had n ever been resurrected?” I’m tempted to go onto a whole lot of eschatological rabbit trails, but I am going to resist that temptation and go with the simple truth. If Jesus hadn’t died for us, we would still be lost forever. Every death would have resulted in eternity in hell, because every single person is someone who fell short of the glory of God. The death of Jesus Christ is the single most important death in the history of the Universe. You might even say it is the death to end all deaths, because when we place our faith hope and trust in Him, death is merely a transition to a new and better address. To be clear I also believe that His life is the most important life, because imagine what this world would be like without the influence of His example. I shudder at the thought. But what if He had not been resurrected? I don’t have to enter into supposition here. The Apostle Paul laid it out for us plainly. 1 Corinthians 5:

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

Playing “What if?” can be fun and even thought provoking and informative, but before you play what if with the Word of God, remember Scripture interprets Scripture. We don’t have to play “What if?” God’s Word has the answer!

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