A Voice in the
Wilderness

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" Imagine "
    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...
By John Lennon in 1971, as I looked up the full lyrics on the internet, also with words like: "Imagine there's no countries... no religion... no possessions..." Besides being "anti-God" I was thinking how "communistic" the lyrics are. And when I looked it up in Wikipedia, apparently Lennon himself spoke of the song as being, "virtually the Communist Manifesto" In 2004 Rolling Stone called it the "third greatest song of all time"

We'll come back and discuss these lyrics in a minute. But this, a most famous song from the world's atheistic communism. So, let's switch to something labeled today as being "christian" from "Mercyme"..."I Can Only Imagine"


I can only imagine 
What it will be like When I walk By your side 
I can only imagine 
What my eyes will see When your face Is before me 

I can only imagine
I can only imagine 

[Chorus:]
Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel 
Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still 
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall 
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all 

I can only imagine
I can only imagine 

I can only imagine 
When that day comes and I find myself Standing in the Son 
I can only imagine 
When all I will do Is forever Forever worship You 

I can only imagine
I can only imagine

I can only imagine 
I can only imagine When all I will do Is forever, forever worship you
I can only imagine 
At the website where I found these lyrics, they were also marketing a CD collection "Ultimate Power Anthems of the Christian Faith" (What's a -power- anthem??) And the next day after the Lord laid this topic on my heart, the "Ultimate Power Anthems..." collection was also a featured TV ad as I was flipping channels. I had not seen that ad before. (Interesting 'timing'!)


WHAT DOES THE WORD "IMAGINE" MEAN?
What are these songs talking about? What are they teaching or promoting? What are they revealing about their authors and performers? What sort of TRUTH do they reveal?
    i·mag·ine 1) To form a mental picture or image of 2) To think; conjecture: I imagine you're right 3) To have a notion of or about without adequate foundation; fancy: She imagines herself to be a true artist.
I suspect the authors of the two songs wrote them with Definition #1 in mind. They have these thoughts in their minds, and write words in hopes of drawing others into their own thoughts, so-as to cause others to think as they are thinking. John Lennon was a communist (by his own admission), so he was trying to lead people away from "religion" into his imagery of no God, no Heaven, no Hell. No rewards for righteousness, and (most of all) no judgments in an everlasting Lake of Fire. In very much the same way as preaching is intended to "persuade" (Ac17:5, 26:28, 2Co5:11) the sinner to repent of sin and receive the Salvation Jesus purchased on the cross; such lyrics by one of the 'fab-four' were intended to lead as many people as possible into atheism, and prepare them, eventually, for communism.

And Lennon has many converts: Today the world is rapidly running towards a one-world government where, eventually, national borders disappear. As Lennon says, "no nations". And generally speaking, the general populous is blissfully ignorant as to what is happening in world governance. They are (as Lennon preaches) "living for today". Like that 1967 Grass Roots song, they don't worry about the future or plan ahead, but "Sha-la-la-la-la-la live for today"

However, let's look at the opening lyrics with definition #3 in mind. One 'imagines' something -because- IT DOES NOT EXIST. For instance, a person takes another out to this open field and paints a picture: Just imagine if we level this field, pave it, build the building over here, put the store front over there, and then we could put this little green area like a little park in the middle of the parking lot. All these things DON'T EXIST... that's why the exhortation is TO IMAGINE "IF" they did.

Perhaps in this scenario, the piece of land presently has some trees and shrubs that need to be removed, so the person says: Imagine that those trees aren't there. But they -ARE- THERE. That's why they are "imagining" their absence.

So... Imagine that! (word pun unintended) The atheistic communist, John Lennon, proclaiming with the "third greatest song" ever, 'imagining'; thus the opposite is, actually, the case: that...

GOD EXISTS. HEAVEN IS UP THERE. HELL IS DOWN THERE.


So... what about Mercyme?

I used to hear that song on our local Moody radio station nearly every-other-day. My wake-up alarm radio used to be tuned to Moody, and I'd get really riled up every morning, lying in bed, being subjected to the filth of today's "worship" music. I tuned to Moody, because they also included little devotionals, and notices of area church events. But it just became more than I could stomach anymore, so now wake up to PBS. At least there, even though left-leaning, it's only news and 'politics'; not spiritually depressing. The Moody station seemed to have only about a dozen songs they would recycle repeatedly, by Mercyme, Twila Perris, Michael W Smith, Martins, etc.

And I think this song by Mercyme typically irritated me the most, of them all. I suspect those who flutter their eyelids, prop their elbows against their ribs, like to "peep and mutter" (Is8:19), and sigh, meditate and bask in their own god-like-ness and goodness, as they sway back and forth and (often) wiggle sensuously, probably find it to be one of their better mood songs on their paths to being "spirit-filled". But for me, who knows the Lord, the song was a GREAT IRRITANT!

Notice that Mercyme not only "imagines"; but that is -ALL- he has. "I can -only- imagine" You say I'm stretching a point? Well, let's see.

Indeed, Paul says of our future with the Lord,

    "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it dawned upon the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." (1Co2:9)
But for a person who is a True Believer into Jesus Christ, has the Holy Spirit indwelling, is in fellowship with the Father through the Scriptures and prayer, being/living/abiding (Jn15) in God's presence... You mean to tell me that such a child of God has NO IDEA what the meeting with the Lord is going to be? Doesn't know if they are going to "dance" or not? Or all those other things? Has NO CONCEPT of what Jesus will be like when we see Him "face to face"? (1Co13:12) Otherwise, how do they claim to -love- Him?

Certainly there will be many surprises, many new and wonderful things. As John, the one whom Jesus "loved", fell at His feet "as dead" (Re1:17) due to the grandeur of his vision; we may also likely be similarly overcome; like it says of the Queen of Sheba reacting to Solomon's glory that it "took her breath away". (1Ki10:5) But knowing our God as we do (we who truly -know- Him), it is not something that ALL WE CAN DO IS to "imagine"... as though having no clue.

But notice Mercyme's continually repeating mantra, "I can only imagine"

As I would hear that song rendered regularly, in many ways it is a very 'sad' song. Here is this poor lost soul, he does not know the Lord, has no knowledge of Heaven and God's glory, pretending to be a "christian"; but all he has is -imagination-. Remember? Definition #3? Visualizing something that has no "adequate foundation". The foundation of reality and truth. It is not truth and reality to him. And so his voice drones along (you who have heard it, you know what I'm speaking of), wistfully, lonely, lost...about something he does not possess. Once when I saw a passing glimpse of him on some stage on some TV special, his appearance and face was one of despondency. Without the Lord, what else -COULD- it be!!

Interesting, isn't it: The communist, whose goal was to turn people away from God, in actuality, proclaiming God's existence. But the one claiming to be "christian", actually proclaiming his own lostness.

We haven't quoted much Scripture this time. We don't need to. As Paul says about the world,

    "...for when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, by nature do the things in the Law, these, although not having the Law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts meanwhile accusing or else excusing themselves) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men through Jesus Christ..." (Rom2:14-16)
The world -knows- that God exists. Otherwise, there would be no such thing as "atheism". Why would anybody think about to devise a belief system, if the object (Deity) of their denial doesn't exist. If something doesn't exist, there is no talking about it. The concept does not even present itself in one's thinking. Regarding such a topic, there is a mental void. A blank.

In John Lennon's conscience, his heart knew -that- God exists, but wished He didn't, and speculated with imaginations, tried to persuade himself that his imaginations were truth.

It's sorta like my great uncle years ago (I may have shared this before in another context). My dad and he would get into these discussions (arguments) about God's existence. The existence of hell. The uncle would try to argue as to the efficaciousness of the torment of "fire"; wouldn't it be much more painful if EVERY BONE in the body was BROKEN?

But one day my dad said something to him about his swearing. This uncle would use God's name in swearing. Thus the question: If God doesn't exist, why do you use His name in swearing? Apparently he was a fully committed, 'honest', self-indoctrinated atheist, because, from that moment on, he never again invoked God's name in swearing.

Judgments are coming to the world... FROM GOD. But before they do, God will also proclaim one final invitation:

    "And I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the eternal gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth; to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people; saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; also, do homage to Him who made the heavens and the earth, the sea and springs of water." (Re14:6-7)
As a result of God's judgments, there will be no imagining it...
    "...the nations shall know that I am Jehovah, says the Lord Jehovah" (Ezk36:23, 38:23, 39:7)
Amen!
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