In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek [the LORD]; all his thoughts are, “There is no God.”…He sits in ambush in the villages; in hiding places he murders the innocent. His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless; 9 he lurks in ambush like a lion in his thicket; … The helpless are crushed, sink down, and fall by his might. 11 He says in his heart, “God has forgotten, he has hidden his face, he will never see it.” (Psalm 10:6-11)
Many years ago, the late ex-Beatle John Lennon penned his hauntingly beautiful song, “Imagine”:
Imagine there's no heavenLennon wanted the world to, “be as one” and suggested that the surest path to that lofty goal was the removal of religion, including the rewards of heaven and the punishments of hell. Many believed him, and adopted his literally god-less view of the world.
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today
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, you
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one
But then something that sociologists and economists call, “The Law of Unintended Consequences” kicked in. What is that, you say?
"The law of unintended consequences, often cited but rarely defined, is that actions of people—and especially of government—always have effects that are unanticipated or unintended. Economists and other social scientists have heeded its power for centuries; for just as long, politicians and popular opinion have largely ignored it.” (Rob Norton)A short time ago, our nation reeled in horror as a lone gunman acted upon the lies espoused in Lennon’s song. He acted as if there were “no hell below us, above us only sky.”
As the psalmist wrote, describing just such a man: “all his thoughts are, ‘there is no God’ and if there is, “he has forgotten, hidden his face and will not see.” And thusly freed from accountability to anyone other than himself, he pretended to take to himself the divine prerogative of ending life, and likewise attempted to take the divine prerogative of judging himself before anyone else could. Having completed his charade in the taking his own life, the pathetic figure then immediately found himself in the presence of the One whose throne and bench he had attempted to usurp. For, as the author of Hebrews reminds us, “It is appointed for every man to die once, and then the judgment.”
John Lennon’s dream of everything being united together as one is lofty and surprisingly Biblical. But his means of achieving that objective is as ill-conceived as it is deadly. For as Paul details in Ephesians 1, the only way to bring differing, disparate, indeed even warring parties together as one, is in the Lord Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit in fulfillment of the eternal purpose of the Father.