What a horrible thought! I cannot imagine trying to make it through life without having “the good Shepherd” (John 10:11), Who is the “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16), in my corner. But, what if? What if Jesus had never come into this world “to give his life a ransom?” (Mark 10:45). What if I had refused to believe and obey the gospel? Or, what if in the past I became a follower of God’s Son but later decided “to turn from the holy commandment?” (2 Peter 2:21). Friend, what kind of life would that be, if we had to live it without the Lord or chose to live without Him?
It would be a life without true meaning. Jesus came that we might have life, and that we might have it more abundantly (John 10:10). Aren’t we thankful that He did?! Jesus once told His apostles, “. . . without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). But on the other hand, as the apostle Paul said, we “can do all things” through Him! (Philippians 4:13). The “whole” of man is to fear the Lord and keep His commandments. The Bible says so (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Yes, without the Lord, our life would be a life without true meaning.
It would also be a life without a totally reliable model to imitate. There are a lot of really fine people in this world. Some of them are worthy of imitation because they demonstrate in their lives wonderful behavior, pure speech, or a respectful attitude. Such rare people are a good pattern to follow most of the time. If you have read the Bible, then you know that no mere human is perfect. No mere human is a good example in every aspect of living all of the time. Each person makes mistakes. The Bible says that “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23); but not Jesus. He “committed no sin,” and that is why He, and He alone, is One about Whom we can say to ourselves and others, “. . . you should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21,22). Take Jesus out of the picture and there would be no completely reliable pattern to follow.
In addition, life without the Lord would be a life without direction. Where am I going in my life? Where should I be heading in life? Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12). Following Jesus is the path of light. Through His word, the Lord provides a lamp for our feet and a light for our path (Psalm 119:105). Jesus has “the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). Without Him, we would have no clue about how we should walk.
We also know that life without the Lord would be a life without forgiveness. The wages of sin is death because sin separates a person from God (Romans 6:23; Isaiah 59:1,2). We could never come up with a scheme by which we could save ourselves. Thank God that He loved us so much that He sent Jesus “into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). The Bible says that in Jesus “we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7). Because Jesus is the only Savior, the only “name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12), without Him we could never enjoy the forgiveness of sins. Without such redemption, we would always carry about the burden and guilt of sin in our heart. How horrible it would be to have to face life without the Lord and His marvelous salvation. We should continually express our gratitude for all that the Lord has done to provide the remission of sins.
It is further true that a life without the Lord would be a life without hope. People that live without hope are miserable indeed. Jesus is the hope of the world: “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope” (1 Timothy 1:1). Through Jesus we can live “in hope of eternal life” (Titus 1:2). Christians have been begotten by God to possess a lively hope. That hope is to obtain the inheritance that the Lord has prepared – “an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven” (1 Peter 1:3,4). That is the only hope that is really worthy of man’s interest and effort.
What would my life be like without the Lord? It would be a life without true meaning, a life without a totally reliable model to imitate, a life without direction, a life without forgiveness, and a life without hope. The great thing is that none of us has to live such an empty and vain life without the Lord and His blessings. The choice is ours: we can either live life with Him, or live without Him. Let us choose wisely, for this choice will determine our eternal destiny. To live with Him, of course, means to live according to His will. Are you doing that?
— Roger D. Campbell
TRUTH is published monthly by the Klang church of Christ in order to help educate, edify, encourage, and equip the saints of God.