You Just Can't Imagine

by Dennis Michelson
(Painesville, Ohio)

I Corinthians 2:9

Note to preachers: This message is an interactive message with the congregation. When it was initially preached it served as the prelude to the observance of the Lord's Supper. Interactive directives are given throughout the sermon to indicate those points in the message where the congregation was asked to participate.

Introduction: When a team wins a big championship there is usually someone with a microphone ready to run up to them and say, "Now that you have won the championship . . .what are you going to do next?" Of course the planned response is "I'm going to Disney World!" I have secretly had a desire to run up to that person and ask - as they leave Disney World - NOW, what are you going to do?" Fred Brown used to say that when you create an appetite then you have to feed it. The text before us informs us of the immeasurable blessings of being a believer. God puts the appetite within us and will definitely feed it.

1. Eye hath not seen

The congregation is asked to write down or say aloud the most beautiful thing they have ever seen. When this is done then the preacher points out that this text teaches the things God has prepared are better than those things mentioned by the people. The things mentioned by the congregation are usually of great blessing to others in the service.

2. Ear hath not heard

The congregation is asked to describe (in writing or verbally) the most wonderful thing they have ever heard. When this is done then the preacher can again drive home the point that what God has prepared is even better.

3. Neither entered into the heart of man

Man at his best cannot even imagine what God has prepared. Tie in verse 14 which shows the natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God - he doesn't have a clue!

Note: At this point in the message I had the congregation pause and meditate while the song entitled "I Can Only Imagine" was being sung.

4. Hath prepared for them

There are numerous instances in Scripture where God has prepared things for His people. I chose only two of them to reinforce the point of the message.

  • He has prepared a will for us. The New Testament is nothing less than the last will and testament of Jesus Christ. Why would anyone who is in the will not read the will?

  • He has prepared His will for us. God's will is always better for us than our own will. Our eyes, hearing, and imagination may fail us but God will not.

5. For them that love Him

As preachers, we tend to complicate the simple sometimes. Do we love Him or not? Do our people love Him or not? Many love the church, or the Word, or the service of the Lord, or fellowship, but do we love Him? If we do then the remainder of the passage from verse 10 onward becomes especially precious.

(The remainder of the service was given to the observance of the Lord's Table.)

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