There is no point in thinking about “what if’s” or “what then’s”, only "what now’s."
And while I firmly believe that this is the case, the other night I had a dream that was interesting and worth discussion regarding a “what if” scenario, particularly what if Adam hadn’t sinned.
It’s not a topic that I wonder much about because I’m also a firm believer that Jesus was chosen before the creation of the world to save us from our sin (1 Peter 1:20). And I don’t think God was at all surprised by His creations’ actions in the garden. All that said, in the dream I was explaining to my wife what our place in the world would be like if Adam hadn’t sinned.
Some people have this misguided notion that if Adam hadn’t sinned; we’d all be rulers and have absolute authority over the Earth. But that’s not true. God would be the ruler of Earth, and Adam would be His appointed delegate of authority over the Earth. He’d be King Adam. We would be at best delegated small areas of authority under the thousands of our forefathers still alive on the Earth, maybe a section as small as our own households and nothing else.
This scenario is much the same as our authority in Jesus Christ. God rules. He gave Christ authority. And Christ makes us delegates on Earth of His rule. Some He puts in higher positions than others. Others He puts in smaller areas, maybe just their own households. Many of those who envision themselves as powerful rulers in a ‘what if’ Earth without sin also tend to imagine themselves as powerful rulers in this world because they believe in Jesus.
But we’re not powerful rulers. We’re weak servants. From the beginning we’ve been weak servants, servants delegated authority from on High. Any power we have is ultimately God’s power handed down to us. Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
And since it’s not our power, we can’t just go around doing whatever we want with it. Jesus didn’t. He said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel” (John 5:19-20).
If Jesus never did anything without the Father showing Him first, should we? More to the point should we do anything in the name of Father, Son, and Spirit without really praying for understanding in what God would have us do?
And then I woke up and started telling my wife my dream in real life, and she peered at me with half-mast eyelids and said, “I’m going to need coffee before any deep theological conversations, dear," which is how most of our mornings start . . .