“Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58).
The other day, I started musing on immortality, original sin and suffering, after reading a post by an Atheist who said that the thought of living forever freaked him out. Maybe you can’t fathom immortality and eternity either. My musings on the topic led to me musing about the concept of time and space, and the biggest question of where and when did it all start!
Christians believe that God created the whole world and the universe and everything that is said to exist. Whether you can think it, imagine it, see it, touch it…God made it. The Bible tells us that our world and everything was created with Adam and Eve, and going by the timeline of the Bible, that would mean that our planet couldn’t possibly be older than 10,000 years (as a big estimate). However, Scientists disagree, based on carbon data and a lot of other archaeological findings, including the discovery of the Universe, and suggest that our world is indeed billions of years old.
This presents a problem for the sincere Believer. Do we throw out our Holy Book for being inaccurate, and accept the theories of science, or do we stick to our guns and insist that science is missing an important piece of the puzzle? Or is there a way for us to still believe the rest of the Bible, while not considering it an authouritative account of history? This issue about how old our planet is and how the whole cosmos started has divided Christians, and made those who insist that the Biblical account is in fact true and accurate to appear to be ignorant fools.
Well… I dare to be counted among the fools, by presenting my own understanding on this whole concept of time, eternity, evolution and creation.
I think the whole problem for us lies in the confusion between time and eternity. As humans, we are only able to comprehend life and matter within the dynamics of time and space. We have no understanding nor appreciation for the concept of eternity, except to reason that it is an immeasurable amount of time. Even large amounts of space is measured in ‘light years’, using time as a basic unit. Likewise, we have limited understanding and appreciation of the spiritual realm and the supernatural.
However, what if eternity is not measured in time? What if eternity is the absence of time? With this understanding, we can now appreciate how to God, “a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day” (2 Peter 3:8). In which case, you could not be able to determine the age of anything that has ALWAYS existed. Nor would you be able to determine the true age of something that was CREATED at the beginning of Time. Are you confused?
Time must have a beginning and an end. We are told the beginning of Time, but not the beginning of the existence of the Immortal God, who was never created, but by whom all things were created (John 1:3, Colossians 1:16)…including time, space and matter! He didn’t just create the world or the universe and everything in it… He also created the concept of time, and He gave it a beginning and an end! The beginning of time are the days of Genesis, when He created our world. The end of time will be the Last Days, when He will judge the world!
At the end of time, God will roll up time like a film, and there will be time no more (Revelation 10:6)!!! Time as a concept will cease to exist. All that will remain is eternity and immortality, the absence of time. We are even told that the heavens will be rolled up like a scroll (Revelation 6:14).
Pop Quiz: How old was Adam when God created him?
The Bible doesn’t say. But we know that he was a mature male. He wasn’t created a fetus, nor a baby nor a young boy… He was created whole and complete MAN. Same with Eve. She was created a whole and complete woman.
Pop Quiz: How old was the Earth when God created it?
The Bible doesn’t say. But we know that the Earth was fully formed! That everything that should have been was present. All God’s creatures came with the full package. The trees, animals, insects…everything, was in a state of maturity. They did not have an age, because before they existed, there was no concept of time!
They were not, and then they were. If you try to use carbon data to determine the true age of the world, you will be wrong, because you will exceed the beginning of time. It would be like trying to determine the age of your car by measuring the age of the metal used in creating it, rather than going by the date given by the manufacturer!
And so ends the question of how old the universe is… It doesn’t matter. The universe was created mature and full to the glory of God. We are only now discovering it!
The same way God created time, He also created the concept of SPACE, and He gave Man the Earth as his home, for the duration of TIME that He has allotted to Man. At the end of time, we are told that there will also be A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH (Revelation 21:1). I wonder how old they will be? I reckon they will also be fully formed, mature and ageless, as though they have existed before they were created.
We, who live in the confines of time and space, use those measurements to understand our world and existence. But we cannot use time and space to deny nor disprove the existence of a Creator, who is not bound by either time nor space! That would be very arrogant and foolish.
So the Big Bang Theory and its associated Theory of Evolution will remain exactly that until the end of time; theories of Man. While Evolution is a theory based on time, Creationism is a belief based on eternity! At the end, we will know the truth about the agelessness of our Earth and Universe – if indeed the Christian is right that there is a Creator at the beginning of our existence as a human race. Or, when we each die, we will simply cease to exist, and will know nothing…and it will be as though we never were.
So, don’t overthink it, unless, of course, you have a soul 🙂
“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?
When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddling band for it,
And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,
And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?
Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place..?“
Photo credit: http://www.riverschurch.co.za
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