The Big, Big Story

Scientists now know that the universe is not eternal. It had a sudden and dramatic beginning.  For years, it was thought that it was eternal – that it just had to have always been there.  Yet today, scientists are nearly universal in agreement that it had a beginning. They call it the “big bang”, of course.  The Bible calls it the creation.  Scientists have finally discovered the truth that the Bible has been claiming for big.bangthousands of years.

Many in the the scientific community are now scrambling to find another alternative. They know that if there was a beginning, there had to be someone or something that caused it.  And that means there had to be a creator – one who is of another essence than matter, energy, time and light. And ‘he’ had to be a living being – one of unfathomable power, intelligence, and creativity. He had to exist outside of, or apart from the universe he made. We refer to the Creator as God, but many people simply can’t bring themselves to accept that conclusion, even though nothing else makes sense.

But what has He told us about himself and the things he made?  Many things – and they are contained in the writings we call the Bible.  It is referred to as the Word of God, because it reveals God’s own story.  It has been dismissed and criticized by skeptics for thousands of years, yet is has withstood every assault, and stands alone as a guidebook for all of life and all truth.

It tells us that Adam was the first man, and that he was created in God’s own image.  We don’t know exactly what that means, since God is a non-material being, but I think it refers to the part of us that’s non-material.  Human beings, alone among all living beings, are capable of complex thoughts and emotions, and can contemplate questions like “Where did I come from?”, and “Why am I here?”  So maybe the way to interpret the Bible is to see us as created in God’s non-material – his spiritual image.

The Bible also tells us that although God declared the creation as good, and the creation of man as very good, it didn’t take long for us to defy God, and to try to become gods ourselves, independent from Him.  And we’re still doing it today, over 6000 years later.  It has not been working out for us all that well.  From that ignominious beginning, we learned that the “wages of sin is death.”  Worse, we now know that the death referred to is not just ordinary death, where the heart stops and the life leaves the body.  We are not just bodies.  We are both body and spirit.  So the death referred to is far more consequential.  We were made for eternity, and the death we face because of our rebellion is not a momentary thing ending in nothingness.  It’s an eternal state of conscious death, which is horrible beyond comprehension.

So God revealed His eternal plan to save us from ourselves.  He declared that we are all guilty of violating his perfect law, and that there is no one righteous, not even one.  Therefore, God Himself came from Heaven to Earth and joined His eternal essence with human flesh in what is called the incarnation.  God became man, the God-man Jesus.  And soon he told us what his incredible plan was.  He would pay the penalty for our evil rebellion Himself!

For three years, he walked with a small group of men called the disciples, and taught them and others from the scriptures, and that all that had been written in them was about Him, and that he had come to love us, to serve us, and to give up his life to save us.  Nobody was prepared for a God who loved the ones He created so much that He would die for them.   But that’s what He did, and it changes everything.  And not only did he predict his own death, he said he would rise from the dead on the third day, and he did! This was borne out by over 500 people who saw with their own eyes, and swore to it, even though some of them were killed for saying so.

So God’s eternal plan is this: Come to Him.  Stop running away from your God, and turn to Him.  He is the healer of your heart, and the lover of your soul.  You will find rest in Him, and the meaning and purpose of your life will become clear.  He made you for himself, and your highest and best purpose and destiny is to learn from Him, to love Him, and to spend the rest of your days basking in His peace, which passes all understanding.

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