Category Archives: Philosophy

Seasons

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22)

It’s fall. The trees in our front yard are mostly plucked clean of all leaves. Our Red Oak holds tenaciously onto what it has left. That suits me because I like its red leaves on display. However, it’s created a different kind of mess with all the acorns it’s dropped this year—a bumper crop! The neighborhood squirrels will have plenty to last them through the winter.

Our Sycamore creates the biggest mess. It drops branches and seed pods, and it releases huge brownish leaves. Both trees decided to defoliate this week and cover the yard to the point that even our walkways disappeared from view. My daily trips to the mailbox were accompanied by the rhythmic music of swish, swish, swish with the occasional crunch, crunch of acorns under my soles as I plowed my way through a foot or more of dead foliage.

Yesterday, guilt got the best of me. The neighbor west of me gets his yard maintained as part of his rent. My neighbor east of me runs a family business from his house, so he can find time during the week to tend to his yard. So, the yards on either side of my house are free of tree debris. I feel certain that they want me to clean up my yard before my leaves blow into their yards. In order to promote good relations with my neighbors, I filled seven plastic lawn bags with my tree trash. The resulting aches and pains from the effort reminded me that I have fully entered the fall of my life and winter is coming.

Seasons come and go for trees. The spring produces new growth. Some trees put forth beautiful flowers to sweeten the air. Summer comes and their leaves stretch out a canopy to cool the passerby from the heat of the blistering sun. Then fall comes. Photosynthesis stops and the trees show their true colors as they prepare for their winter sleep. Winter comes and the trees display bare skeletons giving the viewer a sense of sadness. But then spring returns and the cycle begins anew.

God promised that as long as Earth remains, the cycle will continue. Climate change scaremongers would have us believe that human beings affect Earth’s climate and that we can control how the climate will react by our actions. Obviously, these people do not know God, are unaware of His omnipotence, and are ignorant of His promise.

I’ve seen satellite images of Earth’s surface. Cities, much less people, cannot be seen from outer space. I’ve looked out of airplane windows; I can make out cities, and roads, but I cannot see people. Human beings are invisible specks on the planet, and these fools think we can control the weather! How arrogant! Climate changes by God’s design. The sun flares up at times making some years hotter. Sometimes the sun is less active and our temperatures are milder. It ebbs and flows, up and down. God made it that way, and He promised that the seasonal cycle will continue as long as Earth lasts. According to the Bible, Earth still has more than 1000 years to go before God destroys it to make it anew (2 Peter 3:10, 12; Revelation 21:1), but in the meantime, seasons will continue according to God’s design. There is no need to worry about climate change. As for me, my approaching winter doesn’t bother me. Soon, I will dwell in eternal spring!

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Filed under Creation, End Times, Philosophy, Random Musings, Science, Theology

Making Time Count

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)

On Tuesday of this last week, I completed my 69th lap around the sun. The Sunday before, June and I led the last lesson in the Crown ™ Do Well: The Crown Biblical Financial Study.[1] The lesson was on “Eternity,” and one of the questions we were asked to ponder was this: “Estimate the number of days you have left on earth. How does this impact your thinking?” Wow! That is a sobering thought! Psalm 90:10 brings this thought into sharp focus. “The days of our years are threescore years and ten [70]; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years [80], yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” For me, age 70 looms a mere 366 days (2020 is a leap year). And “if by reason of strength” I reach 80 years, that is only 4020 days away (there are three leap years between 2020-2030). For me, at least, that is not a lot of time. However, no one is guaranteed tomorrow; we are all living on borrowed time.

The same psalm, quoted above, offers a prayer to help us think soberly about the time we are given. “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). Time is a precious asset and to squander it on frivolity[2] is poor stewardship. Frivolity opposes “wisdom.” God gives us all the freedom to “apply our hearts unto wisdom” or to apply our hearts to frivolity. That was heavy food for thought.

Then on Friday, our devotional in Days of Praise: “Redeeming the Time,”[3] by ICR’s founder, Dr. Henry M. Morris brought this thought back to mind. In the devotional, Dr. Morris points out that “time is a very valuable asset, in danger of being lost forever unless it is rescued or redeemed.” It occurs to me that we experience the “present” in nanoseconds.[4] We constantly move from the past into the future, so when we misuse time, that is lost forever. Therefore, the only way to “redeem” time is to redeem it in the “future” toward which we are moving. That requires thought and planning – always.

Dr. Morris further asserts, “If we squander our money or lose our health, there is always the possibility of earning more money or being restored to health, but wasted time is gone forever.”

As I begin my 70th trip around the sun, I want to remember what a precious commodity time is. I what to remember that the time I am given is not mine and it can be taken away from me at any time. Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal … But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:19-20, 33). My time belongs to God; therefore I want to invest it wisely in His kingdom. “So teach [me] to number [my] days, that [I] may apply [my] heart unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).

Notes:


[1]  Crown Financial Ministries website: https://www.crown.org/

[2]  Dictionary.Com definition of : frivolous: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/frivolous

[3]  Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., “Redeeming the Time”: https://www.icr.org/article/11211/

[4]  “No Time Like the Present”: https://erniecarrasco.com/2015/01/18/no-time-like-the-present/

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Filed under Christianity, Heaven, Philosophy, Random Musings, Religion, Theology

The Immorality of a Wall

And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall. (Nehemiah 4:10)

The partial government shutdown continues beyond the third week. Some say that this is the longest shutdown in government history, yet, outside of a small percentage of government employees, the shutdown fails to have the chaotic effect that the main-stream media (MSM) purport. Many conscientious government employees remain at their posts even though they have not received a paycheck. (That is what I call dedication, and they ought to be commended for it.) While their pay may be temporarily delayed, they will receive their full back-pay eventually when this government impasse is breached.

The cause of the impasse is absurd. The House of Representatives wants to submit a spending plan for President Trump sign. President Trump will not sign the spending plan because it does not include the $5.6 billion he has requested to build a wall on our southern border. Democrats and Republicans both agree that a wall is needed; however, Democrats, because it is Donald Trump making the request, refuse to allocate the money for wall construction to deny Trump from keeping a campaign promise. It has nothing to do with the right or wrong of the matter. It has everything to with who wins the argument, and the Democrats (I call them Demoncrats for a reason) want to win, regardless of whether the border wall is good for the nation or whether thousands of government employees get paid or not. (Note: Congressmen have not missed a paycheck. If any wall is immoral, it is this one erected by the Demoncrats.)

Democrats stoke up the media to incite sympathy for unpaid government employees while they take off on vacations to exotic places, and meet with lobbyists in Puerto Rico rather than sit with the President to hammer out this impasse. They accuse President Trump of inflexibility, yet they have refused any offer of compromise by the President. In his last meeting with Democrat leadership, President Trump asked Speaker Pelosi, “Okay, Nancy, if I open up the government in 30 days, could we have border security?” She said, “Not at all.”[1]

President Trump will not budge on his demand for border security that includes a solid barrier of some kind. He has offered concessions such as legalizing so-called “dreamers,” whom Democrats claim to champion. However, because yielding on the wall gives President Trump an optical victory, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, refuses to give sway on the matter regardless of the shutdown, regardless of the unpaid government employees, regardless that she has favored the wall in the past, regardless that it is a matter of national security and sovereignty, and regardless that it is the right thing to do. She defends her obstinate stance by claiming that “the wall is an immorality.”

The wall is an immorality! How so? On what, other than the imaginations of a deluded mind, does she base that claim? In a world of relativism, morality amounts to individual preference. It becomes subjective so that “your truth is not my truth” and in a nation of over 300 million people that makes for mass confusion and anarchy. I prefer the objective truth of God’s Word.

Since morality comes from God, and because God created humans in His image,[2] humans are naturally moral creatures. However, that morality has been corrupted,[3] and what is true for Nancy Pelosi may not be true at all. We need an objective standard for morality. God, as our Creator, provided us with His operating manual as the standard of morality – the Bible. Does the Bible address the question of the morality or immorality of a wall? Indeed it does.

Before getting into the Word, what is the purpose of a wall, barrier or fence? One of the definitions for a wall is a “rampart” or a “bulwark,” which is any protection against external danger, injury or annoyance. A wall or bulwark protects those within from danger from without. Walls prevent invasion from outside forces that would harm those behind the wall.

I have a seven-foot fence in my back yard. It may not prevent an intruder climbing over, but it will certainly cost him (I assume intruders will be male) great effort and hopefully alert the dogs before he can break into my house. Otherwise, I hope the fence will discourage the attempt in the first place. The front of my house is open to the street. Without a fence to protect my front door, I feel vulnerable to attack from that side. (I speak from a human perspective; however, I place my trust in God for our protection. I do my part and let Him take care of those things which are out of my control.)

I heard someone say, “I have a fence not because I hate the people outside, but because I love the people inside.” Fences, and walls, while not perfect, give us a measure of protection. Nancy Pelosi’s estate has a wall around it. Barack Obama, the Clintons, Bernie Sanders as well as most other Democrats live behind tall barriers to keep out the riffraff. Are their walls an “immorality”? No sane person would make such a claim; therefore, Nancy Pelosi’s claim is either delusional or hypocritical.

The Bible talks about walls. In Bible times, walls presented the first line of defense for the city (they do today also). Entry into a walled city was through the city gates. Anyone having business within the city walls entered through the massive, heavy gates (the “ports of entry”). When the gates were closed, no one entered or left the city. When invading armies came against the city, they would have either to scale the heavily defended walls, break down the gates, or lay siege to the city. Conquering a walled city often took several years to accomplish. Those living in the unwalled villages were easy prey. If they could not escape to the protection of a nearby, fortified city, they fell victim to the enemy. Walls, for those protected by them, were moral, not immoral.

The Bible has 247 occurrences in 223 verses of “wall” or “walls.” When Israel entered the Promised Land, “All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars; beside unwalled towns a great many” (Deuteronomy 3:5). The first walled city they faced was Jericho, and it took an act of God to breach that wall.[4] David conquered the walled city of Jebus (Jerusalem)[5] by entering the city through a water conduit (“gutter”).[6], [7] Later, his son Solomon reinforced and expanded the walls of Jerusalem.[8] During his reign, Solomon fortified other cities throughout Israel.[9]

We have already seen that walls are not 100% effective; they can be penetrated,[10] and when a wall is broken down, it must be repaired.[11] Broken walls are distressing for those depending on them for protection,[12] and their restoration is cause for celebration.[13] For those inside, walls provide security.[14] For those outside, walls present an obstacle to overcome, and they are not appreciated.[15]

God approves of walls.[16] The idea of borders and nations was His in the first place.[17] God created the nations[18] and established their boundaries.[19] Borders are not offensive to God; neither is the defense of those borders; therefore walls are not “an immorality” as Speaker Pelosi proclaims. If anything, breaching a wall is immoral and cause for war – a war initiated by the invader. In the world in which we live, we need walls, and those walls must be respected.

One day soon, the need for walls will cease,[20] except for the wall around the New Jerusalem whose walls will exclude no one. That wall will serve to set that city apart as a very special place.[21] However, for the present, for everyone who names the name of Christ, no matter what national or ethnic origin, “… he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us” (Ephesians 2:14). Outside of that, “Build the Wall!”

Notes:


[1]  “House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy reacts to President Trump’s latest comments on fixing the border crisis

[2]  Genesis 1:26-27

[3]  Genesis 3

[4]  Joshua 6

[5]  1 Chronicles 11:4

[6]  2 Samuel 5:8

[7]Did King David Conquer Jerusalem Using This Tunnel?

[8]  1 Kings 3:1

[9] 1 Kings 9:15; 2 Chronicles 8:5; 14:7

[10]  2 Chronicles 25:23; 26:6; 36:19

[11]  2 Chronicles 32:5; Jeremiah 52:14

[12]  Nehemiah 1:3; 2:17

[13]  Nehemiah 12:27, 30

[14] Psalm 122:7; Proverbs 18:11; 25:28; Ezekiel 38:11

[15]  Ezra 4:12-16; Nehemiah 4:3

[16]  Ezra 9:9; Psalm 51:18

[17]  Genesis 11:8-9

[18]  Genesis 10

[19]  Deuteronomy 32:8; Acts 17:26

[20]  Isaiah 26:1; 60:18; Zechariah 2:4-5

[21]  Revelation 21

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Filed under Apologetics, Christianity, Current Events, Philosophy, Politics, Second Coming of Christ, Theology

No Accident

 

CAUSE: Hydroplaning. EFFECT: Wreck. No Accident!

CAUSE: Hydroplaning. EFFECT: Wreck. No Accident!

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:3)

Commuting to work on the rain-drenched LBJ Freeway in Dallas, Texas this past week, I was at once amused and terrified at the maneuvers made by some crazy drivers obviously unaware of the hazardous road conditions. It reminded me of something that my old Driver’s Ed teacher repeated often a hundred years ago, “Accidents don’t happen; they are caused.” Apparently the crazies on LBJ never took driving lessons from my old Driver’s Ed teacher.

The truth of the adage obeys the very basic law of physics, that of cause and effect. Simply stated, everything that happens, i.e. every “effect,” has a cause. On the highway, this basic law expresses itself through Newton’s three Laws of Motion: (1) Inertia – an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless some external force acts upon it, (2) Acceleration – when a force acts on a mass (object) to produce motion, and (3) Reaction – for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. These three laws are expressions of the primary law of cause and effect. There is a series of cause-and-effect scenarios that propel a vehicle down the road at high rates of speed. Friction is a stabilizing force acting upon the tires of a car to counter the inertia that would maintain the car’s high rate of speed. However, on a wet, rainy day, friction yields to a phenomenon known as hydroplaning. This “cause” creates a thin barrier of water between the surface of the road and the tires, which effectively negates the force of friction on the tires. The tires lose contact with the road surface and now skim along on a slippery sheet of water. Inertia now controls the forward motion of the vehicle, and the incognizant operator unwittingly presumes he is in full control until he has to make a quick lane change or a sudden stop. It takes little imagination to visualize the “effects” that may result. The frequent “mishaps” witnessed on the highway are “incidents” not “accidents.” The majority of the time, the main cause of these incidents is the loose nut behind the wheel. Lesson: be aware of road conditions!

Forgive the defensive driving lesson, but the point was to illustrate the law of cause and effect. Nothing that exists just happens. There are no accidents. This simple and common fact is overlooked or ignored by naturalists/evolutionists/atheists when dealing with the matter of origins. What caused the universe? The Big Bang they say. What caused the Big Bang? They say that an infinitesimal “singularity” rapidly expanded and produced all that there is. Even though no one existed to witness or record this great event, they (the “theoretical” physicists) can tell us what happened one second after the Big Bang, one minute after, five minutes after, and so on. So, from where did this singularity come? What caused the singularity? What made it expand? “We don’t know,” they admit, “but we are still working on it.” This is what is passed off as science today.

Everything must have a cause, but cause-and-effect can only be taken back so far. Eventually, we must arrive at the cause that caused all other causes, and this cause cannot itself be caused. “Science” has no explanation for this, therefore hypotheses abound. In desperation, absurdities, like the “multiverse” hypothesis, arise to account for what cannot be proven in this universe. Since it cannot be proven in this universe, it must be true in another. The problem is that this universe is the only universe to which we have access to do science. There remains this nagging requirement for science called observation, and we cannot observe other universes, if indeed they do exist. Ours is the only universe we can observe. Our science is limited to what we can observe in this universe.

That brings us back to question of origins. How did our universe come to be? If nothing else, the Big Bang asserts that our universe must have had a beginning. But what caused it all? Reason demands that the original cause cannot itself have a cause. Our universe is no accident.

Where science fails us, the Bible provides a reasonable answer. Naturalists automatically reject this notion; however they offer nothing in its place that makes more sense. “In the beginning God …” (Genesis 1:1). Time, “the beginning,” was caused by God. The reader will note that nothing is presented before God, the Cause. God is the “uncaused Cause,” and the Scripture’s presentation of nothing prior to God expresses His eternal nature, His infiniteness. His eternal existence is the only reasonable and logical response to an infinite series of causes and effects. God is no accident. He is and always has been and ever will be. He is the eternal “I AM THAT I AM” (Exodus 3:14). John identifies Jesus as the eternal Creator (John 1:1-3), and later records the Lord’s self-identification as the Eternal One: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end” (Revelation 1:18; 21:6), “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last” (Revelation 1:11), “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (Revelation 22:13). He is the One, the initial Cause that started it all. Before Him nothing else existed.

Our universe is no accident; it had a cause – God the Creator. Our world, our earth, is no accident; it had a cause – God the Creator. You and I are no accidents. We have a Creator that fashioned us in His own image (Genesis 1:27), and loved us enough to give us the choice to accept or reject Him. Either choice produces eternal effects. If we choose to reject Him, that decision is eternal. If we choose to accept Him, that decision is eternal. The choice is no accident.

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Filed under Apologetics, Atheism, Bible, Christianity, Creation, Evangelism, Evolution, Gospel, Origins, Philosophy, Religion, Science, Theology

The Problem With Academia

On my commute to work this morning (April 14, 2016), I tuned in to the Mark Davis Show on KSKY 660 AM and listened to a segment worthy of sharing. Mark read part of an article by Dr. Everett Piper, President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, where he addressed a student who felt “victimized” by a sermon on 1 Corinthians 13 – “The Love Chapter.” In the article, Dr. Piper “schools” the boy on “how the cow eats the cabbage.” The interview that follows is equally educational.

I recorded this on my dash cam, so the sound quality is not the best, and on top of that you have to listen past the road noise. But, if you listen closely, you will get an education. 🙂 So relax. Turn up the volume, and enjoy my drive to work!

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Filed under Current Events, Philosophy, Random Musings

The Theocracy Fallacy

Bible and Cue Card Used by Gerald R. Ford When He Took the Oath of Office

Bible and Cue Card Used by Gerald R. Ford When He Took the Oath of Office

And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.   (Revelation 12:5)

Recently the liberal news media bushwhacked presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson for his statement that a Muslim should not serve as President of the United States. The statement found great support among conservatives, but left-leaning Democrats and Republicans were self-righteously offended by his remarks. Attempting to do some damage control without really backing down, Carson explained that someone who would place Sharia Law above the Constitution of the United States cannot honestly swear to uphold and defend the Constitution. Carson rightly pointed out that Islam is a theocracy – god rule. A true follower of Islam cannot separate his religion from his politics; they are one and the same. The Muslim holy book and other Muslim sacred writings call for strict adherence to Islamic law. (“Islam” means “submission.”) Therefore, if a faithful Muslim were to become President of the United States, “he” (because a Muslim woman would not be permitted to hold such an office) would have to, out of obligation to his religion, invoke Sharia Law when it came in conflict with the Constitution.

In his defense, Carson qualified his stance by saying that he could indeed vote for a Muslim as President, if that Muslim denounced Sharia Law and swore to uphold the Constitution in all cases. (Of course, the Qur’an encourages Muslims to lie to “infidels,” so their integrity would be questionable.) Furthermore, said Carson, he would not vote for a Christian, if that Christian advocated for a Christian theocracy. Our nation is and always has been a nation of laws, and the Constitution is the law of the land.

I fully understand and agree with Dr. Carson’s stance. What I believe is missing here is a clear understanding of what a theocracy is. According to Dictionary.Com, a theocracy is “a form of government in which God or a deity is recognized as the supreme civil ruler, the God’s or deity’s laws being interpreted by the ecclesiastical authorities.” The problem with that definition is in the word “recognized” and in the phrase “laws being interpreted by the ecclesiastical authorities.” That renders the definition false because it is humanistic in nature. First of all, the deity has to be “recognized” by man as the “supreme civil ruler” which means that ultimately it is man that is defining the laws of the god. Secondly, the laws are interpreted by men who are either appointed by men or self-appointed as “ecclesiastical authorities.” Ultimately the “theocracy” becomes an “androcracy” – a rule by men, so the “god-rule” goes out the window.

When God brought the children of Israel into the Promised Land, they had no king other than God. God gave His law to Moses and set up a system of priests and judges to administer His law. Not long after they settled in the land, reliance on God and His law fell by the wayside and “every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6; Judges 21:25). Therein lays the problem with a theocracy – man.

A true theocracy is absolute rule by God. Until Christ returns to set up His kingdom on earth, any man-initiated theocracy is doomed to fail. When Christ returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, His rule will be absolute. Speaking of Christ, the Messiah, the Lord says, “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel” (Psalm 2:9). When He returns, He will share His administration with His saints “And [they] shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father” (Revelation 2:27). There will be no question of authority because His eternal law will not be violated. “And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” (Revelation 19:15).  The “sharp sword” from His mouth is the Word of God: “For the word of God is quick [i.e., “alive”], and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

Until Jesus returns, no true theocracy can exist. Any so called theocracy devised by fallen man is thereby flawed. Dr. Ben Carson is right. Anyone adhering to any human defined theocracy is unfit to hold the office of President of the United States. As it stands, the U.S. Constitution, because of its foundation on God’s Law, must be upheld as the supreme law of the land.

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No Time Like the Present

timeflies

… behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)

We understand time in three phases: past, present, and future. We receive wise counsel not to live in the past while at the same time we are advised to plan for the future. Indeed, even the Apostle Paul exhorts, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). Our minds help us in regard to the past by minimizing bad memories and enhancing the good ones. This is healthy for when we latch on to bitter memories, the effects degrade both our physical and mental health. If we focus too much on the future, we can set ourselves up for disappointment, if we fail to accomplish unrealistic goals.

Either dwelling too much on the past or focusing too much on the future can both have negative effects on our lives, so we are encouraged to live in the present. “Take time to smell the roses,” we are told. Recently, this has given me cause to ponder. Just how long is the present that we should dwell therein? A minute? A second? A millisecond? A nanosecond? Time constantly moves forward with no stops. In the blink of an eye, the present becomes the past, while in the same instant we arrive in the future and then that is gone. The question is really an existential one since it deals with our existence and experience. We experience life through our senses: touch, sight, taste, hearing, and smell. These all employ our nervous system with the brain and all of its complex network of nerves. So I thought perhaps the present has to do with the speed of nerve impulses. “Scientists have an idea how fast nerves send signals. It varies among different animals and humans, but in general, one can say it is very fast, on the order of 115197 ft/sec (3560 m/sec).”[1] That is amazingly fast, but even at that the nerve impulse itself has a start and stop time, so it too moves from the past into the future with no hesitation.

So, how long is the present? Apparently, the present cannot be measured by time, so this must be a philosophical question. I asked a coworker, whose opinion I value highly, how long he thought the present could be. He said the present does not exist. Similarly, I asked an astrophysicist friend, and he said suggested that it was zero. Both of these answers make sense to me because time is constantly moving forward. I envision standing on the zero point on a line graph that continually moves beneath me from positive to negative-positive being the future and negative being the past. I operate from the zero point as time whizzes by me, but what I do at the zero point – the present – influences the future that comes at me.

I posed the same question to my oldest son. He’s pretty smart in his own right, and he gave me the most provocative response of all. He said, “The present is eternal.” I do not know if he fully understood the ramifications of such a profound statement. For starters, God is eternal, and He identifies Himself to Moses as “I AM THAT I AM” (Exodus 3:14). He is ever-present. We understand that God is unfettered by time, so He is present at every point in time. He is present in the past and in the future simultaneously. That is why He could say to the Prophet Jeremiah, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). God can accurately foretell the future because He exists in the future. He is eternally present.

Unlike God, we are confined by time. We can only experience time at point zero, and that only for the briefest of moments. We experience the future as it passes us by, but our actions in that brief moment affect the unseen consequences that lie ahead. God created us in His image (Genesis 1:26), and as such we are eternal beings. Unlike God, we have a beginning and no end, and again, we exist at point zero. Our actions, therefore, incur eternal consequences. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3), they caused an eternal rift between God and mankind (Genesis 3:22) that affected all of their posterity – you and me. Their offense and our subsequent sins offend an eternal and holy God, and the offense is eternal. Since the offense is eternal, the consequence is also eternal, and therefore must be atoned for eternally. Hell is eternal because the offense is eternal, therefore the punishment must be eternal.

The good news is that God granted a way of escape from the eternal punishment that we all deserve. I AM is present in all of time from creation to re-creation; so that

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. (1 Peter 1:18-21, emphasis mine)

At the perfect time (Galatians 4:4), God stepped out of eternity into our present time in the form of the first, sinless Adam, to offer up Himself as the perfect atoning sacrifice for all of mankind. That sacrifice had the eternal effect of mending the eternal rift between God and mankind.

But the remedy is not universal, and it is not automatic. Each individual must make the choice for himself. Making the right or wrong decision in the present will settle your fate for all eternity. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13).

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:14-16, emphasis mine)

The present is eternal after all. There is no time like the present to change the course of your eternity.

 Notes:


[1] From http://scienceline.ucsb.edu/getkey.php?key=1950, accessed January 16, 2015.

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