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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Time’s Beginning

The Universe and the Bible:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 ESV)

Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. (1 Corinthians 2:6-7 ESV)

Among many other verses, the Genesis and 1 Corinthians passages, indicate that time does have a beginning just as current propositions of singularity suggest. Albert Einstein extended his Theory of Relativity beyond velocity effects and on to the acceleration effects between observers. The results were the ten field equations of General Relativity. Subtracting one set of these equations from another yielded the surprising result that everything in the universe is simultaneously expanding and decelerating. The only physical phenomenon which expands and decelerates at the same time is an explosion. But, if the universe is the aftermath of an explosion, then sometime in the past it must have had a beginning. There must have been a moment at which the explosion began. Unfortunately for Einstein (who did not believe in a creator), if the universe had a beginning, then there must be a Beginner. Even though Einstein’s own worldview initially kept him from adopting such a conclusion, astronomer Edwin Hubble soon proved that the galaxies indeed are expanding away from one another in the manner predicted by Einstein’s original formulation of General Relativity. Confronted with this proof, Einstein gave grudging acceptance to ‘the necessity for a beginning,’ and to ‘the presence of a superior reasoning power.’ Einstein’s work simply confirmed what the Biblical writers already knew. The universe was not eternal, but had a beginning. God created it, and He alone exists in that realm that exists “before time began”.

Vain Pursuits

The god of this world, and the addictive desire for the material goods of this earth, will blunt the conscience of a man until he will refuse to see the reasonableness of George Whitefield’s logic below:

And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.” (Matthew 8:22 ESV)

[Is] eternal life, that free gift of God in Christ Jesus, to be purchased with money; or could men carry their flocks beyond the grave, to buy oil for their lamps, i.e. grace for their hearts, when they should be called to meet the bridegroom, there might be some reason why God might well bear with them: but since their money is to perish with them; since it is certain, as they brought nothing into the world, so they can carry nothing out; or supposing they could, since there is no oil to be bought, no grace to be purchased when once the lamp of their natural life is gone out; would it not be much more prudent to spend the short time they have here allotted them, in buying oil while it may be had, and not for fear of having a little less of that which will quickly be another man’s, eternally lose the true riches? . . .

And thus it will be with all unhappy men, who . . . are disquieting themselves in a vain pursuit after worldly riches, and at the same time are not rich towards God.

They may, for a season, seem excellently well employed in being solicitously careful about the important concerns of this life; but when once their eyes are opened by death, and their souls launched into eternity, they will then see the littleness of all sublunary cares, and wonder they should be so besotted [intoxicated] to the things of another life, while they were, it may be, applauded for their great wisdom and profound sagacity in the affairs of this world.

Alas! how will they bemoan themselves for acting like the unjust steward, so very wisely in their temporal concerns, in calling their respective debtors so carefully, and asking how much every one owes to them, and yet never remembering to call themselves to an account, or inquire how much they owed to their own great Lord and master? (“Worldly Business no Plea for the Neglect of Religion”)

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