So Much More Than May First Appear!
Omega Nebula – Hubble Telescope
As I study the Bible and simply observe life I continue to be surprised and moved by the wonders of God’s creation. From the simplest to the most complex the extravagance of God is revealed in His creative processes. One thing has greatly impressed me; God’s respect for His creation.
There have been a number of times in my study of the Bible that I have been amazed at God’s patience with His creation; wouldn’t it have been simpler to just vaporize the present creation and start over. Instead of vaporizing, God continues to work with His creation to correct the mistakes it has made starting with the first man, Adam.
I believe the member of the Trinity standing before Adam in the Garden of Eden was the Son who, in His omniscience, could see the cross in His future as He spoke to Adam. I cannot even begin to imagine all that passed through the Son’s mind as He saw the results of Adam’s disobedience stretching out into the future.
A New Thought
During my studies a thought has surfaced which is new to me; it involves the present heaven and earth and it’s future, if any, in the new universe. I have long interpreted 2 Peter 3: 5-13 to represent the total destruction of the present heaven and earth.
“5 They deliberately forget that God made the heavens long ago by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. 6 Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. 7 And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.
8 But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.
11 Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, 12 looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. 13 But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.”
Recently the verses in Romans 8:18-23 have come again to my mind but in a new light:
“18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.”
In these verses the present creation has a future with God’s children; the question that comes to mind is how can a creation with a future be totally destroyed? Is there some way this can be reconciled that is understandable to human comprehension? Let’s see if we can find any clues in the Bible.
What God has Revealed
While there is much that is not revealed there may be enough revealed to give us some idea how those seemingly contradictory ideas can be explained.
First we know the heaven and earth as it was created originally was good; in Genesis 1:31 it is written:
“31 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!
Second we know that the heaven and earth were cursed because of Adam’s disobedience; in Genesis 3:17 it is written:
“17 And to the man he said, Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you.”
In Romans 8:20 we see an extension of the curse to the entire universe:
20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse.
At this point then we see mankind spiritually dead and all creation subjected to God’s curse; not a very pretty picture as I see it. This may have been a good time to vaporize the whole mess and start all over but God had a different plan and that is the story told by the Bible.
Next time; the process of purification.