Monday, July 07, 2008

Why I believe in Jesus: Part 2: "Before time began"

Eternity is one of those ideas that no man can "get his mind around." And for some it is a concept that turns them away from religion. We cannot begin to imagine "things" or "persons" that have always existed. And while we can believe in atoms and neutrons and molecules as such that we cannot see, the thought of an eternally existing "god" boggles our little finite minds.


Now, time we can understand. Everything we do is done according to time. We go to work at a certain time. We take breaks at designated times. We go to movies at certain times. We keep an eye on clocks and watches and cell phones to remind us what time it is, how much longer we have to wait for whomever or whatever, and how much more time before we have to be at work. And like eternity, a time, if you will, before time began is totally unfathomable. But that is the reality we live with if we don't understand it.


I believe that God, the Trinity, is eternal and uncreated. I believe that God is perfect, absolute, as much as I can believe that idea with my little biddy finite mind. And I believe that before creation, before the foundation of the world, before time began, God's plan of redemption was perfectly planned, covering every minute detail necessary for the carrying out of that plan. What has transpired has transpired in such a way that one might say that it literally transpired before creation and time. It was going to happen exactly the way God ordained it and therefore it was going to happen. And for all practical purposes it did indeed happen before it happened. Ok, I believe I'll stop there.


God, speaking through His prophet Isaiah, said, "Remember this, and show yourselves men, Recall to mind, O you transgressors, Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, 'My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure" (46:8-10).


As surely as His "counsel will stand" concerning "things that are not yet done," they were as good as done when He declared them. What He declares will come to pass. And you and I along with all God's elect were included in His declaration. He declared "the end from the beginning" and I humbly confess that I have no problem with that whatsoever. I mean, He is God!


Remember this? "He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from the beginning to end" (Ecc. 3:11). That's why I said "Ok, I believe I'll stop there." We can only know so much about eternal God and eternal things. That yearning to know of eternal things is limited by our humanity but even more by God's hiding them from us. "The secret things belong to the LORD" (De. 29:29).

But there are many truths concerning God's working among men that we can know and should know and must know. These truths He has revealed in His Word by His Spirit, taught by His Spirit. There are truths that we should know but don't know because the average Christian is Biblically illiterate and too lazy to dig them out, including thousands of pastors (II Tim. 2:15; 3:14-4:2).