Written in January 2018
One of the features of the last days is that people will scoff at the biblical teaching that Jesus Christ will come again and that ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.’ Genesis 1.1. In 2 Peter 3.3-7 we read:
‘Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’ For this they wilfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.’
Instead of acknowledging that God created the heavens and the earth, they will believe that ‘all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation’, in other words that there has been a slow and steady process of evolutionary change since the Big Bang set things off about 4.5 billion years ago. In recent times God has raised up ministries like ‘Answers in Genesis’ and other creationist organisations to show why evolution is a flawed theory and to give biblical and scientific reasons for the creation account as written in Genesis.
The universe should not exist.
Now science itself is making discoveries which question evolutionary assumptions about the origin of the universe. CERN (the European Organisation for Nuclear Research) created Europe’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland, in an attempt to discover how the Big Bang happened and the universe came into existence. The Hadron Collider smashed together sub-atomic particles at nearly the speed of light in an effort to recreate the conditions which are said to have immediately followed the ‘Big Bang’ event that gave birth to the Universe ‘billions of years ago’.
Now CERN has come to the conclusion that, according to the laws of physics, the universe should have annihilated itself as soon as it came into existence! The reason for this is that according to the Big Bang model, only energy existed in the beginning, then, as the universe expanded, some of the energy transformed into matter. When energy converts to matter, the reaction always creates an equal amount of antimatter, particles with a charge opposite their counterpart. So, for example, a proton of matter has a positive charge and a proton of antimatter, an antiproton, has a negative charge. But, since opposites attract, if equal amounts of matter and antimatter existed in the very beginning, they would have obliterated each other. Earlier this year, scientists for the first time developed a way to measure antimatter, a discovery they hoped would enable future researchers to solve the mystery of how the universe began and survived. They came to a conclusion, which undermined the whole basis of the Big Bang theory.
Christian Smorra, author of the CERN study, said: ‘All of our observations find a complete symmetry between matter and antimatter, which is why the universe should not actually exist.’ Their conclusion was that, if the universe really did come into existence as a result of the Big Bang, it should have annihilated itself at the same time!
This enigma doesn’t surprise Brian Miller, research coordinator for the Discovery Institute’s Centre for Science and Culture. He said, ‘It is just another example of the razor-edge fine-tuning all around us that points to the existence of our Creator who brought the heavens and the earth into existence by the power of His Word. The fact that all the details are just right for life when almost any other set of laws of physics would have produced a universe that couldn’t support life strongly suggests that there is a Creator who designed those laws specifically with life in mind.’
Atoms should fly apart.
A similar question concerns the structure of the atom. Everything that exists is made up of millions of atoms. According to an article by Lambert Dolphin: ‘The nucleus of every atom is held together by what physicists call ‘weak’ and ‘strong’ forces. The nucleus of the atom contains positively charged and neutral particles-to use a simplistic model. Mutual electrostatic repulsion between the like-positive protons would drive the nucleus apart if it were not for the ‘strong force’ which binds the nucleus together. There is thus an active force imposed on the universe, which actively holds the very atoms of the material world together moment by moment, day by day, century by century. Similarly, accelerated electrons circling the nucleus should quickly radiate all their energy away and fall into the nucleus unless there exists an invisible energy source to counteract this.’
What is the force that holds all things together? In the letter to the Colossians we read:
‘He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the first-born [prototokos] of all creation; for in Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities – all things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.’
To quote again from Lambert Dolphin: ‘The Holy Spirit, in giving us this inspired passage of Scripture, explains that all things (both visible and invisible) in the entire universe were created through this same Jesus, the eternal Word. We may think of the universe and its intricate design as being conceived in the mind of the Father, then spoken into existence by the Son (who makes the invisible, visible). The Holy Spirit is the One who energises and supplies life to the creation, not only at the time of creation but also moment by moment after that. One of the key words in the Colossians passage above (‘…and in Christ all things hold together’) is the Greek word sunistemi which means ‘to stand-together,’ ‘to be compacted together,’ ‘to cohere,’ ‘to be constituted with.’
In other words the mystery of what holds the atoms together and prevents the universe from falling apart is the ‘Colossian Force’ which Paul writes about. The Lord, through whom the world came into being, holds the universe together, until the time when He will dissolve it and create a new heavens and new earth in which righteousness dwells.
This dissolution of the universe is spoken about in 2 Peter 3.10 which also points to the atomic structure of the present creation:
‘But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise and the elements[stoicheion, atoms]
will be dissolved with fire and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up.
Lambert Dolphin writes: ‘The Greek word translated ‘elements’ in the above mentioned passage from Colossians and in 2 Peter is stoicheion, which can mean ‘the building blocks of the universe,’ or ‘the ordered arrangement of things.’ It can also mean the ‘atomic elements.’ The word translated ‘dissolved’ in 2 Peter 3:10 is literally (in Greek) luo, meaning ‘unloosed.’ This language suggests that there will come a time in the future when God lets go of the nuclear forces which hold the atom together. This passage, like the one in Colossians, strongly suggests that the active power of God is behind the mysterious strong force that holds every atomic nucleus together. If this is so, all the other fundamental forces of nature are likewise forces that originate with Christ and His sustaining direction of the old creation.
If God ‘sustains the universe by His mighty word of power,’ moment by moment, were He to merely relax His grasp on the universe, every atom would come apart ‘by fire’ (that is, by nuclear fire). It is inescapable that the Bible claims that God dynamically sustains the universe, including the very atoms themselves. Atoms, it would seem, are ‘stable’ only because force and energy are being supplied into their physical nuclear binding fields from ‘outside’ the system.
Following the Millennial Reign of Christ on earth and Satan’s final revolt against the Lord (Revelation 20), God will remove His hand from holding the universe together, dissolve the present universe and create a new one in which those who have been redeemed through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus will dwell forever.
Where does water come from?
Another question which has puzzled scientists is how water, vital for supporting all life forms, came to be on the earth, and only on earth as far as we can observe. One evolutionary theory, which really defies logic, is that the vast amount of water on the earth’s surface came as a result of comets crashing into the earth millions of years ago. Now a study published by Earth and Planetary Science Letters has come to the conclusion that vast amounts of water exist deep within the earth and that ‘the Earth itself is a vast water-creating machine.’ New Scientist magazine reported on January 27, 2017 that ‘Planet Earth makes its own water from scratch deep in the mantle.’
According to science about 71 percent of the earth is covered with water. 96.5 percent of it is saline and undrinkable ocean water. Drinkable water is constantly being recycled through evaporation and rainfall. Even the water we use from wells is mostly recycled as part of this process. But if, as more scientific studies suggest, ‘primary water’ deep beneath the mantle or crust of the Earth exceeds the amount found in all the planet’s oceans, there is hardly a shortage. ‘There is a very, very large amount of water that’s trapped in a really distinct layer in the deep Earth,’ said Graham Pearson, lead author of the 2014 study and a geochemist at the University of Alberta in Canada. ‘It translates into a very, very large mass of water, approaching the sort of mass of water that’s present in all the world’s oceans.’
From the point of view of Creation and the Bible this is extremely interesting.
Firstly it is another sign of the unique design process which God put into this planet in order for it to support life:
‘Then God said, ‘Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.’ Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so.’ Genesis 1.6-7.
Secondly it shows how significant events in the past and in the days to come could happen. According to the Genesis account, the great flood at the time of Noah was caused when ‘the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.’ Genesis 7.11. The flood came to an end and the waters receded when:
‘The fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were also stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained.’ Genesis 8.2.
Andrew Snelling of ‘Answers in Genesis’ sees this as evidence of the biblical Flood account: ‘The Bible’s description of that outbursting event is merely confirmed by the latest findings of the secular scientists. So the waters that came from inside the Earth, combined with the waters in the original, created oceans to produce the Genesis Flood.’
What of future events prophesied in the Bible? In the descriptions of the renewal of the earth in the Millennial Kingdom after the return of the Lord Jesus, we have a number of passages which speak of fresh water streams being released to bring water and life to desert regions. These may also be God’s way of cleaning up the earth after the pollutions created by mankind in the present time.
‘The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing. … For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water.’
Both Ezekiel and Zechariah write of a great river flowing out from Jerusalem after the Day of the Lord:
‘And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.’ Zechariah 14:8.
Ezekiel describes a great river that cannot be passed over. It will run eastward from the restored Temple in Jerusalem and go down into the Judean desert and into the Dead Sea, transforming the present salty sea that cannot support life into one that will abound with life.
‘And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes.’ (Ezekiel 47:9).
Could it be that God, who put the waters there in the first place, will release these waters all over the earth to renew it so that it can again support abundant life in the days of Messiah’s reign on earth? Is science catching up with the Bible?
Truth from science must in the long run agree with Biblical revelation-if the Bible is true. If the Bible says what it means and means what it says then it is Jesus who holds the universe in his hands. Our moment-by-moment existence depends on His gracious sustenance of every electron, every atom, every molecule and every spiritual entity as well. We are safe when we place our trust in Him and put our whole lives into His hands! Can we not then stand in awe of our great God and Creator, along with the Psalmist who wrote:
‘O come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it; for his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. O that today you would hearken to his voice!’ Psalm 95:1-7