The Glorious Eternity Of God

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The Glorious Eternity Of God:

Genesis 1:1. “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.”

Revelation 21:1. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”

We are living in the space of time between these two scriptures, but God existed before the first scripture and will continue to exist after the fulfillment of the second. The glorious beginning of God’s story begins with the profound statement that in the beginning, God created everything (Genesis 1)—which means that in the beginning, He was already there. God is eternal.

It is impossible to comprehend eternity. It’s been defined as three stages of time: everything before Creation, everything that has taken place or will take place from Creation until the end of the world, and everything that will take place after the end of the world. It stretches back further than the human mind can reach, it stretches ahead further that the human mind can imagine. The opening statement of Genesis makes it clear that God as Creator is eternal and therefore not bound by time.

This God who “inhabiteth eternity” (Isaiah 57:15), asks a question in Isaiah 44:8b “Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.” And again in Isaiah 45:21b. “And there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.” All other gods are the figment (Something invented, made up, or fabricated) of the imaginations of man.

The practice of worship of idols goes back to the dawn of human history. The Bible names a few, Dagon, Baal, Ashtoreth, Diana, and when Paul walked through Athens (Acts 17:23), no less than 20,000 idols gods were displayed. The Hindus believe it took 350,000,000 gods to create the world.

Who is this God that stepped out from eternity to create our universe? He did not leave us without witness; in fact He Himself is His greatest witness. In this New Year let us make a deliberate decision to seek to know God as He truly is. I do not know Him as well as I want to, or as well as I should. I do know Him more personally than I did twenty years ago, and I pray I will know Him better next year than I do today.

A GOD WHO HAD NO NEEDS:

To answer the questions, “Is there a God?” “What is God like?” “How can I know God?” “Is there life after death?” “Why am I here? “Where am I going?”

Genesis 1:1. “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.”

Genesis begins with the dark void of eternity. God has always been. He has always been God. There was a time when there was nothing but God. And somewhere back before time, God established His throne. Isaiah 14:12-14 and Ezekiel 28:12-17 establishes the fact that God had a hierarchy, a Kingdom with all the pomp and unimaginable splendor anyone could desire, long before He created this Universe. So the question arises, “Why did God create the heaven and the earth?”

A God who had no needs, but Who had desired. He did not need a heaven and an earth, but He had a desire to have boys and girls, and men and women, who would love and worship Him and have fellowship with Him. That’s the reason He created the heavens and the earth.

This earth that you and I inhabit is almost an insignificant speck swirling around in an unimaginable vast collection of stars and planets. Why did God create so unimaginably large universe, and as far as science can determine, the earth is the only inhabitable speck in it?

This earth is the most remarkable piece of real estate in the Universe. It was established as a paradise, a home, for the human race. Once a man was created, he was committed for the long term. And the Creator, in His grace, showered the man with benefits that would make his commitment to live a joy and pleasure:

“God blessed them” (Genesis 1:28). Every day the man would be excited to wake up, eager to go to work, rejoicing in who he was and the opportunities he had during the day, walking in the evening with the Creator, sleeping peacefully at night in harmony with the world around him because he was blessed by his Creator.

God is the Creator, whose purpose for you and me is the same as it was when He created our environment in the beginning. He wants us to reflect His image so that we might receive His blessing. “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).

WE CAN FIND MEANING IN THE PREPARATION OF THE EARTH:

Like planet Earth around us, our lives are not a haphazard cosmos. They were deliberately planned to be filled with the beauty of love and joy and peace and purpose—with God Himself. Such plans for our lives, as for planet Earth, need careful preparation.

Genesis 1:2. “And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

In the beginning, there was nothing in the universe except a vast, endless emptiness.

There was no time, no history, no life, no light, no sound, just an immense black hole. Then, in all of that eternal empty nothingness, there was a misshapen blob that swirled in water, minute in size compared to the endless expanse surrounding it. It was enveloped in inky blackness, empty of everything and anything we might name, recognize, or find familiar.

PREPARED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD:

One of the very first steps the Creator took to fill the emptiness with life and beauty and eternal purpose was to prepare it by His Spirit: “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

The description of the Earth as it existed, in the beginning, is also an amazingly accurate description of the lives of many people today—lives that are formless, with no shape or discipline or character; lives that are void of meaning and joy and satisfaction—empty on the inside; lives that are in the darkness of ignorance, depression, despair, anger, frustration, and separated from God; and lives that are covered with water—the “deep”—having no stability or security.

How does a person whose life is empty experience changes that will result in a full, happy, meaningful life? The first necessary step is the preparation by the Spirit of God. Hundreds bear radiant testimony to the power of God to transform an empty life into one filled with the blessing of God through the preparation of His Spirit and the power of the Word. Let us pray that God’s Spirit will hover over us to prepare our hearts to receive Him into our lives, then what a change takes place.

PREPARED BY HIS WORD:

God brought about change in the Earth not only through the advanced preparation of the Spirit but through the daily proclamation of His Word.

Genesis 1:3. “And God said, …”

In the Bible the phrase “God said” occurs over twenty–five hundred times. “God said … the Lord has said … thus saith the Lord,” and so on. That is more than two times for every page in the Bible. God has made it very clear that He is speaking through this Book. It is a Book that can communicate life to you.

The phrase “and God said” occurs ten times in the first chapter of Genesis.

Was His Word like a still, small voice whispering in the darkness? Was His Word rumbling and loud like a peal of thunder? Was His Word full, musical, reverberating like the sound of rushing waters? However it was, it was simply an expression of what was on God’s mind.

Regardless of the form, we know that every day of Creation, God’s Word went forth, every day it was received, and every day some change took place in response, until progressively, day after day after day, the earth was transformed from emptiness to fullness of life and beauty.

Is your life empty? Do you want to experience real, lasting, God-pleasing change so that you are filled with satisfaction, peace, joy, love, purpose—abundant life?

Then don’t look to a drug, a bottle, a pill, a therapist, a once-a-week trip to church, or even a weekly Bible study. Look to God’s Word for yourself. Read your Bible every day in order to understand, apply, and obey it. As we long to grow not only in our faith but in our Christian character so that others can readily see Christ in us, we need to live in the power of the Holy Spirit and in obedience to His Word. This transformation is a continual process that is brought about by daily saturating ourselves in the Scriptures, then living it out in our life day by day.

God’s Word has not lost its power since the beginning of time! The same power that transformed planet Earth from that which was void, dark, without form, and in a fluid condition to that which was teeming with life, clothed in beauty, and reflective of the image of God is available today to change and fill empty lives.

GOD CREATED THE LIGHT TO ILLUMINATE THE WORLD AND DISPEL THE DARKNESS:

“Darkness was upon the face of the deep.” In the beginning, there was no dawn to end the night, no sun to warm the day, no moonlight reflected in the swirling water, no silhouettes against the sky, no sky, no horizon, just a never-ending night!

Genesis 1:3. “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”

What was that first light like? Was it a soft, gradual illumination of the darkness like the dawning of a new day? Was it a shaft of brilliant glory? And how was it possible since the sun, moon, and stars were not brought into existence until the fourth day of Creation? Scientists tell us that there is light in the universe apart from the sun, such as phosphorescence or the light from radiation or the aurora borealis.

And the Bible (1 John 1:5) tells us physical light is associated with the very presence of God—so much so that in heaven there will be no need for a sun, moon, and stars because the light of God’s glory will illumine everything. Perhaps on the first day of Creation God lifted the veil that had hidden Him from the earth and in some way the glory of His presence was revealed. Whatever the unknown technical explanation may be, we know the light came in response to God’s Word.

God didn’t leave our environment in a murky, dusky twilight. “And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first days” (Genesis 1:4–5).

While the light described was literal it has wonderful analogy and personal meaning for you and me because the light in the spiritual sense represents the truth, clarity, spiritual understanding, and discernment we receive from God’s written Word. The Psalmist praised God because “the unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”

In what area of your life do you need illumination? God’s written Word and the answers we find there to turn our darkness into light. The Psalm 119:105 says, God’s Word “is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”

GOD’S WORD BRINGS INNER ILLUMINATION:

Jesus Christ, the living Word of God, is the light of the world!

Genesis 1:3. “And God said, Let there be light. And there was light.”

Do you ever wonder, “Why am I here?” “What is the meaning to my life?” “Why is genuine happiness so elusive?” “Why am I lonely in a crowd?” “Why am I so restless inside?” “Why do I feel guilty?” “Why do I feel afraid?” “Is there a God?”

“What is God like?” “How can I know God?” “Is there life after death?” “Where am I going?” God’s written Word and the answers we find there to turn our inner darkness into light.

We could wonder if the mind of Saul of Tarsus searched for truth through similar questions. He had filled his life with organized religion in order to find God and through Him, meaning for his life. He testified that he was “Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.”

Yet he lived in the darkness of ignorance, thinking he was serving God while all the while he was separated from Him. While he pursued with a vengeance what he perceived to be the truth, suddenly “a light (blazed) from heaven, brighter than the sun” (Acts 26:13).

Saul of Tarsus was confronted with the revelation of God’s glory in the person of Jesus Christ! While the light temporarily physically blinded him, at the same time it opened his spiritual eyes to the truth. Later he exclaimed, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6).

The apostle John said that “in him was life, and that life was the light of men.” His life is our light, our meaning, our reason for living, our fulfillment and satisfaction and joy and peace! Surely, if God could lean down out of heaven and invade the life of Saul of Tarsus, shining His Light into Saul’s life in such a way that his life was transformed, He is able to do the same for you and me and anyone we know!

John says the Light has come! He is the living Word who was at the beginning with God, who Himself was God, who became flesh! His name is Jesus!

CREATION OF THE FIRMAMENT, THE SKY ABOVE US:

Only God has the power to lift the pressure from within you. Your circumstances may remain the same, but He has the power to give you breathing room. He can give your spirit peace and rest, even as He gives your life a new dimension.

Genesis 1:6. “And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7. And 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. 8. And God called the firmament Heaven.”

In the beginning, when the light appeared, it revealed a planet that was black and white and gray. There was no color. The planet was just a misshapen blob completely submerged in water. If we had been present, all we would have seen would have been some prehistoric, stagnant pond. To the untrained eye, it would have appeared to have no potential at all. Do you know anyone like that?

Sometimes, even with the Light on, only God can see the potential in a human life. The potential can be totally invisible to others, submerged in waste, in filth, in sin and rebellion and violence. How do you react to such a person? Sometimes, a person’s life can be so hopelessly ugly we just want to turn the light off. But praise God! He turned the Light on and began to draw out the potential:

God separated the waters below from the waters above, forming an atmosphere (the air we breathe) in between. The vapor canopy would have made the earth like a greenhouse. On the earth, under the canopy, there would have been no great air-mass movements, no hurricanes, no tornadoes, no monsoons, no typhoons, no rain, no thunderstorms.

Scientists tell us that today the atmosphere weighs approximately 5.7 quadrillion tons! But the atmosphere held much more water than that in earth’s first days (Genesis 2:5-6). Think of the pressure on the earth when it was smothered and swirling in billions and billions of tons of water!

Can you imagine the power of God’s Word that lifted those billions of tons of water up from the earth into a vapor canopy? The earth was still “under” the pressure, but with the expanse and new dimension, it had breathing room.

GOD LAID A FOUNDATION FOR LIFE ON EARTH:

On the third day of creation, God’s Word went forth to a planet submerged in water and laid the foundations of the earth. God’s word is the only sure foundation to build our life upon.

Genesis 1:9. “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.”

Did you know that the average depths of all the oceans and snow and ice and lakes and streams on the earth is 2 and ½  miles deep, and covers more than three-fourths of the earth’s surface, enough water to cover all the land a mile deep if it was all flattened out? Yet God hollowed out places on earth to contain all of this water.

All around us we see lives collapsing with broken hearts and broken homes and broken hopes—with shattered minds and shattered emotions and shattered bodies.

What has gone wrong? The foundation on which the majority of people are building their lives is cracked and flawed. The foundation of faith in Jesus Christ is one on which you and I can build our lives with confidence, knowing it will last, not only for our lifetimes but for all eternity as well.

As Jesus concluded His Sermon on the Mount, He said, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.”  (Matthew 7:24-25)

The Bible tells us there is only one foundation for individual or national life that will last, regardless of the crisis or pressure, and it is the foundation of Jesus Christ: “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:11)

The Creator wants us to have a strong foundation for life, and He wants the lives we build on that foundation to be filled with satisfaction, fulfillment, beauty, and fruitfulness. This is reflected in the third day of Creation, which not only involved laying a foundation but also bringing forth vegetation that made the earth fruitful and beautiful.

Jesus Christ never changes “He is the same yesterday today and forever.” He will “never leave you nor forsake you.” “Nothing can ever separate you from His love.” “His grace is always sufficient,” and “His power is made perfect in weakness.” His Word never fails, His promises are true, and everything He says comes to pass.

THE BEAUTIFICATION OF EARTH:

Through the power of His Word, God brought beauty to the barrenness and added color to the drabness. Notice this time God did not create anything new. He just called it forth from what was already present, because apparently, that which was necessary for plant life was in the s

About the author

James Thornton

I am a retired pastor currently living in the Nashville, TN area. We attend First Church, Bro. Ron Becton pastor. We've been putting our sermons and Bible studies online for more than five years in an effort to continue our ministry.


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