Author: Ron Graham
What force started the universe? Did the universe come from nothing? Did the universe have a beginning or is it eternal? These are questions that faith answers, because faith is able to investigate things that are beyond science.
Scientists have not yet discovered the force that brought the universe into being. We can learn the answer from the Bible however: "Faith makes us understand that the worlds were assembled by the word of God. Everything we see came from what is unseen." (Hebrews 11:3).
Notice that the passage says, "The worlds were assembled by the word of God" (Hebrews 11:3). God’s word was the force that made the universe exist. As the Psalmist says, "For he spoke, and it was done; he commanded and it stood forth" (Psalms 33:9).
Notice also the connection to our faith: "Faith makes us understand that the worlds were assembled by the word of God." (Hebrews 11:3). Where does this faith and the understanding come from? "Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ." (Romans 10:17).
Faith, therefore, is not an unsubstantiated belief. "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). Our faith comes from the same power that brought the cosmos into being —the word of God.
The first item of faith that God reveals to us in his word, the very first sentence in the Bible, says that "God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). In that first chapter, we read several times, "And God said... and it was so" (Genesis 1).
The force that made the cosmos exist is the same force that produces our faith: nothing less than the word of God.
Notice that the text which says "the worlds were assembled by the word of God" goes on to say that "everything we see came from what is unseen." (Hebrews 11:3)
The Bible does not say that God made the world out of nothing. Even common sense says that one cannot make aught from naught. But we don't rely on common sense. As we have just noticed, the Bible informs us that "the things seen came from things unseen." (Hebrews 11:3).
God’s word, and the mind and purpose of God behind his word, can certainly not be described as “nothing”. It is one thing to say that God assembled the worlds by his word from invisible things. It's quite another to say that God assembled the worlds “out of nothing”.
Atheistic science in the 21st century is struggling with the problem of how the universe (or “multiverse”) could have arisen where previously there was nothing. It is a mistake to think that previously there was nothing.
The cosmos did not come from nothing. It was made by God from things which are not seen.
It used to be commonly believed, among scientists, that the universe is eternal —it's always existed. This “steady state” universe didn't require our first two questions to be asked or answered.
However, in this 21st century, science is looking at a cosmos that, no matter how many universes or dimensions it consists of, does not show signs of being eternal. Rather it shows signs of having begun.
Faith assures us that indeed the cosmos did have a beginning. The first truth the Bible gives us to believe says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). Atheistic science, on the other hand, is seeking equations and observations to prove the cosmos has always been.
While atheistic science is struggling to find eternity in the cosmos, faith has no such problem. Eternity is in God, not in the cosmos. Our universe was begun by God and it will become eternal only when, out of its death, God creates a glorified new heavens and a new earth.
"The creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and will enter into the freedom of the glory of the children of God" (Romans 8:20-21).
"The heavens will be dissolved... nevertheless we look for a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells" (2Peter 3:10-13 in part).
The cosmos is not eternal or without beginning and end. Rather, God brought about a beginning, and God will bring about an end.
Previously we showed that it was from the word of God that all creation came into being (Hebrews 11:3). So the word existed before creation. "In the beginning was the Word; and the Word was with God; and the Word was God." (John 1:1).
"All things were made by him, and without him nothing was made that has been made" (John 1:3). "By him all things were created... and he is before all things" (Colossians 1:16-17).
MIND → COSMOS
Without argument, a word is spoken for a purpose, and that purpose is conceived by a mind. Where no mind exists, no purpose exists, and hence no word is uttered, and nothing is made or done.
If you were walking along the sea shore, and you noticed in the sand a message written, “George loves Mary” —would you imagine that somehow merely by the workings of soldier crabs, or a stick in a willy-willy, the grains of sand had been assembled into meaningful words?
Faith shows us that the worlds came into being by Christ —whom John calls the Word (John 1:1-4, Colossians 1:16-17). John means what Jesus himself meant, when he said, "I am the truth" (John 14:6). God is the mind that originated the word that leads us to God and that brought our universe into being.
So Christians believe that mind preceded the cosmos; the cosmos came from mind —the mind of Christ.
COSMOS → MIND
Atheistic scientists see things in the opposite order: the cosmos preceded mind; mind arose from the cosmos. Mind, rather than designing and originating the universe, is a very recent development in the evolution of the universe.
The atheistic view doesn't arise from any scientific method. Nor does our view. But we have faith based upon God’s revelation to support our view that the cosmos came from mind. It is possible that some things known by faith through revelation cannot be known by scientific method.
In this study, I have taken no pains to directly repudiate atheism or any science that embraces it. Rather, my purpose is to carefully encourage believers in God.
God assures us that our universe doesn't come from nothing but from his word. God assures us that this cosmos hasn't always been, but did have a beginning.
God assures us that his mind and purpose originated and preceded our universe. These are not things that science can currently give any assurance of, pro or con. Science is in its infancy whereas faith by revelation is mature.
Science is always learning and changing its tune, whereas faith is assured by God whose shadow is unshifting and whose word endures the same; yesterday, today, and forever.