Author: Ron Graham
Scared by a Godless Universe
—The Biblical answer
There are three topics that scientists are talking about which have caused widespread concern, and even fear. These topics are: Climate Change, Artificial Intelligence, and a Godless Universe.
In this lesson we look at the third of those. We get the Bible’s answer to the theory of a Godless Universe.
The Bible’s Assurance
The Bible gives us the assurance of three things...
- We are spirits. Our bodies die but our souls last beyond death (Matthew 10:28, 1Corinthians 5:1-8).
- We have a Creator who loves us. He has a plan that includes us (2Timothy 1:9-10, Ephesians 3:10-12).
- He is a God of love, peace, mercy, grace, hope, joy, patience, justice, and virtue (Galatians 5:22, Philippians 4:4-8).
We will compare this message of hope and assurance with the bleak world view of materialism. That view can be summed up in one sentence: “In all reality, among all that exists, there is no spirit, no scheme, and no salvation.”
1 “There Is No Spirit”
Jesus Christ, believed in two realities, the physical and spiritual. For instance he said, "Do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul, but rather fear him who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell" (Matthew 10:28).
Many scientists, however, believe the universe and reality are entirely material. There is nothing spiritual or non-physical.
God is an Illusion? Then So Are You!
The Bible’s perspective includes not only what we see, but also invisible and spiritual things which we know of by faith. We understand the cause of the universe to be the word of the invisible God.
"Faith is the assurance... of things unseen... By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God so that the things now seen were made of invisible things" (Hebrews 11:1-3).
Conversely, the things we see are evidence of things we do not see —including our invisible human spirits and our invisible Creator.
Paul says, "Since the creation of the world the invisible attributes of God have been clearly seen. They are understood by the things that are made, showing his eternal power and divinity" (Romans 1:20).
Suppose there were no God, and therefore no spirit living in your body. What would you be? The answer is that you'd be a body, nothing more.
Your thoughts, desires, feelings, beliefs, principles, memories, decisions, and sense of self, would all be entirely the product of an organ of an animal body.
There would be no “you” in charge. A brain would be creating the illusion of “you”.
That would make a good song title, “The Illusion of You”. But the song would be a sad one. Who wants to be an illusion and live a lie?
2 “There Is No Scheme”
Many scientists not only deny that there is any spirit, but they also deny any plan or purpose in what exists. Reality is an undirected happenstance.
We may acknowledge an immediate purpose in things we observe. A bird has wings for the purpose of flight, and a beak for the purpose of eating to fuel the flight. But for what ultimate purpose do birds fly, kangaroos hop, and human beings run too and fro over the face of the earth?
Many scientists say that there is no grand plan or purpose for the world and the universe. It just happened over time, and there is no reason for its existence —or for yours.
The Bible, however, has a perspective of design and purpose. The LORD’s purpose (or counsel) is eternal, the designs (or plans) of his heart go on through all generations. (Psalm 33:11).
God’s Eternal Purpose
Paul speaks of "God’s eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ephesians 3:11).
Paul also says, "The creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God." (Romans 8:19-21 ESV).
From the Bible’s perspective, God had a grand plan in mind for his creation, and although he made an opportunity for the Fall, his plan was unchanged, for it included the sacrifice of Christ. "He was foreordained before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times" (1Peter 1:18-21).
Again, Paul says, God has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before time ages ago. (2Timothy 1:9).
Compare that with the frightful idea that you are just another animal body. Your awareness of self is a falsehood, an illusion generated by the brain. Your life is the result of undirected chance, and neither you nor your species have any ultimate purpose.
3 “There Is No Stairway”
Most people want to rise above their current status. It's not enough to survive like rats. We want to soar like eagles. Some people chase riches, power, thrills, education, fame, and status. But such things never really satisfy.
Is there not some higher place for us to go? Is their not some higher state in which to be? Is there not a stairway up to heaven like Jacob dreamed of? (Genesis 28:12).
Darwinian evolution offers progress over millions of years. But you are lucky to last more than 80 years. You are, therefore, stuck with reaching the limited potential of the body that evolution has given you for that short span.
From the Biblical perspective, you can climb to a place far above this material world. You can be "caught up in the clouds... to meet the Lord in the air, and so ever be with the Lord" (1Thessalonians 4:16-18).
The City of God
- There is a place for you in God’s heaveny city (Revelation 21 and 22).
- You can have a new, eternal, heavenly body suitable for citizens of that high realm (1Corinthians 15:50-58, Philippians 3:20-21).
- Materialism knows only the present heavens and earth. But the Bible promises a new heavens and earth in which righteousness dwells (2Peter 3:1-18).
- By the steps of faith in Christ, repentance from sin, confession of Christ, baptism into Christ, and a holy life, you become sealed by the Holy Spirit as an heir of the heavenly inheritance (Romans 8:12-17, Ephesians 1:11-14).
The words of Paul in Romans (and his agreement with Jesus in the gospels) on what sinners should do to receive grace. Check these verses in your own Bible.
1. Hearing Christ's word (Romans 10:8-17, Matthew 7:24).
2. Believing —having faith (Romans 1:16-17, John 3:16)
3. Repentance from sin (Romans 2:4-5, 6:1-2, Luke 5:31-32)
4. Confessing Christ (Romans 10:8-10, Matthew 10:32)
5. Being baptized (Romans 6:3-4, Mark 16:15-16)
6. Ongoing commitment
(Romans 12:1-2, 12:11-12, Luke 9:62)