Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. Despite the evidence, most scientists reject a divine hand in creation, because that hand would hold them morally accountable. As one scientist said, we can't let God get a foot in the door. Well, His foot is not only in the door, He made the door. Today, why creation shouts the truth of the Bible.
From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win, with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, it seems many scientists will do almost anything to explain God away. Dave, I love what you just said, namely that not only does God have His foot in the door, but He created the door. Well said, my brother. You know, God is the one who created all things, and by Him, all things exist.
And when you stop to think of it, if you believe in God, everything else begins to make sense. I want to thank the many of you who support the ministry of Running to Win. Would you consider becoming an endurance partner? That's someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. I'm holding in my hand a letter from someone in West Africa. Listening to your teaching, I see new meaning to my existence on earth. I'm very grateful for your messages. You, my friend, have a part in that. Becoming an endurance partner? Well, you need info. Go to rtwoffer.com. When you're there, click on the endurance partner button, or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Of course, I'm going to be giving you that contact info again at the end of this message.
Thanks in advance for your prayers and your interest in this ministry. You know, we may say, well, you know, light doesn't go too fast. That's why it takes so long, 186,000 miles a second. That's about around the earth seven times or so every second.
I think that that's hustling. I really do. And notice eight minutes it takes it to come from the sun, and the light comes from its layer 300 miles thick, 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. If it were closer, we would burn. If it were further away, we would freeze. Aren't you glad that the sun isn't like some of the other stars that are constantly fading in and out?
They glow for a while and then over a period of maybe 200 days, they begin to disappear and then they begin to come back. How would you like it if you woke up in the morning and the sun was fading away day by day for 200 days it kept fading away? Even if it came to full strength later, it'd be too late for us.
We'd all be frozen. But that sun is there every single day, even when we can't see it. It is there with such consistency. Thank the Lord for the sun. One of the articles said that.02,.02 percent of the stars have some of the properties that the sun have that may be able to sustain life. And then there are others who say that there's no possibility that the other stars have actually the kinds of properties that the sun has to sustain life. Very, very special.
Very, very unique. So the sun, the moon, and the earth, they do this dance. And they have it all in relation to themselves with such accuracy that scientists can predict with accuracy the exact day, the exact moment of an eclipse.
Because it all runs. What does the Bible say in the book of Isaiah? Who has created all these things, who brings out their host by number because there he is great in power, not one faileth. And what he's saying is, God, you put this all together and the scripture says he made the sun to rule the day, the moon to rule the night, and there it is. I need to speak about the stars. This is almost amusing to me when it says in the last part of verse 16, he made the stars also. It's just tossed in, just as if, well, you know, no big deal, but I just happen to make the stars also.
That was just, you know, took a word and it was done. Stars. The sun is a star. But the next closest star is 250,000 times farther away than the sun. Takes light four years to get here, hustling at 186,000 miles a second. And then you begin to think of this fact. Four years for light to get here.
I can't even think about that. 250,000 times farther away from the sun. My mind begins to boggle and then you begin to think of the whole stellar universe and the Milky Way with its hundred billion stars. And then you begin to think about a hundred light years and a thousand light years and a million light years and then they tell us billions of light years and the universe is 17 billion light years. I'm saying, you know, you've lost me somewhere here.
You've really lost me. I can't take it in. What do you mean that the light takes 17 billion years to get here? And I say, you know, there's some light leaving and I might be dead by the time it gets here. I mean, wow, 17 billion years.
Another parenthesis. By the way, God could have created the stars already shining. Some of those stars that were billions of light years away, they were already possibly shining upon the earth at the very moment of creation. Because you see, when God created Adam, Adam didn't, you know, if you had met Adam an hour after he was created, it says, oh, Adam, you look exactly an hour old. No, Adam was created full blown.
If you had looked at the trees of the garden, you wouldn't say, well, you know, that tree strikes me as being one hour old. No, God created it full blown. He may have created the whole universe for man as he did and he speeded up the process that they say take billions of years and he spoke the word and it all happened and it was made inhabitable and lo and behold, the stars are already shining. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
What do we say? What do scientists say? I don't really have time, but I need to read a line or two, what Einstein said. The scientist is possessed by the sense of universal causation. His religious feeling takes the form of rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that compared with it all the systematic thinking and the acting of human beings is utterly insignificant. I'll skip Stephen Hawking except a very short line from him. The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers, he's speaking about the relationships, seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life.
Fred Hoyle, I shall skip his quote entirely. Let me read from Robert Jastrow, an astronomer. For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance.
He is about to conquer the highest peak as he pulls himself over the final rock. He is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries. Now look at Genesis 1-1. In that simple opening statement of the Bible, we have the foundation for all of science, for all of science.
Let's look at it. In the beginning, time. God, personality, created, force. By the way, gravity is frequently misunderstood, but force, God created, he spoke, and there it was with all of those laws and the precision with which the stars and the planets move. Heavens, space, what lies beyond the 17 billion light years. They say they have no idea.
It could go on for another 17. All that we know is from our standpoint, there's no end to it. Earth, matter.
There you have all the elements of what comprises science. The question is, what God, what God is most likely to have been the creator of all of these things with their precision and their accuracy? Well, of course, first of all, we know that he has to be a God with tremendous power, tremendous power because the universe is an effect which must be caused by a much greater cause. Now, God is greater than the universe that he created. He would not create something that was as big as he himself is, but when you begin to think of the multitudes of stars and they tell us that there are more stars in the sky than there are grains of sand on the beaches of the world, the experts tell us, when you begin to think of this mind-boggling number and the immensity of the distance and God is still beyond that, what a powerful God. And it says in Isaiah chapter 40, because he is strong in power, not one fails.
Because he is strong in power. Now, you have to understand, of course, that secondly, a God like that would have to be independent of the universe. He would have to be the cause of his own existence. Out of nothing, nothing comes. You say, well, if out of nothing, nothing comes, then how did God produce himself? Well, God didn't produce himself. Out of nothing, nothing comes. He said to Moses, I am that I am.
The scripture says in the book of Psalms, from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. There was no beginning for God. There was no beginning. And as a result of that, he is independent of the universe. You see, unless we come to an uncaused cause, we will never have a basis upon which anything could possibly exist.
Because out of nothing, nothing comes. Now, you know, the God of the Bible is independent of the universe. He existed before he created the universe. What was God doing before he created the universe?
Well, Calvin said one time, somewhat sarcastically, I hope he was creating a hell for people who ask such questions. He has not seen fit to reveal to us what he was doing before he created the universe. Let us be glad that he did create the universe and that we were known to God before the creation of the world, the Bible says.
So that you are not a stranger to God. You were known and loved by God from before the foundation of the world. I've shown that to you in the Bible before.
We don't have time to do it this morning, but you remember, that's what it says, from all eternity for as long as God existed. And because God doesn't learn anything, he doesn't come up with any new ideas as a result of that, you were in his mind and in his heart from all eternity for as long as he existed, which is from eternity past. So it can't be a pantheistic God that created everything, you know, the Eastern religions with their pantheism. Well, nature is God.
Well, I'm sorry, nature isn't God and nature could not have produced nature. You need a God who is independent of the universe. He has to be a personal God, a personal God. That's what kind of a God we have.
Now here's the miracle, folks. The God who's spoken it was created. The one who said that, let there be light and there was light.
The one who, one afternoon, by the word of his mouth, he simply spoke and it was there and he made the stars also. That God, the Bible says, is the very God who not only can know us and longs to know us, but he actually dwells with us. He dwells with us. Now you need to give me just a moment to find this in my Bible because I know that it is here somewhere, but listen to this. For thus says the high and the exalted one who lives forever whose name is holy.
I dwell on a high and holy place and also with a contrite and a lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. As you know, I believe very, very deeply that the Bible is the word of God. If the Bible is not the word of God, we have no hope of figuring out any kind of an ultimate question.
None. We can figure out little trivial questions, but nothing ultimate because unless God tells us what he is like, unless he tells us what he is up to, he remains a great mystery. He still is a mystery even though he has spoken to us in a language that we can understand.
He is well beyond that. The scripture says that the secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but the things which are revealed belong unto his people forever and ever. And he's given to us a little slice of revelation, just enough so that we are intrigued and we want to know him better and we can come to know him. But here the text says that this God, and I'm saying to myself, wait a moment, is this the same God that is at the end of the universe, assuming that there is some kind of an end?
Is this the same God who is billions of light years away, who created the stars that are billions of light years away? And so he is transcendent, he is out there, but he is also here and dwells not only with his people but within his people and regenerates his people. Now listen, the very same creative act by which God created the worlds, the universe, is the same God who has to do a work in you in order for you to belong to him.
And it's a creative work. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, a new creation. A new heart I will create within you. When you accept Christ as your savior, there is something within you that was not in you before and it was created there by God. Notice the parallels between the physical creation and the new creation. Both are done by God without any human involvement. When God spun the worlds into existence, he didn't say, you know, it's a tough job throwing these stars out there.
I think that I should have some human beings who could at least give it some kind of a shove or something. No, you just did it alone. You say, well, when I was saved, you know, I helped God because I believed. Well, that's true, he gave you the faith to believe, but the actual miracle within, the creation of the new nature was wholly done by God because only he can do it.
And you didn't even have a part in that miracle as far as just looking at it as a miracle is concerned. Both involve the spirit and the word. If we had time in Genesis, we'd know that it's as though the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And what does it say? We are born again of the spirit and then the text says, and the word of God, and the word of God. First Peter, you remember, it says we are born by the imperishable word of God. We have been begotten, both the word and the spirit working together in harmony. And finally, both are for the glory of God. Both are for the glory of God. I've already told you that when God created the universe and especially the stars, I just think he threw himself a party.
He just said, I'm just going to show what I can do. The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows his handiwork day on today. It utters speech night on tonight, utters knowledge in all the regions of the world. No matter where you are, you can go out at night and you can, you can bask in the wonder and the glory and the awesome, unbelievable power of God.
We don't see it here in Chicago so much where we have artificial light, but you know, back in the farm there were some advantages. You'd walk out at night when, when there were no lights, none that were given off through electricity and you just walked under the stars and you sit to yourself, I can't believe it, it looks as if they're so close I could put some of them in my pockets. They're just up there and you walk under that and you say, you know, that's my father, that's my God who created those. He is the one whom I call Abba Father. Daddy, he did it.
He did it. So the heavens declare the glory of God and why do you live? Why do you live? For one purpose. You say, oh, to be happy so that I can get a good retirement so that I can die comfortably of cancer.
That's why I live. The glory of God. Let me tell you a true story. This Wednesday we had a meeting with some pastors here. There's a pastor not too far from here who about two or three weeks ago his house totally burned in the middle of the night. The doorbell rang so he was able to get out. They have no idea as to who rang the doorbell. Was it an angel? Was it a human?
They don't know. But as they were getting out of the house after the doorbell woke them up, they had only a few minutes to get out and he's sitting out there watching with his family as everything is going up in flames. The whole thing is burning and he says to his son, who's about a teenager who's been well taught by the way, he said, son, what is the purpose of man?
What is your purpose? And he answered in the words of the Creed to know God and to enjoy him forever. And then his father said to him, has anything changed now? Is anything any different? Well, the answer is no.
Nothing different. You know, when you have a house, you live for the glory of God. When the thing burns down, you live for the glory of God.
What does it say regarding us as humans? For thy pleasure we are and we were created. And that's why we were created. It's for the good pleasure of God. For the same reason that he spun the worlds into existence to declare his glory.
That's why. Now, the question is, and with this we do, bring the plane to a landing at the airport. Think this through. The Bible says that the heavens are the work of God's fingers.
I mean it was just, you know, a siesta in the afternoon just threw them up there. But it says that when he saved us, the Lord bared his holy arm. What is the greatest miracle? To spin the worlds in space or to save us? The Bible would say to save us.
You know why? Because all of his attributes of love and mercy and truth and justice would have to be involved to save us. And none of those were required for the creation of the world. All that he needed was omnipotence, tremendous power. But when he saved us, love and truth and justice and mercy all came together along with the power of God.
Some of us know the song, apparently not all do. It took a miracle to put the stars in place. It took a miracle to hang the world in space.
But when he saved my soul, cleansed and made me whole, it took a miracle of love and grace. Isn't it wonderful that the same creative God about which the Bible speaks and I read this and I say the Bible is not a book on science to be sure. Scientists have discovered many, many incredible wonderful things that are not at all mentioned in the Bible. But isn't it wonderful to know that the God of the Bible, the foundation of science is all here because he's the creator. He's the creator and our responsibility is to revel in the fact that our Father was able to pull it off and do it so wondrously. And then he says, I want fellowship with you.
I created you and I knew you. And when I save your soul, it's a miracle. Have you experienced that miracle, the miracle of God?
Let's pray. Father, we want to thank you today for the greatness of your book. We thank you that there is not a single statement in your holy word that contradicts science. We thank you Father for the exploration of space. We thank you for all that people have been able to do, the ability of putting a man on the moon, the ability to look into the heavens further and further.
And we rejoice every time there's a new telescope that tells us more. And we ask Father in the name of Christ that as we think about that God, that we might know that in grace he gave us a book. And we pray that we might love the book, study the book, and be changed by it. For those who've never met God through Christ, we pray even today, yes, if you're here and you don't know Christ as Savior, you can say, Lord Jesus, would you save me? Would you connect me with God the creator?
No man, said Jesus, comes to the Father but by me. You can pray that even where you are now, cry out to God and say, save me. And grant me that new heart, that miracle that only you can do. Father, do that in the lives of many. We ask in Jesus' name. Amen. You know my friend, I have to tell you that the older I get, the more time I spend just contemplating God. I love to sit outside, particularly in the evening, looking at the stars, trying to get my mind around God and his eternality. Of course, nobody can understand that completely.
Remembering the fact that God in some sense is inscrutable, the word of God says that he is, and yet also remembering that he has revealed himself in Jesus Christ and in his word. We want to thank the many of you who support the ministry of Running to Win. As you've frequently have heard me say, we are in 20 different countries in four different languages and our desire is to expand this ministry and we have opportunities to do just that. Thanks to you, you are a part of what we are doing.
Would you consider becoming an endurance partner? That's someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts and of course the amount that you give is entirely your decision. But you need more info. So here's what you do. Go to RTWOffer.com. That's RTWOffer.com and when you're there, click on the endurance partner button or call us at 1-888-218-9337. We give God all the glory for what he has done through the ministry of Running to Win.
Everything belongs to him. And thank you so much for being a part of what we are doing. Call right now 1-888-218-9337. You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60614. Running to Win comes to you from the Moody Church in Chicago. Next time, who decided what should be in the Bible in the first place? Don't miss the amazing answer as we learn how the Bible was put together. For Pastor Erwin Lutzer, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
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