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God Made the World and Everything In It - Life of Paul Part 49

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
October 22, 2020 1:00 pm

God Made the World and Everything In It - Life of Paul Part 49

So What? / Lon Solomon

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October 22, 2020 1:00 pm

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Hey, let's take a Bible if we brought one this morning. Let's open it to the book of Acts chapter 17. We're going to be continuing in our study of the life of the great man, the Apostle Paul. And when we left Paul the last time, the Apostle Paul was in Athens, if you remember, up on top of a place we call Mars Hill.

Looks just like this. It's just below the Parthenon. And on the top of Mars Hill, he was preaching to the intellectual elite, not just in Athens, but therefore in the whole world of his day. And you remember, we looked at that sermon and we said that the Apostle Paul in the Mars Hill sermon tried so hard to repackage the message of Christ so that it made sense to these intellectual philosophers that he ended up robbing it of all of its power. Now, it would be easy as a result of that just to say, well, there's not much here then, so let's just go on.

But that's not true. In spite of that strategic mistake that he made, which, by the way, he learned from, there's still an enormous amount of spiritual truth in this sermon. And so what we want to do, rather than fly over it and keep going, I want to camp out and hover above the Mars Hill sermon for a couple of weeks, and let's really pull some spiritual truth out of this sermon that Paul put in, and that's what we're going to start by doing today. So let's look, verse 22, chapter 17. Paul says, the Bible says, Then Paul stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus, that's his council of intellectuals, and he said, Men of Athens, I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription to an unknown God. Now what you worship as something unknown, I am going to proclaim to you.

Paul said, I've walked around your city. I see you guys got idols coming out the wazoo in this city, and I'm here to proclaim to you the true God, the living God, the real God of the universe. And so he begins, verse 24, the God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth.

Now let's stop right there. Paul says, the real God is the God who made the world and everything in it. And it's obvious from what he says here that the Apostle Paul believed the Bible's account of how the world and how the universe came into being, that the Lord God of the universe made it all. And we want to stop right here for today, and this is what I want to talk to you about.

I want to talk to you about the biblical account of creation, what the Bible says about how the universe and how the cosmos came into being. And let me tell you why this is so important. It's important because many of us here have been raised in the public education system of America.

Most of the people in this town have been raised in the public education system of America. We've been taught the evolutionary model of the universe ever since we were in elementary school. And for many people, some of you even here today, this is a huge impediment, an enormous obstacle in the way of your making a decision for Christ. You can't get past the discrepancy between what scientists say and what the Bible says about creation. Now if we're going to be successful in reaching secularized people who were raised in the American public education system, if we're going to reach those folks, we have to be able to demonstrate that the Bible's account of creation is at least possible, that it is at least reasonable and plausible. Now can I today prove to you that what the Bible says about the creation is correct in some empirical way, like we can prove that two plus two equals four? No, I can't do that. Nobody can do that.

Nobody was there when it happened. May I remind you, nobody can do that and prove that to you about the evolutionary model of the universe either. What I want to do today is to give us enough information to convince us that the Bible's claims about how the universe came into being are at least possible, that the Bible's claims are not as far-fetched, not as nonsensical, not as cockeyed and unscientific as your high school biology teacher or your college biology professor want you to believe What I really want to show you is that, in fact, the Bible's explanation makes a lot more sense than the evolutionary model makes when you just look at it on a scientific basis. You say, well, wait a minute, before you start, just question. I don't mean this wrong, but what gives you the credentials to talk about something like this to us? I mean, no offense, but you're just a preacher.

You know what I'm saying? Well, friends, no offense taken. Let me just tell you that when I went to undergraduate school, I didn't train as a preacher. When I went to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, I trained as a chemist. I have a bachelor's degree in chemistry. I took over 60 hours of college chemistry.

I took over 30 hours of college math and physics, and I have not won a Nobel Prize. That's true, but I feel I can talk to you with some level of intelligence on these topics, and so that's what I want to do today. So let's begin by asking the question, well, exactly what does the Bible say about how the universe began? Well, if you brought your Bible and you want to, you can turn back with me to Genesis chapter one. And by the way, that's on page one. Yeah, okay.

All right, good. Now, what does the Bible say? Well, on page one of the Bible, in the very first verse, it says, in the beginning, God, stop there a minute. The Bible doesn't say in the beginning, man. It doesn't say in the beginning, protoplasm, or in the beginning, amoebas, or in the beginning, primeval sludge.

It doesn't say in the beginning, hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and lightning. It says in the beginning, God. When there was nothing else and no one else here, there was God. And what did this God do?

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And the Hebrew word here for create is the word bara. In the Hebrew Bible, this verb form is never used with anyone else as its subject other than God. In other words, only God can bara. People never bara. You say, well, I'm really glad you told me that, because I always wanted to know if I could bara, and now I know I can't.

So thank you for telling me that. No, this is important because bara means to create something from nothing. And the Bible is telling us that God, when it comes to everything we see in the universe around us, that God took nothing, and he made it into everything that exists, into everything that you and I see, into everything the Hubble telescope is taking pictures of. God made all of that out of nothing. Now you and I can't do that as human beings. We can take something and make something out of something, but we cannot take nothing and make something out of nothing. You followed that, right?

Okay, good. And yet the Bible declares that God is so awesome, God is so majestic, God is so unlimited in his power that he did bara, that he can bara, that he took nothing and made it into the stars, the galaxies, the nebula, the planets, this earth and everything we see on this earth by his own divine power. Or, as the apostle Paul put it on Mars Hill, God made the world and everything in it. Now Time magazine in an article entitled Unraveling the Universe said this, and I quote, the experts don't know for sure how old or how big the universe is. They don't know what most of it is made of. They don't know in any detail how it began or how it will end. And beyond our local cosmic neighbors, they don't know much about what it looks like. Now you say, well, Lon, in light of the fact of how much these experts don't know, it would seem that at least they would give the Bible's explanation a serious chance, that at least they'd give it a hearing. Why don't they? Well, that's a great question, and let me tell you the answer.

And friends, the answer has nothing to do with science. You see, if a person admits that the world was created, then in so facto, there's got to be a creator, and that creator has got to be a whole lot more powerful than you and me if he can create everything we see out there. Now, if there is a creator like this, then you and I as human beings should be subject to him. You and I should seek his will for our lives.

You and I should run our lives by his word. You and I should run our society by his rules, and this is an act of capitulation. This is an act of surrender that these scientists and these so-called experts are simply not prepared to make. And what that means is their only choice is to come up with an alternate theory of how the universe happened, a theory that can be nutty and crazy and have all the probabilities against it so long as there's no creator in it. Because we're not surrendering to a creator. We're not going to be subjected to a creator, so we don't care how crazy the theory is. There's just got to be no creator in it. If you think this is all about science, my friend, you're wrong.

If you think these scientists don't have personal lifestyle issues in how they interpret the information, you're wrong. This is a lot about the fact I'm not accepting a creator, so I've got to find another explanation for the universe. What does God say about all of this? Well, listen, he says, Psalm 19, one, the heavens declare the glory of God and the skies proclaim his handiwork. Creation's voice rings out to the whole earth. There is no culture or language where creation's voice is not heard. And what is creation's voice yelling to the whole universe?

There is a God who made all of this is what creation is yelling. Psalm 14 says, the fool has said in his heart, there is no God. God says, anybody who looks around at creation and denies I exist, they're a fool. Now, it's a serious thing to have the God of the universe call you a fool.

And yet he says, if you can't see me from everything that's around you, you are a fool. You say, okay, Lon, okay, wait a minute, wait a minute. I hear what you're saying, but Lon, there are still some big questions you haven't answered. There are some big what abouts that are still bothering me. Okay, we'll ask them.

Okay, well, here's my first one, Lon. What about the fact that almost no scientists think that the Bible's account of creation can possibly be right? What about that? Well, friends, actually, that's not true. Actually, there are a lot more scientists than most of us realize who either totally reject the evolutionary model of the universe or they have serious reservations about the evolutionary model of the universe and they're not believers and they're not followers of Christ, they're just good scientists. For example, Science Digest said, and I quote, scientists who utterly reject evolution may be one of the fastest growing minorities. Many of these scientists hold impressive credentials in science. Dr. William D. Hamilton, Oxford University biologist, not a believer, says, and I quote, the theological possibility.

In other words, the account of how the world happened that the Bible gives is still certainly alive. Dr. Henry Morgenau, Yale University physicist, said this, there is only one convincing answer for the intricate laws in the natural world that exist in the natural world, creation by an omnipotent, all wise God, end of quote. This guy does not teach for Jerry Falwell.

You understand what I'm saying? This guy teaches at Yale University and this is what he said. Dr. Paul Davies, a physicist, not a believer, and I quote, the very fact that the universe is creative and that it has permitted complex structures to emerge and develop to the point of consciousness. In other words, the fact that the universe has organized its own self-awareness is, for me, powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all.

The impression of design is overwhelming, end of quote. Finally, Dr. Ronald Numbers, University of Wisconsin, he is not a believer. He's not even a scientist. He is a historian, but he keeps track of the debate between creationists and evolutionists and here's what he said and I quote, published scientists with creationist beliefs are not uncommon. Friends, the truth is you and I have been duped into thinking that every scientist in the world that's worth his salt has bought into the evolutionary model 100%. That is not true. You and I have been duped into believing that every scientist worth his salt agrees with the evolutionary model 100%.

That is simply not true. There is a large percentage of people in the scientific community who express serious doubt about the evolutionary model and many of them are not believers in the Lord Jesus. You say, all right, all right, I got another what about.

Okay, what's that? Well, what about the age of the universe, Lon? I mean, the Bible presents the picture of a very young earth and yet scientists keep telling us that the universe is billions and billions of years old.

You know, our friend Carl Sagan, who's dead now and knows the truth, but we won't talk about that. But anyway, what about all this? You say, well, why is it even important? Who cares how old the earth is? Oh, it's very important.

Let me tell you why. Because friends, the odds of life developing on this earth by evolution are so infinitesimally small that the only way that there's any chance it happened is by giving evolution billions and billions of years to try. If the earth is young and it's not billions and billions of years old, then friends, biblical creation becomes the only way it could have happened. There's no other way mathematically that's even possible.

This is important. Well, how do you date the age of the universe? Well, there are two primary ways of doing it. The first is carbon-14 dating or radioactive dating. And we're given the idea rather that measuring this is easy, that decay rates of radioactive isotopes are very constant and this is a very scientifically demonstrable and dependable thing. Well, but listen to Dr. Frederic Junemann. He's an evolutionist.

He's not a believer. He said this, and I quote, the age of our globe is presently thought to be some 4.5 billion years based on radio decay rates of uranium and thorium. There has been in recent years, however, the horrible realization that radio decay rates are not as constant as previously thought, nor are they immune to environmental influences. This could mean that the atomic clocks were reset during some global disaster and that the events that brought the Mesozoic, the dinosaur age to a close, may not be 65 million years ago, but rather within the age and the memory of man, end of quote. Now, do we have any such global disasters on record? That might have reset those atomic clocks? Let's think, I got one. How about the two by two by two going on the little boats? You know that one in the Bible? Yeah. Do you know the Bible says all that water for Noah's flood didn't come by rain?

You couldn't rain that much. The Bible, check it out. Genesis 7 says that the crust of the earth was split open. The fountains of the deep poured up from below the earth full of radioactive material, magma, all kinds of stuff, and that every artifact on the face of the earth today soaked in that stuff for one full year. If that's true, radioactive dating is completely bogus. It is completely unreliable because the atomic clocks were reset during that year when everything soaked in this radioactive sludge or water that was on the earth. You say, well, wait a minute, though, Lon, there's another way to date the earth and the universe, and that's through the expanding universe. Well, that's true. And again, we're given the impression that this is a very finely tuned scientific exercise, that the results are airtight.

But that's not what Time magazine said. Listen, astronomers have known since Hubble's heyday in the 1920s, Time says, that you only need two pieces of information to deduce the age of the universe. Number one, how fast the galaxies are flying apart. And number two, how far away they are.

You then take those two things, plug them into a formula, and you know the age of the earth. However, University of Oklahoma astrophysicist David Branch notes that there are two loopholes in this whole thing, though. Loophole number one is what's the right distance? And loophole number two is what's the right speed?

These two loopholes are big enough to drive the Starship Enterprise through, end of quote. What this means is if you think measuring the age of the universe like this is a precise science, you're wrong. In fact, there is a lot of evidence emerging that indicates the earth is actually quite young. Dr. John Baumgartner, geophysicist at the Los Alamos National Laboratories, presented evidence in a 1994 geophysics conference. And he said, and I quote, that the slip sliding of the geological plates that cover the earth might once have moved thousands of times faster than they do today, which if true, means that the earth is actually very young. Friends, if the earth is young, then the evolutionary model is impossible. It is mathematically impossible. You say, wait a minute, Lon, I got one more what about?

Okay, what is that? What about the Big Bang, Lon? I mean, everybody seems to agree with the Big Bang theory. So why don't we just say the Big Bang theory is how it happened, and that doesn't go along with the Bible at all. Well, wait a minute, wait a minute. You see, the Big Bang theory does seem to explain things, but the Big Bang theory is a tremendous problem for scientists.

Let me tell you why. The Big Bang theory postulates an absolute beginning to the universe, which is exactly what the Bible says, that there was an absolute beginning. Dr. Robert Jastrow, who is an astronomer and a confirmed agnostic, and listen to what he said, and I quote, he said, astronomers now find that they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven by their own methods that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in the cosmos and on earth. He continues, the scientists' pursuit of the past ends in a moment of creation.

Very interesting. This, this, he says, is an exceedingly strange development, unexpected by everybody except theologians. He concludes by saying what we see is that the evidence from astronomy leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world.

May I repeat that? What we see is that the evidence from astronomy leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world. The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomy model and the biblical account of Genesis, the two are the same.

Now I have what about to throw back at you, and that is number four. And finally, what about all the precision that we see in our universe? What about the precision with which we see the universe calibrated?

How can we explain that precision apart from a creative designer? Time magazine in an article Science, God and Man said, and I quote, one intriguing observation that has bubbled up from physics is that the universe seems calibrated for life's existence. If the force of gravity were pushed upward a bit, stars would burn out faster, leaving little time for life to evolve on the planet circling them. If the relative masses of protons and neutrons were changed by a hair, stars might never be born since the hydrogen they eat wouldn't exist. If at the Big Bang some basic numbers had been jiggled, matter and energy would never have coagulated into galaxies, stars, planets, or any other platform stable enough for life as we know it, and so on. The truth is that our universe has been precisely tweaked to support life here on earth, and Dr. Hugh Ross, a world-renowned geophysicist, and by the way he is a believer, came up with a list of 165 physical characteristics of this earth and of the universe.

If you want to see them, there's the website. You go check out the website and you can see all 165 of them, and he says in this list and shows how if any one of these were just slightly different in one direction or the other direction, any of the 165, life on this planet would be impossible, and he tells you why. He calculates the probability of this, all 165 of these happening on the same planet in the same universe. The probability is 1 times 10 with 182 zeros after it. That is one chance in a hundred trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion. There's 15 of them.

I'm not going to say them all, and I got to tell you something. It takes faith to believe either model, but in light of those numbers, I do not have enough faith to be an atheist. I'm sorry, 15 trillions? Uh-uh, I can't be an atheist with numbers like that against me. Listen to Dr. Robert Jastrow as we close, our agnostic astronomer, and here's what he says in closing. He says, for the astronomer 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, and as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who had been sitting there for centuries saying, in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Yeah. Now, if you're here today and this has been a huge hang up in your life in terms of considering the claims of Jesus Christ, may I say to you, be hung up no more. We can take this now and say, you know what?

If a person looks at this without a bias, if they don't have an anti-creator bias, lots of scientists who aren't Christians are even saying that the model of creation the Bible presents is at least possible, maybe even more reasonable. So friends, we can put that aside now and say, let's consider Jesus Christ on his own merits. What do you say?

He said, but Lon, you know what? I'm already a believer in Jesus. I already accept all of this.

I'm already with you on all of this. I mean, you know, this is great. You know, I can give this tape to my friends, but what difference does it make to me or our question of the morning, which we can't omit and everybody knows what it is. Y'all still awake?

Cause this has kind of been like science class. Are y'all still awake? All right, ready? Here we go. One, two, three. Right.

So Lon, other than giving this tape away to my friends, what difference does this make to me? Let me talk about that for just a moment that I have left. You know, friends, if the Bible's account of creation is right and if there is a creator God like the Bible presents running this universe, then that has enormous implications for your life and my life as followers of Christ. What that means is that there is a God who is fully and utterly in control of what's happening here on this earth. And he's not just in control of the grand events of the universe, like Neptune not bumping into Pluto, but he's also, the Bible says, in control of even the tiniest details that happen right here.

The Bible says a sparrow doesn't even fall to the ground without God, both knowing it and ordaining it. And in the same way, the Bible says that God is in charge of your life and my life if we're followers of Christ. Listen to Jeremiah 29, 11. For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans for good and not for evil to give you a future and a hope. And what God is telling us here is that as followers of Christ, our life has a plan. God has a design.

It's a design for good. It's a design to prosper us. And that we are not the victims of random fate. We are not the victim of senseless events. The world is not out of control, but that there is a supernatural God running your life and my life. And he doesn't make mistakes, friends. He never goes, oops, God doesn't do that.

Now I got to tell you, this truth for me is not just some kind of theological nicety that I can bat around a little bit in my head because you see 10 years ago, almost 11, God sent a little girl into my life named Jill. A girl with severe disabilities to this day. She can't speak. She can't dress herself. She's not potty trained. She can't feed herself. She'd go outside and freeze to death and never even know enough to get a coat on when she kicks the covers off at night.

She lays there in shivers and doesn't even know to pull them back over her anymore. And when God sent this little girl into my life almost 11 years ago, I had a crisis. I had to decide, okay, so what is this all about?

Am I the victim and is my family the victim of a random piece of genetics? Are we the victim of some senseless event or is there really a God who's running my life and who has designed this little girl for me and me for this little girl and that this is all part of a plan that I may not understand, but it's a good plan. I had the decision to make. Let me tell you, it was hard because that decision was full of pain and it was full of heartache and it was full of disappointment and grief. But my wife and I made a decision that we were going to believe God. We didn't understand it. God made us a promise.

All things work together for good. We in our wildest dreams, Romans 8 28 could never see how that could ever happen. But we said, you know what? We only have two choices. We can doubt God. We can believe God.

Those are the only two choices we got. And we decided to believe God. Now that we've had good days and we've had bad days, but we believed God. And I have to tell you something almost 11 years later, God was right. God was right. We've seen how God has used that little girl to change our lives, change our marriage for the better, change our family for the better. We've got a ministry here to 700 families with special needs children call access.

We're building a center that's going to be copied all over the United States of America that's being pointed to by health and human services as a best practice model. And none of that would exist without little Jill, because I never would have had a clue what families dealing with disabilities were going through. You see, God knew what he was talking about and God was right. And I'm sure if I live 10 more years, I'll see new ways in which God was right.

Friends, I'm here to tell you God's right with you too. You may have a Jill in your life. I may not be a child with disabilities. Maybe it's something else, but whatever it is, you can't understand God. You can't understand it. You can't make sense out of it. You can't see a way in the world.

It could ever turn out for good. I'm here to tell you, you only have two choices. You can trust God or you can doubt God.

That's the only choices you got. And if God is who he says he is, if he, as Paul said, made this world and everything in it, then friend, God's plenty big enough. He can keep his promises to you.

God's plenty big enough. He can turn this into good in ways you may not understand right now, but don't forget what God says. His ways are above your ways. His thoughts are above your thoughts.

Isaiah 55. God didn't ask you to understand nor me. God just said, Hey, trust me, I know what I'm doing. And if I made the world, I'm big enough to handle your problem.

So just trust me with friends. I hope you'll walk out of here today as followers in Jesus, confident that you're not living in a random world because you're not. You're living in a world that's being run by a sovereign creator.

God who loves you because you're part of his family in Jesus Christ and who has a plan for your life, even if you don't understand it. And if you trust him, there will never be a time that you won't look back and say, You know what, Lord, you knew what you're doing. I hope you'll do that. Let's pray. Lord Jesus, thanks for reminding us today that you made the world and everything in it, that the biblical account of creation is not nutty. It's not crazy.

And it's not unscientific if people approach it without a bias. And Father, encourage our faith with that knowledge today and for people who are here that that's been an enormous hindrance in them coming to Christ. I pray that you would have helped them to get over that today. For those of us here who know you, remind us that you didn't just create the world, but you're in charge of the world, that you never gave that up, and that every detail of our lives is part of your perfect plan, whether we understand how or not. God, grant us the ability to rise above our emotions, our feelings, our disappointment, our hurts and our heartaches, and to walk by faith, to embrace the promises of God and believe what you tell us, not because it makes sense to us, but because we know who you are. You are the creator God of the universe, and you have the power to make every promise you made us come true. So encourage our faith and change our lives because we were here today. And we pray these things in Jesus name. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-10 17:18:09 / 2023-06-10 17:30:47 / 13

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