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The Eternality of God - Holy One of Israel Part 1

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
September 9, 2022 7:00 am

The Eternality of God - Holy One of Israel Part 1

So What? / Lon Solomon

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You know, if I were to ask you what was the toughest experience, the deepest water that you've ever been through in your life, I wonder what you'd say. Or maybe you'd say, Lon, I'm actually going through it right now.

What are you kidding? Well, if you were to ask me that question, my answer would be without a doubt that it's been the sickness, the disability of my little girl Jill, and all the heartache and the pain that's come along with that. Brenda and I have cried. We've despaired.

We've been exhausted and drained to levels that I can't even describe in words. We've struggled with grief and with guilt, and we've watched our hopes so many times creep up only to have them slam down again and again. And, you know, many times over these last 15 years, Brenda and I have commented to one another that it's only by holding on to the living God himself that we've been able to make it through. And we've also commented how good it was, how grateful we are, that we spent the years before Jill came into our life studying the Bible and learning who God is so that we had all that information available to us to rely on when we really needed it so desperately.

A.W. Tozer in this regard says, and I quote, What comes to our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. I believe, Tozer says, that there is scarcely an error in doctrine or a failure in applying Christian ethics to life that cannot be traced back finally to imperfect thoughts about God. He concludes by saying, If we would bring back spiritual power to our lives, we must begin to think of God more nearly as he is.

End of quote. And so in light of that, this fall, I'm starting a new series entitled The Holy One of Israel. This is a series that's going to be all about who God is, his nature, his person, his attributes. And, of course, as we study each attribute of God, we're going to then make sure we connect it and ask, Well, so what?

What difference does this make to your life and my life, the fact that God is that way? And so today we're going to begin with part one, the eternality of God, the fact that God is eternal. Genesis chapter one, verse one says, In the beginning, God. Not in the beginning, man, or in the beginning, protoplasm, or in the beginning, hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen and carbon atoms and a little bit of lightning. Not in the beginning, the Big Bang. But the Bible declares, In the beginning, when there were no living creatures anywhere, when there was no earth for them to live on anyway, when there were no stars, no galaxies, no moons, no planets, no matter of any kind, no atoms, no molecules, no protons, no neutrons, no electrons, no gluons, no leptons, no quarks, no nothing.

Nothing. The Bible says there was God. And so what God is claiming about himself here in Genesis one is that he and he alone is the eternally pre-existent being in the universe, without source, without origin, without beginning, without ending. Everything else in the universe had some beginning and everything will have some ending, but not God. God is eternal.

To put it another way, God is the spring from which everything else sprang, but God himself sprung from nothing. Did you get that? I almost didn't.

Did you get that? Okay, good. God simply is. And he always has been and he always will be. Now as human beings, we know that we will never be eternal like God is. But every one of us craves a little touch of the eternal life that God carries with him.

In this regard, I think of Timothy Leary, the, you know, the turn-on, tune-in, drop-out guru of LSD back in the 60s. When Timothy Leary died in 1996, he had his ashes shot by rocket into outer space because, as he said, he wanted to last forever and to have eternal life. Now the problem is that outer space can't give people eternal life because in order to give eternal life away, somebody, something has got to be eternal themselves to start with. And outer space is not eternal.

It's a creative thing. Poor Timothy Leary. There's nothing wrong with wanting eternal life.

It's just this poor man went to the wrong source looking for it. Friends, God doesn't want you here today to make the same mistake Timothy Leary made. If you want eternal life, that's a good thing.

But there's only one place to get it and it's not from your good works and it's not from your religious performance and it's not from following some man-made theology. Listen, John 10 27, Jesus said, My sheep listen to My voice and they follow Me, watch now, and I give them eternal life. You see, God is eternal. Therefore, He is the being who can give eternal life away and He says in the Bible that He gives eternal life as a free gift to one group of people in one group only and that group is the people who have trusted Jesus Christ, put their faith in Him, and who are relying what He did on the cross for them.

Something to think about. If you want eternal life, my friends, be careful you go to the right source looking for it. Now the fact that God is eternal means even more than we've set up to this point. If God is eternal, think about it for a moment. Think what this means about God's relationship to time and space. In the Bible, Psalm 90 verse 2, the Bible says, From everlasting to everlasting, you are God. What this means is if we look as far back in the past as it's possible to look and then we turn and look as far forward in the future as it's possible for us to look, this verse says that God is there at both points simultaneously.

What's more, the verse says that God is everywhere in between simultaneously and God is at every one of these points as fully God simultaneously. You see, time and space define temporal beings like us. Time and space confine temporal beings such as us, but friends, God, since He's an eternal being, what this means is that time and space has no application to God. God made time and space, but God is not confined by either. For God, the past, the present, and the future are all one big now.

I don't know about you, but I have to tell you, for me, this is mind-boggling. I mean, the fact that God existed at the beginning of time, my mind can get its arms around that. And the fact that God's going to exist at the end of time.

Well, I can get my arms around that. But friends, the fact that God is at the beginning of time and that He is at the end of time and that He is at every point in between and that at every point in this continuum He is fully God simultaneously, I'm sorry, I can't get my arms around that. That is beyond the ability of my puny mind to take that in and yet this is precisely what God declares to be true of Himself.

He declares in the Bible that He is eternal. Now, that's as far as we want to go in the raw theology of this message because we want to stop now and we want to ask our most important question and everybody knows what that is, so are we ready? Are we ready? Alright, here we go. One, two, three. You say, Lon, so what? Alright, this is a great theology, God bless you, whatever, but what difference does any of this make tomorrow morning when I walk out of my house to go to work, to get on the metro, to go to school? How does this affect my life at all that God is eternal?

Okay, let's see if we can help with that. I wonder if you can remember the last time you actually went to a parade. I'm not talking about watching it on television at Thanksgiving. I'm talking about actually going out and standing on the street corner and physically watching a real parade go by. Well, for me, it was 30 years ago in Hagerstown, Maryland, and the reason I haven't gone more often is because parades frustrate me.

I spend the entire time looking down the street to where the parade is coming from and trying to see what's the next float, what's the next band, what's the next car with a celebrity in it, what's the parade look like around the corner, but of course, I can't see around the corner, so I just get frustrated and I don't like them. However, if I could go to a parade and be up in the Goodyear blimp, you understand, and see the whole thing at once, I wouldn't mind a parade so much. That would be different. You say, Lon, what are you talking about? Well, no, look, this does apply.

This does apply. Because, folks, the reason I mention this is that as human beings who are living here in time and space, we are a lot like people standing on the street corner watching a parade. We can only see a little ways up the street at a time.

After that, the parade disappears around the corner and we can't see anymore what's in the parade. However, God lives outside of time and space. God lives above time and space. God is up in the blimp. You understand what I'm saying to you?

And he can see the whole parade from beginning to end, all at one time, simultaneously. God sees the future the same way you and I as human beings see the past. And what this means is that God is in a unique position to orchestrate the affairs of our life.

He's in a position that you and I will never be in to orchestrate the affairs of our life. And as followers of Christ, this truth has some enormous ramifications for the way we live every day. Psalm 139, verse 16, says, All the days ordained for me were written in your book, God, before one of them came to be. Now, this verse was a great comfort to me back in July when I had a brush with death, as you know. It really helped me to meditate on the fact that God had written all my days in his book before there was ever a one of them, and everything going on wasn't going to change by one nanosecond the amount of days God had already written in my book before I ever breathed on this earth. My whole life, this verse says, was already planned out down to the very number of days I had on this earth before there was a one of them.

So is your life. And the fact that God is eternal, listen now, means that when God planned out all the days of our lives, he did so with an absolute and an utter and an infallible knowledge of every future event, which means that in planning out our lives, God never makes mistakes. In planning out our lives, God never gets surprised. In planning out our lives, God never miscalculates. God never says, oops!

You understand? And you know there's more, because God even gives us a promise in the Bible about how he's planned out our lives. Jeremiah 29, 11, for I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans for good and not for evil. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a future and a hope.

So here's the bottom line. Here's what I want you to take home with you today. As followers of Jesus Christ, the hard things that God allows to enter our lives, the things that at first glance look like, they contradict this promise in Jeremiah 29, 11. Friends, we need to remember as followers of Christ, and we need to approach these things as followers of Christ in light of the truth that God is eternal.

We need to approach these tough times in light of understanding that God has orchestrated all the events of our lives, the tough times as well as the easy times, in light of his total and infallible knowledge of the future, and that even though, listen now, even though you and I cannot see for the life of us how these tough things could possibly be part of any plan for good, any plan to prosper us, the truth is that God, from up in the blimp, God can see how that's true. Moreover, God has already seen how that's true. Moreover, God has already made sure that that's true.

And that's why he makes us the promise that he does. You know, when I think of this great truth, I think of Esther, the great woman of God in the Old Testament. Esther chapter 2 verse 5, now there was in Susa, the capital city of Persia at the time, a Jewish man named Mordecai who'd been carried into exile from Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar when he captured that city. Verse 7, and Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah whom he raised because she had neither father nor mother. This girl, who was also known as Esther, that was her Persian name, was lovely in form and features. That's the Bible's way of saying she was drop-dead gorgeous.

You got that? All right. Now watch. And Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and her mother died. Now I don't know if you caught it, but in those verses there is enormous pain that are in those verses. Here's this little girl. Her mom dies. Her dad dies. She gets yanked out of all her familiar surroundings. She gets shipped off to a strange place to live with a bachelor uncle that she probably didn't even hardly know. She had no brothers to go with her and keep her company and protect her.

She had no sisters to go with her and console her. And someone might read this and say, Plans for good and not for evil? Ha!

Plans to prosper her and not to harm her? Ha! You can even say it.

Ha! There you go. Now wait a minute. I understand how someone could say that, but folks, the cake's only half-baked. The parade's not over yet.

Before we impugn God and accuse God of breaking His promise in Jeremiah 29, let's make sure we look at the end of the parade. Because by the end of the parade, Esther had become the queen of the Persian Empire. And think about it now. If Esther's parents had not died, she would never have come to live with Mordecai. And if she hadn't come to live with Mordecai, she would never have been in Susa, the capital city. And if she hadn't been in Susa, then the king's men, when they came out looking for beautiful young women as a potential queen, would never have met her. And if the king's men had never met her, she would never have been the queen of Persia. And if she'd never been the queen of Persia, every Jew in the world would have been exterminated by Haman, and the pastor of your church today would be named Smith.

You understand? Or Jones. And far more importantly, there would have been no Virgin Mary to have the body of the Lord Jesus Christ so he could take it to the cross and sacrifice it for our sins. There would be no descendant of David to do that. Satan knew what he was trying to do all the time.

The plan of salvation would have come to a halt because God couldn't have fulfilled his promise to the line of David. So, my point is that even though the events God used to get Esther to the throne of Persia, even though these things at first look senseless, and at first they look illogical, and at first they look maybe even cruel, the point is that God had Esther's parade under control the entire time, didn't He? And the plan that God had worked out for her life was a plan for good.

The plan He worked out was a plan to prosper her, just like He promised it would be. My Christian friend, I'm here today to reassure you that God has your parade under control just as much as He had Esther's parade under control. And even though you may be facing circumstances today that look to you like they're senseless, that look to you like they're illogical, that look to you like God's being cruel, even though there may be circumstances in your life today where you feel that maybe God's abandoned you, and maybe God's forgotten about you and forsaken you, I am here to tell you unequivocally that that is not true, that is not so. Friend, the problem is you only got street corner vision. You can't see from the blimp. I only got street corner vision.

I can't see the end of the parade. But I'm here to tell you that God can, which means that you and I are in no position to question the wisdom of the eternal God of the universe when it comes to how He's planned our lives out and when it comes to how He plans to fulfill His promise in Jeremiah 29 and 11. My friend, you are in no position to judge that at this point in your life, and neither am I. Our job as street corner dwellers is not to try to figure it all out because we can't. Our job is to simply trust the eternal being up in the blimp who has given us His solemn promise that He has already woven together every event in our lives to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us a future and a hope, and that when we see Jesus, if not before, it'll all make sense and it'll all be worth it. Now that's where the eternality of God intersects with your life tomorrow morning and my life. You know, I don't go to weddings if I can help it. My wife goes, I don't go.

And it's not that I'm trying to be snobby and it's not that I'm trying to be rude. Friends, it's just that weddings really hurt too badly for me to want to go to them. It's because I sit there and I watch the father of the bride walk his daughter down the aisle and he's got a big smile on his face and he gives her a kiss and he's all excited and anticipating what the Lord has ahead for her in her marriage and being a mom. And you see, I sit there as I watch them walk down the aisle and the pain that I feel is devastating because I know that apart from a divine miracle, I will never walk my daughter down an aisle. I know that apart from a divine miracle, I'll never watch my little girl go out on a first date. I'll never teach her to drive an automobile.

I'll never get to go visit her in the hospital after she's had a grandchild for Brenda and me. And so you might say, well, Lon, there you go. I mean, how does all this fit into Jeremiah 29-11, huh? I mean, explain to me how what you just said could possibly be part of a plan to prosper you and not to harm you for good and not for evil. Explain that to me. I can't.

Exactly. But please let me tell you what I believe because I believe some things. I believe that my eternal God can answer those questions.

I believe my eternal God has already answered those questions and that he has already orchestrated a plan for my life. I believe this. My life, Brenda's life, Jill's life, my boys' lives, is in perfect harmony with Jeremiah 29-11.

It's just as a street dweller. I can't see it yet. I believe that my parade is right on divine schedule. And I believe that at the end of my parade when I step foot onto the shores of heaven, I believe that when I'm able to see the whole panorama of my life at once like God's been able to see from up in the blimp, I believe that I'm going to nod my head in agreement and to the glory of God and to the majesty of God, I'm going to confess out loud, yes, Jesus, everything you did was exactly what you promised me. I'm going to sing with Fanny Crosby in heaven.

I hope I get to stand next to her all the way, all the way my Savior led me, all the way. He didn't get it wrong. My dear Christian friend, why did your parents get divorced when you were a child? Why did your dad abandon you when you were a little boy or a little girl? Why did your husband or your wife desert you? Why did your boyfriend or your girlfriend do you dirty like they did? Why is your business struggling? Why don't you have a job or why do you hate the job you got? Why do you have the physical illness issues that you have or why does some person you love have those issues?

Why have you been hurt so badly by so many people? Well, you know what? I can't answer those questions for you. But I can tell you this. I can tell you that you have an eternal God who assures you that He sees your whole parade from up in the blimp and who promises you that He has already woven every event in your life together to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope for good and not for evil. And what God asks of you as a follower of Christ is not that you figure this whole thing out. You can't figure this thing out. All God asks is that you trust Him.

You trust Him. You say, well, Lon, that's really hard. You know, I mean, when things are falling apart all around you, I mean, that's really hard sometimes. Well, hey, tell me about it. I know, it is hard. But here's what I submit to you.

It's what A.W. Tozer said at the beginning. If we will make God's revealed character in the Word of God the linchpin of our worldview, not what Madison Avenue tells you, not what Time Magazine tells you, not what Oprah tells you, but the revealed character of the living God in the Bible, the linchpin of our worldview, if we will make the revealed character of God in the Bible the lens through which we see every event in life, I maintain that with that as our solid foundation and the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit, there is not a trial in life, there is not a tragedy in life, there is not a challenge in life that we can't rise up spiritually and trust God through. I believe that. Friends, Jesus did not lie to you. When he said he had a plan for you for good, he didn't lie to you.

Remember, he didn't lie to Abraham when he told him that, he didn't lie to Esther, he didn't lie to Moses, he didn't lie to David, he didn't lie to the Apostle Paul, he didn't lie to Daniel, and he's not going to lie to you. And so, you know, in closing let me say there are really only two choices in life if you're a follower of Christ, just two. I'm a simple guy, honest, I'm not an intellectual, don't claim to be an intellectual, I'm not a pseudo-intellectual, I don't want to be an intellectual, I like being a simple guy. I just like potatoes and meat, I don't like all that other stuff, simple guy. And as a simple guy I've boiled life down as a follower of Christ to only two choices that I have to make every moment of every day, and they are, I'm either going to trust God or I'm going to doubt God.

That's it, those are my choices. It's pretty simple. And friends, those are your choices, every moment of every day, you're either going to trust what God's told you or you're going to doubt Him. Well, I've seen God over 37 years do way too much to ever doubt Him, and so even as tough as it is sometimes, I always ask the Holy Spirit, Lord, give me the grace I need to trust you because I know if I do, you're going to prove yourself faithful just like you've always done. Friend, I challenge you, if you've got some tough times going on right now, if you're in the midst of crisis and challenge, trust God, trust God. And as the basis of that trust, you need not some self-help theology but the written, revealed character of God in the Bible. You make that the foundation of your life and you'll be able, with the Spirit's help, to trust Him. I hope you can.

Next week, we're going to continue part two. We're going to talk about the holiness of God. God is a holy being and what that really means for your life and my life, and I hope you'll be here. Let's pray together.

Dear Lord Jesus, you know we live in a world where we are bombarded with philosophies and perspectives and self-help theology and psychobabble and nonsense. Lord Jesus, help us shake off all of that ridiculous stuff and help us make, as the foundation of our life, the revealed character of the eternal God, the revealed character that you give us in your written Word. Help us make, as our foundation, the promises of God that are based on that revealed character and that are solidified by that revealed character. And on that basis, Lord Jesus, help us rise up every day, no matter how tough it may be, and in the power of the Spirit, help us trust You. Help us trust You, Lord, because You are trustworthy. Forgive us, Lord, for the times we doubt You.

We're just human. Lord, as the great one of the apostles said, Lord, I believe, help Thou mine unbelief. That's where we are, God.

Help us. And change our lives because we were here and we study God's Word today. We pray these things in Jesus' name. And God's people said, Amen. Hey, have a good day. God bless you. Hope to see you next week.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-27 13:45:20 / 2023-02-27 13:56:31 / 11

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