by Jesse L. Smith
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“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”-1 Timothy 3:16
Physical reality is complicated – to the degree that even the most basic college chemistry course must tackle abstract concepts like orbital theory for even a basic understanding of reactivity. It may be frustrating trying to tackle these subjects, but most students understand from the beginning that the subject matter is inherently difficult. It would be absolute nonsense to discount the reality of chemical reactivity simply because it is difficult to comprehend. If we all assume that physical reality is complicated by its nature, why should spiritual matters be any less complicated? It seems that when it comes to spiritual truth, we all demand simple answers for difficult subjects – and if a simple answer can’t be provided we are inclined to dismiss spiritual matters altogether. If we had taken this same approach to our understanding of physical truth, we would still be in a stone age.
Spiritual reality is by no means less complicated than physical reality, because physical reality was itself derived from spiritual reality. That is to say, the very substance of matter came forth from a spiritual substance. Scripture tells us that, “…the things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”-Hebrews 11:3 In a sense you could think of this ‘spiritual substance’ as being the raw material for the ‘physical substance’ we call matter. From a high level physics standpoint, this conclusion really isn’t as outrageous as it might initially sound. It is fairly well understood within the mainstream scientific community that in order for our universe to exist, there must be other coexisting higher dimensions. The reason for this is simply that our universe as a closed system can’t exist without any external source of energy.
This concept of a closed system may be understood by comparing our universe to a giant matchstick. At the beginning of Time the match was unlit but had the greatest amount of potential energy for reactions in the future. Think about all the energy required to run the stars, form the galaxies, and shape worlds. The moment the match was lit, the universe began to ‘burn out’ as it were. Although the ‘total amount’ of energy in the universe has remained the same since the beginning of time, the remaining potential energy for future reactions has decreased with time. Eventually like a burnt out match the universe will come to a point of equilibrium, where there is no energy remaining for future reactions. Looking at the universe like this however is quite troubling, besides for the fact that it places a distinct beginning and ending point to the universe.
If the universe really is like a giant matchstick, then how did the matchstick itself come into existence? As a Christian that is not a difficult question to answer, but most scientists will use every precaution to invoke anything that remotely sounds like ‘God’. A much more popular view is that matter has always existed – and that there is something ‘outside’ the universe in the form of other dimensions that has somehow fed energy into our universe. Either way you look at it, in order for our universe to exist there must be something ‘outside’ of it that has enabled or enables it to exist. As a follower of Christ, I have always found it humorous how ‘spiritual’ my fellow scientists suddenly become when discussing these matters – after all what difference is there really between ‘other dimensions’ and ‘spiritual reality’!
When it comes to spiritual truth, the Apostle Paul wrote, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” – 1 Cor. 12:12 God knows us far better than we are able to know Him, and our understanding of Him will always be at best dim. However, even though we can’t see clearly through to the other side of the glass – we can see clearly enough to know He is there! If we want to know what God is like, we need to look no further than to Jesus. Jesus was the One who fed the multitudes, healed the sick, and laid His very life down for our sake.
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