Info

Where did God come from?

Not only did God reveal Himself to the writers of the Bible, but He has revealed Himself to all mankind through His creation.

God anticipated the skeptics' often-asked question: "If God made everything, then who made God?" Notice His answer: "Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me" (Isaiah 43:10).

God is not bound by time as we are. He is "the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity " (Isaiah 57:15). Paul tells us that God "has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see" (1 Timothy 6:16).

The name of God used most often in the Old Testament, typically transliterated as Yahweh (and usually represented by "Lord" in English Bibles), is essentially the third-person form of the name by which God revealed Himself to Moses in Exodus 3:14: "I AM WHO I AM." This name signifies the Eternal or Self-Existent One—the "Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come" (Revelation 4:8).

Jesus Christ further refers to Himself as "the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End... who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty" (Revelation 1:8).

Again, God is eternal. The universe had a beginning, yet God existed before that time. He has always existed. Nothing—and no one—brought Him into being. (To learn more, download or request our free booklet Who Is God?)

Not only did God reveal Himself to the writers of the Bible, but He has revealed Himself to all mankind through His creation.

The Creator comes to earth

The Bible plainly says that God created all things through Jesus Christ, who is also called the Word (John 1:1-3; see also Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2). "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14).

The One who actually performed the act of forming the earth, created life on it and brought the universe into being out of nothing came to earth and lived among men as a human being. He "stripped Himself of His glory, and took on Him the nature of a bondservant by becoming a man like other men" (Philippians 2:7, Weymouth Translation).

The Creator of the universe came to the world and lived and died like any ordi-

1 nary human being. But He was no ordinary man. He was God made flesh, the Son | of God the Father, teaching and exemplifying the laws and principles that are

2 embodied in the Father Himself, declaring: "As My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him" (John 8:28-29).

Jesus lived His life on earth just as the Father would if He were here on earth. He perfectly represented the Father so that He could say, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9).

Jesus taught a specific message—the gospel, or good news, of the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14-15). He taught that we can become a part of God's family and that we can attain immortality in that family (Matthew 5:9,45; Luke 6:35; 20:36). But this requires obedience to the laws of the Kingdom of God and faith in the King of that Kingdom (Matthew 19:16-21; Hebrews 11:6).

The Creator cares

Did God create the world and then leave it and us alone? Does He simply let the world run on, never intervening in human history, like a watchmaker who made the watch, wound it up and left it alone to eventually run down?

God indeed cares about His creation. He had in mind His purpose of d ealing the earth and human life, and giving people the opportunity for immortality, well before He started—in fact, "before time began" (2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2). This is completely contrary to the theory of meaningless evolution.

The Bible reveals God as one who cares enough about those He has created to intervene on their behalf. He says, "For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My purpose shall stand, and I will fulfill my intention'" (Isaiah 46:9-10, NRSV).

God has intervened in history before, as recorded in the Bible. He will do so again, but this time to bring the human experience to the point where men will come to recognize Him for who He is and accept His revealed knowledge and His purpose for them.

John 3:16-17, one of the best-known passages in the Bible, tells us: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."

What is more fantastic is that God is involved to the point that He will bring His purpose to its desired end. Human beings made in the image of God will have every opportunity to know the true God and make clear choices, whether they will take Him up on His offer of eternal life or refuse it.

Freedom to choose

God has given us freedom of choice. Speaking through Moses to His chosen nation, ancient Israel, He said: "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live" (Deuteronomy 30:19). (For more on why God gives us freedom of choice, be sure to read

Meet God 65

Meet God 65

"How Does God Reveal Himself?" beginning on page 66.)

Adam and Eve made the fateful decision to reject God's revelation and rely on their own reasoning to determine right and wrong. God has allowed mankind to reject His revealed knowledge. He has given us freedom to formulate our own philosophies about the origin and meaning of life and to experiment with ways of life, governments and institutions through which we hope to find lasting peace and contentment.

But it has been an experiment that has failed to give us what we're longing and searching for. Thousands of years of experimenting with philosophies and governments have failed to bring peace. History is littered with bloodshed, oppression and shattered hopes.

The experiment will continue to fail. Only with God's revealed knowledge can we find abundant life and bounteous blessings—the real reasons God created us and the way we can fulfill our purpose.

The logical conclusion

We see around us a world that has departed from the knowledge of God. Mankind has fashioned many societies, philosophies and ideas of human destiny without the help of God's revealed knowledge. Although God is involved in His creation, for now He has limited His involvement because He is allowing the human race to learn from its own mistakes.

Most people assume that if there is a God, He must be desperately trying to enforce His will and convert humanity to His way of thinking. But they also observe that, if that is the case, God's efforts are a miserable failure because the forces of evil are having much greater effect.

The simple truth of the matter is that God isn 't trying to convert the world to His way of life now. He is permitting the human experience to play itself out to its logical, inevitable conclusion.

Like children who sometimes will come to understand that the stove is hot only after they insist on touching it, we, too, often must learn lessons the hard way, through painful experience. Time and time again biblical history records God warning people of the consequences of rejecting Him and His ways. "I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live," says God. "Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die...?" (Ezekiel 33:11).

Where will mankind's collective decisions lead us? Just as forsaking the knowledge of the Creator God and His laws brings suffering and anguish on an individual, so it brings similar results on a national, and even a worldwide, level.

Jesus Christ foretold the inevitable outcome of human civilization apart from God: "It will be a time of great distress, such as there has never been since the beginning of the world, and will never be again. If that time of troubles were not cut short, no living thing could survive " (Matthew 24:21 -22, Revised English Bible).

We should be sobered by Jesus' words. It is in God's plan to allow the human

0 0

Post a comment