Go

Contact Us

  • Phone: (509) 747-3007
  • Email:
  • Meeting Address:
    115 E. Pacific Ave., Spokane, WA 99202
  • Office/Mailing Address:
  • 608 W. 2nd Ave, #101. Spokane, WA 99201

Service Times

  • Sunday: 10am
  • Infant through 8th grade Sunday School classes available
  • FREE Parking!

Sermons

FILTER BY:

Back To List

Oct 20, 2019

The Bad News About the Good News

Passage: Romans 1:18-23

Preacher: John Repsold

Series: Romans

Keywords: evidence, creation, science, belief, nature, proof, disbelief, god's nature

Summary:

Does God really give us enough evidence around us to know about Him? How much does He give and how much of Himself does he reveal to everyone? This message looks at the bad news of how sin blinds us but the good news of how God pursues us through nature.

Detail:

The Bad News about the Good News

Romans 1:18-23

October 20, 2019

INTRO:

Review of last week: what stuck with you and how has the Lord been using that in your life?  

  • The debt we owe every person without Christ—the Gospel. I owe that debt to EVERY person I will meet or know in life.  (I love living “debt-free”!  I hate being in-debt. 
  • That the road to greater boldness with the Gospel might just be the road of suffering for the Gospel. In other words, one of the reasons I/we may not have the boldness of the Early Church is that we haven’t been willing to engage in the persecution/opposition of the early church.  Actually experiencing more rejection and opposition for sharing the Gospel might bring more boldness with the Gospel.
  • It also reminded me that the “Good News” of the Gospel has 2 parts:
    • The Good News of the content of the message of the Gospel.  (See Gospel tract.)
    • The Good News of the impact of the Gospel on our individual lives.   (Personal stories of God’s work in our lives/minds/souls/bodies, our families, marriages, friendships, work, etc.)

One of the questions you want to ask yourself in any passage of Scripture is, “What is GOD doing?” and additionally “What are PEOPLE doing?” in this text.  Having just talked about the power of the Gospel and a right-relationship with God that comes to us as a gift from God, not something we can work for by being religious or moral…Paul now begins to talk with us about a problem every one of us has—the problem of personal sin.  All of us are rebels from birth.  All of us ignore vast amounts of evidence about God at work in and around us.  All of us love our own choices of sin more than God’s heart and life of holiness and righteousness.

This would not be a problem IF God simply didn’t exist… if our universe, world and bodies were simply the result of random accidents and forces over time.  But since, as we will see, everything in this creation shouts to us about the truth that God does, in fact, exist, we all, at various times and in various ways, become people who, to varying degrees “suppress the truth” about God “by [our] wickedness” (vs. 18).  That’s a problem! 

So let’s read today’s text, Romans 1:18-23.

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

So, vs. 18 tells us that the God who made us and the universe we inhabit happens to be a very moral Being.  His nature is everything that is right, good, righteous, just, pure and moral.  As such He feels emotion when goodness triumphs in his universe, probably joy, happiness, satisfaction, gratitude and appreciation.  He also feels emotion when evil prevails.  Vs. 18 tells us that evil moves Him to anger (or “wrath” [Gk. orge] as many translations say).   

NOTE:  God’s anger isn’t like mine and perhaps yours so often is.  It takes God a long time to become angry.  Thankfully, because he is also “longsuffering” and “patient” with us, His anger doesn’t pop off like mine does when I’m driving and someone does something stupid on the freeway in front of me…or when I’m frustrated with a project that isn’t going right. His anger comes into play when he sees us doing evil and the damaging effects that evil has on us, people around us and the world we live in. 

So the “bad news” of the “good news” of the Gospel is that our sin—our continual, constant, self-oriented sinning—calls for God’s anger and judgment.  Vs. 18 uses a present tense verb—“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people who suppress the truth by their wickedness ….”

ILL: It’s the difference between a child who willfully disobeys and one who just lost track of time or didn’t hear the instruction.  Willful disobedience is an “in your eye, God” sort of sinning.  And that kind of rebellion calls up God’s anger.

Paul tells us that our very wickedness has a “suppressive effect” on our recognition of genuine truth. Our doing of evil actually obscures our seeing and embracing of non-evil, truth and God. 

ILL:  Some of you have lived around drug addicts, right?  Some of you have been drug addicts.  Tell me, does doing drugs impair a person’s judgment about reality?  About themselves?  About what they really need or need to focus on in life?  Of course!

APP:  Truth be told, we are ALL like a drug addict when it comes to sin.  We want to deny its negative effects.  We want to ignore how it is hurting others around us.  We want to minimize what it is doing to us, to our health (mental, spiritual, social, physical, etc.).  Every sinner is an addict of sin.

            Sin has a suppressive effect specifically on “truth”.  The biblical notion of truth is “that which conforms to reality or actuality.”  And since God is the greatest “reality” and “actuality”, truth is what conforms to Him and His nature and word.  This is what vs. 19 is talking about—“…since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.”  Truth about God is not something that is hidden from people.  It is out in the open, in our faces and obvious…IF we want to know God and be reconciled to Him rather than stay stuck in our sin-addiction. 

            Verse 20 tells us specifically what it is that God makes plain to every person in this world:  “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”  Notice a few things before we dive into the facts behind this verse.

1.)  God has “invisible qualities.”  That’s not difficult to grasp.  Even we who are “visible” have “invisible qualities.”  Show me a pound of love!  500 grams of patience!  A 50 pound sack of endurance…or compassion…or justice!  Frankly, it is the “invisible qualities” of a person (or god) that really matter, right?  Invisible qualities get worked out in visible behaviors and actions and reactions. 

2.)  God’s “invisible qualities” have been “clearly seen” since  what event?  “Since the creation of the world.”  The very beginning and existence of this world and the universe we inhabit IS the very “evidence” God gives to every human being about some of his invisible qualities as God. Creation shouts to us of God’s nature.  And what does it shout?

3.)  The creation speaks specifically of God’s “eternal power”.  You don’t have to be an astronomer to know that even the littlest study of nature will lead you to the conclusion that whatever/ whoever created this world and this universe has unimaginable power.  Just try fording a river at flood stage…or try swimming against the current in the ocean…or try restraining a rock slide in the mountains…or stopping a raging forest fire.  Those forces are virtually nothing compared to the explosion of a Mount St. Helens…which is nothing compared to what is happening on the surface of our one sun every second.  And our sun is nothing compared to the billions of suns in the billions of galaxies across the trillions and trillions of miles of space in the universe.  So Paul picks God’s nature as power.

            He also says that God’s power is “eternal.”  That is, as we’ll see, different from “time.”  Time is not eternal because it had a beginning.  We’re not eternal because we had a beginning.  We’re immortal, and our soul will live forever, either enjoying God forever or hating him forever.  God’s power is eternal but his “creation”, this universe, is not.

4.)  Then Paul just says that God’s “divine nature” is something that has “been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.”  This is sort of a catch-all phrase for God’s divinity, His “god-ness,” all those other qualities that make Him God. 

            Vss. 21-23 simply explain to us that we as humans prefer to suppress this obvious knowledge about God that He has woven into the universe. 

  • We don’t naturally give him the worship due Him as God.
  • We don’t spend our lives serving Him as we were designed to.
  • We refuse to acknowledge ALL the blessing God pours out on us and the result is, we become thankless.
  • We become “futile” in the way we think. The idea is of becoming “useless”.  Our intelligence and thoughts about God and His creation have clouded our thinking and “darkened” our hearts making us empty philosophers, empty scientists, empty geniuses.    

The result has been what vs. 23 mentions—we have actually exchanged the truth about God (that which conforms to the reality of God) for lies.  The result has been that instead of worshipping God, we decided to worship the creation He made for us—other human beings, nature, wealth, homes, cars, our own puny accomplishments, etc. 

            That is precisely what Adam and Eve did in the Garden—worshipped their own judgment, the fruit on the tree, the promises of the serpent rather than God.  And it’s what every one of us apart from the Gospel does with our lives—we worship other people and things in this world (including our own intelligence) rather than trying to conform our worship, thoughts, character and actions to God himself, the only Being who IS truth that conforms to ultimate and eternal reality. 

So that is the gist of this passage.  Any QUESTIONS about this text before we dig deeper into just how “plain” God has made this universal knowledge of himself, especially in our day? 

It is in “the creation of the world” that God has chosen to make certain aspects of His nature evident to all people. By that phrase “creation of the world,” Paul means the entire creation, the entire universe that we know about and don’t know about.  Our growing body of scientific knowledge about our own earth, our own bodies, our own cells and the chemical make-up of all those should make believers and worshipers of more of us than ever.  Sadly, it somehow makes many more determined to suppress the truth the science can tell us about God. 

            Paul and the Word of God contend that it is not a lack of proof or knowledge that makes many people atheists, agnostics, materialists or worshippers of other God-substitutes; people choose those substitutes to truth in spite of the evidence. 

Just what kind of evidence?  Well, let’s start with the MICRO—a single part of a single living cell and move to the MACRO—the universe.  Actually, I’ll start with a story.

[Most of the following is taken from Geisler and Turek’s book, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, chapters 1-5.]

STORY:  Fifteen-year-old Johnny stumbled into the kitchen one morning to find that his favorite cereal box was knocked over, and the Frosted Alpha-Bit letters that had spilled out spelled the command, “TAKE OUT THE TRASH—MOM”. 

            Recalling a recent high school biology lesson, Johnny didn’t attribute the message to his mom.  After all, he’d just been taught that life itself is merely a product of mindless, natural laws.  If that’s the case, Johnny thought, why couldn’t a simple message like “Take out the trash—Mom” be the product of mindless natural laws as well?  Maybe the cat had knocked the box over…or an earthquake shook the house that morning.  Johnny didn’t want to take out the trash anyway so why reorder his morning to satisfy blind chance?  Besides, he was going to meet a girl he liked, Mary, at the beach that morning.

            But when he arrived at the beach, he saw his friend Scott walking down the beach hand-in-hand with Mary.  As he followed them at a distance, he looked down and saw a heart drawn in the sand with the words “Mary loves Scott” scrawled inside.  For a moment, Johnny felt his heart sink.  But thoughts of his biology class rescued him from deep despair.  “Maybe this is just another case of natural laws at work!” he thought.  “Perhaps sand crabs or an unusual wave pattern just happened to produce this love note naturally.”  No sense accepting a conclusion he didn’t like!  Johnny decided to just ignore the corroborating evidence of the hand-holding he’d seen too. 

            Comforted by the fact that principles learned in his biology class could help him avoid conclusions he didn’t like, Johnny decided to lie down for a few minutes to get a little sun.  As he put his head back on his towel he noticed a message in the clouds:  “Drink Coke,” the white puffy letters in the cloudless blue sky read.  “Unusual cloud formation,” Johnny thought.  “Must be swirling winds up there messing with the contrails,” he mused. 

            But then his bubble burst.  He couldn’t play the denial game any longer.  He was getting thirsty in the sun.  “Drink Coke” had to be the real thing!  A message like that was a sure sign of intelligence.  It couldn’t have been the result of natural forces because natural forces have never been observed creating unmistakable messages in English in the clear-blue sky.  Even though he hadn’t seen the plane, Johnny knew there must have been a skywriting airplane up there recently.  Besides, he wanted to believe this command…so he headed to the refreshment stand to buy a Coke.

            Talk about “foolish hearts being darkened.” Johnny had to be willfully blind, living in denial, in order to ignore the truth about Mary and his friend Scott.  But this is precisely what naturalistic biologists, geneticists, PhDs and M.D. and a host of far-less educated people in the world do when they look at a far more complicated “messages” and “information” contained in just a single living cell. 

            Prior to the discovery of DNA, it was possible to think that a single living cell was a rather un-complex organism.  But by the 1950s when Watson and Crick proposed the double-helix molecular structure of DNA, it was clear that a simple “cell” is a universe of complexity and information itself. 

            DNA has a structure that looks like a twisted ladder.  The sides of the ladder are formed by two alternating molecules, and the rungs of the ladder consist of a specific order of four nitrogen bases represented by the letters A, T, C, and G.  It’s basically a four-letter genetic alphabet.  Just as the specific order of letters in any English sentence communicate a unique message, the specific order of A, T, C, and G within a living cell determine the unique genetic makeup of that living entity.  Scientists call it “specified complexity.”  It not only is complex; it also contains a specific message. [Geisler, p. 116]  The interesting this is, there are no known natural laws that create specified complexity (information). 

            Darwinist Richard Dawkins, professor of zoology at Oxford University and a committed atheist, admits that the information found in just the cell nucleus of a tiny amoeba is more than all thirty-two volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica combined.  The entire amoeba has as much information in its DNA as 1,000 complete sets of the Encyclopedia Britannica!  In other words, this ‘primitive amoeba’ (Dawkins term) has more information in it than could be contained in 33 million pages of fine-print, double-sided. 

            Even with this knowledge of the chemical make-up of DNA, scientists have been unable to combine chemicals in the laboratory to create a single DNA molecule, much less a single cell.  Since really smart scientists under highly controlled experimental conditions have failed to do this, why is it that millions of young (and not-so-young) people choose to believe that mindless “natural laws” have done this and much more?  It simply flies in the face of reason.  And even if scientists eventually did create life in a laboratory, it would only prove what the Bible contends:  that it takes intelligence to create life, not random natural forces. 

ILL:  It’s the difference between looking at the Grand Canyon and recognizing the forces of nature in erosion that made it verses looking at Mt. Rushmore and saying that wind and rain randomly carved the four faces of four specific Presidents of the U.S. on the mountain. 

ILL: Let me bring it home to just 1 of the over 200 cell types in our bodies—platelets.  While red blood cells are the workhorses of our circulatory system, white blood cells (which fight infection) and platelets are the other two kinds of cells.  Both platelets and white blood cells exist to die for you. 

            White blood cells are a vital link in our quest for daily survival.  Not to sound to paranoid about it, but there are literally billions of microbes continuously seeking to do us harm as humans.  This is why the average adult human body has some 50 billion white blood cells standing guard every second of your life as “active duty” sentries sworn to attack any foreign microbe that tries to infect your body.  There are some 5 trillion “reserve duty” white blood cells hiding in your bone marrow as a backup force when needed.  Every one of them will die in the service of your body.

            Then there are the platelets, which are half the size of red blood cells.  They live only a matter of days, 8-9 to be exact.  This is why we must continually produce 5 million new platelets every second!  (Count out “5, 10, 15, 20, 25 million platelets were just produced in your body without you even knowing it!) 

Platelets are critical for the clotting of our blood.  They rush to the site of any injury, throwing their tiny bodies into the hole while sending out chemical signals to the body to send reinforcement platelets to the breach.  In that process millions of platelets are sacrificing themselves for our healing.

But the process doesn’t stop there.  As more platelets answer the call to self-sacrifice and begin to connect to each other they form a plug in a process called aggregation. Once a plug or clot is formed in the blood vessel wall, the clotting (coagulation) cascade is activated, which then adds fibrin (a structural protein) to the clot to knit it together. Fibrin is responsible for the scab you may see at a cut site.

[By the way, our bodies have to maintain a fine balance of platelets.  If your platelet count is low (a condition called 

thrombocytopenia), the risk of uncontrolled or prolonged bleeding increases. When there are too many platelets in the blood (a condition called thrombocytosis), it may lead to abnormal blood clot formation, which can be serious and life-threatening too.]

            That is just one type of blood cell making up the over 200 distinctly different cell types in your body, each of those 200 with about 20 different types of structures or organelles.  That’s 4,000 distinct cell structures automatically reproducing themselves in finely-tuned balance with each other every moment of your life. 

            If that doesn’t make you fall in worship before your creator, take a look at this computer-generated animation of just one part of the miracle cells perform in the creation of life-giving proteins essential for our survival every second of our lives.  This is what happens in any given cell to create from 10,000 to several billion different types of proteins our bodies need to sustain life as we sit here. 

[Video Clip from Unlocking the Mystery of Life, chapter 10, 46:51-49:37.]

            So WHAT does this scientific knowledge reveal to us about the nature of God?  (Responses.)

  • Unbelievable intelligence
  • Unmatched wisdom
  • Order
  • God’s engineering ability
  • His power to create life-generating and life-sustaining chemical machines.
  • God’s sustaining work every second for every one of us.
  • God’s complexity.
  • God’s love
  • God’s goodness, generosity, grace to every one of us every second we are alive.
  • ???

Now let’s go to the other end of the spectrum of creation, the universe, to see what it tells us about God’s existence and nature. (I apologize for being sort of a travelogue host who has 20 minutes to show you the beauty of the whole United States by throwing up pictures of 2 or 3 of our National Parks for 15 seconds!  How I am looking forward to eternity to learn both discovered and undiscovered mysteries of this universe and ones to come in eternity.  Nobody hanging out with God is going to have a second to be bored!)

            Albert Einstein stated, “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.”  So let’s not be blind this morning and add a little more science to our faith.  But first a little history. 

            In 1916, Albert Einstein didn’t like where his calculations were leading him.  If his theory of General Relativity was true (which it has been undeniably proved to be over the last 100 years to a degree of accuracy of 5 decimal places or 0.00001), it meant that the universe was not eternal but had a beginning. That meant that science was affirming that there was a definite beginning to all time, all matter, and all space, something that flew in the face of Einstein’s and most scientists’ belief that the universe was itself eternal.  (That belief in an eternal universe contradicted the Bible’s clear account of a universe of matter, time and space being created by an act of God rather than being eternal as God himself is.)

            Einstein would go on to call his discovery of matter, time and space all having a definite beginning “irritating.” He found it so irritating that he took a “leap of faith” and introduced a cosmological constant or “fudge factor” into his equations in order to make his equations show a static/eternal universe.  He desperately wanted the universe to be self-existent.  If it was eternal and self-existent, it wouldn’t have been reliant on any outside cause such as the God of the Bible.  Within a decade Einstein would call his “fudge-factor” “the greatest blunder of my life” as other scientists and like British Arthur Eddington and Russian mathematician Alexander Friedmann exposed and disproved his “fudge factor.”  Astronomer Edwin Hubble (namesake of the space telescope) put the last nail in Einstein’s “fudge-factor” error when he discovered a “red shift” in light coming from every observable galaxy.  That discovery meant that those galaxies were moving away from us.  That would only happen if the universe was expanding from a single point of beginning in the distant past. 

            This is what theologians and philosophers call the cosmological argument for God.  The Greek word cosmos means “world” or “universe.”  This argument for God, taken from what we know about the physical universe, goes something like this.

  1. Everything that had a beginning had a cause.
  2. The universe had a beginning.
  3. Therefore the universe had a cause.  

            If we can prove that #1 or #2 are wrong, then atheists would have a very strong scientific argument against God.  But if number 1 & 2 are shown to be correct, then the atheists are the one with a serious problem. 

            Regarding Premise #1 (that everything that had a beginning had a cause), every scientist knows that science itself is built upon what is called the Law of Causality.  The Law of Causality is THE fundamental principle of modern science.  Without it, science is impossible.  Scientists are constantly searching for what caused what we observe.  Nothing in the natural realm happens without a cause. 

ILL:  When a man is driving down the street, a car never appears in front of his car…out of nowhere…with no driver…or no cause.  Police officers may have been told it happens by many a drunk or hallucinating driver, but there has not been one verifiable such appearance in human history anywhere in the world! 

            So if anyone tells you he/she doesn’t believe in the Law of Causality, simply as that person, “What caused you to come to that conclusion?”  

            So the Law of Causality (or premise #1) is undeniably true and well established in science, what about premise #2?  Did the universe have a beginning?  Before Einstein, atheists could comfort themselves with the belief that the universe was eternal.  But since then, at least 5 lines of scientific evidence have been discovered that prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the universe did indeed have a beginning.  That beginning is what scientists have simply called “The Big Bang.”  While some Christians may want to argue how long the “bang” has been going on, how about we come together and agree that the Big Bang is as close as modern science is going to come and can come to agreeing with the Bible’s clear contention that God created the visible, physical universe of matter, time and space from nothing (Latin ex nihilo= “out of nothing”)? We (Bible-believers) have been shown to have won the argument convincingly about the beginning of all creation.  Here’s why.  SURGE, an acronym.

S—The Second Law of Thermodynamics:  among others things, it asserts that the universe is running out of usable energy.  Like a care that has a finite amount of gas in the tank, the universe has a finite amount of energy…and it will ultimately run out of gas and cease to exist.  (This is build on the 1st Law of Thermodynamics which states that the total amount of energy in the universe is constant.)  Put in terms of our “car illustration,” if your car has only a finite amount of gas (1st Law) , and whenever it’s running it continually consumes gas (2nd Law), would your car be running right now if you had started it up an infinitely long time ago? NO!  If your car had been running infinitely long, it would be out of gas by now, just as if the universe had always existed it would have run out of energy by now.  [A battery flashlight left on overnight would be another example of this 2nd Law.]

            The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is also called the Law of Entropy.  That is a fancy way of saying that nature tends to bring things to disorder.  With time, things naturally fall apart. 

ILL:  Everyone who drives a car knows this law.  Has anyone in this room ever had a car get better the longer and harder you drive it without any maintenance? Of course not.  Ever known anyone who had a car like that?  No. 

            The universe is like that.  It’s becoming less ordered over time.  So where did the original order come from?  If the universe is like a wind-up clock that is running down, then someone must have build it originally and wound it up.  That “someone”, from what we know of the universe, must be incomprehensibly intelligent, orderly, powerful, timeless, etc.  Isn’t that the God of the Bible? 

U—The Universe is Expanding. 

Since good scientific theories are those that are able to predict phenomena that have not yet been observed, Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity is truly a good theory.  It predicted an expanding universe before science discovered that our universe is, in fact, expanding. 

            The universe is not expanding into some sort of empty space; space itself is expanding.  There was no space before the Big Bang.  There was no matter and no time.  Time, space and matter all came into existence at the Big Bang. 

            British author Anthony Kenny honestly described his own predicament as an atheist in light of evidence for the Bib Ban when he wrote,

“According to the Big Bang Theory, the whole matter of the universe began to exist at a particular time in the remote past.  A proponent of such a theory, at least if he is an atheist, must believe that the matter of the universe came from nothing and by nothing.” (Geisler, p. 81). 

That kind of belief would have to be in spite of and against all we know to be true in science and cosmology.   Sounds like just what Paul talked about in Romans 1—“suppressing the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.”  In this case, even their god of science makes it plain to them but they refuse to believe! 

            The other 3 proofs that God created the cosmos fill out the last 3 letters of our SURGE acronym. 

Second Law of Thermodynamics

Universe is expanding

Radiation from the Big Bang.  A couple of Bell Labs scientists back in 1965 (the year I met Christ) accidentally stumbled upon one of the most incredible discoveries of the past century, one that would win them Nobel Prizes.  What they detected was strange radiation on their Bell Labs antenna in New Jersey.  That radiation turned out to be the afterglow from the Big Bang fireball explosion.  It is the cosmic background radiation which is actually light and heat from the initial explosion.  This light is no longer visible because its wavelength has been stretched by the expanding universe to wavelengths slightly shorter than those produced by your microwave oven.  But the heat can still be detected. 

Agnostic astronomer Robert Jastrow put it this way: 

“No explanation other than the Big Bang has been found for the fireball radiation.  The clincher, which has convinced almost the last Doubting Thomas, is that the radiation discovered by Penzias and Wilson has exactly the pattern of wavelengths expected for the light and heat produced in a great explosion.  At the present, the Bib Bang theory has no competitors.”  (quoted in Geisler, p. 82)

By the way, here is another rather startling statement from Jastrow:  “Scientists have no proof that life was not the result or an act of creation.” 

Great Galaxy Speeds

The next discovery scientists predicted we would find if the Big Bang actually happened was slight variations (or ripples) in the temperature of the cosmic background radiation that Penzias and Wilson had discovered.  Those temperature ripples are what enabled matter to congregate by gravitational attraction into the galaxies we have today. 

So in 1989 NASA launched a $200 million satellite called COBE (Cosmic Background Explorer) carrying extremely sensitive instruments able to detect such ripples if they existed. It was like taking pictures of the distant past in the universe. When their project leader, astronomer George Smoot, announced COBE’s findings in 1992, his quote was printed all over the world’s newspapers:  “If you’re religious” he said, “it’s like looking at God.” 

            COBE had not only found the ripples, but scientists were amazed at their precision.  The ripples show that the explosion and expansion of the universe was precisely tweaked to cause just enough matter to congregate to allow galaxy formation, but not enough to cause the universe to collapse back on itself.  Any slight variation one way or the other, and none of us would be here to tell about it.  In fact, the ripples are so exact…down to one part in one hundred thousand…that Smoot called them the “fingerprints of the maker.” 

Lastly, Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity. Since we’ve already looked at this, I’ll only say that this virtually proven theory shows that time, space and matter are co-relative.  That is, they are interdependent—you can’t have one without the other which means there was an absolute beginning for all three at the same time, just what the Bible says happened “in the beginning” when “God created the heavens and the earth”—time, space and matter. 

            A quote from astronomer Robert Jastrow who was founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies.  He’s religiously an agnostic by his own words.  But this is what he’s written:

“Now we see how the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world.  The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same:  the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy.” 

“Astronomers now find 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 the earth.  And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover…That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.”  (Quoted by Geisler on p. 85.)

Second Law of Thermodynamics

Universe is expanding

Radiation from the Big Bang

Great Galaxy Speeds

Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity

…SURGE—5 proofs from science to the truth and accuracy of the biblical claim that God created our known cosmos out of nothing by the mere will of His command. 

AN ADDITIONAL LINE OF REASONING/PROOF: 

THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE—The design is in the details.  Highly precise and interdependent environmental conditions (“anthropic constraints”) required for the survival of the universe and human life on earth.

  • There are over 100 of these anthropic constants. Take any one of them away and life as we know it ceases to exist. 

EXAMPLES:

  • Oxygen Levels: earth’s atmosphere is 21% oxygen.  If it were 25%, fires would erupt spontaneously, killing all life.  If it were 15%, human beings would suffocate. 
  • Atmospheric Transparency: if it were less transparent, not enough solar radiation would reach the earth’s surface to sustain life.  If it were more transparent, we would have too much solar radiation to survive as humans. 
  • Moon-Earth Gravitational Interaction: if gravitation interaction was greater than it currently is, tidal effects on the oceans, atmosphere and rotational period would be too severe to survive. If it were less, orbital changes would cause massive climatic instabilities that would make life on the earth impossible.
  • Carbon Dioxide Levels: If the CO2 level were higher than it is now, a runaway greenhouse effect would develop and we’d burn up.  If the level were lower than it is now, plants would not be able to maintain efficient photosynthesis…and we’d suffocate.

Other of those 100+ factors: 

  • planetary movements in our solar system,
  • expansion rate of the universe,
  • constant of the speed of light,
  • water vapor levels in our atmosphere,
  • Jupiter’s current orbit that acts as a sort of “cosmic vacuum cleaner” attracting asteroids and comets that would otherwise strike earth,
  • thickness of the earth’s crust (affecting oxygen levels),
  • speed of rotation of the earth (affecting temperatures and wind),
  • 23-degree axil tilt of the earth,
  • atmospheric discharge (lightening) rate (affects nitrogen fixing in the soil required for plant growth),
  • seismic activity (needed for nutrient recycling in the ocean and rivers).

Astrophysicist Hugh Ross has calculated the probability that these and other constants—122 in all—would exist today for any planet in the universe by chance (i.e. without divine design).  Assuming there might be 1022 planets in the universe (a HUGE number), his answer is shocking: one chance in 10138.  Problem is, there are only 1070 atoms in the entire universe.  In effect, then, there is zero chance that nay planet in the universe would have the life-supporting conditions we have, unless there is an intelligent Designer behind it all. 

Romans 1:20-- For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

            Let’s WORSHIP that incomprehensibly intelligent, powerful, wise, loving, kind and good God right now!