9 June 2014 by Dr Yeo Teck Thiam –
In the first part of the article ‘From Here To Eternity’, Dr Yeo explored the possible realities of Heaven as a realm beyond the Earthly context, and the reality of an Eternal life. In this second part, the article explores the possible nature, meaning, and significance of Eternity within infinite God’s sovereign plan.
Of Burning Bush
To this end, people will have experienced various aspects beyond earthly life when they encounter miracles. Jesus performed many miracles while on earth. There were also miracles given through men of God like Elijah and Elisha, and in the Exodus for the Israelites.
Moses witnessed this in the burning bush at Horeb. The bush did not burn out, and so its light did not go out. This event is not something that is governed by physical laws where earthly materials are consumed in combustion by fire. This did not happen in the burning bush. Exodus 3:1
But God does not need to burn materials to produce a fire. So here, we understand God uses a physical phenomenon to teach us aspects about the realm beyond. For it is written: God is a consuming fire. Deuteronomy 4:24, Hebrews 12:29
Notwithstanding this, we are mindful that these words were told to the Israelites in order that they understand the dual nature of fire, to destroy and also to cleanse. For, “at that time, his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, ‘Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’ The words, “once more” indicated the removing of what can be shaken — that is, created things — so that what cannot be shaken may remain.” Hebrews 12:26-27
In this regard then, when the first heavens and earth are shaken off and destroyed, we know that only eternal things remain.
The Longest Day
In another context, we remember also there was the longest day in Scripture when Joshua fought the Amorites at Gibeon. He commanded the sun to stand still and the sun did not set for a full day. Joshua 10:13
Since time virtually stops for daytime, we are at a loss to describe and count the “extra hours” in the Israelites’ life. From our point of view on earth about the longest day, we are experiencing some aspects about timelessness. Time is no more “relevant”, and I imagine this shows some aspects in relation to eternity.
Of A Big Bang and Black Holes
Likewise, we remember also, that our universe came about by the word of God. God spoke and it was so. This universe came about like a big bang, and ushered in also space-time.
Creation marks the beginning of space and time, and it is this space-time fabric that wraps the matter of our universe, as long as it exists.
To this end, the force in the energy of this universe came by the power of God. It shall likewise return to God, as He purposed, outside of the laws of this physical universe.
So then, in the cosmological concept of black holes, we imagine matter is sucked out of this universe by gravitational force into a singular point. Even light is sucked from its vicinity, and nothing is seen around the singular point.
When I imagine this black hole is taking matter and light from this universe, I reckon also that nothing more, really can be known. Space and time come to a standstill because no light escapes the black hole. So I imagine also a black hole points to an end of space time, in a contrast to Big Bang. However, this black hole is not a pleasant idea in many aspects. In this contrast, a black hole is like a timeless prison for space, and light and matter.
Heaven is certainly not like that!
In heaven, the pearly gates are never shut. The place is filled with the light of God’s glory. So I give thanks because I know God is creating a new heaven and new earth for us, filled with glory and light.
About Space and Time
So we wonder also, what will happen to all the space when the first heavens and this earth disappears? For who has measured the waters in the hollow of God’s hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Isaiah 40:12
In the dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem, Solomon was moved to declare “Will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!” 2 Chronicles 6:18
So, in the Psalms, David also wrote, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” Psalm 139:7-10.
I am awed! However, I need not worry, for space can be compressed and expanded. We see this in our universe, when the LORD stretches the heavens.
We also need not worry how to traverse such an expanse. Jesus promised the thief on the cross, “Truly, I say to you. Today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43
The Kingdom of God
What remains, therefore, are the eternal things that God has set for us to know. God is Spirit, and these concern spiritual things. “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Roman 14:17
So then, we seek these wonderful things of great joy that God has in store for us. This is in keeping with his promise. “We are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.” 2 Peter 3:13
So we join in Paul’s prayer “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19
“So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” 2 Peter 3:14
NB: Scripture texts in italics are from NIV.
Note: Mr Yeo Teck Thiam is a retireer who used to work as a chemical engineer, specializing in food and perfume chemistry for an international food company and perfumer. His other main interest is astronomy and other mathematical matters, relating to the Biblical passages.
|Share The Good News|
References for pictures