Friday, October 29, 2010

Who made God?

"If I told you the answer to that, I know what your next question would be. You would say "Who made the person who made God ?" Then, if I told you that , you would ask "Who made the person who made the person who made God ?" Then, if I told you that, you would ask "Who made the person who made the person who made the person who made God ?" etc. etc.

No, the answer is NOBODY made God. God is eternal. That means He has no beginning or end. He has always existed. In fact, there was a time when there was no matter (solid things), no space, and no time, only God Himself. Then God spoke and by His power brought everything in the Universe into existence. The exciting thing is that although we have a beginning, God has made each one of us eternal as well. That means the "real you" - your Soul and Spirit will never die.

I know this is hard for us to understand, because we are used to living in time, with beginnings and endings. But let us consider the alternative. If there is no God (or Creator), that means that everything in the Universe must have created itself - beginning with nothing. Our common sense tells us that nothing can make itself - it has to have a maker or creator. That is why most people in the world believe in a Creator (God). It requires far,far too much faith to believe that everything made itself out of nothing. It is far easier to believe that there always has been a loving God who created everything.

Is there life elsewhere in the Universe?

Surveys in a number of countries indicate that the majority of people believe that there is other life in the Universe, apart from on earth.

We now know that the Universe is absolutely enormous, with countless billions and billions of stars (our sun is a star). People reason that because there are so many stars, there are probably billions and billions of planets associated with them. And the chances are that millions and millions of these planets will be similar to earth, and therefore capable of sustaining life.

Unfortunately, some people believe that life can form itself by chance processes, and if it has happened on earth - then why not on other planets as well? However life CANNOT form itself. A creation needs a Creator. A design needs a Designer. The only One who can create life is God.
So the question we should really be asking is "Has God created life on other planets?"

The only Person who knows everything about everything is God. And God has written us a book called the Bible, which tells us everything we really need to know about life. Therefore the first place we should go to find out if something is true or not is the Bible. Unfortunately, the Bible doesn't say if there is life somewhere other than on earth, so we cannot know for sure. However, by studying the Bible, it does seem that life (certainly intelligent life) outside of the earth is extremely unlikely.

The Bible makes it clear that our earth (small as it may be) is THE most important place in the Universe. It was on earth that God created the first man, Adam. It was here that Adam sinned and brought God's curse on "the whole of creation." thus bringing it into "bondage to decay" (see Romans 8. 21). If there were extraterrestrials (ET's) on other planets, it would hardly be fair that their world was adversely affected because of Adam's sin here on earth!

It was on our earth that God's Son, Jesus Christ, died for our sins "once for all" and redeemed (bought back) the "whole of creation" to Himself. If Jesus died on earth "once for all", that seems to exclude the possibility of Him then going off to other planets to die all over again!

And it will be to here on earth that Jesus will one day return for those of us who are trusting in him. The Bible talks about us (the Church) becoming "the Bride of Christ". And I can't imagine Jesus having more than one bride!

Although we cannot therefore know for certain that there is not life elsewhere in the Universe, if it does exist, we can know three things about it :-

1. It is younger than life on earth, because God didn't create the sun, moon, stars, and consequently any planets that may be associated with them, until Day 4 of the Creation week, whereas He made the earth on Day 1.

2. There is no need to be worried that the earth may be invaded by ET's who are able to take control because they are more advanced and/or intelligent than we are. No. Any other life forms, if they exist at all, cannot be superior to us, because we humans are made in God's image - and you can't get better than the best!

3. It is not important to us on earth. God tells us in the Bible everything that is really important for our lives. Therefore, as it doesn't mention life outside of earth, it cannot be important to us, if it exists at all. If it were important, the Bible would have mentioned it.

Why did God make us, and the world?

We are all on a journey through life, but some people live all their lives without ever finding out why they are here on planet earth in the first place. It is such a shame. Would you get on a train or a bus without knowing where it was going? I don't think so. But for some people, life is rather like being on a journey without knowing where they came from, why they are on the journey, or even where they are going!

The answer to the question is quite easy. God created us to be His friends, so He can enjoy us, and we can enjoy Him, both now and forever. Therefore, we came from God - he created us, He did so to be His friends, and, if we are trusting in Jesus, we are on our way to heaven.

God made the world (in fact the entire Universe and everything in it) for our benefit. He wants us to enjoy it, and to look after it on His behalf. What a wonderful, privileged position God has given us human beings.

Why did God create the earth the way it is?

(My thanks to David Goodwin of Kidsreach - ( ) for providing the illustrations for this presentation)

God created the earth as it is for the benefit of His 'Special Creation' - us! We are to enjoy it and look after it (including everything that God has created on it, such as the animals) on His behalf.

God made the earth just right for us to live on. Even very small changes in the earth's conditions would make life, as we know it, impossible.
God's Creation is proof of the Work of a Creator!

God is very good

Consider the following nine facts - - - -

1. The earth is about 150 million kilometres from the sun. This is exactly the right distance to hold the temperature between 0 degrees C. and 40 degrees C. on most of the earth. This is the temperature needed to sustain most life. But if the earth were just 5% closer to the sun, not only would it be too hot for us, but the oceans would boil and the water would all evaporate. It has been calculated that even a 2 degree C. rise in the average surface temperature of the earth would be enough to melt the polar ice caps and cause devastating flooding). If the earth were only 5% further away from the sun, the oceans would freeze, making life in them and transport on them impossible.

2. The earth's orbit around the sun is nearly a perfect circle. If, as in the case of most other planets, the orbit were oval shaped (like an egg), the earth would be blazing hot as it approached the sun, and deathly cold as it moved away from it.

3. The earth rotates once on its axis every 24 hours. If it didn't rotate, one side would be day all the time and be very hot, and the other would be night all the time and be very cold. If the earth's speed of rotation were much slower than it is, our days would still be very hot, and our nights very cold. If the rotation were much faster, the wind would blow so strongly that we wouldn't be able to stand up in the open. The length of each day and night is also just right for the amount of sleep we need.

4. The earth is tilted on its axis by about 23 degrees. If it wasn't tilted this way, we would have no seasons. Countries near the equator would be very hot. Those far from the equator would be too cold to grow food - resulting in a world-wide food shortage.

5. The diameter of the earth is about 13,000 Kilometres. If it were only about 10% less than this then, because of the consequent reduction in gravity, most of the oxygen which we need to breathe would escape into outer space. If the diameter of the earth were 10% greater than at present, the increased gravity, and hence air pressure, would cause the polar ice caps to melt - resulting in devastating flooding.

6. Our atmosphere contains about 21% oxygen, which is just right for life on earth. A much higher level would make the planet highly inflammable, but at a much lower level, fire would not burn at all. And we would find it very hard to breathe!

Another type of oxygen is ozone. This forms a layer in our atmosphere which absorbs the very harmful ultraviolet light from the sun and prevents it reaching us on the earth. The problem with ozone is that it is poisonous. So where to we find this ozone layer? About 15 kilometres above the earth's surface, where it can do us no harm.

7. The pull of gravity on the earth by the moon and the sun causes the tides. Tides cleanse the ocean's shores, help put oxygen (that fish breathe) into the water, and help keep the ocean currents moving, preventing the sea from becoming stagnant. If the moon were a little smaller or a little further away than at present, there would be very little tidal action, resulting in even the oceans becoming stagnant and the death of all aquatic creatures. If the moon were a little larger or a little nearer than at present, the tidal action would be too severe, with low lying areas being flooded twice a day!

8. Unlike the earth, the moon doesn't rotate about its axis. This means that the same side of the moon always faces the earth. This side is made up of mostly dark dust, and so it only reflects about 7% of its sunlight to the earth. The other side of the moon is extremely rocky, and therefore very reflective. If this side faced the earth, our nights would be almost as bright as our days, thus making sleeping very difficult.


9. Although we don't know the purpose of all the planets in the solar system, we do know that the two largest, Jupiter (318 times the size of the earth) and Saturn (95 times the size of the earth), with their strong gravities, are in just the right positions to pull many comets and meteors away and prevent them crashing into the earth and killing us all.

What a wonderful Creator we have, who not only made the earth just right for us to inhabit, but He also keeps it that way year, after year, after year.

"God's eternal power and divine nature can be seen from the things He has made." (Romans 1.20).

When will the world come to an end?

Over many centuries, many religious people have made predictions of when this world will end. Some have given a specific year, and others have even predicted the exact day and time. Needless to say, they have all been wrong so far - because we are all still here!

The Bible does tell us that the earth (as we know it) will be completely destroyed one day. But before that happens, there is another important event that will take place. Jesus will return to earth for those of us who are trusting in Him. The return of Jesus will then set in motion a train of events, which will then result in the world's destruction.

When Jesus was on earth the first time, about two thousand years ago, he was asked when he would return? Jesus told his questioners that he didn't know, and that only God, the Father knew the exact time.

It seems to me that if even Jesus doesn't know when he will return, it is very unlikely that any human being will know the time! The Bible, in fact, tells us that the return of Jesus will be a surprise. His return will be unexpected - nobody will be looking at the clock, waiting for him.

The Bible tells us that before Jesus returns, the conditions will have to be just right. Certain things (or signs) will have to happen first.

1. The "major" sign is that the Jews will return to their biblical homeland of Israel. The Romans destroyed the Jewish temple in Jerusalem in 66 AD and began persecuting the Jews. As a result, these people were scattered throughout the earth for almost 2,000 years. However, in 1948, the present nation of Israel was re-established, and many Jews subsequently returned to their ancestors' ancient homeland. Thus, "Sign 1" has already been fulfilled.

2. There will be an increase in wars, wickedness and violence throughout the world. Most people will agree that this is true "today". Things are getting worse and worse.

3. There will be an increase in natural disasters, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, tsunamis, etc. Most will agree that this is true today.

4. The Gospel (Good news about Jesus Christ) will be shared with all the world's different people groups. This "sign" has not yet been fulfilled. Technological advances over the last century, with the invention of such things as radio, television and the internet, has seen a great increase in the spread of the Gospel. However, there are still many people groups in remote areas of the earth that have still not had an opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel. Jesus will not return until the church has completed this task.

5. Many Christians believe that another "sign" will have to take place before Jesus returns. And that is the rebuilding of God's Temple on its original site in Jerusalem. This remains unfulfilled.

Therefore, don't be misled by future "prophets" who predict the timing of Jesus' return, or the end of the world. When Jesus does return, He will do so unexpectedly.

Which came first the chicken or the egg?

People like asking this question because there appears to be no answer to it. If someone answered 'the chicken', they would say "But the chicken must have come from an egg!" But if someone answered 'the egg', they would say "But the egg must have come from a chicken!"

The answer to the question is - The Chicken. God made the first of each type of creature fully formed. For example, He created the first man and woman, Adam and Eve as mature human beings. God made the first of each type living form, each with seeds within themselves so that they could then reproduce after their own kind. And this is what we find in nature today. Thus oak trees (their seeds are called acorns) produce oak trees, carrots produce carrots, cats produce cats, dogs produce dogs etc. etc. And chickens have seeds, (contained in their eggs) which produce chickens.

When did God create the Dinosaurs?

The Bible tells us that God created all the land animals, including dinosaurs, on the sixth day of the creation week. He also created the first people (Adam and Eve) on the same day.

Some people may try and tell you that dinosaurs lived and died millions of years before people were on the earth. But there is absolutely no evidence to support that claim. I choose rather to believe God who, unlike people, was here in the beginning, knows everything and cannot lie.

The word 'dinosaur' (meaning terrible lizard) cannot be found in the Bible, but that is because it was only first used about 165 years ago after bones from these reptiles began to be discovered. However, a dinosaur-like animal called Behemoth is described in Job 40. 15-19. This fits the description of what is called today a Brachiosaurus. And a sea-going monster called Leviathan is described in Job 41. Thus from the Bible, it is clear that man and dinosaurs once lived together.

Dinosaurs were reptiles. The major difference between them and other reptiles, like crocodiles, was the position of their limbs. These came out from under their bodies, rather than from their sides. This gave them a fully erect posture, similar to mammals. Some dinosaurs were small (about the size of a chicken) and some were very large, weighing an estimated 80 tons and standing over 10 metres high. Like many creatures which once inhabited the earth, dinosaurs are now (probably) extinct. Many would have been drowned at the time of Noah's flood. But the few that were saved on the ark may not have been able to survive the dramatic changes in climatic conditions after the flood.

When did God create angels?

The Bible does not tell us exactly when, but it was probably on the first day of the creation week that we read about in Genesis. We think this because Job 38.7 tells us that "all the sons of God" (Angels) "shouted for joy" when God "laid the earth's foundation."

The angels were all created holy (good), otherwise God could not have said on Day 6 that everything He had made was "very good". Therefore it was after the creation week that some of the angels (possibly a third of them) rebelled against God. The leader of these fallen (bad) angels is named Satan (meaning 'adversary').

The majority of angels have always remained faithful to God, and the exciting thing is that God created them so that they could serve and help us humans. Mighty and powerful that angels are, it is only us humans who have been created in God's likeness. And it is only for us humans that God's Son, Jesus died on the cross.

Why did God use Adam's rib to create Eve?

To make the first woman, God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep. Then He took one of Adam's ribs and built Eve from it. Eve was to become Adam's helper and wife. The name 'Eve' means 'life', because she would become the mother of the whole human race. Everybody who has ever lived since then has descended from her.

God chose to use a rib rather than one of Adam's other bones because this is the one bone in our body that will grow back if it is removed. Thus Adam would not have to go through life with one rib short. If he had done so, this world would not have been perfect. And God clearly tells us that His creation was indeed perfect in the beginning, before Adam and Eve's later rebellion in the garden of Eden which spoiled everything.

Some people mistakenly believe that because God removed one of Adam's ribs, all males now have one less rib than females. This is completely untrue. We all have 24 ribs each, 12 on each side of our rib cages.

God blessed Adam and Eve and told them to have many children and fill the earth. So it was God who designed marriage of a man and a woman, and the family unit, way back in the beginning.

Why did Adam and Eve sin against God?

The Bible tells us that in the beginning God made a perfect world, and that His finest creations were people. The first people (Adam and Eve) were made in God's own image or likeness (See Genesis 1 v. 26).

God could easily have made Adam and Eve like robots, so that they were programmed to obey him. But He wanted someone much better than that. He wanted people that would obey and love Him, but because they wanted to. Not because they had to. Thus, God gave people free will - the ability to choose. Thus Adam and Eve could choose to love and obey God, or they could choose not to love or obey Him.

Well, we all know what happened. Adam and Eve made the wrong choice - they disobeyed and rejected their Creator. But when people make bad choices, there is always a consequence, a price to be paid. Probably you have made some bad choices. Perhaps you chose to disobey your mum or dad, for example. And then found that there were consequences for it. Maybe you were punished!

There was a terrible consequence for Adam and Eve's bad choice. God placed a curse on the earth, and the whole world became "bad".

We still see the results of this today all around us. BUT THERE IS GOOD NEWS. God still loved His creation and had a plan to make things "good' again. He sent His Son to die on the cross. Now, if we put our trust in Jesus, we are forgiven all our wrongdoing and bad choices. Not only that, Jesus is able to come into our lives and make us clean and new on the inside. Now, although we can still choose to make bad choices, we are much less likely to do so as our desire now is to please God, rather than ourselves.

Where did Cain get his wife from?

The most common question that people ask Bible teachers is certainly "Who made God?" (For the answer - see above). The next most common question is the one asked here.

Adam and Eve were the very first two people. Although the Bible only tells us the names of three of their children (Cain, Abel and Seth), it does tell us that they had other sons and daughters. As Adam lived until he was 930 years, there were probably lots of them.

At the beginning of human history, Adam's sons, including Cain, must have married their own sisters. This is because Adam and Eve were the parents of everyone. After that, their children's sons could have married their sisters or their girl cousins, and had children of their own. Very soon there would have been thousands of people living on the earth.

It is against the law for brothers to marry sisters today, why could they do it back then?

Let's first consider the world today. If brothers marry their sisters, then their children may be deformed or sick or handicapped in some way. This is because in our genes, we all have some 'copying mistakes' that have built up in our family over many generations. Different families have different copying mistakes. When people with different gene mistakes marry, the good genes from each partner tend to override the other partner's bad genes, so that deformities do not appear in their children. But if people with the same gene mistakes marry, then their children are liable to inherit two sets of bad genes, and so they can be handicapped in some way.

This was not a problem with Adam and Eve's children, because God created Adam and Eve perfect, with no genetic mistakes! So there was no problem with brothers marrying sisters.

But then, when sin entered the world, God withdrew some of His power that stopped things falling apart. His perfect creation began to degenerate. There was death and decay, and many genetic mistakes began to develop in all living things. This was minimal at the time of Cain, so intermarriage was okay, but by the time of Moses, about 2,500 years later, genetic mistakes had built up to the point where it was necessary for God to forbid brothers from marrying their own sisters. That is why it was okay at the beginning, but not okay today to marry your close relative.

Did some people in the Bible really live until they were over 900 years old?

A better question would be "Why do people live such short lives today?" The important thing to remember is that when God first created the earth it was completely different from what it is like now. God called it "very good". The Bible indicates that the original climatic conditions on the earth were perfect for life, and that there was no pain, sorrow, sickness or even death. All these 'bad' things (including death) only came into God's perfect creation as a result of Adam and Eve's disobedience in the Garden of Eden.

Thus Adam only died because of his disobedient act. He died spiritually - in other words he became separated from a holy God - immediately. But it took 930 years for him to die physically. Likewise Adam's early descendents mostly managed to live until they were over 900 years of age, the oldest recorded one being Methuselah who survived until he was 969. But eventually they all died.

About 1,700 years after creation came the great flood at the time of Noah, with consequent major changes in the climatic conditions. Now the earth was a much more hostile place in which to live. In particular many Bible scholars believe that the protective water vapour canopy, which had once surrounded the earth, collapsed at the start of the flood leaving all life forms exposed to harmful radiation from the sun, and therefore much more likely to have shorter life spans.

The Bible record indicates that this did indeed happen. Although Noah managed to live until he was 950 years old, his son, Shem, only survived for 600 years. A few generations later, when the effects of the dramatic climatic change had really taken hold, we read that Abraham only lived until he was 175. At the time of King David (about 1,300 years after the flood), this decline in life spans had levelled out to the present average of about 70 years.

The Bible describes death as "the last enemy". The good news is that God has promised that one day Jesus will completely defeat this "last enemy", and He will create a new earth when, as in the beginning, there will be no more death.