|Volume 23 Number 6 June 2021
and Revealed Truth
Stephen Hawking died at the age of 76 from the effects of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). He was known for his work as a theoretical physicist, especially in the area of black holes. Hawking did not rule out the existence of God but did not necessarily believe God had to exist. In one of his famous quotes he said, “God may exist, but science can explain the universe without the need for a creator.” Many would disagree that science is able to do that very thing. Despite the theoretical suppositions of how the universe could bring itself into existence, they only raise more questions, not answer them. Theories rise, based on human concepts, are pursued, abandoned due to a better understanding of what can and cannot work within such theories, and new ones take their place. In reality, science is no closer to explaining the creation of life apart from God because it is an impossibility, a deception from the mind of finite beings.
Another statement he made was, “If you believe in science, like I do, you believe that there are certain laws that are always obeyed.” And yet, for science to push evolution, certain laws have to be negated, such as the laws of thermodynamics and biogenesis. Choosing which to ignore and which to retain to promote a preconceived idea is circular reasoning, which proves nothing. Consistency is perhaps one of the hardest things for us as human beings to grasp.
Of all the statements Hawking made, this one best serves us all: “To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit.” While I doubt that he meant it this way, it is a truth that to think about the flesh to the exclusion of the spiritual limits us in ways that reach to eternity. Reminding ourselves of eternity and judgment is important to give true meaning to our physical existence. We are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27), and our goal in life is to glorify Him and His Son (1 Corinthians 10:31), who died so our sins could be forgiven so eternal life can be received (Philippians 3:20-21). We are created to reflect the image of God, to allow others to see Him at work in us (Matthew 5:16). We are to trust in God and seek what enables His grace to be active in us (Titus 2:11-14). We live our lives today in such a way that we can live with Him forever (Romans 12:2). To exclude the spiritual from our consciousness and experience in life is to deny who we are and how we are to live. One day all that is physical will be gone, and the spiritual will be all that remains. If we ignore the spiritual now, what hope do we have?
If we take anything away from Stephen Hawking, it’s an understanding that, as even those who are counted great must face death, so must we. Every day we have is an opportunity to explore reality and see the handiwork of God in all of life (Psalm 19:1). God is not an invention of the human mind, but instead, we are created and sustained by Him and for Him (Colossians 1:17). We ought to purpose our lives to His praise, honor and glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). If we choose to submit to God, He will honor us (James 4:10).
Stephen Hawking lived his life one day at a time, making his choices regarding the opportunities he had as to how he would live. So do we. What will we do with today? If God blesses us with tomorrow, how will we choose to live? May we learn to use our time wisely and seek each day the path that leads to eternal life. One day, it will be for us as it has been for him; one day will be our last on this globe but not our last day to exist. Our tomorrows are decreasing, while our yesterdays increase. Before our time on earth is gone, let us choose eternal life. That is a life that matters, that endures and that will be honored. “And just as it is appointed for people to die once – and after this, judgment – so also Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him” (Hebrews 9:27-28).
Gary C. Hampton
Someone suggested David’s words in Psalm 37:4-5 are a good representation of the way God’s children view death. The shepherd king wrote, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.”
The Christian’s view of death begins with life. David instructed, “Delight yourself also in the Lord” (Psalm 37:4a). Paul portrayed this when he declared, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). The widow willingly gave all she had because of this type of thinking (Luke 21:1-4).
David continued, “Commit your way to the Lord” (Psalm 37:5a). Commitment to the Lord led Dorcas to make all sorts of garments for the widows (Acts 9:36-43). Their tearful display of her works resulted in Peter raising her from the dead. Paul gave up his own life and lived with Christ making the controlling decisions in his daily walk (Galatians 2:20).
The Christian sees death as desirable because of what follows. David said the one who delighted in the Lord would discover that He would give him the desires of his heart (Psalm 37:4b). The apostle to the Gentiles desired to be with the Lord (Philippians 1:23). Living a life fully committed to the Savior resulted in the Lord bringing to pass what Paul trusted Him to do (Psalm 37:5b).
John described Heaven in wonderful terms (Revelation 21:1-6). Paul confidently looked forward to receiving a “crown of righteousness” because he had committed his eternal soul to Christ, living as He directed (2 Timothy 4:6-8; 1:12). He was willing to gladly give up his temporary, physical home to be clothed in an eternal home (2 Corinthians 5:1-4).
God’s children should live their lives for Him. He will reward us with a beautiful home in Heaven when we do.