Monthly Archives: March 2013

The Laws of Nature

The Bible begins with this colossal declaration: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  The implications of this truth are immense and practically inconceivable. In the beginning God created everything.

In six days, God made everything we see and everything we don’t see.  He made the world and all of the invisible attributes of creation that make our world what it is.  He created light but also the entire spectrum of electromagnetic energy.  He created the earth, but he also established the balance and symmetry in the universe that allow the earth to experience night and day and the changing of seasons.  He created fish, birds, mammals, and microorganisms, but he also created in these creatures the instincts and life cycles that keep the entire natural world in perfect balance.  He created atoms and elements but also fashioned the energy and nuclear forces that hold the universe together.

The nature and existence of the physical world depends entirely on the invisible attribute of creation.  Secular science has described several of these attributes as laws of nature.  These include the law of conservation of energy, the law of conservation of mass, the law of inertia, the law of entropy, and the law of gravity. It is these laws that provide order, logic, and sustainability in the natural world.  They have been woven into the fabric of the universe from the very beginning.

        The Nature of Natural Laws
So what makes these principles a “law of nature”?  Here are a few general observations:

    • They always have been and always will be.  In other words, they do not change, and if they did, the universe would cease to exist in its present form.
    • They exist without human observation.  A law of nature is a law regardless of whether or not it has been described or identified as such.
    • They can be resisted but never changed.  Consider the law of gravity – I can resist and even act as though it doesn’t exist, but its influence on me and the universe will remain unchanged.
    • They are universally true. Laws of nature are equally true everywhere in every situation.

        Supernatural Laws of Nature
Are the laws of nature defined by secular science the only natural laws?  Of course not.  Natural laws do not pertain only to the natural world – some exist for the supernatural world.  Certain laws implemented by God at the creation were implanted to serve a more spiritual purpose.  The Bible describes many laws that have been purposely programmed into this world by God to satisfy the spiritual needs of his creation.

        The Human Conscience
Every human being born into the world with a rational mind is imbued with an inherent knowledge of God and sense of moral justice – the Bible calls this the law of the conscience.

In Romans 2:14-15 the Apostle Paul explains how Gentiles uneducated in the Mosaic Law still practiced the moral elements of the law.

“when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them”

Why is this a law of nature?  Like all natural laws, this law exists to define the nature of our existence. The law of the conscience embedded in every human mind puts in us a natural sense of morality and justice, without which the world would be in chaos.  While the lusts of the flesh draw us away from God, the impulses of the human conscience draw us back.

        Heterosexual Marriages
This natural law hardly needs explaining.  Marriage is an institution created, consecrated, and defined by God as the union of one man and one woman.  This is the nature of the creation. To pervert this design through pursuit of homosexual relationships is against nature.  Paul explains this in view of the carnal relationships of the Gentiles.  The Gentiles rejected the truth of God, therefore, Paul explains:

“God gave them up to vile passions.  For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due” (Romans 1:26-27).

Why is this a law of nature?  Besides the fact that homosexuality is condemned by God (1 Corinthians 6:9), nature tells us it’s unnatural.  It’s “against nature.”  Homosexuality opposes the natural course of procreation.  In fact, the Bible explains that His design for human unions (heterosexual monogamous marriages) is the ideal mechanism for reproducing and rearing children: Malachi 2:15,“Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking?  Godly offspring.”

Like other laws of nature, humanity can act as though this law doesn’t exist, but it can’t make it go away.  Heterosexual marriages will always be the only natural course of procreation and the only kind of union condoned by God.

        Gender Distinctions
Perhaps as a part of the law of the conscience, the Apostle Paul introduces another law of nature in 1 Corinthians 11:14-15: “Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him?  But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering.”  Have you ever wondered why a woman with short hair looks a little unnatural?  Or why a man with long hair seems somewhat strange?  Even after generations of cultural conditioning that would convince us otherwise, short hair still makes the most sense on a man, and long hair makes more sense on a woman.  This is no accident.  It’s natural and it’s an instinct given by God.

Why is this a law of nature?  As already discussed, heterosexual relationships are an essential staple of all creation, and this passage emphasizes this necessity.  We should see the differences between genders.  Distinctions between genders must be maintained for numerous reasons – normal reproduction, successful churches, successful families, etc.  The visible distinction between men and women is embedded into our collective human conscience so as to confirm and clarify the larger more significant distinctions between the genders.

        Conclusions
What would the world look like without these natural laws?  What if we had no conscience?  What if we had no inclination towards heterosexual relationships?  What if God didn’t define the differences between the genders?  This world would be like one without gravity – there would be no world at all. These laws sustain the human race and point us toward our redemption.  God’s laws are for our good.

Tad Morris
~
610 E. Current Circle, Ozark, MO  65721

For God So Loved

“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 ” (John 3:16).

Here is a vast vision of hope: “For God so loved the world.” The world is vast with good prospects for everyone.

“‘Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests “ (Matthew 22:9-10).

Thus taught our Lord. His vision is not for the deserving (Who can be deserving?). His love extends to the good and bad. The breath of every man woman and child is sacred inasmuch as it contains the promise of renewed life, joy in the eternal presence of God.

Who are the good? And what distinguishes them from the bad? There are neighbors who don’t cause problems. We have work associates who do their jobs well. Society is peopled with souls who aren’t much trouble, yet their lives are on shaky ground. Jesus spoke of the individual who heard the word of the Lord and did not do it. Jesus said he “will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall” (Matthew 7:26-27). The bad are often obvious, but without the Lord all have sandy foundations. The gospel is for all. Without Jesus, even the good are finally brought to death in blindness, whether being led astray by demagoguery, or blithely trusting in their own goodness. The Lord knows how to save both good and bad.

The love of God requires no impossible demands. God calls upon us to believe His promise of salvation. Believe in Jesus. What are the prospects? Avoidance of destruction! Everlasting life! This is very inviting. It appeals to our desire for a pleasant outcome. Most people want a better outcome than they can imagine. God has placed the prospects within our reach.

When God gave Jesus, what was given that we should believe? Jesus walked on the earth as a man. He spoke and acted. Power was demonstrated though Him that we might understand He is more than a prophet: “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made ” (John 1:3). His words were and are unassailable: No man ever spoke like this man ” (John 7:46). With a willing desire to serve God and a little time to investigate, we can believe: “If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority” (John 7:17). Belief requires listening beyond investigating. It requires listening to learn and follow. His teaching becomes the requirement for our living and the touchstone for our conscience.

What was given that we should believe? “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17). The first thing this verse shows is what was not given. Condemnation! James and John, the Sons of Thunder, were willing to destroy a Samaritan village that refused Jesus “but He turned and rebuked them, and said, ‘You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them'” (Luke 9:55-56). What does this attitude of not condemning have to do with you and me? It means there is time to be saved. There is time to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. It must mean that Jesus’ point of view is laced with compassion as He understands our weakness. Not that He approves of sin, but that He is meek and lowly in heart. He doesn’t sit in the seat of the scornful. Rather, He has the desire and means to save us! He can make us better, wiser and stronger:

“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us ” (2 Corinthians 4:6-7).

Evidently, Jesus is not condemning because He knows that these earthen vessels of our human bodies can harbor the light of the knowledge of the glory of God and the excellence of power. This potential is for us all, a potential to live and glorify God with humility. It is something very hopeful. Hope fosters faith: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for.” Through faith, the prospect turns into fact — a changed life, one who overcomes the world.

Finally, we must consider the soul who is lingering in the darkness of unbelief. So many of us are and have been persistent in going our own way. Even in the knowledge of the truth, our stubborn will can cause us to turn away. What about it?

“I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world” (John 12:46-47).

He knows our tendency to be slow of heart, but He is forbearing. Even souls for whom there seems no hope, He forbears. Jesus and the Father do nothing in vain. This does not mean that God is a pushover, an indulgent Being who will save us in spite of our unbelief: “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). Unbelief does not insulate us from reality and awareness of the truth. Unbelief is only rejection, and rejection has no power to thwart conviction. Self-delusion just makes it seem that way. Yet the love of God persists while we still have breath and the capacity to repent. He is “not willing that any should perish.”

Louis Garbi
~
124 Locust St., Barnett, MO  65011-1004