How to make a universe

This is the second in a two-part series on Stephen Hawking’s contention that science has resolved the need for God.

In the previous column, we examined the logical fallacies theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking employs in the Discovery Channel series, “Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design.”

Now, let’s turn our attention to how a universe is made. While Scripture tells us that God spoke the world into existence (Gen. 1:3-26; Ps. 33:9; Heb. 11:13), Hawking contends that nothing more than matter, energy, and space is needed to craft a universe.

But where did these ingredients come from? The Bible describes the creative act of God as ex nihilo — out of nothing. The eternally existing God created everything, visible and invisible, as an act of divine will.

Science tells quite a different tale than the biblical account, according to Hawking: “We can use the laws of nature to grasp the very origins of the universe and discover if the existence of God is the only way to explain it.”

A universe may materialize out of nothing through purely natural processes, he says. The laws of physics demand the existence of something called “negative energy.”

When the Big Bang produced vast amounts of positive energy, it also produced an equal amount of negative energy, says Hawking.

So, where is all the negative energy today? In space, he says. Space is a vast storehouse of negative energy, ensuring that all positive and negative energy adds up to zero.
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A Searcher’s Guide to the Apocalypse

Searcher's Guide

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The Searcher’s Guide to the Apocalypse is now available as a Kindle ebook. The book is a verse-by-verse quest to understand the Book of Revelation, the final book in the Bible and the first place many people go to seek answers about the future.

But the Book of Revelation is more than prophecy. It is rich with information about the first-century church. And it is relevant to 21st Century Christians who wait eagerly for the return of Christ.

Revelation promises a blessing to every person who reads, hears, and keeps the words of this prophecy, and The Searcher’s Guide aims to sort through various end-times scenarios, uncovering the rich and unchanging truths of God’s Word.
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Revelation 22: Download the free study

Our verse-by-verse study of the Book of Revelation comes to a close with chapter 22. For several years now, we’ve been focusing on four major views of the so-called Apocalypse of John.

You may read the commentary to date either by clicking on End Times or Revelation in the drop-down menu (Topics) to the right.

Whether you’re a preterist, who sees the events of Revelation as fulfilled in the first centuries of the Christian era; a historicist, who views the events of Revelation as unfolding throughout the course of history; a futurist, who sees most of Revelation as yet unfulfilled; or an idealist, who sees Revelation setting forth timeless truths concerning the battle between good and evil, there are important truths the Lord reveals to all of us in this book.

We would do well to approach Revelation with caution — and with great anticipation, knowing God will fulfill all His promises to us. We also should be comforted by the fact that Revelation is the only book in Scripture specifically promising a blessing to those who hear its prophecies and keep them.

Download the commentary on Revelation 22

Select and download commentaries of Revelation 1-22


Stephen Hawking’s grand design

This is the first in a two-part series on Stephen Hawking’s contention that science has resolved the need for God.

Every so often, a renowned scientist captivates a global audience through a combination of brilliance, charisma, and an uncanny ability to communicate complex ideas in simple terms.

Carl Sagan comes immediately to mind. So does Neil deGrasse Tyson. And, of course, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, whose dazzling intellect and sense of humor, despite severe physical limitations, make him a popular author, speaker, and occasional guest star on television sit-coms.

So, when the Discovery Channel launched a mini-series, “Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design,” it captured the attention of millions around the world.

Narrated by English actor Benedict Cumberbatch, the series features numerous sound bites of Hawking, who is wracked by Lou Gehrig’s disease and speaks through a voice synthesizer. Hawking begins episode three, “Did God Create the Universe?” with this statement:

“I have no desire to tell anyone what to believe. But for me, asking if God exists is a valid question for science. After all, it is hard to think of a more important or fundamental mystery than what, or who, created and controls the universe.”

Fair enough. If the heavens declare the glory of God (Ps. 19:1), and if God has revealed Himself to all people through His creation, leaving them with no excuse for rejecting Him (Rom. 1:20), then an exploration of the natural world should lead us to the conclusion that God exists.
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God’s seven promises in Revelation 22

There are at least seven promises given to us in Revelation 22 that confirm Jesus’ victory over Satan, sin and death. These promises also assure us that all the effects of the Fall are reversed in Christ’s finished work and the salvation He has provided for us by grace through faith.

In this regard, we should view Revelation not merely as a book of frightening – and often confusing – imagery, but as a book of warm and assuring promises about God’s sovereignty over human affairs and angelic conflict. In the end, we who read, hear and heed the words of this prophecy are indeed blessed because we know the God who created all things is faithful.

Promise No. 1: Living water (v. 1; see also Rev. 21:6; 22:17)

There was a river in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:10) that served as the source of four other rivers. But when Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden they lost access to this pure source of water and drank from streams now affected by the Fall. A person may live for up to 40 days without food but only three days without water. The body itself is made up largely of water, so water is absolutely essential to life. Jesus often spoke about water as an image of eternal life supplied by the Holy Spirit (see John 4:10-14; 7:37-39).

In the New Jerusalem, we see a river of pure, living water flow from the throne of God and of the Lamb, and all whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life may drink freely from it. Ezekiel also had a vision of pure water in the glorious future temple (Ezek. 47:1-12; see also Zech. 14:8). This living water depicts the Holy Spirit who inhabits the human spirits of believers but is cut off from unbelievers (Rom. 8:9).
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