Summer Article 2013 – The age has consequences!

By Dr John Watterson


Everyone has heard the joke about the fossilised camel – the fossil hunters knew how old it was because they found a date in its mouth. Of course, neither fossils nor rocks are ever found with date tags attached. But watch any science programme and you cannot fail to notice the assumption that the Earth is billions of years old. This is not a proven fact, it is an assumption, an assumption that has quite profound consequences for how we think and behave. Let me explain.


Consequences of a big bang way of thinking


There are only two ways to think. We either start all our thinking with the God of the Bible, or we start with the opinions of men. And if we follow the opinions of men, then we cannot explain the existence of the world. Scientists are aware of this problem. Although many believe in the so-called Big Bang, they cannot say why it happened – they just say that it happened by chance and it’s lucky for us that things turned out the way they did. Then they remove the Big Bang from us by incomprehensible stretches of time and pretend that billions of years were sufficiently long for life to arise from non-living matter by chance. Such a childish idea would be thoroughly laughable if it were not for its tragic consequences. For the Big Bang and billions of years imply that:

  • Chance governs the Universe, including your life and mine.
  • All our actions are futile and all facts (including the facts about our birth, personality and death) are meaningless.
  • Death (which is what “the survival of the fittest” really means) is the driving force and the end of everything.

In effect, the Big Bang says that we are in a prison from which there can be no escape. This is deeply depressing. Is it any wonder that people say, “Let us eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die”?


A biblical way to think 


But the Bible teaches something quite different. The Bible starts with God: “In the beginning God…” And it teaches that God made everything out of nothing: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” And the Bible says that when God had finished creating everything in six days, He “saw all that He had made, and it was very good” – which leaves no room for billions of years of disease, suffering, bloodshed and death. This means that:

  • The God of the Bible governs the Universe.
  • All the facts of the world – from the incomprehensibly tiny electrons to the unimaginably vast galaxies, and from the grand sweep of history to the internal world of our own hearts – all the facts declare that God is God, eternal and almighty.
  • All our actions are significant, and we will have to give an account to God for everything we have thought, said and done.
  • The progress of everything is directed to one great goal – the glory of God – and it is life itself to participate willingly in the achievement of this end.


The defeat of death and the Good News!


“But,” you may object, “The world is full of suffering and death. If God made the world good, then where did these come from?” The Bible is clear about this: death entered the world through sin. That sin was the first act of disobedience of the first man – and we compound the matter day after day by our own sins.

This is bad news, because we must stand before God! But it also carries with it the seeds of good news, because if God were to deal with sin, He would also deal with suffering and death.

In fact, this is just what God has done by sending His one and only Son to be conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, and to suffer crucifixion under Pontius Pilate. Peter, who was an eyewitness of the suffering of the Lord Jesus, says that although, “[Jesus] committed no sin…He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree [the cross], so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed” (see 1 Peter chapter 2). God has dealt with sin, and when the Lord Jesus comes again, it will be to remove suffering and death forever.

This is why the Bible says, “with [God] is the fountain of life.” And this is why we invite you to come and find your sins forgiven because of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and enter into the hope of life forever in the presence of God.

So, you see that your view about the age of the Universe, the past, isn’t just theoretical – it can be significant for your view of, and your participation in, the future.