Now, the other thought that puzzles me about it sometimes is, "Why on earth would He prompt me to share THAT particular thing? Better yet......Why would He want ME to share it?" If you read on, you will be wondering those same things!:) Sometimes I really do get it. Others, I'm just simply sharing so He'll stop hitting the button. This is definitely one of those times as I am neither a biblical scholar nor a scientist. So, for this particular lesson, I'd suggest if you have wonderings yourself at the end of it.....consult my Manufacturer and/or His owner's manual:)
Scientists. Bless their hearts.
I read about a new found planet, HD40307g, on my MSN homepage a few weeks ago. A professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the university of southern California, Santa Cruz, along with an international team of astronomers found what they call a "new super-Earth" outside our solar system in what they think could be the habitable zone of a six planet solar system. I'm not going to go into all the technical things of how they found it with it being 44 light years away, what they think of it, etc. For more info, you can go to: www.news.ucsc.edu/2012/11/
I mention it because it simply struck me in an odd way. The very first thing that came to mind was Revelation 21:1 "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more."
Now, let me just go ahead and clarify....I am in no way saying that this finding could be our "new earth" promised in scripture. But, it simply sent me on a little exploration of my own.
I love that, if you have a Bible reader app on your iPhone or iPad, you can do a search for a word or phrase and it'll bring up all the scriptures that contain them. (I just realized that's my 2nd plug for Apple products but I assure you I'm not on their payroll!:))
Needless to say I got out my iPhone and brought up the app. There are amazing references in the Old and New Testaments that talk about the real "Super Earth" that will be in plain view for believers one day.
In the Old Testament:
“For behold, I create new heavens
and a new earth,
and the former things shall not be remembered
or come into mind.
But be glad and rejoice forever
in that which I create;
for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy,
and her people to be a gladness.
I will rejoice in Jerusalem
and be glad in my people;
no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping
and the cry of distress.
No more shall there be in it
an infant who lives but a few days,
or an old man who does not fill out his days,
for the young man shall die a hundred years old,
and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed.
They shall build houses and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
They shall not build and another inhabit;
they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
They shall not labor in vain
or bear children for calamity,
for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the Lord,
and their descendants with them.
Before they call I will answer;
while they are yet speaking I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb shall graze together;
the lion shall eat straw like the ox,
and dust shall be the serpent's food.
They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain,”
says the Lord.
He goes on to say of this New Jerusalem:
“Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her,
all you who love her;
rejoice with her in joy,
all you who mourn over her;
that you may nurse and be satisfied
from her consoling breast;
that you may drink deeply with delight
from her glorious abundance.”
For thus says the Lord:
“Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,
and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;
and you shall nurse, you shall be carried upon her hip,
and bounced upon her knees.
As one whom his mother comforts,
so I will comfort you;
you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice;
your bones shall flourish like the grass;
and the hand of the Lord shall be known to his servants,
and he shall show his indignation against his enemies.
Hard to phathom isn't it? A new earth where we enjoy our work; infants won't die; the hand of the Lord will be seen, doubt removed; we will rejoice, be comforted, no more weeping; forever. "Sounds wonderful" is a huge understatement. Yet, in this instance, the passage that spoke to and challenged me most was in the New Testament:
2 Peter 3:1-13
This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
This passage, while stirring me to thanks, also stirred me to pity. Pity for the brilliant minds out there that are so easily deceived. I understand their questions, because I've asked them, too. Could there seriously be a Creator of all seen and unseen? How can I believe in a being that I can not see? etc.
In this passage, Peter refers to the groups throughout history who said, "where is your God? Let Him act so we can see and know". We have an abundance of those groups today. I hear and read it everywhere. The news is full of it....obviously. My children are being taught evolution as fact and not theory, even having to do a report on "pre-historic" humans. We had a long talk about it but basically I just told them of the deceit many are under and for them to look at the report as a way for them to find out just how badly people need them to represent Christ. I told them to be kind about it, that when we ignore time with the Lord and don't pray, it becomes hard for us to see Him, too. But, when we pray and read His Word, He speaks to us and we see evidence of Him everywhere and as a bonus, we have a confidence that unbelievers will never know. I also told them that no matter what the majority of people believe and teach, no one....and I mean no one....can explain our origin and our world with any more plausible evidence than that of our belief in a Creator.
I found myself feeling sorry for the excited astronomers and for all the others who disregard the Lord so easily. All I can say is, "bless their hearts". They scoff at us "ignorant" folks as they search and search only to find more questions....no closer to the truth they had hoped they'd arrive at than when Darwin declared himself an agnostic...Not an atheist. I guess it's kind of like my dirty dishes....a vicious cycle.
Peter said that the "heavens that now exist are being kept for the day of destruction." These heavens stored up for judgment day are the very heavens they are hoping will support their theory of life on another planet; These heavens that supposedly exploded into being from nothing and subsequently created from nothing this ONE beautiful planet that produced, over billions of years, everything we see now from the brilliant dolphins that swim the seas to the high school quarterback that may one day play for the Miami Dolphins. One big error? Yes....I'm happy to tell all evolutionists and big bang theorists, that you too were created in the image of God. As such, I will sincerely pray for your hearts to be enlightened.
I understand the curiosity and the passion behind their efforts. It's just that, their elaborate research and theories, while a brilliant display of the human mind, are tantamount to the book "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie". Curiosity and passion often lead to much destruction. As beautiful as the scriptures I listed about the New Earth are, they are all preceded or followed about the "blasphemous, ignorant scoffers and unglodly" and what their inheritance will be. That's why Peter is always "reminding" believers of what is real and what is not. He even closed his letter with just that...a reminder.
2 Peter 3:14-18
Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
I don't profess to be a brilliant mind with it all figured out but, solely through the grace of God, I know some things to be true without doubt and I have the assurance of my salvation that Peter speaks of in 2 Peter chapter 1. I know who my Creator is, more importantly, my Redeemer. I could just as easily be stuck in the questioning phases I went through in the past just like the scientists searching for life on other planets. However, I suspect that the Lord brought me into this generation of facebook and blogs because He knew me....after all, He made me. He knew that at some point, with His relentless love and patience, I would learn to use it for His renown. Just the thought that somewhere along the way, the scriptures mentioned could reach the heart of one brilliant, curious mind and His Spirit shed light on that heart, well... that's enough to keep me blogging to the moon and back. Or even HD40307g and back:)