Where do giants go after they die? Two “giants” in their respective professions died recently, just three weeks apart: Billy Graham and Stephen Hawking. By their own admissions, Billy Graham was afraid of the dark; Stephen Hawking was not. Their eternities reflect their attitudes and beliefs toward darkness: Billy is in Heaven with eternal light; Stephen is in Hell engulfed in eternal darkness. Billy now enjoys eternal life (John 3:16); Stephen now suffers the hopelessness of the second death (Revelation 21:8).
Billy Graham devoted his life to preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Light of the world (John 8:12). Billy Graham feared the darkness. He knew the darkness of the second death meant an eternity in the fiery lake of burning sulfur, where souls are tormented day and night forever and ever. Despite the fires, darkness reigns.
Jesus Christ created all things. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made (John 1:3). Thus, when God created the Heavens and the Earth (Genesis 1:1), it was Jesus Christ at work. In the beginning, when darkness was over the surface of the deep, Jesus said, “Let there be light”, and He saw that the light was good.” (Genesis 1:2-4), By implication, He declared the darkness not good.
In contrast, Stephen Hawking devoted his life to studying theoretical physics and the laws of the Universe. This included studying light, as well as black holes, the epitome of physical darkness and destruction. Mr. Hawking was a world renowned expert in black holes and is credited with making giant advances in understanding these mysterious structures. Mr. Hawking was not afraid of the darkness, he was attracted to it.
Mr. Hawking stated publicly he did not believe in God. “God is the name people give to the reason we are here,” he said. “But I think that reason is the laws of physics rather than someone with whom one can have a personal relationship. An impersonal God.”
He stated further, “Before we understand science, it is natural to believe that God created the universe. But now science offers a more convincing explanation,” he said. “What I meant by ‘we would know the mind of God’ is, we would know everything that God would know, if there were a God, which there isn’t. I’m an atheist.”
I can’t help but wonder whom Mr. Hawking thought to be the author and enforcer of the laws of physics and of reason. Because everything was made through Jesus Christ, my vote goes to Him.
As a physicist, Mr. Hawking knew well the Universe operates on the principal of cause and effect. Nothing exists or happens unless something else causes it. Nevertheless, Mr. Hawking denied the most fundamental question of cause and effect: From where did the Universe come?
His answer: “Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.” he wrote in The Grand Design. “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”
In this quote Mr. Hawking implied there was no cause to the Universe, it just always existed. In other words, it had no beginning. If it had no beginning, however, it never started, and if never started, it can’t exist. But it does exist.
Physics offer an alternative: a beginning through the Big Bang theory. If the Big Bang was the beginning, it came from nothing. If it came from nothing, it had no cause. If it had no cause, it doesn’t exist. Yet here we are, surrounded by an existent Universe.
Only an uncaused cause could create the Universe. Only something or someone who exists beyond the laws of the Universe, beyond the laws of space, time, and matter, can create the Universe. God is the Uncaused First Cause. He whom we cannot explain explains all things. He whom our finite minds cannot make sense of makes sense of all things. How do we reconcile such profound wisdom?
God is a mystery, not a puzzle, and the distinction is crucial. If you gather all the pieces of the puzzle, you can assemble the pieces to derive the complete picture. A mystery, however, must be revealed. God has revealed some of Himself to us, but not all things. Consequently, we must accept Him on faith.
Physicists and other scientists often obsess with finding all the pieces to the puzzle. This is a fool’s errand. Speaking as one who has spent his career in the scientific world, let me be clear that there is nothing wrong with learning; just don’t expect to find the puzzle pieces to create or discover God. You are searching in the dark.
It is not normal to look for God in darkness because He is light. Both Billy Graham and Stephen Hawking have met God and Jesus Christ, and They have revealed Themselves to each man. Only Billy Graham, however, will rest in peace with God in Heaven for eternity, where His light will shine forever (Revelation 21:23, 22:5). Unfortunately, Stephen Hawking is eternally separated from God and in complete darkness.
I confess: I am afraid of the dark. I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God for the salvation of all those who believe (Romans 1:16). Jesus Christ is the only Way into Heaven (John 14:6, Acts 4:12, 1 Timothy 2:5). Therefore, I seek Jesus Christ, the Light, as best I can as a confessed sinner. Ask yourself today: What and Whom are you seeking, the darkness or the Light? If you are seeking anyone besides Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, you are seeking darkness.
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A servant of Jesus Christ
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