Today we have a guest post by Ann’s son, Michael Cooke, M.Div. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
“How can God always exist?”
That’s a good question.
The only authoritative answer we are given is found in the Bible.
Genesis 1:1 states that, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth..,” clearly indicating that God preceded the beginning of time.
But that doesn’t really answer the question posed does it? Because the question is, “How can God always exist?”
Before we address this question we need to develop a good working definition of the word “always”.
The definition given by the website Dictionary.com is:
1) every time; on every occasion; without exception
2) all the time; continuously; uninterruptedly
“Always” is an interesting word isn’t it? We use this word regularly but when we use it, it is meant as an exaggeration to stress our point.
Let me give you an example. My wife often calls me at work on Wednesday mornings to remind me that I have forgotten yet again to roll the garbage can to the curb. Most of the time she is not particularly amused with my absent-mindedness and often exclaims, “Michael you always forget!”
Now I am by no means the perfect husband, but the fact is I do not always forget. No one is that forgetful. However, what she is stressing is the inconsistency of my character when it comes to performing this simple chore.
“Always” is usually used to describe human action when we are expressing frustration, deep emotion or commitment. However, the truth is, in this life, always never happens.
No one is always happy. No one is always sad. No one is always on time, late, funny, boring, loving etc. So if the meaning of always as defined above is impossible based on human inconsistency, where did we acquire the concept of always?
The simple and straightforward answer is: God.
God is the reason we have the concept of always. God’s self-existence and infiniteness exist in our minds because we are made in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). These innate concepts allow us to begin to know and understand God, but they are by no means exhaustive. Because of these indelible concepts we can begin to understand God and even grow immensely in that understanding, but we will never fully figure Him out.
In fact, if we ever did fully figure God out, at that point He would cease to be God.
So in all fairness, I can’t explain to you how God has always existed and will always continue to exist. No one can. It is something that has to be accepted on faith.
This is not to say that the question is not a good one, on the contrary it is an excellent question because it forces us to grapple with what we believe and why we believe it.
From its very first sentences the Scriptures require faith on the part of the reader. Not only does the Bible indicate that God preceded the beginning of everything, it also states that He created everything that came into existence out of emptiness and the void (Genesis 1:2). In essence, God created the world and all of its inhabitants out of nothing.
Not only did He create everything out of nothing, but everything He created was spoken into existence with the exception of mankind. These scriptures are incredible and give us a picture of how our world and our earliest ancestors came into being. However, the only explanation as to how God created is that He did.
Faith is a necessity when it comes to God and His Word.
Hebrews 11:1-3, 6 states:
1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
2 This is what the ancients were commended for.
3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
So in conclusion, there is no definite answer as to, “How can God always exist?” God’s constant state, along with all of His other attributes must be accepted on faith.
So what will you choose to believe?
I would encourage you to believe His Word and seek Him earnestly as the Scripture says.
Do you believe?
Please share your faith with us in the comments.
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