What Does It Mean That God Is Eternal?
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. Philippians 3:10
Shortly before his death, A. W. Tozer wrote the following: “In this hour of all-but-universal darkness one cheering gleam appears: within the fold of conservative Christianity there are to be found increasing numbers of persons whose religious lives are marked by a growing hunger after God Himself. They are eager for spiritual realities and will not be put off with words, nor will they be content with correct ‘interpretations’ of truth. They are athirst for God, and they will not be satisfied till they have drunk deep at the Fountain of Living Water.”
In growing numbers, people are saying, “I want to know God.” Not everyone, of course, because some prefer to live in a world where God is excluded. Living in a dark world, they think, eliminates the need of accountability. But dark glasses only obscure the sunshine, never cause it to disappear.
When someone says, “Tell me about God” or “What is God like?” I can only turn to the pages of God’s Word, for this alone tells me what God is like.
ATTRIBUTE #1: God is eternal / without beginning or end. This fact immediately separates us because I had a birthdate and will someday die, but God had no beginning nor will He ever have an end. There was never a time when He did not exist, nor shall there ever be a time in the future when He shall not be the sum of all existence. Here’s how the Bible puts it. The first words of Genesis literally reads, “In the beginning, God….” Perhaps gazing into the stars around a campfire, or pondering what life is all about, Moses cried out, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Psalm 90:2, NKJV).
There are some very old things in our universe, something which alarms folks who believe that God created our world in 4004 BC, as Archbishop Usher suggested many years ago. In the year 1888, astronomers, just beginning to fathom how far stars and planets are away in terms of distance from planet Earth, began using a measurement known as a light year. Simply put, a light year, according to Webster, is “a unit of length in interstellar astronomy equal to the distance that light travels in one year in a vacuum, or about 5,878,000,000,000 (5 trillion, 878 billion) miles.” Got that? Our nearest star in the Universe is over 4 light years away, and that’s just the beginning.
But—and this makes all of this significant—He who created these things precedes the work of His hand.
Rather than being frightened by the reality of such an awesome God’s having neither beginning nor end, take heart. He never faints, nor grows weary. As Moses said, “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27).
At the height of the God is Dead movement in the 60s, someone scribbled on the wall of a New York subway: “God is dead!” and signed the name, Frederick Nietzsche, the European theologian who first challenged God’s existence. A few days later, a passerby noticed where someone has crossed out those words and written, “Frederick Nietzsche is dead!” signed, GOD.
Resource reading: Philippians 3:1-13