By Lewis Willis
I am having to deal with the proverbial “horns of a dilemma.” I am not in this by myself. You have got the same problem. I am certain that you have enough problems already – I know I do – but I do not see any way we can realistically avoid confronting the dilemma to which I refer.
It was not long after I arrived on this old earth that scientists developed the bomb that ended World War Il. Periodically since that time, situations have existed in the world that could have potentially thrust us into one mighty nuclear conflagration. Last night (11/20/83) ABC television aired a movie, The Day After, about such an event. I did not watch the movie. If a nuclear weapon is going to fry me like a french fry, I want to experience such only once! I have no interest in vicariously going through the experience numbers of times. And, admittedly, the thought does not exactly brighten my day. Our premillennial religious friends have capitalized on this possibility for many, many years. Most of them will tell you that they think the end of the world will occur as a result of such a war among the super powers. It is this kind of mentality that led to the building of bomb shelters several years ago. I never did really understand the rationale of such. If the world is going to end by the fires of a nuclear war, it will mark the end of the bomb shelters too. I fail to see, therefore, how such is going to help much.
But now we have got the other horn of that dilemma to take into consideration. The Akron Beacon Journal (I 1/ 15/83) printed an Associated Press article out of Sydney, Australia regarding the findings of an international scientific research team at the Australian National University’s Mount Stromlo Observatory. Dr. Bruce Patterson, head of the observatory, informed us “that the universe is infinite and will go on expanding forever.” The fact that the Bible says otherwise is meaningless to such men. Before you take too much comfort from their findings, however, you need to realize that “through a series of complicated calculations,” these distinguished scientists have established that “life will slowly die out in a dark, frozen waste rather than disappear in a final cataclysmic explosion.” I do not know if freezing offers me much more consolation than burning. The dilemma is rather obvious. Do we need a fan or a furnace? Now I don’t know what to do!
These “complicated calculations” of the scientific community on this subject do not exactly impress me. I am always reminded of the story of the fellow who walked through a cemetery one night and fell into an open grave. After trying unsuccessfully to get out, he just sat down to wait for the morning and someone to get him out. After a while another unfortunate fellow stumbled into that same open grave. He calculated, worked, figured and struggled in every possible way to get out. The first fellow observed his predicament and calmly announced, “You can’t get out of here.” But, he did! I guess that about sums up my attitude about either horn of this dilemma. I plan to get out and, so far, science has offered no viable escape mechanism or route. I think I’ll concentrate on a third alternative and forget about the fans, furnaces and bomb shelters. I recall that the apostle Paul once said that God would “destroy the wisdom of the wise . . . ” (1 Cor. 1: 19). He has systematically done this throughout history. If there were scientists in Noah’s day, their calculations would have considered the flood unlikely, if not impossible. What gathering of scientists would have agreed in advance that Israel could have escaped across the Red Sea as they did. The counsel of the wise led the majority of the people to reject Christ as the Messiah. And the Gospel was just too simple for intellectual men. But God destroyed all of that human wisdom and proceeded to do it as He desired – and He had the ability to do so.
The same God who executed all of those other wonders has announced that “The earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Pet. 3: 10). Science can believe anything it wants to believe, but it has traditionally rejected the revelation of God. Nothing is too preposterous to be accepted so long as it takes issue with what the Lord says! Therefore, some conclude that man will destroy himself with his bombs and others conclude we’ll just freeze like popsicles on this earth one of these days. Peter affirms that “by the word of God” this world will come to its demise (2 Pet.
3:5-7). 1 have determined that I will accept the testimony of God about the end of these things. I will attempt my escape to that other realm by believing in Christ, obeying the Gospel and trusting the promises of God. Thus, when that great and terrible day of the Lord does come, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: . . . We shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality . . .” (1 Cor. 15:52-53). I was just thinkin’ – there must surely be sufficient comfort in this promise of God to enable us to totally trust Him in our deliverance from the end of this realm into the blessedness of the place prepared for us by Jesus (Jn. 14:1-3). So, forget the fans and furnaces!
Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 7, p. 204
April 5, 1984