Imagine there is a photographer who has a gallery in a small town. A man walks in to this gallery and looks around at the various photographs of beautiful landscapes and wildlife. He comes to one photo in particular and stands there, admiring the image. The photographer also runs the gallery, and notices the man, so she walks over and begins a conversation with him about the image asking him what he likes or dislikes about it. He begins by saying how he loves the perfect composition, how each section of the image is in just the right spot. The details are clear, the image is tack sharp, the colors are vibrant, and the subject is spot on. The lady smiles realizing that her photograph has touched the heart of this man. But then the man goes on to describe his awe at his supposed fact that billions of years ago light photons came in contact with film which formed out of nothing. This film then developed into a print and over eons a frame and mat formed around the image, and then finally glass formed in front to protect the print from damage. Over time this image then was displayed in this very gallery. Imagine the shock and feeling of insult the lady photographer would feel over such an insinuation.
It seems like a ridiculous story, yet every day millions upon millions have the very same attitude towards God and His creation, as if in some way a tree, bird, puppy, or even air is somehow less complicated than a print in a frame.
I recently was asked an interesting question from a young students at one of our church activities. Usually a question like this I would perceive as being potentially argumentative, but coming from an 11 year old, I'm quite sure it is out of simple curiosity and even a desire to understand better the things that are taught at this event. Her question was a long the lines of "who created God?"
It threw me at first not because I doubt the eternal nature of our Creator, but simply that on the spot I wasn't sure how to respond to it and answer. But it has given me reason to study the subject, and well, here we are.
Ironically enough it was the following week that I listened to a message from a church I visited last year, touching on basically the same subject, which did help a little bit in this. But I want to address this from a Biblical standpoint. The Bible never argues for the existence of God, instead it declares it from the very start.
Genesis 1:1: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
This might seem counterintuitive to ignore other possible starting points of creation, but the Bible is pretty clear on that as well.
Romans 1:19-20: "because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."
Within that passage lies the answer to my young student friends question. God's eternal power. Other verses that touch on His eternality include Psalm 90:2, Isaiah 40:28, Revelation 1:4, 4:8.
To have a finite universe, logic would dictate that something greater, something infinite would have to exist to create it.
Even if God was created, it would beg the question: "who created the one that created Him"? There must be something or someone that is self sufficient and eternal. This leaves us with very few options, and the only logical one, given the complexity and immensity and orderly fashion of our universe, is that there is a coherent, intelligent, creative Being that made it. Order never comes from chaos, and a big bang, or random "chance" are nothing more than chaos. A building or a car, or our photograph in a frame, could never randomly happen even in a billion years, so why would even a single cell organism which is many times more complex than a car, be subject to such a ridiculous theory?
But as we read in Romans, it isn't that there is no evidence of a Creator. The problem comes not so much in the acknowledgment of a Creator, but the identity of Him.
Romans 1:18 explains: "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,"
Because of unrighteousness we naturally want to suppress the knowledge of God. Mankind in his sinful nature worships the creation instead of the Creator. This might be idols, or so called atheism, but it is idolatry nonetheless.
But the general Revelation of God and His nature isn't the full story. It is enough that man is without excuse, but it is not enough to bring salvation.
Perhaps one of the most dynamic and profound verses about the eternal nature of God is in Exodus 3:14: "God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.' "
Jesus Himself alluded to His being God by stating a very similar phrase in John 8:58, as well as many other "I Am" statements. So the identity of the Creator is clear from Scripture.
But back to Romans 1. All mankind is without excuse. All mankind is sinful. Yet the Creator God in His goodness and mercy in Jesus has made a way that we can be new creations.
2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."
And because of that one day we can participate in the new creation itself... for eternity.
"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission."