CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In a recent issue of "Scientific American," I was intrigued with the conclusion of the article entitled, "The Paradox of Time." The writer concluded: "Time must die that we may live." That is a basic principle of my Christian faith. When we take our last breath, we will begin the journey out of time. Even in "Scientific American," I often find insights into my own faith. This article was no exception.But let me digress for a moment. Recently, a good friend approached, and without any hint of where he would go with its answer, he asked me a quick question: "Uh---Seeing is believing? Or believing is seeing?"Instantly, I remembered a quote by C.S. Lewis: "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."Therefore, my quick answer right back to my friend was, "If 'Seeing is believing'---were ever true---it is true no more. Too many faked documents, photos and emailed falsehoods assail us daily. We dare not 'believe everything we see.' Therefore, I'll choose the second option, 'Believing is seeing.'"
My friend is not a believer, and he was making a powerful point. He had concluded that I view the world and everything in it through the filter of my faith, and he is right. However, even though he may not admit it, he interprets everything he reads and sees through his eyes of disbelief. To make that point, my parting comment to him was, "So do you, my friend, so do you!" I believe that every one of us chooses the lenses through which we view everything around us.
Now let's get back to the "Scientific American" article. The author, George Musser, asked an important question, "Might there come a point sometime in the future when Time itself could end?"Good question, answered by both the Bible and Einstein's theory of relativity. Einstein believed that time is a created dimension, and it did not exist prior to the creation of the physical universe. He predicted that time will end, adding that "it will give way to a deeper, timeless-ness." The "Scientific American" article agrees. "Time must die. . . ."Holding that thought, let's put on our lenses of Christian faith, and consider what the Bible says about time. God Himself is outside of time. He had no beginning, nor will He have an ending. He is, in the words of Isaiah 57:15, "the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity." When God fashioned our earthly bodies, He made them of two entities. One consists of atoms and molecules that are subject to time. The other is spiritual. The spiritual entity has been there from birth and will never die. Our Lord's promise to His followers is, "Truly, truly, I say to you, if any one keeps my word, he will never see death (John 8:51)."The Bible reveals that our spiritual transition from this world to the next will be seamless. When we slip out of time into Eternity, those around us will know when the spirit leaves our bodies. I've witnessed it myself. Clearly there is a change when the atoms and molecules are all that is left behind. Yet, for the Christian, there has been no death. It is time itself that has died, not the soul. Our spirit will live on forever in the next dimension where God's time rules.The Scriptures promise that those who follow the Lord Jesus Christ already have "eternity in their hearts," and they are already "living the everlasting life," in "Heavenly places!" (John 3:16 and Ephesians 1:3) While that is true, our life on Earth is nothing compared to what it will be like in eternity! Think you are alive now? When you are a slave to time? Well, we will be more alive than we ever dreamed possible, once time has died for us. We will not need wristwatches in eternity.Smith is a writer who lives at Edgewood Summit in Charleston and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.