Have you ever thought about what it means to say that God is omnipotent and perfect?
God’s omnipotence means that He has created absolutely everything: the whole universe in which we live, all space and time. He created the physical laws, such as gravity, electromagnetic forces, and nuclear forces. He also created all the concepts that we have and use, such as good and evil, love, suffering, joy, and so forth. In principle, God could have also created other universes, ones which operate with different kinds of time and space, different kinds of physical laws and concepts.
God’s perfection, on the other hand, is something which is difficult to grasp. This universe in which we live has finite dimensions, finite space, finite mass and finite time. If our universe did not have a finite mass, it would implode within a fraction of a second into one microscopic point. The whole universe is just a small ball in which there is actually little substance. What does it look like from the perspective of an infinite God? Perhaps like a balloon? Or a kind of ornament? Perhaps a vase?
Mathematics teaches us that you can actually have different infinities of different sizes. For example, there are more real numbers than whole numbers. It can even be demonstrated that there are an infinite number of infinities of different sizes. God, on the other hand, is perfect, which means that He is greater than any of these infinities.
If it is difficult to comprehend the infinite in terms of this finite world, how would we comprehend something which is described as perfect? The best way forward is to examine what God Himself has revealed about Himself.
The Bible describes how in the beginning God created the world and the whole universe, meaning everything which we now experience and know. We live in this universe, so it is difficult to imagine anything else. Why did God create just this kind of universe, with all its particular laws, rather than some other one? At the beginning of our universe, God created all substance and time, all the physical laws and everything else that we are able to experience with our senses. If we compare this to a game of football, we could say that God created the football field with its particular dimensions and set both the playing times and the rules of the game. Instead of a football pitch, He could have instead created a basketball court, which would have been a different playing area with different times set for the game, different rules and different players. Why did He create just this universe in particular? Or is this just one of the universes that God has created? Quantum physics is a field which has explored the possibility of parallel realities, and there is indeed nothing that would prevent God from having created other parallel realities, or even other universes entirely. Nevertheless, I consider it unlikely.
I believe that God decided to create only two universes: the one which now exists and the one which will come after when this universe ends and the order of things is established anew. My reasoning for this is that God created this universe first and foremost in accordance with His own nature – His goodness and His love. God created this universe, and people in particular, to be the objects of His love. We have within us something of His perfect nature because we are made in His image.
So God created humans for Himself, to be the object of His love. God loved this universe and the people He has created so much that He Himself was ready to step onto the playing field in the person of his Son and to suffer and die on a cross. God Himself chose to become a person. Almighty God has chosen human beings to be the primary object of His love, even though He would have had unlimited options for creating something totally different, something which we are not even able to imagine. God has given His all for this universe and made a clear choice in our favour, committing to us in the same way people do in marriage.
God wanted a family. We are chosen. Why would He have created other, second-class universes, to which He would not have made a similar commitment?
Physicists speak of the Big Bang, which in simple terms means that there was a moment in the beginning when someone said ‘Come into being’, and then time and everything else began. This small universe popped into existence when a big God spoke it into being, together with all its physical laws. It seems as if physicists are like blind people who see the creation but do not see the Creator.
Some philosophers, meanwhile, think that the whole universe is just a computer simulation which beings more developed than ourselves have created for their own amusement. In a way, this is true. If you want to think about it in that way, then the universe is the ‘computer game’ which God has created – but He has also decided to step into the game Himself. God is not therefore the computer geek observing things from the outside, but an active player who is by nature full of love and is at work among us.
Let’s return to consider the creation itself: There was the first day and the first night. What was there before that? Was there the zero day and the zero night, and then before that the minus-one night and the minus-one day? Probably not, because when God created three-dimensional space and set within it three-dimensional matter and the physical laws that govern it, He also set in place at the same time linear, one-dimensional time which runs from the first day onwards, one day at a time, until the universe comes to its end. At the same time, He also created the concepts that relate to this space which we inhabit, such as good and evil, right and wrong, as well as emotional states such as joy, grief, peace, suffering and everything else which we experience. The world as we experience it is based on these acts of creation. So there is space, time, and the ‘rules’ set by God, which include both physical laws, moral codes and all the concepts which we use in our speech and thought.
From our human perspective, it is difficult for us to examine and study the Creator of all things using concepts which this Creator Himself has created. In my opinion, this is just as important a principle for theology as Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle is for physics. God’s omnipotence is far beyond our comprehension, over the horizon to a place we cannot reach, because we have to study God using concepts which He Himself, the Creator, has put in place. By way of analogy, it would be hard to comprehend a three-dimensional world if one lived in a two-dimensional world. In the same way, we cannot understand from our own perspective the power and capabilities of God, but must instead trust in this Creator who is far greater and more powerful than we are.
Ultimately, the only way to relate to Him is with respect and trust that in everything He both desires our good and is able to do it. He can sort out and put in order all things, including those that are beyond our comprehension. His very nature is goodness and love, and He has also made this clear to us. Love, indeed, is something which is beyond all concepts. It is God’s basic nature and it will never disappear, just as Paul made clear through his famous words in praise of love, which can be found in his letter to the Corinthian church. We can therefore trust that nothing is beyond Him, not even the problem of suffering, which is not even a problem to Him, although there are many things which are hard for humans to understand.
According to Einstein’s theory of relativity, it is not possible to change the law of cause and effect. If, for example, Fred hits Bob and then Bob hits Fred, there cannot be a timeline in which the cause-effect relationship would be reversed so that it would seem that Bob was the first to strike out. It was these time-related presuppositions from which Einstein then deduced his relativity theory. If He wanted, God could ‘spin the Kaleidoscope’ so that the things described above would then work in a different way. But the current way things work has been decided by Him and will remain in place until He decides otherwise. He could have created whatever kind of universe He wanted, but most likely this one somehow carries out His purposes, because He wanted to create something like Himself, something He is pleased with, whatever it is that would mean for a being such as God.
All of our present-day physics and ethics is based on this creation order that God chose in the beginning. The event in which existence came from non-existence is called by physicists the ‘Big Bang’. Wouldn’t it be better to simply say that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth? If God says to what is not ‘come into being!’, then we can imagine that from one single point of non-existence there is suddenly born existence, and at the same time the Creator sets the ‘rules of the game’ and creates time and everything else that is needed.
It seems that physicists are all the time coming across things to do with the creation, but they do not see the Creator Himself. Without God actively willing it, it would have been in practice impossible to create anything ordered, whether on the cosmic level or the microscopic level. If, for example, there wasn’t a specific amount of what is referred to as dark energy, the universe would have either imploded or expanded so much that no planets or stars could have formed. More such ‘unlikely coincidences’ are continuously being discovered as our scientific knowledge increases. If you have been following the tracks of a bear for ten kilometres, but you do not believe that the bear exists, I would say that you are biased and are not reasoning objectively.
As a mere curiosity, I would like to mention a thought I have had about the structure of the universe, one which relates to dark energy. Currently, physicists speak of visible matter and dark matter, and of normal energy and dark energy. The Bible, meanwhile, speaks of invisible spiritual forces and of an invisible world that exists alongside the visible one. Physicists say that there is more dark energy than there is visible energy. The Bible says that the invisible world is greater than the visible one. In the Old Testament book 2 Kings, the prophet Elisha asks God to reveal the unseen world to his servant, who is feeling afraid, and this servant is strengthened when he sees how the invisible world is much greater than the visible one.
What kind of gravitational force is exerted by an invisible angel, for example? Is a Demon composed of some kind of atom structure that involves both strong and weak nuclear forces? We can assume that God Himself is not affected by the laws of physics, because He is the Creator and thus not affected by such created forces. Angels and demons, however, are created beings, and so, strange as it may seem, it would be natural for them to be affected either by the four fundamental forces that we also are subject to (strong and weak nuclear forces, electromagnetic forces and gravity) or by at least some of them, or by some other fundamental forces that God has set for them. This could explain some of the puzzles encountered by the physicists.
The New Testament book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, ends with God creating a new heaven and a new earth. God will therefore recreate space and time and the rules that govern them, thus creating a new universe. The previous one ceases to be, the new one is born. We should not think that this new universe will be of the same kind as the one which we now inhabit. It will be better in every way. It may involve multi-dimensional time, for example, which would mean we are able to be in several places at the same time. We could be having a conversation with some friends and at the same time be in Jesus’s presence and do other things as well, and we could be present in a totally different way to now. Indeed, God Himself and the Holy Spirit already operate in this way. God can be present simultaneously in the lives of all the more than seven billion people on this planet in a way that is so intense that Paul describes it to the people of Athens by saying ‘in him we live and move and have our being’ (Acts 17:28). And remember, when we are in heaven, this will all last for ever.
It is also probable that heaven will not have the same physical laws as we have now. I believe that there, in heaven, we will be able to travel on flying horses from one place to another. Furthermore, we will not be bound by the concepts which limit us here. We will be able to control our minds and even our thoughts, so that if, for example, we decide that we will not think about dogs, no thoughts of dogs will come to mind.
This new universe, together with its concepts of time, will probably nevertheless be in some way similar to our current one, but in such a way that the new universe is somehow much more real than our current one, which at both the atomic level and the cosmic level is composed almost entirely of empty space. After his resurrection, Jesus could walk through walls, because these walls were so unreal compared to the nature of Jesus’s resurrected body. In my opinion, this example describes well the difference there will be between our current universe and the future one.
Imagine, for example, that you would live forever in our current universe. Such eternal life would be tedious. Many ninety-year-olds have already seen so much of this world that nothing seems to really excite them anymore. Once you have seen the Olympics 20 times, the 21st time may not be so interesting anymore. Imagine, for example, eternal life together with your work colleagues. You would go for lunch and talk about the same things for the millionth time.
Eternal life in our current universe would be so boring that it is hardly likely that anyone would want it. But in the new universe, things will be different. If you read from the Bible the descriptions of this new universe, you will see that the people there are constantly and spontaneously more excited and happier than you yourself would be even at the pinnacle moment of your life. When you are there, you will realise the huge difference compared to all that you now experience or can even imagine. Eternal life together with the Almighty Creator will not be boring. That is why it is worth going there, and why it is worth orientating your whole lifestyle and outlook towards this right now.
The new universe awaits. Will we meet each other there?
Have a blessed day,