Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Only Absolute

Acts 17:22-28

There is an old saying that the only absolutes in life are death and taxes.  That paints a pretty grim outlook on our short lives here on earth, and it certainly offers no joy in the anticipation of living them out.   But in reality, the only absolute we have is in God Whom we have never seen.  Think about it for a moment.

Because we are human and sinful, we only want to believe in the things we can see, touch, smell, taste, or hear.  They become our realities on which we rely to survive in this world.  Our senses are tuned in to respond to physical stimuli and tangible objects, sending currents of electricity speeding along the vast and complicated organism of nerves that wind through our bodies to our brain, and back to the object.  The pen I hold in my hand becomes a reality to me with such speed that, unless I focus my entire attention upon it and consider the magnitude with which my nervous system responds, the pen is taken for granted.  I can see the pen in my hand, I can feel it resting there, and I can watch it as the words flow from my mind onto the paper.  But as I do so, the paper then becomes another absolute because of its own physical existence, the table the paper is resting upon becomes another reality, and the list goes on and on as we live out our lives in commonplace ways.

But what if you were suddenly deprived of all the senses you so heavily rely upon?  If, all at once, you were unable to see, to smell, to feel, to taste, or to hear what you consider to be your absolutes, would you continue to believe in their existence?  The answer to these questions depends solely upon what you base your own existence.  If you believe, as many do, that your physical life here and now is all that you will have and that you will just cease to exist when it ends, then your answer would be “no”.  But if you believe that there is a greater unseen Absolute - the One Who created all your realities and gave you the ability to experience them - your answer would be very different.  You would know with undying certainty that there is only one Absolute, one continual and eternal reality that can never be taken from you.

It is no wonder that unbelieving men build idols of wood, stone, money, possessions, and even other people.  They are objects they can physically hold and see.  But like all the elements in our universe, they also have no value and rot and decay over time.  It is the spiritual realm, that men so often fail or refuse to believe in, where the sole Absolute of all creation dwells.  Because unbelieving men can not see God, can not touch Him, or hear Him, He does not exist for them.  They continue to cling to what they consider to be the only absolutes, those that are physical and tangible and genuine to their perception of reality.  By remaining in their unbelief, they may one day find themselves deprived of all their senses.  Except one.  Thought.  As they are separated from God for all eternity, they will realize that their failure was great, that there is only One Absolute, and they will mourn throughout eternity for refusing to acknowledge Him.

I do not need to see my God to believe He exists.  Although He is currently invisible to our sinful eyes, He has made Himself plainly known in all of creation (Psalms 19:1-6) and revealed Himself to us through His Son, Jesus Christ (John 1:1-14).  Our Creator continues to hold the balance of all things in His capable hands (Psalms 50:1), knowing that we are in need of certain worldly absolutes in order to survive.  He dwells in a place He is preparing for those of us who believe that He is the only Absolute in which we can find salvation, peace, and eternal life.  And He will one day fulfill all the things He promised long ago that will bring us the joy we could not find here.

Of this, we have His absolute guarantee.

Suggested reading:

  • Numbers 24:17
  • Job 42:5
  • Psalms 8:1-9
  • Psalms 29:1-11
  • Psalms 33:6-8

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