By L. Nelson Bell | Published: July 16, 2015
The Creator's handiwork leaves the doubter without excuse and the believer with reminders of His faithfulness.
Truths in the Bible that we read about for years may suddenly burst upon us like a blinding ray of light. I experienced this when I realized that from beginning to end the Holy Scriptures tell us again and again that God is the Creator of all things. This fact appears some 500 times.
The Bible opens with these majestic words: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). And at the end of Revelation we read: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. … And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’” (Revelation 21:1, 5).
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Man’s first encounter was with the God of creation. His final time-bound encounter will be with the same God, who will make all things new.
Between these two extremes of human history God reminds us again and again that He is the God of creation and is sovereign over all things. The witness to God in creation is continuous; for every generation it is new each morning and fresh each evening.
God has endowed man with the ability to reason, to evaluate evidence and to come to logical conclusions. All around us there is evidence of God’s wisdom and power—in creation as a whole, and in the intricacies of its components in particular. To even the dullest mind there should come the realization that these things did not just happen. No combination of fortuitous circumstances could possibly account for the universe, or its component parts.
The Apostle Paul speaks with finality about the incontrovertible evidences of creation: “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things” (Romans 1:19-22).
Affirming His sovereignty as Creator, God repeatedly claims loving obedience from man, His highest creation. But He does more than that. The Creator of all things has come into His creation as Savior and Lord. That it was to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, that the work of creation was committed is one of the most thrilling parts of divine revelation.
God’s work of creation is not finished. What we now see will pass away to be replaced by a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness will prevail. In the interim between the first and second creation, God is creating new men through faith in His Son, so that through this spiritual rebirth they may become a part of His eternal kingdom.
In loving condescension the Creator stands at the door of our heart and knocks. Finally, He will ring down the curtain of human history, and that time may be nearer than we think. D
L. NELSON BELL (1894-1973), a missionary surgeon to China from 1916-1941, was a leading Presbyterian layman and the father of the late Ruth Bell Graham. This article was adapted from While Men Slept: A Concerned Layman’s View of the Church Today (Doubleday 1970), with reprint permission from East Gates Ministries International. Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version.