Why Would God Destroy His Own Creation?
Tom: Thanks, Gary. You are listening to Search the Scriptures Daily, a program in which we encourage everyone who desires to know God’s truth to look to God’s Word for all that is essential for salvation and living one’s life in a way that is pleasing to Him.
Dave, in chapter 26 of your book An Urgent Call To A Serious Faith, you address “The Reality of Heaven for the Believer,” and you deal with some rather convicting issues—which we are going to get into—but first, you point out that the Bible begins with God creating the universe, and it ends with God destroying it entirely and creating afresh a new heaven and a new earth. Now, for the sake of our listeners, who may not be all that familiar with the Scriptures, what’s that all about? Why would God destroy the universe?
Dave: Well, the universe is under His judgment. Of course, we don’t understand that entirely, but Romans 8 tells us that the whole creation groans because of Satan’s rebellion. And then he brought that rebellion to this earth. Adam and Eve joined him in it. We know something about the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which, of course, is a little bit confusing. The first one, the Law of Conservation of Energy, says energy can neither be created nor destroyed. But then, the second one says energy wears out. And so, we know it hasn’t been here forever, but who created it? So, we can’t create or destroy it. So, the Bible begins with God creating the heavens and the earth, and it’s very accurate in what it says.
Tom: Perfectly! It was good, it was good, and it was very good.
Dave: But, Tom, the way the Bible says it and what it says about God, who is eternal, the I AM, and so forth, now it’s going to have to be destroyed because God’s judgment is upon this whole thing. It’s winding down like a clock, of course, as we all know. Nature itself has been corrupted. The people that talk about, “We need to get back in touch with nature, hug trees, and get in harmony with nature.” I mean, it’s absurd! You don’t get in harmony with earthquakes and hurricanes and tornadoes. And nature is not kind. And so, you can see that nature itself—something is wrong, the whole creation groans.
Tom: But couldn’t it just be revived or restored? We know that when Christ comes to rule on this earth, for a time there is some restoration, some return to paradise. Why isn’t that good enough?
Dave: Yeah, there is, and Satan is locked up for a thousand years, and that’s even better than the Garden of Eden, because Satan could get into the Garden of Eden. The millennial reign of Christ is the final proof of the incorrigible evil self-centeredness in the human heart. Because even though Christ is reigning, resurrected, glorified, and we are reigning with Him in resurrected bodies, and everybody is made to behave all over the world—the final proof that you can’t make people good, and even if you give them a perfect environment it won’t work. The heart has to be changed and they have to be willing. They have to believe, they have to understand the gospel, and they have to be willing to repent and change and let God be God.
And when Satan is loosed, these . . . I-don’t-know-how-many millions . . . but it says “like the sand of the sea,” they come against Christ as though they thought they could prevail against Him and they’re destroyed. And then it says, “The heavens will roll up like a scroll.” The earth that once was destroyed by water will be destroyed by fire. In fact, the whole universe—I’m not enough of a physicist; my physics and math was way, way back, but I have friends who are top physicists who say that the language in scripture—He holds all things in His hand. The language in the Greek indicates He is holding it together, and we don’t know what holds the atom together. It should fly apart. So one day, apparently, the Lord is going to let go. And, whether it’s a nuclear explosion or what it will be, the heavens will roll up like a scroll.
Everything will be destroyed by fire.
Tom: Now, in case there are people out there who just— “Wait a minute! You’re talking to me?” You’re not talking about those who Christ has redeemed. People are not going to be destroyed in this, right?
Dave: No, their destination is either heaven or hell.
Tom: Right. But for those who are Christ’s, who are His own, He’s creating something new for them. I guess that’s the point I want to get to. But keep going.
Dave: They are new creatures in Christ Jesus, and only those who have been “created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them,” Ephesians:2:10, they will be the inhabitants of this new universe. No one else is going to be there.
But that’s not the ambition of mankind, and we have our dreams and schemes and corporate plans and ambitions and all this. Tom, I was going to say you just have to look up at the sky here in Bend on a clear night—we’re 3,600 feet, there is no smog, so you can see a lot of stars up there—but we don’t know where they are, we don’t know what they look like up close, we don’t know the innermost depths of the atom, but when you consider this universe, it is so beyond our comprehension! And then we become proud—we think we’re going to be the master of our fate, captain of our destiny, you know. We are going to re-do this world through our political system, through our do-good programs. They have tried and tried and tried, and Paul said, “Evil men and seducers will wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” And that certainly is true. You can look at your daily news, see what’s happening in the world today—the horror of it! I mean, in my lifetime, the rise of pornography, drug addiction—you used to see a drunk now and then on the street—drug addiction, homosexuality, child abuse, abortion, and it’s been mentioned many times: when I was growing up in school, the worst problem the teacher faced was shooting spit wads or chewing gum or talking in line or crowding in or maybe a little vandalism once in a long while to a school, but I don’t recall any. But what is it today? You know . . .
Tom: Dave, let me just interject something a local youth pastor told me—and I don’t want to get on the issue of gun control and so, on but he made this point, which I think was really interesting. He said when he was a young guy going to the high school here, he said the guys used to pull up with their trucks with their rifles in the back! Now, nobody ever went out to their truck to get their rifle, so there’s something a little bit different here about this day, this age, and thirty, forty, years ago, but it’s something that has to do more with the heart.
Dave: It’s going down, and contrary to what the evolutionists would try to say, or the sociologists or the psychologists—you could go through South America, for example. You can visit those great civilizations. The Aztecs once were great people, the Mayans, the Toltecs, and so forth. You can look at their pyramids and the cities that they built—they went down. There’s no evidence that anyone went up. They went down, through cocaine, chewing on the coca leaf, and so forth.
Tom: Their belief systems, as well.
Dave: Well, of course, yeah! Human sacrifice . . . In other words, mankind becomes more and more perverse and corrupt, but he tries—by his own efforts and his technology, he even makes it worse, makes it possible for things to be even worse.
Tom: Let me just add to that. We were talking about, sort of inferring, things about people trying to restore the earth. You mentioned the Second Law of Thermodynamics. They are trying to revive a universe that is dying.
Dave: That’s right. Well, we think we can do it with our society and with this world and so forth, but when you get a glimpse of this universe, the awesome vastness and the intricacies! Just the periodic table—the chart in chemistry—you just add another electron, and you’ve got another element! Just the ingeniousness of the structure of everything, and we don’t even know all the subatomic particles and so forth. You realize that we are nothing, and we boast, mankind boasts, of what they are going to do and so forth. One of the things that I mention in the chapter is, you remember, was it Voyager or . . . ?
Tom: Yes, President Carter’s message. . .
Dave: . . . . the golden record that went out there, hoping that some ETIs would see it . . .
Tom: Extra-terrestrials . . .
Dave: Right. . . . would see it. In part it says, “This is a present from a small distant world attempting to survive our times so we may live into yours. We hope some day to join a community of galactic civilizations; this is our hope and our determination in a vast and awesome universe,” signed Jimmy Carter, President of the United States, The White House, June 16, 1977.
That caused me to title one of my books Whatever Happened to Heaven? I mean, this is our hope? To join an intergalactic community? As though those guys would be better than we are. And then, look at some of the space programs they show you. Wow! If they’ve got more weapons, and they can go through hyperspace, whatever that might be, or whatever, you know, then they have become better? No, they have become more evil.
That’s not our hope. So, our hope is in the Lord. Jesus talked more about heaven than He talked about this earth. Well, He talked a great deal about hell, as well, and warned about it. But the future—our soul and spirit that survives when this body is laid . . . Thermodynamics, Second Law, takes over this body. But there is no evidence that souls and spirits decay or run out of energy and so forth that they are subject to the Second Law of Thermodynamics—they certainly are not.
So, if the human soul and spirit is eternal, where will it spend eternity? And it seems like they don’t think of eternity! They’re thinking of this world, of this earth, this finite life. Tom, as I know better than you do, and you know it better than your children, it’s gone—it’s like a vapor. It’s gone.
Tom: Dave, I started off by mentioning that there is a personal conviction in this. We can talk about what the world thinks and where the world is going in these. . . . In a sense, their hope for the future may be in other galaxies, but the Second Law of Thermodynamics is everywhere in the universe—it’s all dying. But, on a personal conviction basis, you mentioned in this chapter that God has a plan.
Now, ask me how many days I get up, and I think, “Well, let’s see, what is God’s plan and how does it affect what I am going to do today?” I’m serious. I’m reading your book, and it reminds me of how far I miss the mark with regard to this. Now, how should a Christian—how should I, Dave, order my life that’s kind of consistent with God’s plan for eternity? I’m talking about a believer in Christ. Let’s not worry about the world on this one.
Dave: Well, to order my life I must be in submission to Him. I must study His Word. I must seek to know Him better. But, I can’t order my life . . . I could tell hundreds of stories, I’ll just give you one from . . .
Tom: Now, you are going to keep this within God’s plan?
Dave: That’s right . . .
Tom: Because we’re talking . . .
Dave: That’s right. Within God’s plan, definitely. When was it . . . a couple of weeks ago, I’m coming from Milwaukee—home, here—and I have to go through Chicago. Who do you think the Lord . . . Now, the Lord does this, I don’t do it; I wouldn’t know how to arrange things. In fact, sometimes He puts me on a different plane, you know—there’s a problem with the engine or whatever, and I have to get on a different plane, and that’s where this person is waiting for me. Who knows?
But here’s a lady who’s from England. She was staying with her son about twenty minutes from the Chicago airport. Now, I don’t know where this is in relation to Milwaukee, and she has a ticket to go—she’s going to Los Angeles. So, her plane she wants to get on is in Chicago. It’s going to go from Chicago to Los Angeles. Her son drives her from near the Chicago airport to Milwaukee to get on a plane—so that she will sit next to me, only he doesn’t know that. And, well, why? Well, it didn’t make sense to me, but . . .
Tom: Wait a minute, this is a little confusing. So, she drove to Milwaukee to get on a plane to fly with you to Chicago?
Dave: Not to Chicago. To meet the plane she was going to get from Chicago to Los Angeles.
Tom: Why did she do that?
Dave: I think she said it saved her fifteen hundred dollars or something—it doesn’t make sense to me; I can’t imagine, but somehow, with the schedules or whatever . . .
Tom: So, she is sitting next to you.
Dave: Yeah, and I don’t think that there’s any point in even talking to this lady, but I’m telling you, when we got to talking, she is absolutely fascinated with the things of God and so forth. So, the Lord did it, He’s got a plan.
Tom: Okay now, for those out there who say, “Yeah, but that’s Dave Hunt. What about me?” You’re talking about God, and God’s plan for providing opportunities for you to be used of Him—because why? Because you’re Dave Hunt or because . . . ?
Dave: Oh no, no, because we’re all His servants, and He told us to go into all the world and preach the gospel. And some people do it by standing on a street corner and preaching to a lot of people who don’t want to hear, and I’m not opposed to that. I’ve done some of that, too. I’ve even stood on Wall Street right there outside of the stock exchange, years ago.
But, on the other hand, God can bring people across our paths who He has prepared them. I’ll tell you quickly . . . no, I know, I won’t, but here’s a guy, an ex-Marine pilot—I won’t go into all the details how I happened to be sitting in the seat that I am in, which I shouldn’t have been in, and how they pulled the plane back to the gate to let him on because he’s late. And, I’m a million-plus miler, and they didn’t do that for me in the flight before! I was a little upset, momentarily. But he doesn’t even fly with United Airlines, and they let him . . . anyway that’s how we happened to be there. And he sits down next to me (there’s a seat between us), and the first words out of his mouth, “I want to know God!” It happens over . . .
Tom: You must have fallen out of your chair! I mean . . . although you’re used to a lot of this, but still.
Dave: Well, Tom, it happens over and over, but what I am trying to say is God knows what He is doing. I can’t, somehow, work this thing out to fit into His plan because I don’t know what His plan is.
Tom: Okay. Now, Dave, tie this in for us. The title of the chapter is, “The Reality of Heaven for the Believer.”
Dave: Well, Tom, the God who created this universe—He is in charge. The world is in rebellion, and He has a plan for the future, but not just for the future, not just ultimately to lead us to heaven and a new heavens and a new earth, but right now as well. And, furthermore, all my plans and ambitions—what are they? They mean nothing! Why don’t I turn myself over to this God who created the universe, who loves me, and who wants to guide me and use me. I’m not talking about something that Benny Hinn would say, “Well, I don’t want to walk the streets of gold! I want my gold down here.” I mean, he actually says this sort of thing. Or Hagin, or Copeland, or some of these people—the prosperity gospel—and all they want to talk about is how God wants to prosper you monetarily. No, He has something better in mind than that for us.
But for the non-Christian, you’d better realize that we are such a tiny part of this universe—we’re not going to turn this thing around. But the God who created it has a program, He has a plan, and we must put ourselves in His hands or we’re just spinning our wheels, and you don’t want to spin your wheels for eternity.
Tom: Dave, I mentioned my own personal conviction about a lot of this. I would think every Christian wants to be used more of the Lord, and if you don’t have conviction in that area, I’d like to know what you are doing . . .
Dave: You’ve got a problem.
Tom: On the other hand, we get lots of letters, and I remember getting a letter from this guy once, who was sharing—and this is in the context of “so heavenly minded you’re no earthly good.” But listen to this. He told us—and I’m sure he was honest and sincere—he said, “When I go to work, I never go the same way. I drive, and when I reach a stop light or a stop sign, I wait there [not at a stop light, but I remember he said a stop sign] I wait there until the Holy Spirit tells me which direction to go.”
Dave: Oh, come on!
Tom: No, Dave, we know there are people out there like that. So, that’s not what you are talking about.
Dave: That’s not what I’m talking about. I think of what Abraham’s servant said: “I, being in the way the Lord led me.” Now, he was on a mission to get a bride for Isaac. So, he had to go there, but he committed himself to God and God guided him.
No, we go about our work—look, you could go insane waiting for the Holy Spirit to tell you which direction to go. I don’t find that in the Bible. Now we do find God’s guidance. Paul was going to go into Asia and the Holy Spirit forbade him. We find an angel appears to him on a sinking ship you know, and tells him that God is going to, well . . .
Tom: How to take care of business.
Dave: Right. But these are very rare occurrences; they don’t happen every day. So, when you want that sort of thing to happen every day, you’re in trouble. Not just every day, but this man—every moment, every stop sign, “Which way do you want me to go, Lord?”
Tom: So, you’re saying you order your life according to the very practical necessities, but everything in submission to the Lord, and you go about business in submission to Him, and He will guide and direct your steps; He will bring those people in, and—maybe I am jumping the gun here a little bit, but it seems to me if I say, “Lord, I’m willing to speak to any heart, to share the gospel with them. I’m going to go about my business; You bring those my way.”
Now, that happens to you all the time. We get a story—when you are returning from conferences, or who you meet at a conference, and so on, but Dave, it’s all within the context of you taking care of business. You have a ministry, God has called you, you buy your plane ticket, and you take care of all the practical aspects of it. I think often of George Mueller.
Tom: Here’s a man whose whole life—answers to prayer, all dedicated to demonstrating God answers prayer. Now, how spiritually, or let’s say “heavenly minded” was this guy? Was he impractical?
Dave: George Mueller, I’m afraid, was in a class by himself. People that talk about faith today, and so forth . . . what did his diary—twenty-some thousand specific answers to prayer?
For people who don’t know, George Mueller was the first one to take care of orphans. That was back in Bristol, England, and he never sent out a prayer letter, he never told people that he had a need. He wanted his life to be a demonstration that there is a God who hears and answers prayer. And he only committed himself to the Lord, and God provided miraculously. He had thousands of orphans that he housed and fed and clothed!
And at one point, God gave him too much money and told him to send it to Hudson Taylor, who founded the China Inland Mission. And that year, China was getting bad press or whatever, and I think he sent him fifty thousand pounds—that was a lot of money in those days, in one year—and that was just the amount that the China Inland Mission was short that year, because of the failure of donations from England.
So, to let God miraculously guide us, but it doesn’t have to seem like miracles and to recognize this is His universe. He is going to have His way one day, and why don’t we begin to fit into it right now? Let Him begin to have His way in our lives right at this moment, and then life becomes more of an adventure, greater joy, and ultimately, where we are heading, because this life is a vapor—we’re heading into an eternity to spend eternity with this One who loves us, the Christ who died for us, who paid the penalty for our sins, who rose again so that we could be forgiven, so that we could know Him—and it’s not dependent upon our efforts. We’re not going to recreate the universe; we can’t change our lives. It is dependent upon His grace, His mercy, His love, and it’s a free gift if we will accept it.
Tom: Right. So, it’s coming to Him—if you don’t know Him—it’s coming to Him on His terms, and if you do know Him, it’s submitting to Him and knowing the joy of being fulfilled, in being a true believer. There is no greater joy.