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The God of Creation
October 21st, 2007

The Bible begins with the Creation account and it also ends with the promise of an even better Creation! Creation forms the framework of the entire Bible!

Genesis 1:1: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

This is very important. That's why our creeds also begin with this basic belief.

The Apostles' Creed says: "I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth."

The Nicene Creed says: "I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible."

Earlier in this service, we confessed from Psalm 121:

"My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth."

Do you realize that some of the greatest enemies of the Christian faith also once believe these basic truths about Creation? They have, as our second reading today mentioned, left the faith and "wandered off into myths." Great errors follow once basic truths are lost such as God exists and that He is Creator of all things.

The truth that God is the Creator of all things is not a side-issue of the Bible. It is basic! It is fundamental. It's the Good News that God exists and is that He is all powerful.

The God who created us is also powerful enough to bring order out of chaos. The original universe, the Bible says, started in a state of disorder. Out of that original disorder, God created tremendous order and beauty.

Sin has brought chaos into the world. Sin has brought chaos into our lives as well! The Good News is that God also can undo our personal chaos. He has a way to make all things new and perfect.

How does God do this? God begins by forgiving our sins and making us perfect through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. Through faith in what God has done to win our salvation, God does something very marvelous. He begins His second Creation!

The second Creation is far better than the first one. In the first Creation God offered Adam and Eve access to the Tree of Life. But before they could eat of it, Satan deceived them. Instead they ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This rebellion cut them off from the Tree of Life!

Now, through Christ, we once again have access to the Tree of Life. This tree is the cross of Christ!

At Christ's Second Coming, the Bible tells us that God will remake all things! The old will pass away, the new will suddenly appear! Unlike the first Creation, the second Creation will not be subject to corruption and decay.

That's why the message about the Creation is so important. It involves what God is doing. It involves what He has planned out for those who love Him. He first loved us. Like a man who sees this woman he wants as his wife and then seeks to win her over, so God seeks to win back all of fallen humanity by His love shown in Christ Jesus.

But, some have said, shouldn't we be preaching the Gospel? Why are you talking about Creation? Just tell them about Christ and His death and resurrection.

The answer is simple. The Gospel message involves Creation!

That's why what Revelation 14:6-7 says should come as no surprise:

"Then I saw another angel flying in mid-air and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth – to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, 'Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.'"

The Bible reveals that just before Christ's return, God will send an angel to warn the inhabitants of the earth. Every nation and language will hear it. And the message begins with the basic truth that God is the Creator of all things!

Once that basic truth is lost, the pathway to salvation is lost! If one no longer believes that God exists and that He created all things, the Good News of what Christ has done for us will have little meaning. The loss of this vital knowledge is at the root of many of the ills affecting humanity today! It has spawned many false beliefs and philosophies that have further darkened the minds of men to God's everlasting purposes!

If the God of the Bible doesn't exist, then sin – the breaking of His laws – has no meaning. Satan's final great deception is directed at the basic truths of the Bible. Now in these latter days Satan has succeeded in purging out the knowledge of God from our basic educational system. This has happened because the Bible says men prefer the darkness rather than the light.

How often does God get any credit for His creation today in public education, in museums, on "nature" shows, in scientific articles about the universe, the earth, and life? Rather, it is now thought of as "science" if God is EXCLUDED from such knowledge!

In 1845, Adam Sedgwick one-time president of the Geological Society in England was horrified at what he saw developing in the science of geology. Sedgwick was also a minister. As such he clearly saw how the then developing theory of evolution would prove a disaster. Here is what he said:

"The world cannot bear to be turned upside down….the serpent coils …and asks them again to stretch out their hands and pluck forbidden fruit – to talk familiarly with him of things without raising a blush upon a modest cheek; -- who tells them – that their Bible is a fable when it teaches them that they were made in the image of God – that they are children of apes and the breeders of monsters – that he has annulled all distinction between physical and moral – and that all the phenomena of the universe, dead and living, are to be put before the mind in a new jargon, and as the progression and development [i.e. evolution] of a rank, unbending and degrading materialism" [ pp. 149 of Genesis & Geology by Charles Coulston Gillispie]

The Bible reveals in many places that God has and continues to use HIS CREATION to display His power to a rebellious humanity.

St. Peter prophesied how God will use His Creation and he told us the reason:

"First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, 'Where is this "coming" he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.'

"But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of ungodly men" [II Peter 3:3-7].

This same warning is repeated in other words by the writer to the Book of Hebrews when he wrote:

"See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, 'Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.'

"The words 'once more' indicate the removing of what can be shaken – that is, created things – so that what cannot be shaken may remain.

"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our [and then the author quotes the OT writer Haggai 2:6] "God is a consuming fire.'" (Hebrews 12:25-29).

Now we preach Christ in a loving way. We tell of all He has done for us. We tell of God's great love manifested in Christ's taking our sins upon the cross and dying in our stead. But, millions go on, not heeding His gracious call.

So, God says, He will once again (as He has in the past) be forced into taking more drastic action!

When the Ten Commandments were given to Israel at Mt. Sinai about 3,500 years ago, the Bible reveals that the Earth shook:

"Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace; the whole mountain trembled violently…." (Exodus 19:18).

Two Thousand years ago, at the crucifixion of Jesus, the Bible says:

"And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split" (Matthew 27:50-51).

Jesus took our sins upon Himself. He suffered the wrath of God in our place. The wages of sin is God's wrath expressed in death and violence. The Flood in Noah's days was the supreme example of God's wrath against sin in what the Bible calls "the world that then was."

The future destruction of the Earth by fire will be God's final display of His displeasure of sin before the Creation of the New Heavens and the New Earth. And, here, I have noticed a strange thing. God tells His people to rejoice at what He will do.

"Woe! Woe, O great city, where all who had ships on the sea became rich through her wealth! In one hour she has been brought to ruin! Rejoice over her, O heaven! Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets! God has judged her for the way she treated you.'" (Revelation 18:19-20)

It's not that God rejoices in destroying bad people or wants us to. It's true that vengeance is God's and the day of reckoning is coming on those who refuse to repent.

But, I'm reminded of something I saw on the internet news just on Friday. They were showing the sudden destruction of an old casino in Atlantic City, NJ. The time had come to demolish it and make way for a new and bigger and better one.

Before the demolition, fireworks were going off! The people watching the destruction were anything but sad. Probably many of them were ardent gamblers and had gone to the old casino many times. Rather they looked forward to the new one!

That's really what God is also doing at the end time when He destroys the original Creation talked about in Genesis Chapter One and makes way for the New Heavens and the New Earth. And, there are going to be plenty of "fireworks" too associated with it! We are to rejoice knowing that evil has paid its dues. We look forward to something much better!

Why is it so important to believe in the God of Creation? Because the only other alternative is to believe in no god – or rather, in the "god of forces" that somehow brought about the universe and all of life's complexities and beauties!

And, who is this God of Creation? Ultimately He is the Triune God – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All three persons in the Godhead had a part in the original Creation – just as all three persons have a part in the New Creation!

All Creation, visible and invisible, was brought into existence by God. And all three persons of the Godhead also have a part in our salvation. But, just as the Bible emphasizes that God the Father created all things through Christ, so also the Bible emphasizes that Christ was the One the Father sent into the world to save it.

The Church is the forerunner of God's New Creation. The Church is the beginning of what God will do with all His Creation!

First God begins with the inward man. At baptism our sins are forgiven and we receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

But, the outward man is still with us until we die. Our physical bodies are still subject to death and corruption.

The final phase of our salvation is complete when our bodies rise from the grave in an incorruptible form at Christ's Return. This is the "Hope" of the resurrection the Bible talks about.

The God of Creation made us in order to love us. Just as loving parents bring forth children to love, so our great God has created all things for our good.

What a great calling God has given us! What a great future to look forward to! What a great message to share with others!

I conclude with another important Scripture from the Book of Hebrews. Hebrews 3:12-14:

"See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first."

May this be true also with all of us.

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