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And Time is No More!
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Too frequently day, old age is ridiculed youth is extoled.  It’s unfortunate to be old and desirable to be young.  Since when did the elderly become simple and the young wise?  It’s not often you saw a commercial upholding the elderly as the model for the future.  Too often the only time age is desirable is in a pair of designer jeans.

We started out in life eager to grow older and wiser.  Once there, however, we engage in a desperate struggle to slow down that very same process.  When I was young I pumped iron and ate yeast and drank milk to bulk up - now I count calories on the label and go without meals to take it off.  Before, I used Brylcreem to make my hair shine - now I use Grecian Formula to mask the gray.  Formerly I rode my bike to race the neighborhood guys.  I now ride to preserve my heart.  During an earlier time in life I liked fast music and cars.   Now I like soft music and frugal travel. 

From glasses and teeth, from the clothes we wear to the food we eat – it’s all done in the context and against the backdrop of growing constantly and inextricably older.  And most of the time we despise what is happening to us and live life in denial.

I remember many years ago when my father gleefully informed me he had bought himself and mom a burial plot.  And to my consternation eagerly drove Carol and I out of Rocky Mount, NC a few miles to a peaceful country cemetery where he proudly showed us where they would be planted near a beautiful tree.  I was so depressed and despondent afterward!  How morbid!  I could never do that!  Yet, just last week, Carol and I revised our will and left explicit instructions of how and where we too would be planted.  And yes, it too has a tree.

This weekend we plan to retrace backwards our own honeymoon journey 45 years ago - down the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway to Knoxville TN, where we were married.  And next year we will return for our 50th class reunion at Mt Pisgah Academy.  Just the thought of all those old fogies depresses us – let along being one!

Everything about us cries ‘foul, not fair, I want to go back!’  Surely there is some elixir somewhere!  How many times have you wished time would at least slow down, if it can’t stop?  Just let me off this merry-go-round!  But as I learned from my physicist father-in-law years ago as he studied astronomy, no matter where you look there is no evidence of anything getting any younger – only older and slower.

Did you hear the news recently of what the Hubble telescope has found that has astronomers excited?  This gigantic, telescopic eye in space has spotted what is considered to be the oldest and most distant object ever seen in the universe - a galaxy that dates back 13.2 billion years!
Check out this NASA video as the Hubble telescope zooms in on this far, far galaxy.  Remember, evolutionist believe the universe is some 13.7 billion years old, yet here is an entire formed galaxy whose light from it traveled some 13.2 billion years to reach the Hubble telescope!
 
I remember as an academy student seeing the Moody Bible Institute science films on Saturday evenings in the gym @ Mt Pisgah Academy.  Each one was an exploration of the evidence of God via science.  One in particular had several demonstrations showing that as the speed of an object accelerated - time slowed down.  If you went fast enough – time could move backward.

Could it be that God too prefers new things?  Could it be that God has left undeniable evidence that at some future point time may even run backwards – at least by how we measure time?  Is it possible that the Divine Creator of animate and inanimate objects, from the tiniest microscopic mote to be found - to the greatest distance imaginable – has left proof of His Divinity in making time actually become irrelevant?  If you go so far in distance, or speed, or light – age or time becomes actually meaningless?  That the old becomes or is new?

Perhaps that’s why Scripture frequently describes God as ‘from everlasting to everlasting’, or whose very name is presented in the present tense.  Imagine if you can, ‘from everlasting to everlasting’!  And yet the Bible proclaims that knowing Him - is life everlasting!
 
My parents studied themselves into Adventism when I was very young.  Thereafter, as a layman, Dad held cottage meetings preaching to country folk in eastern NC about the coming King.  Because he lost his job for keeping the Lord’s Sabbath, he started a little business out of our kitchen selling boots, helmets and badges to fire departments.  God blessed his work and dedication and the business grew to where he was repairing fire trucks and eventually building and selling new ones from a shop in our back yard.
 
When I turned 16 and got my driver’s license, he gave me a huge catalogue listing all the parts and supplies imaginable for a fire department, loaded me with his business cards, gave me enough money to stay on the road, and sent me out each week to representing him, C. W. Williams & Co, to every fire department in eastern North Carolina.
 
Excited to be driving by myself, yet terrified at what he was asking of me I said; “What if they ask me something I don’t know?”  He quickly returned an answer that stuck as life model when he said; “You don’t need to know the answer, only who has the answer, and that’s me!”
 
At 67, you would think that by this time in my life, I would be close to having all the answers.  But instead, I have more questions than ever.  The more I learn, the more I don’t know.  From research we know that with more education there is an increased likelihood for increased disbelief – a connection between learning and still questioning.  There is appears to be a correlation between higher education and skepticism, even church drop out. 
 
We have operated on the assumption that if our kids just know more – they will stay in the church.  More knowledge doesn’t necessarily mean more faith.  It has everything to do with WHO you know - rather than what you know.
 
Paul made it so simple!  He said:
Rom 10:9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
 
As a Ministerial Associate in the Georgia-Cumberland Conference, I was stunned to hear from returning seminarians that their spiritual life had suffered during their time at our Seminary.  They had been there for 2.5, learning from the best biblical scholars, exegeting from the original languages, reading from the latest biblical research, living next door to the sites of the roots of Adventism - and yet can be spiritually famished! 
 
Advanced education, even in theology, is a waste if it doesn’t transform more than it informs, because it is by beholding that we become changed – not by studying. 
But praise God that is going to change!  Because God is not bound by the former, the old things! 
 
God will usher in a new thing, a new day, a new you and me, a new earth and universe!  It’s all going to pass away with an unbelievably loud noise.  And sin, and sadness, and the old things, and time will be swallowed up in HIS victory!  And in that everlasting present tense, we will join all the other beings who since the beginning have existed to adore HIS presence, to sing HIS praise, to cast crowns at HIS feet.
 
Rev 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
 
Rev 21:5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”