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Day 32: DarknessMarch 17, 2018Yesterday I ended the blog with a quote from Stephen Hawking. He said, "There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark." So let’s look at our eternal options concerning life and death, light and darkness. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” John 12:46 “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 5:24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” John 11:25 “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 17:1 “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”I am pretty sure that Stephen Hawking was not there at the beginning yet he seems to think he knew everything. Isaiah 44:6 “This is what the Lord says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. 7 Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come—yes, let them foretell what will come. 8 Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.” People like Hawking make themselves out to be gods when they reject God. Isaiah goes on to say, “He prays to it and says, “Save me! You are my god!” 18 They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand. 19 No one stops to think, no one has the knowledge or understanding to say, half of it I used for fuel; I even baked bread over its coals, I roasted meat and I ate. Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left? Shall I bow down to a block of wood?” 20 Such a person feeds on ashes; a deluded heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say, “Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?” Their ideas have become gods to them that have misled them away from the light into the darkness.We should fear God and be afraid of the dark. Hell is void of God, which means there is no light at all. This darkness is described in 2 Peter 2:17 “These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.” I was reading an article about a substance called Vantablack. “A building described as the "darkest on Earth" has been unveiled at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, in South Korea. The building's exterior is covered with a substance called Vantablack VBx2, a derivative of nanomaterial Vantablack. Touted as the darkest man-made substance in the world, the original Vantablack is so black the human eye can't quite decipher what it is seeing. It is said to be the closest thing to a black hole we will ever experience. That's because Vantablack is not a color, it's the almost complete absence of color.” But that isn’t even close to the blackest darkness there will be without God. Vantablack is made by man but God’s blackness will be void of Him yet there is no fear of this darkness but there should be. Matthew 8:12 “But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Revelation 20:14 “Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”We should be very afraid. This is not a fairy tale as our eternal life depends on it. All we have to do is believe but sadly people are more intrigued with the universe than they are in believing the creator of the universe. This obsession with the universe has led them to reject God but they have no excuse. Romans 1:18 “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Deuteronomy 4:19 “And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.”There should be a humble reverence for “God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth,” but there isn’t. John 3:19 “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” Revelation 16:10 “The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in agony 11 and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.” Not only is there a rejection of God, they mock him. I wonder if they will be so bold when face to face with God. We will talk more about this mocking tomorrow in our service when we look at King Hezekiah and Sennacherib.The plan of God is for us to turn away from darkness not to it. Paul was sent Acts 26:18 “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” We are supposed to be rescued from darkness not plunged into it. Colossians 1:13 “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” If we do not believe we will not participate as children of the light. 1 Thessalonians 5:5 “You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”We have a choice to live in the light or the darkness. Unfortunately many think the darkness is where they want to be and in their ignorance they do not realize that God will not be there. 2 Peter 2:4 “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless 8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. 10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority.”When you look to the skies, give praise to God for His creation; don’t follow what man thinks he knows about creation. No matter how many amazing formulations they come up with, they don’t know. Don’t turn away from scripture because some intellectual who only wants to disprove God says they think the earth is billions of years old or that it could not be created in six days. Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. Genesis 2:1 “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. 2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” The bible also says, Exodus 20:11 “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” How many Christians refuse to believe this simple fact; the bible is God’s word, the very word he spoke the universe into existence. Do not turn from Him because some intellectual who is a fool in God’s eyes says otherwise. Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. 3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. 4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. 5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. 6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.” Jeremiah 14:22 “Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain? Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is you, Lord our God. Therefore our hope is in you, for you are the one who does all this.” Isaiah 40:6 “All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. 7 The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” Psalm 146:1 “Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, my soul. 2 I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. 3 Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. 4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. 5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. 6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— he remains faithful forever.”