The Nature of Time Is a Mystery

The Nature of Time Is a Mystery

The nature of time is one of the great mysteries of life. Time is not three-dimensional; in other words, we can’t describe it as left-right, up-down, or back-front. Time is a created thing, and thanks to Einstein’s relativity theory, we know that it is not constant. At very high velocities, time changes.

In quantum mechanics, we discuss things that happened “before time began.” In Proverbs 8:22-23 Wisdom speaks about being with God before the world began, and 2 Peter 3:8 tells us that “with the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day.” Acts 1:7 tells us, “It is not for you to know the times or the dates the Father has set by His own authority.”

Many questions arise because people fail to understand the relationship between time and God. The way God answers prayers is radically affected by time. Humans tend to want our requests instantly gratified, but God frequently acts in a different time frame than we desire. God also does not answer prayers or produce actions that would violate our freedom of choice. We can pray for someone to do a certain thing, and God may make it possible, but He will not violate a person’s ability to choose. We are here for a purpose in the war between good and evil, and we can choose what we will do. God makes it possible but does not force us to accept His will.

Those who try to predict the time of Christ’s second coming fail to understand that all things are embedded in God’s independence from time. The question of the Earth’s age is also rooted in a poor understanding of the nature of time. Changes in stars and galaxies take very long periods of time, including how long it takes for the light from distant stars to reach the Earth.

How long did it take to produce the land masses we live on, and by what method did God make them? Those who want instant gratification have God miraculously zapping the entire geologic column instantly. That is not what the evidence from geology tells us. The record in the rocks of our planet tells of God’s careful preparation of the natural resources He knew we would need. God could zap oil into existence in an underground storage formation, but the evidence is that He has taken a long time with many different agencies to produce the fossil fuels of coal, oil, and gas, as well as the minerals we depend on.

The nature of time is a mystery to us, and we create conflict when we force our concept of time on a God who created time and is not limited by it.

— John N. Clayton © 2024