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Don Stewart :: How Is God Preserving the Universe?

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Don Stewart

The Bible says that God created the universe in the beginning and that He is now preserving it. But how is the universe being preserved? There have been three popular views as to how God is preserving the universe.

Deism Is An Inadequate Answer

There are those that hold a view of God's nature called deism. Deism believes that God created the world, set it in motion, but then backed off. The god of deism does not play an active role in his world but allows the universe to run by natural and self-sustaining laws that He established. Although deists believe in a supernatural creation of the world, they do not believe in supernatural intervention in the world. Because there is no supernatural intervention by God, deists believe that miracles do not occur. Hence, they deny the miraculous accounts given in Scripture.

Deism Contradicts Scripture

Deism is in contradiction to the God revealed in Scripture. If God can create the universe, as deists agree that He did, then He certainly is capable of performing other miracles of less magnitude. This is what the Bible says occurred. The Bible, from the first page until the last, is an account of God intervening miraculously in human history. To admit the miracle of creation, and then to deny other miracles, is an inconsistent position.

The deist position would have God as a master "clockmaker." He made the clock, wound it, then left it alone. But the Bible portrays God as much more than a great "clockmaker." He is a loving Father who is personally interested in His children. God desires that humanity call out to Him when they have a need. God says:

Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you shall glorify me (Psalm 50:15).

The deist position, that God created the universe but does not participate in the running of it, is contrary to what the Bible says.

The View Of A Continuous Creation

Opposed to Deism is the idea of continuous creation. There have been some who have argued that God has not stopped creating. The universe, they contend, is result of a new creation from moment to moment. God, therefore, maintains the universe by continuously creating it.

Problems With Continuous Creation

The problems with this view are many. First, the Bible says that God has stopped creating.

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done (Genesis 2:1,2).

Every reference in Scripture to God's creating activity is always in the past. The Bible assumes creation is finished and God is now sustaining His finished creation.

Natural Forces Have Been At Work Since Creation

The biblical idea is that God has ceased creating the universe and is now allowing the forces that He created to maintain it. Although God created these natural forces He exercises a continuous care over them. He is not, as the Deist claims, uninvolved with His creation, neither is He, as those who believe in continuous creation say, that He is constantly making new things. What God is doing is personally sustaining the things that He originally created.

Miracles Happened After Creation

Although God sustains the universe by natural law this does not mean that He is always bound by these laws. Scripture testifies of times in the past where God has intervened by means of miracles.

Summary

The God of Scripture is both the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. There have been those that have argued that the universe is sustained by a Deistic view of God - one who created the universe but now does not get involved. Others have contended that God is continuously creating. Both of these concepts are opposed to Scripture. His sustaining work is done by means of the natural law in which He created. Yet God is involved with his creation. The miracles of Scripture are a testimony to this truth. Therefore God is neither One who is uninvolved nor is he a God who is constantly creating.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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