by Robert Flores
But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.1 Corinthians 8:6
God created everything we see in the universe. He created the biggest planets to the smallest insects. So what exactly is this universe made of? It’s made of atoms, right? Well, sort of…
An atom consists of electrically negative electrons surrounding an electrically positive nucleus. The nucleus of an atom consists of positively charged protons and neutrally charged neutrons. Because opposite charges attract and like charges repel, the negative electrons are attracted to the positive nucleus. That is how an atom is able to stay together; it is electrically neutral. But how does a nucleus of an atom stay together? If similar charges repel, wouldn’t all the protons repel from each other?
Yes, and that is why electrical forces cannot account for the nucleus staying in one piece. There is another force that holds the nucleus together. It is called the Strong Nuclear Force. There are 4 fundamental forces that scientists have determined that make this universe run: gravity, electromagnetism, Strong Nuclear Force and Weak Nuclear Force. The Strong Nuclear Force is what attracts protons to protons, neutrons to neutrons and protons to neutrons. It is a much stronger force than either gravity or electromagnetism, but unlike either of those forces, it works stronger at greater distances and weaker at shorter distances. The Strong Nuclear Force is also responsible for holding the pieces of a proton together, i.e. the quarks and the gluons. Scientists don’t really know what quarks are, but they do know that there are always 3 quarks inside of a proton at any given time. Those quarks are held together by lots of gluons and are contained by other quarks that materialize and then vanish.
So there’s the universe for you. Everything we see is essentially a bunch of quarks rattling around inside of a proton, which is rattling inside the nucleus of an atom. So what is this Strong Nuclear Force? What if it were to suddenly stop working? Nothing would exist anymore. It’s enough to lose sleep over. Or, to give glory to God.
Those forces that hold our universe together are nothing short of the fingerprint of God. But how did these forces come into being? Did God just “spin them up” and let them roll? For example, we know about gravity, but what is it? How does it keep on working? Is God still involved in His creation? Well, the Bible seems to indicate that He is the One actively making those forces work. For example, in the Book of Colossians, Paul speaks of God’s amazing creative power:
“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:16-17)
“By Him” all things consist. Not “by gravity” or “by the Strong Nuclear Force”. It’s only by God that this entire universe exists. The word for “consist” (gr. sunistao) means “to put together, unite into one whole, compose”. On the most microscopic level Jesus is “uniting”, “putting together” and “composing” this whole thing together. If He were to “let go”, there would be no atoms, no protons and no quarks. He’s the One that created these forces and gave them instructions and maintains them and gives them “tech support”. Blind chance could NEVER account for these forces that work so seamlessly in our everyday lives. Listen to what Peter says:
“But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” 2 Peter 3:7
The same word that created the heavens and the earth is the same word that keeps them in store until the day of judgment. God created it and He will recreate it someday. The word for “reserved” (gr. teros) means “to keep, watch, preserve”. God is keeping, watching and preserving the heavens and the earth. Does that not speak of every nucleus of every atom? Even Nehemiah says that God preserves the heavens, the earth and all the things in them (Nehemiah 9:6).
Here’s something else to think about. In 30AD Jesus, the Creator of this universe, was being crucified. But, even as He was dying at the hands of Roman soldiers, He was still holding their atoms together. To have spared Himself, Jesus would not have had to send “12 legions of angels” (Matt 26:54), He simply could have “let go” of the universe. End of story. But He didn’t. He went through with it, holding together the atoms of the cross, the nails and even the people who mocked him. And even in this age, when I sin against God, He is still holding my atoms together. What grace God continually gives us!
Sometimes unbelievers (even Christians) think that God cannot enter His own universe. “It would be too huge of a miracle”, they say. The universe itself is a miracle! Not just the fact that it exists, but that it keeps on existing.
So, can God enter this miracle called “the universe”? He doesn’t have to enter it; He’s already around in the midst of it, holding it together.
...as he is, so are we in this world. —1 John 4:17
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. —Romans 11:33-36
May 18, 2007