Coming and Going

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Everything is in motion, nothing is truly standing still. Every object in the physical universe seems to consist of particles in motion. The world on which we live is hurtling through space, as is the sun whose light we live by. The light itself is speeding waves of photons. Nothing is really standing still. Since we are definitely going somewhere (whether we want to or not), the question to consider is, “where are we going?”

Jesus has basically two things to say about our direction in life where we ought to be going. First he says to his disciples, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matt 4:19), and likewise, first, we need to come to Jesus, and then our motion or direction in life is to be that of following him, so he can make something of us. Our motion in life should be relative to Jesus’ motion. We, like the first disciples he chose, are to move as he has moved, to act as he has acted.

Later, Jesus said to those same disciples who were invited to come, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt 28:19 20, NIV). In the same way, after we ourselves have come to Jesus and learned to follow him, we need to go for him and spread his invitation to come (see also Rev. 22:17). This is motion with a purpose. Come, follow Jesus, and go make disciples for him, with the assurance that going for Jesus doesn’t move us away from him, because as surely as the coming disciple can follow Jesus and be with him, the going disciple has Jesus’ promise that he “will be with you always.”

If we don’t know Jesus, we need to come and follow him. If we do know Jesus, we need to go and make disciples for him. Coming and going, we’ll find him a stable and dependable companion on our journey.

Rational Faith?

About three hundred years ago Sir Isaac Newton was an eminent English scientist and mathematician who believed the Bible to be God’s word, and therefore true. On the foundation of his Biblical world view Newton looked for rational truth in the universe around him, believing that an intelligent God would have created a reasonable and examinable cosmos. In the course of his investigations Newton invented differential calculus and formulated the theory of universal gravitation, as well as theories of terrestrial mechanics and color. His discoveries, conclusions, and theories are still tremendously important and useful today. Newton’s math and science are taught in high school and college and used in all kinds of applied physics, engineering, and technology, including space exploration.

Newton, as a Bible believing scientist and mathematician, also attempted to play the role of a prophet, at least once. Reading his Bible and studying the natural world Newton concluded that mankind would sometime produce technology far more sophisticated than the machines of his own day. He predicted that someday people would be able to travel “at the tremendous speed of 40 miles per hour.” Another famous man of that time, the French philosopher and outspoken atheist, Voltaire, ridiculed Newton for his faith and said, “See what a fool Christianity makes of an otherwise brilliant man, such as Sir Isaac Newton. Doesn’t he know that if man traveled 40 miles an hour, he would suffocate and his heart would stop?”

Voltaire of course was wrong about Newton, wrong about human physiology, and wrong about the Christian faith. Newton’s world view, based on faith in God and God’s word, actually gave his intellect a firm working foundation. The passing of centuries has vindicated Sir Isaac Newton’s work and his view that we live in a rational universe created by a rational God that can be investigated and understood by rational human beings.

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