Participants: Lonnie Melashenko
Series Code: VOPS
Program Code: VOPS000007
00:31 Have you ever experienced a heartbreak
00:35 or a loss that you were convinced
00:37 simply could never be fixed
00:39 and you said to yourself, this is it,
00:42 I'm just going to have to endure,
00:45 to live with this hurt forever?
00:48 When the war in Iraq was in its early stages,
00:52 perhaps you remember,
00:53 when the very first reports of American deaths
00:55 began to hit us in our national soul.
00:58 I remember watching the night
00:59 that a man looked into CNN's TV cameras
01:02 and he was talking with tears in his eyes to the president.
01:05 His world was destroyed,
01:07 his name was Michael Walters Bay
01:09 and his 29-year-old son Kendall
01:11 has just been killed in the conflict.
01:14 Kendall was married, he had a 10-year-old boy
01:18 and now this grieving grandpa looked into the camera
01:21 and he said, "Mr. President, that chair he sat
01:26 in at Thanksgiving will be empty forever."
01:32 And at a time like that,
01:34 people who say they have a Christian faith
01:36 have to really dig deep and ask ourselves this.
01:41 Does Christianity have an answer
01:43 for this heartbroken grandfather?
01:46 I mean, we say we serve a wonderful God.
01:48 But is he also a mighty God,
01:51 a mighty enough God and creative enough God,
01:56 to fill that empty chair some day soon
01:59 and make Thanksgiving Day a time of joy again?
02:03 I mean, I think about that grandpa
02:05 and I think about that 10-year-old son Kenneth
02:08 who doesn't have a dad anymore.
02:11 You know, the very first verse in the Word of God
02:14 has some incredibly good news for the Walters Bay family.
02:18 You say it with me.
02:19 I'm sure you know it, don't you?
02:20 Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning
02:23 God created the heavens and the earth."
02:28 Well, you probably already knew that verse by heart,
02:30 but Genesis 1:1 happened a long, long time ago.
02:35 You're wondering well, how does this help
02:37 a little fourth-grader Kenneth right now in 2003
02:41 who doesn't have a dad anymore to assist him with his homework
02:45 or to help them learn how to catch a football?
02:49 We did a Voice of Prophecy radio series a few years back
02:51 and we got such a blessing
02:53 from a terrific Christian bestseller,
02:55 "How Now Shall We Live?"
02:57 by former Watergate prisoner Chuck Colson
03:01 and his writing partner Nancy Pearcey.
03:04 Well, Colson tells a simple story
03:06 about a dad and a daughter.
03:08 They were going to Disney World.
03:10 How many of you have been down the I 95 here in Columbia
03:14 and seen Mickey Mouse?
03:16 Well, this dad, his name was Dave Mulholland.
03:20 And he was there with a purpose in mind
03:22 and it wasn't to ride the dumbbell flying elephant.
03:26 He was concerned about his 15-year-old daughter Katie.
03:30 See, she was a high school student
03:31 just starting to kind of, you know, stretch her wings,
03:35 seemed like she was starting
03:36 to fly off in all the wrong directions.
03:39 Dave and his wife had found pot in her purse one day
03:44 and that was a big crisis.
03:46 She and her friends were getting
03:47 into some things that they shouldn't.
03:50 But the most serious thing of all
03:51 was that she was kind of just drifting away from God.
03:55 She didn't think Christianity was relevant anymore.
03:58 Her friends kind of shrugged off
04:00 religion as kind of useless and stupid.
04:02 Her science classes in school made it plain that
04:06 well, the Bible was just
04:07 a potpourri of fables and urban legends.
04:10 In fact, the way
04:11 that Chuck Colson puts it in his book,
04:14 he says these Christian parents felt they were losing her
04:19 to a secular world smugly satisfied with itself
04:23 and deeply hostile to their own world.
04:26 So Dave was kind of hoping
04:29 that by going down to Disney World,
04:32 in between all of the exhibits, all the rides,
04:34 maybe they just have a little chance
04:36 to do some serious father-daughter talking about,
04:39 you know, the big things.
04:42 Oh, but then, disaster.
04:44 They went to an incredible exhibit
04:46 and Disney does it the best.
04:49 It was called the Living Seas and there with all the sights
04:53 and digital Dolby surround sound
04:55 the way only Disney geniuses can do them,
04:58 the narrator came on in the darkness
05:00 with his resonant voice of authority
05:02 something like this.
05:04 Imagine a place
05:05 sometime in the endless reaches of the universe
05:08 on the other side of a galaxy
05:10 of a hundred thousand million suns.
05:12 In this tiny corner of the universe deep
05:15 within the cluster of slowly forming planets
05:19 is a small sphere of just the right size.
05:22 A sphere just the right distance from its Mother star
05:27 and then this Bill Nye the Science Guy
05:30 hit his daughter and himself, the dad, with a punch line.
05:35 A spark of light expanded into a thunderous,
05:38 crashing flood of stars exploded and galaxies formed.
05:42 In other words, a big bang!
05:46 A universe just jumping into existence all by itself.
05:50 No God, no creator,
05:52 no divine heart of love making a world in six days,
05:56 just a one in a trillion evolutionary luck
06:01 and now Dave Mulholland was really sure he was sunk
06:06 but he took his daughter outside
06:08 and he bought her an ice cream cone
06:10 and they sat down on a park bench
06:11 and he tried to cut through
06:14 what they'd just heard and try to figure it out.
06:17 Katie, I'm sure you're asking,
06:20 is there a God out there who can do all the things
06:22 the Bible says he can do or did we just slowly find our way
06:26 here tonight to Columbia, South Carolina,
06:29 all by ourselves by millions of years
06:31 of upward evolutionary migration?
06:36 And what this dad on that Disney World bench
06:39 tried gently to explain to his girl
06:42 was an immutable law of the universe
06:46 that everything that is designed
06:50 has a designer.
06:53 That's it.
06:56 I mean, if you're driving along Interstate 90
06:58 with your family on a vacation up there in South Dakota
07:03 and you suddenly look up and you see the heads
07:05 of all four US presidents carved out in the granite,
07:09 no one with a brain says to their family, oh, look kids.
07:13 Look what the wind and the rain and the snow
07:15 and the eons of time and the erosion
07:17 of drip, drip, drip caused to show up.
07:19 Why there's Washington and there's Lincoln
07:21 and there's Jefferson and even Roosevelt
07:23 all by blind luck.
07:25 No, you don't say that.
07:27 You know that an architect named John G. Borglum
07:31 came by with a pretty big rock hammer
07:33 and a designer's vision.
07:37 You know, a good 200 years ago,
07:40 English theologian William Paley,
07:42 he posed it this way,
07:45 "If you're walking along a beach
07:47 and suddenly you bend over
07:50 and you pick up a beautiful watch
07:52 ticking away and keeping good time,
07:54 you don't say to yourself, amazing
07:56 what the waves and the pounding surf
07:58 will fling together if you just let enough centuries go by.
08:01 Wow, a really nice Rolex. Thank you very much, currents.
08:06 Thank you, tides.
08:07 You know, I think I'll just keep this.
08:11 If you're smart, you'll take out your Bible
08:14 right there on the beach
08:16 and you'll read from Isaiah 40:26.
08:19 "Lift up your eyes on high,
08:22 and see who created these things,
08:24 who brings out their host by number.
08:27 He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might
08:31 and the strength of all His power, not one is missing.
08:38 Ladies and gentlemen,
08:39 what an increasing number of scientists
08:42 are now conceding is kind of a brand new field of study.
08:47 It's called ID.
08:48 Anybody know what that means? Intelligent Design.
08:54 But that's even more true is this dad Disney World
08:57 talks to Katie about the fact that he is her dad.
09:00 I mean, folks, having a child you talk about design.
09:06 Starting off with just two tiny cells
09:10 and then for nine months, those cells multiply and divide
09:13 turning into all the right clusters of more cells,
09:18 organs, blood, lungs, heart, brain, skin,
09:21 entire systems and then Dave Mulholland
09:24 is right there in the delivery room
09:25 and his wife and he are Lamaze breathing like crazy,
09:27 you know, hyperventilating, pushing, counting down
09:30 to the big moment and then all at once,
09:34 you see this little life emerge.
09:38 It has a face, little scrunched up face
09:41 with two eyes, a nose, two ears
09:44 and a very noisy little mouth and vocal cords.
09:47 And daddy says to himself,
09:50 this is a designed miracle.
09:55 This child is fearfully, wonderfully made,
09:59 marvelous are the works of God as Psalm 139:14 says.
10:03 In fact, Dave said to his daughter
10:07 as they sat there eating their Disney World ice cream bars,
10:11 he said, "Katie, precious Katie,
10:15 everything I know about the universe
10:17 including my incredibly beautiful daughter
10:20 indicates to me that somebody designed it, created it."
10:27 Now this ID concept, this intelligent design,
10:31 by the way, is something now that many branches of science
10:35 are conceding now and even using.
10:39 Some of you who may be into the attorneys or legal field,
10:43 how about forensic science?
10:46 You know, when police find a body
10:48 like they did just recently there
10:50 in the West, Lacy Peterson.
10:53 Their first question is, "Was this death the result
10:57 of natural causes or foul play?"
11:01 In other words, an intentional act
11:03 by an intelligent being.
11:06 So pathologists perform a battery
11:08 of fairly straightforward tests to get an answer.
11:12 Those of you who watch "Law and Order: CI",
11:15 which I understand, I guess, stands for Criminal Intent.
11:20 Well, you see this Detective Goran
11:23 who looks into the carpeting for some sort of little clues,
11:27 or he sees a little thread of this
11:28 or a bit of fluff over there
11:30 and, you know, he's looking for exactly
11:32 what the title says, intent.
11:35 Some person behind the evidence.
11:39 So, friend, do we buy this pillar of the faith
11:43 that God is our creator?
11:48 Not too far from where I live
11:50 is a Christian researcher by the name of George Barna.
11:54 He reminds us of this truth.
11:57 He says, "Without a biblical worldview,
12:01 all the great teaching goes in one ear
12:04 and right out the other."
12:06 There's no intellectual pegs in the mind of the individual
12:09 to hang these truths on
12:11 that we're talking about from night to night.
12:12 They just pass right on through, they don't stick,
12:15 they don't make a difference.
12:17 And then Chuck Colson goes on to suggest
12:19 that any worldview is only as good
12:21 as an answer to three basic questions.
12:24 Question one, where did we come from and who are we?
12:30 Well, the Bible answers
12:31 that question with the word creation.
12:35 Genesis 1:1. And who are we?
12:37 We're the sons and we're the daughters of God.
12:41 Well, question number two,
12:43 what has gone wrong with our world?
12:46 Well, the Bible's answer to that is the fall,
12:50 a serpent in the garden, Satan, sin, death.
12:56 Question number three, what can we do to fix it?
13:01 There our answer is nothing. We can't do anything.
13:08 But Christianity's answer is Calvary, Jesus loving us,
13:14 dying for us, coming soon to rescue us.
13:17 And, friend, we either take the Bible's worldview
13:20 or we have to settle for something as a big word
13:23 the theologians call existentialism,
13:26 which basically says, well, life is absurd,
13:30 it's meaningless and that the individual self
13:35 must create our own meaning by our own choices.
13:39 Or we can pick another big theological term
13:41 called post-modernism,
13:43 which thinks, well, there are no eternal truths,
13:47 no overarching realities except
13:50 what you and your friends decide is right for you
13:52 on May 3, 2003 in the year of nobody.
14:00 Recently the NABT,
14:03 that's the National Association of Biology Teachers
14:06 announced that, and I am quoting,
14:08 "All life is the outcome of an unsupervised
14:13 impersonable, unpredictable and natural process."
14:20 Does that give you confidence tonight?
14:23 Well, friend, I find it interesting
14:26 that even the world's best scientists
14:28 are conceding something.
14:31 It's called another technical term, the Anthropic principle.
14:36 Jim McClintock, Jim Mayor I should say,
14:39 my colleague at seminary.
14:41 Sam Base in the Herald here tonight.
14:43 He'll remember from Greek
14:45 where that word Anthropic comes from.
14:49 But we get a few stats about this Anthropic principle,
14:52 we'll get back to that in a minute, Jim.
14:53 From Pastor Bill Hybels
14:55 of the Willow Creek Church in Illinois.
14:57 Now he and Mark Middleburg wrote this book entitled,
15:00 "Becoming a Contagious Christian"
15:02 and he gets some help
15:04 from the men and women in the lab coats
15:06 who tell us these fantastic fascinating statistics.
15:10 For instance, if you were to raise or lower
15:15 the universe's rate of expansion
15:17 by just one part per million, there would be no life.
15:22 In fact, I've read that the force of gravity
15:26 has to not only be right
15:28 but right to within one part in 10 to the 60th power.
15:34 That's a lot of zeros.
15:37 If the average distance between the stars
15:40 were any greater, there'd be no planets,
15:43 any smaller, there could be
15:45 no planetary orbits necessary for life.
15:50 Here's one for you, if you were to just jigger slightly,
15:53 please don't do this at home
15:55 but if you were to try to jigger the carbon
15:57 to oxygen ratios on planet Earth,
15:59 there'd be no one here to breathe
16:01 and we couldn't meet again tomorrow night.
16:04 If you were to tilt earth's axis just slightly,
16:07 one direction, we'd all freeze to death.
16:11 You go the other way even one degree
16:14 and we'd instantly burn up.
16:18 Now a few years ago, Jeannie and I
16:19 and Phil Draper were on a mission trip
16:23 with some of our Voice of Prophecy team,
16:24 we went to the Philippines,
16:26 I honestly thought someone had tipped the earth
16:28 toward the sun a few degrees, or at least our hotel room.
16:32 And the same day
16:33 the air conditioning our van broke down.
16:36 But friend, listen, this planet was designed by a loving God
16:41 who wanted you and me to be here tonight.
16:46 Do you know that we are absolutely
16:48 the perfect distance from the Sun?
16:51 93 million miles.
16:52 You learn that in the fourth grade.
16:55 Any closer, that wouldn't be good,
16:57 any farther away and it wouldn't just be a cold winter,
17:00 it'd be all winter as in deep freeze for the human race.
17:05 Oh, and what about this thing they call DNA?
17:09 You talk about design,
17:11 all of the scientists and genome researchers know it
17:15 but let me make it even more personal for you.
17:18 You know, folks, someone must've gone
17:22 to an awful lot of effort to make things just right
17:26 so that you and I could be here and enjoy life.
17:29 Folks, listen, modern science points to the fact
17:32 that we must really matter to God.
17:37 By the way, did you know
17:38 that the origin of the word Anthropic,
17:42 Jim, it comes from a Greek word called what?
17:44 Anthropos. Anthropos.
17:47 I haven't been to the seminary for a good many years
17:49 so most of these linguistic tidbits
17:50 I do have to get out my great big fat Greek dictionary
17:54 but the word anthropos is one of the first words
17:56 I ever learned in Greek.
17:57 It actually means human being.
18:01 And that's it, this Anthropic principle
18:03 that scientists talk about simply reiterates
18:07 that God cares about human beings
18:10 and has built this world just for our survival.
18:16 Oh, here's an important PS for us to prayerfully consider.
18:20 The Bible earnestly invites us to worship God
18:25 precisely because he is our creator.
18:28 Did you know that?
18:30 In fact, right in the heart of the Book of Revelation,
18:33 which is God's last day message for this generation,
18:36 that mighty first angel
18:37 of Chapter 14 has this invitation,
18:40 "Fear or respect God and give Him glory
18:44 because the hour of his judgment has come.
18:47 Worship Him, notice, who made the heavens,
18:50 the earth, the sea and the springs of water."
18:54 Back in Chapter 4,
18:56 we find a mind boggling scene in heaven,
18:59 where all the holy beings who have never sinned
19:02 worship him constantly and they say this
19:04 in verse 11 of Chapter 4, "You are worthy, oh Lord,
19:08 God, to receive glory and honor and power."
19:11 And why?
19:13 "For you have created all things and by your will
19:16 they were created and have their being."
19:20 You know, I'll let you in on a tiny secret.
19:24 In this same book I just mentioned
19:25 that Colson wrote, Colson quotes from a physicist.
19:32 Any physicists out here tonight?
19:34 This physicist you know, his name is Heinz Pagels,
19:38 he authored a report entitled, "A Cozy Cosmology"
19:43 and it appeared in the Sciences Magazine.
19:47 You know what this physicist suggests?
19:50 He says this, and this is not
19:52 a religious person or a religious magazine.
19:55 He says, "If our universe appears
19:58 to be tailor-made for life,
20:01 the most straightforward conclusion
20:03 is that it was tailor-made,
20:05 designed, created by a transcendent God."
20:10 And then this physicist quietly confesses that,
20:13 you know, in their hearts many scientists know it
20:17 but they kind of find that conclusion unattractive
20:21 and so they twist their own logic into pretzels
20:24 coming up with things like a theory of multiple universes
20:27 to get around the problem.
20:29 In Pagels' own words, and I'm quoting it again,
20:32 "It is the closest that some atheists can get to God."
20:37 In other words, "Atheists are squirming
20:40 every which way to avoid the obvious."
20:45 Some of you scientists might recognize this name,
20:47 the well-known astronomer, Sir Fred Hoyle.
20:50 He once calculated that the odds of life
20:53 just showing up, just sparking itself into existence
20:58 would be the same as lining up
21:01 many, many, many blind people, in fact, here we go again,
21:04 10 to the 50th power this time.
21:07 Now that's a lot of people out there in a row.
21:10 All blind and then giving
21:12 each of them a scrambled up Rubik's Cube
21:16 and having all gazillion of them
21:18 solve it at exactly the same moment.
21:23 So you tell me, would you like to put your faith
21:27 in those visually challenged people with the Rubik's Cubes
21:31 or maybe with a billion monkeys on a billion word processors
21:35 trying to randomly pound out a Webster's dictionary?
21:39 Or would you like to trust
21:43 what it says in my hymn number 88,
21:45 in my church's official hymnal where it says,
21:48 "I sing the mighty power of God that makes the mountains rise,
21:54 that spreads the flowing seas abroad
21:57 and built the lofty skies."
21:58 You tell me.
22:02 In his book, "Believe in miracles
22:05 But Trust in Jesus,"
22:06 Pastor Adrian Rogers, I've heard him speak.
22:09 He tells about a student who came up to him one time
22:12 and he said, Pastor Rogers, I've got a question.
22:15 Pastor Rogers, do you believe
22:16 that there's life on other worlds?
22:19 I don't know what you folks think about that,
22:21 although the Bible doesn't specifically seem to say
22:24 but Pastor Rogers gave him an answer
22:26 and he said, "Well, young man, no,
22:28 I don't think there is life on other worlds."
22:30 "What?" The kid said.
22:32 "You think all the life
22:34 there is in the universe is right here on earth?"
22:39 And the kid just shook his head, he said, "No way.
22:42 No way. I mean, how can that be?"
22:44 And he launched into a great big sermon to Pastor Rogers
22:46 about how there are just so many trillions of planets
22:49 and stars and galaxies and milky ways,
22:51 all spinning light years with 20 zeros after them.
22:56 I mean, you talk about ID,
22:58 you talk about intelligent design.
22:59 And this kid, well, he gave Pastor Rogers
23:02 quite a little Genesis 1 sermon.
23:04 And then he said to Pastor Rogers,
23:06 "You mean to tell me,
23:07 you think God went to all that trouble
23:11 and then just put life on one tiny little world?"
23:16 And Pastor Rogers said to him, "What trouble?"
23:23 Don't you just love that answer?
23:26 "What trouble?"
23:28 Listen, the Bible tells us that when it comes to creation,
23:33 God does great things
23:36 but they're not hard things, not for Him.
23:40 Jeremiah 32:17 tells us
23:43 that God isn't overextending Himself when he creates.
23:47 "Ah, sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens
23:51 and the earth by your great power,
23:53 your great power and outstretched arm.
23:56 Nothing is too hard for you." Amen.
24:00 And let's put up on the note board
24:03 for you scientists here tonight
24:05 the first law of thermodynamics.
24:09 Remember what that is? The conservation of matter?
24:12 Actually, folks, it works in favor of the power of God.
24:17 Chuck Colson again, I'm quoting,
24:19 "Matter cannot just pop into existence or create itself."
24:24 Oh, but friend, matter can pop into existence
24:28 when God clears his throat and says,
24:32 "Let there be a world." Amen.
24:37 There's a real cute little Reader's Digest story,
24:40 my wife buys those and I hardly have time to read them
24:42 but there is a story about-- a great little story about
24:45 all the great scientists of the earth
24:47 with their gene-splicing lasers now.
24:50 They looked up the sky
24:51 one day and they said, "You know what, God?
24:54 God, we really don't need you anymore.
24:57 You say you're the creator of life.
24:59 Well, now we've caught up.
25:01 You make people, we can do it too."
25:05 And they went ahead in the Readers Digest
25:07 and challenged God to a man-making competition
25:11 to be televised on ESPN.
25:13 And, you know, God didn't get angry.
25:15 You know, when we have questions
25:17 or even when we challenge Him,
25:19 He patiently demonstrates His power and His plan.
25:23 So God said to the men in their lab coats down there,
25:26 "All right, let's do it.
25:29 I'll make a man out of dirt again and you do the same."
25:35 Oh, so the DNA experts
25:37 they immediately rolled up their sleeves
25:38 and got down on their knees
25:40 and began scooping up some soil
25:42 for their test tubes and their petri dishes
25:44 and God gently but firmly said to them,
25:46 "Just a minute, boys, not so fast.
25:50 Rule number one, you get your own dirt."
26:02 Well, that's a fun story.
26:06 But maybe you'll say, wait a minute,
26:10 what about the mutation of species
26:12 over great spans of time?
26:14 I mean, isn't that an argument for evolution?
26:19 But as I read some of the scientific journals
26:21 and maybe you have too,
26:23 maybe you've discovered that most mutations
26:27 are like typos in a report or bugs in a computer program.
26:31 They don't make things slowly better,
26:33 instead you have a downward spiral
26:36 into mistakes and nonsense.
26:39 In fact, that's the second law of thermodynamics
26:42 that our universe is slowly wearing down, disintegrating.
26:47 It's not spiraling upward into higher levels of complexity.
26:51 And Colson writes in his book,
26:53 "The same is true of errors in the genetic code.
26:58 Most mutations are harmful, often lethal to the organism.
27:03 So that if mutations were to accumulate,
27:06 the result will be more likely
27:08 to be devolution than evolution."
27:12 Would you like that?
27:15 Luther Burbank, the great genetic researcher,
27:18 he coined an expression or law called,
27:21 here we go to science again, The Reversion to the Average.
27:26 Reversion to the Average.
27:29 Most organisms he reports, stay true to type,
27:32 they don't stray from the blueprint,
27:35 variations tend to be very, very minor.
27:38 In other words, most monkeys seem to stay monkeys.
27:45 I remember last year,
27:46 we Californians have a couple of baseball teams there
27:49 when the San Francisco Giants Barry Bonds
27:52 started off last year's baseball season
27:55 with two home runs in the first game
27:57 and two in the second game.
27:58 Wow, I mean, extrapolating off of that,
28:02 in a 162 game season you could figure
28:04 that Barry Bonds could hit 324 dingers a year.
28:10 But, no, he just came up at the end of the season
28:13 with 46 just like about always.
28:17 Little pops of excitement happen here and there
28:21 but when all is said and done,
28:22 the reversion to the average always happens.
28:26 My friend David Smith back there in California
28:29 was a big Los Angeles Dodger fan.
28:32 Count on it, when you get to October,
28:33 most Dodgers are going to be batting about 223
28:37 and the team is in third place, every year without fail.
28:42 You fans out there in Wrigley Field, Fenway Park,
28:45 you know about the same thing too.
28:47 You see, it's the same
28:48 in the scientific world around us too.
28:52 Now one scientific arena of real challenge
28:57 comes with things like "carbon-dating"
29:00 and the half-life of radioactive material,
29:04 the perchloric halos and so forth.
29:07 Or the layers of the Grand Canyon
29:08 where a scientist will say,
29:10 "Well, according to this timeline,
29:12 if you extrapolate mathematically,
29:15 the world is X number of millions of years old."
29:20 And listen, I'll be the first to confess
29:21 that I don't have all of the answers.
29:24 And that it does take an expression of faith
29:28 to trust in God's word
29:30 over the theories of the geology labs.
29:35 There's a wonderful Christian writer
29:36 we often quote on our broadcast, C.S. Lewis.
29:40 Well, C.S. Lewis once had a dialogue with a friend
29:43 and he said to him, "Okay, look,
29:47 if you put sixpence into a drawer today
29:52 and then you put sixpence into a drawer tomorrow,
29:55 that same drawer and then the day after that,
29:58 you look inside, what are you going to find?"
30:03 One shilling, right?
30:05 And his friend picked up on the point, "Yes," he said,
30:08 unless someone else has gotten in there
30:11 and tampered with the drawer.
30:12 And boom, C.S. Lewis nailed the lesson home.
30:16 "It's the same in science," he said.
30:18 The laws work in a certain way
30:21 unless there is interference or upheaval
30:25 or let's say for instance,
30:28 a flood that devastates the planet
30:31 and throws the numbers off.
30:34 That's just something to think about, isn't it?
30:38 I want to tell you tonight that I believe this book.
30:45 Do you know, ladies and gentlemen,
30:46 that even Charles Darwin himself said,
30:50 you can either believe in my theories,
30:52 in Darwinism or you can believe this book.
30:57 But he said the two ideas are mutually exclusive,
31:01 you can't mix them up,
31:02 you can't blend them, they do not coexist.
31:08 I said last night,
31:09 Jeannie and I were out walking yesterday and today,
31:13 saw some little box turtles out in the woods here, gorgeous.
31:18 If you're out on a walk and you see a turtle
31:21 up on a fence post what do you know?
31:25 Somebody came along, right?
31:28 That turtle did not get up there by himself.
31:32 And, you know, I see the evidence
31:36 in this sin scarred beautiful world
31:40 that we live in and I say, you know,
31:41 somebody came here, somebody passed through.
31:46 A powerful God did all of this.
31:49 In fact, even the animals in our backyard
31:51 and buzzing around our hummingbird feeders
31:54 are a vibrant testimony to the creative power of somebody
31:57 who came through here, made all of these species,
32:00 birds that can migrate and return
32:02 to San Juan Capistrano the same day every single year,
32:07 whales and salmon that traverse the great depths,
32:10 honeybees that build honeycombs
32:12 that are a marvel to science and design.
32:17 You know, the next time Eddie Murphy plays
32:19 that Dr. Dolittle character who can talk to the animals,
32:23 I wish he'd ask some of them
32:24 how they do these amazing God-inspired things.
32:29 But we already know the answer, don't we, Dr. Dolittle?
32:32 Because the testimony is right here in front of us
32:35 in the Book of Job, Chapter 12,
32:38 "But ask the animals and they will teach you,
32:42 or the birds of the air and they will tell you
32:44 or speak to the earth and it will teach you,
32:48 or let the fish of the sea inform you.
32:50 Which of all these does not know
32:53 that the Lord has done this?"
32:57 But now let's take another step further,
33:00 if you can see the Bible version of events
33:03 and say, all right, God did make the universe,
33:08 then we still have to know what does it mean to us?
33:15 God made a world where our brave young men and women
33:18 could get blown up and killed by other men and women.
33:21 Does God care about that?
33:24 I want you to remember
33:26 that God creates because he does care.
33:31 Clear back in the 26 verse of Genesis Chapter 1,
33:35 God said, "Let us make man
33:38 in our image after our likeness."
33:42 You see, God made us for fellowship.
33:45 He made us because He loves us and is interested in us.
33:50 Way back there in the tumult of the Old Testament
33:52 where there weren't computer guided
33:54 JDAM smart bombs and Apache helicopters
33:57 but still a lot of warfare and bloodshed
33:59 and empty seats at Thanksgiving dinner table,
34:02 King David wrote in Psalm 100:3,
34:06 "Know that the Lord is God.
34:09 It is He who made us, and we are His,
34:12 we are His people, the sheep of His pasture."
34:17 Again, that's why, ladies and gentlemen,
34:20 we actually owe him our worship
34:25 whether we choose to be wise enough to do it or not.
34:29 So if you do believe that God loves us
34:31 as it says in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world,"
34:34 and again, in 1 John chapter 4:8, "God is love."
34:38 And Jeremiah 31:3, "Yes, I have loved you
34:41 with an everlasting love."
34:44 But I think you need to accept
34:46 that His love and His creative power
34:48 and His creative interest in you are all absolutes.
34:55 One thing I hope with all of my being
34:57 to put before you in this series of meetings
34:59 is how eternal and how real God's love is for you
35:03 at this very moment in time.
35:05 And that if you enter into a relationship with Jesus
35:08 as your creator and your redeemer,
35:12 then you can feel safe and secure
35:14 and you can feel protected in that relationship.
35:17 Friend, if you get saved tonight,
35:20 if you accept Jesus as the Lord who made you and loves you,
35:25 then you can know that you have it,
35:29 you can know that salvation is yours.
35:31 John 5:24 is one of my favorite verses in all of the Bible,
35:34 I hope to put it up on the screen here,
35:36 it has Jesus saying this to his friends,
35:39 says it to me, Lonnie, says it to Jim,
35:42 says it my wife Jeannie, to Connie
35:43 and the rest of our team here.
35:45 He said, "Friend, I tell you the truth,
35:48 whoever hears my word and believes Him
35:51 who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned.
35:58 He has crossed over from death to life."
36:04 And the Bible doctrine of creation
36:06 also makes it clear, doubly clear
36:10 that a God with that much love
36:13 and that much power just will not let you go.
36:17 You're His, you can know that you're His,
36:21 you can know that your salvation is safe with Him.
36:24 Notice this in Romans 8:38, "I am convinced,
36:29 " Paul writes, "that neither death nor life,
36:32 neither angels nor demons,
36:33 neither the present nor the future nor any powers,
36:37 neither height nor depth nor anything else
36:39 in all creation will be able to separate us
36:42 from the love God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
36:49 And what does that have to do with our grieving father
36:52 whose son was lost there in the dust,
36:54 in the blood of Iraq?
36:57 Simply this, the creative power of God
37:02 is enough to bring young Kendall Waters Bay
37:06 back to life again.
37:09 That chair at the great banquet table
37:12 doesn't have to be empty for all eternity
37:15 because the same creator who brought those cells
37:18 together the first time can easily do it again.
37:23 There's a wrenching, wrenching story in the Los Angeles Times
37:26 written by Nora Zamichow about how these young,
37:29 young men of ours and young women over in the military,
37:34 they had to make wills
37:36 before they headed out over to the war theater.
37:39 You know, there's something obscene
37:40 really about a 19-year-old soldier making out a will.
37:45 Writing down well, who's going to get my boom box
37:49 and my dirt bike and my Playstation.
37:52 I mean, these are just kids.
37:55 They weren't giving away Wall Street portfolios
37:57 and luxury yachts and Lenox china.
38:00 In fact, some of the soldiers joked that,
38:02 well, Uncle Sam paid them so little
38:05 there was hardly anything to give away.
38:07 But those jokes were hiding
38:09 the pounding pulses of those young marines,
38:12 the tears of their brides and sadly already
38:17 some of those wills are having to be put into effect now.
38:22 But, friend, God promises
38:24 to make it right one of these days, doesn't He?
38:27 Isaiah 26:19, it says,
38:31 "But your dead will live, their bodies will rise.
38:36 You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy."
38:43 I, from time to time have subscribed
38:46 to Newsweek magazine and Anna Quindlen
38:48 is a wonderful columnist in Newsweek.
38:51 Anna Quindlen describes a bad Monday
38:53 that she had with her daughter a little while back.
38:56 You see, first of all, on that day
38:58 they went to a funeral.
39:01 Well, that was bad but then a cell phone call
39:05 had them rushing to the hospital
39:06 where another friend was in the valley
39:08 of the shadow of death.
39:10 And right after that it was a trifecta of tears
39:12 because their cat was poisoned.
39:15 So they were speeding to the vet's to deal with that.
39:19 Well, finally it was bedtime.
39:22 What a day.
39:24 And Anna, the good mom that she is,
39:26 she tucked her little girl and she put her into bed,
39:28 she said to her very, very quietly, "Well, honey,
39:32 this was a tough, tough day.
39:36 But, sweetheart, look at it this way,
39:38 we'll never go through a day like this again.
39:43 That was Sept 10, 2001, Monday.
39:49 September '10 and the Quindlen family
39:52 lives in New York City.
39:54 The very next morning we all know
39:57 how death invaded our world like never before
40:00 and in Miss Quindlen's words, the day America's mind reeled,
40:04 its spine stiffened and its heart broke.
40:10 Some of you here tonight
40:13 or watching at our various downlink sites,
40:16 you might have had a loved one in those twin towers
40:20 or in the pentagon or in one of those four planes.
40:24 When the hijackers' plane
40:26 sliced into that World Trade Center,
40:28 someone you loved was just suddenly gone,
40:32 in one fiery moment, gone, wasn't anything left,
40:36 no traces, no DNA, no cells and no record.
40:40 I mean, we all read
40:41 how those firefighters truly New York's finest,
40:44 they started to write their names
40:46 and their social security numbers
40:47 on their own forearms
40:48 just in case someone later
40:50 had to hunt through rubble for their remains.
40:54 But here your loved one is simply gone,
40:57 nothing is left for God to work with,
41:00 how can He clone them or recreate them?
41:04 Well, friend, let not your heart be troubled.
41:11 Does God need a lab? Does God need DNA?
41:16 Did He make Adam out of DNA?
41:18 Or can He just speak the word and have the person you love
41:22 and miss so much instantly come back to life?
41:26 Maybe they were lost at sea,
41:28 maybe they've been resting in a casket
41:30 for many years now.
41:32 Friend, that's not a problem for God
41:34 because He's a creator God who loves to create
41:38 and recreate life for those who love and worship Him.
41:42 I want you to say this great Isaiah promise
41:44 of creative power with me
41:46 as we close tonight from Isaiah 65:17-18.
41:49 Everyone, "Behold, I will create
41:53 new heavens and a new earth.
41:55 The former things will not be remembered
41:58 nor will they come to mind.
42:00 But be glad and rejoice forever
42:03 in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem
42:07 to be a delight and its people a joy."
42:12 And for all of you who have a tombstone
42:14 in your life right now,
42:16 what beautiful words these are in Isaiah 65:19,
42:20 "I will rejoice over Jerusalem in take delight in my people.
42:25 The sound of weeping and of crying
42:29 will be heard in it no more."
42:32 Friend, this is the first in a three-part series,
42:35 don't miss next week.
42:36 God has a plan, God's in control
42:38 and before we close tonight,
42:40 this good word, in the end we know who wins.
42:46 Did you know the creator knows you by name, friend?
42:50 Long before you were born, He had a plan for your life
42:54 and that your being here tonight
42:56 is a continuation of that divine plan.
42:58 Listen carefully to the words of Joey's song
43:01 and take comfort that He had you on his mind.
43:10 He had me on His mind
43:14 Long before creation was begun
43:21 He had me on His mind
43:25 Long before a bird had ever sung
43:31 And long before the earth was formed
43:36 Long before the sky and sea
43:42 Before the world was born
43:46 He thought of me, of me
43:55 He even knew my name
43:59 Long before I ever learned to breathe
44:06 He had me on His mind
44:10 He was thinking of me constantly
44:17 And long before I ever knew
44:22 The plan that God designed
44:28 He thought of me,
44:32 He had me on His mind
44:43 Amen. Shall we pray?
44:46 Mighty God and friendly savior,
44:49 we're so thankful tonight
44:50 that your creative power demonstrates your saving power
44:54 and also your keeping power.
44:56 Father, we praise you tonight for the Christians' worldview
45:01 that You lovingly made us
45:02 and are even now redeeming and restoring us
45:05 and soon You're going to rescue us
45:07 and make this world all brand new.
45:10 Help us to place our trust in you
45:12 and also give our undying worship to the God
45:16 who knows each of his children by name.
45:20 I want to take your response card just now.
45:24 Would you look through those various options for you tonight
45:29 by way of a prayer and a personal commitment?
45:32 Row captains, just pass those down.
45:34 Take a card out and a pencil if you need it.
45:36 I want to go over this briefly with you.
45:38 I want you to check one of those three responses
45:41 while we're still in an attitude of prayer.
45:43 Pass those right down.
45:44 Thank you, ladies and gentlemen,
45:45 and all the downlink locations
45:47 who should be receiving one now.
45:49 Look at the first one.
45:51 This is what it's trying to say tonight, listen carefully.
45:54 I believe God not only has a plan for creation
45:58 but for my salvation that not only comes by grace
46:01 through faith in Jesus Christ.
46:05 Check that, I hope everyone can do that.
46:07 Secondly, I open my heart to Jesus' love right now.
46:11 Thank you for creating me and redeeming me,
46:13 I give you my life right now.
46:16 Put a check there beside number two.
46:18 There may be some tonight
46:19 that like to check number three,
46:21 I would like additional reading material
46:23 to help me learn more about Jesus.
46:26 Put a check in that and then as that basket comes by,
46:30 place it there as Joey continues.
46:34 He even knew your name
46:38 Long before you ever learned to breathe
46:45 He had you on His mind
46:49 He was thinking of you constantly
46:55 And long before you ever knew
47:01 The plan that God designed
47:06 He thought of you,
47:10 He had you on His mind
47:26 And so, Father, bless us
47:27 as we close our meeting tonight.
47:30 Thank you that we can worship a God who cares,
47:35 who has designed us and who is in control.
47:42 I want you to remember, tomorrow night's subject,
47:44 "Created for Something Better." It's part two in the series.
47:51 Tonight, Sunday night
47:53 and then our next meeting on Wednesday night.
47:56 Be sure you get them all three together,
47:58 brand new, beautiful.
48:00 What's next?
48:02 Revelation speaks, Voice of prophecy speaks.
48:05 Thank you for coming.
48:06 Tomorrow night, "Created for Something Better."
48:09 Don't forget, our hospitality location tonight,
48:13 all of the downlink sites as well as here.
48:15 If you have questions or you particularly
48:17 would like to meet some of our staff,
48:18 our musicians, myself,
48:21 come on over underneath the great big indicator
48:23 or on your downlink locations
48:25 where your host has told you to meet.
48:28 Good night, God bless you.