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The Gospel From Patmos
Everyday Insights For Living
From The Last Book Of The Bible
Daily Devotional
Thursday, December 08, 2016

            The one who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be my son. To everyone who is a coward, unfaithful, corrupt, a murderer, a fornicator, a sorcerer, or an idolater, and to every liar, comes their portion in the lake burning with fire and sulphur, which is the second death. Rev 21:7-8.



            Idolatry was a major issue in New Testament times. At the top of the idolatrous food-chain was the Emperor of Rome himself. First-Century Christians would have seen in Revelation a powerful declaration that the Emperor “has no clothes.” Caesar did not create this world (Rev 4:11), he is not eternal (4:8), and he did not redeem the people of the Empire with his blood (5:12). While the splendor of Rome was alluring and impressive, its claim to worship was foolish.
            Just as First-Century Christians denied the attractions of empire to follow Jesus, so Christians today need to repudiate the idols of our generation. We often worship at the idols of science, technology, wealth and commercialism. In the process we easily ignore the implications of creation and the cross. But such contemporary idolatry may soon prove to be as foolish as the claims of the Empire once were.
            In recent years the scientific community has been stunned by the complex and sensitive conditions required for intelligent life to exist on Earth. The universe appears, in fact, to have been incredibly fine-tuned for the benefit of humanity on Earth at this point in cosmic history. And this insight is being discovered across the board: in physics and astrophysics, classical cosmology, quantum mechanics, and biochemistry. The existence of intelligent carbon-based life on Earth depends upon a delicate balance. If any part of this balance were even slightly altered, life as we know it would not exist. There is space for only one brief example.
            Water is one of the strangest substances known to science. Its specific heat, surface tension, and physical properties are different from the norm. For example, the fact that its solid phase is less dense than its liquid phase, so that ice floats, is virtually unique in nature. But this property of water is essential to life. If ice were more dense than water, it would sink to the bottom of bodies of water, where it would remain in the deepest parts until eventually all lakes and oceans would be solidly frozen. Instead, ice forms a protective skin on the surface of reservoirs of water. This is one of many unique characteristics of water that are absolutely essential for heating and cooling, the formation of cell walls and membranes, and so many other elements essential for human life.1



            Lord, help me to clearly discern between the alluring claims of today’s idolatry and the clear evidence of a Loving Designer. Help me to build my life around the things that truly last.




1Based on William Lane Craig, “The Teleological Argument and the Anthropic Principle,” posted at www.leaderu.com on September 27, 2003.

 
 
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