Time is everybody’s compelling preoccupation. There is never enough of it. It moves too slowly for kids and too quickly for the elderly. It is a stern taskmaster. A moment’s thought reveals that we’re trapped in this strange medium like trout in a moving stream. The mind begs to understand this moving medium. Is there a way to escape it, to stand outside it and look around?
This question makes time travel everybody’s favorite subject. Scientific researchers, particle physicists, philosophers, science fiction novelists and romance writers have all attempted to make it seem like a possibility. What if we could escape, move around and redo all those mistakes? What if we could visit the future, then come back and live with the enormous advantage of knowing what was coming?
This brings us to the Bible – the only book in the world whose major characters have done just that. They have moved through time in one way or another, then returned to tell us what will happen. It is an article of our faith, and it has led me to compile a series of thoughts and place them in a book about the role time plays in human Downfall and Redemption.
My new book, just going into print, is entitled Time Travelers of the Bible. It presents an expanded view of a topic that I have pursued for a number of years. It brings to light the biblical view of dimensionality, which is possibly the most intriguing topic in all Scripture. Not only that, it brings clarity to God’s plan to restore the broken universe – a plan based both on time and eternity.
I have written the following brief description about the contents of this book in the hope that it will link your thoughts to a very deep problem, and its remedy.
What started as a series of studies about the prophets gazing into the future became a biblical trek through the timeline of redemption. Phrases such as “before the foundation of the world,” and “new heavens and new earth” are used with such open simplicity that they invite the reader to move into a realm where time is not just an accident of existence, but a system created by God for a specific purpose.
The Bible is far and away the world’s most authoritative book on the subject of time, which it juxtaposes with the concept of eternity. The latter is not simply a state of timelessness, but a place where time becomes a friend, rather than an enemy.
In our present state, everything is measured by time. More and more, everything is gauged by the lack of time. Life and death, investment and construction, family life and personal relationships are all time limited. No sooner do we acquire something, than it is “time” to give it away.
As the Bible explains it, eternity is not timelessness, nor is it the lack of time. Rather, it is time without limit, where the things in which we invest grow without limit.
If such a world were to fall into the hands of the unscrupulous, the result would be abuse on a massive scale. In fact, this is exactly what happened when Satan fell, taking with him those whose greed and lust knew no bounds.
And this is the central story of the Bible. Satan’s fall required a remedy … a repair, if you will. What was the Lord God to do? Rather than destroy the old serpent outright, He injected the solution to the problem into what we humans see as a timeline. It came in the form of the first Adam, out of whose genealogy was to come the One and only human being who had the power, authority and righteousness to effect a necessary change, which we now know as “redemption.”
He came at the exact center of the timeline. And His Cross radiated power to the far-flung corners of the infinite. Like His physical body, the wood for this instrument of death came from a finite and time-bound source. But at a supreme moment of history, both were infinite in their scope and scale.
“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven”(Col. 1:19,20).
In one instant, time, space, matter and energy were all reconciled – completely changed – and made to become renewed. Heaven and Earth are now moving away from downfall and toward perfection. We know this because the Creator, who is free from the constraints of time, allowed certain men to look beyond its limits and tell us what they saw.