When Things Fall Apart

Science is usually very bright and alert but, in one instance at least, science was dull and slow and very late in coming to the state of its awareness. 

Forty centuries of human history would elapse before someone in the scientific fields would take notice of a phenomenon that every person on earth has known and recognized from day one: that things fall apart. Complex things become simple. Everything degrades in an irreversible process. 

It was a scientist named William Thomas Kelvin, in the 1850's, who finally announced it as a law of physics, as if it were some new 'discovery' of his; but philosophers and sages must surely have risen from their graves in protest! They'd known about it since time began. 

Kelvin and his peers gave it the fancy name: 'entropy'. The original focus of their study was heat: warm things are in a complex state, colder things more simple. Warm things always turn cold when left to themselves, but cold things never turn warm again; not without the help of something to energize them. "Cold" is not generated by energy, it is the sheer lack of it. And stone, cold entropy is where everything is headed!  

"The entropy of a closed system can never decrease over time," wrote Kelvin, "it shall, in fact, increase and the process is irreversible." 

If you translate the word 'entropy' to mean 'decay' or 'disorder, you'll miss a lot, but you'll understand it well enough: "Decay shall never decrease..." "Disorder shall never decrease. In a closed system (without outside help) it shall increase and the process will be irreversible."  That's the layman's gist anyway, which is about all I can handle. 

But it isn't hard for anyone who looks at Kelvin's Second Law of Thermodynamics to see that he hadn't discovered anything new! 

It is an age-old dilemma—as old as the Garden itself—the problem of futility; the "bondage of decay". It seems to have come with the curse of the Fall (Genesis 3:18-19). And in the Book of Romans, we are told that the entire world—in fact, all of creation!—"has been groaning under it up until now."  Romans 8: 22-23

It doesn't just happen in the realms of physics. The Second Law wreaks its havoc everywhere: kingdoms collapse, nations disintegrate, families fall apart, monuments crumble, everything dies, decays and dissolves. Diseases thrive and bacteria flourish, weeds grow rampant, pests have a heyday. The body grows old, the mind grows weak, the eyes grow dim and "dust returns to dust", and no one on the face of the earth can stop it! 

We can complain about it. We can write poems and elegies in country churchyards all day long, but this is a physical law of the Universe, for goodness' sake! No one on earth has the power to alter it! 

But—praise God!—and isn't this why we call it the 'Gospel': the 'Good News'?—God Himself has come to reverse it! He wrote the Law, after all; He can bend it or break it whenever He pleases! And—blessed be His name!—that's exactly what He has done!  

He sent His Son—Jesus Christ—to break the "bondage of decay"! He broke the power of sin in our lives so that hearts of "stone" and perishing "spirits" could be alive and new once again! Ezekiel 36:26 

He overthrew the powers of temptation and corruption, and gave us a"righteousness that comes from God". Romans 3:22 

He healed the sick. He raised the dead. He reversed the corruption of Lazarus in his tomb! John 11: 39-44 

He canceled our orphanhood and made us God's children! John 1:12  

He shattered the bonds of death itself; and gave life everlasting to perishing sinners! John 11: 25; John 3:16  

And He established a Kingdom that will never perish—never decay!—while all the rest of them crumble away! Daniel 4:3

I am so grateful for this wonderful Good News, aren't you? It's time to go back to Good News, don't you think? We're so long overdue! The Good News of our Savior! 

And that's what we're going to do this Sunday. We're going back to the Gospel—the Good News!—of John! It's all about the marvelous gift of God's Truth for a World in the Grip of a Lie! 

See you there! Bring that Bible!   RAS

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