Posted: September 20, 2012 at 3:21 a.m.
LITTLE ROCK DEAR REV. GRAHAM: What was God doing before He created the world? I had an atheist friend ask me this a few days ago, and I didn’t know what to say.
DEAR Z.N.: Surely, one of the hardest things for us to understand about God is that He is timelessand infi nite, and He doesn’t look on time the same way we do.
When you and I think of time, we think of hours and days and years, but God isn’t limited bythose measures. We also think of things as having a beginning and end, but God isn’t limited in this way. Before time ever existed, God always was. The Apostle Peter put it this way: “Do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (2 Peter 3:8).
This may seem difficult to understand (and it is), but don’t overlook the basic truth behind it: God has always existed and always will. And even before He created the world, He was planning for our salvation through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says that God “chose us in him before the creation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). Christ’s death and resurrection were not accidents. God planned them from all eternity.
Pray for your atheist friend. His question may not have been sincere; he simply may have wanted to put you on the spot. But God still loves him, and some day - through your prayers - he may realize how empty his life is without God, and will discover the joy of knowing Christ.
Write to Billy Graham in care of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the website at billygraham.org
Weekend, Pages 34 on 09/20/2012