There’s a lot of confusion about the difference between God and the universe.
You can see by the way people talk about it in social media, in everyday conversations, and sometimes even at church.
Some folks talk about the universe as if it is God. They say something like “the universe did this or that thing in my life.”
Is that really true? Is the universe and God the same thing?
What is the real difference between God and the universe?
The difference between God and the universe is that God is the creator and the universe was created. God existed before time began. He is timeless, spaceless, infinite and immaterial. But the universe has only been around for about 13.8 billion years. It is finite, and is made up of space, time, matter and energy.
The real God of the universe is the uncaused First Cause.
That means he is the ultimate cause of everything we can detect, plus other things we cannot detect.
He himself requires no cause. He is self-existent, immaterial, timeless and spaceless.
Since God has always existed, he never began to exist, so he needs no cause.
So the relationship between God and the universe is a relationship between the Creator and the created thing.
It’s something like the relationship between a ray of light and a shadow.
A shadow can’t exist without light, but light can do just fine without a shadow.
The universe had a beginning. It’s a confirmed scientific fact.
It exists within the boundaries of space, time, matter and energy –all of which came into being with the Big Bang.
It’s been a known and accepted scientific fact since the late 20th century after the work of Einstein, Hubble, Hawking, Penrose and others.
But here’s what’s amazing about that!
The official scientific position for most of those same 3000 years was that the universe was eternal.
That is, until the 20th century, when Einstein came up with the Theory of Relativity.
Then Hubble looked through the Hooker telescope atop Mt. Wilson and theoretical physicists Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose did their work on the Singularity theorems.
They showed that the laws of physics break down when you rewind the clock back beyond a certain point.
The Big Bang was confirmed.
Scientists –until then- had to choose whether to believe the old statement of science or believe the Bible because –for 3000 years they didn’t agree.
Now that science finally came around, how has that changed things?
It sure changed Antony Flew.
Dr. Flew, the famous arch-Atheist, was uniquely able to define completely godless Atheism as a coherent theory to be studied at the University level.
His theories gave many graduate students –and their professors-headaches for decades.
But when confronted with the realities of Physics and Information Science and DNA evidence- Flew concluded that there must be a God.
Then Flew wrote the book that showed how he followed the evidence where it led, and he drew the conclusions –according to Flew- solely from reason.
One word. Evidence.
“I now believe there is a God…I now think it [the evidence] does point to a creative Intelligence almost entirely because of the DNA investigations. What I think the DNA material has done is that it has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which which are needed to produce life, that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinarily diverse elements to work together.”— Antony Flew
Scientists –after much thorough and careful study, theorizing and argumentation- concluded the universe had a beginning just as the Bible said.
They further determined the universe is exquisitely fine-tuned to such an extraordinary degree that it shows great evidence of design.
One thing we learned from Information Science is that the existence of code signifies the existence of a code-writer.
Code doesn’t write itself.
And here’s another thing. Code follows logic, just as the laws of physics follow logic.
Logic itself has laws. In fact, logic is a system of reasoning.
And where do laws come from? A lawmaker.
God and the Universe Bible Verses
If the God of the Bible really is the Creator of all things, what evidence do we find of it in the Bible?
It’s pretty impressive that the Bible says in its opening verse that God created the heavens and the earth.
That could have been just been “lucky.” But what if we found a whole bunch of Bible verses?
What would the chances be that we would find a multitude of ancient Bible verses that were all aligned with modern science?
What are the implications?
And if God is real –and if His word is true as He claims- it would be reasonable to look around and see if there are some other verses that shed light on the subject and leave no doubt.
So let’s see what we can find:
He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing. Job 26:7, ESV
Job is regarded by scholars as the oldest book in the Bible.
So the first book of the Bible ever written got the story right. The earth literally hangs on nothing.
All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. John 1:3, ESV
The Bible asserts not only that God created all things, but that the Son –Jesus Christ- the second person of the trinity- is the active creator.
He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness. Job 26:10, ESV
If you’ve ever seen the boundary between light and darkness as it continually passes over the earth’s surface 24-hours-a-day, you can see the circle Job was talking about.
Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: “I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself, –Isaiah 44:24, ESV
Ever since Hubble discovered the universe is expanding -or stretching- there’s been more and more focus on this verse.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. John 1:1—3, ESV
“The Word” is Jesus Christ. This passage asserts that he was there at the beginning and he created all things.
For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Matthew 5:18
This is Jesus Christ saying in AD 32-33 that the universe has a finite life. Scientists argued this point for decades.
Some asserted the universe would exist forever. Others said it would expand to a certain point and then contract in a cycle form of universal reincarnation.
After testing their theories for decades, they finally concluded that Jesus was correct all along.
Heaven and earth will pass away. The sun will expand and engulf earth and burn it up.
Later the entire universe will die a universal heat death.
He has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time 2Timothy 1:9, NIV
From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible has always said the universe had a beginning, and it has always said God is separate from creation.
We now see the difference between the wise eternal God and the universe.
The former is self-existent. He is the uncaused First Cause.
The latter -the Universe- is vast and fascinating, and amazing.
But it is merely a created thing, contingent on the existence of its creator -the true and self-existent God.