This article may very well be a lesson in futility. Trying to comprehend the eternal nature of God is very much like a squirrel trying to comprehend aerodynamics or like nailing jelly to a tree.
Yet our basic understanding of God’s eternal nature is so rudimentary, so basic, and so mundane I feel an attempt to give you a taste for the much larger complexity is appropriate. I am not even going to claim that I am right in this matter. That would be absurd. But I can dazzle your mind a bit and show you that the eternal nature of God is so much more awesome than we could ever believe.
It is very possible that eternity isn’t the never ending of time. It may be that eternity is the absence of time altogether. Moreover, you could say that eternity is really a single moment that never ends or never moves on to the next moment. I give to you a singularly fascinating pair of verses from the King James Bible:
Ecclesiastes 3:14-15 — I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.
Every commentary seems to differ as to what those verses mean. But why can’t they mean what they say? Perhaps forever, or the eternal state that God, exists outside the realm of time itself. For God, all is now. The past is now, the present is now, and the future is now.
Time and the Eternal Nature of God
Time is a finite creation of God. In Genesis 1:5, He clearly indicates that there was a first day. It implies that time didn’t exist before the creation of that first day. If God existed before there was a beginning, then how could God possibly have a beginning? Mind boggling isn’t it? But God also indicates that there will be time no longer. In Revelation 10:6 we read that time itself will end.
So if time is a construct into which God has placed us, yet it is something that He Himself is not bound to, then it is very possible that all of time is something that God can observe at once–from beginning to end at the same “time.”
For example, since time is linear, let’s imagine that time is a ruler. This ruler is linear as it goes from one inch to twelve inches or as time passes from day to day, year to year and so on. If you are holding that ruler up before your eyes, you can see the entire thing, the beginning and end, all at once. You could also concentrate on any given aspect of that ruler. You could see inch one, gaze upon inch nine, and then turn your attention to inch three.
If God created time, is it not possible that God created everything, beginning and end, all at once? Jesus did say that He was the beginning and the end (Revelation 22:13). God created time all at once, first and last, complete, and so can look at any part of time He wishes. He can watch us right now and then watch in real time as Moses parts the Red Sea. He can see Eve’s transgression and His Son’s crucifixion by merely resettling His gaze. It is always “now” to God–even the future and the past.
To the Eternal God, All Time Is Now
Think about it. Revelation 13:8 claims that Jesus was the Lamb slain from the foundations of the world. What does that mean? Is it not possible that as far as God is concerned, while David sat on his throne, Jesus was dying on the Cross? The past is now with God. The future is now. To an eternal God, everything that is to us past, present, and future is merely “now” to Him.
For God, all of time is happening right now–this very moment. We are bound to the ruler, bound to time. God isn’t on the ruler and isn’t bound to the linear nature of time. God is gazing upon all of time from the first day until there will be time no longer.
Moses, when asking God about His name, received this reply:
Exodus 3:14 — And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
God is in every moment and all of time is contained in God’s present, God’s “now.” It’s a mind boggling concept.
But to believe in an eternal God is so much more impressive than to say that God had no beginning. That is just the beginning and the nature of God!