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Time and Space - Which Runs Out First? Rev Michael Bresciani March 2007

time and space

Other than in the Star Trek series that divides space into neat little quadrants no one knows where space actually ends. More correctly no one knows if space ends. But we are sure thanks to science that time does end. What does this mean?


Both science and the Bible speak of a cessation of time but each in their own peculiar way. The only difference is that the Bible view doesn’t stop after time has stopped. In fact that is just the beginning.


To be fair we will have to present the equation for both science and the Bible to show that both come to the same conclusion. Unfortunately one leaves man hopeless and the other carries man to a realm where hope becomes reality.


To travel anywhere in space man needs to increase the speeds of our craft to nearly the speed of light. Unknown to most is that presently we have only managed to propel payloads to the neighborhood of about 30,000 miles per hour.


To get our little rocket ware to the speed of light we will secondly have to ignore an inconvenient truth. (Not Al Gore’s) Simply stated, physical objects lose their mass in equal and direct proportion to which they approach the speed of light. That is to say that they become pure energy or metaphysical or as the Bible says spirit. Gene Rodenberry had to ignore this fact in the creation of his famous Star Trek series but science cannot. In fact since one inconvenient truth was overlooked why not overlook it nine times over? Why not imagine warp speeds of nine times the speed of light?


But let’s get back to earth long enough to carry the equation to its end. Even here we will have to engage the imagination. If we could get our spacecraft to approach the speed of light lets take a short trip and see how this is going to work.


To make a roundtrip voyage to the very closest star system to the sun, Alpha Centauri, it will take approximately eight light years provided we can reach the speed of light. Here’s the rub. When the rocketeers and their craft reach the speed of light, time runs out. Yes, time stops cold at the maximum speed of light.


When the travelers return to earth (if they can return to a physical state after reaching the speed of light) and depending on how close to the speed of light they came the planet will be approximately 37,000 to 400,000 years older so for everything they ever knew before the trip began, time has run out.


If we set our sites for a star system only on the far reaching edges of our own Milky Way Galaxy by the time we returned to the earth it would not just be older, it would be gone. The sun will have burned out and the earth will have most likely ceased to exist altogether. What a surprise for the weary travelers. Once again that old pesky time has run out.


The final product of our equation is clearly that time runs out. This is derived from known science not from Gene Rodenberry’s imagination. A recent television show asks adults to put their intelligence to the test against some rather brilliant fifth graders. The adults are not doing well. If you are having trouble seeing how our equation plays out perhaps you might want to discuss it with a fifth grader. No insult intended to the reader. This is just a way of saying this stuff is common knowledge. But hey, I have met M.I.T. students who still think when a space craft passes by in space it makes a whooshing sound. With no air in space that is impossible and there are a few fifth graders who know that.


It isn’t enough that science has dismissed accountability to a creator by insisting we came from monkeys which sounds hopeless enough but then comes part two. This is where man brings his monkey business into outer space and is found fighting planetary wars and producing the same mayhem found on earth throughout our entire history. It is much like the analogy of a civilization that burned the candle at both ends but when it burned out instead of blowing the smoke in God’s face it blew back into their own face.


Thanks to the Star Trek, Star Wars mentality we have unwittingly driven hope from our youth. Of course no one dares associate the presentation of science’s conclusions with the rise in teen suicides. How ungrateful of our children to not appreciate the notion of future sterile but warring Orwellian societies smattered across the universe. Perhaps we think they should be thankful to just get out there since it is quite a leap forward after starting out as a mere monkeys.


The Biblical equation comes to the same conclusion as the scientific one but the end product is not hopelessness. The Bible also says time runs out but it is just the beginning. It is a beginning where time almost doesn’t matter at all but life does and it goes on without wars and mans worst behavior.


Time as we know it runs out at the second coming of Christ. The world does not end and the sun doesn’t burn out. Christ takes up rule from Jerusalem (Iran’s Ahmadinejad not withstanding) and those who followed him throughout the ages will have been transformed and rule with him with bodies that are eternal and not subject to death etc. as before. This period lasts for one thousand years and is commonly referred to as the Millennial Kingdom. Eternity in a new earth is scheduled to begin at the end of that period.


My eschatological escapade ends here so the point which is that “time runs out” will not be lost. The Bible says time as we know it on earth will not go on for unending centuries or millennia but will end just before man is gathered to face judgment. Mankind, the Bible says, will be gathered whether living or dead from the earth and the sea but not the stars. Not only does the Bible say that we will meet with God before we travel to the stars but science does as well. Although much more reluctant to admit it, science has summarily concluded that time runs out long before space.


Science says the universe began with a bang and our world will end with a bang. The Bible says that the universe began by the silent determination and will of God and the world will end with a whimper not a bang. Time will run out for which some have got the good sense to be thankful.


"And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer"  (Revelation 10: 5-6)

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