As we consider what the Bible says about light and eternity, some have questioned whether light can exist in the absence of time.
In an article entitled "Does Light Experience Time?" Fraser Cain writes, "I co-host Astronomy Cast, and get to pick the brain of the brilliant astrophysicist Dr. Pamela Gay every week. We were talking about photons one week and she dropped a bombshell on my brain. Photons do not experience time. Just think about that idea. From the perspective of a photon, there is no such thing as time. It's emitted, and might exist for hundreds of trillions of years, but for the photon, there's zero time elapsed between when it's emitted and when it's absorbed again. It doesn't experience distance either." Well that sure is fascinating!
And yet our certainty that light can exist in the absence of "time" is based upon what God already told us in His Word. Here is one way God describes heaven: "There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 22:5)
This explains how light could exist before God created the sun on the fourth day. In fact, there was already light before the beginning of the second day. All it took was for God to say, "Let there be light." (Genesis 1:3) God's creative power is not dependent upon time. And there will be light in heaven forever, where believers will dwell in a realm beyond time as we know it.
Scripture proves what is real and eternal. And science is in way over its head whenever it attempts to prove or disprove the supernatural power of God. Albert Einstein said, "The human mind is not capable of grasping the universe. We are like a little child entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written these books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books - a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects."
If you can believe that God provides light in heaven even in the absence of time, then you can believe that God spoke light into existence before the first 24-hour day on earth. The eyes of faith see God doing the seemingly impossible. "By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible." (Hebrews 11:3)
Did God need there to be "time" in order to create the heavens and the earth? No. "For nothing is impossible with God." (Luke 1:37) Did God need there to be "time" in order to create light? No. "God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all." (1 John 1:5) God is not prevented from accomplishing His purposes even in the absence of "time."
And God certainly didn't need "the clock to start running" before He could create the heavens and the earth. That may be the way man looks at it with his finite thinking, but God can do anything. The brilliant physicist Stephen Hawking applied human reason to this issue when he stated, "Time didn't exist before the Big Bang, so there is no time for God to make the universe in."
Well, that is about as far as man's intellect can take him. And if you reject the supernatural message of Scripture, you won't be able to believe that God made the universe outside of time. Our human reason is limited in its capabilities. If one of the smartest scientists to come along in recent years doesn't see how it could happen, isn't it obvious that God intentionally did something that only the humble would receive and believe by faith? After all, how else could someone ever come to believe that an infinite God created the heavens and the earth, and that He did so in eternity past?
Stephen Hawking represents man's best efforts to understand the origin of the universe merely with human understanding. God told us in Genesis how it came about, which by the way, God didn't have to tell us. But He did anyway because He wanted us to see the splendor and majesty of His work and His purposes.
Even then, it requires the faith of a child in order to "get it." It reminds me of the story of a little girl who was walking with her father on a clear starlit night. She said, "If this side of heaven looks so beautiful daddy, what must the other side look like!" Now that is faith in its purest form. If only you and I could live every moment with that kind of amazement over what God has done!
While those inclined to analyze everything scientifically continue to promote their theories about the earth's age, God's Word will continue to announce that it all supernaturally came about "in the beginning." And the spectacular design of the heavens points to a Designer. Isaac Newton is one of the most influential scientists of all time. Newton stated, "The most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being."
Open-ended creationism is supported by the fact that every day except the seventh day concludes with the words: "and there was evening, and there was morning." The seventh day is open-ended on the back end, just like the first day is open-ended on the front end. There was light before "the beginning," and there will be light after the curtain closes on this earth one day.
Speaking of "days," God's Word declares: "The day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be burned up." (2 Peter 3:10) In that day, "time" will be no more, and everyone will exist in either heaven or hell. Jesus spoke often of these two places where souls spend eternity.
God wants you to spend eternity in paradise rather than in hell. This is why Christ came and died for our sins on the cross. In fact, the Lord wants everyone to know and accept this good news. "God wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:4)
These things go beyond our comprehension. We need the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to us through God's Word. And that Word begins in Genesis, which is where God began telling us the story of His eternal existence.
There is nothing to indicate that "time" began until some point after God said, "Let there be light," and until God identified the end of the first day. "And there was evening, and there was morning - the first day." (Genesis 1:5) The end of the first day gives us our first parameter. This boundary line divides eternity past from the start of the second day.
With everything God has told us about eternity, you would be wise to start considering light outside of time. Everyone who enters heaven will immediately step into a place of great light, and a place without clocks or calendars. The Lord will be our light in heaven, just as the Lord provided light "in the beginning" before "time" began. This miracle was easy for God to perform, but it's often difficult for man to accept.
Will you choose to live by faith rather than by sight? Or will you refuse to believe anything that cannot be proven to you scientifically?
(This article is taken from Dan Delzell's Kindle ebook entitled, "Open-Ended Creationism.")