Bo Wagner is pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, NC, a widely traveled evangelist, and the author of several books. His books are available on Amazon and at www.wordofhismouth.com
With vacation season rapidly approaching, you may perhaps be considering some of the old standbys, maybe something like the mountains or the beach. But if you decide to venture farther afield, you may want to consider the moon. True, it will take you a bit longer to get there since it is nearly a quarter of a million miles away, but at least it will not be crowded; only twelve people have ever been there, and none since 1972.
But maybe you want to go a bit further than that, and to a bit of a warmer clime. The sun might be an option worth considering (but only if you have a sunscreen with an SPF of, oh, say, ten billion or so), but it will take you a bit longer to get to your solar condo. It is right at 93 million miles away.
Maybe, though, you want to explore the more distant regions of our solar system. Saturn might be a cool choice, amazing rings and all, but it is about two billion miles away. Even a Twinkie might not last for that long of a trip. Pluto, which might be a good choice for an ice skater at -387 degrees Fahrenheit, is over three billion miles away.
But maybe you are bored with our little solar system and want to visit the next star out in our Milky Way Galaxy. That would be Proxima Centauri (part of the Alpha Centauri tri-cluster), and it is 4.24 light-years away. Light, by the way, travels at 186,000 miles per second! Put in more common terms, if you decided to take your car and traveled at a constant speed of 60mph, it would take you nearly fifty million years to arrive at your destination, so you would definitely want to use the restroom before you start out.
But that star would be just the tip of the iceberg for your potential travels. Our Milky Way Galaxy is some 52,850 light-years across in size; it is enormous. And in it, there are more than 100 billion stars.
That still does not tell the whole story or exhaust the possibilities for your travels. You see, best estimates are that our Milky Way is one of just two trillion galaxies in the universe. And in that universe of two trillion galaxies, there are an estimated two hundred billion trillion stars! It is quite simply utterly, incomprehensibly enormous.
And not only do we know where it all came from, we even know why. And while the where is very cool, the why is simply breathtaking.
As to the where, Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” And then, in the process of describing all that he made, when we get to Genesis 1:16, almost as if an afterthought, the text says, “he made the stars also.” It was sort of like, “This world will need some stars. So, here you go (flick of the wrist) have two hundred billion trillion of them!”
But the why, oh, the why…
Revelation 13:8 calls Jesus “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” That little word “from,” the Greek preposition apo, is a word of separation. In this verse, it basically means “from back before.” In other words, before there ever was a universe of two trillion galaxies and two hundred billion trillion stars, before there was even time and space for that universe to exist in, before there was even matter for it to be made of, there was an eternal, self-existent God who was determined to die for fallen man that had not even come into existence to fall yet.
There is a universe of two trillion galaxies because God wanted there to be a Milky Way Galaxy. There is a Milky Way Galaxy because God wanted there to be a particular solar system within that Milky Way Galaxy with a tiny blue planet in it, a speck of dust in the vast expanse of the universe, a place called earth. And there is an earth because God wanted there to be one particular spot on this earth, a spot called Mount Calvary, a place where he, the creator of it all, would die for the most beloved part of his creation, mankind.
He did all of this for you. There is a you because God wanted there to be a you. He knew what you and I and all of the rest of our kind would cost Him, yet he made us anyway, utterly willing to pay the price for our sin. He made us knowing that, as John 1:11 makes clear, some would choose to reject him anyway. He was willing to do that because just one verse later, John 1:12 says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” When you hear preachers speak of receiving Christ, it is good and accurate terminology since it is the actual words of Scripture. God did all of this and then offered everyone a free choice. 2 Peter 3:9 says that he is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 tells us that he died for all. 1 John 2:2 tells us that what he did, he did for the sins of the whole world.
Once again, that means you.
As we approach what is commonly called Good Friday and then Easter, do not ever forget that God did not just move heaven and earth to save you, he literally MADE heaven and earth just to save you. His stated purpose, according to Luke 19:10, was “to seek and save that which was lost.”
If you have not yet received Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have an entire universe of reasons to do so and not one valid reason not to.
Pastor Wagner can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and his books and other resources are available by clicking the “Store” link above.
Feature photo by Pastor Bo Wagner