“The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.” (Psa 24:1″
If you’re a writer, an artist, a composer, a computer programmer, you’ve probably heard of this.
Intellectual property rights are the rights given to persons over the creations of their minds. They usually give the creator an exclusive right over the use of his/her creation for a certain period of time.
Because a person created something using their creative energy, their imagination and their time, they have ownership over that creation.
Music is copyrighted. Buying a CD doesn’t give you the right to copy that music, even to give it away.
Movies are copyrighted. Downloading one from the internet and giving it to your friends is illegal.
Books are copyrighted. Quoting them without giving credit in the footnotes and bibliography is an infringement of intellectual property rights.
Computer software is copyrighted. Making a copy and giving it to your kid brother is illegal.
The Bible says the same thing is true about God.
“The earth is the Lord’s and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1).
God created the entire universe with His mind. We saw earlier that He spoke and the universe came into existence. He planned. He acted. He created.
Because He created, He owns.
God created all the animals and beasts. They are His.
“For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine” (Psa 50:10).
God created all the stars and calls them by name. They are His.
“He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name” (Psa 147:4).
God created man. They are His.
“O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jer 10:24).
Everything in the universe has been created by God. Because He is the Creator of everything, everything is His.
That means you do not belong to yourself. You were created by God. You are part of God’s creation. He has intellectual property rights over you. For you to do anything outside of God’s intention for you is to go against your owner’s rights.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1).
The Bible begins with a statement about God and His works. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen 1:1). Although it is a short sentence it tells us a lot about the God of the Bible.
First, it tells us that God exists. No lengthy discussion about His existence. No list of evidences of God. The Bible simply states, “In the beginning God…”
God already existed before the universe. God already existed before time started. God was already there.
God’s existence before the universe demonstrates His superiority over the universe. Since God was there before the sun, moon and stars, He has seniority over them. He is greater than the earth, the trees and the animals, because He existed before them.
His existence before the universe proclaims His independence. God existed and didn’t need anything before the universe was created. He didn’t need food. He didn’t need shelter. He didn’t need a sense of fulfillment in accomplishing a task. He didn’t need to find joy in the beauty of a sunrise. Nothing else besides God existed. He was not lacking anything before He began creating the universe.
“In the beginning God…” God is eternal. God is self-sufficient.
But He chose to create man anyway.
Isn’t that amazing?
God has promised repeatedly that Jesus will return. He will return for His bride, the church. All those who have put their trust in Him will be caught up to meet Him, whether they are are alive or have died. And the promise continues that we will be with Him for all of eternity.
This is the blessed hope. This is the glorious anticipation. We long for this day. We yearn to be with Christ for all eternity.
But do we really believe it?
How do we know what we really believe?
Our actions. James tells us that our works demonstrate our faith. (James 3:18-26).
So if we really believe that Jesus is coming again, our actions should reflect that.
Peter wrote, “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness?” (2 Peter 3:11)
If we truly believe that Jesus is coming again, our lives should be different. If we truly believe that everything around us will be destroyed in fire, we should have different priorities.
“Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.” (v 14)
If we really believe the promises, we will be living the life. We will be living in anticipation of His return. We will be living lives that are holy. We will be fighting sin. We will live at peace with God and others.
So turn it around the other way.
If you’re not looking forward to the return of Christ, you don’t really believe that He is coming back.
If you’re not living a life that is set apart from the world and toward God, you don’t really believe that He will destroy the world with fire.
If you’re not fighting sin in your life, you don’t really believe that you’ll spend eternity with Christ.
If you’re unwilling to forgive, if you’re causing arguments, if you’re greedy, if you’re selfish…you don’t really believe the promises that you sing about on Sunday.
The scoffers were saying that the Day of the Lord was not going to come. Nothing had changed for a very long time, so why should it change now?
Peter wrote that those scoffers were following their own desires (2 Pet 3:5). That makes sense. If we want to live a life that pleases us, we don’t want the judge to come to our door. So we begin to believe and persuade others that he will never come. It’s like speeding because you’ve never gotten a ticket before. Or because you’ve never seen a cop on that stretch before.
Peter says that the scoffers are wrong. He uses the flood as an example. The waters which covered the earth and judged all of creation, were there long before the days of Noah. God was simply keeping them back. He had all the resources necessary at His fingertips to bring about immediate judgment. He didn’t have to create one thing to cover the earth with water.
God, in His mercy and patience kept the waters in their bounds until the day of judgment. Then He shut the ark’s door and let the waters loose.
God is being patient and gracious today. He could bring about the Day of the Lord with its judgments in a second. He has everything that He needs right now.
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promie as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)