Thanks for checking back in for one more reflection on whether we are playing the right game or not. (If you missed Sunday’s message, CLICK HERE for the video) As strangers in this world, it’s easy to get sucked into the games that the world plays – and as Christians we’re going to feel like we are losing because the objectives and rules just don’t parallel the objectives and rules that God put forward. We can try, and be frustrated, get overly anxious and worry a lot. We maybe try to adapt the rules, but finally we have to realize we are just playing a different game…one that still very much works in the world, but gives a different objective and different rules, and really put forward a game that provides much more meaning and significance to the world in which we live as well.
On Sunday we talked about three shifts in the games we play…
Game #1 – Instead of playing to Create Heaven on Earth … Live on Earth in View of Heaven
Game #2 – Instead of playing to Get Rid of All Suffering … Grow through Suffering
Game #3 – Instead of playing to Find Joy in the Visible … Find Joy in the Invisible.
Today, let me give you one more.
Let me start with a short disclaimer – I loved science in school. I still love to discover and understand how things work. Science is a great discipline and adds much value to our lives.
However, really a trend for about 200 years has been to make “science” the final authority on all matters of life. If science can’t prove it…it can’t be true. If I can’t experiment with it…it must not have happened. If I can’t explain it…it’s not real.
For example, how many times in the last 6 months have you heard or read, “What does the science say?” This phrase has been used a lot in regard to COVID-19 and finding a solution for the virus. Experiments, research, numbers, trends, predictions, graphs, etc. all trying to find the answer, predict the solution, and bring to an end the pandemic around us. For the most part, this is all good work and a blessing to our country. But it also indicates where we look for solutions to the problems of life…the final authority in the world in which we live: Science. If science says it, we can believe it. If science doesn’t, the theory is to be discounted and dismissed. If science has an answer, I won’t be afraid. If science tells me I can, I’ll move forward.
Again, don’t get me wrong, science and the study of the world is a great blessing to our lives and our families…no doubt. But science can subtly lead us to play the wrong game. What do I mean?
Here’s the 4th game:
The world puts its confidence in SCIENCE. God puts our confidence in the SCRIPTURE.
Science and the Bible are not mutually exclusive. Science can and does answer many questions about nature and the physical workings of the earth…and for that matter a treatment for COVID. However, the Scripture is what provides the framework and the worldview through which science exists. Science without the divine, will always come up short in understanding the world around us. Science cannot answer questions about the divine and eternity, scripture can. Science is limited to the knowledge man can observe and accumulate. Scripture reveals to us the knowledge of the all-knowing God! Science can change our mind and understanding. Scripture can change our heart and our beliefs.
Let’s tie this back to 1 Peter. Honestly, science isn’t mentioned in these verses, but I want you to hear where Peter points the people living as strangers, enduring persecution, realizing heaven is not on earth, people looking for answers. Consider 1 Peter 1:10-12
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.
If winning is finding solutions for life in science, we are losing. If winning is finding solutions for life in Scripture, we will win.
I find this fascinating that even the prophets searched THEIR OWN writings to find the truths the Spirit of Christ was revealing to them. Perhaps like a scientist going back over his work to make sure he didn’t miss anything, the prophets “searched intently and with the greatest care” to understand the “time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ was pointing. To be sure…science is a great discipline that discovers the depths of reality of the God-created physical world. Scripture, however, is a great writing that reveals the depths of the heart of God and his love for people. Science can never explain grace. It will never provide a solution for sin. It will never tell you you are loved and your sins are forgiven. Scripture will.
Do you realize you have truths from God revealed in the pages of Scripture that even the angels long to look into? The truth of the Gospel, pointing us to the sufferings of Jesus on our behalf and the glories that will follow, will never be found through the lens of a microscope or in the experiments in the lab. These glorious truths are only revealed in the pages of Scripture.
Perhaps in essence Peter is saying, “Strangers in this world search the Scripture to understand this world…especially what is most important in this world – our relationship with Jesus.”
Enjoy science. Be blessed by it. But see this world through the lens and view point of Scripture. Scripture is not a science text book, but it reveals the one who gave us this world to study. Don’t get caught playing the wrong game…the world puts its confidence in Science…Strangers in this world put their confidence in the Scripture!
Have a blessed rest of your week!
Tune in Sunday (9am or 11am) for week three of our series…Strangers: Conform or not conform? Get a head start and reflect on 1 Peter 1:13-16!