The Bare Soul - June 19, 2011
Holding Things Together

Colossians 1:17 - He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

We've all heard expressions such as "I'm holding on" or "I'm holding on by the skin of my teeth". Others might say they are doing all they can to "hold things together". In our fast-paced world it's easy to become overwhelmed by life and all its responsibilities. However, as frail human beings, we were not designed to hold everything together, either in our own lives or our families or our businesses. Jesus Christ gives us a model to understand that a greater power exists to sustain us in this life and the one to come. If we are trying to hold things together, then we are scripturally working against the Lord. As stated in our lead passage, Jesus is the One who holds all things together. Is this indicative or every instance of life, no matter to what granularity we apply it? We must believe if Jesus is interested in holding together the Universe by His power, then He is interested in all of its particulars -- even down to the very molecular structure of life as we know it.

Careful review of our lead scripture draws our attention to "... and in Christ all things hold together." To "hold together" derives its meaning from the Greek word sunistemi. This quite literally means to "stand together" or "to adhere to one another". From a scientific viewpoint we might apply this so-called "Colossae Theory" to the study of atoms and nuclear energy -- the building blocks of all physical matter. Physicists generally agree that atoms are held together by weak and strong forces. Simply stated, an atom's nucleus contains positively-charged and neutral particles. Electrical forces would ultimately drive the particles apart and cause a nuclear reaction if it were not for the "strong force" which holds the nucleus of the atom together. This unexplained force is positively identified in scripture as the power of the Lord Jesus as he "upholds all things by the word of His power". (Hebrews 1:3) Furthermore, we know that Jesus, according to John 1:1, is Himself that word. Therefore, all power to hold the cosmos together is encompassed in the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

Whether one is a believer in God or agnostic or even an atheist, there will come a day when we all believe in the power of the Lord Jesus through the Holy Spirit, that He indeed is holding all things together. We will, on that fateful day, know with great certainty that He "has the whole world in His hands" as the old hymn states. That day will be manifested as a day when He no longer uses His "strong force" to hold all things in their proper place, as we have known them. That last moment in time will be manifested in His "letting go", thereby allowing a nuclear explosion unparalleled in the history of the earth, allowing everything to be enveloped by eternity. The Apostle Peter states it in this manner:

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements (atoms) will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. (II Peter 3:10)

Everything, as we know it, will be consumed in a fiery atomic reaction that will disintegrate every physical particle that is seen. While this sounds horrendously frightening to some, it can at the same be time comforting to those who know the Lord. Those of us who have trusted in Jesus understand that He is the One that has not only been holding the Universe together by the power of His word, but He has been holding our lives together by the word of His grace. Believers in Jesus' redemption know that our bodies will someday be transformed by the power of His resurrection. We also know that He is loosening His grip on our mortal bodies and that one day we will succumb to death (unless He first appears to redeem us in "the twinkling of the eye" [I Corinthians 15:52]). However, His grip remains firm on our soul and spirit that is forever redeemed by His grace.

Often, we can limit an omnipotent God by denying that He is not concerned with every instance of creation. Even as believers, we can become agnostic or even atheistic in our beliefs if we limit our perception of His power. For God, in the Person of Jesus Christ, to be so connected with every molecule and atom by holding them all together is a mind-boggling thought. However, we must understand that if He is so intimately involved with every iota of what He created, to dismiss that He isn't passionately concerned with His chief creation is sacrilegious toward His Deity. If God uses His limitless power to allow creation to continue, day after day, holding it together by His immeasurable strength, then why should we not believe that He is doing so for us? He suspends His judgment by "holding things together" to allow still others to accept His free gift of love and eternal life. What an awesome, all-powerful God we serve! May He continue to hold us and to love us until that day when we are consumed and wrapped in eternity, to be with Him always!

Heavenly Father, may we know that You uphold us by the strength of Your right hand. May we understand that the power of Your might holds us together on this physical plane until we go to join You in that eternal new earth that exists for Your good pleasure. Cause us to yearn for that day when we no longer look for You to hold us together in this life, but to be one with You in the world to come. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

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