by Bill Nugent
The Solar eclipse that occurred on August 21, 2017 was the first total eclipse to make a path across the continental U.S. since the one on June 8, 1918 and most of us were too young to remember that one.
This year’s eclipse was also rare in that it made landfall exclusively on the continental U.S. It didn’t touch Europe, Asia or Africa. The last time a total eclipse made landfall exclusively across what would be the continental U.S. was the eclipse of June 13, 1257, which was more than 700 years ago. (The 1918 eclipse was not exclusive to the U.S.)
Remarkably, there will be another total eclipse passing over the U.S. just seven years after the 8/21/17 eclipse. It will occur on April 8, 2024. The path of totality will proceed from southwest to northeast, from Texas to New Hampshire. Its path of totality will cross over the 8/21/17 path in southern Illinois and make a giant X over the USA.
What do these eclipses mean? Genesis 1:14 says about the sun and moon: “let them be for signs.” Is there a prophetic message in it for the U.S.? I wish I could ask Bob Jones, a very gifted prophet of recent fond memory. I’ve looked at some Youtube videos of Australian evangelist Steve Cioccolanti. He has some insights on the eclipses and on other soon coming astronomical phenomena.
Many observers say that a total solar eclipse is the boldest and most significant sign in the heavens. Such a sign could be a warning to the nations. The sun being blocked and darkness on the earth could warn of trouble. The June 8, 1918 eclipse mentioned above, occurred during World War One and during the horrific flu epidemic of 1918-19. I make no prediction based on the coming eclipses but I will be watchful and wary. There is great need for repentance in America. I will pray for the United States.
The true story is told of an astronomer who began a new direction in life when he observed a total eclipse of the sun. He became fascinated with the fact that the moon perfectly covered the sun during the eclipse so that the sun’s corona could be studied apart from the glare of full sunlight. The moon fits perfectly over the sun because the moon is 1/400th the diameter of the sun and the sun is 400 times farther away, than the moon is, from the earth. This astronomer became convinced that this happy coincidence was not a coincidence at all but was designed by God to allow humanity to study the sun. The astronomer began a search for God that ultimately led him to faith in the God of the Bible.
The moon fitting perfectly over the sun in an eclipse is just one of hundreds of parameters that are fine tuned to an uncanny precision. The book, The Privileged Planet, How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery by Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards shows how astronomical phenomena are balanced and precisely calibrated to allow for life and to allow for humans to study the universe..
Even the fact that the earth is tilted at 23 degrees is crucial for the seasons and for proper heat distribution. The fact that the moon is just the right distance away from the earth and just the right size to cause the tides in the oceans is vital for the earth’s ecosystems. If the moon were much closer, the gravitational pull of the moon would pull the oceans over the continents. If the moon were much further away, the tides would be so insignificant they would not flush out the tidal estuaries that are needed as fish breeding areas.
This and other evidence from nature has caused many thousands of scientists and leaders in every field of human endeavor to acknowledge that there must be an intelligent designer of life. Many are going from atheist to agnostic to theist. A “theist” is someone who believes that God exists.
I’d like to show you that once a person makes the leap from atheist to theist he or she begins to slide down a slippery slope to belief in the God of the Bible. Such a newly minted theist might not even admit that he’s open to belief in the biblical deity. Such a person might be a reluctant theist. He examined the evidence all around him in nature that points to the logical necessity of a creator. He says “OK, you got me! There has to be some kind of intelligent designer of life or if you insist, I guess I should say the designer is God.”
Once he concedes that there is a God, he would logically have to admit that God would have to have certain attributes if He created the marvelously complex world in which we live. One attribute would be intelligence. God would have to be intelligent in order to design and build the earth, moon, sun and galaxies. That’s a no brainer.
Our new theist would also have to concede that if God is intelligent, He must be a person. Where there is intelligence there must be personality. Intelligence is the very seat of personality. God is an intelligent person. No Star Wars “force” will make the grade!
Our new theist friend would also have to admit that if God created the universe He must have all knowledge about the universe. Aside from the intelligence needed to create the universe, God would also have all information about the universe. God knows the past and future of the universe because He set it in motion. God designed and built the human mind and will. God knows what human beings will do. God has all knowledge. God is omniscient. This is starting to sound a bit like the Christian God. Let’s continue.
If God has the ability to create the universe, He must have an immense amount of power. It’s fair to say that God would have all power over His universe. If He has power to create it, He has power to destroy it or change it or expand it or shrink it or do whatever He wants to do with His creation. God has all power. God is omnipotent.
It’s also fair and rational to say that if God created the universe, He owns the universe. The universe is God’s personal property. Everything, from the coins in our pockets to the most distant star system, ultimately belongs to God. If God owns the universe, it means He can do whatever He wants with the universe. Therefore God is sovereign over the universe and has all authority over the universe. Therefore God is the ultimate determiner of right and wrong in the universe. God gives the moral absolutes. God is the ultimate lawgiver. God’s moral laws apply to all people at all times and in all cultures. God is King of kings because He owns the universe.
It’s also reasonable to expect that God, as moral lawgiver, would desire to speak to His people and communicate what He wants them to do or not do. This is the principle of divine revelation. If God speaks to people it is reasonable to expect that it would be written down. It’s also reasonable to expect that an all-knowing and all-powerful God would confirm His written revelation with predictive prophecies that come to pass in human history. God would also confirm His words by the working of miracles.This is exactly what we see in the Bible.
It’s fair to say that God as lawgiver would also be the divine law enforcer. We are thankful that God is not only a law enforcer but is also a forgiver of those who break His laws. God is the redeemer.
To recap: God is the creator, He is intelligent; He is a person, He is all-knowing; He is all-powerful; He is owner of all things and He has final say on right and wrong. We are thankful that God reveals His will and He has provided for forgiveness of those who violate His will.
God provided for forgiveness of sins by sending Jesus Christ who came in fulfillment of over 300 Old Testament prophecies. The biblical prophets foretold that Christ would suffer and die, taking upon Himself the penalty we deserved for our sins. This is called substitutionary atonement. One Old Testament prophet wrote:“He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5 NASB). Once He paid the penalty for our sins, Christ was raised from the dead to offer forgiveness of sins to all who call upon Him. Turn to Christ today to receive forgiveness of sins!
Steps to salvation:
Jesus said “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7).
Prayer to receive salvation:
“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
To receive the salvation that Jesus purchased for us at the terrible cost of His suffering and death on our behalf I invite you to pray this simple prayer:
“Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for sending Jesus, the promised Messiah, to die for my sins. I admit that I am a sinner. I repent of my sins and I ask for your forgiveness on the basis of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I ask you to fill me with your Holy Spirit to empower me to serve you under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
If you prayed this prayer in the humble sincerity of your heart then you have received everlasting life, which includes power to live right in this life and entrance into heaven in the afterlife!