Finite Time



“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.” – II Timothy 1: 8 – 9

“Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began…” – Titus 1: 1 – 2



1.  The Bible teaches something remarkable in its understanding of God

  • In short, the Scripture teaches that God pre-exists everything and that He alone is eternal and infinite
  • This means that time is a creation of God’s and so is space
  • We get that God created matter…but He also created time and space
  • It’s not that He sat around before He created everything, with a lot of time on His hands in a big sea of empty space

2.  Paul in these letters to his understudies, uses a statement that has enormous implications from an astrophysics standpoint – namely that Time had a beginning!

3.  If nothing else, 20th Century Science has been a study in explaining that time is finite – in other words, it had a beginning…

  • 1887 – American physicists Edward Morley and Albert Michelson perform experiments that suggest c (speed of light) is constant in all circumstances
    • Note: Cars passing one another and relative velocities illustration (see further explanation below)
  • 1905 – Albert Einstein devised the Special Theory of Relativity (i.e., length, mass, velocity, and time are relative to the velocity of two or more observers) – this meant that time was a physical and finite quantity
    • Note: E=mc2
  • 1915 – Albert Einstein perfected his General Theory of Relativity
    • Note: Smith Brothers Illustration and the Two Astronauts Example (Alpha Centauri is 4.37 light years away) – traveling brother is 8.74 years older; the other brother on earth is 7*8.74 or 61.18 years older due to time dilation 1

4.  SR71 Blackbirds and Atomic Clocks – mach 3.2 officially or 2200 mph…recently declassified as mach 5 or more than 3000 mph

  • Tests done with Jets (called the Hafele and Keating experiments) proved time speeds up as you increase your rate of speed – as a result, time is influenced by factors such as speed and force or altitude
  • If time, can be altered based on properties existing within this universe – it can not pre-date it
  • Incidentally, atomic clocks themselves can get out of synch due to the impact of altitude 2

5.  Note Stephen Hawking (motor neuron disease) and A Brief History of Time

  • The title of his book is basically an acknowledgment of this truth – time has not always existed, but had a beginning 3

6.  The Bible is accurate in its astrophysics as it relates to time’s having a beginning

Further Explanation:

In 1887, two American physicists (Edward Morley and Albert Michelson) performed a set of experiments on relative velocities.  To determine a relative velocity, you take the speed of object 2 minus the speed of object 1: V(r) = V (2) – V (1)

As an example, if you want to determine the relative velocity of a vehicle going 60mph traveling westward on Interstate 80 as compared with another vehicle also going westward, but at 50 mph – all you need to do is take the speed of the 2nd vehicle minus the speed of the 1st:V (r) = V (2) – V (1) = 60mph – 50mph = 10mph

However, Morley and Michelson weren’t dealing with such low rates of speed.  Rather, at their observatory they were dealing with the speed of light: approximately 186,000 miles/second and its relative velocity as compared to other speeds.  Note: to make it easy, scientists denote the speed of light with a “c”. So let’s for argument’s sake shine a flashlight down Interstate 80 and past vehicle 1 (which again is traveling at 50 mph).  Using the convention above, we should take the speed of the 2nd (in this case the speed of the light beam or 186,000 mps) minus the speed of the 1st (namely our vehicle traveling at 50 mph): V (r) = V (2) – V (1) = which should have equaled c – 50mph

The relative velocity should have equaled c – 50mph using the conventional wisdom, but it didn’t!  Each time Morley and Michelson did the experiment, the relative velocity of the speed of light remained unchanged.  No matter what the speed of the object being compared to the speed of light, light’s relative velocity always remained at roughly 186,000mps or “c”.

In many ways, 20th Century Physics has been one massive effort to explain why this is the case. In 1905, Albert Einstein devised his Special Theory of Relativity (i.e., length, mass, velocity and time are relative to the velocity of two or more observers).  One theory of this is that the speed of light is the same for all observers, no matter what their relative speeds. Mathematically, this theory is expressed as E = mc2.  One ramification of this was that time itself must be a physical quantity – one that is relative and finite!

Later in 1915, Einstein perfected his ideas and devised the General Theory of Relativity.

Incidentally, Scripture a long time ago declared time and its relative nature to that of the observer:

But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” – II Peter 3:8 “For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night.” – Psalm 90:4

To put this in tangible terms, note the following:

“There are atomic clocks installed at both the National Bureau of Standards at Boulder, Colorado, and at the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, England.  Both are considered accurate to better than one-millionth of a second per year. However, the clock at Boulder ticks five microseconds faster per year than the one at Greenwich, England. Which one is correct? They both are! The one at Boulder is at an altitude of 5400 ft. above sea level. The one at Greenwich is only 80 ft. above sea level.  The difference is caused by the fact that time is different due to the change in gravity.

In 1971, J. C. Hafele and Richard Keating sent four cesium clocks around the world.  The clocks on the eastward trip returned 59 nanoseconds behind the ones remaining at rest at the U.S. Naval Observatory. The clocks on the westward trip were 273 nanoseconds ahead.  Accounting for the Earth’s rotation and other gravitational effects, this was precisely what Einstein’s formulas predicted.” – Chuck Missler, Stretching the Heavens

Gravitational pull (based on altitude) can speed up or slow down time. Direction and velocity can speed up or slow down time. The result of this is that time has clearly been demonstrated to be a physical quantity.  If time is a physical quantity – it is finite and had a beginning! The point of all this is that 20th Century science has now reached the same conclusion that the Bible testified to some 2000 years ago. For Scripture says that God created everything: including time-space-matter!

The passages shown at the top of this page are straightforward statements that time itself had a beginning!