Soul Verified by Science?|
Are we living in a matrix?
I thought we lived in a materialistic universe. After all, things around me seem solid enough. For instance, I'll probably die if I crash head-on into another car. My work bench is made of solid wood. I can't put my fist through it. And my front gate blocks out intruders. That's just common sense, isn't it?
A Biblical Matrix
Ah…not so fast. A bizarre scientific theory is now being taught as probable fact to our students in college physics courses. As it turns out, scientific research indicates that we are all living in a simulated reality, something more like a fancy computer program such as we find in the movie series called "The Matrix". In fact, Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium, put the odds at 50-50 that our entire existence is a program on someone else's hard drive (Scientific American, 2016).
You'll need to look this up for yourself for the details. Try googling "computer simulation hypothesis" on You Tube if you enjoy watching documentaries. For a Christian interpretation of this phenomenon, be sure to seek out Dr. Chuck Missler's Holographic Universe. Fascinating stuff.
Missler explains that we all believe that we can divide matter again and again and again. But, beyond the smallest length called the "Planck length", that physical matter becomes everywhere at once. "Non locality" is the fancy term for this. It makes everything we are and everything we experience based upon a foundation of nothingness. The same holds true for energy and time. In fact, what we experience as ourselves and our universe is more like a thought in someone's mind rather than solid, materialistic substance. (Of course, for the Christian that someone is God).
Light Momentary Affliction
For the skeptic, this research suggests a horrifying underlying reality. Perhaps we are all just being played. Maybe someone is messing with our programs causing us unnecessary grief and hardship. But, for the Christian, the idea that we are not as substantive as we thought fits in with our worldview.
For example, the apostle James tells us, "You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away." Are we just a blip on the screen? Paul further explains, "For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison" (James 4:14; 2 Cor. 4:16-17). Remember, Paul wrote about our light momentary affliction when Christians were beheaded, torched and fed to lions. How is that "light" affliction?
Certainly, identifying the soul as "information" or a "spark" doesn't mean that we are living in some kind of a Gnostic dreamland. Paul says that our current physical state is like a "seed" that will turn into something much more magnificent when we obtain our new bodies (1 Cor. 15:35-49).
Other bible passages tell us that current reality is our school; we're in training for reigning with the King of the Universe (Rev. 5:10; 2 Tim. 2:12; Dan. 7:12-27). It comes down to preparing for a test. It's a trial run for something greater in the future:
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness…" (James 1:2, ESV).
"In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith - more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire - may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:6-7).
Reflections, Shadows, Images
Reflections, shadows or images are words that seem to describe our current state. In the biblical book of Colossians 2:17 we learn that the Sabbath day and festivals are only a "shadow of things to come." Hebrews 10:1 reminds us that the Law is just a shadow of good things coming as well. Famous theologian and author C.S. Lewis calls our current reality "Shadowlands" in his series,The Chronicles of Narnia. According to a DVD presentation, Dr. Missler says we live in a "Holographic Universe" (2012, khouse.org).
Thankfully, most Christians already know that we aren't living in our final reality. In addition to explaining life as a training ground for future Kingdom living, life analogous to a "software program" may also help to explain the existence of verifiable biblical prophecy proved to have been written thousands of years in advance. If you aren't familiar with these prophecies, then start doing your research. It's exciting proof of the supernatural. You can find numerous books about bible prophecy on Amazon.com or at your favorite Christian bookstore. Many teaching tapes are available on You Tube. Just ask your pastor for recommendations.
Here's one astounding prophecy to ponder:
We've all heard the passage from Luke 2:1-3, "wise men from the east came to Jerusalem saying, 'Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him."
OK. So how did the wise men know about the coming of the Christ and a star that signified his birth? Historical evidence suggests that the wise men descended from a sect founded by Daniel the prophet who wrote it down in 537 B.C. Daniel meticulously wrote that the arrival of the Jewish Messiah would occur exactly 173,880 days from the time a legal decree would be given to the Jews to completely rebuild Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25).
History records that this specific decree was declared by Artaxerxes Longimanus on March 14, 445 B.C.! (Sir Robt. Anderson  1957, 121; Nehemiah 2:1-20). That brings us to the Messiah living in the land of Israel just before His crucifixion in 32 A.D. Wow! It was a prophecy given 500 years in advance
In effect, the script was already written for us and we are now carrying out something we were created to do. "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:10).
Can any part of the script be changed? Yes, of course. We are told that prayer changes things. "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you" (Matt. 7:7; see also Matt. 21:22; Mark 11:24). While there may be a fixed set of historical events preordained to occur, there seems to be room for changes in timing, people and other details. The determining factor may be prayer. So, pray, pray, pray…never neglect prayer.
Physicists Believe in a Soul?
Now back to today. Just a few weeks ago The Sun (UK) printed an article about legitimate scientists who have determined that there really is such a thing as a soul. This is science, folks. Famous physicist, Sir Roger Penrose, claims that a person's information which is stored in microtubules within cells, leaves the body at death. Providing a partial explanation for near death experiences, Sir Roger believes that this quantum information is released into the universe and returns to the body once a person is revived. Penrose's theory is also backed up by research at the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich. Dr. Hans-Peter Durr theorizes that while the body dies, the spiritual quantum field continues. In this sense, all of us are immortal.
How Will We Spend Eternity?
The question is, how are we going to spend our lives in an immortal state? Will we exist for millennia in dark isolation or hellfire? Or will we live an eternity worshiping our Creator by becoming involved in vibrant cultures, music, art, literary works and the best that man can produce in honor of our King? It now appears that our humdrum lives are really just a subset of a magnificent greater reality available to us in the Kingdom of God. For those who accept Christ as Lord and Savior, the Kingdom and city of New Jerusalem is our future (Revelation 21).
So rejoice knowing that He came to die for our sins so that we might spend an eternity with Him in a glorious new universe. …"according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells" (2 Peter 3:13).
Anderson, Sir Robert, 1954. The Coming prince. 10th. ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregal. [Orig. pub. 1895].
Harrison, George. 2016. Soul Searching: Researchers claim that humans have souls which can live on after death. The Sun.UK. 5 November.
Missler, Chuck. 2002. Our digital universe. Khouse.org.
Moskowitz, Clara. 2016. Are we living in a computer simulation? Scientific American. 7 April.
Pictures: "Going Home" and "New Jerusalem" by talented, famous artist Duncan Long. Artwork used with permission of the artist. View his stunning artwork at DuncanLong.com.