“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
Isaac Newton may be the greatest scientist that has ever lived. This intellectual giant discovered the law of gravitation, formulated the three laws of motion in mechanics, and made countless other scientific contributions. How strange it is to see Charles Darwin’s name appearing alongside his on popular lists of the greatest scientists of all time. Whereas Newton contributed enormously to man’s pursuit of knowledge of the natural world, Darwin gave us a pagan nature myth that replaces God in man’s thought and gives him an excuse to live as sinfully as he pleases. For those who love darkness rather than light (John 3:19) this is sufficient to gain a person great honor. In any case, Newton’s brilliant work contributed enormously to our understanding of how and why physical objects behave the way they do. Two centuries later, as scientists began to probe the sub-atomic world, things appeared to function very differently. In the normally observable world, objects moving from one place to another necessarily traffic through other locations in space. An elevator taking us to the third floor necessarily passes through the second floor. In the sub-atomic world, things are different. Electrons, for instance, can vanish from one location and appear in a different location in quantum fashion, that is, without trafficking through the intervening space like a normal physical object. We see something similar going on with the light from distant stars, which appears shifted to the red end of the electromagnetic spectrum. This “red-shift” appears not as a smooth curve but in discrete, quantized “jumps.” Both Newtonian physics and quantum physics find their parallels in our human experience. Our physical development from infants to adults, like our spiritual growth as Christians, is similar to the Newtonian description of the world in which progress is made incrementally and sometimes almost imperceptibly. On the other hand, our conversion experience, which involved a mysterious regeneration of heart and mind, was sudden, supernatural, and instantaneous. We did not evolve incrementally into born again Christians, rather, the moment we believed we instantly passed from death to life (John 5:24); we were translated from the power of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear Son (Colossians 1:13). Though our transformation into Christ’s likeness may be occurring too slowly for our liking, we may rest assured that God is continuing to work in us what is well pleasing in His sight (2 Corinthians 3:17-18; Philippians 1:6; 2:12-13; Hebrews 13:21). Today’s verse passage reminds us that believers will one day experience a sudden quantum leap in their development. In the twinkling of an eye, we will find ourselves at our blessed destination: “the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13b). Maranatha!