Sunday, May 6, 2018

Against Entropy

My seventeen-year old daughter and I took an evening walk together hand-in-hand a couple days ago, and I asked her what she had been learning in school. She began to tell me what she was learning about entropy in science, so we discussed it a bit. Then this morning I had a dream in which I saw the words, "Against entropy," so I decided to write this article about it.

The second law of thermodynamics states that "the total entropy of an isolated system can never decrease over time. The total entropy can remain constant in ideal cases where the system is in a steady state (equilibrium), or is undergoing a reversible process." In order to understand that definition, you must know what entropy is.

Entropy is "a thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system's thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system." So for layman's purposes, entropy could be defined simply as the degree of disorder in a system. Or entropy could be defined as "a lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder." Some synonyms for entropy are deterioration, degeneration, crumbling, decline, degradation, decomposition, breaking down, and collapse.

Using my simplified definitions for entropy, my layman's definition of The Second Law of Thermodynamics, (which may not be technically and precisely correct), is that "the total degree of disorder in a system can never decrease over time, but generally increases." Put differently, "Everything is generally moving from a state of order to disorder." Or "All things are experiencing a gradual decline into disorder." We could also say that generally speaking, "Everything is undergoing some sort of deterioration, degeneration, crumbling, decline, degradation, decomposition, breaking down, or collapse."

This law should be fairly obvious to most people, as examples of entropy abound all around us. The body of a human or animal that dies decomposes. In fact, even while we are still living we are decomposing! According to kidshealth.org, "Though you can't see it happening, every minute of the day we lose about 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells off the surface of our skin. So just in the time it took you to read this far, you've probably lost about 40,000 cells. That's almost 9 pounds (4 kilograms) of cells every year!" Much of the dust you find in your home is made of skin cells. Another example is the way that meat and fruit spoil and decompose. Meat becomes rancid and bacteria grows on it as it decomposes. Fruit goes through a rotting process and ferments. Wood becomes brittle over time and crumbles. Wooden structures that become very old eventually collapse. Trees die and collapse, too. Metal goes through an oxidation process known as rusting, which can eventually leave holes in it. Computers eventually break down. Mental disorders occur, and when people get sick and grow weak, this too is an example of entropy.

We also see the effects of entropy in the world. To borrow the words from a song that was recorded of heavenly angels singing in China during the 1990's in the Mandarin language, "The famines are becoming more and more critical. There are more and more earthquakes. The situation is becoming more and more sinister. People are fighting against each other, nation against nation. Disasters are more and more severe. The whole environment is deteriorating. Disasters are more and more severe. People's hearts are wicked, and they do not worship the true God. Floods and droughts are more and more frequent. There is more and more homosexuality and incurable diseases. The climates are becoming more and more abnormal. The earth is more and more restless. The skies have been broken. The atmosphere is distorted."

The world is experiencing many fearful events, including plane crashes, severe weather, volcanoes, and terrorism. Many strange signs are occurring throughout the world, such as mass animal deaths and water turning blood red. For more on this, please see my articles The Land Mourns in the Last Days, The End Time Plagues, Wars and Rumors of Wars, Cosmic Rays Intensifying, Fukusima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster, The Contractions Are Coming Closer and Closer TogetherSomething's Going on in 2013, and Something's Going on in 2018.

Who can deny that society is becoming more and more disorderly and that there are more random acts of violence, school shootings and riots in the streets? The crime rates are increasing, divorce is on the rise, families are breaking down, and the love of most is growing cold. For Jesus Himself predicted this would happen in the last days before His return. He said, "Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold." (Mt 24:12, NIV). That too is a type of entropy.

Entropy in Scripture
The Bible speaks of this process. For example, the apostle Paul said, "For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now." (Rom 8:20-22). Put simply, all of creation (i.e., everything in the natural realm including plants, animals, bodies of water, the sky or atmosphere, and the earth itself) is subjected to futility and is presently in bondage to corruption. Everything is in slavery to decay, which is exactly what the Second Law of Thermodynamics states.

Grass and flowers are good examples, too. Isaiah prophesied, "The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever." (Isa 40:7-8).

According to the prophet, we as humans are undergoing that same process as the grass and flowers. Likewise, God said to Adam in the garden, "By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return." (Gen 3:19). This is fate of all people, "All came from the dust and all return to the dust." (Ecc 3:20b).

Hell is a place where entropy never ends. Every moment is filled with pain, torment, sorrow, regret, loneliness, and fear. It stinks terribly in hell, because of all the rotten, decaying flesh. The intense heat is unbearable, and the atmosphere is stifling, so you feel like you are suffocating. There is no water to drink, so there is nothing to quench your thirst. It's a place of outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Mt 8:12, 22:13, 25:30), where the worms that eat them do not die, and the flames are never quenched (Mk 9:44,48). Don't go to that terrible place! Repent and put your faith in Jesus Christ to save you.

The Lord spoke about the things men treasure on earth that are destined to rust, rot, decay, or be stolen. He said, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal." (Mat 6:19-20)

The apostle Peter said, "Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires." (2 Pe 1:4, NIV). This means that there is corruption in the world, which is caused by evil desires or lusts. Sin has brought about death to mankind and all creation. But the Lord has given us promises whereby we may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world. This means that we can defy entropy.

Defying Entropy
While our earthly life may not last forever and we eventually die, we can have eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (Joh 3:16). The Lord said, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die." (Joh 11:25-26a).

The apostle Paul taught that eternal life is a gift from God given through Jesus Christ to those who believe in Him. He stated, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom 6:23). On the one hand, sin brings death to people and the rest of creation. This is a kind of pay back for sin. But God has not left us hopeless. He has given a gift that you cannot earn, but can only receive by faith in Jesus Christ, and that gift is eternal life. Hopefully you can see how that defies entropy.

Up in heaven there is no entropy at all. Everything is living. As I said in my article, To Sin or Not to Sin, in heaven there is no death, no pain, no tears or sorrow (Rev 21:4). The city is made of pure gold, as pure as glass (Rev 21:18). Even the great street of the city is made of pure gold (Rev 21:21 ). It's walls are decorated with every kind of precious stone (Rev 21:19). The city shines brightly with the glory of God (Rev 21:11,23). There is a pure river of the water of life there that is clear as crystal, and there are many mansions (Jn 14:2). The tree of life is there, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month (Rev 22:2). There are countless myriads of holy angels, as well as the spirits of righteous men made perfect (Heb 12:22-23; Rev 5:11). There is no sin there, because nothing impure may enter that place, and nobody who does what is shameful or deceitful will ever enter it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life (Rev 21:27). God is reigning over the universe there on his throne at the center of it all, and Jesus Christ sits at his right hand with great power and glory -- with angels, powers, and authorities in submission to Him (1 Pe 3:22).

The people in heaven are all young and healthy, and the grass is all green with no brown spots or withering of any kind. Since there is no death, decay, or entropy of any kind in heaven, there is no dust, dirt, grime, or disease. There is no garbage or waste of any kind. There is no rust, but everything is shiny and new. And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true." (Rev 21:5).

The kingdom of heaven is at hand, according to the Lord Jesus Christ. He said, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." (Mt 3:2, NIV). Consequently, when the kingdom of heaven is at hand, we experience the effects of it here and now. One of those effects is that His kingdom comes into our midst and His will is done on earth as it is in heaven. The glories of heaven are manifested here and now. When the kingdom of heaven is near, it reverses the usual effects of entropy, whereby disorder is normally increasing, not decreasing, and some unusual things can happen. The impossible now becomes possible. Let me give you some examples.

Free Not to Sin
In addition to having eternal life, there is a way to defy entropy while we are still alive on earth. I have alluded to one of them at the end of the last section, which is that the followers of Christ participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world. We have been set free from the law of sin and death and now live by the law of the Spirit of life. "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." (Rom 8:2). Once you have been set free from the law of sin and death, you no longer have any obligation to sin. You are free not to sin! "So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed." (Joh 8:36). Your mind is set on the Spirit. which brings about life and peace. "For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace." (Rom 8:6).

Abundant Life
As I said in my article, To Sin or Not to Sin, abundant life is a gift that those of us who know Jesus get to enjoy while we are still on earth before we die and go to heaven. Since I came to know Christ thirty-two years ago, I have experienced an abundant life in Christ filled with more joy, laughter, and fun than I could have ever imagined. There have been times when the Holy Spirit has come upon me and I have experienced a holy laughter that was pure and wonderful, unlike anything this world has to offer. Being baptized with the Holy Spirit and living the Spirit-filled life has been far more enjoyable than living that old life of sin and shame. I'm so glad I decided to give my life to Jesus and follow Him in this abundant life, rather than stay in sin. If I had remained in sin, I would never have come to know such joy unspeakable and full of glory! I would have probably ended up dead or in jail eventually, but instead he has blessed me with a wife and children and all the happy moments that we have enjoyed together. He has blessed me with the joy of preaching the gospel in countries around the world, as well as here in the United States, seeing people give their lives to Jesus. I have experienced the glory of His manifest presence, as well as the wonder of seeing people miraculously healed and set free from demons. I am able to sing and rejoice with a clear conscience. Nothing I had before Christ could ever compare with the abundant life He has given to me. This, too, defies entropy, because now there is order and peace, where there once was disorder and confusion.

"For God is not a God of disorder but of peace" (1 Cor 14:33a, NIV). So when you are right with God, order and peace replace disorder and confusion. It is the devil, not God, that brings disorder. The devil comes to kill, steal, and destroy, but Jesus comes that you may have life and that more abundantly (Jn 10:10). 

Casting Out Demons
When demons are cast out, then whatever disorder they have brought into a person's life is also removed. When Jesus cast out the legion of demons from the demoniac, it went completely against the second law of thermodynamics (Mk 5:1-20).

The demons had brought such disorder to that man's life that he was miserable. "Constantly, night and day, he was screaming among the tombs and in the mountains, and gashing himself with stones." (Mar 5:5). He was like a wild, rabid animal. Nobody could go near him for fear he would hurt them. For a long time the man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. Once Jesus cast the demons out of him, the demons with the Lord's permission went into the roughly two thousand pigs in the nearby herd. Once the demons entered into the pigs, they rushed down a steep embankment into the lake and drowned. Just imagine how miserable that man's life must have been with all those demons inside of him! It's no wonder he acted the way he did. Even the pigs went crazy and hated their lives so much that they all wanted to commit suicide. The demons drove them mad. It was not a good outcome for the pigs that day.

However, look at the outcome for the man who had been demon-possessed and was now delivered. Scripture says that the man was sitting down, clothed and in his right mind (Mar 5:15). No longer was he naked and out of his mind as he had been, but now he was dressed and well composed. He was experiencing total peace the way God intended for him. How wonderful!

Likewise, God has given to those who believe in Jesus the power to cast out demons. He has given us the power to defy and reverse the effects of entropy in specific instances. I have seen and experienced such things firsthand, so I can testify it is really true. Jesus said, "These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." (Mar 16:17-18). That passage gives us an excellent picture of how we, by God’s power, can reverse various processes resulting from the second law of thermodynamics.

If you believe in Jesus and have received the baptism with the Holy Spirit, then you will have power to be His witness. Jesus said, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."(Act 1:8). Besides the power to cast out demons, here are some other effects of the kingdom of heaven coming near and the power of the Holy Spirit being manifested.

Healing the Sick
Another example is healing. For the Lord promised that those who believe in His name will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. As I said, I have seen this first hand many times, and all the glory belongs to Jesus. The gospels and the book of Acts are full of many examples of Jesus and His apostles healing people of incurable sicknesses and diseases, such as leprosy (a skin disorder), as well as paralysis, blindness, deafness, muteness, hemorrhaging, lameness, and epilepsy (seizures). The Scripture says:

"And immediately after they came out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon's mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever; and immediately they spoke to Jesus about her. And He came to her and raised her up, taking her by the hand, and the fever left her, and she waited on them. When evening came, after the sun had set, they began bringing to Him all who were ill and those who were demon-possessed. And the whole city had gathered at the door. And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who He was." (Mar 1:29-34)

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8), so He is still performing healing and miracles like that in the world today through His disciples. Some people deny this and think that everyone with a gift of healing or miracles is a huckster that is pretending to do these things in order to take people's money. That is simply not true. As I said, I can testify to what I have seen with my own eyes, and I can produce other witnesses who can do the same. I know that I am not lying but speaking the truth. Why is it so difficult for people to believe that God can do anything and that He changes not?

Even under the Old Covenant, God made this promise: “The Lord will keep you free from every disease. He will not inflict on you the horrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but he will inflict them on all who hate you.” (Deut 7:15). If God could do this for those under the Old Covenant, who’s to say He can’t do that under the New Covenant, which is founded on better promises, and has a better high priest, and better blood? Why would anyone say that such things that were possible under the Old Covenant are not possible under the New Covenant? The answer is lack of faith and unbelief.

All God’s promises are ‘yes’ in Christ, but we must say the ‘amen.’ The apostle Paul said, "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God." (2 Cor 1:20, NIV). God has already given us many great and precious promises through which we may participate in the divine nature, and all we need to do is claim them by faith (2 Pe 1:4). As Jesus said, "Everything is possible for him who believes" (Mk 9:23, NIV). And on another occasion He said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." (Mk 10:27, NIV). Therefore, God still has the power to heal the sick and do anything He likes, even reversing entropy. And those who believe in Jesus are still able to lay hands on the sick and see them recover, but often times we limit Him by our own unbelief.

For more on healing the sick, please see my article The Power of God to Heal.

Drinking Deadly Poison
Another example of defying entropy is drinking deadly poison with no ill effects. Jesus said that one of the signs that would follow those who believe in Him is that if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them (Mar 16:17-18). This does not mean we are to be presumptuous and try drinking deadly poison to see what will happen. But if per chance we drink it, He promised that it would not hurt us. This is obviously impossible without God, since deadly poison causes death when it enters the human body.

For those who think that this Scripture is spurious and that we do not see it happening today where Christians are unharmed by deadly poison, let me share just one example of a case in point where it happened fairly recently. My brother and dear friend Michael Sambo, who is a preacher in Nigeria, was captured by Boko Haram terrorists while traveling on ministry. After they had already killed another one of their captives, who was lying dead right there beside him, they blindfolded him and made him drink poison. He drank it and suffered no ill effects, which proves that the passage in Mark 16 is true, and the power of God is able to defy entropy.

More than one of the terrorists also shot at him with assault rifles at close range while standing in front of him, but even though he heard the sound of the guns, none of the bullets touched him. In fact, God sent an angel to help him escape, just as He did for the apostle Peter when he was in prison. There are witnesses to corroborate his story, and I know him to be an honest man. Since this incident occurred, he has visited me and eaten in my home in the US, along with one of the witnesses, and I know that he would certainly not lie about this. For the full story, please see my article, Angelic Escape from Terrorist Assassins.

Raising the Dead
Jesus also raised the dead during His earthly ministry. There are many examples of this.

One example is when He raised the twelve-year old daughter of Jairus the synagogue official from the dead. The man had asked Jesus to come and lay His hand upon the girl, who was sick, so that she would be healed. But by the time Jesus arrived, she was already dead and people were mourning. Scripture says:

"Taking the child by the hand, He said to her, 'Talitha kum!' (which translated means, 'Little girl, I say to you, get up!'). Immediately the girl got up and began to walk, for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded." (Mar 5:41-42)

He also raised others from the dead like the son of the widowed woman (Lk 7:11-17), who was in a coffin, and Lazarus who had been in the tomb for four days (Jn 11:38-44). In the case of Lazarus, his body was already starting to stink from decomposition, but when he came forth at the command of Jesus and they removed the grave cloths, he was perfectly well.

And Jesus commissioned His disciples to do the same thing. He said, "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give." (Mt 10:8, NIV). The apostle Peter also raised Dorcas from the dead (Ac 9:36-42), and the apostle Paul raised Eutychus (Ac 20:7-12). If there was ever a perfect example of reversing the effects of entropy, raising the dead is one of them. 

Resurrection of Christ
Then there’s Jesus’ resurrection, which is the greatest example of all. If you want to talk about reversing entropy, just consider how He was raised from the dead. He had been beaten beyond recognition. His face was disfigured (Is 52:14). He had been scourged so much that the flesh on His back was ripped open and in shreds. He was nailed to the cross (Mt 27:35) and was left to hang there for six hours until He gave up His Spirit. His disciples took down His body, wrapped it in clean linen, and placed it in a tomb. But His body did not see decay.

The apostle Paul said, "God raised Him from the dead so that He will never be subject to decay. As God has said, ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.’ So it is also stated elsewhere: ‘You will not let your holy one see decay.’ Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed. But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay." (Ac 13:34-37, NIV).

Putting it All Together
Since this world and the universe and all that is in them are subject to the second law of thermodynamics, they are in a state of gradual decline. There is entropy on every side -- physical entropy, mental entropy, social entropy, and even moral entropy. One thing you can count on is that entropy is not on your side. It's a bad thing, not a good thing.

Thanks be to God that Jesus Christ is the risen Savior of the world, who has brought the kingdom of heaven near to us. It is now at hand, and His disciples who believe in Him can and do receive power from His Holy Spirit to reverse the effects of entropy in specific instances right here on earth. This includes healing, miracles, casting out demons, drinking deadly poison without any ill effects, and even raising the dead. Those who have received the gift of eternal life through faith in Christ will spend eternity in heaven with Jesus, where there is no disorder or decay. That's good news for mankind. Repent, therefore, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Attribution notice: Scripture taken from the NASB, copyright the Lockman Foundation. Other Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible NIV where noted. Images used according to Fair Use Act for commentary and educational purposes only.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, you may also like reading The Kingdom of God is Like This, Baptized with the Spirit, The Power of God to Heal, The Role of Demons, The Cause of Disease, Demonology 101, To Sin or Not to Sin, The Land Mourns in the Last Days, The End Time Plagues, Wars and Rumors of Wars, Cosmic Rays Intensifying, Fukusima Daiichi Nuclea Disaster, The Contractions Are Coming Closer and Closer Together, Something's Going on in 2013, and Something's Going on in 2018. Here is a link to the audio recording of Angels Singing in China. For more articles like this one, please see the Home Page of this blog. You can also find my complete collection of blogs at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.








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