Posted by: cindybythesea | May 20, 2011

A question of authority


“When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who has authority, and not as their teachers of the law”.  Matthew 7:29

This past week, Stephen Hawking garnered world-wide attention by saying, “There is no heaven; It’s a fairy story.”  Now if you’re like me, you enjoy a good fairy story every now and then. We’ve all read them to our children and grandchildren as bedtime stories; Snow White, Goldilocks, Sleeping Beauty and other tales, most of which employ a prince in disguise and a princess in distress. The kids love them and so do we.  Disney would not be the multi-billion dollar business that it is, if this were not so.  But, heaven, a fairy tale????

Stephen Hawking is undoubtedly a brilliant man with degrees in all the sciences and with some very impressive letters after his name. Without a moments hesitation, he could write out a mathematical equation that would stretch across a blackboard and back again, or explain the latest in quantum physics, but, that does little to tell me how he is qualified to speak on the subject of heaven.  As someone who has heard his statement and considered it, I have to ask myself, “by what authority does he speak?”

If a cop pulls me over for a speeding ticket, he shows me his badge and I know he has the authority to issue me a ticket.  At the end of a trial, when the judge slams his gavel down, I know he has the authority to lock me away if I have committed a crime.  In order to speak with authority, one must also have the power to enforce it or demonstrate it. Without power, the words become meaningless.

Its recorded in the gospels that during his ministry, the people were amazed because Jesus taught as one having authority.  What does that mean?  What it means is that the words Jesus spoke did not stand alone by their own weight, but, were backed up by the power he demonstrated – power over creation itself.  By the very words of Jesus, the sick were healed, the lame walked, the blind were given sight and the dead were raised.  Even the wind and waves obeyed his voice!  All attributes that only God could have.  Therefore, Jesus spoke with authority.

For Stephen Hawking to say there is no heaven, makes me want to ask him – by what authority do you say this?  Have you been dead and come back again?  If not, then what you offer is nothing more than your scholarly opinion.  You’ve studied the laws of physics but, have you studied the word of God? 

 Tell me, if you will, the mathematical probability that the nation of Israel would be reborn after 2,000 years in exile in fulfillment of ancient biblical prophecy. 

 Tell me, if you will, the chances that Jesus would ride in to Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey exactly 173,880 days from the commandment to restore Jerusalem in the book of Nehemiah as prophesied by the prophet Daniel 500 years before Christ.

 You see, not only did Jesus speak with authority, but, the Bible speaks with authority.

We live in a time, when Christians are made out to look like un-educated country bumpkins.  Simple folk who believe in fairy tales.  But, nothing could be farther from the truth.  When Jesus left to ascend to the Father, he left us with something very special.  He left us with his authority.  In Matthew 28: 18-20 it says this:

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and earth have been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And, surely I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

When I read this verse, I understand that by the power of the Holy Spirit, I, (and all other born-again believers) are able to speak the word of God with authority.  We are able to testify to the message of the cross with the conviction of truth born by the power of the one who conquered death.

When I hear men like Billy Graham preach, I sense the power of the spirit carrying forth their words and conveying their message. This is something that men like Stephen Hawking, no matter how many letters follow their name, fail to grasp and will never understand until born of the Spirit. Therefore, their words, not matter how eloquently spoken, have no authority.

Pray for Mr. Hawking. He doesn’t need nor want our pity. But, what he does need is Jesus.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper who love thee” Psalm 122:6    Watching and waiting with YOU for the soon return of Jesus!  Cindy


  1. Cindy, this is so well said. I noticed his statement in the headlines this week too and I knew I did not need to read it. I immediately thought of the verse with, “…always learning, never coming to the knowledge of TRUTH”. I had to sit in a psychology class last night where Christ was mocked, there is no God, and the preacher claiming the end of the world was happening this weekend was praised in discussion. My heart was heavy and grieved and I know my Lord was too, but I knew it was futile to speak. The fool says there is no God!

    I am hearing a lot of laughing and scorning from the Believers about the Camping claim that Jesus is coming this weekend after reading your post from Five Doves, which was very convincing. I caution Believers to chose your words wisely and seek wisdom and understanding always. I don’t know if or when Jesus is coming back, but I know I do not want to MISS it AGAIN, like many of Gods chosen people did the first time. Even John the baptist had a brief doubt. We are told to be ready and when we see THESE THINGS which are happening at such an alarming rate now, it is hard to keep up… LOOK UP, FOR OUR REDEMPTION! I look up everyday! I have a sense that God might do to us what we just demanded Israel to do yesterday… divide OUR land and destroy OUR borders! We boastful and proud americans need to be careful and we need desperately to be HUMBLED before our God and repent of our sins. Amen.

    [T, Thanks so much for writing. While it grieves us to listen to those who mock the gospel, the truth is – Camping or no Camping, the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but, we can take heart in knowing that Jesus is mighty to save and his word does not return unto him void. Grace and blessings, C]

  2. 1st Corinthians 1:

    18For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written,

    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

    20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

    26For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

    [ Thanks Jay for this excellent portion of scripture, ties in well with the comment posted by T ]

  3. Mr. Hawking is a very interesting individual. He has had a chip installed which I guess helps him facilitate the equipment he needs to function. He has stated we all should get “chips” because we need to hook our brains to master computers for the knowledge needed to function in the world that is ahead of us.

    He has missed so much in life and he is going to miss the joy of eternity because of the choices he has made. There is a tremendous word of warning here. “The fool sayeth in his heart there is no God.”

    [ Thank you Jeane for writing. So very true. Praying that God will open his eyes while there is still time. May our prayers reach the throne of heaven on his behalf. I often wonder how many people there are out there, who have never had anyone pray for them. What a tragedy! Praying today for Mr. Hawking. C]

  4. Dear Cindy,
    You are so uplifting to me. You say the most accurate and profound things in the nicest way possible and supported by Scripture. Thank you. You also give me much to think about regarding current events. Thank you for bringing the headlines into our Christian perspective.
    May our Lord continue to btless you and your ministry.

    [ Thank you Suzy for your kind words, I don’t know when I have ever had such a nice compliment given to me! I feel so blessed that God has provided a forum where we are able to share back and forth. The comments from the readers and the information shared always bless me. Thank you so much for your encouragement! C]

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