Jan 10

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Sometimes famous words did not really come from the mouth of the person who is said to have uttered them. “I don’t see any God up here!” Of course, the younger generation may not remember such; nor the importance placed upon them at the time. There is a question as to who really uttered the words.
For years the words, “I don’t see any God up here!” were contributed to Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin. Who was he, you ask? The name sure is not one we hear every day! In fact, this name may be lost in the history books of another time. However, the name and the event for which he is attached, was a most important event. It was a time, when “the space war,” was going on at a high pitch between America and the now, old “Soviet Union.” Symbolically, it was a time of “war” between “Christian” America and the Atheistic-Soviet Union! It was important to Nikita Khrushchev, the Premier of the Soviet Union, that every opportunity should be taken to belittle and denounce Christianity.
Unconcerned with objectivity and truth, this sounds like some today, the anti-religious propaganda of the Soviet Union, built up a negative image of “believers” as fanatics, disseminators of disease, social pests or criminals. Why was this done? One reason was to justify the persecution of “Christians” to the general public! The anti-religious campaign of the Khrushchev era started in 1959. The main religion in the Soviet Union was the Russian Orthodox Church. Khrushchev gave a speech at the Central Committee about the state’s anti-religion campaign and it was here that he said: “Gagarin flew into space, but didn’t see any god there!” This is more than likely the truth; it was Nikita Khrushchev and not Yuri Gagarin that uttered the words! It should be noted that no such words appear in the verbatim record of his conversations with Earth stations during his spaceflight! It is said that Gagarin was in fact a religious man, having been “baptized” into the Baptist Church but became a member of the Orthodox Church. The people put a “higher stock” in the words of Gagarin than Khrushchev; thus, Khrushchev was willing to put the words in the mouth of Gagarin! On the other hand, read these words of Anton Peryushin who said, “In fact, Gagarin should be remembered for completely different words. I always remember that Yuri Gagarin said: “An astronaut cannot be suspended in space and not have God in his mind and his heart.”
All of this could have been settled, had Khrushchev known the words of the New Testament. In the Gospel According to John, it is written: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18). No, Gagarin did not see God in his trip into space! However, it is very important to all of us, that we understand what Jesus did. As the text reads: “… the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him!” No one looking into outer space, or anywhere else, will see God but “the only begotten Son, … he hath declared him!” The Greek word translated “declared” is “exēgeomai” and one of the words that expresses the meaning is, “unfold.” Thus, one of the missions of Jesus coming into this world was to “unfold” God the Father to us. Here we recall the words of John once more: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). One of the key words, which relates to our subject is “doxa,” which is translated “glory” in the text. It has the meaning, “dignity, glory (…), honour, praise.” The “Word” is God in the text, but God “was made flesh.” And what did God do in the “flesh?” He “unfolded” God to us! God is not found in outer space but in the person of Jesus, who was during his time on this earth, “God with us!”
There are folks who climb the highest mountain to find God, to find Jesus but there is no mountain top that will reveal God, the Father, or Jesus to us! Other people look to mystic religions of the world, but God, the Father, or Jesus will not be found in such! Such countries are generally used to refer to the region located between the Asian and African continents. These religions are pagan in nature and are no different than those the nation of Israel was faced with. Still others look to themselves and think they are their own “god,” so they serve themselves! Whatever is right in their own sight, is right and no one should ever question them!
However, John the apostle of Christ, wrote and in so doing, he gave the only way a person may “know” God! John wrote: “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3-4).
Friends, no, you will not see God in outer space, but you can know him in Jesus!

rank R. Williams

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