It's About Time!

The idea of time has been the subject of sci-fi books, tv shows and movies for years. As early as the late nineteenth century men like HG Wells have been writing about time travel. I often ponder this idea of time and wonder if time ceases to exist when we die. Is this concept of time limited to this side of death? What do you think?

From a spiritual perspective it kind of makes sense that time ceases to exist when you die. Concepts like eternity and infinity are somewhat descriptive of an existence without time and space. The idea of God seems to embrace a reality where time is not relevant as He exists outside of it.

... originally posted August 31, 2009


  1. Since a day is like a thousand years to God, I don't think time will exist either. Its something I could use a bit more of myself though.
    Of course if I didn't spend so much time on the computer other things would get done....

  2. I hope (and believe) that God exists outside of time! I do wonder though... if Heaven is outside of time, will the New Earth be created within a "New Time one?" I certainly hope I have better time management skills. ^_^

    Nothing to prove or disprove here...just wondering...

  3. Big disagreement with this one, though your sentiments are understandable and similar to those I had for many years.

    Our experience of God is in a real, time bound creation, the creation of matter and physicality meant that time was a necessity. If I am across a room, it will take five seconds for me to get to your side. It is a physical resurrection, a renewed creation, the joys of sense and touch, and taste transformed. The words we use to translate eternity are in reality Time words, eon-an age
    Aionian Age enduring. The state after our dusty death, yep, timeless, restful, sleep like, the resurrection, A good creation cleansed and purified, time for deep relationships, time for world changing projects, learning, experiencing seeing the back side of the universe. Not worth arguing about though, just contemplating.

  4. Not sure that I really understand where you are coming from Don. A few questions:

    1) Did time a part of the creation?

    2) Is God inside or outside of time?

    3) When we die are we with God in a different sense than before death?

    It seems to me that God created time and is therefor outside of time. If we are present with Him when we die then our bodies are consequently no longer bound by time. Also seems possible that the new creation (i.e. New Jerusalem/etc) could be a timeless creation as the sun/moon are no longer needed to warm/illuminate the new creation.

    I may be missing something. I'd enjoy hearing your response.

  5. I've actually thought a lot about this. If true it means that the term 'afterlife' is a serious misnomer. For if time ceases to have meaning at the moment of one's death there is no 'after' to speak of.

    Of course, time for everybody else continues as usual. What you're speculating about is whether a deceased person's consciousness is somehow removed from time at the moment of death. Can a thing even be conscious if states never change? Consciousness seems to me to be a process - we experience sensory input then we interpret that input, then we react to that input, etc. Since a process requires time to elapse for expression, I don't believe that consciousness can exist outside of time.

    By the way, a little geek trivia: Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is considered the first work of literature that involved traveling back in time. Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle is considered by some the first one that had travel forward in time.

  6. What you said sid makes sense using the rules of this physical world that we know. Not sure they make sense after death though as our physical bodies will cease to exist.

  7. New thoughts for me, but hear me out on this. We are involved through Christ is a plan of the ages, not a plan of eternity. Our physical bodies will cease to exit for an age. If we are to escape dualist and christoplatonic ideas, we are promised a redemption of the Body, and a spiritual body and a renewed universe. God's eternal nature and times movement are intertwined. When God says He is with us, that means right this second, He lives in the present unfolding of the cutting edge called today. The physics of movement require time. After the resurrection Jesus was among them and then not amonge them, here and then ascended. God the Father has no body, is a spirit and is therefore timeless and spaceless, but fills everything. Our final eon involves the physical renewing of the universe, time matters, place matters. Trips to Hawaii, in a moment, space to space, eating, hugging, conversations, storytelling, love. perfected. complete. The two recent books on resurretion by N.T.Wright and Randy Alcorn have both recovered this truth, and its important because our lives in the Kingdom are now, and physical and the continuity between them is Jesus, who was in fleshed here, and took flesh there. Thanks for letting me rant.

  8. No rant at all Don. If I am understanding what you are saying.. and I may not be.. you assertion is that our new post-death bodies will not be eternal?

    Maybe we are simply debating semantics.. whether time remains is not as important as the idea that we will have bodies that do not age and die? Maybe time will simply be irrelevant in such an existence?

    What do you think?

  9. Good question Bob! I enjoyed reading everyone's answers. I'm not sure what to say.....

  10. God is not outside of time (Greek Philosophy). Time exists because God exists, just like movement (God moved), communication (God spoke). Time is simply a measurement between events. It is not a thing created. God brings to pass what He wills.

    1. Thanks for weighing in Dave. Your view seems to lack a separation between the Creator and the creation.

    2. No, you are assuming that time is a created thing, and it's not. The things that measure time are created.

    3. Seems, to me anyways, that God exists outside of time and is greater than time. He knows the future because he transcends time.

  11. Again, you fail to comprehend what time is. God is not outside of time. Time is in God, just as motion, communication, love, holiness, righteousness, etc. God does what He wills. You have adopted a false theory concerning time and it skews your thinking.

    "They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind" Jer 19:5

    "And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." Heb 10:17

    The "outside of time" proponents deny all reason and logic, not to mention God's word.

    1. Trying to follow you Dave. What do you mean when you say "Time is in God"?

  12. Already explained. Time is a measurement between events. It is not a thing created. You are tripped up on what you think time is. God moves. God speaks. God loves. God creates. Time is a measurement of those events. It's very simple. Time has always been, just as God has always been, just as any event emanating from the life of God has always been. It is eternal.

    1. Okay. You have shared this:

      "Time is in God, just as motion, communication, love, holiness, righteousness, etc."

      A few follow-up questions:

      1) If motion is "in God" does that mean that God moves between two points? Or are you indicating something like gravity is "in God". Again, I am trying to understand the concept that you are sharing.

      2) How do you see holiness as "in God". Do you see it as a part of his character? If so, is time a part of God's character? Not trying to be cute. Just trying to make sense of your definition of "in God".

      Hoping you understand where I am coming from. Not wanting to argue. Just wanting to understand. Feel free to point me to something that you (or someone else) have written.

      Thanks, Bob

    2. "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."

      God moves, and whatever that means within His creation, or apart from His creation, it is in His being. It is included in who He is. God moves. God speaks. God loves.

      God is holy, for he has always been separate from His creation. There is none like God, He is Holy.To be "holy" is to be incomparable. We cannot compare God to anyone else. He is "Holy", because there is none like Him.

      I really don't understand how you cannot comprehend that time is not a thing. Do you think God created communication or do you believe that He communicates. Communication is in God. It encompasses His Being. We share in His communication, in His movement, in His love, in His time. In all that He is. "Gravity" is created. It is not even in the same conversation. Are you an OEC?

    3. A few thoughts about your last comment.

      When you quote Genesis you are not saying that God himself moved but that he moved the waters. Right?

      When you say that God speaks and loves you do understand that he usually (not always) does that through people. Right?

      When you identify God as holy and separate, you seem to enforce the idea that God is outside of time. But I may be misunderstanding what you are communicating?

      Regarding your inability to understand why I do not comprehend your opinions about God and time, here is another opinion that more closely follows my thinking on the matter.

      "the science of physics tells us that time is a property resulting from the existence of matter. As such, time exists when matter exists. But God is not matter; God, in fact, created matter. The bottom line is this: time began when God created the universe. Before that, God was simply existing. Since there was no matter, and because God does not change, time had no existence and therefore no meaning, no relation to Him."

      Feel free to comment further but I really do not find your comments, or your condescension, compelling.

  13. God is not static, but dynamic. God's character never changes, but what He does changes. God created. God became a man. God tasted death. God is active. Time exists, because God exists.


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