O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps. --- Jeremiah 10:23
The debate has at times been fierce and the battle has never seen an "armistice" take place in modern times. It has been the clash between what some may refer to as the irrestible force and the immovable object! Those in the field of science and those in the realm of religion seem to be very often on opposite sides of the fence when it comes to God and His relationship to a mighty universe which has boundaries we have not yet approached in all our probing and viewing.
Recently British physicist, Stephen Hawking, made some statements that are bound to cause an uproar from certain quarters, particularly those who profess to be Christian in their faith. He was interviewed by The Guardian newspaper and referred to the notion of Heaven as being a "fairy story." Hawking said, "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven of afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people who are afraid of the dark."
He advocates that science can explain the universe's origin without the involvement or existence of God being necessary! Why is it when I hear statements such as that coming from someone who is dismissing God as casually as I throw some unwanted item into the garbage can that the game, Pin the Tail on the Donkey, comes to mind -- you know, a bunch of kids with blindfolds on stumble about trying to find the correct part of the donkey's anatomy so they can attach the tail?
Hawking has no authority on which to base such statements except his own personal speculation. All of us humans have a tendency to do that due to having been born with a fallen nature that is inclined at the very beginning to concentrate on the self -- or to put it another way, we are born with an imaginary fiddle in our hands, and when we play it, everyone else in the world is expected to dance to our tune. And if there is a God out there somewhere, then He had better learn to dance to that tune as well!
Hawking's approach is nothing new -- in fact it's been around ever since the disaster that took place in the Garden of Eden a long, long time ago and involved two people known as Adam and Eve. Ever since their fall and banishment from the Garden, all born humans want to set themselves up as an "authority" on anything and everything, including whether there is God or not existing.
God, of course, has clearly revealed Himself to the human race in three major ways. First, through His creation in which the seriously thinking person by observing the creation comes to a sensible conclusion -- there has to be a Supreme All Powerful Being of some kind behind all this.
Second, God took a long period of time to have information recorded and preserved to further enlighten the members of the human race as to His identity, His character, His actions and the conditions by which the human race can become acquainted with Him. About 1,500 years was the amount of time and the use of at least 40 persons or more in bringing about an inspired record commonly now referred to as the Bible. There are a few of us who agree that this record is the final authority on all matters having to do with faith and the practice of that faith in human life and experience.
Third, God chose to become human and reveal Himself in a body of flesh and blood to the human race. The primary purpose for this action was that He would take upon Himself all the sins of the entire human race and provide atonement for all human sin through His sacrificial death on the cross. Through Jesus' death and subsequent resurrection from the dead, total forgiveness is now offered to each human being. The condition is to be honest, admit one's transgressions and repent of those, seek mercy and forgiveness and be restored to fellowship with God our Creator.
But for Hawking and countless others such as he, there is no need for God. Some in this crowd consider any religion as merely a "crutch" to lean on through life because one is not strong enough to go it alone!
Now back to a statement made by Hawking about Heaven -- he dismisses it as something similar to a "fairy tale." Now here's that fork in the road again -- Hawking says there is no Heaven, but Jesus Christ, God in human form, says there is and that He is preparing a place for those who have chosen to follow Him as Savior and Lord. Whom will you believe? I admit that I am not personally acquainted with Stephen Hawking but I am personally acquainted with Jesus Christ. In fact I've known Him now for nearly 54 years! No hesitation whatsoever -- I choose to believe Jesus and look forward to being a citizen in His eternal Kingdom forever!
This, of course, is a faith issue. God Himself has revealed that there has to be a measure of faith at work in relating to Him. But He has also revealed that each person is given a measure of faith - note Romans 12:3. However, it is also obvious by wrong choices made that faith can be quenched just as easily as one can put out a burning match by throwing a gallon of water on it!
For any that may be struggling a bit over this issue, further encouragement is given at How to Become a Christian. It is God's desire that all come to repent, receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and live day by day with the blessed assurance of having everlasting life and a place in Heaven after life is concluded on this earth.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. By faith Enoch was translated so that he did not see death, "and was not found because God had translated him"; for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. --- Hebrews 11:1-6