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God is eternal; He had no beginning, and He will have no end (Gen. 21:33; Ex. 3:14; Job 36:26; Ps. 48:14; 90:1-2, 4; 93:2; Isa. 41:4; 44:6; Jo. 8:58; Eph. 3:21; I Tim. 1:17; 6:16; II Pet. 3:8; Jude 25; Rev. 1:8).

He was before time, and He will be after time, for time does not affect Him. He does not grow old; He has never been young—God is timeless and eternal, without a succession of moments. The past and the future have no meaning for God; He does not “remember” the past or “anticipate” the future. God does not conceptualize His existence in the way that man does, for time is inconsequential to God. He alone is “the Everlasting God” (Gen. 21:33).

By His own name He affirms His eternity. He is the “I AM” (Ex. 3:14). God is not to be spoken of in past tense or in future tense, but always in the present tense; He is not “was” or “will be” but “AM.” He is eternally present. Jesus affirms: “Before Abraham was, I am” (Jo. 8:58). He is “the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End” (Rev. 1:8). All that exists—matter, space, and time—is because of Him, because He existed before all things and made all things. Only He is infinite, unaffected by matter, space, and time.

“Eternal” speaks of God’s relationship to time, and “omnipresent” speaks of God’s relationship to space (see: God is Omnipresent). Both time and space are creations of God, and God transcends each of them. That is, neither of these impact God in any way. He inhabits all space, and time is the unfolding of His will; but in His essence He is conditioned by neither of them. Man is bound by both and cannot even comprehend reality without space and time; he thinks in terms of location and succession and cannot do otherwise. How frail man is.

Time is not eternal; there was a “time” when there was no time. Thus, time had a beginning. Time must have had a beginning for “eternal time in the sense of time without beginning is inconceivable” (Bavinck, Doctrine, 157). If time has its origin in God’s creative act, then time has no effect on God, for He is the creator and controller of time. God is not the prisoner of time nor subject to the changes caused by time, because time is inconsequential to God even though He works according to the laws of time, day and night, and weeks and years. He is past, present, and future, the eternal “I Am.”

God’s has prior-existence (Gen. 1:1; see: Characteristics of God's Existence). He existed before anything else existed. All that is came after Him; He was before all things. Not only are Spirit and matter distinct but Spirit was before matter, the Creator before the creation, God before man. Before time there was God; before Genesis 1:1 there was God; before the angels there was God; before there was anything there was God. God, who alone was in eternity past, brought into existence time, space, the angels, matter, and man; all of these things came after God. To reject this is to lift something or someone to the same level as God, and any form of dualism is incompatible with the Christian faith (see: Before Creation).

Because God’s duration is eternal, His promises are eternal; they are not here today and gone tomorrow. They endure; they remain. They last as long as God lasts. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matt. 24:35), and “the word of our God stands forever” (Isa. 40:8). God and His Word cannot be separated; both continue. What He says is anchored in who He is. A great comfort this is to the believer in a world of flux and change, a world where promises are broken and are forgotten, a world where words are cheap. With abiding confidence the believer can embrace the promises of God because the One who spoke them is the eternal Am. “For this is God, our God forever and ever” (Ps. 48:14).

Even for everlasting to everlasting,
You are God.
Ps. 90:2

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