Bible Question:

I have read people claim that we live in a simulated reality. I find this to be very disturbing. Did God create a real world or a simulated world for us to live in?

Bible Answer:

The concept that we are living in a gigantic simulation is not new. The concept existed before the movie Matrix and it has exploded since the movie. Many reject the theory or hypothesis, and others are trying to prove the concept is true. What if the Simulation Theory or Simulation Hypothesis is true? Did God create a simulated world or a real world?

Simulation Theory — Did God create a simulated universe for us?

Simulation Theory or Simulation Hypothesis

Dan Falk reveals in “Are we living in a simulated universe?  that the Simulation Theory or Simulation Hypothesis is seriously being considered by some scientists.

What if we did confirm that we were living in a simulation? How would people react upon learning that our world and thoughts and emotions are nothing more than a programmer’s zeroes and ones? Some imagine such knowledge would disrupt our lives by upending our sense of purpose and squashing our initiative. Harvard astronomer Abraham Loeb says the knowledge could even trigger social unrest. Knowing that our thoughts and deeds aren’t our own could “relieve us from being accountable for our actions,” he says. “There is nothing more damaging to our social order than this notion.”[1]

Then he points out that,

Yet, there’s a familiar ring to the idea that there’s a simulator, or creator, who does care about us. Similarly, the idea of a superior being forging a simulated universe parallels the notion of a deity creating the world — for example, as described in the Book of Genesis.[2]

Therefore, the question this article is concerned with is, “Did God create a simulated world or a real world?”

Did God Create a Simulated World?

There are several important issues to consider.

First, no one can explain how the universe was created. Supposedly, the Big Bang theory explains how the universe was created. But the Big Bang Theory fails to explain how anything came into existence. The Big Bang Theory depends upon something existing in order to explain how everything came into existence. But it cannot explain the very thing it supposedly explains, since it assumes and requires that something already exists. The point is that the theorists cannot explain how anything came into existence.

In Genesis 1:1 we are told that in the beginning God created the universe.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Genesis 1:1 (NASB)

The Bible tells us that God has always existed, but in our cause-and-effect universe, we do not know and cannot explain how this can be true. How did anything, including God, come into existence? It is amazing that the Bible does not try to explain this mystery. It simply assumes that God exists and tells us that He does exist. If God did try to explain why He already existed before the universe existed, we probably would not understand the explanation.

Genesis 1 has a better explanation for how the universe came into existence, than the Big Bang Theory, since it is obvious that a lifeless thing cannot create itself. So, the universe could not have made itself either. Since the Bible is accurate in everything it says about prophecy, science, and history, it is more believable to trust it when it says God is the designer of the universe. That is, we are living in something that God created. Genesis 1:26-28 tells us that we are like Him in some ways. We are made in His image. We have will, intellect and emotion just as He does. Yet, we are not like Him. Psalm says,

You thought that I was just like you. Psalm 50:21 (NASB)

We are not exactly like our God. He created our world,  but we cannot create anything. He controls the rains and weather (Acts 14:17). He controls everything in the universe (Job 38-39). God controls everything. So, did God create a simulation? Here are three reasons why the Simulation Theory or Simulation Hypothesis cannot be true.

First, if we are living in a super-realistic computer simulation, then we are essentially characters in a glorified computer game. If that is true, then we are not responsible for any of our actions. We are merely puppets being controlled by a computer programmer. But the Bible reveals that the Simulation Theory or Simulation Hypothesis cannot be true, since it says we are responsible for our own sins. God is not responsible for our sins. For example, Romans 3:23 says,

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 (NASB)

and Romans 6:23 states,

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NASB)

Galatians 5:19-21 tells us that because we chose to sin we will never see God, our Creator.

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21 (NASB)

The message is clear. We can choose to sin, and the Creator is not responsible. While it is true that God has predestined the elect to be saved (Ephesians 1:3-6), we are still responsible for our sins. Repeatedly, God calls us to believe in Christ (John 1:12-13; 3:16, 36). The warning is that if we do not believe, we will go to hell.

He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. John 3:36 (NASB)

So, we are living in a universe that has been created by God, but we are free to make choices. There are consequences for our wrong actions. Our Creator will punish the wicked and He blesses the righteous (Psalm 1).

The second reason the Simulation Theory or Simulation Hypothesis cannot be true is that God will destroy this creation some day, but we will continue to exist. 2 Peter 3:10-13 states,

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:10-13 (NASB)

Revelation 20:11 and 21:1 also say that God will destroy the universe some day and make a new one. If our world is just a simulation, why would He destroy it to get rid of evil and make a new world that is free from sin (Revelation 21:3-8)? If we are living in a glorified computer simulation, then He could just change some of the settings and change how it operates! He would not need to destroy it.

The third reason the Simulation Theory or Simulation Hypothesis cannot be true is that after the universe is destroyed, the Bible says that Christians will continue living and live with God (Revelation 21:3). Our spirits will live forever with God. Our spirits were created at birth and will live forever (Matthew 25:46). The wicked will continue to exist too (Matthew 25:46).

Conclusion:

Did God create a simulated universe for us? The answer is, No!” Are we living in a glorified computer simulation? No! Our Creator made this universe. Someday He will destroy it and make a new one. While the universe, our world, its surroundings, and our bodies are all temporary, in contrast our spirits are eternal. Our bodies will change from this present life into immortal bodies at death and will live forever (Matthew 25:46; Revelation 20:11-15). Now try that with the characters in some electronic game! If you destroy or delete the game will the characters still exist?

God does not control every action. We are responsible for our sins.We are not puppets. Our sins are real. You are responsible for your sins! So, are you going to heaven and will you live with our Creator forever after you die and leave this temporary world? 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 tells us how we can live with Him. It says,

 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NASB)

Those who believe that Christ died and was resurrected will have their sins forgiven. Those who truly believe in Christ will submit themselves to Him. Those who do this will live forever with their Creator in heaven. Those who reject Christ will be thrown into hell (John 3:16). The Creator urges you to believe in Christ (Romans 10:13).

If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Hebrews 10:9-10 (NASB)

For more information visit “Searching For God.” Also, visit “Is everything already determined in our life by God?

 

References:

1. Dan Falk. “Are we living in a simulated universe? Here’s what scientists say.” Mach. July 6, 2019.
2. Ibid.

Suggested Links:

Searching For God
Another Reality — Are we living in another reality like the Matrix?
Was Jesus involved in the creation of the universe?
Was Jesus involved in the creation of the universe?
Is everything already determined in our life by God?
Predestination and Human Responsibility