Well it is more than scientific theory that the Universe is expanding. However as you say, it is only theory that the Universe will collapse at some point, as a result of it's expansion, and cease to exist. Now when and if it does end, so will your number counting on your way to prove that numbers are infinative along with mathematics and everything else.
Well let's look again what fool described as being Hawking's contirbution to the understanding of the cosmos - "IIRC, The work that brought Hawking to prominence was his proof (along with someone whose name I embarrassingly forget) that time is/was concomitant with the big bang. In which case one cannot apply the concept of “before” to any events in some way prior to the big bang. So yes the big bang is "the beginning of all, including all matter, as we know it." but also the beginning of time as we know it." If Hawking is correct, and personally I would defer to him over my scant understanding of the cosmos, that time began with the creation of the universe then it would seem logical to assume that time is also confined within, and limited by, our universe just as we are. Hence is it not logical to assume that in order to escape our own universe to explore and expand our knowledge, we must also be capable of escaping the confines of time? But do we exist outside of the confines of time? I think not. And therefore I would hypotheorize that we shall never learn what exists outside of our universe. So I think that we are chained by time within our own universe and we shall never be able to do anything more than theorize as to what exists outside of it.
Quite true Andrew. However we limit ourselves, and God I think, when we use the term "being" to describe him or her. God need not be a being at all. Did not even Jesus say that God was spirit? Spirit which came and went like the wind? Does not science theorize that the big bang occured as a quantum fluctuation within an all pervasive, all encompasing energy field? So I personally do not think of God as a being at all.
In truth God is what God is, not necessarily what any religion defines him to be. At least that is my belief. So it is not surprizing to me that there are many conflicts between the various religions as to the exact nature of God. The solution I believe is to seek out God on one's own, apart from any particular religion if indeed religion does not work for you as it does not for me. But I do see much good as well as bad which religions have brought forth to the world. And religion does work for many people and more power to them as far as I am concerned.