Will humans explore the stars?
Published: 18 February 2012 (GMT+10)
Jerome G. from the United States writes in response to article Did God create life on other planets?
I agree that we humans for all the reasons you cited are the only sentient beings in the universe.
However when I hear people say what a waste of space (and Christians sometimes think the same thing I think we are possibly missing Gods grand design.
What if: God intends that man will spread out into the entire universe by traveling from one star and planet to the next so that to his kingdom there is no end?
There are a number of reasons to think this. First God did not seed the world with man on various continents or places but put ADAM and EVE one place. From there man spread out into the earth.
Next if man spreads out into the universe than the problem of sin nature and the need for Christ will continue for all times.
Also what does the phrase “A new heaven and a new earth” mean?
This earth would eventually come to an end but not man!!
Maybe our vision of what Gods plan is and our understanding of the Bible is so limited.
I think that using the scripture a Good case can be made for worlds without end!!
CMI’s Lita Cosner responds:
Thanks for writing in.
At best, we can say that we can’t know your hypothesis from Scripture. There’s no indication that God had in mind that humans would spread over the universe. This is contrasted to the expressed intent of God that humans would fill the earth.
We agree that this earth will eventually come to an end. But I would argue that this doesn’t mean that we’re all going to migrate to another planet, but that earth will be re-created—and not just earth, but the whole universe. In Genesis, “heavens and earth” is a merism that stands for “the universe.” I would argue that it is used in the same way when Revelation talks about a new heavens and earth.
There are many indications that God’s plan was for humans to inhabit the earth, not other planets. For instance, God spent most of creation week preparing the earth to be suitable for human habitation. Most of the rest of the universe is relegated to a footnote during Day 4: “He created the stars also.” Isaiah 45:18 says that God created the earth to be inhabited.
Furthermore, if God planned for humans to move out across space, surely He would have made the planets in our own solar system habitable—it would be conceivable to send men to Mars or Venus, given a few generations’ advances in technology. But both of those are unremittingly hostile to life, and I would doubt the ability of even advanced technology to make either of those places suitable for long-term human habitation. When we turn our eyes to the exoplanets, the situation doesn’t get any more promising. Even if the problem of traversing the vast distances were solved, they’re just as hostile to life. See why no amount of technology will overcome the travel distance to distant stars and their planets.
That said, does that mean that all this vast empty space is wasted? Not at all! For one, the vastness of the universe declares the glory of God. There will always be so much of His wonderful creation that we don’t know about. This element of the unknown reminds us how much bigger than us He is. If we could count the stars, and see the edges of the universe and map every nebula and galaxy, I think it would lend itself to hubris on our part as human beings. Also, God is glorified before the angels—perhaps they know about parts of the universe that we aren’t able to see or explore.
S.A. from Portugal writes:
I would like to start this message by saying that I really appreciate the great work you have been doing so far. It is really wonderful to see people defending the Bible. May God bless you!
My question is for Gary Bates because it concerns UFOs. One day a friend of mine went to Ukraine and took a picture of himself. When he looked at the picture he saw a strange dot in the photo. He zoomed in and it looked distinctly like a flying saucer. When I first saw the picture I thought it was a montage/fake, it really looked that way. But my friend insisted that it wasn’t and that even he was still surprised with what happened. I’ve known him for quite a while now and I am quite sure he is not lying to me. He took this picture in Ukraine around July–September 2010 with his cell phone which is a good quality one and has a good camera.
My question is: what do you suggest that UFO is? If you want I can send you the picture and you can examine it if you want. I don’t think it is a weather effect because it was a day without clouds. This is my question, if you need any more details I’ll be glad to give them to you.
Thank you very much for your attention and I hope you can provide me with an answer, please. Thank you very much again and may God bless you and all of the people involved in this ministry.
CMI’s Gary Bates responds:
Dear Mr A.,
Thanks for your email and encouraging words. Of course I am unable to comment on what I think it is because I have not seen the photo. But here’s some things to consider that I hope will help you understand how we have all been conditioned to some extent into the way we interpret such things.
When you or anyone says a UFO, what do you mean? It is a loaded statement really. A UFO by definition is just an unidentified flying object. In other words, we simply don’t know what it is. So why attribute something spectacular to it? But to most people today UFO really means extraterrestrial spaceship piloted by aliens.
Have you noted that in a similar way you are automatically attributing something strange—perhaps otherworldly or spiritual about what your friend saw? The interpretation of our world, our existence etc. should be based upon the knowledge that God’s Word is true. So, try it this way.
- Most people misidentify UFOs because they already believe in aliens.
- The Bible does not allow for advanced aliens (please read Did God create life on other planets?).
- Therefore it cannot be an alien craft.
- It must be something else.
- This fits because over 90% of sightings can be explained as natural or manmade phenomena (clouds, aircraft, satellites etc.)
I have just written an article that demonstrates there are 3 main schools of thought that people use to interpret UFOs. If you read Does the UFO phenomenon marginalize the Christian worldview? you will see the criterion that I recommend Christians should use to interpret such phenomena.
I have often been sent photos with apparent objects in them. In practically every case there has been some very simple explanation. Many people don’t accept simple explanations because of our tendency to get excited about such things thinking that we might have witnessed something of significance. In some cases these have even been droplets of moisture on the lens that were not evident to the person taking the photo, and only realized when looking at the pictures later. Sometimes there have been birds moving quickly that have been blurred and so on. The most common mistaken sighting is the planet Venus, believe it or not. Yet this planet remains relatively motionless in the night sky. But it demonstrates how people interpret such phenomena because they already have a pre-belief that such things exist.
So in short, I would try to look for what else you think it could be, even before attributing it to some spiritual activity either. Also remember that often we cannot be in possession of all the facts at the time we see something. The Air Force might be testing something, for example, but it is not released to the public (this is very rare though). Only after every possible natural explanation has been exhausted should we attribute something spiritual, and even then it would actually need to display some spiritual characteristics like changing shape or simply vanishing into thin air.
I hope this helps.
I think a very telling verse/concept in relation to the first feedback article is God's command to "fill the earth".
That's what He wants of us. If it was God's intention for us to fill the universe (heavens?) as Jerome suggests, then He would have said so.
Now that's not to say that we can't travel (or maybe even populate) outside this planet, but it certainly doesn't seem to me to be the imperative that is suggested, and one might even argue that it is against God's will to fill the universe, or even one other planet or moon outside our planet.