If you want to gain a quick burst of appreciation for the awesome power and creative artistry of God, all you have to do is look up.
The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world. (Psalm 19:1-4)
But while some find spiritual answers in a look at the heavens, others find a tantalizing question.
As the London Daily Mail expressed it today –
Is there anyone out there in the ‘question mark’
With its unique glowing shape and colours spiralling down to a dot it appears to be begging the question – is anyone out there?
There are few more intriguing questions we get asked on our daily talk show Scott Richards Live than this one.
Surely we can’t be the only intelligent form of life in the universe?
Why, out of a universe some 15-20 billion light years across,would we be the only ones God would make?
What does the Bible say about life beyond this earth?
The answer we find in the Word of God is shocking, both to believers and unbelievers.
First – the Bible does tell us that there are other intelligent life forms in the universe.
And no, they aren’t robot amazons from the Planet Stinky-Pinky.
They are – angels.
The book of Hebrews chapter one tells us two important facts about angels –
And of the angels He says:
“ Who makes His angels spirits
And His ministers a flame of fire.” (Hebrews 1:7)
And their mission:
Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:14)
In a nutshell Angels are intelligent, sentient beings with a completely different make up than we have.
Their purpose is to carry out God’s will, particularly concerning the spiritual welfare of His people.
The Bible also indicates they do their best work “undercover”.
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. (Hebrews 13:2)
So when asked does the Bible teach that their are other intelligent beings in the universe, the answer is an unavoidable “yes”.
“But what about other non spiritual creatures like us? Isn’t our galaxy filled with other civilizations zipping around at warp 9?”
In a word – no.
I used to believe that any attempt to biblically answer the question of other planets populated with (sometimes) intelligent beings was an argument from silence.
There is no specific yes or no verse that applies to this issue.
Some will say, “Maybe yes. Maybe no. The jury is still out. We’ll have to wait and see.”
But the more I look at what the Bible says about the beginning and end of God’s plan for our world, the more doubtful I am that He is working in the same way in any other.
First, when we look at the creation account in Genesis 1, the focal point is this amazing miracle planet we call earth.
In the sequence of creation, the earth was created before the rest of the universe. Heavenly objects (i.e.- the rest of the universe)were not created until the fourth day ( see Genesis 1:14-19).
Second, when we see the Lord’s plan of salvation fulfilled, we see God becoming a human being in the person of Jesus Christ. (See Isaiah 7:14)
Some Christian thinkers (like CS Lewis) have speculated that if there was a species of box shaped creatures elsewhere in the universe, God would have become a box like creature to save them as well.
But in His resurrected state, Jesus does not appear as a glorified box like creature, but as a glorified man – fully God and fully man forever.
The glorified human nature of Jesus does not point to the existence of other physical beings like us.
Third, when man fell in the Garden of Eden, the Bible tells us the entire creation was effected.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. (Romans 8:19-22)
The universal impact of the fall begs the question – why would what a human being did on our planet result in death and corruption for the box-like creatures on Planet StinkyPinky?
Finally, when we see the portrait of the end of God’s dealings with this creation, it is inextricably linked to events that take place here on earth.
In fact, at the end of the Thousand Year Reign of Christ on earth, we are told that following the final judgment, God will recreate a new heavens and a new earth where only righteousness dwells. (See II Peter 3:10-13)
The bottom line?
I am extremely doubtful that there are other physical creatures like us in the universe.
The centrality of earth in creation, the miracle of Jesus’ incarnation, and the complete recreation of the universe based on what goes on here, strongly indicate we occupy a unique and special place indeed.
You are probably thinking, “But what about UFO’s?”
As we have seen the Bible tells us there are other intelligent beings in the universe – the angels.
But Jesus also told us that some of these angels fell into sin and rebellion against God. (See Matthew 25:41)
Their number one desire is to fulfill the old adage, “Misery loves company.”
Their mission is to lead people away from the God Who loves them.
And their number one tool is deception.
How does this jibe with UFO phenomena?
Consider the philosophy that goes with it.
People who buy into an outlook influenced by Star Trek, Star Wars and ET also tend to buy into the following conclusions:
“We aren’t alone in the universe. There are civilizations that have solved the problems we face today. Perhaps we can look to them for our salvation!”
“We all are a product of evolution and are getting better and better. With advanced technology and bigger brains we can perfect ourselves just like the UFO beings did!”
Did you catch the message?
We don’t really need a new heart from God – just a new brain, or a new invention or two that will perfect us!
Maybe a box like creature from the planet Stinky-Pinky will straighten us out before its too late!
If Satan can sell his deceptions with a few Spielberg-esque special effects, why wouldn’t he?
The bottom line?
In a sense we are alone in this universe.
The more we study the planets we can see, and even speculate about the ones we can’t, the more we see this earth is a very special place indeed.
In that case the universe is not “a waste of space”, but rather a portrait of the vastness and power of our Creator.
And the fact that this planet is perfectly situated, even fine tuned for life tells us of His love.
It reminds us of the serious and universal consequences of rejecting a relationship with God.
But it also reminds us that the true and living God, so vast and powerful is also intimate and personal.
He loves us, enough to become one of us, in order to save us.
The big question is, do you know that love personally today?
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