In the movie Contact, Jody Foster plays an astronomer who is trying to listen for signals from space that may be from worlds and civilizations far away. In the movie she contemplates the vastness of space and wonders if we are alone in the universe. She says to a group of kids in the movie:
“The universe is a pretty big place. It’s bigger than anything anyone has ever dreamed of before. So if it’s just us… seems like an awful waste of space. Right?”
Man has always been an explorer. From the tribes of Israel to Marco Polo to Columbus to John Glenn, mankind has always been on the move either across the planet, below the ocean or out to Pluto. We never seem satisfied with where we are. This curiosity and inquisitive nature must come from God.
Space is a very inhospitable place for humans. It is cold, void of oxygen and bathed in dangerous cosmic rays. Special pressurized suits are necessary to survive in the harshness of space. Just to get into space is a monumental chore as we try to overcome the effects of gravity with a hydrogen oxygen fuel compound to boost our ships into orbit. The challenges to getting and living in space would make one start to believe that God does not want humans in space and wants us to stay here on earth. The loss of several lives on Apollo and the Shuttle reminds us of our inability to effectively pursue space travel. Yet we continue to do so.
In the beginning God created not only the Earth but an entire universe surrounding it. In the book of Job, He lays out how He measured the heavens to their place and set the stars in motion. Scientists have been able to measure the size of our universe to 93 billion light years in diameter. That distance is almost unfathomable in human terms. Why create a space so large that humans will never be able to explore. Or will they?
Last year, the United States spent $19.3 Billion with a B on NASA. The space agency saw an increase of $1.3 Billion from the year before. 19.3 Billion is a lot of money devoted to the exploration of space. 19.3 billion is larger than the entire GDP of Afghanistan and 19.3 Billion could feed almost 161 million orphans per year!
In the Garden of Eden mankind rebelled against his Maker, the Creator of this universe. God in his mercy created mankind to inhabit the whole earth. As man continued to rebel, God chose various men and groups to carry forth His covenant. Noah, Abraham, the Jews and now the Christians are all part of God’s plan to save mankind from himself and allow him to finally one day fulfill his destiny.
Jesus came to bring salvation to mankind and eradicate sin. He paid the prize of man’s rebellion. Before God could even contemplate mankind exploring the galaxies, the sin problem had to be resolved. Otherwise, like in the movies, the Klingons and the Romulans would always be at war among the stars. Sin could not be allowed to infect the universe.
The Bible speaks of man subduing the earth and at its present size could probably accommodate about 10 – 20 billion people if there were fewer oceans as the Bible mentions. But with a universe so vast why would one just limit humankind to just one planet.
I don’t believe we are destined to remain on earth. Earth will always be our home but the change that will take place on our frail human bodies after the second coming will make us better equipped for travel beyond this solar system. It will have to in order for us to journey to the stars.
In Revelation, it says the Earth and the Heavens will be transformed in fire. I don’t believe this applies to the moons of Saturn and the stars and exoplanets beyond. I believe mankind’s old existence will be wiped away off the face of the planet and all of the space junk in our lower earth orbit will be consumed by fire. With a new earth void of pollution and satellites, we will be even more in awe of the stars of heaven.
Why would those involved in the exploration of space not want to become Christians. In the new earth, they will get to explore the vastness of space unencumbered and capable of covering billions of miles in no time at all. Instead of spending $19.3 billion, the exploration of space will be free just like God’s mercy and love. If the scientist and astronomers could just understand this, they would throw away Darwin and embrace the Bible.
Not an awful waste of space after all but rather an almost unlimited realm to explore for eternity. This is the Future of Man.