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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Extraterrestrials - What Does the Bible Indicate?

Astronomers have not discovered life of any kind in our solar system or in the cosmos beyond. Yet after considering the overwhelming size of the Universe, some have concluded that the odds are great that we are not alone. Also, some influential religious figures have insisted that God would not create any world without purpose and that all habitable worlds must therefore be inhabited.

But since no life has been discovered beyond our world thus far, are astronomers on solid ground when they assert that the universe is teeming with populated worlds? What does the Bible indicate on this matter? According to the Bible, is anyone out there? 

Spirit Creatures

According to the Bible, extraterrestrial life not only exists but exists in abundance. (Rev. 5:11; Matt. 26:53) It is more complex, more interesting, and more believable than anything that evolutionists, science-fiction writers, and moviemakers have dreamed up. After all, an extraterrestrial is simply a being who originates outside this earth and its atmosphere.

Scientists wonder if there might be life-forms beyond our ability to detect. The Bible assures us that such beings do indeed exist. But they are not the products of evolution. Like all life in the universe, in whatever form, they came from the Source of life, Jehovah God. He is a spirit Being, and He has created myriads of other spirit beings of different types: angels, cherubs, and seraphs. They perform different work and functions in his intricate heavenly organization. (Psalm 104:4; Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 19:14)

What About Extraterrestrial Intelligent Physical Beings on Other Planets?

The Bible also gives us some indication as to whether or not other intelligent physical beings exist beyond the Earth. The Bible indicates that it is very unlikely that God at this point has created intelligent physical creatures on any planets other than our own. How so?

If God did create such intelligent physical beings, He most likely did so before He created Adam and Eve. Such beings either remained faithful to their Creator, or like Adam and Eve, they sinned and fell into imperfection.

But if they became imperfect, they needed a redeemer. One essayist put it: “One has this dreadful thought that on Friday [the day Jesus Christ was executed], every Friday, somewhere in the universe Jesus is being hanged high for someone’s sins.” But that is not Scriptural. The Bible tells us that Jesus “died with reference to sin once for all time.” (Romans 6:10)

But what if these beings had remained perfect? Well, when Adam and Eve sinned, they were, in effect, questioning God’s right to rule over a world of intelligent physical beings. If another planet existed at that time, a world full of intelligent physical beings who were living harmoniously and loyally under God’s rule, it would be reasonable for them to have been called in as witnesses to testify that God’s rule does indeed work.

So in this context, the Bible indicates that, considering the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, Earth is the only planet to which the Creator sent his only-begotten Son to become a man and die sacrificially to recover the planet’s inhabitants from sin and its penalty death. The Bible also shows that the Earth will be the only planet on which God, by means of his Son Jesus Christ, will have fought the ‘war of the great day of God the Almighty’ to show his power over all his enemies in heaven and on earth and to vindicate himself as the Universal Sovereign. (Rev. 16:14)

What About Non-intelligent Life on other Planets?

The Bible gives us no indication as to whether God created any non-intelligent life (i.e. animals, insects, vegetation, microbes) on other planets. Some subscribe to the theory of Abiogenesis which is defined as "living organisms (that) can arise spontaneously from inanimate matter". It is the idea that life arose naturally - by itself - from chemical compounds. However, if one truly considers the enormous odds of life spontaneously arising even under the most favorable of circumstances, it should give one pause to this theory. Scientists Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe estimate that the odds against life’s vital enzymes forming by chance is 1 in 10 to the 40,000th power (1 with 40,000 zeros after it). Scientists Feinberg and Shapiro go still further. In their book Life Beyond Earth, they put the odds against the material in an organic soup ever taking the first rudimentary steps toward life at 1 1 in 10 to the 1,000,000th power (1 with a million zeros after it). It also should be noted that Science, with even the best labs and equipment cannot even replicate on purpose what they claim happened by accident on Earth long ago. Certainly if there is any non-intelligent extraterrestrial life out there it is because God originally created it and not through the process of abiogenesis.

Would God Create The Universe Just to Accommodate Humans?

But if we are the only intelligent physical beings in the known Universe, does that mean, then, that God created all those countless billions of suns (and presumably billions of planets) for no purpose? Why, one may ask, would God create the entire Universe seemingly just to accommodate humans on Earth?

But consider, is it really so difficult to believe that God created the entire universe just for our benefit and wonder? After all, despite the enormity of the universe, it is still 'just' the mere "works of [His] fingers"! (Ps. 8:1) His vast power is so staggering to the imagination that His physical creation is but "the fringes of his ways". (Job 26:14) Putting it in this perspective, creating the entire universe just for us is comparatively insignificant when compared to how much God gave us in another way by means of allowing His own Son to die because of His love for us. (John 3:16,17)

But what would be the point of creating all of those countless billions of suns and planets if humans aren't even able to visit, explore or utilize them? First, while we understand that, considering the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, the earth is the only inhabited planet in the universe right now, what the future holds for us we do not know.

Another thing to consider is that the Bible points out that God "has put a sense of eternity in people's minds." (Ecclesiastes 3:11) - God's Word Translation. Because of this, God’s creation is so rich and complex that it constantly intrigues us and fills us with awe of Him. The universe is so grand that it serves as a constant reminder of how much there is to be learned from the One who created it and a desire to do so. It serves as a testament of "His eternal power and Godship" and gives us a glimpse of His "invisible [qualities]". (Rom. 1:20) NWT. Trying to grasp the sheer immensity of the Universe can, when seriously pondered, promote an overwhelming admiration and gratitude toward the One who has also given so much in another way by means of His Son on our behalf. (John 3:16,17) No doubt we could begin to feel as did the psalmist who wrote: “Many things you yourself have done, O Jehovah my God, even your wonderful works and your thoughts toward us; there is none to be compared to you. . . . They have become more numerous than I can recount.” (Psalm 40:5) NWT

For much more concerning Extraterrestrials, see the 4/8/90 Awake!

Also see: Life on Other Planets? (Jimspace)

 Defend Jehovah's Witnesses