EXCLUSIVE by Dr. Shah, Clearview Church, Henderson, NC
Introduction: The year was somewhere around 1979-80. I was in my dad’s library, and I saw this magazine with pictures of a movie that had come out a few years earlier. It was a space movie with spaceships and weird creatures from outer space. The movie was “Star Wars.” I was mesmerized! Since then, it has become a multimedia franchise with a total value of over $70 billion. Personally, I’m more of a Flash Gordon guy (Dale Arden, Dr. Zarkov, and Ming the Merciless, ruler of Mongo)! The point is that human beings have been fascinated with space since in ancient times. We want to know what’s out there and how it is connected to us. Unfortunately, it has taken on a very different turn in the past 100 years or so where it is believed that there is life out there. As you know, we are in our series on apologetics titled “CONTEND,” and some of the questions that came through the questionnaires were – “Is there life on other planets?” “Do you believe in aliens?” “What do you think about UFO sightings?” Here’s what we believe: God has exclusively designed the Earth to sustain and nurture life. Also, God has exclusively designed human beings to inhabit the earth and enjoy this world. Belief in alien life not only distorts the truth about creation, but it also devalues us and distracts us from the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Genesis 1 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
Context: In last weekend’s message, we learned how glorious the sun, the moon, and the stars are, and how they testify to the coming glorious resurrection for all of us. In today’s message, we’re going to learn how glorious the earth is in relation to the sun, the moon, and the stars. In other words, there is no place like home, our planet Earth. When people talk about life on other planets, its partly because they have not truly understood how amazing the Earth is (Paul Garner, Gary Bates, Sarfati):
- The Earth is unique compared to all the other planets in our solar system:
- Jupiter is so big that it holds on to lighter toxic gases along with wind speeds of 435 m/h.
- Mars (red planet) does not have enough mass to hold on to the atmosphere.
- Venus is the Earth’s size but because of the thick layers of CO2, it is a hostile world for life
- Mercury has temperature between – 173° F and 427°
- Saturn (known for its ring systems) has density less than water. It would float on water. The Earth has the right size for gravity. Too much and we would get crushed. Too little and we would float away.
- The Earth alone has the right atmosphere with the right mixture of oxygen and nitrogen. It also protects us from the billions of meteors and ultraviolet rays.
- The Earth is not too hot or too cold (like Goldilocks!). It is the right distance from the sun, and the oceans help regulate the seasonal temperature. 10% closer and we will be in a furnace. 10% farther and we would have icy deserts.
- The Earth is spinning at the perfect speed. Any faster or slower, the temperature would be unbearable and even produce violent weather.
- The Earth’s axis is titled to an angle of 5°. This gives us the 4 seasons. From April to September, the northern hemisphere is pointed towards the sun and from October to March the southern hemisphere is pointed towards the sun. If the tilt were more, polar ice would melt and cause mass flooding.
- The Earth is about 2/3 from the center of the Milky Way. Any closer and it would be too bright. Any farther and it would be too dark at night.
- The Earth is covered 70% by water. There are 70 billion gallons of water for every single person! It is perfect for us, the animals, and the plants. It allows for the hydrological cycle because it can exist as ice, liquid, and vapor. The Earth also has a lot of natural resources such as metals and wood.
I can go on and on, but the point is that as of 2016, scientists and astronomers have found about 2000 extrasolar planets and none of them can sustain and nurture life like our earth. But people have raised some objections to this fact:
- What is the purpose of the vast space?
If the universe is billions of light years across, it seems like an awful lot of wasted space. Isaiah 55 8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Just like a baby sees his mom and dad as that familiar face who loves on him/her, plays with him/her, and takes care of him/her. The baby doesn’t realize there is so much more to the mom and dad. They may be professionals. They may have jobs and businesses. They may have advanced degrees. Although being a parent is at the top of the list, there is a lot more to them. We tend to see God within the confines of our life and our world. The vastness of the universe is to teach us that God is so much more. Although being our heavenly father is at the top of the list, there is a lot more to God.
- Does intelligent life in space contradict the Bible?
Three things here: first, if there were intelligent life out there, there should have been some contact by now; second, our radio signals through SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) have only resulted in total silence; third, listen to David in Psalm 8 3 “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, 4 What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor.” If human beings are created a little lower than the angels, then we are the next in ranking order. Some might claim that there may be inferior life forms like bacteria somewhere in space. No evidence thus far. In fact, when they were sending the Curiosityrover to Mars, swabs to the surface found 65 species of bacteria after a sterilization process. One of the administrators of the project said, “We know there’s life on Mars already because we sent it there!
- How about all the UFO sightings and alien encounters?
In the past 100 years or so, so many claims have been made regarding UFOs and aliens. I don’t have time to go into details. A great resource is Gary Bates, “Alien Intrusion.” These sightings and encounters are a combination of 3 things:
- Hoax: Most of the stories, pictures, and videos have been proven to be lies. Some of the pictures of spaceships were cake pans and hubcaps. It’s about money and 15 minutes of fame.
- Misidentification: Planet Venus, Meteors, Satellites, Space Shuttles, Weather Balloons, Northern and Southern Lights, Birds, Aircraft, Sun’s reflection, car headlights, streetlights, kites, insect swarms, and especially government military aircraft that hasn’t been made public. The last one was especially crucial through the Cold War years.
- Truth: Not all these alien encounters were lies. Some were actually telling the truth, but they were not aliens. They were demonic forces who were tormenting and terrorizing them. Those who became Christians realized that it was the Enemy who was deceiving them. It happened because they opened their mind to evil – Ouija boards, dark activities, music, drugs, abuse, etc. What is the solution? Acts 16:18 And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.
- Is the root cause science fiction?
No. The root cause is evolution. Think of C. S. Lewis writing the Chronicles of Narnia or Tolkien writing “The Lord of the Rings.” There is nothing wrong using imagination, but evolution goes far beyond imagination to false reality.
- It devalues the creation account in the Bible.
- It devalues human beings.
- It devalues the impact of sin on the whole creation/universe. Romans 8 19 “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”
- It devalues the sacrifice of Jesus once and for all. Romans 6:10 “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.”
- It devalues the coming plan of God to remake the heavens and the earth. 2 Peter 3 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Revelation 21:1 “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.”
Invitation: Do you realize how exclusive you are? Do you realize how exclusive is the plan of salvation? Do you realize that this is the way, and it is through Jesus Christ?