The question of aliens and the existence of intelligent life on other planets has gained immense popularity. Many scientists, in vogue today, speculate about the possibilities, steadfastly believing that we are not alone in the vast universe. Our fascination with alien life is evident in the popularity of TV shows and movies on this subject, as well as its inclusion in many New Age religions. So, what does the Bible have to say about extraterrestrial beings? In this article, we will delve into this topic candidly and provide an easily understood answer. However, it’s important to note that this is not an exhaustive theological analysis.
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The Bible’s Implicit Take on Intelligent Life
The question of whether the Bible directly addresses the existence of alien beings remains unanswered. The Bible neither explicitly confirms nor denies the presence of intelligent life on other planets. However, it implicitly states that God created beings with intelligence: angels, humans, and animals.
It is crucial to understand that, according to the Bible, the stars and planets were not formed billions of years before Earth. Earth was not a product of billions of years of stellar evolution during which numerous other planets came into existence. Instead, Earth was the first creation, existing even before any other planet or star. It was brought into being on the very first day of Creation (Genesis 1:1). On the fourth day, God created the Sun, Moon, and stars (Genesis 1:14-19). This positioning of Earth as the centerpiece of God’s creation makes it truly unique.
Moreover, the fate of the entire universe, including other planets and stars, is inextricably linked to God’s timetable for humanity and Earth. The return of Christ to Earth and the culmination of mankind’s redemption (2 Peter 3:9-10) will mark the destruction of the current universe and the creation of a new heavens and Earth (2 Peter 3:7,10; Revelations 21:1). All stars and planets, along with Earth, will be destroyed.
Implications for Extraterrestrial Life
Given this, what does it mean for the existence of extraterrestrial life? The destruction and recreation of the universe seem to revolve around God’s plan for us humans on Earth. If God had created intelligent life on other worlds, it would be difficult to fathom that their lives would be affected and destroyed based on the failures of Earth’s inhabitants. It appears unlikely and unjust for distant planets to suffer destruction because of God’s plan for Earth. According to Scripture, there are no indications of other intelligent beings besides humans, animals, and angels.
One might wonder why God created such a vast universe if Earth is the sole focus. What purpose does the universe serve? While God has not revealed all the answers, some reasons can be gleaned from Scripture:
The Universe’s Purposes
1. Light, Time-keeping, and Navigation
The Sun, Moon, and stars were created to provide light, dispelling the darkness of the night sky, and assisting humanity (Genesis 1:14-15). Apart from lighting our way, they enable us to measure time, predict seasons, and navigate across great distances. Ancient civilizations have utilized the movement of stars in crafting calendars and finding their way, demonstrating God’s foresight from the beginning. Even certain migratory birds might employ constellations for their journeys.
2. Glorifying the Creator
Another purpose for the countless stars is to glorify God, drawing our attention to the Creator’s awe-inspiring power and greatness. As Psalm 19:1 suggests, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God, and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” The vastness of the universe showcases God’s might, surpassing human imagination. Psalm 8:1,3,9 emphasizes how contemplating the heavens should inspire us to meditate on God’s splendid glory instead of indulging in fantasies about extraterrestrial beings.
The Bible does not explicitly state the existence of intelligent life beyond Earth. Although our all-powerful God could have created such life if He desired, Scripture indicates otherwise. The present universe’s timeline revolves around God’s interactions with us, suggesting that Earth, with its human race, holds a unique position in God’s fellowship. This fellowship is so distinct that the angels, God’s only true extraterrestrial creations, eagerly observe it. As we reflect on the vast and awe-inspiring universe, let us appreciate the privilege of being the center of attention.
Author: Mark Van Bebber of Christian Answers | 5 WS