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The Bible and Aliens Part 2
The Uniqueness of Earth and Mankind
To those who accept evolutionary theory and believe that this world is not the result of an intelligent God who created this entire universe for his glory, and created man in His own image, they think that it is a foregone conclusion that we cannot be alone. Over the billions of years that they say this universe has been in existence there must be other worlds similar to ours that have formed and evolved into planets capable of sustaining life similar to ours. Further, there must be planets that are farther along in the evoultionary process that have more evolved beings that are more powerful and more intelligent.
It is with this mindset that many, if not most, Scientists are constantly probing the galaxy looking for any signs of life beyond our own. Obviously, as Christians, we know that any search to displace the God of the universe will ultimately end in failure. But many Christians also look at this vast universe with all of its stars and think that God must have created intelligent life on other planets. But did He? Truthfully, we cannot be dogmatic on this subject since the Bible neither confirms nor denies such life. However, there are clues that point in a specific direction.
I. Earth Holds Center Stage in Creation
If we go back to the Genesis account in creation, we see that the earth plays a pivotal role in God's designing of it all. In fact it was created before any other planet or star even existed. In Genesis 1:1-14 we see that the earth was around on day one. The Sun, Moon and stars weren't created until day four. From this account it is obvious that the Bible seems to indicate that the earth is more than just one among many planets that inhabit the universe.
II. Man's Creation in the Image of God
It is interesting that of everything created, man has a unique relationship with his creator. He is the only being in Scripture that is said to be created in the image of God. Even the angels, that are obviously far more intelligent and powerful, don't have this unique priviledge. The creation of the universe and all of its glory is topped off by the forming, from the dust of the earth, the first man. Mankind was given dominion over everything on earth (Genesis 1:28). But there are other Scriptures which indicate that he was also given dominion over all of creation. For example Psalm 8 tells us that the heavens are the work of God's fingers, then goes on to say: "You have made him (man) to have dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet (8:3,6).
In the book of Deuteronomy we see a similar statement. In Deuteronomy 4:19 Moses tells God's people:
"And take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the Sun, the Moon and the Stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the Lord your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage."
Clearly the Bible indicates that God has given man a unique place in this universe. He plays a central role. So, where would extraterrestrial life rank in the created order, when the Bible indicates that man is God's vice regent to take care of it? If they existed, they would have to be subject to man. This gives us a far different view of this universe than Star Trek, Star Wars and other Science fiction series tend to picture.
III. The Entire Universe was affected by Adam's Sin
Scripture indicates that when man sinned, the entire universe was affected by that fall. Romans 8:18-22 tells us that all creation was subjected to futility and awaits the time when it will be released from the curse caused by sin. The fate of the universe is forever linked to God's timetable for mankind and the earth. One day our Lord Jesus Christ will return to finish his work of salvation which he began on the cross. We see in II Peter 3:9-10, as well as Revelation 21:1 that He will destroy this present heaven and earth and make new ones. In other words, the galaxies, stars and planets will be destroyed.
The question is, if God had created intelligent life on other planets in the universe, then why would their fate be completely linked to the failure of earth's inhabitants? Should whole races of non-human intellegent creatures be annihilated because of our rebellion? Unless they are, in some way connected to Adam, then they should not have to suffer for our sins. This alone would indicate that there is no intelligent life other than man that would be affected.
Once again, we don't want to be dogmatic about what Scripture is silent on, but the clear indicators are that this universe is not populated with myriads of intelligent beings such as ourselves. The only extraterrestrial life that the Bible talks about are the angels who were apparently created before this present universe even existed. And even they are said to be eagerly observing what God is doing here on planet earth.
This universe is so vast, magnificent and glorious that it points to the glory of the one who created it (Psalm 19:1). As one person observed, rather than looking to the heavens and trying to find some extraterrestrial life that we have no indication even exists, we should be looking and being in awe of the one who made it all possible. It is my prayer that we will all spend our lives bringing glory to Him who has given us such a unique place in this world and in this vast and magnificent universe.