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If one has lived long in this world, it is difficult to believe that he has not at least come in contact with someone who is a sincere believer in Extra-Terrestrials--hereafter called ET's. Beyond this, compliments of Covid-19, there has been time to see a myriad of documentaries which affirm categorically that yes, we are not alone in the universe.
So, lets look at this phenomena, and ask what would be the appropriate biblical response to this possibility, and are there any other possibilities?
Let's be very careful as we approach a subject like this. It speaks to so much more than just asking the question--Is there intelligent life out there? A proper exegesis of Scripture, could have much to say on this subject! The good news is that the Bible believer has nothing to fear from sincere inquiry.
There are several strings of thought to pursue on this subject, and it is important to build the list of questions and concerns, so we can truly grasp the significance. 1st thought--An acceptance of life on other planets seems to be greatly increased by those who hold to a deep belief in molecules-to-man evolution. The reason that so many evolutionary scientists believe so strongly in this is because they feel that if the so-called building blocks of evolution are there, then inevitably given enough time, life will appear by random chance! Then, that life will become more and more complex over countless millennia and the inhabitants become capable of creating space ships to visit other planets. What I have been noticing in recent years is that the belief in ET's by many has become a deep seated hope, built on faith. Indeed, the hope that all future inventions will solve many of today's dilemmas. It seems that some, with the hope of great medical breakthroughs, see an end to disease and the beginning of eternal life! This would be eternal life like that promised by God to all who believe in Jesus Christ. Could this not be seen as a faith-based, religious belief ? More on this after we consider other important thoughts.
Since the Bible is our source of all truth, we must begin the search there. Remember, we unashamedly propose that the Bible is God's Word. He knows the beginning from the end, and has been the creator and sustainer of everything we know in the universe. So, He would certainly be one we can trust regarding this inquiry. 2nd thought--according to Romans 8:22, we know that the whole universe, ("whole creation") was corrupted by the fall. Due to this fall, we know that Jesus came to die for this world. (John 3:16) Could we accept the idea that he would go and die again for another world that He created? This, in spite of the fact that His word only speaks of this world?
The 3rd thought regards the strong delusion referred to in II Thessalonians 2:11. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: (lit. The lie).
As the Antichrist is being described in verse 9,10 like this: "Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, (10) And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." (emphasis mine) There is clearly a 'lying' and 'deceivableness' happening at the end of the age. What could this last days lie and deception be? Please consider God's lament of Israel's rejection of Him. Psalm 81: 11,12: But, my people would not hearken to my voice, and Israel would none of me. (12) Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! The Bible is filled with God's judgement that followed against Israel! Could or maybe should we expect anything less against the USA?
This brings us to our 4th thought which regards the spiritual warfare happening around us (in the air) all the time. The angel was sent to Daniel with the answer to his prayer in Daniel 10:11-14. The angel, whose name is not given, explains to Daniel how he began to come from heaven to Daniel with the answer to his prayer as Daniel began to pray--3 weeks earlier! (Dan. 10:2) However, he was withstood by, what he describes to Daniel as "the prince of the kingdom of Persia" (Dan. 10:13). We have here an amazing description of literal warfare happening in the sky. This angel, described simply as a man in vs 5, is sent reinforcements from heaven, as he continues to explain to Daniel "Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me;. . ." verse 13. This warfare is in the realm of the unseen--yet, Daniel is allowed to see this angel. We have many other Bible examples of angels appearing to various people, so this is no surprise. I bring this up as an important thought so that we might understand with our limited knowledge that there are things happening in the air, (read as space), all around us everyday.
The 5th thought regards the idea of betting on the odds. There is much emphasis placed on our growing knowledge of more and more galaxies. With each containing many millions/billions of planets and stars. This has caused many to suggest that there must be, many earth like planets out there with a similar sun. We are told repeatedly, that the simple odds are that this is true! How can anyone deny this probability? The truth is, as we have discussed in a prior blog entitled (Home Sweet Home), that the odds of any combination of planets/stars having the same evident perfection for life that we find on earth, is very, very unlikely by comparison. The probability number of our earth, sun and moon, being replicated by chance is so low, as to make the probability seem very small indeed. Add to this the improbability of life arising from non-life, in violation of the scientific Law of Biogenesis, which makes the probability even smaller. No matter how many news stories are released or how many times we are told, the true probability when ALL the facts are considered is as close to zero as a probability number can get.
What Shall We Say Then to These Things?
I must start this conclusion with some bold axioms that may surprise many.
Something is going on in the heavens! There have been so many sightings and eye-witnesses--too many to ignore. Many of the eye-witnesses are far from irrational kooks.
We could as believers, find ourselves in the unenviable position of trying to deny something that will be seen world-wide--or at least, by vast amounts of people at once.
The world is much more likely to believe something they see with their own eyes than anything we can explain from the Bible.
Understanding these axioms will help us to draw our final concluding points.
It seems inevitable, that the deep desire which seems to be growing in our culture today to see/communicate with ET's will only increase.
It further seems inevitable that many more 'sightings' will occur, with more and more 'evidence' that this is real.
With this inevitability in mind, believers must more than ever seek the wisdom of God concerning how to respond with a Biblical perspective.
As referenced in the 3rd thought above, the strong delusion sent from Satan and allowed by God is a very real possibility as the reason for these occurrences.
In view of the above point, as well as the 4th thought above, this could be in conjunction or in addition to the spiritual warfare happening 'in the heavens' described throughout the Bible.
II Thessalonians 2:10 seems to say what I believe best summarizes the reason for the "strong delusion" perpetrated by Satan and allowed by God. We see the answer in the phrase, "because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." In other words, since Jesus walked on this earth, the generation that is alive at the end of the age will have the same choice as all the preceding generations. If the desire of that final generation is to embrace the fascination and likelihood of ET's, to the exclusion of God's truth, then God will allow that. He will allow it "because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." Until that time, we see the Lord Jesus standing at the door of each individual heart unwilling to beat down the door. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." (Revelation 3:20 KJV)
We see an example of this in Pharaoh as he interacts with Moses. Interchangeably in their discussions, we see that both God hardened Pharaoh's heart and that Pharaoh hardened his own heart (Exodus chapters 7-13). God, who knows the heart of every individual, knew exactly how Pharaoh would respond to each miracle and how He would respond. Even knowing that Pharaoh would reject the miracles of God, God seemed to be saying, 'you will not accept the message I'm sending from my servant Moses, so I will allow you to remain rebellious and obstinate to My will'. It seems clear that the Pharaoh mindset is alive and well in America today. Judgment had to fall on Egypt as surely as it will fall on America.
The spiritual warfare of which all believers are reminded to be mindful, is very much active in our current day. God has and will allow people to see what they want to see.
Lord, help us to withstand the onslaught of so called 'evidence', as we offer an alternative answer to a rebellious and stiff-necked people, as we ourselves often are. Also, as we await that "Blessed Hope" and the true future invasion of the world, help us to be ready. "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ." (Titus 2:13 )