In the Star Trek movie Generations, the character Guinan tells Captain Picard about a place called the Nexus. Man is the instrument for the redemption of the earthly creation. Not only mankind in general but believers in particular (those with God’s Spirit within) are aligned with the rest of creation, which intuitively reaches out to God for deliverance. But there’s also hope, visible in springtime after a hard winter. On the one hand, these cataclysms declare God’s greatness. That’s why we’re fooled into thinking that Heaven must be fundamentally different from Earth—because in our minds, Earth is bad, irredeemable, beyond hope. . This is a tiny keyhole view of the universe, covering a speck of sky one-thirtieth the diameter of the moon. Will the new planets be mere ornaments, or does God intend for us to reach them one day? the planets are superheated metal, like the sun moon and stars. We’ll be physical human beings living in a physical universe. We know God will put one world under his children’s authority—Earth. So we don't see planets near the North Star or any of the other stars that are above or below the flat ecliptic. If we imagine the New Earth to have fewer and less beautiful features than the old, we picture the earth’s regression. Does the Earth really count? It’s our God-given hunger for adventure, for new realms and new beings, for new beauties and new knowledge. God is a creator. Want to see the crossing of the Red Sea? What Impact Is Technology Having On Today’s Workforce? Will he dispatch exploratory and governing expeditions to these worlds, where his glory will be seen in new and magnificent creations? We too will be destroyed by death, yet we will last forever. Since this is the New Earth, we should expect geographical properties of Earth: mountains, waterfalls, and other natural wonders. Why Is The Future Of Business About Creating A Shared Value For Everyone? Once his consuming central creation is finally done, he will return to his practiced habit of creating new works of art. The God who gave people creativity surely won’t take it back, will he? . What does this mean? Mankind’s fall may have initiated a divine moratorium on creation. . Would an omnipotent Artist do so? He walked on Earth; we will walk on Earth. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Sir Isaac Newton said of God, “He is eternal and infinite, omnipotent and omniscient; that is, his duration reaches from eternity to eternity; his presence from infinity to infinity.” God is the one “who inhabits eternity” (Isaiah 57:15, NKJV). In addition to the spiral and elliptical shaped galaxies, there’s a bewildering variety of other galaxy shapes and colors. These may be aberrations due to the Curse. Then, darling, you and I and all will have grand liberty wherewith Christ makes free—opening his hand to send us out like white doves to range the universe.”. The New Earth may have far more spectacular features than these. Why? The popularity of science fiction reflects that longing. What will we be able to accomplish for God’s glory when we have resurrected minds, unlimited resources, complete scientific cooperation, and no more death? So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. If we believe in God’s sovereignty, we must believe God would be glorified through our better understanding of human history. This being so, it is clear that the life of the new humanity in their resurrection bodies of glory can be described only in symbolic terms.” But what’s the biblical evidence for this claim? . In my novel Edge of Eternity, Nick Seagrave beholds the Woodsman (Jesus) and the end of the world—then realizes it’s really a beginning: I saw a dying cosmos hold out its weak right arm, longing for a transfusion, a cure for its cancerous chasm. However, it’s possible that indestructible resurrected bodies could endure its atmosphere. When we travel in the new universe, will we find new beings on other worlds? Do you hear groaning in the cold night wind? It also corresponds to the “new heaven(s)” of Isaiah 65:17, Isaiah 66:22, and 2 Peter 3:13. Since we’ll draw from the reservoir of God’s being, which never runs dry, we’ll never run out of passion and joy. 1.But we really want ………(visit) other planets and find out if life exists on them. (As I said before, I’m not certain we’ll have that power, though it’s possible.). How long would it take brilliant people working in full cooperation to make startling technological breakthroughs? Simply put, the drive "warps" space, both in front of and behind a starship, allowing it travel faster than the speed of light. Imagine how quickly the space shuttle could become a relic. I was overwhelmed by greatness on a cosmic scale and felt terribly small and alone. Some people will say, “To imagine that God would populate worlds with new beings is just science fiction.” We may have it backward. When we walk outside the city gate, we won’t remain inside. On the New Earth, shouldn’t we expect machinery made for the good of mankind and the glory of God? Because the whole universe fell under mankind’s sin, we can conclude that the whole universe was intended to be under mankind’s dominion. But this time we’ll succeed! By rebelling against the King of kings, mankind abdicated dominion over the earth. Jesus says of the overcomer, “I will also give him the morning star” (Revelation 2:28). Does this discussion seem to you a bit bizarre? Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of fifty-some books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries. This place seemed somehow familiar to her, yet how could it, since it was like nothing she’d ever seen? Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are called the “bright planets” because they are the five brightest planets and can be seen with the human eye. “They did not tell you because they do not know of it. The program's primary goals, as described in the 2014 NASA Science Plan, are to discover planets around other stars, to characterize their properties and to identify planets that could harbor life. We can’t be certain on this point. The proper question is not, Why would God create new worlds? Why Does All Creation Await Our Resurrection? Planets can be seen during a period called apparition. She describes it this way: “It was like being inside joy, as if joy was something tangible, and you could wrap yourself up in it like a blanket.”. if you observe the sun, note how uncannily similar it is to mars and venus and claimed photos of jupiter. But it is a pleasant beginning, isn’t it?”. If it has taken humanity 2000+ years to reach space, how long will it take for us to reach another solar system? God made countless billions of galaxies containing perhaps trillions of nebulae, planets, and moons. The promise of Heaven is not that we will become infinite—that would be to become inhuman. As a twelve-year-old, I first viewed through a telescope the great galaxy of Andromeda, consisting of hundreds of billions of stars and untold numbers of planets, nearly three million light years from Earth. Then we would not be surprised to see the whole creation come under our curse, because it would all be under our stewardship. Not many in human history have seen more than a few thousand stars, and then only as dots in the sky. Just as I believe this “self-same body”—as the Westminster Confession put it—will be raised and the “self-same” Earth will be raised, I believe the “self-same” Horsehead Nebula will be raised. This isn’t a modern development; it was true of ancient people as well. We should expect new and wondrous creations that declare his glory. It need no longer . . Let’s look at a few passages. When we just had our own solar system’s 8 planets to study, we had a limited view of what kind of planetary systems are possible in the cosmos. Do I seriously believe the new heavens will include new galaxies, planets, moons, white dwarf stars, neutron stars, black holes, and quasars? In the same way that the New Earth will be refashioned and still be a true Earth, with continuity to the old, the new cosmic heavens will likewise be the old renewed. Will God show us in Heaven what almost happened to us on Earth? Perhaps we’ll see the ripple effects of our small acts of faithfulness and obedience. God has built into us the longing to see the wonders of his far-flung creation. Give painters a room full of canvases, and they will paint. Let me share with you some relevant excerpts from my book Heaven, related to a New Universe, other planets, aliens and space travel. He reigns over the fallen universe now, and he will reign uncontested over the new universe, with mankind reigning by his side. What Will the New Celestial Heavens Be Like? and remembered it was not. Albert Wolters says, “The redemption in Jesus Christ means the restoration of an original good creation.”, Many of us have come to think of redemption far too narrowly. I’ve also mentioned my belief that we will explore the far reaches of the new universe. God says of the reigning Messiah, “Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end” (Isaiah 9:7). When Genesis 1:1 speaks of God’s creating “the heavens and the earth,” the words are synonymous with what we mean by universe. Couldn’t this fit his revealed purpose “that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace” (Ephesians 2:7)? John Calvin writes in his commentary on Romans 8:19, “I understand the passage to have this meaning—that there is no element and no part of the world which is being touched, as it were, with a sense of its present misery, that does not intensely hope for a resurrection.”, What is “the whole creation” that groans for our resurrection? However, it may be that the foundations of the New Earth’s buildings will be such that they would remain solid in the most violent storms or earthquakes. Like everything else undertaken by sinful humans, science fiction is often riddled with false philosophies and assumptions that glorify mankind and ignore God. The biblical texts speak of time and space in the New Earth similarly to how they speak of them here and now. While some passages suggest that the universe will wear out and the stars will be destroyed, others indicate that the stars will exist forever (Psalm 148:3-6). I’ve explained my understanding of Scripture that God will resurrect nations and cultures and that we’ll be able to visit them on the New Earth. The Bible appears to say otherwise: “Death came through a man [Adam]” (1 Corinthians 15:21). Since the old Earth is the prototype of the new, there’s every reason to believe he will show his greatness and beauty the same way on the New Earth. If we know Jesus, you and I, we who will never pass our peaks will be there to behold an endless revelation of natural wonders that display God’s glory . After I became a Christian, I found that gazing through the telescope became an act of delighted worship. In addition to the bright planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, under certain special conditions it is possible to see Uranus with the naked eye, though it is very dim and will be hard to locate. Even if we’re able to move rapidly from one place to another or to pass our resurrected molecules through solid objects, as the risen Jesus did, we’ll still be finite. (Romans 8:19-23). He said to his disciples, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, on Earth and in Heaven. They’re a dying phoenix that will rise again into something far greater—something that will never die. Would I expect the Creator, from whom human artists derive their creativity, to do less to demonstrate his ingenuity in the coming ages than he has in this first age? Do you ever sense creation’s restlessness? However, “the teaching that the new creation involves a radically new beginning,” writes theologian Cornelius Venema, “would suggest that sin and evil have become so much a part of the substance of the present created order that it is unrelievedly and radically evil. ... no matter how much we want to go there, most of the rest of … Earth is the first domain of mankind’s stewardship, but it is not the only domain. with nothing to block our view. After Philip met with the Ethiopian, he was “snatched away” by God’s Spirit and found himself at Azotus (Acts 8:25-40). We could praise God for the display of his magnificent power. As your father once built you that tree house, I fashioned this place just for you.”, Nancy beamed. Is God’s imagination less than that of his image-bearers? One author says, “Time and space will not be the same as known here on earth, and relationships will be of a different order. He occupied space; we will occupy space. We don’t know. Do you hear longing in the cries of whales? From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. Just as I felt I would scream from unbearable pressure, the crushed world emerged from his grip a diamond. God’s light casts the shadows we know as stars, the lesser lights that point to God’s substance. You’ll never be able to see another like it.”. But in fact, I believe there’s every reason to anticipate progression. Anyhoo is a daily dose of surprising lists and bizarre facts. Plus Ultra—there will always be more to discover about our God. Eden was in space and time, and the New Earth will be in space and time. How Can AI Support Small Businesses During The Pandemic? Based on what we’ve observed in our own solar system, large, gaseous worlds like Jupiter seem far less likely to offer habitable conditions. It’s not speculative to say there will be a new celestial universe of stars and planets. While everyone’s understanding of life outside Earth varies nine out of e… Believing mold to be a negative form of life leeching off living matter through a … Christ’s redemptive work extends resurrection to the far reaches of the universe. We don’t want to live in a realm—in fact, it couldn’t even be a realm—that’s devoid of space and time any more than a fish wants to live in a realm without water. Wouldn’t it cause us to praise and exalt him for his sovereign grace? Both Genesis and Romans 8 suggest otherwise. Just as the present Jerusalem isn’t nearly as great as the New Jerusalem, no part of the present creation—including the earth and the celestial heavens—is as great as it will be in the new creation. Those are the Creator’s attributes, not the creature’s. In the Old Testament an angel comes to the prophet Daniel and tells him what happened as the result of his prayers: “As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you” (Daniel 9:23). On Mars, the volcano Olympus Mons rises 79,000 feet, nearly three times higher than Mount Everest. It’s good. But Christ will restore us to the throne occupied so briefly by Adam and Eve. Will I see how missing the exit on the freeway last night saved me from a crash? But I do believe in the new heavens and the New Earth. Nearly every major English translation of the Bible renders the Hebrew word marbiyth as “increase” or “expansion.” In other words, Christ’s government of the New Earth and the new universe will be ever-expanding. He will hand over to us the Kingdom. The new heavens will surely be superior to the old heavens, which themselves are filled with untold billions of stars and perhaps trillions of planets. Suppose the new heavens also expand, creating new geography in space and ever increasing the size of God’s Kingdom. The morning star is a celestial object—the planet Venus. He’ll never stop being what he is. Creatures inhabit time. And because this remains God’s way and goal, there can be a new heaven and a new earth only after the great white throne, i.e., after the completion and conclusion of the history of human redemption.”. . Thank you. In his new universe there will always be more beyond. Might we be able to go somewhere simply by thinking or willing it? The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable (Romans 11:29). “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end.”. When I look at this picture, I worship God. Traveling To Other Solar Systems May Never Be Within Our Reach As A Species. Jesus, as the God-man, inhabits both. If Christ expands his rule by creating new worlds, whom will he send to govern them on his behalf? As to whether there is life on other planets, we simply do not know. Grassy meadows, fields of multicolored flowers—colors she had never seen before. In exactly the same way, the stars will be destroyed, yet they will last forever. Therefore, there’s no reason to assume we won’t enjoy high-tech modes of travel on the New Earth. 2. This means that everything was once in a better condition than it is now. In 2009, NASA launched a spacecraft called Kepler to look for exoplanets. It means nothing less than the complete renewal of the entire cosmos, culminating in the new heaven and the new earth.Anthony Hoekema, The gospel is far greater than most of us imagine. If so, then the entire new universe will be ours to travel to, inhabit, and rule—to God’s glory. Venus is always brilliant, and shining with a steady, silvery light. I’ll bet you can’t wait to get there!” After hearing our christoplatonic statements about Heaven, stripped of the meaning of resurrection, no wonder we and our children don’t get excited about Heaven. I’m disappointed but not disillusioned. The Voyagers aren’t aimed toward Alpha Centauri, but if they were, they’d take tens of thousands of years to get there. And what about other galaxies, which are plentiful as blades of grass in a meadow? For more information on the subject of Heaven, see Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven. Why does the creation wait eagerly for our resurrection? This is a stunning affirmation of God’s greatness. We do know, however, that the New Jerusalem will have streets and gates, suggesting conventional modes of travel. Privacy Policy. Would this not fill his heart with gratitude to God for his sovereign grace? “Beautiful as this is, mine seems the perfect one for me. will exercise hereafter. How Can Tech Companies Become More Human Focused? Maybe we’ll learn the lessons of God’s providence through direct observation. In fact, there is no reason at all to think there wouldn’t be, because on the new earth — what we see in Revelation 21 and 22 and, for that matter, in Isaiah 60, 65, 66 and other new earth passages — you would expect people to do what they have been able to do — except do it better. When I look at the Horsehead Nebula and ask myself what it’s like there, I think that one day I’ll know. But we should use the “why not?” test. In 2 Peter 3:4-7, the Bible rejects the uniformitarian view that “processes acting in the same manner as at present and over long spans of time are sufficient to account for all current . We will be fully human, with righteous spirits and incorruptible bodies. Science fiction is the result of mankind’s God-given sense of adventure, wonder, creativity, and imagination. If all this seems more than you can imagine, I’d encourage you not to reject it simply on that basis. Will I learn how getting delayed in the grocery store last week saved my wife from a fatal accident? Any one of these planets might support life, as we know it. God’s Kingdom is described as one “that cannot be shaken” (Hebrews 12:28). FarAwayLongAgo says: ... much less got off their planet to visit our ball of dirt. Or perhaps it will always increase because the new universe, though still finite, may be so vast that what Christ creates in a moment will never be exhaustively known by finite beings. Look at God’s track record in creating natural wonders in this universe. If it was created, Paul includes it in “the whole creation.”. After searching in vain for small cracks in the sky, I went inside and wrote these paragraphs. We are finite physical creatures, and that means we must live in space and time. God is going to enjoy his new universe, and we’ll enter into his joy. It’s a resurrected Earth with resurrected people who have better brains and will be capable of better inventions. Just as our resurrection bodies will be better than our current ones, the New Earth’s natural wonders will presumably be more spectacular than those we now know. In The Biblical Doctrine of Heaven, Wilbur Smith writes, “The basic undertone of all that is revealed in the Apocalypse concerning the activities of heaven may be summed up in this one word throne.” Revelation isn’t primarily a book about the Antichrist or the Tribulation; it’s a book about God reigning. Do polar orbits ever occur naturally in space. God will transform the fallen human race into a renewed human race and the present Earth into the New Earth. Whether God might inhabit them with new creatures is not provable but certainly possible. I can’t think of anything. How Is Blackness Represented In Digital Domains? If you’ve been impacted by our resources, we invite you to make a year-end gift before December 31. Always use a special solar filter designed specifically for solar observing. It seems possible that even the second law of thermodynamics (at least as it is popularly understood) may have been the product of mankind’s fall. But this shouldn’t cause us to dismiss its glimpses of what an infinitely creative God might fashion across the broad expanse of the new heavens and the New Earth. In Colossians 1:16-20, notice that God highlights his plan for the church, but then he goes beyond it, emphasizing “all things,” “everything,” “things on earth,” and “things in Heaven”: For by him [Jesus] all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. Even the remotest parts of the universe reveal vast realms of fiery destruction. Remember, God will make the new heavens, which will correspond to the old and which will therefore include renewed versions of the planets, stars, nebulae, and galaxies God created in the first heavens. And these planets orbited around stars that varied in size and temperature. Learn from experts and access insider knowledge. The “new heaven” in Revelation 21:1 apparently refers to exactly the same atmospheric and celestial heavens as “heavens” does in Genesis 1:1. What is particularly noteworthy about the current alignment is how close four of the five planets -- Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn -- … You may opt-out by. The depiction of the precious metals and stones and vast architecture is lavish beyond imagination, as are the descriptions of trees on both sides of the great river, bearing new fruit each month. Is there anything in Scripture—anything we know about God—that would preclude him from expanding his creation and delegating authority to his children to rule over it? It’s hard for me to believe God made countless cosmic wonders intending that no human eye would ever behold them and that no human should ever set foot on them. Will our bodies become servants to our righteous wills, carrying out their directions? What will the new heavens be like? How Do Employee Needs Vary From Generation To Generation? Perhaps we might be able to be directly in the presence of Christ, worshipping him before his throne in the New Jerusalem, then go off to our duties far away, only to come back to him regularly. And I can’t wait to stand gazing at them alongside once-blind friends who lived their lives on Earth always hearing about what they were missing, some believing they would never see, regretting the images and events of a lifetime beyond their ability to perceive. It meant “More Beyond.” This was a horizon-expanding message to people who’d always believed the world they knew was all there was. Not only God’s creatures but even inanimate objects seem to feel it. But we should not look at things as they are now and assume they’ve always been this way. All will fully serve God’s purposes and bring him glory. So far, no evidence of life on the other planets of our solar system has been found. Eugene Peterson captures the universal implications of Christ’s redemption when he paraphrases Colossians 1:18-20 in The Message: “He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. features [in the universe] and all past . Visiting a Star Trek convention demonstrates how this—like anything else—can become a substitute religion, but the fervor points to a truth: We do possess a God-given longing to know a greater intelligence and to explore what lies beyond our horizons. Multiply these oohs and aahs by ten thousand times ten thousand, and it’ll suggest our thunderous response to what our Father will do in the new heavens as we look upward from the New Earth. No. What Scripture tells us about the river of life and the tree of life and its fruits is indicative of the natural wonders that will be part of the New Earth. 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