Photo: NASA - Hubble Deep Field|
Is Anyone Out There
By John Ambrose
Have you ever looked up at the stars and wondered if there is life out there? The universe is indeed a big place with much too much space it would seem for only us and no one else. So are we really alone in the universe? It is a question I imagine everyone has pondered at one time on another. And for the proponents of our space program it is a major thrust for acquiring continued funding and justification for money already spent - the quest to find some evidence of life in outer space.
We employ giant radio telescopes listening for signals that have discernable patterns; we send probes to Mars trying to find any sign of microbial life; we scour the universe with our telescopes trying to find the smallest link, the tiniest evidence of someone else who may be looking back.
And what if we find evidence that life did exist on Mars at some point in the past? Could there be and underlying motive in the secular mind to find it and debunk the idea of a God? To say, "See just as on earth life started there through evolution but because of changing environmental factors it was not able to continue. The processes of evolution were just as much in play on Mars as they are on earth, but there it could not be sustained. So where is your God religious people of the world, did he start something on Mars that he could not finish? Was he not able to sustain it? Why then did he start it?"
And so Christians would be confronted and perplexed by this question. Why would God place life there and let it die out, for what reason? Is the theory of evolution really true, do things start out in a random soup of amino acids where life gets a start by chance and over time and in a favorable environment becomes what we have today? Is there really no God?
I believe this is foremost in the minds of the secular world's quest for life. They would love to show that God does not exist, that science will eventually show us the how and the when, and that it will eventually tell us all. "So don't hold on to your ancient mythical beliefs of a God creator, people, it happened through the processes of natural selection and evolution, so get with it deity-ites, come of age in our modern world, if you need a god then let science fit the bill."
As Christians we know that God is the creator, he is the one who got it all started and sustains things to this day, and in His timing He will bring all to an end.
But could our God have created another world somewhere out there with a people unique to that world, a people like us in that they also have free will, the ability to choose between right and wrong, the ability to look to him as God and creator and freely give him praise and worship. And if he created another world, would he not love this people also, would he not want to bring them into his fold also, for the capacity of our God for love is so immense it is impossible to grasp. I believe he would want all to come and none to perish even as with us here on earth. (2Pet 3:9)
He would also understand that like us they would not be able to do this on their own, that he would have to come to this new world and offer himself for their redemption even as he did for us, that he would have to die for their sins as he did for ours - a terrible painful death.
Of course he could have created them without free will, without the potential to sin, for where there is free will you are certain to make a wrong choice at some point. But without free will they would be like windup toys going about the business they were programmed to do. And God would not be satisfied with a programmed response to his love - it needs to be freely given. So free will must be a part of this new world and therefore sin also and the need for redemption.
But would Jesus be willing to come again and again as savior to die for each new world he created? I cannot imagine that he would want to endure again and again the suffering he endured for us. Could it be that the earth with its entire population past present and future is enough to satisfy our God's great capacity for love. Maybe he need go no further.
Thinking from my human perspective, I would say that one world and one sacrifice is enough, that he would not want to suffer and die again and again.
The Bible tells us he was appointed once to die and then sat down at the right hand of God (Heb 10:12). So I am content with my speculation that we are alone in the universe, that no one else is out there. Maybe our God has given us the universe as a reflection of himself providing an inkling into his own immensity and majesty, that when we ponder it we would be in awe of him above all else as its creator.
Other writings are available here