"Are there intelligent beings on other planets?"

 

Answer: It is impossible to prove a universal negative, but there is not as yet even the slightest evidence, either biblical or scientific, that there are men like us inhabiting other planets or star systems. There is an abundance of pseudo-scientific speculation of this sort, but the hard evidence is against it.

 

Life, at least such as we know it, requires a very complex combination of environmental factors to be possible, and only this planet, so far as is known, provides this combination. Water must be abundant, for example. Little if any water exists on the moon, or Mars, or Venus, or the other planets, and certainly not in liquid form. The temperatures on all the other known planets are either too cold or too hot for life in any higher form comparable to the earth's human life.

 

In addition, many complex chemicals must be present in abundance in order to support the life process. An atmosphere essentially like our own would also have to be present. In general, life in any form comparable to human life would require a planet essentially the same as our own planet in every respect. There is no evidence, however, other than speculation that such a planet exists anywhere else in the universe.

 

The main reason that men keep wishfully searching for evidence of extraterrestrial life is that this would give support to their evolutionary philosophy. That is, if life is just a product of natural chemical developments here on earth, as the leaders of evolutionary thought insist, then the same chance developments should also have taken place in other places in the universe, they feel, in view of the almost infinite number of other stars. Nevertheless, the actual evidence remains massively negative.

 

As far as the Scriptures are concerned, they teach unequivocally that the earth is uniquely the abode of man. "The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord's, the earth hath He given to the children of men" (Psalm 115:16) "God hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation" (Acts 17:20).

 

It was to this earth, alone among all the uncounted billions of heavenly bodies, that God Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, came down to suffer and die for man's salvation. "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man, which is in heaven" (John 3:13). The earth may not be the center of the universe (though no one knows, of course, where such a center might be), but it is certainly the center of interest of the universe! "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him" (1 John 4:9). It seems grotesque and blasphemous to suggest that the tragedy of Calvary's cross should be repeated on millions of other planets, for the benefit of other unknown and hypothetical members of God's creation.

 

The earth, as the astronauts observed, is uniquely beautiful and uniquely equipped as man's home. Though it is small, it is of infinitely more complex organization and variety than even the largest stars, composed as they are mostly of the simplest elements, hydrogen and helium.

 

Since the sun and moon were made specifically to "give light upon the earth" (Genesis 1:15), it may be possible that the moon, and even the solar system, were within the "dominion" which man was commissioned by God ultimately to "subdue" by his science and technology (Genesis 1 :28). This is uncertain, but it is at least clear that the other stars, the nearest of which is four light-years away, are well beyond man's power ever to explore directly, or to control, in the present order of things.

 

Why, then, did God create them? What is the purpose, in God's wisdom, for the tremendous number and variety of stars, and perhaps a still greater number of planets (though the existence of these is speculative, based only on analogy with the solar system) throughout the vast universe?

 

We can only give tentative suggestions, of course, but it is well to remember that God is still the Creator, and there are endless ages of eternity ahead of us. Even though, for the moment, the only obvious function of the stellar heavens is to reflect the infinite power and grandeur of their Creator, it may well be that they are awaiting more specific uses by Him in the ages to come, after the completion of His redemptive program for the earth and men.

 

It is also possible, that, even now, they have some relationship to the angels of God. This may be implied by the fact that angels are often called "stars" in Scriptures (e.g., Job 38.7; Isaiah 14:12, 13; Revelation 12:4, 9; 9:1; etc.) and that the phrase "host of heaven" is applied both to the stars and to the angelic hosts (e.g., Jeremiah 33:22; II Chronicles 18:18). The worship of the stars, which has always been a characteristic of polytheism, has, in reality, been a worship of angels (or "gods"), especially those angels who have followed Satan in his great rebellion against the true God (note II Kings 17:16; Colossians 2:18; I Corinthians 10:20, etc.). It seems possible, at least, that this frequent identification of stars and angels is more than mere poetic imagery; possibly angels, who are mighty spiritual beings created by the "Lord of hosts," have their primary sphere of operations in the heavens, in the stars. The Bible says, "(He) maketh His angels spirits and His ministers a flaming fire" (Psalm 104:4; Hebrews 12:22) that "do His commandments" (psalm 103 :20).

 

Thus, although it is all but certain that no other man-like creatures {[9] See “The Troubled Waters of Evolution”, pp. 168-171. Also see “King of Creation” (San Diego: Creation-Life Publishers, 1980), pp. 6-17.} inhabit other worlds, it is true that in God's universe, and possibly on the stars themselves, there exists a vast host of intelligent and powerful beings, the angels of God. Though it is futile to try to establish contact with them by such devices as space-ships and radio telescopes, we can communicate with God Himself through prayer and through His Word, by faith, and the angels are "sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation" (Hebrews 1: 14).

 

This article was taken from the "Online Bible" CD and is printed by:

Grace Baptist Church