Sunday, July 14, 2019

To the Moon and Beyond

This Saturday will be the 50th anniversary of man’s first walk on the moon. I was five years old then and don’t remember watching it live. The Apollo 11 landing occurred on a Sunday night with Neil Armstrong stepping on the lunar surface just before 10:00 p.m. CST. Since it would have been past my bedtime, I was probably asleep then. I do remember dressing up as an astronaut for Halloween three months later and wearing my costume at kindergarten.

As a kid, I looked forward to the 21st century figuring we’d be living like The Jetsons. I assumed our space program would travel throughout our solar system and beyond. Although probes have orbited and landed on other extraterrestrial bodies, manned missions using the Space Shuttle haven’t gone beyond our earth’s orbit.

When Newt Gingrich briefly ran for president in 2012, he suggested putting an American base on the moon by 2020. While it’s unlikely that will happen next year, President Donald Trump has directed the Pentagon to create a “space force.” This would be a sixth military branch overseeing missions and operations in the space domain.

Christians have debated if it’s God’s will for man to travel beyond this earth. The Tower of Babel was man’s attempt to reach the heavens instead of obeying His command to replenish the earth. Psalm 115:16 says, “The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s; But the earth He has given to the children of men.” 

On the other hand, Psalm 8:6 says, “You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet.” This could include territory in outer space as well as on earth. Some of our astronauts were believers. An evangelist I met last year had planned a missions trip to Russia with Neil Armstrong just before the astronaut died from heart surgery complications. Armstrong’s Apollo 11 comrade Buzz Aldrin performed a communion service for himself while in space. The year before on Christmas Eve, the Apollo 8 astronauts read from the Book of Genesis while orbiting the moon.

Even if mortal men never go beyond the moon, believers can look forward to being supernatural space cadets. We will have an eternity of traveling between heaven and earth plus exploring other parts of the universe. Your first trip to outer space could be the rapture of the church. Are you ready for Jesus to beam you up?

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” - 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

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