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Everybody's interested, but nobody cares? Endless theories, wild speculation, and many ancient prophecies. What does the Bible say? Ask what you want.

The Apocalypse and outer space

Postby Hey Potato » Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:15 pm

Since the Bible and more specifically the books that people base apocalyptic prophesy on (Revelations, Daniel, etc.) are very heavily Earth-based, how would the End of Days play out if they were to happen at a time when humans have established colonies on other heavenly bodies?

In other words, if the four horsemen, Jesus's return, the final battle with the Anti-Christ/Satan and all that happen on Earth, what's going on over on Mars? Does the Mars colony just chill peacefully until everything is over and then Jesus goes over there to save everyone? Does the apocalyptic war break out through out the solar system?

I doubt there is very much written on this subject, so I am more curious about y'all's thoughts on the matter. It's part of the bigger question of how Christianity would work in a post-Earth-Only experience.
Hey Potato

Re: The Apocalypse and outer space

Postby jimwalton » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:17 pm

The prophecies of the end times are both local ("Earth") and universal. At least two things are clear:

1. The prophets wrote from the perspective of their locale. You'll notice that everything centers in the Middle East. (As far as anyone can tell, there isn't even mention of or reference to America, or the western hemisphere.) Nor did they write about other planets. They didn't even know what planets were. The Greek term for them is "wandering stars".

2. The perspective of the Bible is that the prophets weren't just having fanciful visions or inventing cool (or not so cool) ideas, but they were receiving these messages from God.

So to your question directly: How might the events of Revelation relate to people who are not on the earth at the time? Your question assumes a sequence of possibilities: (1) "The End" is far enough away that we will have time to populate other planets, (2) Possibly there is already life elsewhere in the universe, (3) or we will actually have the technology and the will to populate other planets, and we'll do it.

In answer I would say several things:

1. The prophecies of Revelation have many elements to them that are universal in scope ("stars falling from the heavens" kind of language). If there are populations of humans on other planets, the judgment will come to all humanity and all creation, regardless of location.

2. Remember that with the sin of Adam and Eve, all creation "fell"—not just the earth, and not just human life. The perspective of the Bible is universal, not merely geocentric.

3. Creation in Genesis 1 is written from a geocentric point of view, but that doesn't require that creation only took place here. The apocalypse of Revelation, Daniel, and Ezekiel are also written from a geocentric point of view, that that won't necessitate that the end of history will be an "earth only" event.

4. It's entirely and realistically possible that humanity will focus harder on destroying each other than cooperating together to establish colonies elsewhere. If I were a betting man, I'd put my money, in this case, on man's cruelty more than on his nobility.

In short, the second coming of Christ will look the same for people on Mars as it does for people on earth. It's a universal occurrence, not just a geocentric one. Feel free to talk to me more.

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