My wife and I were coming home from church and I asked her if she thought there was life elsewhere in the universe. She’s smarter than me so I value her input. Sometimes I claim her ideas as my own. She never complains when I do. With my church background, this question, “Are we all there is?”, borders on heresy. My “evangelical” Christian friends will think I’ve lost my mind. I can hear them. “What is he thinking? Next he’ll say there’s no Hell and everyone will get into Heaven.” No, I won’t say that. Some things are clear to me and Hell is one of them. Jesus talked a lot about Hell so I’m convinced it is a real, horrific place, reserved for people who turn their back on God. Heaven is real too. And you must accept Jesus as your savior to get in.
But I’m not sure if we are all there is. Do we run the risk of putting God into a box if we say our “creation story” is the only one? The universe is so huge, why couldn’t there be life out there? Of course, there is. There must be. . . maybe. I don’t think the Bible eliminates or confirms the possibility. And I’m not suggesting God practiced creation events somewhere else before he created Adam. He created us, in his image, because he wants to have a relationship with us. Perhaps he has other creations where there isn’t any sin. Before Lucifer went on his rampage. Where the Cubs won the world series. Somewhere like the original Garden of Eden without a snake, the deception, the fall.
There might be two parallel universes in addition to ours. One for sinners who die and another for believers who die. One universe is called Hades and the other Heaven. The Hades universe is much larger and hotter because there are definitely more people who die without Jesus than die knowing him. Earth is the feeder system into these other universes. Time travel across parallel universes. Wormholes. Cool.
Look at the size of our universe. It’s real big. I used to think there were a finite number of stars because Psalm 147 says God “counts the stars and calls them all by name”. But now I’m thinking maybe there is no end to how many stars there are. God is infinite. I’m sure he can come up with an infinite number of names, for an infinite number of stars, in an infinite number of universes.
I don’t often listen to what scientists say about “God created the heaven and earth” events, but I saw a question on a NASA website that makes a lot of sense to me. “So how big is the universe? No one knows if the universe is infinitely large, or even if ours is the only universe that exists. And other parts of the universe, very far away, might be quite different from the universe closer to home. Future NASA missions will continue to search for clues to the ultimate size and scale of our cosmic home.” I think when we get to heaven we will explore these other universes. We can help NASA figure this out.
And what if God created life somewhere else before he created us. He has been around for quite a long time and had plenty of time on his hands. Would we feel cheated if we found out he created life somewhere else but didn’t tell us? Some people think the Bible is the rulebook for all things ever created. I see it as the rulebook for all things that happen between ,“In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth”, and “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.”
I guess there could be some problems with this way of thinking. Several passages of scripture say that in the end, heaven and earth will pass away and a new heaven and earth created. But I’m not sure that means all the universes will disappear. I’m inclined to think that our earth and its atmosphere will change radically and not that all the created universes will disappear. And we have a big problem if life exists elsewhere and they had a “sin story” like ours. That means they would need a redeemer. Jesus couldn’t redeem them too.
What do you think? If there is more than just us, does “other life” diminish in any way what God did when he created us and sent his son to die for our sinfulness?