Why Does It Matter
Belief that the earth will eventually be destroyed has caused some to plunder its precious resources. It has caused others to lose hope for the future and to live only for today. This can lead to a life with little meaning or purpose. On the other hand, if we believe that we can live forever on earth, we are more likely to make decisions that will benefit us and our familieseven in the distant future.
What Does The Bible Say About The Natural World And The Place Of Humans In It : Rev Richard Clarkson
The overarching biblical approach to the natural world is summed up in the words of the psalmist, The earth is the Lords and
everything in it . The Bible begins with two creation accounts, both emphasising that God created and made the earth. In Leviticus God makes it clear to the Israelites that The land is mine , and at the giving of the law he reminds them that The heavens belong to the Lord, the earth with all that is in it . Gods reply to Jobs distress is to point him towards the wilderness and wild animals which are outside human experience or comprehension but which God created and cares for , a theme which is echoed by the psalmist, yougive drink to every wild animalThe high mountains are for the wild goats .
In the New Testament Jesus teaches his disciples that not one falls to the ground without your father . Paul writes that In all things in heaven and on earth were createdall things have been created through him and for him and in Johns vision of Heaven he sees the living creatures singing You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created .
The Truth About Ghosts In The Bible
To put the ghost controversy in perspective, it’s important to understand the Bible’s teaching on life after death. Scripture says when people die, their spirit and soul immediately go to heaven or hell. We do not wander about the earth:
Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.
So-called ghosts are demons posing as dead people. Satan and his followers are liars, intent on spreading confusion, fear, and distrust of God. If they can convince mediums, like the woman at Endor, that they actually communicate with the dead, those demons can lure many away from the true God:
…in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.
The Bible tells us that a spiritual realm does exist, invisible to human eyes. It is populated by God and his angels, Satan, and his fallen angels, or demons. Despite the claims of unbelievers, there are no ghosts wandering about the earth, except for those you might see “trick-or-treating” on Halloween night. The spirits of deceased humans inhabit one of two places: heaven or hell.
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Astronomers are discovering thousands of planets in orbit around other stars. They now estimate that there are billions of Earth-like planets in our galaxy. Could intelligent life be living on some of those planets? This is the subject of much scientific speculation and entertaining science fiction. While we havent yet detected signs of alien life, what would such a discovery mean for Christians?
Some atheists claim the discovery of aliens would destroy organized religion or invalidate the Bible. However, a survey of religious people found that most are comfortable with the idea of intelligent aliens and do not see it threatening their beliefs. Astronauts such as John Glenn actually found their trip to space to bring them closer to God and to a deeper faith. The Bible is still relevant in the space age it makes claims far beyond the people and places of Earth, describing God as the Creator of all life and the entire cosmos. Yet many questions remain.
A New Heaven And A New Earth In The Bible
Jesus shared this same reality with Nicodemus in their famous nocturnal conversation when he said, For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son. . . . Though Jesus is contextually speaking of his love for all nations, not merely Israel, the word world infers that his love and sacrifice are not limited to mankind, but extend into all of the created order.
Genesis portrays, for us, a picture of a good world, in which the spiritual and physical realms complement and complete each other. Dont overlook the fact that In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth . The word heavens doesnt simply speak of the space and atmosphere over the earth, but rather speaks of Gods space.
Before sins entrance into our world, the physical and spiritual realms existed in harmony and there was no separation. This is demonstrated by God walking in the cool of the day with Adam and Eve and also in how the serpent spoke to Eve with seemingly no alarm on her part at all.
It seems that this conversation between humans and non-humans was not unusual at all. But this all changed in one bite. Man, and his disobedience, had ruptured Gods good world in a way that mere mortals could never repair. The Apostle Paul would capture the weight of this tragic condition in Romans when he said,
When the last day finally comes, we will not fly away to him, but Christ will return to us as indicated in Revelation 21 when John observes,
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Where Are Ghosts In The Bible
Jesus‘ disciples were in a boat on the Sea of Galilee, but he was not with them. Matthew tells us what happened:
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
Mark and Luke report the same incident. The Gospel writers give no explanation of the word ghost. It’s interesting to note that the King James Version of the Bible, published in 1611, uses the term “spirit” in this passage, but when the New King James Version came out in 1982, it translated the term back to “ghost.” Most other later translations, including the NIV, ESV, NASB, Amplified, Message, and Good News use the word ghost in this verse.
After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples. Again they were terrified:
They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
Jesus did not believe in ghosts he knew the truth, but his superstitious apostles had bought into that folk tale. When they encountered something they couldn’t understand, they immediately assumed it was a ghost.
The New King James Version translates ghost to spirit, including all references to the Holy Spirit.
Does The Bible Speak About Life Beyond Earth
Some people say that since the Bible doesnt mention life on other planets, it has nothing to say to the discovery of intelligent aliens. But the Bible also doesnt mention Saturns rings, galaxies, or DNA, yet Christians see these as Gods creation.
Many parts of the Bible are provincial, and intentionally so. Scripture focuses on the work of God in one small geographic region of our planet, centered on the descendants of one family. The Bible does not attempt to be comprehensive about the entire Earth or people living on other continents. Rather, God revealed himself in a way suitable for the first audience in the ancient middle east, leaving out information that would not make sense to them.
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Bible Says The Earth Is Round
- The Bible says the earth is round, showing that its authors were inspired to understand science beyond their time.
Morris, Henry M., 1986. Science and the Bible. Chicago: Moody Press, pp. 13-14.Jeffrey, Grant R., 1996. The Signature of God. Toronto: Frontier Research Publications, p. 114.
1. The passage saying the earth is round is Isaiah 40:22 :
He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
This passage may reasonably be interpreted as referring to a flat circular earth with the heavens forming a dome above it.
First of all, the English word “circle” is not the one that Isaiah originally used. Rather, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, and the KJV translators in trying to translate that word used the word “circle”. The Hebrew word is ‘chuwg’ defined by Strong’s Hebrew dictionary as the following:
| Strong’s Number: 02329, Transliterated Word: Chuwg, Definition: circle, circuit, compass
vault , Word Origin: from
Secondly, even if this is what Isaiah had in mind when he wrote this verse, the fact that the term that is actually used fits a spherical Earth still supports Divine inspiration. It shows that God had him use a term consistent with reality rather than what Isaiah thought was reality.
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In a previous article, we learned that our praise is to God. Like King David we are to offer our glory the very best skills we possess to the Creator and the One who gives us life. We, His servants, bring our glory to the one who is glorious above all . The Christian hymn, Immortal, Invisible, God only Wise was put to the tune of a traditional Welsh ballad and captures this challenge. Scottish pastor and lyricist writes, Walter Chalmers Smith writes,
Immortal, invisible, God only wise, in light inaccessible, hid from our eyes. Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days, almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise. Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light, nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might. Thy justice like mountains high soaring above thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love. To all, life thou givest, to both great and small. In all life thou livest, the true life of all. We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree, and wither and perish, but naught changeth thee. Great God of all glory, great God of all light, thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight. All praise we would render O help us to see tis only the splendor of light hideth thee.
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What Does The Bible Say About The New Heaven And The New Earth
The new world to come is far more glorious than the one we presently know. It will be a world that we recognize and one in which all the things that we love will be present but no longer marred and twisted by sin.
- Rick KirbyChristianity.com Contributing Writer
- 20201 May
There was a time, not too long ago, that my perspective of eternity, and especially heaven, more closely resembled a Tom and Jerry cartoon episode than one molded by a faithful interpretation of the Bible. What? You dont see the connection between Tom and Jerry and heaven?
As I recall from my distant childhood, there are several occasions where Tom loses one of his nine lives. Typically, Toms demise was usually followed by his soul drifting upward until he received his cloud, his wings, and a golden harp.
Now, Ive never been the sharpest tack in the box, but I know the difference between real life and fantasy. Even as a child, I knew that Tom and his cloud in heaven were only make-believe.
The problem was that no one ever gave me a truly biblical image of what eternity held in store, and in the absence of this truth, I subconsciously manufactured my own image, which truthfully looked more like a fairy tale than real life.
Samuel A Ghost Or Something Else
Something ghostly did turn up in an incident described in 1 Samuel 28:7-20. King Saul was preparing to do battle against the Philistines, but the LORD had departed from him. Saul wanted to get a prediction on the outcome of the battle, so he consulted a medium, the witch of Endor. He ordered her to call up the spirit of Samuel the prophet.
A “ghostly figure” of an old man appeared, and the medium was startled. The figure scolded Saul, then told him he would lose not only the battle but also his life and the lives of his sons.
Scholars are split over what the apparition was. Some say it was a demon, a fallen angel, impersonating Samuel. They note that it came up out of the earth instead of down from heaven and that Saul did not actually look at it. Saul had his face to the ground. Other experts feel God intervened and did cause Samuel’s spirit to manifest itself to Saul.
The book of Isaiah mentions ghosts twice. Spirits of the dead are prophesied to greet the king of Babylon in hell:
The realm of the dead below is all astir to meet you at your coming it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet youâall those who were leaders in the world it makes them rise from their thronesâall those who were kings over the nations.
And in Isaiah 29:4, the prophet warns the people of Jerusalem of an oncoming attack from the enemy, all the while knowing his warning will not be heeded:
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What Does This Mean
The new world to come is far more glorious than the one we presently know. However, there are great continuities between this one and the one we long for. It will be a world that we recognize and one in which all the things that we love will be present but no longer marred and twisted by sin.
Can you imagine the sports, the arts, the music that no human ear has ever heard, the construction, the technologies, the research, the teachings which will be possible in the new world without the power or presence of sin?
And best of all, Christ will be at the center of it all. This is a world I can get excited about and for good reason. It is the one I was intended to occupy from the very beginning. And so, it will be.
We Can Celebrate All Life That God Chooses To Create
God is free to create however he likes. Just as we celebrate all life on Earth as Gods creation, so we can celebrate whatever alien life we might discover. We can be curious explorers, grounded in the knowledge of God as the loving Creator. Christians can encourage scientists in their study of the origin of life on Earth and the search for life on other worlds. We can encourage theologians to ponder the implications of such discoveries before they happen.
All truth is Gods truth, wherever it may be found. Lets explore Gods creation with curiosity, with humility to learn, and with care and respect for any life beyond Earth that we may meet.
Notes & References
David Wilkinson, Science, Religion, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Oxford University Press, 2013
Olli-Pekka Vainio, Cosmology in Theological Perspective: Understanding our place in the universe, Baker Academic, 2018
Ted Peters, editor. Astrotheology: Science and theology meet extraterrestrial life, Cascade Books, Wipf and Stock, 2018
Mary Doria Russell,The Sparrow and Children of God, Ballantine, 1997
C.S. Lewis, The Space Trilogy, 1938-1945
Andy Walsh, Faith Across the Multiverse: Parables from Modern Science, Hendrickson Publishers, 2018
Guy Consolmagno and Paul Mueller, Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? . . . and Other Questions from the Astronomers In-box at the Vatican Observatory, Image, 2014
About the Author
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I Glorified You On The Earth
What does the bible says about eternal life. To put it simply, eternal life means living forever. I have accomplished the work which you have. We become the temple of the holy spirit .
Behold, the new has come. we already have eternal life if jesus is our savior and lord. To god, eternal life includes the quality of life being lived. The bible tells us that every person will have to choose if they believe in god and all who believe have been given eternal life in heaven.
If you would have eternal life, something must change. It would be no good to have eternal life if we had to live like a demon. John 3:36 says, he that believeth on the son hath everlasting life:
Let’s begin by putting a bible definition to eternal life. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in christ jesus. But here is what the bible says:
In spite of the fact that the bible has much to say about eternal life, and what is said is quite plain, we see that many are still confused about this matter, while many others hold false beliefs about eternal life. To put it in details, it means that we gain the truth as life, practice according to gods words in everything, thoroughly wrest ourselves from the fetters of sins and satans influence, do not sin, resist or rebel against god anymore, can obey, worship and love god, are completely compatible with god and become. It says that if any man be in christ, he is a new creation, the old is gone, the new has come.
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