Space Wars Ahead?
Your Bible warns of a time when war in space will shake planet Earth and all living human beings. How will this affect your future? You need to know!
Nearly 50 years ago, on May 25, 1961, United States President John F. Kennedy set a goal for his nation—a goal that many thought impossible. Addressing the U.S. Congress, he said: "This nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth."
Kennedy's call resonated with millions of Americans. Human beings have always been fascinated by the heavens—and, indeed, we should be. As the Psalmist wrote "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork" (Psalm 19:1).
Responding to Kennedy's challenge, the U.S. space program recruited thousands of scientists and engineers. Manufacturers devised new technologies to produce rockets, computers, and navigational equipment. It was a little more than eight years after Kennedy's challenge when Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped out of the Lunar Module on July 20, 1969 and proclaimed: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
Three-and-a-half years later, in December 1972, Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt became the eleventh and twelfth Americans to walk on the Moon. No one has been back since. But now, nations such as India and China are launching spacecraft and preparing for their own manned Moon missions.
The People's Republic of China has entered the space race and has developed sophisticated space assets, including the ability to shoot down a satellite! The China Real Time Report, posted on the Wall Street Journal Web site, featured an article titled: "China a Step Ahead in Space Race." "China appears to be pulling away from the pack in Asia's space race after announcing plans to launch its second lunar probe, Chang'e-2, on October 1—China's National Day. If the mission succeeds, it will put China another step ahead of India in the race to become the second nation, after the United States, to land an astronaut on the moon. China has pledged to do that by 2025 and India by 2020—setting up a 21st Century Asian version of the Cold War space race between the U.S. and Soviet Union" (September 28, 2010).
Are other Asian nations also running in the space race? The WSJ article states: "Japan, meanwhile, launched its first lunar satellite in June last year, and announced a plan this year to send a robot to the moon in five years and to construct an unmanned base there in 10 years."
Europe, too, has space goals. President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy stated this: "We must promote Europe as a space power. To achieve this we must build on the experience of ESA [the European Space Agency]. ESA should be reinforced in order to obtain full responsibility for the implementation of the space missions that Europe's status of world power requires" (ESA News, October 29, 2010).
On April 15, 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama gave a major speech at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, announcing a change in U.S. space policy. He proclaimed: "Early in the next decade, a set of crewed flights will test and prove the systems required for exploration beyond low Earth orbit. And by 2025, we expect new spacecraft designed for long journeys to allow us to begin the first-ever crewed missions beyond the Moon into deep space. So we'll start—we'll start by sending astronauts to an asteroid for the first time in history. By the mid-2030s, I believe we can send humans to orbit Mars and return them safely to Earth. And a landing on Mars will follow. And I expect to be around to see it."
Landing astronauts on Mars and later returning them to Earth requires much more fuel and other resources than a trip to the Moon. With that in mind, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has seriously considered a one-way trip to Mars. One newspaper account explained it this way: "NASA is looking for volunteers to fly to Mars—the snag is that you won't come back. It is actively investigating the possibility of humans colonizing worlds such as the Red Planet. The settlers would be sent supplies from Earth but would go on the understanding that it would be too costly to bring them home. NASA revealed that it had already received more than $1 million to commence work on the project at its Ames Research Centre in California. Centre director Pete Worden, who claimed humans could be living on Mars by 2030 despite the inhospitable conditions, said: 'The human space program is now aimed at settling other worlds'" ("NASA Mars mission a one-way trip, it's the biggest dead-end job ever," The Herald Sun, October 29, 2010).
Will anyone volunteer for a one-way trip to Mars? A New York Times Op-Ed contributor gave this report: "If it sounds unrealistic to suggest that astronauts would be willing to leave home never to return alive, then consider the results of several informal surveys I and several colleagues have conducted recently. One of my peers in Arizona recently accompanied a group of scientists and engineers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on a geological field trip. During the day, he asked how many would be willing to go on a one-way mission into space. Every member of the group raised his hand. The lure of space travel remains intoxicating for a generation brought up on 'Star Trek' and 'Star Wars.'" ("A One-Way Ticket to Mars," Lawrence M. Krauss, September 1, 2009).
Not only are nations interested in space exploration—private companies and adventurous individuals also want to venture into space. Boeing, the world's largest aerospace company, has announced a plan to take tourists into space. Notice this report: " Boeing said Wednesday that it was entering the space tourism business.... The flights, which could begin as early as 2015, would most likely launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida to the International Space Station. The Obama administration has proposed turning over to private companies the business of taking NASA astronauts to orbit, and Boeing and Bigelow Aerospace of Las Vegas won an $18 million contract this year for preliminary development and testing of a capsule that could carry seven passengers. Current NASA plans call for four space station crew members to go up at a time, which would leave up to three seats available for space tourists. The flights would be the first to give nonprofessional astronauts the chance to go into orbit aboard a spacecraft launch-ed from the United States. Seven earlier space tourists have made visits to the space station, riding in Russian Soyuz capsules." ("Boeing Plans to Fly Tourists to Space," New York Times, September 16, 2010).
Human beings have long wanted to control the space above planet Earth. Forty nations now operate space satellites. And it is no secret that military weapons designers are planning space-based lasers, and particle-beam weapons that are nuclear-powered. One key U.S. official, General Joseph Ashy, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Space Command, put it bluntly several years ago: "It's politically sensitive, but it's going to happen.... we're going to fight in space. We're going to fight from space and we're going to fight into space.... That's why the U.S. has development programs in directed energy and hit-to-kill mechanisms. We'll expand into these two missions—space control and space force application—because they will become increasingly important. We will engage terrestrial targets someday—ships, airplanes, land targets—from space. We will engage targets in space, from space" ("Waging War in Space," Nation, December 9, 1999).
War in space would also increase the danger of an accidental nuclear exchange, which could lead to the total devastation of modern Western civilization. The article continues with this sobering example: "Is war in space inevitable? The idea of such a war has been around since Sputnik, but for most of the Cold War it remained safely within the realm of science fiction and the carefully proscribed U.S.-Soviet arms race. But a dozen countries now can reach space with satellites—and, therefore, with weapons. China strutted its stuff in January 2007 by shooting down one of its own weather satellites 530 miles above the planet" ("U.S. leads in preparing for war in space," New York Times, March 9, 2008).
U.S. Undersecretary of State Robert G. Joseph made it clear that his nation would act forcibly to defend its space systems: "We reserve the right to defend ourselves against hostile attacks and interference with our space assets. We will, therefore, oppose others who wish to use their military capabilities to impede or deny our access to and use of space. We will seek the best capabilities to protect our space assets by active or passive means" ("Talk of Satellite Defense Raises Fears of Space War," Washington Post, December 17, 2006).
As mankind extends its reach further into space, what will we find there? For decades, popular culture has imagined space aliens discovering Earth. Sometimes those aliens are thought benevolent and friendly. Sometimes, however, the aliens are just as violent and warlike as human beings.
Do aliens exist? University of Cambridge physicist Stephen Hawking thinks so, and he thinks we should be careful. Consider this news report: "The aliens are out there and Earth had better watch out, at least according to Stephen Hawking. He has suggested that extraterrestrials are almost certain to exist—but that instead of seeking them out, humanity should be doing all that it can to avoid any contact…. He suggests that aliens might simply raid Earth for its resources and then move on… He concludes that trying to make contact with alien races is 'a little too risky.' He said: 'If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn't turn out very well for the Native Americans'" ("Don't talk to aliens, warns Stephen Hawking," The London Sunday Times, April 25, 2010).
Hawking's speculations sound more like fiction than good science. But your Bible reveals the truth that a Savior will descend from outer space, coming to planet Earth to bring with Him deliverance, prosperity and peace. He will conquer the forces of Satan and the human beings who are supporting an evil anti-God dictator.
The book of Revelation in your Bible foretells a great war in the heavens. The great adversary, Satan the devil, is exposed in scripture. He was defeated in an earlier attempt to take over God's throne. Will he make one last attempt to conquer God? One of the greatest space wars in history will yet take place before Christ returns. This will be a battle between God's angelic army and Satan's demonic army. "And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him" (Revelation 12:7–9).
This milestone will signal an end-time sequence of events leading up to the return of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Satan will lose that war in heaven. He will be so angry that he will direct his wrath toward physical human beings. How will you know that a great space war has taken place? The heavenly message continues, "Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time" (Revelation 12:12).
Satan the devil will cause great tribulation on planet Earth. We will need to trust God for protection during the dangerous times ahead! During the time of Satan's wrath, during the Great Tribulation Jesus spoke about (Matthew 24:21–22), Satan will attack God's Church. God will protect the "woman"—the Church (Revelation 12:13–16). Satan will then attack an unprotected remnant of God's Church, true Christians who "keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Revelation 12:17). Those who remain faithful will be in the first resurrection to meet Christ in the air at the last trumpet (1 Corinthians 15:51–52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16).
Thank God, that Satan will have only a short time before he is bound and cast into the bottomless pit for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1–3). But you need to watch and pray, and understand the prophesied space war that lies ahead.
We have seen the biblical description of one great war in heaven. A final war will take place, as the world's military powers fight against an invader from "outer space." At first, when Christ returns, not everyone will accept Him as their Savior. Some will fear Him as an invader who has come to take away their power. Can you imagine the combined force of all the nations' military power being unleashed against Christ as He descends from heaven? Yes, the armies of rebellious nations will fight against the Messiah as He returns from heaven! How will He respond? John describes the scene: "Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS" (Revelation 19:11–16).
And what will be the result of that battle? John describes: "Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, 'Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great'" (Revelation 19:17–18).
Jesus Christ will conquer all nations that oppose Him. We read: "And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh" (Revelation 19:19–21).
The victorious Prince of Peace will set up His government to rule all nations. The Kingdom of God will rule the nations of planet Earth with justice and equity. That is the good news in which we rejoice!
So, who will win the space race? The encouraging answer is: Jesus Christ will win the space race! He has all power in the universe. Christ upholds "all things by the word of His power" (Hebrews 1:3). Or, as the Moffatt translation states it, He "sustains the universe by his word of power."
We look forward to the ultimate future of peace on earth, peace in space and peace in the heavens. After a thousand years of Millennial peace, God's plan will then move into another stage. Notice: "Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away'" (Revelation 21:2–4). Yes, a glorious future lies ahead for the heavens and for planet Earth. May God help you to prepare for that awesome destiny.