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Eat Your Heart Out
Growing up in the 1960's with the Star Trek generation was tantalizing and fun. We all fantasized about what life might be like on the spaceship Enterprise as we,
- Traveled through far away galaxies "boldly going where no man has gone before."
- Clung to Mr. Spock's philosophy: "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few."
- Loyally recited the Prime Directive not to interfere with the social/ evolutionary development of any species or cultures throughout the universe.
- Watched men actually walk on the moon in 1969 and thought spaceships and space travel were just around the corner. A Star Trek future awaited us all.
But, then it stopped abruptly. Most of us, if we're still alive in this new millennium, are now in our sixties and seventies. We are much older, getting ready to die in a dreary world where wars, beheadings and the killing of little children dominate world news. We worry about the future of our children and grandchildren. Sadly, rapacious, militant atheists seem to have grabbed hold of university students worldwide and have achieved a chokehold on scientific endeavors. Their prime directive:
"Don't bring God into it. God is dead. If you bring God in you're out!"
Dr. Dawkins from Oxford thinks Christians are idiots. The famous late astronomer, Carl Sagan of PBS Cosmos series, envisioned an elegant universe without God. It's a future without wonder, amazement or awe - no sense of the holy or spiritual side of anything.
Or is it?
What if…just what if…those "dorky" Christians whom the atheists think are backward, fundamentalist Neanderthals are on to something? What if it is the Christians who are the true inheritors of a stunning universe of future space exploration? What kind of world will the atheists inhabit? If you can, hang in there and read on for a little while…you may be surprised by what you read.
Coast to Coast Radio Surprise
Recently, radio show Coast to Coast's George Noory interviewed one of the foremost pre-eminent New Testament historians of today. Dr. Gary Habermas holds a PhD from Michigan State University in History and Philosophy of Religion. Early on he was recognized for having won a debate with Antony Flew, the most influential philosophical atheist from Oxford and Aberdeen, before an audience of 3,000 people.
As a side note, Dr. Flew became a believer in a Creator God in 2004 and accused Dawkins of having shown himself to be a "secularist bigot". At any rate, the earlier debate between Habermas and Flew centered on the question of the resurrection as a literal, historical event. Dr. Habermas currently teaches PhD students at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Star Trek Energy Burst
During the radio show Noory mentioned the Shroud of Turin and the possible Star Trek like burst of energy that may have caused the well-known scorched image of a man on the Shroud of Turin cloth. In response, Gary Habermas said something intriguing. He revealed that of the original scientific team who worked on the Shroud in the 1970's, a physicist noted the following:
The "image on the shroud appears to have been caused by something like…millions of micro lasers sticking out of every pore in his body and they scorched the cloth simultaneously. If the amount of energy it took to make the shroud converted to nuclear energy it would have leveled Jerusalem."
(Dec. 23, 2014, Coast to Coast radio, "Evidence of Jesus")
Shocking…unbelievable! That was the earliest review of the shroud from a seventies physicist. You know, perhaps we had better "back up the truck" and believe seriously that the ancient Roman guards fell over as if they were dead when the unnatural darkness, earthquakes and strange burst of energy emerged from within Jesus' tomb in first century Jerusalem! (Matt. 27:52; 28:4). It would have scared anyone to death!
Resurrection A Burst of Radiation
In an on-line article entitled "The Shroud of Turin and its Significance for Biblical Studies," Dr. Habermas writes that
"the shroud of Turin not only has a double body image (obverse and reverse) but there is much evidence that indicates that the image was caused by a burst of light/heat…To say the least, a burst of radiation from a dead body that appears to be that of Jesus is very intriguing evidence for the resurrection, especially in light of the historical evidence for this event." …"Second, scientific investigation reveals that there is no decomposition on the shroud, meaning that, in a Middle Eastern environment, the body did not remain in the cloth for more than a very few days…" …"it is empirical, scientific evidence that is repeatable."
Although the burial shroud is not usually presented as a traditional piece of evidence needed to "prove" the resurrection of Jesus, many believe that the Shroud of Turin is the actual cloth that was wrapped around Jesus after he died (Matt. 27:59; Mark 15:46; Luke 23:53). Its limestone dust and fiber type is unique to first-century Palestine. It contains wound marks consistent with the execution of Jesus. And coins on the eyes date back to around 32 A.D.
Scientific analysis and work on the Shroud of Turin continues on and off even today, although the Vatican keeps a tight lid on any research that might degrade the cloth . A few current day physicists theorize that the image of a man present on the shroud must be due to some type of "nuclear" event.
In fact, recent analysis suggests that the body may have hovered mid air between the back and front of the cloth to cause a radiation-type scorch on both the top and underside. You can read or hear about such things through the DVDs, The Fabric of Time and The Real Face of Jesus - History Channel, and other recently published books.
Properties of a Resurrection Body
Christians have always believed that we, too, will one day be resurrected just as Jesus was. We may not care about the Shroud of Turin or the radiation scorch, but we believe that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead. We know that we are promised a transformed physical body fashioned after His own (Philippians 3:20-21; 1 John 3:2). Like Jesus, we may be able to materialize and dematerialize at will - "Beam me up Scottie" (see Luke 24:31; John 20:26; 1 Thess. 4:17) and we will enjoy other space age accomplishments after we are resurrected.
We are told that we will have an aura of brilliant light about us. At his transfiguration, Jesus was clothed in brilliant light as were Moses and Elijah who appeared with Him (Matt. 17). The Old Testament prophet, Daniel, says that we "will shine like the bright expanse of the heavens" (12:3). We won't age, become sick or die. The apostle Paul says we will be "incorruptible" (1 Cor. 15:50-55).
Ruling Over New Universe&Earth
The question is, why will we be given indestructible bodies with supernatural characteristics? What do we need them for? The Scriptures suggest that it is because Christians are meant to rule with Christ throughout a new universe containing a new earth. The bodies that we currently possess are unsuitable for space travel. We will need to be powerful and mobile in the heavens in order to do our job well (1 Cor. 15:47-49). We are to be future kings and priests working alongside of Christ who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords .
(Ref. 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 1:6; Rev. 21-22; Ps 8:3-6; Dan. 7:18-22, 27; Luke 19:17-26; 1 Cor. 6:2).
Spectacular Space City
Our future home base is described as being in a sparkling, huge cubed or possibly triangular space-city that is 1500 miles high and wide with 200' thick walls of jasper. (200' thick walls would certainly shield residents from any interference from outer space). Just read Revelation chapters 21 and 22 to get a sense of its magnificence for yourself. (Artwork by Duncan Long)
It will be suitable for space travel and will come down out of the heavens to the new earth (Rev. 21:10). Called the "New Jerusalem" it is even possible that it may be a part of earth's rotational orbit and may serve as a source of light upon the earth because "the nations will walk by its light" (Rev. 21:24).
Star Trek Nation "Eat Your Heart Out"
Star Trek Nation, "eat your heart out." All of those atheists railing against Christians are likely "barking up the wrong tree." Dawkins, the late Sagan and Hitchens and other prominent atheists may be left behind forever.
It just may be those simple-minded people called "Christians" who will truly explore the wonders of a vast universe. The "Prime Directive" may be our future task of spreading a ministry of reconciliation to God throughout a "multiverse" (2 Cor. 5:18; Ps. 8:3-6). It seems that our final task is to bring all creation under the headship of Christ (Hebrews 2:8). The Bible makes it clear that the angels are observing us and watching to see how all of this works out in the end (1 Pet. 1:12; 1 Cor. 4:9).
Pain of Observing What Could Have Been
You won't want to miss out on it. The Bible describes those outside the kingdom observing the insiders with longing and regret in their hearts as they watch Christ celebrating with his new subjects in the Kingdom of God. The Lord says it this way: "There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, for you will see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, but you will be thrown out" (Luke 13:28, NLT).
Moody Church scholar, Erwin Lutzer, says,
"The discovery of the immensity of the universe does not diminish but actually magnifies man's role in the cosmos. For if Christ is to rule over all things and we are to reign with Him, then we will be ruling over all the galaxies, affirming Christ's Lordship over the whole universe"
Dallas Theological Seminary scholar, Joseph Dillow, writes…
"this future kingdom embraces the entire created order. One day mankind will conquer the galaxies! While it is true that one purpose of the heavens was to declare the glory of God, it seems that they were also created to be placed in subjection to man…Instead of merely being destined to rule a small planet, mankind has been chosen to subdue something far greater, the vast cosmos itself. No challenge could be greater than to be placed over all the works of God's hands!"
Theologian Randy Alcorn suggests that our future destiny is to fulfill a bible verse, "Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end" (Isa. 9:7). To do so we may,
"…expand into previously ungoverned territories" or "create new territories. This could suggest new planets to govern or new realms under Christ's rulership, or perhaps even new creatures to inhabit new worlds"
(Alcorn 2004, 224).
Do you want to be a part of this? Don't just go to Star Trek conventions or pretend that perhaps your great great grandchildren may have a role exploring the cosmos. Instead, accept Christ as your Lord and Savior (1 Cor. 15:1-6). Become part of a new creation that promises to be more than anything you can imagine, "boldly going where no man has gone before…"
…"so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:10, NKJV).
Alcorn, Randy. 2004. Heaven. Carol Stream, Illinois: Tyndale.
Dillow, Joseph. 1990. The reign of the servant kings. Hayesville, NC: Schoettle.
Flew, Antony. 2007. Professor Antony Flew reviews The God Delusion. bethinking.org.
Lutzer, Erwin W. 1998. Your eternal reward. Chicago: Moody.
New Jerusalem Artwork by Duncan Long. Artwork used with permission. View Mr. Long's stunning work at duncanlong.com/art/christian.
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