Is There Life in Outer Space?

Updated August 13, 2009 (first published August 24, 1996) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143,; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) –

We received the following question from a reader: "There is so much talk now about the possibility of life on Mars. Is there anything in the Scripture that would confirm or deny the existence of life on other planets OR is Scripture silent on this point. If human life existed on other planets would Christ have had to have died for them also?"

This is a good question and I would make the following seven observations:

I would note,
first of all, that there is no absolute evidence of life on the planets or stars. This question has not passed the stage of conjecture and theorizing. At the same time that reports appeared which stated that some NASA scientists believe a meteorite bears evidence that there was life on Mars, other reports acknowledged that many scientists do not agree with these conclusions. For example, geochemist Jim Papike, director of the Institute of Meteoritics at the University of New Mexico, testified that he and three colleagues have tested the meteorite in question, and they have found that “it lacked a key sign of biological activity” (Associated Press, August 9, 1996). He stated, "We wanted to know if these pyrites in Martian rocks would show this fingerprint of life that would be indicated by a specific type of ratio. When we looked at the ratio, there was no evidence that it was in a ratio for life forms.” In fact, he claims that the ratio points in the opposite direction from the one that indicates biological activity. President George W. Bush’s 2003 budget report called for an increase in funding for space exploration and expressed hope that evidence of life in other parts of the universe will yet be found. The document also contained the following admission, “Despite all the space aliens that appear in science fiction movies and books, we have yet to find conclusive evidence for life, even microbes, anywhere in the universe besides Earth” (“Bush Budget Gets Spacey, CBS News, Feb. 3, 2003).

It is foolish to be intimidated by the unproved conjectures of scientists--particularly conjectures of evolutionary scientists who need to justify spending millions of dollars of public funds in the search for life in outer space.

Second, according to the Bible, HUMAN life has never existed anywhere but on earth for these past 6,000 or so years. Adam was the FIRST MAN--not the second or third man--of the old creation (1 Cor. 15:47). Christ is the "second man," the Lord from Heaven, who became the firstborn from the dead of the new creation (Hebrews 2:6-10).

Third, according to the Bible, evolution is not true. Thus we do not have to speculate about whether or not life has evolved anywhere else in the universe. Any life that exists was created by the one true God of the Bible, and was created for His purposes and glory. The NASA personnel who quoted to us from Genesis chapter one during the space flights two decades ago were wiser than some today who think the Bible is a myth and have set about to find evolutionary life somewhere out there in a Godless, meaningless universe.

Fourth, according to the Bible, the planets and stars were created in connection with this earth and for man's benefit (Genesis 1:14-19). The heavenly bodies exist "for lights to divide the day from the night" and "for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years." The heavens also exist to "declare the glory of God" (Psalm 19:1).

Fifth, according to the Bible, there IS life in outer space or at least somewhere beyond this planet earth. There is God and His glorious Heaven and the occupants thereof (Hebrews 12:22-23). There is an innumerable company of angels. There are, first of all, elect angels that did not follow the devil in the fall (1 Timothy 5:21). We know that these angels visit this earth and do God's bidding and minister among men (Gen. 28:12; Psalm 148:2; Matt. 26:53; Heb. 1:4-7). We know a little about these angels from what the Bible tells us, but there is much that we do not know. There are also fallen angels, Satan and his devils, which are active on the earth and possibly in other realms (Eph. 6:12). There is Hell and its occupants. There are the souls of men who have died and gone either to heaven or to hell.

Sixth, the Bible does not tell us everything about the universe and existence, but it does tell us everything we NEED to know and it tells us everything God wants us to know about the mysteries of life and about salvation. "The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law" (Deut. 29:29). This verse tells us that there are secrets which are not revealed in Scripture. We must wait until eternity to know more than the Bible tells us about the secrets of God.

Seventh, in the final analysis, it simply does not matter if there is life in outer space. Even if it could be proven for 100% certain that there has been or is some form of life in another part of the universe (other than God and the angels and the souls of men who have departed from this world), it would only mean that God made that life for His purposes. It would also mean nothing in regard to us and our lives here on earth. Each of us is going to live his or her brief life, then go out into eternity to stand before God, either saved or lost. The Bible says, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Heb. 9:27). Whether or not there is life on another planet will not have any affect on my eternal destiny.

I say, then, that the Bible is infinitely superior to astronomy, because there are two crucial things astronomy cannot do, but which the Bible can do. One, astronomy can't give me salvation, but the Bible can. "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:15). Two, astronomy can't help me find the perfect will of God so that I can live a life which pleases Him and thereby find reward and fruitfulness. But the Bible can. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Timothy 3:16,17).

I praise the Lord that the God of the wide and mysterious universe loves sinners and has given us His Word that we might know and serve Him in this life and forever. "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3).

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