Reaching for the Stars

The human race has come a long way since observers of the cosmos concluded that the earth orbits around the sun and not the sun around the earth. Having put the best and brightest minds to work to develop the technology to get men into orbit around the earth, the moon was the next logical step into the cosmos. The Apollo 11 moon mission launch in July of 1969 was purposed for a moon landing.

On July 20th, 1969, after a three day journey at a speed of 25,000mph, a successful landing was made on the moon. Neil Armstrong made history when he announced the words – “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” Planting his space suit boots on the lunar surface he declared, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Buzz Aldrin joined him to explore and sample the lunar surface while Mike Collins monitored communications in the orbiting Command module. Five more Apollo missions to the moon saw 10 more mortal men step boldly into the future of the Space Program. The success of the International Space Station has emboldened NASA to plan for the placement of a “permanent” lunar orbiter called Gateway to function as a rendezvous platform for repeated moon missions and future missions to Mars.

The Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta Ohio hosted the 2019 commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the landing and the safe return of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins to planet Earth.

What has become clearly evident about traveling beyond earth’s protective atmosphere is that the human body, despite the high tech protection of space suits, is still vulnerable to solar radiation and bone mass loss, not to mention the psychological stresses of confined spaces and feelings of isolation. Beyond all this is the limitation of man’s mortal life span in relation to the magnitude of the heavens and the almost incomprehensible distances involved. What is our mere 70 or 80 years when light travels 6 trillion miles in a single year, and the nearest stars are more than 4 light years distant?

But the quest for the stars goes on. Positive words build confidence. The NASA mission statement now is, “We are going forward to the moon” ( not back to the moon). “We go for humanity. We go because we are destined to seek knowledge…to explore and see with our own eyes…. we will discover life changing science.”

But all the plain observable facts prove we will be earth and near earth bound until we have transitioned to “imperishable” bodies that only God can give. Then and only then can we “reach for the stars.” Those who are accounted worthy will, like the angels, be able to traverse the universe (Luke 20:36). Our human body must be changed. The apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 speaks of this. “Behold! I tell you a mystery,” he says. “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed…this mortal must put on immortality.”

The book of Genesis reveals some astounding facts about some people who lived very long lives. Methuselah, the father of Lamech, lived 969 years. Lamech, the father of Noah, lived 777 years. In Genesis 9:28 we read that  Noah died at the age of 950. To us this seems like a mystery, but God is able to change the human DNA to extend the life of earthborns when it suits His purpose. And by that same unfathomable power, He will transform those who are worthy to the immortal state, never to die (1Cor.15:50-55; 2Cor. 5: 1-10).

What is God asking of us in exchange?

What is the “life-changing science” that will make us eligible for this marvelous perpetuating of our lives? God is looking for us to transform our moral nature, our character, to conform to the Divine blueprint for immortality. All this is defined in our Creator’s Instructions for Life, the Bible.

We are truly blessed that our Heavenly Father has laid out a way for us to attain the immortal state. What great love He has for those who choose to be His obedient children (Titus 2:11-13).

Those who are now living Godly lives, whose hope of salvation is in Jesus Christ, can rightfully say as did the believers of old, “See what kind of love the father has given to us, that we should be called children of God…. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we will be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he [Christ] is pure” (1John 3:1-3 ESV).

Think of standing in the company of our King and being glorious as He is! If we have, like the apostle Paul, “fought the good fight of faith,” finished our course and kept the faith, clad with the whole armor of God, we will then be able in our glorified bodies to travel into the universe without fear of cosmic radiation or fatigue. No high tech space suits will be needed to get to the stars. According to the Bible we will be capable of traveling very swiftly as did the angels.

An Even Greater Dimension…

There is another dimension in the universe that our God has revealed. We are only one planet among countless millions and billions that will be accessible for inter-galactic travel. And there are countless more yet to be inhabited and developed. We are not alone in the universe where our everlasting God has been extending His mercies from eternity past on those who “keep his covenant” and who “remember His commandments to do them”! (Ps. 103:17-18).

Astronauts study and train to attain the knowledge and disciplines needed to embark on a long and challenging space journey. Those who have covenanted to serve God likewise study the Words of Life, the instructions for the God centered righteous life found only in the Holy Bible, to be part of the Creator’s space program and access the Heavenly Realms of Eternity. How can we attain that privilege? By refining our character by applying His law to our lives. Having achieved “the stature of the fullness of Christ,” as overcomers, earth will be our home. But we will be given the key to the “New Jerusalem” and the universe. If we have attained His standard when He returns, we will be granted the honor of ruling over the earth with King Jesus during the 1,000 year Millennial era and beyond (Read Eph. 3:10-15 / Rev. 20:4).

All highly challenging endeavors that people have undertaken have required great courage, diligence, dedication and discipline, along with encouragement from their peers. Encouragement bolsters confidence and hope; both are required for victory over our old nature. The Bible is the only source for hope with the promise of life beyond this life, and we must persevere. Ultimately perseverance is the key to life. The Scriptures affirm that it is only “To those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality” that God will “give eternal life” (Rom. 2:7 ESV).

Let us continue that we may be among those who are “called, and chosen and faithful.” —WB

I feel like pressing on, pressing on;
/God has set before my eyes one supreme eternal prize, /‘Tis the land where no one dies to which I’m pressing on!