In my recent reading, what I found especially interesting and, with which I heartily agree is the idea of the frontier. This concept is elaborated in the Epilogue of a book I just finished called The Case for Mars - The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must. In this paper, I will describe my vision of how coming to know the Creator, and partaking of His plan for our lives provides an opportunity to not only enjoy, and get to know God, the Heavenly City, and its citizens, but also to explore the endless expanse, and variety of the worlds of the heavens. I will relate how the space program is an extremely good, and relevant current way to start exploration of the heavens. This gives us a taste of exploring the heavens in a superior way in the future.
A bit more than one hundred years ago a young professor of history from the then relatively obscure University of Wisconsin got up to speak at the annual conference of the American Historical Association ... A long series of obscure papers preceded his address, yet the majority of the conference participants remained to hear him. Perhaps a rumor had gotton afoot that something important was about to be said, If so, it was correct; ... 'It was not legal theories, precedents, traditions, national or racial stock that was the source of America's egalitarian democracy, individualism and spirit of innovation, he said. It was the existence of the frontier. 1
Turner presented his paper in 1893. Just three years earlier, in 1890, the American frontier had been declared closed: ... the existence of western expansion had actually met the line of settlement coming east from California. Today a century later we face the question that Turner himself posed - what if the frontier is truly gone? 2
"Perhaps the question was premature in Turner's times, but not now." 3
"I believe that humanity's new frontier can only be on Mars." 4
From as early as I can remember after I started to read, my dreams and inspiration were in astronomy, especially the solar system, and within that especially manned space exploration. I was born in 1960, and I was elated when I sat in front of the TV in July 1969 and watched as not just science fiction, or not even a real unmanned space probe, but human beings like you and I were stepping out onto another world for the first time in human history. Although that feat was monumental and inspirational enough, just as important was the fact that it had caught the world's attention and imagination thanks in significant part to the still prevalent idea that mankind could accomplish lofty and substantial goals by technology if he committed himself fully to it, and persevered. I thought, this is great, we're heading to a new future beyond Earth's confines. This was particularly aptly summed up by Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong who said:
"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." 5
The publicity of the space race between the then U.S.S.R., and the U.S.A., with the associated rivalry of not only superpower nations but also of ideologies by the media, was also a significant factor in the growing public perception of space as the next, or last, frontier. I, and I'm sure other space enthusiasts or advocates who followed the Apollo missions, were looking forward to the exploration and colonization of the Moon and, hopefully the beginning of the American manned exploration, and eventual colonization of Mars.
We would be disappointed. Lunar exploration and, of course, colonization was halted with the completion of the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. It was assumed there would be no more trips to the Moon in the forseeable future, and no planned manned missions to Mars. This was even though the technology could have been quickly developed for nuclear rockets at that time. This would have been more than sufficient for a manned trip to Mars. The public, mass media, and the government had lost interest in space as the last frontier. Man had been to the Moon - Wasn't that enough? But some people said something to the effect of what is left to do on the Moon? What more were we to accomplish with each trip? Why should we support manned exploration of Mars, or a permanent manned base on the Moon, when there is so much need of government attention and money for problems on Earth? This situation of course has yet to be addressedn thirty years later. In recent robotic exploration of the solar system, including the recent discovery of limited water ice at the Moon's polar regions and vast quantities of ice just under much of the surface of Mars, the recent discovery of other solar systems or planets around other stars, the ongoing construction in orbit of the International Space Station, and the economically and politically feasible view for the future exploration and colonization of Mars in the book, The Case for Mars , there is some basis for offsetting my discouragement and frustration. I also got frustrated by the lack of progress or fulfillment of my desires of a solution to the energy crisis through controlled nuclear fusion, electric cars, and no energy loss wires due to lack to technological breakthroughs or committments to research and development in controlled nuclear fusion, high efficiency battery and room temperature superconductivity science and technology.
This disillusionment with, but still enthusiasm for, the potential of technology led me to think of what is the purpose of mankind in general and, myself in particular and, what is the purpose of the Earth and the Universe. At University of Waterloo, in southern Ontario not far from either Hamilton or Toronto, I eventually started daily reading of God's Word - the Holy Bible. In it I found I could have eternal life through Jesus Christ and His death for my and all people's sins, His resurrection from the dead the third day later, and my faith in the necessity of through the Lord Jesus Christ coming to know God. I also realized I needed to personally come to know my sins forgiven through the shed blood of God's Son or Annointed One, the Lord Jesus Christ. I read in the Bible that not just Jesus Christ, but eventually all believers in God through Him, will have resurrection bodies which will be able to realize a far more efficient, and far-ranging, type of space flight. I also read things in the Bible like:
"For the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world." John 6:33 King James Version
Here Jesus Christ refers to His mission on Earth. Through reading of fulfilled prophecies, and the accurate portrayal of history, the nature of man, geography, and what the Bible says of science I continued to gain confidence that the Bible wasn't at all false, fiction or fable. I read it literally, and was encouraged by other Christians to do so.
With my new faith, I realized that although there might not be technology as we think of it in the eternal age, I could still enjoy a literal beautiful place called Heaven and explore the Universe, or as the Bible calls it "the heavens". Probably this would be at the speed of thought with believers' heavenly and spiritual resurrection body. God will probably still allow and enable controlled nuclear fusion, space exploration and colonization and other potential good, beneficial and peaceful potential or application of current or future science and technology to be realized in the Lord Jesus Christ's thousand year Messianic Age or Millenial Kingdom. The Kingdom on Earth will start when Jesus comes back from Heaven to take rule of this world for God. I also like scriptures like:
"I make all things new" Revelation 21:5 King James Version
"To Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think ... " Ephesians 3:20 King James Version and
"No good thing will He(God) withhold from those who walk uprightly." Psalm 84:11 King James Version.
These and other scripture verses helped me gain a new realization of an eternal and perfect provision of a home, and means of transportation, and relationships in the New Earth, and New Heavens. I had found lasting meaning, and vision for life and the Universe.
The increased need for a new frontier which is best achieved in space exploration is demonstrated by the increasing invasion and loss of privacy, and the western public's increasing willingness to accept this since September 11, 2001. This is seen as an acceptable price to pay for increasing security or protection from extremist Muslims or other terrorists. This loss of privacy, present or future, has many forms including video surveillance cameras, high resolution visible or infrared, or heat sensing, satellite reconaissance photography or imaging, monitoring and application or information from credit card, debit card and other electronic financial transactions. There is also increasing invasion of privacy and loss of freedom with increasing tapping of internet, traditional phone, cell phone, fax, or other electronic communication, DNA fingerprinting, eye scans, facial recognition, sharing of database information, and the now experimentally introduced Verichip or similiar technology. The Verichip, produced by Applied Digital Systems or Florida, U.S.A., or similiar technology are computer microchips implanted under the skin to store information and/or facilitate monitoring of the person receiving them. If they are linked or interfaced with the brain or nervous system, the information in or from the microchip could also affect the brain or other parts of the body of have these parts of the body monitored from outside. More recently RFID or radio frequency identification technology had been developed and started to be applied commercially. This technology had a microchip attached to an antennae that could also track an object or living thing or person and possibly also transmit instructions. This implanted microchip technology is consistent with the "Mark of the Beast" will be used to identify and monitor and probably manipulate people by an evil, controlling, deceptive, world dictator who will soon be revealed on Earth. All this loss or threatened loss of security and freedom is directly opposed to the idea of the freedom of the frontier and the need in some people to have the longing for a frontier fulfilled which space exploration offers one way or another.
I hope you will join me, and other people who have found that there is intelligent and extraterrestrial life that we can and should know, and make contact with in prayer. God has given us a solution to our problems including our biggest problem of sin, which is also at the root of all our other problems, according to God's Word - the Holy Bible. But the Bible is in a type of spiritual code that can only be unlocked for a person when we are born, and taught by the Spirit of God. It is being indwelt by this same Holy Spirit that will soon also transform our bodies, and those who have died in the Lord Jesus Christ as He has already transformed our hearts or spirits as recorded in the following scripture:
"But I would not have you to be ignorant brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent(precede) them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 King James Version
For you Star Trek or other science fiction enthusiasts this will be analagous to being beamed up or teleported to heaven, but will stop in the air to meet Jesus. However in the case of this resurrection or translation often called "The Rapture", meaning to be caught up, the action and qualifying people will be those having a transformed spirit through faith in Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour or the right spiritual condition. This is distinguished from teleportation or being present, called Quantum Entanglement, as in Star Trek in science fiction or so far with photons, subatomic particles and possibly atoms in scientific reality. Of course when we are caught up to meet God by His Holy Spirit we can trust Him where we are going. However, I would dare say that even when and if the technology is reached to teleport or "beam up" humans using technology associated with quantum mechanics some people would be afraid to use it. This is because they would be afraid of being sent to some place other than their desired destination such as a black hole or faraway galaxy!
It might also be interesting or profitable to consider some of the impressions of Apollo astronauts!
It was a totally different Moon than I had ever seen before. The Moon that I knew from old was a yellow flat disk, and this was a huge three-dimensional shpere, almost a ghostly blue-tinged sort of pale white. It didn't seem a very friendly or welcoming place. It made one wonder whether we should be invading its domain or not. Michael Collins 6
When we haven't come to know God, the Creator and, His forgiveness and eternal life, as is probably the case here, His creation can be intimidating - even fearful and unwelcoming.
I felt like an alien as I travelled through space. When I got on the Moon, I felt at home. We had mountains on three sides and had the deep canyon to the west, a beautiful spot to camp. I felt as Adam and Eve must have felt, as they were standing on the Earth and they realized they were all alone. I talk about the Moon as being a very holy place. James Irwin 7
It is reasonably common knowledge that James Irwin was then and is now a born again Christian with a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. His impressions of being on and going to the Moon reflect he had peace from God. These observations and experiences of and on the Moon helped him praise and worship God as Creator.
I enjoyed the fact that I was on one side of this little satellite of our planet and Neil and Buzz were somewhere over on the other side of it, and then there were three billion people a quarter of a million miles away. And that was all over there, and if I looked in the other direction there was God knows what: only me and the rest of the universe. I liked that feeling, being a part of the rest of the Universe instead of part of the Solar System. I didn't mind being in that corner of the Universe alone by myself. I enjoyed that. I wish someone would have communicated with me, but no one did. Michael Collins 8
Although here astronaut Michael Collins had peace with nature or creation, he still didn't hear God's voice (presumably including quietly speaking to his heart). I guess this was because he hadn't yet sought God with all his heart and committed himself and his life to God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Bible - the Word of God.
One scripture that particularly brings out the Bible's perspective about the heavens is found in 2 Corinthians 12:1-3. In it, a man is caught up past the 1st heaven - the Earth's atmosphere and near outer space, past the 2nd celestial heavens where the planets, stars and galaxies reside to the 3rd heaven - the dwelling place of God, saints and angels. At the rapture, or translation of the Church, believers will also rise to go with the Lord Jesus Christ into the 3rd heaven, and probably have the first of many guided tours of the Universe. I hope you, dear reader, will as soon as possible ensure you join us, including born-again astronauts and space exploration enthusiasts, if you haven't already.
Although Christians or God's heavenly people of this age will probably be able to readily access Earth from Heaven with our heavenly resurrection bodies in God's Messianic Age or Millenial Kingdom when He rules this Earth directly through His Son Jesus Christ, I also believe it is quite likely God will allow and unable (unresurrected) mankind on Earth then to fulfill the full or so far unrealized potential of current and future good science and technology including spaceflight, manned and unmanned, and space colonization in the thousand year Millenial Kingdom or Messianic Age. This will start when the Lord Jesus Christ sets up His among the one true God's Kingdom over all the Earth and before the eternal age and the New Heavens and the New Earth.
Doug Currie Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sunday, November 7, 1998 Revised Monday, November 18, 2002
1 Robert Zubrin with Richard Wagner, The Case For Mars The Plan to Settle The Red Planet And Why We Must New York, New York, U.S.A. Touchstone Epilogue: The Significance of the Martian Frontier page 295
2 The Case For Mars page 296
3 The Case For Mars page 296
4 The Case For Mars page 297
5 Robert Launius Apollo: A Retrospective Analysis Key Documents in Apollo History page 377 NASA History Office Washington DC USA
6 Kevin W. Kelley Editor The Home Planet For the Association of Space Explorers Addison-Wesley Publishing Company Reading, Massachusetts Menlo Park, California, New York, New York, Don Mills, Ontario, Canada etc Mir Publishers, Moscow, Russia Chapter - Going to the Moon page with illustrations 39 and 40
7 The Home Planet with illustrations 46 and 47
8 The Home Planet with illustrations 54
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An excellent book on the resurrection body from a Biblically sound and scientifically accurate basis is: The Resurrected Body - Y2K and Beyond A New Concept of the Resurrected Body from Biblical, Theological, Philosophical, and Scientific Perspectives by John B. Wong University Press of America ISBN 0-7618-1563-5 Although this book is very informative and enlightening and accurate on this subject it is also quite academic but has good indices - scriptural, subject and name. It could go into more of the possible uses of these bodies by Christians to explore the stellar or astronomical heavens although with what the author says the reader can see better how this will be possible. The author is very qualified to speak on this subject as he has a PhD in medical surgery and two PhD degrees in Theology. He can be reached at his e-mail JohnBWong@aol.com. Although the book is quite expensive it is probably the most comprehensive and Biblically and scientifically sound and best researched book on this subject.
An excellent book on (Quantum Mechanical) Entanglement that includes a chapter on Teleportation is: Entanglement - The Greatest Mystery in Physics by Amir D. Aczel by Raincoast Books ISBN 1-55192-549-4 Cloth Paper ISBN 1-55192-647-4 Has a good index.
An excellent book on the idea of a frontier is: An Oxford History of the American West Edited by Clyde A. Milner II, Carol A. O'Connor and Martha A. Sandweiss Although it is primarily about the American frontier there is a chapter covering the frontiers of other countries including Canada's. Oxford University Press has excellent index ISBN 0-19-505968-9 Cloth and ISBN 0-19-511212-1 PaperbkWeb Site About Extrasolar Planets