The Bible lists many of the signs to indicate the closing out of this age in both the Old and New Testaments. Perhaps the best presentation of them are from Jesus himself. Generally referred to as the Olivet Discourse, they can be found in Matthew 24 & 25, Mark 13, and Luke 21. I’m sure most of you already knew that.
Since I was very young, science has always fascinated me, particularly anything to do with outer space. This was triggered by my mother ordering a map of the solar system from the back of a hot dog wrapper – of all things! It was copyrighted in 1959 by the Rand McNally company, illustrated in rich color and along with various charts and notations. Though much of the information and the artists’ renditions of the views from various planets and moons are outdated today, it provided an early look at what was “out there.” Unfortunately, the original chart has been long gone, but I found an image of it a few years ago on the Internet and made an 8 x 11 ½ copy of it for myself which presently before me as I write this article.
The 1950’s began a space race between the United States and the Soviet Union, each country trying to outdo the other. Part of it was a competition between political systems. It was the totalitarianism of Soviet communism verses the freedom of Americans had and enjoyed in the U.S.
The second was based on a more realistic belief that whoever controlled the skies would ultimately control the planet.
The former really wasn’t an accurate indicator of whose government was “best” as far as it concerned those living under it. It seems no one considered that Hitler’s Germany was very likely the most technologically superior nation on the planet for a time before its defeat in 1945. Truth is, the rocket technologies of the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. were greatly benefited by German rocket scientists who ended up in either country. Does that then mean that the dictatorial and brutal Nazi government was “better” than the freedom of the democratic one in America as far as quality of life for its citizens? I don’t think any clear-thinking person could possibly believe that!
As for the latter, this certainly was a more realistic consideration. Any country which could successfully master the complexities of space travel could certainly use this knowledge to create a means to deliver weapons of mass destruction upon an enemy. The need to be “first and best” provided the major impetus for the push into space. Yet I suggest that the former reason, flawed as it was, was the driving force behind actually sending people up there. After all, weapons can be deployed remotely without humans actually having to launch them from a spaceship or space station.
When the Soviets were the first to send Sputnik up on October 4, 1957, it shocked the free world, the United States in particular. The result from this was a retooling not only of our engineering and industrial capabilities, but of the education system as well. I was fortunate to be a part of that, and am equally saddened to see now it has it degenerated into the political football it has become today.
But, let’s get back on-topic.
The 1950’s and 1960’s saw an explosion of scientific and technological advances that made it possible for the first time in history for humans to live, albeit for limited periods, in a totally hostile environment just a few score of miles over their heads. Before the 1960’s such accomplishments were only achieved in the pages and movies of science fiction. By the end of that decade, American’s had gone to the moon, walked upon it, and returned safely.
As I grew up in those years, the future was wide open, despite the social unrest developing in the 1960’s. Not only was envisioned a huge, rotating space station, but also permanent bases on the moon well on the way to self-sufficiency. The film 2001: A Space Odyssey is a good reflection of this mindset. (Of course, it wasn’t likely we’d encounter a super intelligent ET race out there which gave our allegedly ape-like ancestors a brain-boost and then do the same thing to Dave Bowman after pulling him into hyperspace via a star gate.)
Yet how have things turned out in reality?
Human missions to the moon have been impossible for decades. A big floating wheel in space has been replaced by much more modest International Space Station. China has sent up the first module of its Tianhe space station in May of 2021 and is expected to complete it this year (2022). But neither of these are even close to being self-sufficient. The big dreams of humanity not so long ago if establishing itself within decades of landing on the moon are still only themes of science fiction.
Okay, by this time, I’m sure you’re wondering where all this is leading, so I’ll test your patience no further.
To the best of my knowledge, the Bible indicates that the only people to escape the coming wrath of the Tribulation will be those taken away in the Rapture. This naturally leads to the conclusion that humanity will earthbound. There will be no option of riding out what’s coming off-world.
Could it therefore be that the retreat of our efforts to set up independent habitations beyond Earth is actually an Unmentioned Sign of our times?
What do YOU think?