Scientists and philosophers speculate on the question, “Why Is There Something Instead of Nothing?” The question is why our solar system exists and why there should be countless galaxies other than our Milky Way. Part of this question no one can answer, at least not at the present time. What is the purpose for the cosmos?
Is there intelligent life in any of the other solar systems? We can’t answer that question yet. However, if God’s purpose in creating the physical world in which we live is to advance the battle between good and evil, would He also do that in other places? Isaiah 55:8-9 challenges us to understand that God is not limited to our capacity to think and understand. In that passage, God says, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways … For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Science fiction writers have created a whole industry on the assumption that the war between good and evil is ongoing and not limited to the planet on which we live.
A theologian may object to the possibility of other planets with intelligent life, saying, “So you think that Jesus died more than once and experienced more than one resurrection?” The answer to that is “no.” The biblical account is limited to planet Earth. However, many years ago, on a Larry King talk show with an atheist, a caller asked the atheist, “What would you do if a spaceship landed on the White House lawn and a little green man jumped out with a Bible in his hand and said, ‘Has Jesus been here yet?'” My atheist opponent smiled and said, “Punt.”
God may provide a different means for the battle between good and evil than what we see on planet Earth. The point is that there is a purpose for our existence and a purpose for the cosmos. God may use other places and methods to carry out that battle. On a cosmic level, the atheist has no purpose for existing.
Another point we must consider about why the universe exists is that all we see in the cosmos may simply be the result of the creation of time, space, and energy in the beginning. We now understand that the “big bang” singularity was not just a physical process. God created time and space, and matter-energy was engrained in the fabric of space. For us humans, limited to our five senses and able only to comprehend the changes in our physical world, the purpose for the cosmos is beyond our current understanding.
Recent advances in quantum mechanics have shown that time did have a beginning and that the fabric of space contains all the residual matter produced by the creation process. God was not just concerned about the scientifically ignorant population of the days of Moses and Christ. God knew that humans would eventually come to understand the creation process to such an extent that we could see evidence of God’s hand in the cosmos. As God’s ultimate creation, it makes sense that humans would seek to know the purpose for the cosmos.
We suggest that what makes humans unique and special is our spiritual makeup, being created in the image of God. Our physical qualities are of secondary importance. The whole message of the cosmos is that God is a God of incredible power, wisdom, and purpose. The universe radiates that, and the more we see of the creation, the more we understand of its Creator.
— John N. Clayton © 2023