The world has been dazzled by images from Mars. America’s Perseverance rover is traveling across the Martian surface and sending back some of the best pictures, video and even audio that we have ever had from that planet. The mission also includes test-flying a remote helicopter and gathering rock and soil samples that scientists hope to bring back to Earth later this decade. This truly is an amazing and stunning achievement!
These scientists are searching for signs of past life on Mars. But the overwhelming reality, confirmed by the work of this rover, is that this planet is dead and in a state of decay.
The contrast with the planet we inhabit is unmistakable: Earth is full of life! Mars and every other planet are decayed wastelands.
Here is a most exciting truth, revealed in your Bible: The condition of these planets is closely linked with your incredible human potential!
As impressive and inspiring as the Mars landing is, this biblical truth makes it a million times more so. Let me tell you why.
Cause of Decay
What caused the state of decay on Mars and the other planets? The Bible tells us.
God created angels, and they were present when He created the Earth and the universe. These “sons of God shouted for joy” over this creation (Job 38:4-7). God sent Lucifer and one third of the angels to Earth to administer His law and beautify and build. This planet was to be a training ground for far greater future projects.
But some time later—unrevealed in Scripture but perhaps millions of years—a great many angels, led by the greatest angel of all, Lucifer, rebelled against their Creator and launched a war against Him (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:11-17; Luke 10:18; Revelation 12:7-9). It was the most destructive war ever, and it left Earth, the moon, Mars, the other planets and apparently the rest of the universe that God had created perfect in a state of desolation!
This history can be proved from the Bible. Herbert W. Armstrong explained all this clearly in his book The Incredible Human Potential (request your free copy). In that book, he wrote, “Apparently all such planets in the entire universe now are waste and empty—decayed (tohu and bohu)—like the Earth was, as described in Genesis 1:2. But God did not create them in such conditions of decay—like our moon. Decay is not an original created condition—it is a condition resulting from a process of deterioration. Evidently if the now-fallen angels had maintained the Earth in its original beautiful condition, improved it, carried out God’s instructions, and obeyed His government, they would have been offered the awesome potential of populating and carrying out a tremendous creative program throughout the entire universe. When they turned traitor on Earth, their sin must have also brought simultaneously physical destruction to the other planets throughout the universe, which were potentially and conditionally put in subjection to them.”
Now here is something cosmically inspiring: That war is the very reason you were created!
Mr. Armstrong continued: “As God surveyed this cataclysmic tragedy, He must have realized that since the highest, most perfect being within His almighty power to create had turned to rebellion, it left God Himself as the only being who would not and cannot sin.” This is a profound statement. God realized that only beings with His own perfect character could rule this planet and the universe. So He decided on a different plan—a spectacular plan to re-create Himself.
That was the basis of His creating human beings. You need to study this book to fully understand. It will show you that these statements fit perfectly into the master plan of the Bible.
The angels had destroyed the surface of the Earth, so God renewed it (Psalm 104:30; Genesis 1:2-25) to prepare it for His new creation. Then He made human beings—in His own image and likeness (verse 26)—and put the material creation under our subjection (verses 27-31). It was a means of preparing us for much more ambitious plans to come.
Yes, God created mankind with the destiny to remove the decay from Mars and the universe. You have a direct connection to the universe! He wants us to help make the universe look like Earth, like the beautiful Garden of Eden! That is man’s destiny, and you can prove it from the Bible.
A Coming Birth!
The Apostle Paul understood this truth. Notice what he wrote in Romans 8:18-19: “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God” (Revised Standard Version).
Why would the creation wait for the sons of God—here referring to human beings—to be glorified? “For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children [sons] of God” (verses 20-21; rsv). The Earth and universe must be “set free from its bondage to decay.”
When we see pictures of the moon and Mars, we see this “bondage to decay.” It is obvious that the universe needs desperately to be set free. God created life on Earth—human beings—for that purpose, to make it flourish with new beauty and life!
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (verses 22-23; rsv).
God personifies the Earth and universe as in a state of “labor pains” just before the sons of God are born! The word adoption is an absolutely wrong translation. The translators couldn’t believe that mankind is to be born into the Family of God—of which human birth is a type. This truth is so incredible that men refuse to believe God! We will not be adopted by God—we are going to be born into His Family, and you can prove it.
No wonder the word hope is used five times in verses 24-25! How awesome this truth is! And God is inviting you to be part of this magnificent universe-building program. Can you believe your Bible? You can if you study The Incredible Human Potential with it and let God build your faith.
Focus on the Creator
Why do scientists want to reach Mars? It gets back to one overall question: Is there life there?
But they are asking the wrong question! They should ask, “Why are Mars and the rest of the universe there?” This question leads us to the Creator! Scientists are focused on the creation, not the Creator. And though it may be done in ignorance, it amounts to an exercise in futility and rebellion against God.
The Apostle Paul encountered scholars who were asking the wrong question and whose focus was warped. He wrote about them in Romans 1:24-25: “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen” (rsv).
The word creature means things or beings. Those ancient scholars and our modern scientists do not worship God, so they worship themselves or other human beings and the rest of God’s creation, like Mars. Most people—including most religious people—worship science, scientists and the universe, not God. How disgusting and shallow men are when they worship things and beings—the creation—and not the Creator of those things and beings. We ask, “Is there life on Mars?” But we should ask, “Is there a Creator of Mars?”
Scientists can see that Mars and the universe are waste and in a state of decay. Some dream of somehow escaping Earth and introducing life to Mars. Can they do that? Look at what human beings have done to this planet. We are about to destroy all human life on Earth! Even if we “escaped,” we would bring rebellious, destructive human nature with us! Even if we found life on Mars, we would just destroy it in the end!
Scientists are looking for life on Mars. They ought to be learning how to save life on Earth! Our number one problem is human survival!
We have done to Earth what Satan did to the universe—only worse! Why is that the case? Because he is “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
We can only make Mars flourish with beauty and life if we first allow God to change our human nature!
Sons of God
Angels have a fiery splendor that would make us faint if we saw them. Yet God never said to any of the angels, “You are my son” (Hebrews 1:5). They are not on the God level. God never intended that they be born sons of God.
Your potential is so much greater than that of the dazzling angels! Are you grateful for that?
“For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak” (Hebrews 2:5). God is going to remake the Earth and universe. He isn’t putting that “world to come” under the angels—but He is putting it in subjection to men and women who enter His Family! This shows that God is working to build His very character—which alone can rule the universe—in human beings.
“But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (verse 6). This quotes Psalm 8:4-6, where David looked up at what he could see of the universe and asked God why He was so mindful of human beings.
Most of us don’t grasp the deep meaning of this verse. God is obviously concerned about the universe. But His main focus is on His masterpiece of creation: man! God is “mindful”—His mind is full—of mankind and our potential! The universe would be of little value to God without His Family to rule it.
“Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things [Moffatt translates the Hebrew word for ‘all things’ as the universe in Hebrews 1:3] in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him” (Hebrews 2:7-8). God is going to put Mars and the universe under man’s rule—He just hasn’t done so yet. What jaw-dropping potential—higher than angels!
“For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (verse 10). God perfects us through suffering. We experience trials to help change our human nature, to help prepare us for our mind-boggling future. The Creator became a human being and conquered human nature, never sinning even once. And He will empower you and me to conquer sinful human nature as well.
Verse 11 says that He is not ashamed to call human beings who do so His brothers! The angels were never called the brothers of Christ in this way, because they were never sons in God’s Family.
Our Universe Dream
This world is about to enter a very dark age. Actually, you could say Earth has been in the dark ages throughout man’s history. God is letting the trauma intensify until we finally realize how inept we really are.
In this convulsing world, we need our universe dream. We need to see the stupendous possibility and the eternal majesty God is offering human beings.
People are intrigued and inspired by the Mars landings. But most will have only a few fleeting moments of inspiration, then the hope will fade. Please don’t let this happen to you. Your potential beyond those pictures is breathtaking and inspiring beyond anything you have ever known. See those Mars pictures for what they truly are: a window into the greatest hope you can ever imagine! Nothing can stimulate our imagination like comprehending our universe potential!