Did Jesus die for E.T., Spock and the Na’vi, too? Or is Salvation a Homo sapiens-only club?
This weird, über-nerdy question occurred to me the other night on my way home from a Bible Study meeting, and I can’t decide what to think.
I’ll explain what prompted the internal debate: the group was discussing the famous trials and tribulations documented in the Book of Job. When that topic had started to run its course, I pointed out a passage from Job that has always intrigued me:
One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them.
– Job 1:6
Pardon my French, but what the Hell is Satan doing in Heaven – in the Presence of the Lord? Being the antichrist, wouldn’t you think he’d be persona-non-grata in God’s Kingdom?
I asked that question during our Study meeting, and my friend Scott suggested that maybe Beelzebub was tolerated in Heaven for a while, but once Jesus defeated Death on the Cross, the Prince of Darkness was cast out of the Light – permanently.
Not a bad theory, really. I’m not sure how it jibes with the understanding that time is not part of the landscape in Heaven, but this may well be one of those earthly paradoxes that makes perfect sense in Heaven (free will vs. predestination, the threeness, yet oneness of God, the difference between gravy and sauce, etc.)
But another question occurred to me when I was driving home from the meeting: did Jesus’ death and resurrection change things in Heaven, or just here on Earth? The Cross transforms the universe from our perspective, but does it have the same impact from the objective perspective?
If Scott’s theory is right, and Satan was given the heave-ho on Easter Sunday, perhaps it’s not just Us Humans that are changed.
That’s where the nerdy question comes in. I’m of the opinion that there must be intelligent life on other planets in God’s universe. And while I’m not convinced they’re all built like us on the outside (they probably all have ridged foreheads or pointy ears, at least), if a life form that God created evolves into something that can reason and communicate, it must have a soul on the inside.
Assuming that God gave these little, green men the same free will that He gave us, and assuming they mucked it up like we did, Marvin the Martian must need saving, too.
Did Jesus’ death at Calvary on our blue-green Third Rock from Sol pay ALF’s bill, too? Or does the Son of God have to go through the same hideous journey on every inhabited rock between here and Melmac and beyond?
For His sake, I sure hope not.
But for our sake, I kinda hope so. After all, we Christians aren’t too hot at evangelizing within our own species – Heaven help us if future spacefaring generations have to convert the Klingons and Wookiees, too.
Live long and prosper.