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Jared Thurmon

is the Strategic Partnerships Liaison for Adventist Review.
You can reach him anytime on twitter via @thurmon.

Can the Red Dragon Save Us?

What I want to do is make _______ seem possible. Something that we can do in our lifetimes. That you could go there. And is there a way where anyone could go if they wanted to? That’s really the important thing.

First of all, why go anywhere? There are really two fundamental paths . . . . One path is—we stay on earth forever and then there will be some eventual extinction event. . . . I don’t have an immediate doomsday prophecy but history suggests there will be some doomsday event.

The alternative is to become a space ranked civilization and a multi-planet species . . . . which I hope you would agree that is the right way to go.”

I agree completely Elon. Count me in!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls those, were just the first 90 seconds of the presentation! If those words sounded like an inspirational sermon about heaven, you, too, were caught by Elon Musk’s vision of colonizing Mars and building a city that would make man a “multiplanetary species”.

Musk shared his ideas at the International Aeronautical Conference in Mexico this week, focusing on the Interplanetary Transport System (or ITS), a concept for transporting humans back and forth to Mars in this century . . . and maybe in our lifetimes.

Musk had his “Steve Jobs moment” this week, unveiling his dream for the future of mankind by finding a way to get to Mars. Over the years, I’ve become a fanboy of Apple, eagerly anticipating the release their latest gadget each year. Watching Elon Musk, a modern day Nicola Tesla, Albert Einstein or real-life version of Tony Stark , often feels like an Apple event on steroids.

A Million Humans Could Live on Mars By the 2060s via @NatGeo
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 27, 2016

The truth is, most of us are willing—even eager—to become dreamers again in light of the current tumult in society. On many days, I’m completely repulsed by scrolling through my news feed. Let’s be honest:, it can be so disheartening.

Only 90 seconds into his talk, Musk had already explained the need and urgency for humans to colonize another planet. He believes that we are undoubtedly headed for an extinction event. He then built his case as to why Mars is our best bet. It has a 24.5 hour day, much like earth. With a few nuclear bombs, Musk asserts, we could warm up the atmosphere. Some listeners have expressed concerns about the resulting radiation, but Musk, the eternal optimist, doesn’t seem concerned about that.

Musk isn’t alone in his goal to colonize another place. Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos, fellow billionaires, also have the ambition to get us into space with Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, respectively. When Musk speaks, you can’t miss his passion.

I ask myself if I am that believable and passionate when I preach a sermon.

My Adventist worldview requires me to consider moments like this. Without the “sure word of prophecy,” I’d be thinking that, in fact, colonizing another planet may be our only hope. I gotta give Elon credit. He knows he might not be able to make it there in his lifetime, but he is doing all in his power, with all of his companies, to achieve one specific goal: Colonize another place!

Musk’s mission is named Red Dragon. (The full presentation is at the bottom of this article). The very name of the mission reminds me that greater forces may be at work here.While we may be thrilled at the prospect of discovering the infinite “beyond that is space,”we, the shrinking minority of those aligned with Scripture, know a few things about space that are drawn on the Word of Truth.

What do we know? We know there are other beings and planets out there according to Hebrews 1:2 and Job 1:6. We know that the new satellite in China with its one goal of finding intelligent life in the rest of the universe may be on the verge of achieving that very goal.

How do we know this? Scripture tells us the day is coming when humans will come in contact with intelligent “alien” life—the fallen angels and their general. Lucifer. Lucifer, a.k.a. Satan or the devil, or as Revelation 12:3 describes him—The Great Red Dragon—has one goal in mind: to deceive everyone and, if possible, even the very elect. The core of that deception is the belief that we can save ourselves through our own efforts. The Bible, however, tells a very different story.

The Bible tells us that for nearly 6000 years, humans have selfishly taken from the earth and not allowed the land its Sabbath rest. Because of this, our only hope is that we may be allowed to colonize a celestial city for 1000 years before we return to this planet—the new Earth. [ See Revelation 20]

As the story goes in Revelation 20, the Red Dragon can’t save us, and will soon be grounded, never to take flight again.

Elon Musk and I agree on two key points. The first is that Earth, sadly, has not been cared for; that the environment is changing; and that we are destroying this planet.We must look for a solution before an extinction event occurs.

“Satan’s power upon the human family increases. If the Lord should not soon come and destroy his power, the earth would soon be depopulated.” (Ellen G. White, Review & Herald April 22, 1862).

The second is that we must colonize another planet or place—and soon. Musk believes we must design and build a city on Mars. I envision that city Abraham looked forward to—“the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10).

Elon—I love your ambition. I admire your passion. Perhaps one day I can tell you about a place –already prepared for us.

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