Over the past ten years, there has been a lot of attention given to the discovery of planets orbiting distant stars. Many people believe that there has to be other intelligent life on some of the these planets, however, so far the evidence is to the contrary as most of the planets discovered so far have been gaseous giants like Jupiter.
There is one exoplanet that has captured the attention of a group of astronomers of late, but not because of the possibility of having intelligent life.
Astronomers from Poland and Spain were observing a red giant star known as BD+48 740, using the Hobby Eberly telescope in Texas. The team detected an unusually high concentration of lithium in the star. According to evolutionary theory, lithium was created during the Big Bang and should not be present in older stars like red giants because it is easily destroyed by them.
Next they detected a new exoplanet orbiting the same star in an elliptical orbit. The new planet, about one and half times bigger than Jupiter is suspected of having its orbit altered by another planet that is no longer visible.
The team came to the conclusion that the abundant lithium in the star and the odd orbit of the newly discovered planet indicate that there was another planet that once orbited the red giant but must have recently been drawn in to the star and devoured by it.
Evolutionary astronomers predict the same fate awaits the earth billions of years in the future. As our Sun begins to use up its fuel, it will expand and become a red giant. As it expands, it will consume Mercury, then Venus, then the Earth and probably Mars.
Could this be the same fate for the earth as described in 2 Peter 3:1-13:
1This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, 3knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
8But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
11Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
I can’t say it is and I can’t say it isn’t the same fate. What I can say is that if this is the process that God intends to use to destroy the earth with fire, then it won’t be billions of years in the future. Most likely it will be much, much sooner than that. I’m not going to get into a discussion on the details of end times as there are varying views of eschatology that many people firmly hold to and I’m not going to debate them.
All I wanted to do was to offer up the evidence of one planet’s fiery death and bring attention to the fiery destruction of our own planet as God has promised. Regardless of your views of end times, allow me to ask you two of the most important questions you will ever be faced with: 1) “If you die today, are you certain you will go to heaven?” 2) “If you were to die today and found yourself standing before the Almighty God and He asked you why He should let you into His heaven, what would you say?”
If your answer to the first question is no, then please find someone that can share the promise of eternal salvation through Jesus Christ. Scripture is very clear that no one comes to the Father except through the Son. (John 14:6).
If your answer to the second question has anything to do with how good of a person you are, think again. Salvation is not earned for we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23). Salvation is a free gift. (Ephesians 2:8-10).
If your answers to both questions were the right ones, then death and the destruction of the earth is something we should not fear and even look forward to. We are promised that we will be in the presence of God and Jesus forever and ever and that there will be no more hunger, no more thirst and best of all, no more pain. That’s something this old body is really looking forward to and having that assurance of eternity helps also.
Boyle, Rebecca. Distant Red Giant Caught Devouring One of Its Planets, Popular Science, Aug. 21, 2012.
Star Is Caught Devouring Planet, BBC News, Aug. 21, 2012.
Genesis teaches that God created the entire universe supernaturally, only thousands of years ago. Yet, most people are convinced that the universe started in a big bang billions of years in the past. In this illustrated lecture, astronomer Dr. Jason Lisle shows viewers that when the evidence of nature is understood properly, it lines up perfectly with the clear teachings of Scripture. The heavens declare the glory of God!
Run Time: 36 minutes