Before I discovered your site, one of the things I have been wondering is "Why did God create the Universe, besides Earth?" There are so many ideas that boggle me with this question that lead to confusion, and curiosity. Sometimes, I wonder "Why has God created the Universe that is full of both wonder of danger, were space is cold and has no air, meteorites that come at a thousand miles an hour, radiation that is enough to kill a human being, were planets collide into fiery explosions of lava, molten rock, debris, come at all directions, were stars grow and grow and grow and explode at unimaginable lengths, and turning themselves into black holes of death, eating everything its path, including light itself, into there dark and horrible tunnels of mystery and doom?" I think I went a little to far on that one. But my point being is that why did God create the Universe, and why is it full of mystery and danger?
Then it hit me. "Did God create the Universe for mankind to explore it's fine discoveries?" I am still not sure if that would be the case, since, well, since we know for a fact that there is a definite high possibility of extra-terrestrial life being out there. If that's not the case, then could the Universe be God's gift for ALL kinds of life, human or not, beings conscious or no conscious? I mean, if God can create the Sun, Earth, and the Moon, then I don't see why He couldn't create more planets. But I am not sure.
Actually, there is no evidence so far that there is any life in the universe beyond what is found on earth. Evolution demands that there must be life elsewhere. The Bible is actually silent on that matter.
The Bible speaks of other spiritual beings, angels, who go and come to this world, but it makes no mention of other beings in the physical universe. Some argue that they may be there because the universe is so large, it seems odd that God would create something that big just to house man in one little corner. Others, though, point out that God has promised to destroy the heavens and the earth one day with fire. "But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?" (II Peter 3:8-12). Why would the worlds of other people be destroyed because of the sins committed on this world?
Since God hasn't told us and we aren't capable of learning it on our own, we will just have to wait until reach heaven to find out.
But your question goes a bit further: Why bother with a huge universe? Ultimately that would require figuring out God's reasons, which isn't possible for us. "For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God" (I Corinthians 2:11). All we know is what God has chosen to tell us.
One thing the universe does for us is tell us that there are things bigger than us. "He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end" (Ecclesiastes 3:11). It tells us that we don't know everything, nor can we know everything. That ought to give us perspective when we deal with God. "Who is this who darkens counsel By words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone" (Job 38:2-6). When you look at the universe, the arguments that often start with "I'm sure God would approve of ..." suddenly sound silly. Unless God told you, claiming to understand what God approves of or disapproves of is silly.
The universe ought to also keep us humble and appreciative. "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?" (Psalms 8:3-4). The universe hints at how vast God is, how much His ways are past discovery, and yet that same God is willing to be involved in each of our lives. "The works of the LORD are great, studied by all who have pleasure in them" (Psalms 111:2).
"O LORD, how great are Your works! Your thoughts are very deep. A senseless man does not know, Nor does a fool understand this" (Psalms 92:5-6).
"Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done; and Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered" (Psalms 40:5).
The universe emphasizes how temporary are our lives. We cannot even live long enough to reach the nearby stars, even if we could figure out how to survive for decades away from our world. It is also from the universe that we learn that everything is decaying. "Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal" (II Corinthians 4:16-18).
Thank you for replying back to me again Mr. Hamilton, but there are a few things that have caught my eye while reading your response. Before I begin, I like to mention that I technically have a love/hate relationship with nitpicking, so please forgive me if I go to far.
In the beginning of your e-mail, you mentioned ".....actually, there is no evidence so far that there is any life in the universe beyond what is found on Earth." Correct me if I am wrong (which chances are I probably might be) but, isn't there video evidence and thousands of eye-witness accounts across the world of UFO activity and close encounters that have occurred over the past century? It is obvious that there are UFO videos, accounts, and documentaries that have taken this toward the general public, and have brought this topic onto the media, and in my perspective, some of these claims seem pretty legit (and scary).
Another thing is that when you mentioned a statement from the Bible that God will destroy the Earth and the Heavens with fire, or, something similar to that. What does God mean by that? I could understand why He would destroy the Earth with fire, but why the Heavens? If "Heavens" refers to "Heaven", then why would He do that? What will happen to the saved people who have passed and went to Heaven? But if God refers "Heavens" to the Universe, then why would He destroy a vast setting of mystery and wonder that could be full of life and has countless of treasures to be discovered? Please correct me if I stated anything wrong.
Thank you for your time!
Claims or assertions are not the same proof. There are thousands of claims of UFOs, but there have been no proof. Let's use the biblical definition for a moment. Truth is established if something is testified to by two or three witnesses. "By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established" (II Corinthians 13:1). At first you might think there are thousands of witnesses! But for something to be established each event needs two or three witnesses. Usually the claims are made by individuals. Second, these witnesses need to be independent, three people getting their information from one person is still only one witness. Third, what is being testified of have to agree. It is the later where most of these claims fall down. Each claim varies and clashes with other claims. As an example, just exactly what do these space aliens look like?
The reason these sighting are called UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects) is because the objects remain unidentified -- that means they have not been proven to be something from outer space. It is really a belief based on what people don't know that a belief founded upon facts. The truth is that most claims eventually get proven to be hoaxes, but the disproof is not nearly as exciting as the claim so it gets less press. See: UFO Hoaxes.
Regarding the destruction of the heavens mentioned in II Peter 3, see: Peter can't be referring to the physical elements being destroyed, can he?