I have a question regarding the sun: we know it is going to die one day, a long time in the future. I wondered why God, who loves all people, created a sun that will eventually die, thus leading to the extinction of the human race. I couldn’t find any satisfying answers online.
Hi, Alexandru, and welcome to the forum! You’re at a good place to hear from people who know a lot about these things, and are also willing to wrestle along with you with the deeper things that venture into faith and theology.
Did you add your second post above just to add in the name ‘Adrian’ at the beginning? Are you addressing your question to somebody specifically?
You can edit (and even delete) your own posts by clicking the little grey pencil at the bottom of any past post of your own.
I may venture back here after a while with more thoughts of my own, but one initial response I’ll make is to respond with a question of my own: Are endings always to be seen as evil or bad? And if so, why? And we certainly experience them (for better or worse) in thousands of ways before we would ever get to the end of the sun’s life. There are probably a million other things that will kill off our species as it now exists before we could reach very far into any stellar life span. Which doesn’t answer your question, of course, but just establishes that … if you have a problem with the concept of a terminal sun, then you’ve got a million more urgent problems of exactly the same kind with much more temporal urgency - sort of like the skydiver whose parachute is failing to open is probably not at that moment worrying about whether his diet has been hastening a diabetes condition. How’s that for not only not answering your question, but potentially making it a million times worse?
But I’m sure others will be along presently with much more sensible answers.
Perhaps the sun plays apart in the end times? 2nd Peter 3:10,12 says, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works burned up.” “looking for and hastening to coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!” From my point of view once in my opinion the Postmillennial Christian era of peace is over and Jesus Christ returns, God will have the earth get thrown into the sun and thus the New Earth as told in Rev.21 will be formed.
Not just the sun but the entire universe! Here’s a summary of the future fate of the universe (as we presently understand it in cosmology):
All life as we know it will become impossible in this present universe. Humans would probably go extinct before the sun explodes some 3+ billion years from now. I’m not sure how this is inconsistent with the Biblical picture that speaks of a new heavens and a new earth and the eventual end of this current one. Can you elaborate @Alexandru_Vasile?
There seems to be a lot of strange assumptions behind this question.
- That God can do anything in whatever way you care to dictate. That is an irrational extension of omnipotence.
- That anything good has to last forever.
- That the sun will always be needed.
Besides questioning these assumptions, it seems to me that you need to ask a few more questions.
A. Why did God created the universe? What is its purpose?
B. Depending on how you answer 1, then the next question is how should the universe be created in order to satisfy the reason and purpose for its creation.
A. God created the universe to support the process of life, which is one of self-organization. Life provides the form and nature of spirits which have the nature to grow and become more, rather than simply being designed, like the angels, and thus never to be more than what God made them to be.
B. The process of life requires an existence founded upon fixed rules – i.e. laws of nature. Thus the universe is a womb in which life can grow and develop in order to bring into being spirits with the potential to receive all that God has to give in an eternal relationship.
- God can accomplish anything because He knows how they can be accomplished, and not because he can expect some higher power with more knowledge to do things for Him. The latter is ultimately the essence of the idea of magic derived from the human experience of infancy.
- Things don’t have to last forever in order to be good and of value. And that includes both the earth, the human species, and the physical universe, as well as the sun.
- There is little reason to believe that the sun will always be needed. Not only is it quite possible that we go beyond such a need physically by means of technology in one way or another but we have a spiritual existence also which has no need of the sun.
I suspect that the Lord will return way before then.
I find it inconsistent because scientists can estimate the time of the death of the sun, and so we would, therefore, be able to tell the time of the Second Coming. But Matthew, 25:13, says: “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”
The estimate for the death of the sun might place an upper bound on the timing for when the Lord returns but He could also return tomorrow. So we still don’t know when He will return.
God will create a new heaven and a new earth, but we see nothing of a new sun, leading many theologians to speculate that there will be no night or darkness in the new earth, because the sun will be replaced with God’s presence.
But that verse has absolutely nothing to do with the physical star that we call the sun. Perhaps all that that could mean is Jesus might return sometime in the next 3 billion years.
But with the exponential rate of advancing human technology, possibly including a way to get the energy we need from black holes you would have to extend that to something on the order of a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion years taking us up to somewhere near the heat death of the universe as a possible date for the return of Jesus. I know Christians have always preferred a considerably sooner date for that event but… you never know.
Could be though too many trillions of years into the future looks fairly grim with the accelerating expansion of the universe.
I take comfort in the knowledge that whatever may happen a trillion years from now is way over my pay grade. I think we should be good stewards of what we have now, and not fail to take into account the entire web of life of which we are part when considering what “we” have. Whether our existence spans an eternity or three score and ten what really matters is how we live now.
Why? Only looks grim if you are dreaming of dominating the entire universe, which was never really on the table anyway. I thought we were just talking about survival… in some form somewhere.
From @Alexandru_Vasile we have this idea that it has to last forever and from @MarkD we have this idea that only now really matters. I think there is a balance between these extremes where we do take some responsibility for the future but within some reasonable bounds… say looking forward a span for human civilization no more than the time for which it has lasted already which is 3-10 millennia (depending on what you consider necessary requirements for civilization).
Perhaps we might apply a similar principle for individual human life. How far into the future should you expect a child of three, ten, or sixteen to plan? I think it a bit excessive to expect the three year old to prepare for a career or a sixteen year old to plan their retirement. But some planning for the future is reasonable and so I think there is reasonable balance in their somewhere… looking forward a span about equal to the time we have had already.
It took well over 3 billion years for the world to evolve to the point where humanity was grown up enough to start to be schooled. And the Earth has a similar amount of time left before it is no longer habitable. I can imagine that it will take about that long for humanity to become perfect as Jesus prescribes (Matt 5:48) and the Prodigal Son will finally repent and come home.
You do not find much written about this topic becuase many are falsely expecting a second coming or the world to end. But why would God create a universe that evolves over 13.7 billion years, and shortly after some of the intelligent life becomes enlightened, just end it? There seems to be few Christians willing to accept that the New Covenant that Jesus brought has only just begun.
Will God radiate like a 6500 K black body or might we expect some shift in the color temperature of the light? And how is anyone going to get their sleep if it’s light all the time? Theologians really have problems getting the details worked out…
You do realize that we will have spiritual bodies, right? You presuppose that our bodies will need sleep. Jesus is brighter than any sun.
I can certainly see how you got that impression. But I’m actually in favor of taking a multigenerational perspective when it comes to making basic decisions about how we shall live. But I don’t think we need to concern ourselves with trillions of years. I don’t think we’ve shown ourselves capable of choosing and adhering to goals for generations on end. As the saying goes, the future will take care of itself; or leastwise it will insist on at least as great a claim on self determination as we do now.
Shawn you have really come up with some good ones but this has to take the cake.
You do realize that we will have spiritual bodies, right?
I have no idea. To me, “spiritual body” is pretty much an oxymoron. Perhaps our spiritual bodies will reside on a “spiritual Earth”. Nobody knows what a ‘spiritual body’ really is or what it’s like. It’s a placeholder for something we don’t comprehend and existing in a state we cannot fathom.
You presuppose that our bodies will need sleep.
Jesus is brighter than any sun.
Similes & metaphors simply aren’t meant to be taken literally. Jesus isn’t said to emit photons in the visible spectrum. Perhaps some photons in the far infrared but nothing like Sol.
FWIW: I never meant to be serious. Just tongue in cheek.