At present there are a number of long running television series entertaining the idea that earth will eventually be destroyed when the fuel of the sun is exhausted, causing it to erupt into a gigantic ball of energy engulfing and crisping all of the planets.
Astronomers and astrophysicists have found evidence of this destruction occurring in other solar systems and project that it will eventually happen here as well. This argument has helped scientists and dreamers to envision human beings traveling in space ships to distant stars so that earth life can continue even if our planet is destroyed. Additionally, there is concern that life on earth could be wiped out before the sun dies due to contact with a comet or asteroid.
What Does The Urania Book Teach?
The intent of this short article is to reduce the confusion of truth seekers by familiarizing them with the teachings of The Urantia Book relating to this subject. The Urantia Book provides plausible explanation to ensure that fear of the unknown and fear of what the future may hold do not contribute adversely to either personal destiny or social development. The Urantia Book provides reasonable teachings regarding expectations for the future, the birth and death of stars, and of human beings. These teachings can be summarized as follows:
• The realm of spirit, the nonphysical aspect of creation, oversees, administers, and guides all physical manifestations from atomic particles to galaxies, from inorganic material to living beings, and from space and time to infinity and eternity. We may not readily see definite origins, but we certainly can see the orderliness and predictability of the material universe. From this, we can easily deduce a "minded" creation. From The Urantia Book:
42:0.2 The manipulation of universe energy [matter] is ever in accordance with the personal will and the all-wise mandates of the Universal Father ... all force-energy is under the ultimate control of a personal God resident at the center of all things.
42:11.1 The universe is neither mechanical nor magical; it is a creation of mind and a mechanism of law.
42:11.6 Extremely complex and highly automatic-appearing cosmic mechanisms always tend to conceal the presence of the originative or creative indwelling mind from any and all intelligences very far below the universe levels of the nature and capacity of the mechanism itself. Therefore is it inevitable that the higher universe mechanisms must appear to be mindless to the lower orders of creatures. The only possible exception to such a conclusion would be the implication of mindedness in the amazing phenomenon of an apparently self-maintaining universe ...
• Spirit beings, responsible for the overcontrol of the physical universe, initiate and guide the creation of planets, stars, star systems, and galaxies, the purpose of which is to provide incubators for the evolution of life.
• Stars, like our sun, go through evolutionary processes. They are born of space materials and energies, become mature, and many eventually die to become gigantic cold bodies. It's this dying at some far future time that concerns scientists about the destiny of our sun. But we have this assurance from the teachings of The Urantia Book:
41:9.5 Your own sun has long since attained relative equilibrium between its expansion and contraction cycles, those disturbances which produce the gigantic pulsations of many of the younger stars. Your sun is now passing out of its six billionth year. At the present time it is functioning through the period of greatest economy. It will shine on as of present efficiency for more than twenty-five billion years. It will probably experience a partially efficient period of decline as long as the combined periods of its youth and stabilized function.
• Life is not an accidental chemical reaction; it is designed and planned by beings whose purpose is to be the designers and implementers of life for all of creation. The life on any given inhabitable world is designed and created specifically for the conditions of that world. When suitable conditions for life are found on an evolutionary world it is implanted as single-celled organisms and allowed to evolve naturally over vast spans of time. The cosmos is the nursery for trillions of inhabited planets.
• There is in the mind of God a purpose for the cosmos, one aspect being that it is the developmental testing ground for life in all its manifestations. Human beings are the apex of physical life, having the capability of making free will choices and decisions, evolving eventually to become perfected beings. And as regards the potential and destiny of any and all individuals, that destiny is sure. That potential is automatic, and nothing and no one can influence the desire of any person to achieve eternal life.
The above are fundamental teachings of The Urantia Book as they relate to the hand of God reaching down into the affairs of men.
On a planetary level the sun will not explode, asteroids or comets will not impact the earth. The destruction astronomers witness is occurring in uninhabited star systems and is not a blueprint for the destruction of our sun or planet. Life is sacred, tailored for each individual planet; that tailoring, nurturing, and long evolutionary road are valuable; this experience is guarded and not subject to arbitrary obliteration.
We can even gain reassurance about the future from observing the orderliness of the cosmos, as well as the largely unseen life that we live...an order that can be appreciated by human mind, suggesting that such fundamental order is itself, a mechanism of mind.
42:7.1 The formation of all matter is on the order of the solar system. There is at the center of every minute universe of energy a relatively stable, comparatively stationary, nuclear portion of material existence. This central unit is endowed with a threefold possibility of manifestation. Surrounding this energy center there whirl, in endless profusion but in fluctuating circuits, the energy units which are faintly comparable to the planets encircling the sun of some starry group like your own solar system.
The destiny of a world such as ours is realized through trial and tribulation, advancement and decline; eventually human beings as a species will improve mentally and spiritually to where we recognize that life has real purpose, that we are children of a loving God, that all people are our brothers and sisters, and that we are intended to be good stewards of the life on this world. In The Urantia Book this is known as the era of light and life, the destiny for all inhabited worlds. This is an age in which the Kingdom of Heaven will have been established on the earth; physical existence will be glorious from that time forward.
If material creation were left to run its own course, if there were no spiritual overcontrol, then both inhabited and uninhabitable stars and planets would follow the normal evolutionary course of birth, maturity, decay and destruction. Such is not the case: suns with inhabited worlds are fully stabilized when light and life is achieved. They continue on into eternity.
As for establishing earth life on distant worlds, this one particular planet is our only true home. No other planet will substitute, life here is designed for this world. Attempting to live anywhere else will never be natural. Even on planets that may outwardly seem to be duplicates of earth the microorganisms will vary enough to prohibit a natural life without life support to substitute for earth life.
While unlikely, there is a scenario put forth in The Urantia Book that describes a situation in which, for some reason, our earth becomes uninhabitable at some point. Again, the teachings of The Urantia Book assure us that once life is begun on a world such as ours, it cannot be extinguished. Whether it is brought to perfection here, or elsewhere, it WILL be allowed to continue, even though conditions for its continuance would likely be difficult:
51:2.3 If some physical catastrophe should doom the planetary residence of an evolving race, the Melchizedeks and the Life Carriers would install the technique of dematerialization for all survivors, and by seraphic transport these beings would be carried away to the new world prepared for their continuing existence. The evolution of a human race, once initiated on a world of space, must proceed quite independently of the physical survival of that planet.
Comfort for the Fearful
But what does it matter if all things earthly crash even during our lifetime? During his short life on earth, Jesus gave us assurance that this life is but a bridge to a better one and he demonstrated it first by teaching and then by actually healing the sick, healing people who were sick and thought to be dead, bringing back to life people who were dead, and letting it be known that he would personally rise from the dead, which he did.
Jesus' teachings and examples should bring comfort to believers and dispel fear for what the unforeseen future might bring. And it should not be forgotten that our world, our Urantia, is known as the "sentimental shrine" of the universe because out of all the planets in his universe that he could have chosen, Jesus chose this planet as the place for his incarnation as the Babe of Bethlehem. This can also help the fearful to be assured that Jesus will never forsake us.
It's the spirit component to existence that makes all the difference, that sense of belonging to an ordered and logical creation that can dispel fear. LIFE is the purpose and LIFE will always continue.