By Nels Angelin / Photo by Joseph Vary on Unsplash
It is most welcome to have warmer days come back with spring in full bloom again. Our trees are coming back to life. Also in the heavens, Orion can still be seen in the evening sky but, it is trending off to the west. You can still see the “Hunter” standing watch with bright stars in the familiar asterism. We too should continue the hunt with faith and hope when our Lord will come to break open the sky with the blaze of glory and every eye will see Him. Every angel will accompany the coming King of Glory sitting upon His throne. Orion with those three bright belt stars in a row—somewhat like Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Just below them, the Great Orion Nebula, M42 is most glorious. It is a feature most all can see easily. Remember, we are told in Early Writings p.42 The Holy City will come down through that great open space of Orion.
What will it be like when Jesus comes! We know for sure that “every eye will see Him” (Revelation 1:7). That will be a day of glory beyond compare. “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and gather together His elect…from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:31). We know then just how it will be when “the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout…The dead in Christ shall rise first… Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air…” (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17).
What will it be like, first to go up with an angel? And then with the Lord to continue up, up, up! To go up to Orion, to see those stars and find heaven—that is space travel. Men can only attempt with unsanctified imagination to do star travel.
Orion itself is made of stars of widely differing distances in a stellar way. Looking up at Orion, the upper left star is Betelgeuse, 624 light-years from us. But it depends on who is measuring stars. Another astronomer will say, Betelgeuse is 520 light-years. Rigel is the bright blue star to the lower right corner. Some say Rigel is 864.2 light-years up there. But others claim it is closer to 770 light-years; another says 776 light-years. Just one light-year is a distance of six trillion miles.
Men are giddy with the power to ride rockets into space. It is an accomplishment, to be sure. You can feel the power like thunder from miles away from the roar at liftoff. So, what is the escape velocity to leave earth? Boiling it all down to simple terms, we might say 11.2 km/second. Maybe something like 25,000 mph. I can’t do that, though the physics is just interesting. Men do have their limitations in what they can do and can’t. The power of the rockets roaring to arrive into space and travel to all the planets of our solar system is an accomplishment, expensive, but it has been done. Yet, men are woefully limited by how far into space they can go. God has many “trillions” of miles just to the very nearest of the stars. Look at the wide and wild variations of estimates to the brightest of our stars. Those stars are all in our own Milky Way galaxy. God has multiplied trillions of other stars and other galaxies He knows all the names of each.
He is the author of every star. The author and maker of the laws of physics is coming back to Earth. For the faithful, what a thrill to be caught up to meet the Lord in the air and then to continue up to go on to where heaven is… up, up back through the open space of the Great Orion nebula. Whether it is 1300 light-years or 1500 light-years, the distance is not great for the author to get there. One light-year is 6 trillion miles. What a trip that will be to see the stars sliding by. The time too, for a thousand years will slide by as we will learn of the heavens’ order to be accomplished.
Will we have seen the greatest of wonders of God in the sojourn of heaven? No, there is greater yet to come. There is a time that is necessary to be done. We are not given what the time will be for the second resurrection that must take place on earth. But, then that will be finished and the last part of eternity will be ready to commence.
Adam did not witness the creation of the world being born. Adam did not see the creation of Eve. Eve did not see the creation of Adam. Our present world will become like a star burning brightly to finish what must be consumed. But, then, it will be time for the Creator to show to His redeemed the greatest of glory! The Lord will speak before our witness in blazing glory, New Heavens and the New Earth as they burst forth in perfection. The full expanse of what that will be, our Savior and Friend will give us to see the New Creation. Truly, eternity will then be born. There will be no more sin, no more sorrows, and no more tears. There will be no more death. Victory will be won. God’s universe will be clean and the family will be one.
Please note that opinions expressed in The Manna are solely the authors’ and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of the McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church.