Does The Book of Revelation Have an Expiration Date?

The question above came to me out of the blue after reading some of the news stories the last few weeks about a potential privately funded mission to Mars. I’m surprised it hadn’t come to me sooner considering how big a science fiction fan I am. There is no disrespect intended at all with it. I do think it is something that might need to be addressed at some point in the future however.

It seems pretty obvious that one day, hopefully in the near future, we’re going to make it Mars and end up having people live there. Whether it is an international effort or a privately funded endeavour remains to be seen, but it does appear we’re really going forward with plans on getting there. So, assuming we succeed (I’ll touch on that statement a little later) how does that affect Revelation? Will us colonizing Mars mean that the clock for Revelation will expire?

I’ve read Revelation a few times. I’ve read commentaries about it, general books that discuss it and even read fictional books (like the Left Behind series) about it. There’s no mention of humans on other planets or in space, there. Will any humans on Mars be spared what happens? Could the whole planet theoretically escape what is in that book by simply getting in ships and heading to deep space, like in the movie Wall-E?

Revelation is for all intents and purposes an Earth bound book. I guess it could be possible that all humans will be transported back to the planet for the events, but once again you’d think that might’ve been covered in it. If they weren’t transported back and Revelation did occur, what would the status of those people be?

Before someone says that it’s already invalidated (using my logic from above) because we’ve been to the moon and we currently have people in space on the ISS. I thought about that, and can’t agree. First off we’re not still on the moon, and besides the moon is mentioned here and there. It’s in our backyard so to speak and for this, I really can’t count it. Same goes for the ISS, it’s in orbit and could still have to deal with things that happen here on Earth.

I said above that I was assuming we succeed. After running the above through my mind, I hit on another possibility. Maybe we don’t succeed, because we aren’t meant to. Maybe Revelation doesn’t mention space and other planets because we are not allowed to get there, since it’s not part of the Plan. It could also be because the events of Revelation will occur before we can do it. Could we trigger the end of days by attempting to colonize and explore space, much like the Tower of Babel?

Either way it was an interesting thought that stuck with me, maybe way too long, and I thought I’d try to get an answer. At the very least, maybe get the experts thinking about this because they themselves might need an answer to this question at some point.

I’m not a theologian, I’m not expert on any of this. I’m just a guy who had a weird question pop into his head that became curious about the potential answer, if there is one. I’m also not being flip or sarcastic or trying to be a smart ass.

As for which of the two options above do I believe, I really don’t know and that’s why I’m asking.


Originally posted March 22, 2013