Is there intelligent life on other planets? That is a question people have been asking as long as we have known that there are other planets. When the telescope was invented astronomers discovered that some of the “stars” we see are actually worlds like our own and this led to speculation about whether or not there were people living on them. We now know that there is no other life in our solar system but the possibility remains that planets revolving around other stars might have intelligent inhabitants.
Christians are faced with another question. If humans ever do contact aliens will we have a responsibility to tell them about God and preach the gospel to them?
We already have the answer to this question because humans are already in contact with two alien lifeforms, angels and demons.
Angels have never sinned so they have no need of the gospel. If we encounter flesh and blood aliens who have never sinned they won’t need to hear the gospel either. Because they are sinless they will have experienced a closer relationship with God and will know more about him than we do. We will have nothing to teach them; it is likely that there will be much that they can teach us.
Demons have sinned but we have no message of salvation for them because Jesus Christ did not die for their sins.
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham.
If God has provided a way that they can be forgiven it is not through Jesus Christ and he has not told us what it is. If we encounter aliens who have sinned the same thing will be true of them. Jesus said something to Peter that applies to that situation.
Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?”
When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?”
Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”
If we could ask him about the salvation of alien races perhaps he would say to us, “What is that to you? You follow me!” We know nothing of the spiritual conditions of inhabitants of other planets or even whether such beings exist but we do know about the human race. We have all sinned but God has made a way we can be forgiven by faith in Christ. If you have not received this forgiveness you need to do so. If you have, you have a responsibility to tell others about it so they can be saved too.
It is unlikely that we will ever encounter extraterrestrial beings. We can learn from studying the Bible what the final destiny of the earth is. A time of tribulation is coming during which the Antichrist will rise to power. Christ will return to earth to destroy the Antichrist and reign for a thousand years. His reign will end with Satan’s final rebellion, the destruction of the earth, and the creation of a new heaven and a new earth. There is no hint of any alien involvement in any of these events.
If there is any contact with extraterrestrials in our future it will be after the new heavens and earth have been created and all sin has been purged from creation. Any aliens we meet will be worshippers of God just as we are. Neither side will have anything to fear from such meetings; instead they will be opportunities to praise God and have fellowship with each other.
If you enjoy speculating about what contact with aliens could be like you might enjoy reading a trilogy by C. S. Lewis: Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength.