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Celestial Alert System

October 31, 2016
Celestial Alert System
Did you know that last Sunday night, an asteroid up to 80 feet across whizzed by our planet—missing us by a mere 310,000 miles? We know this thanks to the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and their computer program called Scout, which carefully watches the skies for large space rocks that could damage the Earth.

Scout is a “celestial intruder system” and is continually searching through data from several telescopes to see if it can find Near Earth Objects (NEOs) that are large enough to pose a risk. It’s common for NASA surveys to find an average of five asteroids every night. By connecting several telescopes and sharing data, earthlings can more accurately track objects to determine their size, distance, and potential for hitting our planet.

While Scout focuses on smaller objects that come close to our planet, "Sentry" is a system that watches for objects large enough to wipe out entire cities—monster rocks that are over 450 feet across. Still, some larger objects can slip past the eyes of scientists, such as the asteroid that exploded without warning over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in February 2013. That 65-foot wide asteroid approached the Earth from the sunward side and was hidden by the sun’s glare.

Did you know that Bible predicts that a giant rock will someday impact our planet? When an ancient Babylonian king was troubled by a dream he could not recall or understand, a Jewish captive named Daniel stepped forward and, through the power of God, told the king his dream and what it meant.

Daniel described a large, multi-metal statue that foretold the history of the major ruling nations on earth. But in the end, a great stone from the heavens “struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces” (Daniel 2:34). It crushed the image into dust and “the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth” (verse 35).

This great stone actually represents the kingdom of heaven. Someday, the Bible predicts, Christ will return to our planet and take His people to heaven. Then 1,000 years later, the New Jerusalem will come down to this planet and the Lord will establish His kingdom here forever (see Revelation 21:1, 2).

The Scriptures provide us with an accurate “Scout” system that reliably documents the nearness of Jesus’ second coming. Yes, some of the signs of His return will be observed in the skies (see Matthew 24:29), but not all of them. And when Christ does return, you won't need a computerized tracking system to spot Him, as “every eye will see Him” (Revelation 1:7).

Are you watching? Learn more about how to watch and be ready for Christ’s return by clicking here.
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