I’ll never forget the experience of going down to the Kennedy Space Center to see my friend and rocket scientist, Jason Pratt. He had invited me to witness a blastoff! Wow! I was like a kid at Christmas. There is just something awe-inspiring about blasting into space!

As Jason took me to see the soon-to-launch satellite, I found my mouth dropping open in amazement as I looked at the finely-tuned, detailed instrument. I was witnessing generations of intelligence combined with years of meticulous research and planning all culminating for this event. Carefully designed to survive the incredible turbulence at lift-off and the extreme temperature changes in space, everyone hoped and prayed that once those engines ignited for blastoff, there weren’t any problems because there was no going back to fix mistakes.

Everything had to be checked, doubled-checked, and triple-checked before launch date. As I thought about how much effort launching a satellite into space takes, I couldn’t help but reflect on how much intelligence creating Space to begin with takes! How mighty and how awesome is the Creator of the universe!

Yet people still claim, “The universe is not designed; it all evolved by random chance.” Really? Exactly how much “universe creating experience” do they have on their resumes to make such claims?

A Blast from the Past

Apollo 8 crew is photographed posing on a Kennedy Space Center (KSC) simulator in their space suits. From left to right: James Lovell Jr., William A. Anders, and Frank Borman.

I was beyond excited when I visited NASA’s liftoff site with Jason. But can you imagine the excitement on December 21, 1968, at that blastoff! No humans had ever tried to accomplish the mission that Apollo 8 was about to attempt. In fact, some of the NASA staff said Apollo 8’s crew had only a 50/50 chance of returning home alive.

Wow! I watched the old black and white grainy picture and listened to the scratchy audio of Apollo 8’s NASA video transmission. It’s hard for me to believe that those astronauts actually made it there and transmitted anything with the technology they had back then! Fifty years of technological advances has seriously changed things for the video, audio, and space fields.

Something else has drastically changed over the past 50 years—our culture. We need look no further than to what astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders said when they orbited the moon and broadcast those grainy pictures of our temporary home—planet earth—on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1968.

NASA assigned the astronauts the responsibility to prepare what they would say to the world if their mission was successful—if they could actually orbit the moon and broadcast pictures from outer space back home. NASA had instructed them, “Say something appropriate.”

For all the people on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send you,” began the transmission from the Apollo 8 Command Module.

Then William Anders, the Lunar Module Pilot continued:

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void;
and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good:
and God divided the light from the darkness.”

Jim Lovell, the Command Module Pilot read on:

United States Post Office postage stamp (Scott #1371) celebrating Apollo 8, the first manned mission to orbit the Moon. Design is based on photograph taken by the astronauts.

“And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.
And the evening and the morning were the first day.
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters,
and let it divide the waters from the waters.
A
nd God made the firmament,
and divided the waters which were under the firmament
from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
And God called the firmament Heaven.
And the evening and the morning were the second day.”

Frank Borman, the Mission Commander closed:

“And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place,
and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas:
and God saw that it was good.”

And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you—all of you on the good Earth.”

A Blast for Today

Oh yeah, that whole speech attracted a lawsuit from Madalyn Murray O’Hair, just like it would today. The difference? Fifty years ago the lawsuit was dismissed as was the appeal. Today, the brave, highly-educated, experienced scientists and pilots would probably be sued and the atheist protesters would probably win.

America now looks forward to July 21, 2019, another 50th-anniversary Space Celebration, this time in honor of the Apollo 11’s historic flight when man walked on the moon. What will NASA’s “appropriate” words be in 2019? The “appropriate” and the “accurate” may not be the same. How did we go from unashamedly reading the Word of God to the whole world, to totally dishonoring and disregarding its authority in our society?

Sadly, Romans 1:18-32 most accurately describes America’s rapidly declining not advancing culture today.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,  Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

A Blastoff for Forever

Yet, God loves us, and has called each of us to a ministry proclaiming that very Good News! God actually wants to forgive us and have a real relationship with us. Today, excellent resources make it even easier to become equipped with answers and ways to share our faith. Hey! You can simply share the new movie GENESIS: Paradise Lost with a friend like Ezmi did. Here’s what he wrote.

“Before the movie started, my atheist friend was making jokes about an intelligently, supernaturally designed universe. But after it was over, he was silent and began applauding.” —Ezmi

That’s why our mission is to produce quality resources, and that’s probably why you are reading this short article. It’s because you, too, want to share the exciting Good News about the most important blastoff any of us will ever see—the one that will take us into eternity.

As we look forward to America’s Blastoff Celebration on July 21, 2019, what will your appropriate testimony be? Let’s determine to make the 50th Birthday Celebration a God-honoring Blastoff experience for someone to know the One who created it all! Let’s tell them about the greatest blastoff ever—spending eternity with their Creator!


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