GAMMA FLASH: WHEN JESUS RETURNS THE UNIVERSE MELTS—WHEN ASTRONOMERS SAW A PREVIEW. On March 9, 1979, nine satellites stationed at various points in the solar system simultaneously recorded a bizarre event deep in space. It was, in fact, the most powerful burst of energy ever recorded. Astronomers who studied the readings were awestruck, mumbling to themselves.
The burst of gamma radiation lasted for only one 10th of a second … but in that instant, it emitted as much energy as the sun does in 3,000 years. An astrophysicist named Doyle Evans, who works at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratories in New Mexico, said the energy being emitted was at a rate of 100 billion times greater than the energy emission rate of the sun. If the gamma-ray burst had occurred in the Milky Way galaxy, it would have set our entire atmosphere aglow. If the sun had suddenly emitted the same amount of energy, our earth would have vaporized. Instantly.
There’s more. The satellites were able to pinpoint the location of the burst to a spot in a galaxy known as N-49, which is associated with the remnants of a supernova believed to have exploded about ten thousand years ago. When a star explodes into a super-nova, the outer shell is blown away and the inner core condenses from its own gravity to create a neutron star. That core becomes a single, huge nucleus, shrinking from a size larger than the sun (860,000 miles in diameter) to a compact ball no more than five miles across. Those neutrons are so incredibly dense that one cubic inch weighs 20 million, million pounds. Many astronomers believe the satellite studies will open up a new understanding of neutron stars and other objects in the heavens.
As untrained and ignorant as we may be of the technical side of all this, it does underline the purpose of prophecy. God says, “Turn your eyes away from what passes away and onto the Person about whom and with whom eternity revolves!” The end of the Universe as we know it will be something like this gamma flash, like the Death Star of the ultimate Star Wars-and I have no plans to have anything valuable to me at its premiere showing. Send anything you want to last out of range, time, money, people all can be sent ahead!
But let’s not overlook Peter’s piercing question in 2 Peter 3:11. Facing an imminent execution, the old fisherman lifts his weathered face and looks across the centuries at you and me.