In our article The Heavens Declare we present from Scripture how God created the stars with a plan and a purpose. He counts them and names them. And because God never says or names anything without meaning, their names must have a purpose that ultimately brings Him glory.
What was/is this purpose? There are some who say God wrote the gospel in the stars and their constellations as a witness to all mankind from the beginning of time. This is our defense for the possibility of this theory.
Is the Gospel written in the stars?
There are staunch supporters of the “Gospel in the Stars” theory just as there are very outspoken critics of it. From our perspective, the Bible gives some indications that the stars could very well have contained information. We disagree with critics who refuse even the possibility of the gospel in the stars because we do not see reasonable evidence against it. In fact we see more implications that would lead us to believe the theory has some merit.
A defense from Genesis
The Genesis record tells us that the sun, moon, and stars have a purpose beyond governing the days and nights. He said, “let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years” (1:14 italics added).
The Hebrew word translated here as “sign” also means “mark, miracle or signal”. It is used to describe awe-inspiring events, circumstances that demonstrate God’s control, signs from false prophets, physical emblems, promises to remember or an event to occur in the future.*
Each word that God used in His revelation has purpose and meaning. God says the heavenly bodies were placed in the sky for signs. This text combined with our knowledge that God named each of the stars supports the theory that the stars contained information (marks, signals, signs) for mankind.
The Bible continues to support this idea throughout. The Old Testament, especially the Psalms, is filled with declarations that the heavens proclaim God’s righteousness, glory, power and faithfulness. They were studied eagerly by many cultures. Interestingly, the magi who visited Jesus knew from the star that the King of the Jews had been born.
A defense from pagans
But information in the stars can also be a dangerous idea to promote. Just as the Bible claims that God is glorified by the heavens, the Bible also records warnings against studying and worshiping the stars. This fits with our theory that the true purpose of the stars has been perverted by Satan. For indeed, if God had given mankind a message declaring His glory throughout the heavens, you can be sure Satan would be intent on distorting it.
In Deuteronomy Moses urges the people to obey God’s law and he warns them about the temptation of the heavens:
And beware, lest you lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven (4:19).
God further commands that any man or women found worshiping “the sun or the moon or any of the heavenly host” was to be stoned to death (Deut. 17:2-5).
Jeremiah reiterates Moses’ warning in Jeremiah 10:2:
Thus says that LORD, “Do not learn the way of the nations, and do not be terrified by the signs** of the heavens although the nations are terrified by them.
**The word for “signs” used here is the same as God uses in Genesis 1
Fear of the heavens and what could be learned from them, led to worship. Jeremiah tells of the people sacrificing to the heavenly host (19:13) and Kings and Chronicles describe several kings who served and worshiped the host of heaven. Zephaniah also condemns those who “bow down on the housetops to the host of heaven” (1:5).
The pagan nations had a tendency to obsess over the heavens. As The Genius of Ancient Man describes in chapter 6, the ancient cultures had sophisticated knowledge concerning the stars. They used them for time-keeping, travel, and also for religious purposes.
God was not pleased with this perverted focus on the heavens. He made the heavens to declare His righteousness and glory and yet Satan twisted them, using the heavenly bodies to tempt Israel and the other nations into false worship.
A defense from Paul
One of the strongest arguments in support of the Gospel in the Stars from the New Testament comes from Romans 10:13-18:
For “whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!” However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ. But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they have; “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” (emphasis added)
Paul declares that those who call on God will be saved but they can only call on God if they hear His Word preached. His rhetorical question and answer in verse 18 quotes from Psalm 19, which describes how the heavens declare the glory of God.
Is Paul stating that every man could know the truth of God through the testimony of the stars?
It can’t be simply their presence because we know that pagans have worshiped and feared the stars for thousands of years and have not come to a saving knowledge of Christ. Rather the heavens have a “voice”, they have “words”.
We may not know what specifics God gave to men before the flood, but we know that He was not silent. God-fearers knew enough information to demonstrate faith in the Coming One. The story of Cain and Abel gives us hints that God indeed interacted with and instructed the people on how to worship.
To say God wrote the Gospel message in and through the names of the stars may be a stretch, but to say confidently that it was not done, is also not acceptable knowing the above arguments.
Paul argues that there was/is enough information and evidence for all man to be condemned and each one is without excuse.
We cannot and should not study the stars to set them up as inspired text. If God did indeed present information, even the gospel, in the stars for His people in ancient times, we do not have this information today. Without a doubt, any pure and perfect message from God in the heavens has been perverted and twisted by Satan. It is unlikely that we could discover their original names and meanings.
We can however defend the possibility and likelihood that God did indeed declare a message through the stars and their names. For 1600 years, the Bibleless world still had enough knowledge to be saved, for God is not willing that any should perish. Any knowledge they had, He revealed to them somehow and we cannot discount the idea of a testimony in the stars.
*Definition taken from AMG’s Annotated Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary of the Old Testament
We encourage you to research more if this idea intrigues you but along with that we advise caution. Always take everything back to the Bible, the only perfect, true, and inspired Word of God. For further study both for and against the Gospel in the Stars theory, here are some suggested sites:
Christian Research Journal: Is there a Christian Zodiac?
Creation Ministries International: Constellations: A legacy of Babel
J.R. Church's The Gospel in the Stars (in 3 parts)