“The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” Psalm 90:10
While speaking in a public charter school, I was sharing about the ages of people before the flood of Noah. There was Adam, who lived to be 930 years old, and Seth, his son, who only made it to 912 years. Then, there was Noah, who lived to be 950 years old, but not as old as his grandfather Methuselah, who, according to the Bible, was the oldest living human ever at 969 years old. After discussing with these students the longevity of these people in the Bible, one teen boy raised his hand and asked, “Come on Mr. Cornelius. Do you really believe that people could live to be that old?” I told him and his peers, “Absolutely. It was in God’s design that Adam and Eve live forever, but they disobeyed God, and death became a result of their disobedience.”
I’ve read and heard different explanations as to the unusual longevity we find in the Bible. Some critics to the text, which is found particularly in Genesis 5, claim the ages were not years but represent months or some other chronological measurement. Why is it so hard for us to accept the ages of these biblical people? Could it be just because we seldom find people living beyond 100? Well, at least till now.
In 2013, Larry Page, CEO of Google and Apple’s Chairman, Arthur Levinson teamed up to announce Project Calico, with a goal of extending human life expectancy. Since its conception, this project has grown into a multibillion-dollar project, which includes a $1.5-billion-dollar research center and has Arthur Levinson as CEO. The goal of this project would seem noble enough: Wipe out diseases that shorten our lifespan. Wouldn’t it make sense that if we could eliminate cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases? The result would automatically be longer life, right? But according to Larry Page, that might not really be the goal they have in mind. He told Time Magazine:
“One of the things I thought was amazing is that if you solve cancer, you’d add about three years to people’s average life expectancy. We think of solving cancer as this huge thing that’ll totally change the world. But when you really take a step back and look at it, yeah, there are many, many tragic cases of cancer, and it’s very, very sad, but in the aggregate, it’s not as big an advance as you might think.”
The truth of the matter is that short extensions of life expectancy are not the ultimate goal of Calico. Instead, we will see through genetics, drug development and rapid technological advances, Calico and other agencies, like our government’s $2.5-billion-dollar annual budget for “Biology of Aging,” the goal of extending life for hundreds of years, perhaps even the notion of eternal life for a select few. Sounds farfetched? Not to a person that believes eternal life can be achieved by man. Some of these futurists believe it might come sooner than we think. One Geneticist at the University of Cambridge has even stated, “I think the first person to live to be 1,000 might be 60 already.”
You know friend, I believe in eternal life, but not through technology. I believe the only way possible for mankind to experience eternal life is through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. He not only claimed to be the Resurrection (Jn. 11:25), but also the Life (Jn. 14:6). I hope this is something you have experienced.
”For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
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