Grace for the Day: Global warming judgment – Muskogee Daily Phoenix
When the first atomic bomb was detonated over Japan, there was a large group of scientists who were afraid it would start a reaction that would not end, engulfing much or most of the planet. The nuclear age ushered in many doomsday scenarios of world destruction.
Total global annihilation is a historically recent concern. The nuclear-age fears ushered in many associated scenarios of global destruction such as apocalypses, global viral infections, and even zombie outbreaks.
The most recent concern for total annihilation comes in the form of global warming, or more specifically, the depletion of the ozone layer and the greenhouse effect caused by certain chemicals in the atmosphere. The reporting of this potential catastrophe has reached the panic level.
Not coincidently, this rise of concern for saving the plant from humans has arisen as God has been systematically removed from Western culture. With no God, humans become the saviors of the world by default. With no Supreme Being benevolently watching over us, the world becomes a very frightening place. If we are all that we have, it is imperative that we overestimate our ability to be our own saviors. It matters not whether we have the capability, we simply must do it or the future is doomed.
It is quite demonstrable that humans can negatively impact their environment. God gave Adam and Eve responsibility to “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen 1:28-29). Man was to subdue the earth and rule over every animal.
In the original language that word “subdue” means to conquer or subjugate. The world was wild and man was tasked with bringing order to it. If man has the power to subdue the earth he can also damage it. Chemicals we release into the water and refuse we bury in our landfills can negatively impact our environment.
If we bathe in the same river into which we dump sewage, certainly horrors can arise. However, this investigation raises two questions: (1) does mankind have the power to completely destroy the planet, and (2) can humans save the planet? Those questions take us to the very basis of God’s involvement in the world. The prerequisite for this investigation is the proof that God exists. I will take the liberty to believe that since you are reading this column that you believe in God. That proof is its own separate investigation and will be left for another time.
God is described as the creator and sustainer of the world: And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together (Col 1:17). Before God created the world he took into account the impact that humans would have on the environment. Since he holds it together, he would not give man the power to tear it apart.
Children can wreak havoc on a home, but we “child-proof” our houses to prevent them from doing great damage, and to prevent them from harming themselves. In order to be sustainer, it is necessary to infer that what happens to the planet is limited to his decision, not man’s.
The destruction of the world has been appointed by God (Mark 13:33). The destruction of the world is associated with God’s ultimate judgment on mankind, and since he has made an appointment to do so, man will not be allowed to steal his thunder. Jesus is the only savior to come to the world, but he did not come to save the planet, for it has already been appointed to destruction by God.
Jesus came to save people out of the world, to add them to his spiritual kingdom. The world is doomed, and it is doomed by man, but not because of pollution, but because of sin. Ironically, on the final day, the earth will be destroyed by global warming, not though man’s devices but rather through the fire of God’s judgment.
Stephen Parker has more than 25 years of experience as a minister and as a Marriage and Family Therapist. Reach Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org.