September 5, 2022
Note: This is a "stub," so please consider these preliminary thoughts and check back to see how this page gets updated. This topic is deeply profound and evolving rapidly, so it will take some time to draft accurately and succinctly. Nonetheless, it is important to post what is obvious now, so that no one is misled.
Humanity was given a planet that was "very good" (Genesis 1:31). We were given dominion over "the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing" (Genesis 1:26b). God did not tell us to destroy what was good. But now, many of God's creatures are rapidly becoming extinct, many heavily-populated countries are becoming uninhabitable, and vast areas of farmland are becoming unusable. Some people get crazy rich while half of the ocean is dying. Forests and cities are burning. Storms are far more destructive. But for those in power, there's no serious response, and certainly no repentance.
Halfway through the Tribulation, the twenty four elders say "The nations were enraged, but your wrath has come...and the time has come to destroy those who destroy the earth" (Revelation 11:18). It's very clear now that the wasteful over-use of fossil fuel (see Mystery: Babylon) is destroying the earth, so God's wrath will not be limited to just those few that might someday push the nuclear button.
Despite what Wall Street says, greed is not good. No one should be able to imagine God creating such an amazing world for us to greedily destroy. And no one should be unable to imagine a world of economic justice and restraint. But just as you see in Revelation, there are some that are unjustly rich and there are some that are very poor, even to the point of slavery (Revelation 18:13).
What humanity has brought the earth to is not God’s fault. He has told us to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31b), but it’s common to see Evangelicals loving what economic growth does for themselves and pridefully dismissing their effects on others (e.g. Matthew 13:7). From Genesis to Revelation, God blesses the selfless and judges the selfish. For those that think they can repent just before He returns, Jesus is also very clear that He will return suddenly (Matthew 25:1-46).
Below is a brief comparison of prophesies and the effects of Global Warming and the rejection of Christianity. Many of these appear to be “the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:6-8). The beginning of the seven year period of the Tribulation is debated, and so is the timing of the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:16). At the beginning of the Tribulation (at least to Revelation 6:15-17), it seems people could assume that all these plagues are natural, or caused by humans. Certainly, many will disregard the restraint that God provides. Regardless, these observations tie plausible explanations to human sin, and help us to recognize the urgency of repentance:
- Love growing cold (Matthew 24:12) - Two sons of famous Evangelicals and a prominent Christian ethics professor support a politician with a criminal history, infamously compromised morals and heretical religious background. Public leaders openly encourage racism, murder and riots. At least some of these people know the Bible but ignore it (eg Ephesians 5:5). If it is right to ignore clear Biblical principles, wrong is only what's bad for my political party?
- Oceans roaring (Luke 21:25) – In addition to the destruction caused by sea-level rise, we know that Global Warming will generate much bigger hurricanes and typhoons.
- Peace taken from the earth (Revelation 6:4) – Wars have been going on for a long time, but it is clear that Climate Change will be a massive de-stabilizing influence. The first major Climate War is regarded as Darfur (by invading Islamists) and the second is Ukraine (where Russia's church forgives war sins). Starving people have far more reason to start wars.
- Quart of wheat for a day's wage (Revelation 6:6) – Like ancient Israel, much of modern agriculture relies of predictable rainfall. Further, we are seeing that the war in Ukraine is causing global shocks to the food market.
- Animals becoming more aggressive (Revelation 6:8) – Climate Change causes disruptions to habitats, so predators are more likely to view humans as prey. Animal attacks are becoming more frequent (DOI:10.1126/science.abj4216).
- Fires (Revelation 8:7) – Veteran firefighters commonly say they have never seen fire behavior like this before. As more trees are burned up, more carbon dioxide gets put in the air, which causes more fires (a Positive Feedback Loop, one of many affecting Climate Change).
- One third of the ocean to die (Revelation 8:9) – Science predicts that ½ of the ocean will die due to carbon dioxide acidification and temperature stress. As the death of the oceans progress, this process could potentially be used as a timeclock for the Lord’s return.
- The Euphrates River drying up (Revelation 16:12) – Somewhat hard to believe even recently, but with the construction of the controversial Ataturk Dam and Climate Change, much more plausible now.
The reader is welcome to believe what they will, but the Bible warns us not to try to just blow it off. Is it not just coincidence that all of these prophesies are coming to life before our eyes. As with Israel, God punishes nations for their stubbornness and sins. What is our responsibility? No one reading this can presume innocence, nor expect the time to change their ways.
Maybe, God wants us to realize how depraved our own human heart is (Jeremiah 17:9), and we need to turn to Him right now to save us from these horrors:
Above all, understand this: In the last days blatant scoffers will come, being propelled by their own evil urges and saying, "Where is his promised return? For ever since our ancestors died, all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation." … Now, dear friends, do not let this one thing escape your notice, that a single day is like a thousand years with the Lord and a thousand years are like a single day. The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some regard slowness, but is being patient toward you, because he does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; when it comes, the heavens will disappear with a horrific noise, and the celestial bodies will melt away in a blaze, and the earth and every deed done on it will be laid bare. (2 Peter 3:3-4, 8-10)
It's normal to covet more than we have (Exodus 20:17). It’s normal to deny the effects of our actions (1 John 1:8). It’s normal to presume that there will no consequences for sin (Luke 12:20). It doesn't seem abnormal for humanity to ruin the great opportunity we had in the Garden of Eden, but God wants us to be more than just normal (Luke 11:13). It should be obvious that destroying what is good is not God's heart, but it is the Devil's. So can we agree those thoughts and actions are demonic? What's in your heart? Are you summoning your own tribulation?
How do we repent? By investing our talents in causes that are good for everyone, by being willing to listen to the scientists and environmentalists about Climate Change, and ensure that our political representatives are not denying these realities. Simply put, by being willing to live with loving respect of God's creation and of those that will come after us.