Today’s God Thought is about a point where American culture and God’s Word are 180-degrees apart.
Let us assume that the people who said that Great Britain would be depopulated by 1990 (on Earth Day 1970), that one sprawling mega-city would stretch from New York to Chicago by 2006 (also Earth Day 1970), had a point.
Can you tell that I’m completely unconvinced regarding 90% of environmental politics and predictions? It must come from my childhood in the early 70’s and 80’s hearing about that ice age were were causing with our industrial pollution. (No, seriously, they were talking about the impending doom of global cooling for decades…)
So, as scientists reverse themselves, reverse themselves reversing themselves, predict things that never occur… Here is my best understanding of what is actually going on when we look around and see that the world seems to be falling apart.
There Are People Everywhere!!!
Folks in our culture talk about nature without people in it as pristine, untouched, and pure. They imply if they don’t openly state that humans are a disruption to the better state of nature without us. But when God created the world, he had the following plan in mind:
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on earth. -Genesis 1:26-28 ESV
So the original design was to have people filling and governing the world. We might just as easily call unpopulated territory unfulfilled, or incomplete.
The World Is Passing Away
Our modern world looks out and says, “Oh no! It looks like the world is wearing out! Things are breaking down!”
My reaction: Obviously, and it’s about time!
Secular people and folks who don’t trust God’s Word get so wrapped up on this world as if that is all that ever was or will be. So if something wears out or passes away, that’s it! It’s gone! It’s never coming back!
But when I look at scripture I see two things:
First of all, the world is wearing out and passing away. So when we see something wearing out or passing away, we are simply seeing how things are going to go until part two…
Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and they who dwell in it will die in like manner; but my salvation will be forever and my righteousness will never be dismayed. -Isaiah 51:6 ESV
And even more ironic for the people-are-viruses misanthropic crowd, it the because of, for, and by people that the world will be delivered from this state of entropy and decay:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
So our culture has it backwards. They state that it mankind is to revere the planet and save it. God’s Word states that the planet is going to pass away, and the salvation of man will redeem the world. God saves us through his son Jesus Christ, so thoroughly that the earth which is our domain will be reborn as well, and creation eagerly looks forward to that moment.
When we keep our focus on the everlasting salvation available, the revelation of those who have been adopted as sons of God, we are not abandoning the concept of saving the earth from its hardships, we are pursuing the mechanism by which it will be made new and everlasting.
Earth isn’t the goal of the recycling project, it is the object that will be worn out and remade for our sake through Jesus Christ.