Climate change is real. Did you ever think you’d hear that from a Christian? And yet there is a lot of evidence that the world we love and enjoy is wearing down. But why? How did that deterioration begin? The Bible, which gives us everything we need for life and the questions we face, speaks to this issue.
In Genesis 3 we find the record of man's sinning against God. Let’s start here. What does “sin” mean and why is it such a big deal? Well, the Bible teaches that sin is disobedience to any of God’s perfect laws (James 3:10; 1 John 3:4). Genesis 3 says that Adam and Eve, the first two people, chose to disobey God by eating from a tree that God had prohibited. Now, God didn’t make this rule to be unkind; instead, He was testing whether mankind would obey Him voluntarily. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit in open rebellion against God, He had to enforce consequences. Part of the consequences was that the ground and the plants were cursed, and the law of entropy was enforced. Entropy is the concept that a system left alone will continually deteriorate until it self-destructs. The universe is slowly becoming disordered, and everything living eventually dies.
So sin brought not only death to us humans, but also to the animals, the plants, and the world itself. So why are we surprised to see the world slowly breaking down? One point we probably would not agree with environmentalists is that human activity is primarily responsible, with greenhouse gases and other human harm. Now, are humans abusing this planet in some ways? Of course! There is a huge island of trash in our oceans that speaks shamefully to human stewardship of this planet. Our wasteful nature (which is sinful) tends to waste earth’s resources instead of sharing them with our fellow man.
What about the idea of global warming? Scientists tell us that there was an ice age in the past. But when did it occur? Evidence points to a more recent ice age than what is commonly believed. For example, mammoth bones have been found with intact DNA in them. But where did the ice age come from? Here we go back to the Bible. After Adam and Eve sinned, God removed them from their garden home, and they built a civilization. The first murder was committed by Adam and Eve’s own son against his brother. And within ten generations, humanity had grown so evil that God decided to judge the world with a great, worldwide flood that covered the mountains with 18 feet of water. God preserved humanity through one man named Noah and his family. Christian scientists tell us that it was after the flood when water was frozen into the ice caps. Given that catastrophic event, it is logical that those ice caps are still melting.
Christian apologist John Lennox says that the world is “full of beauty and barbed wire.” Without God, that beauty doesn’t make sense. But, on the other hand, why does God allow suffering? Why does He permit natural disasters? Why do children die of cancer, while the elderly are abandoned? The honest answer is that it is not God’s fault. Of course, He governs everything. But He has given us freedom to choose, and our sinful choices are one reason humans, and the rest of the world, suffers. Because of sin, the ice caps are gradually melting, ocean levels are rising, and entropy and disorder are increasing.
God created hell to judge the devil and his fallen angels, but his righteousness demands that every sinner must also be judged at the end of their life. So people and not just angelic beings go to hell.
But God also offered a solution. He does not want anyone to be judged in hell. Why would God, who is independent from the world He made, care about the trouble we got ourselves into? Why would he bother with us after we marred His creation? The truth is that God made the first man Himself, and he has fashioned every individual since. He loves each one of us so much that He sent his own Son, Jesus Christ, to be born into this world from a virgin mother. Jesus lived a perfect sinless life. He was completely human, and also completely God. He suffered with us; He was hungry; He had few possessions and no house of His own. His suffering culminated when men who hated Him arrested Him and nailed Him to a cross to experience horrible pain and humiliation. They stripped Him naked and drove nails through his wrists and ankles. They hung him before the public and mocked him. When the day ended, after all God’s anger at our sin was poured out on Him, He voluntarily yielded up His spirit and died. Because He is God Himself, He had made Himself the perfect sacrifice to satisfy God’s judgment of our sin. We cannot satisfy God’s justice without Him, for we are sinners. Even the greatest efforts of someone more disciplined than Gandhi, kinder than Mother Teresa, more powerful than a Roman Caesar, are not sufficient before God. The standard is perfection, and we cannot reach it. But Jesus did as God, and He died for us. If we trust Him to be our Savior, He will cleanse us of our sin and assure our future in heaven with Him.
The above article was written by Chris Upmanis. He is a member of NorthStone Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL and serves in the media ministry. To offer him your feedback, comment below or email us at email@example.com.
Every Tuesday, SFL publishes relevant Bible-based content. Check back next Tuesday to read the next SFL article.
The term "woke" has been part of our cultural vocabulary for the past few years. It's time to evaluate it Biblically. In this sermon, Pastor Johnson does just that.