Articles

The End of the Universe, Part 2 (Selected Scriptures)


I want to begin where we should begin and
that is to begin with the Scripture. There is reigning among us like some kind
of sovereign ideology these days, the notion that we as human beings are in charge of the
future of this planet. That whether or not there is an earth thousands
of years from now depends on us. That somehow if we are to preserve this planet,
we have to change our behavior in a significant way. We are all very much aware of the fact that
we are living in a world that is trying to go green. That’s kind of the idea. There is even now a standard green color that
you’re going to find showing up on all kinds of products unrelated really, or perhaps sometimes
related to environmental issues, just to relentlessly put before you the necessary realization that
we need to do everything we can to keep the planet green and not destroy it. The assumption is that we have the power to
do that. We have the opportunity to do that. We have the stupidity to do that. And if we’re not corrected, and redirected,
we will do that. There have always been doomsday prophets. There were people in the past who told us
that the earth was going to be overrun by extraterrestrials. Scientists got together and even developed
a formula called the Drake Formula for the existence of extraterrestrials, a very sophisticated
mathematical formula. They put on such a case that people actually
began to live in some kind of anticipation, if not fear, of the invasion of extraterrestrial. During the cold war, people like Carl Sagan
and others who were public relationship quasi scientists rather than real scientists convinced
the world, the western world that we were on the brink of a nuclear holocaust and if
a couple of nuclear bombs were set off, it would absolutely destroy the planet. That it would not be able to recover, that
its temperature would drop 35 degrees and stay that way for a year with massive implications. All of this in the face of the fact that one
year after dropping atom bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, melons began to grow in the
very spot where the bombs landed. But people bought into the fear of that public
relations, politically motivated, pseudoscience. And we’re now seeing the same thing coming
at us again. Going back a little further, there was a time
when, and I’ve read this on a number of occasions, people were warning that the United States
of America was going to be neck-deep in horse manure because there were so many horses in
the streets. We find ways around things like that. It’s amazing how resilient human ingenuity
and intelligence really is. It’s amazing that even in a fallen world we
have made the massive advances that we’ve made for the preservation of life and the
preservation of this planet. God has built into mankind a sense of responsibility
that is really quite remarkable. Man, even unconverted man, is naturally the
possessor of part of the image of God and a part of that image is the sense of stewardship. And we have overcome all of the supposed threats
and real threats of the past with that human ingenuity so we’re not likely in the future,
if we were left to ourselves, do the kinds of things that would end up destroying this
planet. We make amazing adjustments. And certainly we need to be stewards of the
planet and its renewable resources that have been placed here by God for us. But recently we have another massive kind
of pseudoscientific scare tactic that has literally taken over our thinking. It is the latest in the fads, the doomsday
fads. And it is so sad to me to see that the evangelical
world is sucking up this fad and using up its money and its time and its energy in an
effort to save the earth. There is an Evangelical, Environmental Network
that produces something called the Creation Care Magazine. The Evangelical Environmental Network put
out a document that was signed by hundreds of evangelical leaders, many of them would
be known to you by name…college presidents, seminary presidents, pastors, teachers, theologians,
leaders of Christian organizations and ministries, and collectively they’ve all signed this document
as a call to care for the planet, to heal the damaged fabric of the creation and to
work for the healing of creation. The bottom line is, they think that what is
really the culprit is global warming. This is the main abuse of the planet by people. Evangelicals have become obsessed with these
environmental issues. When I say obsessed, I mean obsessed. Christianity Today, a leading magazine, came
out in favor of a McCain/Leiberman global warming bill which the President opposed and
the Senate rejected. One evangelical leader said, I quote, “The
earth is God’s body and He wants us to look after it.” What in the world kind of theology is that? And then I recently, this week, received an
advertisement for the newest study Bible. It’s called The Green Bible. And you will find it on CBD, with all the
other Christian books. The product description is, “The definitive
Green Movement Bible shows that God is green. The Green Bible equips and encourages you
to see God’s vision for creation and helps you engage in the work of healing and sustaining
creation.” Are you kidding me? I’m supposed to overturn the curse and take
care of the planet? This Bible contains a thousand references
to the Earth. Four hundred and ninety references to heaven
and five hundred and thirty references to love. Essays are from leading conservationists and
theologians on how to read the Bible through a green lens. By the way, verses that speak of God’s care
for creation are in green ink. There is a green topical index. There is a green Bible trail study guide. And this whole thing is printed on recycled
paper, used a soy based ink and has a cotton/linen cover. Please forgive me if I don’t buy this even
at $19.99. I read this week an article by a collection
of German churches who have openly and publicly in the German press repented for green sins. Green sins being adding to the carbon pollution. Now just to give you a little more into the
insight into what this Movement is saying, let me dig in to the evangelical declaration
that comes from this organization. Here are their affirmations, “We have sinned
in our stewardship of creation. Therefore we repent of the way we have polluted,
distorted and destroyed the Creator’s work.” That is an absurdity, folks. It is God Himself who placed a curse on this
planet. Here’s another statement. “We commit ourselves to extend Christ’s healing
to the creation.” If you go back with me, you can go back to
Genesis 3 for a moment, and when Adam sinned, God responded in verse 17 of Genesis with
these words, “Cursed is the ground because of you. In toil, you shall eat of it all the days
of your life, both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you and you shall eat the plants
of the field by the sweat of your face. You shall eat bread till you return to the
ground because from it you were taken for you are dust and to dust you will return.” The curse was placed by God on the earth that
caused it to be unsurvivable unless man went after the product of his own food, his own
needs by the sweat of his brow from the beginning of his life to the end of his life. It is God who cursed the creation. Yes Romans 8 says the whole creation groans
waiting for the glorious adoption, waiting for the glorious redemption of the children
of God. We know the creation groans and it groans
not because of what we’ve done to it, it groans because of what God has done to it. We need not repent of the way we have polluted,
distorted and destroyed the Creator’s work. The Creator did this to His own work. Another one of the affirmations in this document. “We confess the sins of land degradation. We confess the sins of deforestation and species
distinction.” By the way, from what I read, one species
goes out of existence every day somewhere on this planet of one kind or another. It’s part of the curse. “We confess the sins of water degradation.” I don’t know, you can come to my house, I
think my land looks pretty good. Patricia has planted a beautiful garden and
every single thing that grows in our garden God made, everything. And we like our house and it’s built out of
wood and I think God provided trees for that. And I really don’t know how to stop species
extinction. And water degradation, I have pledge to you
if you take a drink out of my faucet, it will be all right. I’m so thankful that men through the years
have subdued the creation so that I can live in it. “We confess the sins of global toxification. We confess the sins of alteration of the atmosphere.” Now these are easy sins to confess, right? Because no one person did any of this. This is kind of a happy list of confessing
confessions. The truth of the matter is, if you look at
human history, what you have is you have land development, you have the usage of a continually
replenished supply of forest. You have amazing, amazing surviving plants
and animals and insects and birds and fish that flourish in our world and provide a food
chain which feeds us all. Amazing how society has developed the ability
to clean water and purify water so we don’t die of the horrible diseases that past generations
died of because of water that was deadly. Even the air is clean, relatively clean. See, just the opposite is true. These are silly things to say and to make
some kind of confession about them makes no sense at all. While you’re in Genesis, look at chapter 1
verse 26, God said, “Let’s make man in our image according to our likeness. Let them rule over the fish of the sea, over
the birds of the sky, over the cattle, over all the earth, over every creeping thing that
creeps on the earth.” God gave man complete and total rule over
all His creation for man’s own use. And God created man in His own image, verse
27, 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,’ have children, ‘and fill the earth.'” Isn’t that amazing? Fill it. It’s there for you to fill. “And subdue it,” bring it completely under
your control for your good. “And rule over the fish of the sea and rule
over the birds of the air and rule over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Listen, folks, man is not an intruder in the
creation, he is the king of the creation and it is all designed to be subdued by him, to
be dominated by him for his own good and his own joy. The Lord has filled this earth with all things
so that we can richly enjoy them. “I have given you,” verse 29, “every plant
yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth and every tree which has fruit yielding
seed, it shall be food for you. And to every beast of the earth and every
bird of the sky and to everything that moves on the earth which has life, I have given
every green plant for food and it was so. And God saw all that He had made and behold,
it was very good.” But it was all for one purpose. That was for the benefit of man, all of it. We closed our last discussion in chapter 8
of Genesis and verse 22, “God has given this earth to man in its fullness, told man to
subdue it, to rule over it and to fill it, to draw out of it and extract out of it all
of its magnificent resources.” You see a great description of that in Job
28 which is a perfect of mining in the ancient world as they literally overturned the mountains,
call that land degradation and deforestation to get the precious metals that were down
deep in the bowels of the earth, Job 28. But the earth is designed for man so that
man might know his Creator. In verse 22 of Genesis 8 says, “While the
earth remains, as long as this earth is here, there will be seed time and harvest, there
will be cold and heat, there will be summer and winter and day and night and they will
not cease.” This is the promise of God that the patterns
of this earth will not change as long as the earth survives. And who is in charge of its termination? Not us. The earth is the Lord’s, Exodus 9:29. He’s in charge of it. Some of their affirmations go like this, “Human
poverty is a consequence of an environmental degradation.” That’s wrong. Human poverty is not a product of environmental
degradation. Human poverty very often is a consequence
of a failure to subdue creation. Why are people poor in Africa? Because they don’t subdue the creation. They don’t get control of the land. They don’t get control of the water. They don’t get control of the power. They don’t get control of the resources that
are in the ground. Their poverty is directly related to the fact
that there is no subduing that can produce the kind of environment in which you can live
a life of safety. It’s opposite of what these people say. Another affirmation, “The cosmos in all its
beauty, wildness and life-giving bounty is the work of our loving Creator.” That’s only half the story. The cosmos has beauty and it does give life
and it is wild, but it is wild not just because God created it that way but because God cursed
it and we have to subdue its wildness. Another one of their affirmations, “Waste
land is increasing.” What are they looking at? Wasteland is increasing? What, in the last three months? Go back a hundred years and ask if that makes
sense. Another affirmation, “God created it good,
and we have corrupted it.” That’s not true. God created it good, and He cursed it. And we struggle to subdue it and it is an
amazing, amazing affirmation against evolution because monkeys don’t subdue anything that
men are unique. Look what we’ve done to this cursed planet. You want a little example of the curse? Turn off your water at home. Remove your electricity and let your yard
go wherever it will go for about a year. Six months into that year, your neighbors
will be prevailing upon you to sell and get out because everybody else is working so hard
to subdue the otherwise cursed creation. All these things signed by this massive list
of evangelicals fail to understand reality. Fifty-two percent of evangelical people support
strict environmental sanctions. The truth of the matter is, the only reason
the earth isn’t absolutely uninhabitable is because men have worked so hard to subdue
it. And where it is uninhabitable and people are
exposed to natural disasters and famine, it’s because they haven’t subdued it. They don’t need less energy, they need more
energy. So while the elitists are telling us to cut
back energy because we have to reduce the carbon footprint, who suffers? The poor. What we need to do and certainly if we name
the name of Jesus Christ is not sign some silly document that wants to cut back on the
development of energy, we ought to sign a document that says let’s go everywhere in
the world where people are exposed to the elements and exposed to the horrors of a life
without energy, without power, without water, without electricity, without shelter and let’s
go there in the name of Jesus Christ and develop energy plants and develop industry there so
they don’t have to live that way. It’s the opposite of truth. If it weren’t for human care, the earth would
be uninhabitable. You try. Take your little backpack, wander up in the
mountains, see how well you do. The most advanced societies in the world subdue
the earth. Thank God for those who have even been able
to subdue bacteria, virus. Thank the Lord for people in the government
of the United States who work for so many years to develop a food and drug administration
so that we’re not at the mercy of unscrupulous people like those over in China who put poison
into baby milk. We’re protected by that. That’s part of subduing an otherwise toxic
creation. We don’t’ need less development, we need more
development. God intended us to use this planet to fill
this planet for the benefit of man. Never was intended to be a permanent planet,
it is a disposable planet. Christians ought to know that. Yes its beauty can be seen. I’ve been everywhere on this planet and I’ll
tell you, it is a stunning and glorious thing to stand and look at a distance at the beauty
of this planet. But the closer you get to it, the more deadly
it becomes. I’ve seen the beauty of the great Alps, the
Southern Alps and the Northern Alps but I’ll tell you what, I don’t want to be up there
by myself for a week. I’ve seen the beauty of the great deserts
of the world but I don’t want to be out there alone without water by myself. I want to be somewhere where there’s a building
and that building has air conditioning and water. I want to go where people have subdued the
creation. I’m not under any foolish assumptions that
if we just let it go wild, we’ll preserve life. If you let it go, the wilder it is, the more
deadly it is. If it weren’t for man, its riches would never
be extracted. I thank the Lord for creating sheep but you
can’t wear a sheep. This is…this used to be a sheep, it did. This actually was made by a worm. Somebody subdued that worm. Who are you kidding? What kind of foolishness is this? These people are saying all this while they’re
writing on paper taken from trees in a building made out of wood while they’re sipping their
coffee that Juan somebody picked somewhere in Columbia, brought to the United States
and a whole bunch of people pressed it and bagged it and they went to Starbucks and bought
it and they’re confessing the sins against the planet. I really only want to live in a subdued earth
and I want to see everything that God has put in this earth developed to its max. I was in South Africa at the DeBeers diamond
plant on one occasion and somebody said, “You know, if you like to get a diamond for your
wife, this is a good place to get it because they just dig them out of the ground down
here. And I know the guy that works there and this
would be a wonderful place to do that.” This was a number of years ago. And I even at the moment thought about…what…what…a
diamond. And this…and you ladies are looking down
at the one on your finger if you’re so fortunate, what is that? Is that necessary? Did God have to put that in the planet? Did God…is that necessary? How about a ruby, is that necessary? How about a sapphire, is that really necessary? How about all the colors, are they necessary? Where did that diamond come from that you
wear so happily on your finger? Did you imagine how that was extracted in
South Africa by some people who were a little more than slaves? And then somebody polished it and cut it,
somebody transported it, flew it off somewhere and it ended up in the hands of some craftsman
who stuck it in a ring and you put it on your finger and when you look at that, what do
you say? Oh, forgive me, Lord, forgive me? You say, “Lord, what a world You made,” right? What a world You made? This is stunning. This is magnificent. God loves jewelry because heaven is full of
them, all over the place in heaven. Transparent gold streets, huge jewels, pearled
gates. I say, “Get all the pearls you can. Dig up all the diamonds you can. Get all the natural resources you can, the
replenishable resources, natural gas and oil and everything that God has put in this planet,
absolutely staggering little piece that’s floating around in infinite space. You say, “But in the process aren’t we…aren’t
we polluting the atmosphere? Aren’t we responsible for pollution by all
this manufacturing, all this energy development by using flora carbons and hair spray and
whatever, aren’t we all doing this, don’t we all need to take responsibility and isn’t
it affecting the temperature?” Well look, first of all, I’m not the expert
on any of this so I’ve had to do some work to figure all this out. Here’s a good start. Cal Tech, a fairly trustworthy scientific
place at the top, really. Cal Tech Michelin Lecture and in this lecture
given by Michael Criten(?), he says some very interesting things about global warming. He says, “The fact that the scientific community
does not rise up and protest the false science of global warming means they have been politicized
or post modernized and there’s a crack in the scientific door and pernicious garbage
is seeping in.” Oh, that is a pretty serious statement to
make at Cal Tech. This is not science. The ploy, he says in this lecture, used by
postmodern politicized pseudoscience is consensus science. What is consensus science? It goes like this. A large group of scientists agree. Is that how you do science? By vote? He says this, “Consensus science is not science. It is extremely pernicious, it is the first
refuge of scoundrels and it is the way to shut down debate and real science. When you hear consensus of scientists agree
on anything, you have been conned. Grab your wallet, it’s going to cost you.” He goes on to say, “The work of science has
nothing to do with consensus. Science requires only one investigator and
researcher who has found the facts.” Consensus is irrelevant. If it is consensus, it is not science. Consensus is invoked only in situations where
there is a political, social, financial agenda without scientific support. For example,” he says, “no one says the consensus
of a large number of scientists is that E=MC square.” You don’t say that about that because that’s
a fact. You don’t need a consensus. You would never hear this, “The consensus
of a large number of scientists is that the sun is 93 million miles from the earth.” That’s a fact. The consensus has nothing to do with it. You don’t vote on facts. You find them by the scientific methodology. He goes on to say, “Once you’ve abandoned
strict adherence to science, anything is possible as people are unscrupulous and manipulate
for their own ends.” And all scientists know this, skepticism is
the soul of science. Skepticism is the soul of science, not consensus. Anti-consensus. There was a Danish scientist by the name of
Lamborg(?) a few years back who wrote a very important book published by Cambridge called
The Skeptical Environmentalist. That’s right. A scientist wrote a book called The Skeptical
Environmentalist and debunked all the environmental pseudoscience. He was vilified as a heretic by Scientific
American Journal. He was outside the bounds of the game. So, folks, whenever you hear about a consensus
of scientists, you know there’s no evidence. Now what about some facts. Well as far as we know, we’ve only been measuring
this for a few decades. The earth’s temperature is up about a degree. What does that prove? That it’s up a degree, that’s a scientific
fact, from where it was 30, 40 years ago. As best we can tell, from 1940 to 1970 it
was cooler than it’s been from 70 to the present. So it has gotten a little warmer. But we really don’t know how many times that’s
happened in the past because we don’t have any way to measure that. We do know that in the Middle Ages, don’t
have temperatures for it, of course, but there was a period which all agreed was called the
Little Ice Age because everything was very cold, it seemed. So the temperature is up one degree. To extrapolate from that that 200 years from
now it’s going to be up 20 degrees and the polar caps are going to melt and drown all
the world. There’s no legitimate science to indicate
that whatsoever. It fluctuates up and down and the best science
and the latest science, this is important, tells us there is a direct correlation between
sun spots and climate changes. And sun spots are visible and discernable. So that solar variations drive temperature. The sun is the source of temperature changes
with its infrared variations which are discernable. They can see them. And by the way, there is absolutely no scientific
evidence that Co2 or carbon contributes to warming. None, no evidence. Actually the opposite appears to be true. Here’s how it works and I’ve reduced this
to a layman’s level. The sun gets hotter, it fluctuates, it gets
hotter at some times than other times. As the sun gets hotter, it warms the oceans. As the oceans are warmed, they release more
Co2. So sun determines the warming. The warming then effects the oceans so that
they release more Co2 into the atmosphere. The point is this. It’s not us putting Co2 in the atmosphere
that warms the climate. It’s the sun that warms the climate and the
ocean puts more Co2 in the atmosphere. And all honest legitimate science, from what
I read, says that the human contribution to Co2 is negligible. Water vapor, clouds, make up almost all Co2. Climate change then is the effect of electro
magnetic fields on the sun, that increases Co2 from oceans, and clouds. The claims from environmentalists that we’re
increasing the amount of Co2 and therefore warming the environment has no real scientific
support. And then the scare tactics that if we keep
doing this, we’re going to melt the ice caps and we’re going to have 20 foot sea surges
that are going to drown the cities. Really. Turn to Genesis 9…Genesis 9 and verse 7,
“As for you, be fruitful and multiply, have babies.” By the way, there is an organization with
a really funny name, can’t remember it, but it advocates that everybody stop having children
and consider suicide to save the planet. But anyway, here in Genesis 9 verse 7, “As
for you, be fruitful and multiply, coming out of the Flood….” By the way, I just want to remind people that
there is one who can destroy the earth and He did it with the Flood. He did it, devastating. But out of, after the Flood, of course, came
a new eco system, so there’s a reissuing of the original command, be fruitful and multiply,
populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it. This is repeating the fill it up command of
Genesis 1. “Then God spoke to Noah and his sons with
Him saying, ‘Now behold, I Myself do establish My covenant with you and with your descendants
after you, with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, every
beast of the earth with you, with all that comes out of the ark even every beast of the
earth, and I establish My covenant with you and all flesh shall never again be cut off
by water of the Flood, neither shall there again be a Flood to destroy the earth.'” Is that clear enough? “And God said, ‘This is a sign of the covenant
which I’m making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you for all successive
generations, I set My bow in the cloud and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between
Me and the earth. It shall come about when I bring a cloud over
the earth that the bow shall be seen in the cloud and I will remember My covenant which
is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh and never again shall the water
become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the cloud, then I will
look upon it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all
flesh that is on the earth.’ And God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of
the covenant which I establish between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.'” God will never ever again destroy the earth
by water. That is a covenant promise He has made. By the way, in the last forty years of supposed
global warming, there are three times more polar bears than ever. Just thought I’d throw that in. Because everybody says, “You know, all the
animals are going to die and perish, etc.” By the way, global warming to the degree that
we experience has some positive effects. If it’s warmer, there are less deaths due
to cold. Regions become more habitable. Crops become larger. Growing seasons become longer in the north
and the south. Warming helps the poor people. Cutting energy harms the poor who need it
desperately. There are two billion people in our world
with no electricity. They don’t benefit by cutting energy, they
suffer and they’re left to be susceptible to every natural disaster. Instead of talking about some doomsday thing
you think is going to happen two hundred years from now, why don’t you take a look at the
reality of people in these places in the world who are suffering immensely and bring all
the possible resources that we have into those places to provide the basic structure, infrastructure
that they need to survive? That’s what Christians ought to be involved
in. The poor who suffer most from great disasters
would not suffer if they had more energy, more subduing of the hostile and dangerous
environment that this earth is under the curse. So in an effort for us as we confess our green
sins, to lower our carbon footprint, we’re going to wind up watching fifty million people
die because we will not increase energy. By the way, a hundred billion dollars has
been spent to make a case for global warming, none of it on research…none of it, not on
real scientific research. It’s all on public relations. You say, “Well what motivates this?” Well that would be speculation on my part
and I think it’s all motivated by people who resent big corporations, who resent success. And there’s abuse at all of that level as
well, we know that. But I think it’s driven by the socialist mentality
that resents success, even some of the feminist mentality that resents male success. I’ll give you an idea of that. By 1960 DDT, remember DDT?, had virtually
banished malaria from Africa. It was so effective in killing mosquitoes
that it virtually banished malaria from Africa. And in 1960 there was a book written by a
woman, Feminist, called The Silent Spring. In that book she claimed that DDT caused cancer…DDT
caused cancer. All over the world DDT was pulled off all
agricultural shelves everywhere in the world. And the results of that, frankly, are absolutely
horrifying. Tens of millions of people particularly in
Africa have died of malaria since 1960 and now by scientific study we know DDT has never
had anything to do with cancer…never. I don’t know why people buy into these kinds
of things. But the tragedy, as all tragedies, fall always
on the weakest, don’t they? Whenever you see a tragedy on television,
whenever you see the visuals of some disastrous flood or disastrous fire, it’s the poor who
suffer the most. Whenever there’s a famine, it’s they who suffer
the most. And so we add to their suffering by removing
something like DDT under false premises and millions more die. All great environmental disasters occur in
the poorest, most under developed energy-deficient countries. This thinking is so skewed. And I may be the only person saying this,
I haven’t heard anybody else say what I’m saying. But it just grieves my heart when I suppose
well intentioned but ignorant evangelicals jump on the consensus bandwagon and call for
stopping of technological development, the use of God-given fossil fuels, natural gas,
atomic energy as a way to provide a good life. And by stopping that development, assure the
death of millions more every year. The political agenda against business, against
industry, against male-dominated enterprises born out of sometimes naturalism, sometimes
atheism, sometimes I think even Feminism, that should never be a bandwagon that Christians
get on. The earth is not a fragile eco system, folks. If you’re an evolutionist, you think that,
right? Hey, this thing is really fragile, I mean
we’re lucky we’re here. I mean, how in the world did this ever happen? If you’re an evolutionist, you…you have
one really, really amazing explanation for things. All this is by chance. And chance, that’s pretty fickle stuff, so
if we could just tweak it a little bit one direction, this whole thing could come apart
here cause it’s hanging by an evolutionary thread. Or if you think the eco system of the earth
is billions of years old and held together by random chance, you might think there is
a fragile element to this earth. But there isn’t. A strong robust eco system exists on this
planet and in this universe created by God and sustained by God. Hebrews 1:3 says, concerning Christ, “He holds
all things together by the Word of His power.” You remember, it was Einstein, even though
he discovered E=mc square, died disillusioned, unfulfilled because he could not quantify
or identify or capture in a formula the power that held everything together. That’s the power of God. This is not a fragile eco system. It was never intended to be left pristine. It was certainly never intended to be left
wild. It was intended to be subdued. This six thousand year old earth is to be
used for man with all its divinely designed renewable resources and benefits. Well, all that to say, biblical truth tells
us the earth exists for man. That’s why God created it and that’s why He
created it the way He created it. It is God’s responsibility to preserve it,
not ours. Our responsibility is to exercise a good and
reasonable stewardship which I think through the centuries man has done so that we can
extract out of it everything that God has put into it for our benefit. I’m not advocating folly or foolishness. And I think that shows up in how we live our
lives in a microcosm of our world. As I said, if you come to my house, you will
see that the grass is green, the flowers are all in the right places and the sprinklers
put the water where the water needs to be in order that the beauty of God’s creation
can flourish in that place and bring us joy and cause us to be grateful to God for the
beauty of all that He creates. And you will, if you were invited to eat a
meal at our house, you would find that we actually have electricity and a refrigerator
so that you don’t have to worry about getting sick because you ate there. We might even…we might even come and pick
you up in our car full of gasoline and take you there. And in all of this, we rejoice. In all of this, we rejoice because all of
this is God’s provision. And we would like, as Christians, to extend
this provision as far and wide as we can and fill the earth and subdue the earth. Mankind is an amazing, amazing creation when
you see what he has done with this planet in subduing it, in extracting its resources,
in developing its capabilities. Electric lights, where would we be without
that? Not here. So much confusion about things and if we just
take a biblical perspective, exercise a sensible stewardship and bring the best out of God’s
creation for our joy and His glory, He is pleased. And do all we can to extract the riches that
are there as long as this planet exists for the benefit of man at the widest possible
level because it is all coming to an end. And the end is described for us in 2 Peter,
let’s turn to 2 Peter. Have no fear, we’re not going to go through
all of this….(coughing)….excuse me. I’m going to read this and then next Sunday
night I’m going to take you through it. Second Peter chapter 3 verse 10. “For the day of the Lord will come like a
thief in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements, stoichea, the
smallest units, the atomic structure will be destroyed with intense heat and the earth
and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed
in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking
for and hastening the coming of the day of God on account of which the heavens will be
destroyed by burning?” Heavens would be the New Testament and Old
Testament word for universe since they had no word universe. “The universe will be destroyed by burning
and the elements will melt with intense heat.” But that’s okay because according to His promise,
we’re looking for a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. We are actually living in the third eco system
on this earth. The first one was Eden. The second one was after the Fall. The third one was after the Flood. This is the third eco system. The other two were altered by God. He cursed the first and drowned the second. And He will destroy this one in the future
totally. But before He destroys it, there will be a
fourth eco system. In the one-thousand year Millennium to come,
life on this earth will change. If somebody dies at a hundred years, they
die as an infant. The desert will blossom like a rose. A lion will lie down with a lamb. Children will play in a snake pit. That is a totally different eco system. Number one was the original creation in Eden. Number two was the cursed creation. Number three, that’s the one we live in after
the drowning of that original cursed creation. But there is coming in the future another
restored earth, a fourth eco system, and that is the eco system in which we reign with Christ
and at the end of which, even that eco system will be destroyed and replaced by a new heaven
and a new earth in which there is nothing but everlasting righteousness. I am not responsible for the earth. And I feel a lot better about knowing that. I’m not responsible for it, other than to
do everything I can within my power to extract out of it all that is good for which I can
give God glory and help folks. God’s in charge of the planet, He knows what
to do. He knows when He wants to drown it. He knows when He wants to curse it. He knows when He wants to restore it. And He knows when He wants to destroy it. And it’s all in His hands. So in the meantime, enjoy it. Certainly as a Christian, enjoy it. It’s all for you, every fruit, every vegetable,
every plant, every animal, enjoy it. Everything that has come out of the belly
of the Earth, all the mining and extracting all the products related to those elements
that are mined, all of the petroleum products that come out of fossil fuel, He provided
it all. Just use it in a way that gives Him honor
and glory and remember He’s the source of it all. And remember this, that Earth at its best
with all its riches enjoyed is not to be compared with the glory of the new heaven and the new
earth that awaits us in the future in which there is no curse and in which righteousness
dwells. Well next week we will actually look at the
text of Second Peter and take it apart a little bit. Father, thank You for a wonderful time tonight
to consider these things and we can only ask that You would cause us to be thoughtful when
we consider the things that are said around us. Help us to be truly Christian in the sense
that we reflect the biblical understanding of things because that gives You honor. We would grieve, Lord, over the sins of those
who have misunderstood Your power in creation and Your purpose in it. We are grieved that so many who call themselves
Christians have bought in to such a foolish understanding of the earth as if it’s up to
us to somehow preserve the planet. Lord, we yield to You totally and to Your
plan and Your purpose. And we just thank You for all that You’ve
brought into our lives from this earth, from the hard work and the hard labor of people
we don’t even know who provide our food and our goods and our products that we just use
from all the years and years of research by people we don’t know and would never meet,
who because there was something in them of the image of God pursued the subduing of the
Earth. We’re just grateful, Lord, for all of the
things that You’ve placed here that we can richly enjoy. We just want to give You thanks and know that
we have every right to use it all, to enjoy it all as long as we share it with those in
need and as we give You all the praise and glory for it. Do what You will with this Earth, You always
have and You always will. We pray, Lord, that we might be a part of
the advance of Your Kingdom as long as we’re here, using every means to that end and that
we might never lose our focus. What a travesty to take the Bible which is
intended to proclaim the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ to sinners and turn it into an
environmentally twisted book. May we always be consumed with the glory of
the gospel and with Your glory, we pray. Amen.

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