Monday, January 17, 2011

Nature’s Rampage: The Coming End of the World?


Some tell us the end of the world will occur on 12/12/12. The dates are aligned; not sure about the planets. Perhaps the floods and mudslides currently engulfing the world are portents of what’s to come.


It does seem that tsunamis, wildfires, earthquakes, floods and rain, snow and ice storms during the first years of this millennium occur more frequently and with greater intensity than in living memory. Indeed, now in my mid seventies, I cannot recall the same frequency and scale earlier in life.

Many Christians consider these signs of the end times, and it must seem like the end of the world for those living through these disasters. Yet in relation to this, Jesus said, “Such things must happen, but the end is still to come,” and “These are the beginning of birth pains” (Matthew 24:6 and 8).

Others, of a more practical bent, tell us that our pollution is warming the planet and increasing the ferocity of natural events. We definitely need to clean up our planet, but is this the whole story?

If Adam’s fall teaches us anything, it’s that sin defiles the land, and his sin resulted in a curse on the ground. Henceforth, the newly destabilized earth would not act according to its original design (Genesis 3:17–18).

Later, Moses warned that sexual sin defiles the land (Leviticus 18:24-28) and shedding of blood pollutes it (Numbers 35:33–34). So we have to ask ourselves: Is the licentious spree of western nations, and the bloodthirsty extremism developing in Muslim nations responsible for nature’s current rampage?

No wonder Paul reminded us: “The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God” (Romans 8:19–21).

Hope for our planet is not in controlling greenhouse gases, as important as that may be, but in the glorious return of Jesus Christ, who will not only bring peace to the nations, but also return stability to our planet.

3 comments:

Dale said...

WE should be careful about reading things into what is written. After all even your 70 years are but blip on history and just because these things are possibly unique in recorded history, the "recorded history" that is usually referenced isn't very old either. I knew someone who was absolutely convinced that Christ would return in 1958 and a TV preacher had it absolutely sure that Jan 1, 2000 was the date. Your last paragraph really sums up the solution to our world's problem, but we do not know the day nor the hour is His return.

Bryan Norford said...

Dale:

My blog was meant to indicate that the disasters referenced were NOT signs of the return of Christ: "the end is not yet!"

Like you, I think those who believe current signs point to Christ's coming tomorrow, or some fixed date, fall into the trap Jesus warned us about.

If you missed the point, perhaps my blog was insufficiently clear. But thanks for a thoughtful response.

Bryan

Dale said...

I did get your point but I thought it was very subtly stated and might have been missed.