Our opinion has recently been sought recently concerning the following question: "We live in days of intense clamour about the environment, with catastrophic predictions for humanity. Do the Scriptures foresee anything about this, or is it nothing more than a casuistic speculation with the purpose of attending to merely commercial interests?"
Global warming really seems to be happening, as we can personally see, among other things, that the average temperature in our environment is slowly rising, the glaciers on the mountains are reducing, the polar cap over the Arctic Ocean is breaking up, the hurricanes and typhoons are more frequent and devastating, the rainy and dry seasons which many people are used to have changed in the last decades, and the ocean level has slightly risen.
Newspapers, magazines and television and other media have given a lot of cover to these facts, as well as to forecasts and statistics concerning the effects that global warming will have over our environment if it continues to intensify, and, in consequence, over humanity.
Existing data is multiplied as new sophisticated equipment is invented and used by those who get deeply involved in this subject - in general it seems to prove that there is an acceleration going on in global heating in our days.
Once this fact is proven, questions are raised: what is the cause? What are the effects if global heating continues? Is it possible for man to interfere in such a huge phenomenon? Godless men, having invented evolutionist theories to justify their atheism, continue to use them as their basis to answer these questions, but do not find safe answers, and they vary substantially among themselves. The answers to the second question range from those who consider we are going towards an apex of a cycle which repeats itself periodically and others who think that it is an irreversible progress which eventually will bring the end of the world as we know it.
In this matter if global heating we must take special care because it is being used by individuals who wish not only to change our manner of life, but also all our Christian point of view about the world we live in. Among them are politicians of the extreme left and pantheists, who have their own agenda for changing our social structures. And so, much false information is divulged to attend to their interests, and forecasts for the future are made based on climatic simulations which are not to be trusted.
We must separate the concrete data from interpretations, or "Test all things; hold fast what is good." (1 Thessalonians 5:21). If we wish to reach our own conclusions from that which is published, we must understand its basis, as well as the objectives which motivate the commentators. We must also check the data they present to us before considering ourselves able to verify the truth of the answers which they are giving us to those questions.
It is also essential to be based on the Word of God as the "book of instructions" for us, and on Jesus Christ as our Lord, Creator and Saviour. It is on this basis that we will look for the answers to our dilemmas.
We believe in this divine inspiration of the Bible, and it explains briefly to us how "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" and, earth being initially found to be "without form, and void", in six days He made it inhabitable for the human being, created on the last day. "Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good" (Genesis chapter 1).
Earth was created by God as an interdependent whole, "very good", so much so that God rested on the seventh day. All that is necessary for life was maintained in delicate balance on the only planet in which we can live. The distance of the Earth to the Sun, the atmosphere, the cycle of the waters, the layer of soil for cultivation, all is exactly right to sustain life.
In Genesis, humanity would have "dominion" over Earth, not in the sense of plundering it, but of looking after it and its creatures (Genesis 1:26-28, Psalm 8), in harmony with God, our Creator.
Shortly after, though, the first and only human couple in existence decided to break the harmony existing between the Creator and His creation through an act of conscious disobedience. As a result, they not only lost the fellowship they had with God, but all creation was influenced, earth coming under a curse (Genesis chaps. 2 and 3, Romans 8:22).
About 1.700 years later, having God been provoked to wrath due to human wickedness, He brought on a gigantic cataclysm in which a great part of the water in the atmosphere was brought down, and the waters contained in the only ocean were spread over the dry earth (Genesis chaps. 6 to 8) and all the land was covered up.
This flood destroyed most of humanity and land animals, and only Noah and his family, and the samples of the animals which floated on the ark with him were saved. And so the perfect and harmonious original creation suffered first a slow degradation as a result of the disobedience of the first human couple, then the consequences of the flood, among which can be counted the instability of earth's crust, the penetration of harmful rays through the atmosphere and the genetic changes in living beings.
There will never be another flood to destroy earth (Genesis 9:11). But earth will suffer another destruction on a day still to come, this time by fire "… the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat" ( 2 Peter 3:12). In the interval, including our days, all creation continues in a process of slow abrasion and degeneration, accelerated by human action. "The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, and those who dwell in it are desolate. Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left." Isaiah 24:5,6 (NKJV)
The catastrophes affecting Earth will increase in the final days of this age. The Lord Jesus said, concerning the times before His Second Coming: "there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven." (Luke 21:11). Some people inquire if this is what is happening at our time. Perhaps it will not be long now, but the present situation is not so serious and we don't have the "great signs from heaven": the astronomers are well equipped now to see them when they happen.
It is commented that the "green" environmental political movement, using global heating as a lever, will eventually be able to lead the world towards the world government prophesied in Revelation 13. This is only a possibility, among many others.
The Lord Jesus also prophesied: "And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory". (Luke 21:25-27 - NKJV) But it is obvious, from the context, that we have not yet come to those days, for He is talking about the last times at the end of the great tribulation of Israel.
This will happen on the day of the wrath of God, or the period of tribulation, before which the Lord Jesus will come from heaven to fetch us (1 Thessalonians 1:10, Revelation 6:17,18). We understand that the events during the period of tribulation will be supernatural, as was the Flood, the Plagues of Egypt, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorra, and so on.
Only the return of the Lord Jesus Christ will save the Earth. After His return, it will be restored miraculously and again be a fertile and beautiful place, capable of supplying the needs of the peoples during the millennial reign of Christ Jesus, when "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:9].