Icebergs, rising sea levels, and the end of the age

Featured image: NASA.

In today’s news, we celebrate a birth of sorts. Some say maps will have to be redrawn because of it.

Reported as a “massive iceberg” weighing 1 trillion tons and approximately the size of Delaware (or a quarter the size of Wales, depending on where the report is written), the brand-spanking newly-calved iceberg is likely to be named  “A68.”

Is global warming to blame for this? Scientists admit they can’t directly point the finger at global warming/climate change for iceberg A68 because this kind of calving, the term for an iceberg breaking away from a glacier or land mass, is a common occurrence. Still, most in the media are trained to ask that question at every opportunity, so every report does.

The Self-Managing Planet . . .

And that brought to mind something I heard a wildly popular conservative radio talk show host say several years ago. I’ve also read it variously across the internet on conservative chat boards and other social media. It goes something like this: There is no way the kind of global warming that could cause problems with the earth is man made because God made this world to withstand anything man can do.

That’s similar to what U. S. Rep. Tim Walberg, a Republican from Michigan, said recently:

“I believe there’s climate change. I believe there’s been climate change since the beginning of time. I believe there are cycles. Do I think man has some impact? Yeah, of course. Can man change the entire universe? No.”

He continued, “Why do I believe that? Well, as a Christian, I believe that there is a creator in God who is much bigger than us. And I’m confident that, if there’s a real problem, he (sic) can take care of it.”

. . . That Is No More

It is true that God “is much bigger than us.” It is also true that “He can take care of it” because God can do anything. If He wants to put things in motion to preserve the earth by clearing out any pollution man might cause, or by changing the nature of things so that whatever natural processes warming up the earth no longer do, He certainly can do it.

But let’s look to the Holy Bible for insight about the notion that God created this earth to withstand whatever man might do to it.

Most Christian apologists for the anti-global warming stance rightly point out that man is made in the image of God and was given dominion over the world by God. That is absolutely true.

Is it also true that God made the earth so that it cleans up whatever mess we make in it? Well, no. And here’s what I mean by that.

When God created the world, He saw that it was good. It was all good, even the man and woman were good as He created them.

And then, the woman met the serpent, and it all fell apart. Sin entered the world with its decaying effects. The man and woman began to decay — their flesh, minds, and spirits. A garden that produced all they would need without toil on their part spat them out into a world that would severely test them. This harsh world had rocks in the soil with weeds and thorns popping up all around. Food that once waited on the vine until Adam picked it would now rot and die if he didn’t get there in time.

Each subsequent generation would decay further and further, both the people and the land they inhabit. It was no longer good. To the contrary, it was bad and getting worse. It got so bad that at one point, God wanted to tear it all apart and start all over again, and that would have included blasting all mankind off the planet. And He probably would have, but for Noah.

Until the End

While God remade the world to rid it of the horrific evil that had sprung up by Genesis 6, the curse of sin still has its hold on the earth and at least initially upon its people, and it is due to the continuing effects of sin on the world that we cannot rely upon the once-perfect creation to save us from ourselves. Paul tells us that the whole creation groans for the release that only comes with the restoration at the end of the age. That groaning will only increase — as birth pangs upon the earth — until that day.

And man can do nothing about it. Whatever men hope to accomplish with climate agreements and the acts or taxes agreed to therein will prove fruitless. If we are in a global warming cycle as some scientists believe, a world of floods, droughts, resulting famines, wild weather, disease, and the redrawing of maps several times over due to rising oceans is ahead of us in the next 50 or so years. Describing the impact of the oncoming earth changes, Al Gore likes to say, “It’s like a nature hike through the Book of Revelations (sic).”

Gore may be wrong about the cause of earth changes and that man can do anything to stop it, but he is right on that one count — it is what the world will go through as every single word of the Book of Revelation is fulfilled.

After the End

And then, we win. The present earth is done away with entirely. There is a new heaven and a new earth and you know what? There is no sea! God used water to remake the world in Noah’s day and then promised to never use water to judge the earth again (that’s what the sign of the rainbow really represents). It is water levels rising that will cause many of the earth changes leading to the end of days, but there will be no oceans to rise in the new heavens and the new earth so nothing like that will ever happen again. On top of all that, there will be no more sickness, sadness, pain or death.

Even knowing all this, we really have no idea how wonderful it will be. We cannot conceive of it, as Paul writes (1 Cor. 2:9 NLT):

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
    and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
    for those who love Him.”

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