I must take a stand here and even run the risk of being at odds with others over this matter concerning global warming. Contrary to the indifference of many, I happen to believe that the subject of global warming is very important and will require some very serious minded examination and study. In fact I am even concerned that, as Christians, we may be missing out on an important opportunity here, especially if we make the mistake of simply brushing this important subject aside.
I know that many today will scoff at some of the current research that is being conducted, but I must go on record here and say that I am convinced that global warming is more than a hypothesis or theory, but is an undeniable reality that will certainly come. And when it does come, it will affect a vast number of people throughout the world. I submit to you that as Christians, we cannot ignore what will in fact take place:
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements 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, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! [2 Peter 3:10-12]
In reality, this is the global warming to end all “global warming.” In the day of the Lord’s wrathful judgment, all of the heavens and the earth will be destroyed by burning such that the elements themselves will melt [teketai] with intense heat.
So much for the first law of thermodynamics.
Well, now that you know that I am not a signer of the Evangelical Climate Initiative, I would offer the following suggestion. The subject of global warming is becoming increasingly popular in our culture and will likely be with us for some time. Rather than counting it a nuisance, we ought to embrace this discussion for the opportunity that it is. Like the Savior, we need to help people to look beyond the earthly and temporal, so that they might consider the eternal salvation that is offered in Christ alone:
John 4:7-14: 7 There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9 Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” 11 She said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? 12 “You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?” 13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
There is a great beauty in what the Savior did here. The Samaritan woman had her mind set upon physical water, but the Savior used this as an opportunity to speak of the water of eternal life. Rather than spending time talking about how hot it was, or the history of Jacob’s well, the Savior moved from a discussion of the temporal to the eternal. What a needful example this is! The next time that you have an opportunity to have a water-cooler discussion with someone, and they bring up their concerns about global warming, consider how you might respond to them. You could focus on the facts and data that surround the contemporary debate; or, you could accept this as an open door to speak to them about the Savior who extends His hand of mercy to sinners today, but will expend His fiery wrath upon the world when He returns in judgment (Acts 17:31).
Please Note: No donations from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation were used in the creation of this post.