Introduction to Christianity ~ my experience
I grew up in the Evangelic Pentecostal Movement. And as early as 7 years old I have been hearing from the Pulpit and my devoted dad ‘We are living in the last days’.
Back then as shy and reserved as I was with a speech impediment, I took notice. I felt as long as I didn’t give my dad any trouble, speak the truth when I had the courage to talk and never make a promise I couldn’t keep, I would not have to be afraid of burning in Hell Fire when I die, the place that was fervently preached about where bad and disobedient people were going.
The pictures plastered on the wall of my dad’s living room told me I should look forward to seeing a white blued eyed sad face man, with long brown mousy hair on his head and face, dressed in a white sheet showing his heart in the middle of his chest with a crown of thorns around it. The blood pieced diamond shaped nail prints in his hands and on his feet always gave me the shivers, how cruel could the people in his day be? I also looked forward to seeing his close friends, the 11 disciples and imagined them accepting a little girl who didn’t talk much but was well versed about the characteristics of those who had a role in writing the stories. I especially looked forward to meeting ‘Action Man’ Peter, because I identified with his impulsive behaviour and confident I would not see the one who betrayed Jesus.
The Bible was the only book my dad allowed me to read to him, so I grew up reading this treasured prophetic storybook.
I also looked forward to holding my dad’s hand climbing the white cloudy stairs to Heaven when our names were called. The imaginary felt so real.
Fast forward to decades later and the picture for me is very different. I no longer believe in religiosity. I am a follower of Jesus Christ and exercise explicitly the actions of the early Christian congregations. I now know the truth that is written through the pages of the Bible that it holds no private interpretation and I find true meaning and understanding for myself by means of God’s Holy Spirit and resonate with Bible mentors who too, follow the early Christian congregations, exerting true Christian living and fellowship 2 Peter 1v20-21 (ESV).
Global warming and The End Times
I have come to accept the evidence at 2Tim 3V1-5 (NIV) about the ‘last days’ because the reality of the characteristics mentioned are visible. But nothing can be more critical than Global warming as a real sign of the End Times.
Most scriptures that relate to the earth burning up identify the time period being in the future. Malachi 4v1 speaks of a ‘Day that is coming burning like a furnace’ and assures those who are righteous and honour God’s name will survive the effects. I imaged it to be like walking barefoot on 'a coal of fire', but is it? Are all these scriptures talking about a literal burning up of the earth? Let’s exam some scriptures relating to the earth. Psalms 37v29 (NWT) says ‘The righteous will possess the earth and they will live forever on it. The Bible also states at Psalm 104:5 (NIV) ‘He sets the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved’. Another scripture that supports the earth's stability is found at Ecclesiastes: 1v4 (ESV) ‘A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever’. These scriptures clearly show the ‘Earth in its physical form is unmovable.
So can we say the burning of the earth in some scriptures are literal and others figuratively speaking? We will expand on this idea later. To examine what is literal or figurative, we need to read the whole chapter to get the full context of what is being said.
A research conducted by Yale Program on Climate Change shows that a significant number of the American public do not think that Global Warming has anything to do with the End Times. In fact, the research shows only 14% thinks so and 11% feel they don’t have to worry because having a righteous standing will save them from total destruction. But, has climate change been given the priority it deserves?
An article in the New York Times Magazine on ‘The Climate issue’ states ‘Climate change is a threat like no other ~ fatal heat waves, droughts, wildfires and severe hurricanes are all becoming common and they are almost certain to accelerate’. The article continues to suggest that ‘human behaviour’ need to change. Food shortages was not mentioned, but with the acceleration of the destruction to our planet it is sure to be affected.
The reluctance to recognise this serious concern resembles the first period of worldwide destruction upon the earth, where warning of a flood destroying the earth was echoed for at least 55 years prior to the flood, but the people took no note. Jesus, in his sermon on the mount, told the crowds that they will be caught off guard on His return. Matt: 24v37 (KJV) ‘The coming of the son of man will be just as the days of Noah’.
After Jesus departure the 4 Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) carried on the preaching and teaching of the End Times, preaching the same Kingdom message as Jesus did. Peter's account was similar to Jesus where he states ‘But the day of the Lord will come like a thief' then continued with 'The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare’ 2 Peter 3v10 (NIV). ‘The heavens’ here is believed to mean the people in authority, the governments, the ones who have chosen to ignore the physical warning of Global warming. ‘The elements’ to mean the destructive people on the earth and ‘the earth’ to mean the land.
Another scripture that supports this is in Rev: 11v18. In his vision, John wrote in part ‘…you should reward your servants and prophets and the saints, and those who fear your name, small and great, and should destroy those who destroy the earth’.
Prophesy has been and is being fulfilled continuously. I’d like to highlight three significant prophesies that have been fulfilled regarding the End Times. The attitude of the people today resembling the people in the days of Noah, Jesus death and resurrection, emphasising that Jesus died so that we may live and have the opportunity of experiencing Eternity John 3v16 (NIV) and the physical occurrences that indicate His imminent return. The evidence of the last days in 2 Tim 3 1-5 (NWT)with its 19 characteristics.
Will Climate Change destroy the earth completely?
What is meant by the ‘Earth’ being completely destroyed at Isaiah 24? Is it a literal occurrence? Matthew Henry Commentary on Isaiah 24 suggests that when the word ‘Earth’ is used the literal meaning is ‘Land’. The word ‘World’ literally means the ‘Kingdom of Israel’ and ‘Destruction’ literal meaning ‘Crash’.
As Kingdom Citizens, we are all feeling the effects of Global Warming. Can it be stopped? Are we to be excessively concerned?
Previous statements suggest Global Warming cannot be stopped in the natural, although some Countries and US States are making a conscious effect to curb this destruction by limiting the use of harmful gases and eliminating the materials that are (toxic) ruining the land.
I am not concerned to any significant degree as 2Tim4v5 (GNT) state ‘But you must keep control of yourself in all circumstances; endure suffering, do the work of a preacher of the Good News, and perform your whole duty as a servant of God’. Bearing this in mind will keep me focused and give me the courage to continue in the Kingdom-preaching and teaching work Jesus commissioned us to do.
How do we protect ourselves as Kingdom Citizens?
We have to remain calm and prayerful. The Bible says ‘pray without ceasing’ IThess5v17. We have to pray for God’s Peace, the peace that surpasses all understanding, [that peace] will guard our hearts and mental powers by means of Christ Jesus’ Phil: 4v7 (NWT). With that said, for full protection, we are encouraged to put on the complete suit of armour found at Ephesians: 6v10-18 (NKJV).
Our Mission is to imitate Jesus Christ and adhere to the commission he has left us, to make disciples of every nation Matt 28v19-20 (KJV). Will we sometimes get depressed because of our situation and circumstances? Yes at times we will, but with prayer and our belief of new heaven (New Rulership) and new earth (a Kingdom where righteous and teachable people are to dwell), we remain focused on doing our best in reaching the right-hearted ones whom Jesus will draw out. Jesus said at John 15v16 (NWT) ‘you did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit ~ fruit that will last~ and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you’.
So Climate Change ~ Global Warming, should we be concerned? It is alarming and of serious concern, but we can hold onto the Prophesy that Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will put an End to all destructive influences, by bringing about a Kingdom that will never be destroyed Dan:2 v44 (NIV). With confidence, we can live with expectancy that His appearance is imminent as the signs of the End Times are literally staring us in the face.
Henry, Matthew ~ Isaiah 24 Commentary ~ Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the whole Bible
Hodge, Bodie ~ How Long Did It Take for Noah to Build the Ark?
Leonhardt, David ~ ‘The New York Times Magazine’ (April 9 2019)
‘The Problem with Putting a Price on the End of the World’
The Bible ~ various translations ESV, GNT, KJV, NIV, NKJV, NWT