Climate Change: A Biblical Perspective

Every day we hear a commercial, TV program, or podcast that warns of the inevitable climate crisis. The message basically says we need to change our ways before we warm the planet and make it uninhabitable. But are these claims true? There are climatologists who say no–the data does not support this conclusion. What are we to believe? To answer this, the next series of blogs will examine the climate change issue from scientific and scriptural vantage points. To begin, let’s see what God’s Word says about climate.

First, God is in control. His sovereignty over everything is clear because He created everything. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” His control extends over the weather; Psalm 148:8 says, “Lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding.” Moreover, God created it and sustains His creation. He is not indifferent, but cares for His world. Colossians 1:16-17 says, “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

Second, God gave humans responsibilities over His creation. Humans are to get married and have children, plus spread throughout the Earth and make civilizations. Genesis 1:28 says, “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’” Humans are to make civilization but not totally ruin it. We know this because when God finished giving this command to Adam and Eve, He looked at all He made in the six days and said it was “very good.” God had created a world to be filled with humans who were made to use the Earth–how else could they sustain themselves? But even as humans spread throughout the Earth over time, we have limited understanding of how everything due to creation’s sheer complexity. Job 36:26-30 says, “How great is God—beyond our understanding! The number of his years is past finding out. He draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams; the clouds pour down their moisture and abundant showers fall on mankind. Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds, how he thunders from his pavilion? See how he scatters his lightning about him, bathing the depths of the sea.”

Third, even though we don’t understand everything about God’s creation, He says don’t be afraid–365 times in the Bible! Consider that–every day, God has a message for you: fear not! As an example, when Jesus’ disciples were in a boat being tossed about in a storm, Jesus comforted them with these words: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 

Fourth, God has promised that seasons will continue until Judgment Day, the day Jesus returns. Genesis 8:22 says, “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” Read that passage again. There is no clearer message regarding climate change than that.

Fifth, because we know God’s promise of a creation that will sustain humans until the end, Christians focus on people. We want everyone to flourish by walking in God’s ways, but most importantly, we want everyone to know Jesus as their Savior from sins. We desire this because all are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) and therefore have value as His creatures. Jesus said this in Matthew 10:29-31: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Because humans are valuable to God, worth more than birds, He sent His Son to save us through faith by grace in Jesus’ perfect life and sacrificial death. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”

God clearly made, sustains, and controls everything. More importantly, He has provided a way of salvation from sin through Jesus’ atonement. So what about the predictions of climate catastrophe? In the next blog, we will examine the past predictions of doom that have been incredibly wrong.

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