Week of May 20
By Skip Heitzig
Last year, the eruption of the volcano Eyjafjallajökull (try saying that one!) in Iceland was in the news. The ash cloud spread all over Europe, it closed down air travel over the continent for a week, and it continued to disrupt life. As volcanic events go, it was relatively small. The explosion of Mount St. Helens in Washington 30 years ago was ten times greater. And the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991 was ten times greater than that! But even these pale beside a huge volcanic eruption in Indonesia in 1816, which blew enough stuff into the atmosphere to cause summer freezes that killed crops in places all over the world!
The Trumpet Judgments in Revelation 8 will make all this look tiny by comparison. There will be “hail and fire mixed with blood,” something like a burning mountain and a “great star from heaven” falling to earth, and the heavens will be darkened. We don’t know exactly what all this is, but suffice it to say, as Jesus looked at this time He said there would be “fearful sights and great signs from heaven” (Luke 21:11).
This is God’s judgment upon the earth because of man’s sin. Man should have been able to look at his environment and say, “There is a God, and He is to be worshiped and thanked.” But instead of glorifying God, man worships “mother nature.” I’ve seen the bumper stickers: “Love your mother” with a picture of the earth on it. Earth Day draws thousands who gather to worship their earth-god, and say, “It’s our only hope!”
Now, I’m not down on being “friendly” to the earth at all, but today there is a kind of environmental atheism: god is nature and nature is god. But God will judge and destroy this false god. If you think we’re messing up the world, wait till you see what God does to it!
It’s a suitable judgment for mankind. Romans 1:18-25 says that God has made Himself known by what they can see—His creation. But instead of giving Him the glory, they’ve foolishly “changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things” (v. 23), and they’ve “worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever” (v. 25). And it says that God will show His wrath because of it, and that they are “without excuse.”
Again, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be concerned for the environment. We should conserve and protect it. But it’s folly to place all your stock in the temporal, the “here and now.” The earth is not a god; it is not our “mother.”
Jesus said, “For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve’” (Luke 4:8).
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