July 2, 2007

Jesus goes Green?

There is a pretty important election coming up next year, and it has had me thinking. One of the political issues among people of my generation has been (and will continue to be) the environment…and not without warrant. All of us would do well to take good care of this green earth God has placed in our temporary care (Genesis 1.27-30). Perhaps my children will grow up as the generation of hybrid cars and windmill power. That would be a step forward, in my book.

So I have been thinking lately about this planet of ours—specifically in Romans 8. Do you know what God says is the environment’s biggest problem? Pollution? Global warming? Shrinking fuel deposits? None of the above. So what is the biggest problem that faces our environment? Humanity (Romans 8.19-22)! Human sin has brought a curse on the very ground (Genesis 3.17-19). So much so that Paul says that the earth groans beneath the weight of the sinners that occupy its soil (Romans 8.22)!

I think that happens in two ways…

1. Because of Adam’s sin, God put a direct and immediate curse upon the ground way back in Genesis 3. So things just don’t work like they should. That’s why we have droughts in some places and floods in others—and why we have earthquakes and tornadoes, etc.

2. It also seems to me that the curse on the ground extends to the fact that, since Adam’s day, mankind has continued in selfishness and greed…thus, continuing to degrade and devalue God’s creation. And all of us should, as the greens are reminding us, find ways to do better.

So what will be the breakthrough answer to our environmental concerns? Biodiesel? Nuclear energy? Recycling? They all have their place. But what does the Bible say is the ultimate solution to our green issues? Resurrection! Listen to Romans 8.20-21: “For the creation was subjected to futility…in hope that the creation itself will also be set free from its slavery to corruption into (HERE IT IS!) the freedom of the glory of the children of God!”

When will the creation be “set free from its slavery to corruption”—from its pollution, its famine, its shrinking natural resources, its wildfires, and its hurricanes? When Jesus returns, and the children of God are glorified! When Jesus returns, he will create a new heaven and a new earth—a new created order without the curse of sin. And those who inhabit that new earth will no longer be sinful! So God’s direct curse will be removed from the ground…and so will man’s continued degredation! The return of Christ and the glorification of His people is God’s final solution to global warming, to the oil crisis, and to pollution!

So…let’s be good stewards of the earth here and now. But let’s also pray and witness toward the return of Christ. That is, in the end, the best thing we can do for the environment!

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