Apocalyptic Weather, Judgment or Global Warming

The introduction to a recent article published by TomDispatch.com titled Tomgram: Chip Ward and the Rewilding of the West begins like this:

“In case you hadn’t noticed, the weather news this season has been pretty grim. Tornados so large and destructive that they would have given Dorothy pause, 500-year European floods, massive rainstorms rolling across the land, record heat in California and Alaska, late snowfalls that boggle the imagination, wildfires that dwarf past ones in the American West. I could go on, but why bother since anyone who has been watching primetime TV news can’t but notice that staggering weather has been the lead or second story much of the time all spring and into the summer.”

Tom believes the cause of this “extreme weather” is global warming and he wants to introduce readers to someone who is doing something about it.

The Bible does predict a time when severe heat will scorch humanity because of their sinful behaviors (Rev. 16:8-9). One such behavior is destroying the earth (Rev. 11:18). It might seem at first glance that the text does not tell how that was being done. However, it actually does. In chapter 6, we are told that famine, drought, inflation, disease, and plagues all follow in the path of the conquest of war. Like America’s founding fathers, these may be regarded as types of divine judgment for wrong human behavior. As a result of such behavior, a fourth of life on earth was destroyed (Rev. 6:8). Following this, another third of the earth is also destroyed (Rev. 8:3-13). In chapter 8, the prophet is shown a time when a third of earth’s habitat is destroyed. Many biblical scholars believe this refers to nuclear, chemical and biological contamination of the earth as a result of war and corporate greed and irresponsibility. If TomDispatch and others are right, the product of wrong human behavior is beginning to effect the environment. If global warming is causing the aforementioned natural disasters, it end was foreseen by the biblical prophets and by Jesus.

In the synoptic gospels, Jesus gave his disciples the following markers for the beginning of the end times. There will be wars and rumor of wars, famines, earthquakes, false messiahs, persecutions, and increasing lawlessness (Mt. 24: 5-12; Mk. 13:5-13; Lk. 21:8-18). Expanding on the end-time lawlessness, Paul wrote,

“[M]en will be lovers of self, lovers of money, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, [but…] denying its power.” (2 Tim. 3:1-5)

In case you are not familiar with the terminology, the end times refers to the culmination of the seemingly unstoppable prevalence of human immorality, injustice, and its destructiveness. These evils are the result of behaviors sanctioned by governments, often profited from by businesses, and practiced by many people. The end time is when God executes justice to stop the perpetual violation of His law and love. Why would God do it?  Because people refused to repent of their moral crimes. Institutions and individuals unjustly destroying life on earth are committing moral crimes against God and humanity.

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