Changed in an Instant
“In the beginning, Lord, You laid the foundations of the earth…”
The earth has been on my mind lately, probably because talk of climate change has been so prominent in the news. The belief that humans—according to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson—are trashing the planet “like a teenager on a bender” begs the question: Have we failed to rule the earth as God intended?
From the beginning chapters of Genesis, we know that God put Adam in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Psalm 8, composed by King David, reinforces this calling by saying, “You made them (man) rulers over the works of Your hands; You put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.”
But now it seems that something has gone very wrong with our caretaking skills. Or are the large scale shifts in weather patterns we are experiencing just one of the signs that Jesus’ second coming is not far away? The writer of Hebrews tells us that when Jesus returns, heaven and earth will be rolled up “like a robe, like a garment they will be changed” (Hebrews 1:12).
The Apostle John in Revelation 21 reinforces the earth’s fate when he writes: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.” It’s a vision that hopefully encourages us even as we lament the destruction and loss of life caused by fires, floods, famines, droughts, earthquakes, and more. Ultimately, God will make all things new.
Whether soon or thousands of years from now, Jesus will return as He promised. In the meantime, we’re to keep watch. Although our citizenship is in heaven, earth is our home. We must show our planet the respect it deserves as God’s creation until, as Paul says, “…we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet” (1 Cor. 15:51-52). What a glorious day that will be!