A comment on the ongoing ‘Climate Change’ circus!
“But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men,” 2 Peter 3:7
As ever, we turn to the Word of God for help and enlightenment and guidance on this vexing topic which is creating hysteria amongst rulers and rabble-rousers today!
It is a case of the ‘blind leading the blind’ and the ditch awaits them both! If ever there was an example of the utter folly of man we have it in this present controversy. Those who have their finger on the ’nuclear button’ are prepared to be led on this issue by the emotion-inflaming cries of a foul-mouthed impudent Swedish eighteen-year-old one, Greta Thunberg, spouting out the results of her being indoctrinated by evolutionary notions taught in her school and by those she deems as heroes, such as David Attenborough!
Tens of thousands of her devoted teenage acolytes and others who ought to know better, have taken to the streets on UK cities and elsewhere in raucous, and sometimes riotous, demonstrations of support for this bumptious youngster.
Sadly, she epitomises a generation which knows “not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done,” Judges 2:10. This new generation, more than any that has gone before, has utterly abandoned the old paths of gospel truth and has embrace the theology of the fool. “The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God,” Psalm 14:1. A dreadful harvest will be reaped of this madness!
In response to the demands to governments she and others have made, the most laughable promises and predictions have been made by world leaders such as ‘superannuated’ Joe Biden and the swollen-headed Boris Johnson.
These leaders have announced, somewhat disconcertedly, that certain measures will be taken over the next few decades, the period is anything but agreed upon, whereby the feared climate changes will be halted and the earth will return to ‘normality’!
Failure to carry through these reforms, which Miss Thunberg dismisses as mere ‘blah, blah, blah’ (and I feel she is correct this time) will result in the extinction of the earth’s creatures and the end of humanity! Words to this effect have been uttered by the likes of David Attenborough and those of his ilk! A BBC programme, featuring Attenborough was launched over a year ago. It is entitled: “We need IMMEDIATE action to stop extinction crisis”.
If truth be told, even if every resolution passed by the COP 26 gathering was universally and unanimously agreed to they would never be set in motion for the simple reason of MAN’S GREED. Too many merchants have too much invested in fossil fuels etc and too many nations depend upon such energy sources for them to be utterly abandoned!
More importantly, the cause of the geographical phenomena such as weather pattern change, floods, earthquakes, famines, fires, volcanos etc, are the result of the hand of the God of the Bible directed against mankind’s sinful rejection of His existence as Ruler of the Universe and its defiance of His authority and laws.
The ordering of the universe is in God’s hands and man’s folly, though rebounding upon his own head to his own hurt, will not and cannot interrupt or set in disarray God’s purpose for His Creation. The ‘sluggard’ reaps what he sows as stated by the wise man: “The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; [therefore] shall he beg in harvest, and [have] nothing,” Proverbs 20:4. This resultant poverty will be blamed on many things but in truth it comes home to the man’s own foolishness.
This may be multiplied numerous times until you have starvation on a national scale. Blame climate change if you will but I believe it comes down to the verdict of the wise man of Proverbs chapter 20. Earth’s resources are squandered by many, exploited by some and little thought of by multitudes and the result is what we see today across the globe — starvation, pollution, and a throw-away extravagance in most western societies!
Man has managed to wreak havoc since the fall but it is not the devastation created by man on this planet that will bring this age to a close but rather his moral deviation from God and His truth!
Man’s immorality has brought destruction upon many societies during the duration of mankind’s time on this earth. We could look back to the flood in the days of Noah or the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for examples of man’s wickedness being visited by God’s judgment. Each of these visitations by judgment and the many more recorded in the Bible, provide us with a clear picture of the final confrontation between God and defiant mankind.
Please turn with me to the verse we have put at the beginning of the article.
“But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men,” 2 Peter 3:7.
I wish to consider first of all:
I. THE LORD’S PLAN OF PRESERVATION FOR THE EARTH
Peter tells us under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost that the ‘heavens the earth . . . are kept in store, reserved…’
Blind rejection of God’s word is the fuel of today’s wild and half-witted predictions of the end of mankind and creation generally. Peter states that which is the foundation of the true Christian’s expectation of the conclusion of all things!
1. Note the word ‘but’ at the beginning of the verse. It is a word which turns us back to the previous verses where Peter is addressing the same spirit of unbelief which we see rampant today. “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished,” 2 Peter 3:3-6.
Rejection of the record of God’s judgment upon the earth in the days of Noah results in a spirit of rejection of what God has said about what the Lord is going to finally do with His creation. Contrary to what man is thinking about how things are going to end, Peter says, ‘BUT’, something very different from man’s expectations will, in the providential sovereignty of God, take place!
2. The earth is presently being ‘kept in store’. It is a phrase translated from a Greek word that is most often translated in conjunction with the laying up of treasure. See: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal,” Matthew 6:19, and “So [is] he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God,” Luke 12:21.
From the use of the Greek word by the Holy Ghost we may conclude that the heavens and the earth are considered to be very precious to the Lord. He is looking after them as a treasure! That which God treasures man has despised and misused! It is because man does not see and think as does God that the earth has been so abused!
“Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens [is] the LORD’S thy God, the earth [also], with all that therein [is],” Deuteronomy 10:14. Man will not be permitted to destroy what is the Lord’s though he may be permitted, in the merciful wisdom of God, to abuse it for a time.
But then this is but par for the course as far as mankind is concerned! The relationship between man and wife is precious, children are precious, friends are precious, the Word of the Lord is precious BUT man has counted all these things as worthless, to be cast aside and replaced by the filthy things of man’s inventions!
Despite man’s abuses of the earth, when the Saviour returns it will be this earth that we dwell on today. It will not be that which the ‘climate change’ fanatics claim it is swiftly descending into. No, heed Zechariah 14:4. “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which [is] before Jerusalem on the east . . .” This is the ‘same’ mount from which he ascended to glory back some 2000 years ago. Hear what the angels on that day said to the sad apostles, who were straining their eyes upward: “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven,” Acts 1:11. That spot on the Mount of Olives will be preserved by God for the return of the Saviour, even as the earth as a whole will be preserved.
3. The Holy Ghost also uses the word ‘reserved’. The Greek word appears in that very significant verse, Matthew 27:36. “And sitting down they watched him there.” Those soldiers were aware that this was no ordinary execution they were called upon to supervise. This was no ordinary prisoner. Therefore, there would have been a level of diligence shown here above that which would have been usual at such an event. With extraordinary diligence the Lord has looked over the treasure of His Creation! After all, He did give us His estimate of that which He had created in six days. Six times we read the words “[it was] good” in Genesis chapter 1 with a final overall declaration, “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, [it was] very good,” Genesis 1:31.
That which He deemed ‘very good’ six millennia ago, He has reserved most carefully and preserved from man’s ravages!
The earth and the heavens, though marred by sinful man, is still beautiful beyond words!
II. THE LORD’S PURPOSE IS TO PURIFY THE EARTH BY FIRE
“Reserved unto fire . . . wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness,” 2 Peter 3:7, 12-13. Here is why the Lord is preserving the earth. God has reserved a day for the ‘purification’ of the earth.
1. The earth will not end or be destroyed by man’s folly. Rather, the Lord has wonderful plans, eternal plans for His creation. “The earth which he hath established for ever,” Psalm 78:69.
2. The Lord purified the earth to a degree by the flood. I emphasise ‘to a degree’ for though there was a new order in the earth after the flood yet it was not long until the sin that springs from man’s depraved nature was very evident once more on the earth. The wickedness of Canaan (Genesis 9:20-29) swiftly brought to an end the purity of the post-flood earth!
3. However, the Lord is going to use a much more effective means of purging the earth — FIRE!
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness,” 2 Peter 3:10-13.
This burning does not entail a destruction of the earth but rather may be likened unto the work of a ‘smelter’. The fierce heat of the furnace does not destroy the metal but rather purifies it. So it will be one day!
“Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness,” 2 Peter 3:12-13.
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea,” Revelation 21:1.
Thus, out of the furnace of God’s fire of judgment shall come a purged and purified creation, fitted for the home of the righteous for all eternity.
III. IT IS ALSO THE DAY OF JUDGMENT AND PERDITION OF UNGODLY MEN
Man’s foolish notions about the future of creation are matched only by his notions of God’s judgment and how he will escape it!
1. Notice first of all that the Lord has a day appointed for the accomplishing of His purpose. It is called the ‘day of the Lord’, verse 10. What a wonderfully suggestive and comforting title that is! Man thinks that the Lord has lost control and things are out of His hands. Sometimes the saints of God yield to this Satanic notion! But these words show us that one day it will be seen that He has wonderfully demonstrated that he is in CONTROL OF ALL THINGS. That will be His day.
Today is MAN’S Day! As Job said: “The earth is given into the hand of the wicked,” Job 9:24. Man’s views are exalted above all. He boasts and like Nebuchadnezzar of old, claims that all is the work of his hands. “The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?” Daniel 4:30. Man claims, by his theory of evolution, to have arrived at an advanced stage of development. I feel it rather curious that man in his advancement is only now recognising that his ‘lifestyle’ is destroying creation!
Even the realm of the space around the earth is littered with dangerous ’space junk’!!
Man, like the Babylonian king, is very wrong and that will be seen in dreadful clarity in the ‘day of the Lord’.
2. Men will be faced with their ungodliness. How the evangelist and the gospel tract distributor have been contradicted and denounced for declaring man’s sinfulness! Irrespective of how he lives, the sinner still insists that he or she has a right to expect heaven! Many believe that the sprinkling of a little water upon their infant heads guarantees them a place in God’s eternal kingdom. Some today, do not even bother to rely on such a frivolous hope, but just arrogantly assume eternal safety.
3. The word ‘perdition’ is a fearful word. I can best illustrate its meaning by showing you where it first appears in the New Testament.
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat,” Matthew 7:13. Here it is translated, ‘destruction’. That does not mean ‘annihilation’ as some would claim. Rather it refers to the end of all hope and all joy for the unconverted sinner and an entering upon the awful realisation that they are lost forever under the eternal fiery punishment of God!
4. Let me finally emphasise that there is only one way to escape ‘perdition’. I can do no better than to set before you the way of escape in the very words of God Himself.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” John 3:16.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand,” John 10:27-28.
“Grace [be] to you and peace from God the Father, and [from] our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen,” Galatians 1:3-5.
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard [him],” Hebrews 2:3.
“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed,” 1 Peter 2:24.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us,” 1 John 1:9-10.
“And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him [be] glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen,” Revelation 1:5-6.
There you have the plain way of redemption – repentance from our sins, a heeding and obeying of the gospel call, simple trust and faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross and a resting in what He has done to absolve us from all guilt and reconcile us ETERNALLY to God.
Today, this day of confusion and chaos, obey God’s WORD and be saved from ‘the wrath to come’ on that ‘day of perdition of ungodly men’.
Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd)
8th November 2021
(My 78th birthday)