A regular feature in nature shows, reports of natural disasters and discussions of international affairs are dire warnings about climate change. Many conservative Christians are skeptical about the claims of global warming. Many others are terrified that humans are doing irreparable harm to our planet. Does the Bible say anything about global warming?
In fact, the Bible predicts global warming. The Bible tells of a sudden and catastrophic warming which will destroy the whole universe. The Bible describes all things melting in a “fervent heat.” (2 Peter 3:10-12) God will one day wipe out this existing universe to replace it with a new one that is undamaged by sin.
However, the actual question asks if the Bible says anything about gradual increases in global temperatures which will cause many species to become extinct and render huge portions of the earth uninhabitable? This article is not intended to examine the science of climate change. Sound evidence for a rise in the average temperature of earth may exist, but such evidence is not actually relevant to the Biblical discussion. Will winter become warmer and summer hotter? Will sea levels rise and some species go extinct? Possibly. The history of the world teaches us that man has a profound impact on his environment and that animal species regularly go extinct. The Bible reveals that man’s sin brought all the suffering and trouble that currently afflicts the earth. All that is wrong with this world is absolutely the fault of man. Man’s sinfulness can continue to mess up the planet.
Will sinful man render the earth uninhabitable by his wastefulness? Absolutely not. Though man has been given dominion on the earth and he wields great power in the world, man is not the ultimate ruler of the earth. God gave man the responsibility to care for the earth. (Psalm 8:6) Man’s failure to do so has brought great harm to the world and now the earth is groaning in pain. (Romans 8:22) God also promised that “while the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22) God is the one who secures and maintains the seasons of the year. He promises that the world will continue through its seasonal cycles until the end.
The solution to the problem of global warming is not found in greener emissions, better recycling or sustainable fuel sources (though those are not bad things). The ultimate solution to the problem of man’s mistreatment of the world is found at the root of all problem’s. The solution is repentance of sin and obedience to God’s Word. Only then will men live selflessly instead of destructively.
No matter what man does, God is the one who sustains the earth. His promises do not fail, therefore the earth will not fail until it is time for God to replace it. This is not permission to live wastefully. Humanity must steward the earth, but no one needs to save it. God has it all under control.