Global Warming Liberals and Some Christians Agree: The End Times Approach
The world is going to end. The main question is “How?” The next question is, “Will there be signs that the end is coming soon?”
Global warming will raise the temperatures of the ocean, we are told. This will produce more, and worse, hurricanes and who knows what else. Then, Newsweek says, comes the end:
In spite of science, climate deniers and skeptics, like President Trump, who pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement on climate change earlier in 2017, continue to dismiss the effects of human activities affecting our environment. But Irma and company are just the beginning. By the end of the 21st century, according to the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, hurricanes will be a lot more powerful and dangerous due to rising temperatures of seawater.
THE GOD THAT DOES NOT EXIST
The climate-worshipping liberals, who claim to believe in no God, want us to believe that climate change will eventually destroy our species. That must not happen, they cry. Since they don’t believe our species was created by a loving God who placed us here for a special purpose, and who will not destroy us, a thinking person should ask “Why not?”
Who cares what liberals think? If there is no God, then who cares what people think, in general? Who cares if not limiting my toilet’s flushing capability to 1.6 gallons-per-flush will destroy the environment?
They are not Christians. They do not believe in God, and they do not believe in serving as steward to His creation. So who cares what happens to it — or us?
If they feared death out of a fear of Hell, then I might understand. They want to live as long as possible. But they say they do not believe in such things.
Nevertheless, their fear-mongering works. People who have not thought these issues through are persuaded. They do not want to die, afterall. Probably because they have some notion that there is an afterlife that begins with divine judgment. So they buy into the hysteria.
The claim is that, unless we do something right now, sometime soon, the weather is going to get worse and worse. Governments must pass laws so that the weather patterns will diminish in strength. That will give our species time to flourish. Otherwise, the weather will destroy us.
In other words, if the weather continues to get worse, then we are getting closer and closer to the end times of humanity.
Like an Emory University scientist is quoted as saying in the recent AP news story, our brain is a pattern-seeking mechanism. It attempts to recognize patterns in what otherwise appears to be random data. And when we really want to believe in something, it has no problems helping us to see what we desperately want to see.
Take our belief in the end times. Almost everybody holds some kind of end times belief, even if they haven’t spent the time to fully and consciously develop it. At a minimum, they may believe that the world will end when the sun runs out of energy and burns out, or when the expanding universe runs down like an unwinding clock into a cold freeze. Or else, they may believe that Jesus will appear and rapture his church to initiate the final judgment.
Others have taken the effort to really flesh out the details of their end times beliefs. Christians who hold to dispensational theology, for example, believe in a great period of war and persecution of the church or the Jews during what they call the Great Tribulation. The Great Tribulation must occur before Jesus returns, they claim. They look for signs of the age that signal that this beginning tribulation is approaching.
The idea that we should pay attention to the signs of the times comes from something Jesus told his followers in the Olivet Discourse, which is also sometimes referred to as the Olivet Prophecy: “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. These things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains” (Matthew 24:5-8).
JUDGMENT IN THE STORMS
For this reason, some Christians look for not only signs in the social times, but also to nature as well. They look for earthquakes. Specifically, they look for increasing occurrences of earthquakes, increases in their intensities, or both, as signs that the beginning of the end times, the birth pains, have arrived.
But this is a mistake for two reasons. First, the evidence from the historical record doesn’t support the pattern of increasing seismic activity that some Christians are expecting to see. There is only the appearance of increasing activity, just as there is only an appearance of increasing hurricane activity. Our seismic instruments are becoming more sensitive. More people are living in what used to be unpopulated lands. Social media inundates us with news reports all the time.
As Gary DeMar recently wrote, there’s no discernible increase in the ferocity of our weather patterns. It’s always been brutal:
While Harvey and Irma are mega-storms, there have been others. It’s also true of earthquakes and tsunamis.
The 1900 Galveston Hurricane killed 8,000 people and left the city in ruins. There was another one in 1915 that left 400 dead. The Miami Hurricane of 1926 produced the highest sustained wind speed ever recorded in the United States at the time; it led to a storm surge of nearly 15 feet. More than 370 people died and 6,381 were injured. Let’s not forget the Florida Key’s Labor Day hurricane of 1935 that caused 408 deaths. There have been many others.
And that brings us to the second, and more important, reason that it’s a mistake to believe that weather phenomena are signs of the End Times: the New Covenant is different from the Old Covenant, and in a major way — there is no basis for believing that the ethical failings of a corporate group of people will predictably lead to climatic judgment.
THROWING STONES, SHAKING FOUNDATIONS
There’s an important reason for that. In Old Covenant Israel, it is true that the land itself served as a witness to the behavior of the Israelites. It was a kind of covenantal boundary. If they rebelled against God’s laws, it would respond on His behalf: “And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you” (Lev. 18.28). In judgment, the rains would stop, and the ground would lose its fertility (Deut. 28: 23-24).
In the Old Covenant, we are given a principle of justice. Witnesses who testified against a criminal that led to the criminal’s death also had to serve as executioner. “The hand of the witnesses shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So you shall purge the evil from your midst” (Deut. 17:6-7).
In the prophets and in the psalms, we are given examples of prophetic language invoking omens of earthquakes when the Lord comes in judgment. When God is angry, He shakes the earth. “O God, you have rejected us, broken our defenses; you have been angry; oh, restore us. You have made the land to quake; you have torn it open; repair its breaches, for it totters” (Ps. 60:1-3).
Similarly, in Psalm 18, we find this: “Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations also of the mountains trembled and quaked, because he was angry” (vs. 7).
During earthquakes, things fall down. Mountains break apart and create landslides. Man-made structures are broken, and they may kill anyone who remains inside when they fall.
In the Old Covenant, since the land was a covenantal witness to Israel’s behavior, then it was also required to cast stones when rendering judgment. The stones were earthquakes, literal and figurative (such as when an invading army’s horses destroyed cities as they thundered through the streets).
A NEW JUDGE
But this has changed in the New Covenant because the land is no longer a witness. It no longer threatens to vomit us out of its mouth. Instead, Jesus has assumed this role, as he tells the church of Laodicea: “So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!” (Rev. 3:16). Compare that to Lev. 18:28.
Jesus now reigns over creation, bringing all things into judgment. He does it himself. The land doesn’t do it on his behalf. The Holy Land, in other words, is no longer a mediator between God and man. The Holy Land was a temporary mediator. Christ, as risen Lord, fully divine and fully human, has now permanently assumed that role.
For those Christians who believe that history is going to get worse and worse and worse until Christ finally returns in judgment, they may look for signs like earthquakes, hurricanes, wars, or rumors of wars.
They think this will tell them that the end times are near, even though Christ himself said it’s impossible to know when that would be: “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” (Mat. 24:36).
Christ, when telling his disciples to be on the lookout for earthquakes, wars, and rumors of wars, was speaking of the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70 at the hands of the Roman army — the end times of the Old Covenant. Again, DeMar has explained why Jesus was right:
As history attests, Jesus was right. There were huge storms prior to Jerusalem’s destruction in AD 70. We read of a massive storm in Acts 27. The storm is described as a “Euraquilo,” that is, “a northeaster” (27:14). Luke writes that they did not see the sun or stars “for many days” (27:20). The ship finally ran aground where it was “broken up by the force of the waves” (27:41).
The Roman historian Tacitus describes a series of similar events in AD 65…
…These storms had prophetic significance for that generation (“this generation”) because Jesus said they did. The same is true of famines, earthquakes, false, prophets, and false Christs. It’s not that we don’t have storms, earthquakes, famines, false prophets today — all of these have been around for more than two millennia — it’s that they had specific prophetic significance for events leading up to and including the destruction of the temple and judgment of Jerusalem that took place in AD 70 (Matt. 24:1-2).
For Christians to look for signs that the end times are approaching by monitoring earthquake activity is misguided. Jesus said we will not know when they are near. The prophetic earthquakes and omens he described were limited to the 40 years between his ascension and the destruction of the temple that brought a final end to the Old Covenant era. He brings judgment in the New Covenant era, not the land.
Similarly, liberals who look for the same thing — the coming of the End Times — in increasing hurricane activity are also in pursuit of a fruitless quest. The evidence does not support their theory or models. Violating the man-made laws for target annual atmospheric CO2 emission levels does not bring hurricane judgment.
Neither does electing Donald Trump as President.
So be wary of articles like this one from Newsweek that assure us that “there is still time to act. According to Gore’s Inconvenient marketing, at the state level, more than 100 million U.S. citizens live in places still committed to climate action, representing 36 percent of the population. In the wake of Irma and other tropical storms, that figure could realistically increase.”
Mother Nature is not ringing in the End Times by sending more hurricanes to prepare us for Judgment Day. We should not vote on government policies or elect liberal politicians that are designed as offerings meant to expiate our guilt and propitiate the liberals’ false god.