The subjects of “Global Warming” and “Climate Change” are pervasive – they are everywhere. “Global warming” came up in conversation on Wednesday right here as the rain washed some snow off the church roof. It is on the news; it’s a part of the weather report; TV’s History and Animal Channels constantly talk about it. It is a seriously “hot” topic.
The Bible doesn’t tell us what to believe about the subject, and that leaves the door open to diverse opinions. But like so many other subjects, the Bible does give us guidelines upon which we can base our opinions. Sadly, so much of the modern debate is done without considering the Bible and Biblical theology. This almost guarantees error – or at the very least errors in attitude affecting the quality of the debate. Even when some people are correct in their opinion, their defense or attack is often unchristian and sinful. In the light of these things, I feel led of the Lord to spend a few minutes on the subject of “Global Warming.”
My research for this message started with a little booklet published by the Institute for Creation Research – the grandchild of Henry M. Morris, the author of the 1961 classic “The Genesis Flood.” This particular booklet was written by Jake Hebert – not that Jake Hiebert, but the other one. But my research didn’t stop there; I consulted several other sources – both pro and con on the subject. And although Dr. Hebert quoted the Bible a couple times, his purpose was more scientific than theological. But I want to keep my message primarily Biblical, while touching on a few scientific details.
First, I’d like to start with a quote from a well-known, well-used “Christian” website called “crosswalk.com.” This article was written by one the site’s popular regular contributors – DR. Roger Barrier. I am reasonably sure that his doctorate is not in meteorology or any other branch of natural science. He is the pastor of a mega-church in Tucson, Arizona. He attended school at Baylor, followed by Southwestern and Golden Gate Theological seminaries. Golden Gate, in particular, has a reputation for theological liberality; it doesn’t teach God’s Word. And if I can make a conclusion before I begin – Most of the religious people, charging humanity for Global warming, are theological liberals. They do not take the Bible literally – and this article is a perfect example.
Here is the Reader’s Digest version of Dr. Barrier’s article – it is shortened and highlighted but left unedited. “From studying the data and comparing it with present rates, and recognizing humankind’s difficulty in halting all carbon emissions, temperatures may continue to rise unimpeded with DEVASTATING results. Proportionally, our earth doesn’t have much air. We are fast replacing oxygen and nitrogen with global-warming carbon dioxide. I’ll tell you what I think is eventually going to happen to earth. We will be Venus. I reached this conclusion when the first Venus probes melted as they penetrated Venus’ atmosphere …. The temperature of our world has been approximately constant for the past 60 million years. Occasionally a cooling (Ice Age) period will occur caused by fluctuations of earth’s orbit or by slight variations in the energy outputs of the sun. Now, for the first time in history the global temperature is no longer constant. It is steadily increasing. The global warming phenomena can be traced to the 1880s and the initiation of the Industrial Age. Human-caused temperature increase is already having a global effect. Heat waves, floods, and destructive forest fires are having effects. Tornados are occurring in mountainous regions where they never could have developed in the past. Droughts are occurring in places never before afflicted and they are longer and more widespread. Warming oceans drive changing weather patterns, including more severe and frequent hurricane activity. Higher temperatures put more energy into storms which sharply increases their intensity and destructiveness. Melting ice is decimating both polar regions resulting in loss of habitat for polar animals with the result of a thinning out of the ranks. The release of massive amounts of fresh water results in higher sea levels and increased flooding in coastal regions. Many animal species (elephants, birds, and butterflies for example) are becoming extinct as temperatures increase, mostly through the loss of habitat.”
Dr. Barrier confesses to have preconceived ideas about global warming. He approached the subject with bias. “I reached this conclusion when the first Venus probes melted.” And there is nothing in his part of the article which refers to the Bible except to tear it down – 60 million years. The man confesses to not taking the Bible literally. He then concluded his article with a religious quote from Dr. Russell Moore (whoever he is): “The earth is longing for something, the apostle Paul tells us, longing for a Man, the Lord Jesus, who unseats the dragon despot of this present darkness. The earth is groaning for us, ‘for the revealing of the sons of God’ (Rom 8:19). That’s why gospel proclamation is the most farsighted form of environmental activism. The earth is delivered when her rulers are raised from the death curse, when all things once again are under their feet, in Christ.” This statement smells of post-tribulationalism or even a-millennialism.
Except for the religious conclusion, we hear statements like this all the time – coming mostly from politicians and Hollywood entertainers. But there are thousands of credible scientists who call this “trash” – they say it contains “garbage science.” Half the details in that quote are contrary to the facts – and what is worst – contrary to the Bible. I am not going to tell you what to believe about “climate change,” but I hope you will consider a few Biblical principles.
First, creation, including the weather is under the curse of sin.
When Adam sinned against God, humanity – the pinnacle of creation – was cursed. And at the command of God the ground became a kind of enemy of man – it too was cursed. Half the animal kingdom turned against the other half – eating and devouring each another. God said to Adam, “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee…” And death entered the equation – obviously, it had not been there before; nothing had ever died. But God had already told Adam that in the day he ate of that tree he would die. Adam died spiritually the moment the fruit entered his mouth, and he began dying physically when he swallowed. Isaiah said in chapter 24 – “the earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof… therefore hath the curse devoured the earth and they that dwell therein are desolate; therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.” The beautiful, God-controlled garden home of man became off-limits and eventually man had to fight with creation to stay alive. Creation – or if we leave God out of the equation – “planet earth” has never since been entirely friendly to fallen man. Since the fall, the children of Adam have had to fight to survive.
And weather has been a part of the battle. Please look at the top part of the sheet which you were given. Man has been keeping track of temperatures for at least 600 years. According to information from Dr. Hebert, when we average the global temperatures for all those years, we find that today’s temperatures are only 2 degrees above the norm for that entire period. What we are not told by the media is that between 950 and 1250 AD – for 300 years – the common temperatures were twice as high over the average than then are today. Then that hot period was followed by another period just about as warm as the day in which we live. So this is not the warmest period in human history. And man had absolutely nothing to do with the earlier warming trends. There was no Industrial Revolution then; no carbon fuel consumption; no green house gases. Human’s were not responsible for the first three exceedingly warm centuries, nor for the second. And you know what? Polar bears, penguins and butterflies did not become extinct. Immediately following those warm periods came the ever popular “Little Ice Age” with fluctuating average temperatures from 1550 to 1900.
Dr. Hebert admits that more carbon dioxide in the air does cause some temperature increase, but it is not as terrible as the politicians and Jane Fonda and her friends want us to believe. Dr. Hebert says that there are many scientists who say that our atmosphere is highly resilient and resistant to the changes which carbon dioxide might cause. He says that science proves that if we doubled today’s CO2 output it would raise the average temperature of the earth less than 2 degrees. The point is, man doesn’t rule nature. Nature, under God’s control, dictates things to man. And nature is under the curse of sin.
But the 2nd point is that God ultimately controls nature, including the climate.
The scriptures are abundant, and the illustrations are crystal clear. The Lord Jesus once said, “Peace be still” and the wind and a terrible storm instantly ceased. Peter, who was there, could neither silence the wind nor cause it to bluster in the first place. That storm, any major storm is out of man’s control, but firmly in God’s hand to do with it as He sees fit.
Job said God, “For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven; To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure. When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder: Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out” – Job 28:25-17. The Psalmist added, “God causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightning for the rain; he bringeth the wind out his treasuries” – Psalm 135:7. Psalm 148 says that fire, and hail, snow, vapour and stormy wind fulfill God’s word – His command.
Think back over the last 4 or 5 summers here in the Northwest. According to the alarmists, global warming has grown and intensified during that time. We are told that green house gases are increasing exponentially and every year is worse and worse. Then why were our wild fires significantly fewer and smaller last summer than over the previous 3 or 4 years? We had an almost smoke free sky in 2019, but we couldn’t see the sky in 2017. The simple reason for last year’s blessing is God’s grace. On the other hand, He has now turned His wrath toward Australia. Jehovah controls the weather not the Australians, the scientists or the politicians.
For decades there has been on Cable TV a station called “The Weather Channel.” It provides mostly accurate daily forecasts and has produced all kinds of special reports and documentaries. It was founded by the award-winning meteorologist John Colman. As a weather expert and also someone in the public eye, with pressure on him from both his producers and from politicians, you’d think he’d be all for the publicity of “global warming.” Nope. When he retired, he claimed that the idea that humans are changing the climate with carbon dioxide is “nothing but a lie.” I don’t know if he is a Christian believer; I don’t know if he would go as far as I do… But God is the one to control the climate and the weather.
A 3rd point to remember is found in God’s promise.
“And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you… And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.”
According to Dr. Hebert and the ICR, the world’s temperatures will probably rise 2 or 3 more degrees – not 10 degrees and certainly not 25 or 50. Do you know what that will likely do to us here Post Falls? It will make our summer’s slightly hotter. But it will not eliminate the rains in the spring nor the snows in winter. Earlier in Genesis 8:22 God had said, “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall NOT cease.” Based on the promise of God, I can guarantee that somewhere in the world there will seasons conducive for the production of food. I defy the liberals to remove Genesis 8:22 from the word of God. And I challenge God’s people to believe the Lord – forget about the pontifications of politicians, evolutionists and movie stars.
And as you think about the Lord, and His promises and blessings, remember that Jehovah created plants to work differently than He did human beings. You and I, and most animals, inhale air, keeping the oxygen for our use, and exhaling carbon dioxide. But plants “breathe” carbon dioxide, CO2, and exhale oxygen. Plants reverse what we do. And some eminent scientists declare that a rise in carbon dioxide actually stimulates earth’s vegetation and helps stabilize the climate in the process. Dr. Hebert says that some deserts are shrinking because the surrounding plant life is flourishing. More plants and trees make life easier for the rest of us.
My 4th consideration may be hated by the Bible critics, but the Lord is coming back to His creation.
And why will He return? To keep His promises to Abraham and David about the Millennial Kingdom. But before that thousand year, millennial kingdom, He has promised to punish the earth’s remaining sinners through a series of extreme judgments. The second part of my hand-out is a summary of the 7 seals, the 7 trumpets and 7 vials. And while “global warming” might seem to explain a few of them, there are better explanations. I personally don’t believe that man-caused “climate change” has anything to do with the judgments of the Tribulation. They are all the judgments of God.
But, just for the sake of argument, let’s say that one or two of the trumpets or vials are related to “global warming,” what do you and I have to fear from that? I would venture to guess that not one well-informed, professed Christian in a hundred who is pulling his hair out about man-caused climate change believes in the imminent return of the Saviour. If the rising of the oceans is a Tribulational judgment then it has nothing to do with me and you.
As I said, I believe the Lord is coming back to His creation. And the first step in that return is the translation – the rapture – of His saints. And I am convinced that could take place at any time – even before the conclusion of this message. Your focus as a Christian should not be on Tribulational judgments but on your current fellowship with Christ. Your focus shouldn’t be on the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide and rising oceans. You should be looking beyond the greenhouse to the Heaven of Heavens and the return of the Creator.
My 5th point is that the Devil loves to stir the pot and divert saint’s attentions from important matters.
Consider Satan for a moment. Have you ever heard him called “The Prince of the power of the air?” What authority or how much authority does he have in regard to the atmosphere? And according to Ephesians 2 in whom does he generally work? Paul said that when we were unsaved, we walked according to the course of this world. We walked “according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” You may disagree with me, but I think this whole “global warming” business is Satanic misdirection. There are ten times as many politicians and false religious prophets who are concerned about it than there are true, non-evolutionary, scientists similarly concerned. There are a hundred times more mis-directed celebrities who are concerned about “global warming” than there are meteorological experts. And who owns most of those politicians, false prophets and movie stars? I’ll give you a hint – it isn’t God. Most of these people are “children of disobedience.”
The enemy of God is in the business of sowing tares among the wheat – Matthew 13:39. He is a liar and the father of lies – John 8:44. When was the last time you heard any of Satan’s liars repeat this quote from Dr. Hebert – “for over 20 years now, the warming has paused, and temperatures have actually decreased notably since 2016.” Even though it varies from area to area, honest meteorologists are saying the average temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere have dropped in recent years. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: – I Peter 5:8. Satan would much rather have Christians running around crying, “The sky is falling” or “The Oceans are rising” than to have those people crying “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”
And that brings up my last point: “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”
As you know, the gospel is “that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures…” – I Corinthians 15. I believe that a proper preparation for presenting that gospel, is a declaration of man’s sin before God. But it needs to be made clear, our great sin is not driving our gasoline powered cars or using electricity produced by burning coal. Our sin is rebellion against God. Our sin is worshiping and serving the creature – the creation – more than the Creator – Romans 1:25. And a part of that idolatrous worship involves this contrived conspiracy with green house gases. Much of this alarmism is being carried out by idolaters – worshipers of Creation, not worshipers of the Creator.
Perhaps there is one potential positive effect from all this hoopla. I believe that the average temperatures of North America have risen in the last 70 years and more. There is no doubt about it. I have seen it first hand in some of the Canadian glaciers I knew as a child. But I don’t man is responsible; it is natural, and it is overseen by the Lord.
But for the sake of argument, let’s say there is a genuine threat to mankind in rising temperatures and rising seas. Isn’t there a way that God’s evangelists could use that fear to point people to the Saviour? Didn’t Noah preach repentance in the light of the soon-to-come flood? 2.4 billion people – one third of humanity – live within 60 miles of the world’s oceans; those lives are in jeopardy if the oceans rise; they need the gospel. Wild fires are sweeping across Australia, as they have been Siberia, North America, Africa and South America; lives are in danger – Australians need the Saviour. And the Tribulation looms on the immediate horizon; the lost need the preaching of the gospel. The saint of God who is more concerned about “global warming” and “climate change” than he is in reaching the lost has become a captive of Satan and is sinning against God.
If you choose to disagree with me that “global warming” is a man-caused phenomenon, I hope that you will at least agree that it should not be our primary concern. This hysteria is not glorifying to God. And all our energy in solving this “crisis” will not save a single immortal soul.