The world is up in arms about “climate change.” First it was global cooling from the 1940s to the 1970s, then it was the threat of global warming after that, and now it’s the threat of climate change and its imminent doom if we don’t do something drastic about it. (We can’t make up our minds if it’s global cooling or warming, so let’s just slap a generic label on it: “climate change!”)
Not too long ago, in 2019, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) prophesied that “the world will end in 12 years” if we don’t address climate change. Just 10 more years to go before the world ends, unless we do… something… about it… somehow.
This has terrified people, mostly Gen Zs and some Millennials. But as for this Millennial pastor? I am not afraid, and neither should you be. Why shouldn’t you be afraid? Because climate change isn’t real? That’s not what I’m saying, and I’m not going to try to prove whether it’s real or not. The reason why I’m not afraid and you shouldn’t be either is because of the Lord’s words:
“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”Genesis 8:22
The Earth is in the Lord’s hands. As long as she remains, agricultural season, seasons of climate, and day and night shall not cease!
To be fair though, maybe the supposed foreseeable apocalypse of climate change has nothing to do with the Earth ending but with the end of the human race. I suppose that depends on what AOC and her pundits mean by “the world.” Is it the world as in the planet or the world as in the human world and other animal worlds? It’s difficult to say. Either way, we know the world isn’t going to be destroyed by a giant flood again, which is the whole point of the rainbow as our reminder of this fact (Genesis 9:8-17).
To be sure, the world—everything as we know it—is going to end some day. As Jesus Himself said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). This is nothing new, of course. God spoke of this first through Isaiah, “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create a new Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness. I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people; no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress” (Isaiah 65:17-19).
St. John sees this event unfold in his vision:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also, He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and He will be My son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”Revelation 21:1-8
Will the world end in 10 years? Maybe, maybe not. It could end just as well as tomorrow, even today. Will it be because of climate change? Maybe, maybe not. Yet here is your comfort: the Earth—all creation—is in the Lord’s hands. Yes, this Earth will pass away, and because it’s in God’s hands, it will be made new. And its passing away won’t be at our own doing; it will be at the Lord’s doing. “I am making all things new,” the Lord says. If He is the one who makes all things new, this means He must also be the one who causes the old things to pass away so that He might make all things new.
Therefore, do not fear. The Earth will pass—not at our doing, but the Lord’s doing. Contrary to the opinions of climate alarmists, we will not be our own undoing. More frightening is that the Lord will be our undoing, except for those who are in Christ Jesus—those who will conquer and receive the heritage, or inheritance, of the new heavens and new earth. Thus, writes St. Paul, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39).
Nothing in this life, nothing that is present or is to come, and nothing in all creation—not even climate change—is powerful enough to separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. Therefore, even should the world end in 10 years or tomorrow or 5,000 years from now, take heart in the fact that at that time you shall see the New Jerusalem descend from the clouds in the new creation to forever live with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Theology Terms Used
- New Creation: the new heavens and new earth that Jesus Christ will usher in at His second coming.
- New Jerusalem: the apocalyptic City of God symbolic of God’s restored, eternal dwelling with His people in Christ Jesus, which is to come at the same inauguration as the new creation.