Two eminent scientists have recently stated their belief that the human race is likely to become extinct at its own hand in the next 100 years, as it drains resources through a population explosion and uncontrolled consumption. Ninety-five year-old Australian Microbiologist Frank Fenner, who helped eradicate Smallpox says, “It’s an irreversible situation. I think it’s too late.”
Britain’s astronomer-royal and president of the Royal Society, Martin Rees, questions whether humans are smart enough to use what they have learned to save themselves. He warns that the promise of extended life spans through medicine, and prosperity through economic growth, could easily lead to oblivion by using up Earth’s resources and changing the planet’s climate.
It’s gloomy news – basically we’re all doomed. That’s the best message our humanistic society can ultimately offer. In the light of this we shouldn’t be surprised at the increase in popularity of political parties like the Australian Greens with a strong message of conservation and care for planet earth. And this part of the Greens’ message is not at odds with the Christian faith. In fact God’s first instruction to the first humans was “to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15) – “it” being planet earth.
Ultimately though, if there is no God, we are all doomed no matter how hard we conserve, recycle and reduce emissions. That’s why the Christian message continues to shine bright – and will shine even brighter in the darker days ahead. We are not the result of some random accident. We are not the product of a monkey that got lucky. We are not all doomed. We are on this planet because of a divine creator who loves us, cares for us and has our best interests at heart.
God made this planet finite for a reason – because he never intended us to live on it forever. There will come a time when the prophetic words of the apostle Peter will come to pass:
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness” (2 Peter 3:10-13).
Looking forward – what great words they are. How wonderful it is to “look forward” to something. Looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of those who have been made righteous by God’s free gift of forgiveness through the finished work of Jesus Christ. We’re all doomed? I don’t think so!