True Christian living requires us to live according to Kingdom standards which bring Heaven to earth
Christians Are Called to Protect the Environment
-A Scriptural Perspective-
By: Frank L. Hoffman
Christian are called to protect the environment, but over the years we have contributed to some of the worst destruction. It's time we repent of our past actions, and begin to make a positive difference in this world.
Let's begin our brief Scriptural journey by looking at the two commandments that Jesus said were the greatest (Matthew 22:34-40).
34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.
35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
If we truly love the Lord with every part of our being and everything that we have, then we will also love His creation which He considered to be "very good" (Genesis 1:31). This is very similar to our parents making us something very special or giving us a very precious family heirloom. Think of how hurt and upset they would be if we deliberately destroyed it. To understand this is wisdom, for it's the same way that God feels; that is, if we also believe that He created us in His image (Genesis 1:26). For if we are in His image, then we have His feelings, too.
In the Lord's Prayer, we are taught to pray that the perfectness of heaven would also be upon this earth - "Thy kingdom come, Thy will we done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). There is no pain or suffering or death in heaven (Revelation 21:4), yet we have caused a great deal of it here on the earth to each other, to the animals and to the environment. I'm afraid we have for too long a time prayed empty words. It's time we begin to pray this prayer with meaning, and work with God to bring it to pass.
In Romans 8:18-25, Paul ties together our own salvation with that of the whole of creation.
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.
20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope
21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?
25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
The whole of creation is suffering because of the evil in this world. The physical world is suffering; the animals are suffering, and we are suffering. And we humans are the ones who caused it, and continue this evil. We who are born again are supposed to be able to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3) and all its perfection, and yet we do very little to bring it to earth as we pray. It's time to repent and change our ways, and help save the earth along with our fellow human beings. Perhaps our fellow human beings would find us more believable if we lived a truly kingdom life, and come and seek the God we say we know. If we are truly the sons and daughters of God, then others should see these qualities in us and desire what we have. As sons and daughters of God, we are to be the peacemakers of this earth (Matthew 5:9) and not its destroyers. We have been called to protect the environment.
Watercolor painting by Mary T. Hoffman - God's Creation in Art
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