Climate change would appear to be the major concern many people are focused on at this time. All around the world we are experiencing catastrophic bushfires, cyclones, floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters. People—especially young people—are protesting and becoming politically involved. Time magazine recently announced that 16-year-old Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg, was the 2019 “Person of the Year”. Greta has become the figurehead of the global “school strike for climate” campaign and she wants world leaders to stop “failing us” on the environment because “we are in the beginning of a mass extinction”.1
If people are led to panic because they believe “mass extinction” is coming upon the world, then they will also be led to believe that extreme measures should be taken to save our planet.
Measures like a “Sunday Law”? Pope Francis is a fan of Greta. “God bless you, continue to work, continue. Go on, go ahead,” he told her recently.2
As Seventh-day Adventists, I feel that we have not embraced a God-given opportunity to tell the world the real reason why our world is falling apart.
Though I believe Greta has zeal without knowledge, she does have passion and commitment to speak up for what she believes is truth. How we need such commitment to speak with passion for what we know is God’s truth.
One man’s solution
Elon Musk is held by some to be an innovative and forward thinker. This man has a mission to save the world and he has a two-fold solution:
1. To enable humanity to become an interplanetary species, by allowing us to colonise and inhabit other planets—starting with Mars.
2. To reduce the effect of climate change by transitioning to renewable energy.
“To fulfil the first objective, Musk created the company SpaceX, which has as its stated goal to colonise Mars. And for achieving the second, he runs Tesla, which aims to accelerate the world’s transition to renewable energy—namely with electric transport . . . individuals like Elon Musk genuinely believe that ideas like these are the solution to what they perceive as mankind’s greatest threat,” according to an email from Audio Verse.3
Some of my tennis friends have a far-left-green worldview. They believe the solution to catastrophic climate change is simple: do away with fossil fuel and go solar. OK, let’s stretch the mind and imagine this scenario: Every Aussie and Kiwi agrees to dig a very big hole. We then bury our cars, gas/electric stoves, air conditioners, heaters etc. Having taken this first step, we then “go solar”. Would that really lower emissions enough to save our world? I have run many evangelistic missions to India and have come to see that unless major polluters like India, Indonesia and China joined us and took the same action, nothing would change. I do believe that man’s greed is contributing to climate change.
What does God say about climate change? God has spoken through His Word and through His prophet for the last days, Ellen White. He has drawn back the curtain to reveal who is really to blame for all the chaos that we are witnessing around the world.
The inspired perspective
“The restraining Spirit of God is even now being withdrawn from the world. Hurricanes, storms, tempests, fire and flood, disasters by sea and land, follow each other in quick succession. Science seeks to explain all these. The signs thickening around us, telling of the near approach of the Son of God, are attributed to any other than the true cause” (Testimonies to the Church 6, 408). [pullquote]
In the book of Job we have a clear insight as to why natural disasters occur. When God allowed Satan “to afflict Job, how quickly flocks and herds, servants, houses, children, were swept away, one trouble succeeding another as in a moment. It is God that shields His creatures and hedges them in from the power of the destroyer” (Great Controversy, 589).
Even if all the politicians of the world were to agree to immediately mothball all coal-fired power stations and go solar and green, would natural disasters cease? Christians should not fall for fake news and fake solutions: only our Creator God has the solution to the chaos this world is experiencing.
How thankful we should be that God has revealed to His people the stupendous truths of the past and future through the Bible and books like The Great Controversy (GC). Why is our world facing such a massive increase of “calamities by sea and by land”? The answer is that God is removing His protective care from a world that does not want Him in their lives. This is just as it was in the days of Noah and Sodom and Gomorrah.
“But the Christian world have shown contempt for the law of Jehovah; and the Lord will do just what He has declared that He would—He will withdraw His blessings from the earth and remove His protecting care from those who are rebelling against His law . . . he [Satan] will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation. Even now he is at work. In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow . . . These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous.” (Great Controversy 589,590).
The chapter in GC, “The Impending Conflict”, is a must-read for all who want to know why our climate is changing and who is to blame. This amazing chapter also reveals how that Satan will persuade the people that Sabbath-keepers are causing all the natural disasters: “It will be declared that men are offending God by the violation of the Sunday Sabbath; that this sin has brought calamities which will not cease until Sunday observance shall be strictly enforced” (Great Controversy, 590). It should not come as a surprise to us that the Pope is working tirelessly to persuade mankind to cease from working (and playing) on Sunday for the good of the family and the environment. A Sunday Law is coming just as we were warned so long ago.
The true solution
So what is the solution? Elon Musk is right—the only solution is for humanity to become an interplanetary species, for us to leave this planet. But the only way that will happen is when Jesus comes again. It’s called the blessed hope!
Our world is facing a stupendous crisis. For all of us it will indeed be a time of trouble such as we have never before faced. But for Christians who love the Lord and believe in His promises, it is not a time to fear. Our confidence lies not in science, technology, innovation, legislation or political power—our hope resides in the Lord.
Scientists and environmental activists are anticipating an increase in catastrophic events, and their predictions are in accord with God’s prophetic Word. The earth is groaning because of sin and the workings of Satan in these last days. Let us pray that we may have Christ’s love for perishing souls—and let us pray for holy boldness to tell all who will listen the real reason why our climate is changing.
Roger Kerr attends Nowra Adventist Church, New South Wales.