2.01.2007

5 to midnight

"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only,"
-Jesus, Matthew 24:36 (and Mark 13:32)

"It's the end of the world as we know it,
I feel fine."
-REM


On January 17, 2007, the Doomsday Clock ticked forward. According to the experts, we're now "5 minutes to midnight," or the end of the world.

Doomsday Clock... ever heard of it? It makes the press from time to time. The symbolic time piece was created in 1947, set at "7 minutes" from the end, and has been ticking forward and back ever since, depending on the current state of the world and who held what nukes. Now, 18 changes later, we're still holding at 5 minutes. And this recent tick, say these "experts," is due to global climate change.

Now, as much as I would like to ask them who exactly is going to be there to set this thing to midnight (...), I would much rather like to ask what is the point of this clock? I can only assume that they assume it's sounding an alarm. If we continue on this path, we will destroy ourselves. So, if we make some noise about it, we can get the world's attention and stop it before it's too late.

Make the majority care to change their ways? This I have every reason to doubt.

It has taken just roughly 100 years for industrialization to pollute the entire planet. That time frame is a droplet in the expanse of human history, regardless of how long you imagine we've been around. And in that time, our Creator has allowed for some incredible leaps and bounds in technology, science, medicine and our basic understanding of the planet in general.

Leave it to us to botch that up by creating unnatural things out of natural (as that was all the source material we had to work with in the first place).

Leave it to us to destroy the beauty of His creation, and desire more and more "luxeries" that all but a handful of visionaries just four generations ago probably never even dreamed possible.

And leave it to us to desire to maintain the ease of a life filled with money, manufactured things and processed meals more than we desire to care for the planet designed to sustain our lives in the first place.

I know some have been misguided into thinking they were doing something good for humanity which ended up backfiring on all of us. But, primarily, we are in this mess as people do evil things, caring only for themselves and how to further their own goals. That's the epitome of sin. And anyone who still reckons mankind is going to "improve" in the future, like sci-fi always promised, isn't paying attention.

Still, nothing is happening that should really be catching us off guard, if you are a Christian anyway. Actually, I guess I should say none of this is a surprise to our Lord. The Bible does speak to things appearing out of control as the Day of the Lord (a.k.a. Second Coming) approaches (Matthew 24:1-51). And for all we don't know about the end of the world, we can be very clear on a few things, such as:

1) Jesus will return before we get to destroy ourselves completely. There will definitely be at least some of us still around during the final events of planet Earth. (Check Revelation.)

2) When Jesus returns things will happen fast, and no one will be able to stop the events that unfold. (2 Peter 3:10 for example.)

3) No one knows when this will happen. (See Matthew 24:36 again.)

4) God is in control of all of the events of now and then. Not us. (Read James 4:13-16 for just a taste of that.)

Now I happen to be a pretty hardcore environmentalist. I do believe that, alarms or no alarms, each individual is called to take care of their portion of the planet, especially if you're a Christian (more on that in blogs future... if I get to write them). But I also take to heart the fact that we are not in control of this planet, or of other people. We need to find the true balance between doing what we've been called to do and realizing He really is in control.

We may be a literal 5 minutes from the end as you read this. Or maybe it's 5 years, or 5 millenia. We just don't know. Whatever time we as individuals, and human history in general, have left, that's time to get to know your Creator. Allow me to introduce you.

And Christian, remember, we have no spirit of fear. Look ahead to the day of your redemption and live now for the glory of God—even if it is only for the next 5 minutes.

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