Saving the Earth From Ruin
ONCE before in human history, God saved the earth from ruin at the hands of men. He did so by means of a global flood in the days of Noah. We have no record that men were ruining the physical environment back then. But the earth was ruined in another way to such an extent that God felt the need to act with the utmost severity.
The Bible reports: “The earth came to be ruined in the sight of the true God and the earth became filled with violence. So God saw the earth and, look! it was ruined, because all flesh had ruined its way on the earth.” (Genesis 6:4, 11, 12) Yes, in Noah’s day God viewed the earth as ruined because of the violence and wickedness of mankind.
Similarly, when ancient Israel began taking possession of the Promised Land, God warned: “You must not pollute the land in which you are; because it is blood that pollutes the land . . . And you must not defile the land.” (Numbers 35:33, 34) Hence, Canaan was ruined because of the bloodguilt of its inhabitants. A horrible example of this was their practice of sacrificing young children to their gods.
The Canaanites were also grossly immoral, and this too affected God’s view of the land. He warned Israel: “Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these [immoral practices], because by all these things the nations whom I am sending out from before you have made themselves unclean. Consequently the land is unclean, and . . . the land will vomit its inhabitants out.” (Leviticus 18:24, 25) Immorality and bloodshed ruined Canaan to such an extent that God destroyed the Canaanite nations.
The Ruining of the Earth
What about today? Are we not also living in an age of uncontrolled violence, bloodshed, and immorality? Regardless of what man does to try to rectify the damage he has done to the physical earth, he can never restore to life the estimated one hundred million who have died in his wars during this century; nor can he bring back the millions murdered by criminals or the countless sad victims who die of hunger. Certainly, he cannot restore the estimated 40 to 60 million unborn babies whose lives are ended by abortion each year. Can we doubt that the earth is being ruined in God’s sight by such things—not to mention by the immorality that is so rampant today?
Reason tells us that God must soon act to save the earth from man’s ruinous activities, and Bible prophecy confirms this. But what will he do? The Bible says that he will “bring to ruin those ruining the earth.” (Revelation 11:18; compare Matthew 24:3-14.) Just as a landlord ejects a destructive tenant, so God will “eject” those who ruin his beautiful creation, the earth.
The Bible states: “As regards the wicked, they will be cut off from the very earth; and as for the treacherous, they will be torn away from it.” (Proverbs 2:22) This coming divine action the Bible calls Armageddon. (Revelation 16:16) Jesus also called it “great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again.” (Matthew 24:21) It will be even greater than the Flood.
Is this an extreme or unjust solution? No, God, as the Creator of the earth, has the right to decide who will inhabit it. He also has the right to hold man responsible for his actions. Moreover, if God permits man to continue his course unchecked, the earth will be ruined for everyone, and life will become impossible. On the other hand, by ‘bringing to ruin those ruining the earth,’ God preserves our earthly heritage for appreciative ones. The Bible promises: “For the upright are the ones that will reside in the earth, and the blameless are the ones that will be left over in it.”—Proverbs 2:21.
With God’s help, millions have found the strength to show themselves blameless because they want to be left over to enjoy God’s creation. They also follow God’s high moral standards and avoid violence and bloodguilt even indirectly. Hence, they are not ruiners of the earth in this important sense.
An Earth Saved From Ruin
Such ones now have the joyful prospect of seeing the earth transformed from its present ruined state into a healthy paradise. Why, even their bodies will be cleansed, purified of the ruinous effects of sin. The Bible’s last book describes God’s provision for making all of this possible as a symbolic “river of water of life.” On each side of this river, “there were trees of life producing twelve crops of fruit, yielding their fruits each month. And the leaves of the trees were for the curing of the nations.”—Revelation 22:1, 2.
This inspired vision is a guarantee that God will save the earth and mankind on it from ruin. Other prophecies give an advance glimpse of that restored earth. Consider, for example, Isaiah’s poetic foreview: “The wilderness and the waterless region will exult, and the desert plain will be joyful and blossom as the saffron. Without fail it will blossom, and it will really be joyful with joyousness and with glad crying out.” (Isaiah 35:1, 2) At that time there will be no polluted seas, ruined topsoil, or toxic atmosphere.
More important, the earth will not be ruined by violence, bloodshed, or immorality. Only those who respect God, his standards, and his creation will be there. (Revelation 21:7, 8) Listen now to the glorious results of all these things: “[God] will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away. . . . ‘Look! I am making all things new.’”—Revelation 21:4, 5.
What a happy outcome! How glad we are that God will shortly “bring to ruin those ruining the earth”! And how much these inspired promises move us to want to serve the God who will save the earth from ruination and make it a paradisaic home for righthearted mankind!
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The Bible says that God will “bring to ruin those ruining the earth.”—Revelation 11:18