Climate Change and Our Future—What the Bible Says
“The climate disaster is here. Earth is already becoming unlivable.”—The Guardian.
Mankind faces a crisis of its own making. Most scientists agree that human activity is responsible for global warming. This rise in temperature has already changed the climate and brought disastrous consequences. These include the following:
More frequent and intense weather events, such as heat waves, droughts, and storms, which in turn cause more floods and wildfires.
Melting glaciers and Arctic ice.
Rising sea levels.
The climate crisis has affected every corner of the earth. After documenting conditions in 193 countries, a New York Times report stated: “The planet is sending an SOS.” Because of the death and suffering climate change has caused, the World Health Organization has called it the “single biggest health threat facing humanity.”
However, we have reason to look to the future with hope. The Bible foretold the events that we see happening today, as well as why we can expect God to act and what he will do to protect our future.
Does climate change fulfill Bible prophecy?
Yes. The climate crisis caused by global warming fits events the Bible foretold for our time.
Prophecy: God will “destroy those who are destroying the earth.”—Revelation 11:18, footnote.
The Bible foretold a time when human actions would bring the earth to the brink of ruin. As a result of global warming, people today are ruining the planet on an unprecedented scale.
This prophecy indicates one reason why we cannot expect humans to save the earth. Note that God will step in while people “are destroying the earth.” Whatever progress well-intentioned people make in the fight against climate change, it will not be enough to keep mankind from ruining the earth.
Prophecy: “There will be fearful sights.”—Luke 21:11.
The Bible foretold that “fearful sights,” or terrifying events, would occur in our day. Climate change has generated terrifying weather events around the globe. Today, some people suffer from eco-anxiety—a chronic fear of environmental doom.
Prophecy: “In the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, . . . disloyal, . . . not open to any agreement, . . . betrayers, headstrong.”—2 Timothy 3:1-4.
The Bible foretold the traits and behavior that have created the climate crises. Governments and businesses put economic interests first and betray the interests of future generations. Even when they attempt to work together, they cannot agree on the steps needed to stop global warming.
This prophecy indicates that we should not expect that people in general will change their actions and protect the earth. Rather, the Bible states that people displaying selfish qualities would “advance from bad to worse.”—2 Timothy 3:13.
Why we can be certain that God will act
The Bible reveals that Jehovaha God, our Creator, is committed to our planet and those who inhabit it. Consider just three Bible verses that indicate that God will act.
1. God “did not create [the earth] simply for nothing, but formed it to be inhabited.”—Isaiah 45:18.
God will accomplish his purpose for the earth. (Isaiah 55:11) He will not let it be destroyed or become uninhabitable.
2. “The meek will possess the earth, and they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace. The righteous will possess the earth, and they will live forever on it.”—Psalm 37:11, 29.
God promises that humans will live on the earth forever under peaceful conditions.
3. “As for the wicked, they will be cut off from the earth.”—Proverbs 2:22.
God promises to remove those who persist in wickedness, including those who ruin the earth.
What God will do for our future
How will God fulfill his promises for the earth? He will do so by means of a worldwide government known as God’s Kingdom. (Matthew 6:10) That Kingdom will rule from heaven. It will not have to negotiate with human governments on issues involving the earth and its environment. Rather, God’s Kingdom will replace human governments.—Daniel 2:44.
God’s Kingdom is good news for all mankind and for the natural world. (Psalm 96:10-13) Consider what Jehovah God will do by means of his Kingdom.
Restore the environment
What the Bible says: “The wilderness and the parched land will exult, and the desert plain will be joyful and blossom as the saffron.”—Isaiah 35:1.
What it means for our future: Jehovah will heal the planet, even places that have been severely damaged by humans.
Control extreme weather
What the Bible says: “[Jehovah] calms the windstorm; the waves of the sea grow quiet.”—Psalm 107:29.
What it means for our future: Jehovah has the power to control the elements. People will no longer suffer from extreme weather.
Teach good stewardship of the earth
What the Bible says: “I will give you insight and instruct you in the way you should go.”—Psalm 32:8.
What it means for our future: Jehovah gave humans the responsibility to care for the earth. (Genesis 1:28; 2:15) He will teach us how best to fulfill this role as good stewards of his creation, living in harmony with nature.
a Jehovah is the personal name of God. (Psalm 83:18) See the article “Who Is Jehovah?”