Note this text from the Revelation,
- “The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great, and should destroy those who destroy the earth.” (Revelation 11:18 – NKJV)
In the coming days, sooner than we might even think, God’s wrath will come. “The nations” will face the “wrath” of God, “the dead,” those separated from Christ, will experience a time of God’s judgment. There will be “reward” for His “servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear (His) name” but for many others there will be a terrible time of dread. One group that is singled out in our text for judgment is “those who destroy the earth.” It is said that God will “destroy” them.
Adam and his descendants were instructed to “fill the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over . . . every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28). Obviously “dominion” and “subdue” did not mean to “destroy.”
It is clear from our passage that there are those who do not take care of God’s creation. Even though a curse is upon the earth due to man’s sin (Genesis 3:17), it does not mean that we are given license to “destroy” that which God has created. And in these days in which you and I live man is in the process of doing just that; destroying the earth and its inhabitants. One writer has noted several ways in which man is carrying this out:
- Global water pollution
- Global air pollution
- Global spread of nuclear and chemical and other sophisticated weapons of mass slaughter
- Global erosion of essential layers of topsoil
- Chemical pollution of lands and food chains with toxic wastes, nuclear wastes, insecticides, and other substances
- Animal and plant extinctions
- Destruction of vital rain forests and other important ecological communities
- And of course . . . through the practice of sin man pollutes the earth, upsets the balance God intended, shows little regard for that which God has given him.
As I move about it is not uncommon to see men and women toss a gum wrapper, or a cigarette butt, or a plastic bottle carelessly out the window of a car, or do so as they walk along the street. Small acts it may seem, but nevertheless, when multiplied by a growing populace, they are acts that have their destructive effect, and that show a disregard for “the earth,” for that which God has created and given to man to care for.
I know that “the whole creation groans” (Romans 8:22), and that it longs for the release from the curse brought about by sin, but that does not mean that while we are here on this earth we are not to take care of it to the best of our ability. Even though “citizens of heaven” (Philippians 3:20), we are called to be responsible occupants of wherever we may currently be. We are to do what we can to take care of what God has given us, not “destroy” it.
Have a good day brethren . . . and as you walk do so as one who acts responsibly toward all that God has given.
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