Misguided religious understandings can frequently lead to clashes with scientific evidence. We have pointed out many times the biblical and scientific problems with premillennial dispensational eschatology (end-times theories). Dr. Al Truesdale has written an article in the ASA Journal titled “Last Things First: The Impact of Eschatology on Ecology.” (See link below.) In the article, he points out that if you maintain that God will suddenly take believers to heaven before the dramatic destruction of Earth, there is no need to be concerned about the environment.
Second Peter 3:10-11 predicts the end of planet Earth. The passage describes the destruction of Earth when the elements will be destroyed by fire. If this planet will be burned to nothing, why take care of it? Some suggest that if the planet is to be destroyed in the relatively near future, there is no need to be concerned about climate change. Why sacrifice to preserve what will be destroyed anyway?
We all know that there are passages in the Bible that talk about things being everlasting. The word translated “everlasting” in passages like Isaiah 24:5 and Jeremiah 32:40 is the Hebrew word “olam” meaning “age-lasting.” That does not intend to suggest an eternal time-frame. No Hebrew word affirms an eternal duration to anything except God. The Bible has numerous references to the end of the age.
In addition to problems with the destruction of the cosmos, premillennial dispensational eschatology attempts to make God’s Kingdom and the return of Christ into a political event of a physical kingdom. The new heaven and the new Earth of Revelation 21 and 22 are spiritual in nature. First Corinthians 15:50-57 makes it clear that it is not a physical, political war that Jesus is coming to wage. His purpose is to return us to a relationship with God that is spiritual.
God told the man to “take care of the garden, dress and keep it” (Genesis 2:15), and the Bible gives no time-frame for when the cosmos will be dissolved. Taking God’s word “literally” means caring for the Earth and all God has given us. We cannot justify exploiting and destroying planet Earth based on the premillennial dispensational eschatology theories of human denominations.
— John N. Clayton © 2020
Dr. Truesdale’s article is in the American Scientific Affiliation Journal, Perspectives on Science and the Christian Faith, March 2020, pages 3-14. Read it online HERE.