For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God (Romans 8:19, ESV).
In this one verse – Romans 8:19 – the Apostle Paul summarizes what our attitude toward the environment should be.
I’ve been a part of conservative theology my entire life.
Often, I get the implication from believers’ comments that we shouldn’t be worried about the environment because – it’s all going to burn. I believe that the earth will be purified not annihilated, as the book of Revelation clearly depicts the New Jerusalem on earth (Revelation 21).
In Romans 8, Paul teaches that all creation suffers because of the fall and that all creation will be redeemed in glory.
We are to grow in holiness until Jesus returns, and in obedience, be good stewards of our sanctification. We should also be caretakers of creation. We should be redemptive in our lifestyles and attitudes toward the environment.
It bothers me that environmentalism has become political, with Christians often portrayed as bad for the environment. We are considered by those of differing thought as only being interested in eternal salvation – while in the meantime, we act as masters of creation for exploitation.
Nope, not the Apostle Paul’s thinking in Romans 8 …
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with us in the pains of childbirth until now (v. 22).
Just as we have been redeemed in Jesus, we are to participate in the redemption of all creation (humans, animals, and earth).
Yes, there is a sickness in creation that will increase as the Day of the Lord approaches. There will be hurricanes, tornadoes, plagues, and infestations. Also, mankind will experience growing evil with false teachers, shallow spirituality, and those who oppose faith.
We stand! We don’t give up, as the Kingdom must be redemptive until Jesus returns.
This brings me to prayer. The condition of mankind is a spiritual problem as we have rejected God. The earth’s condition is also a spiritual problem resulting from our rejecting God.
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God (Romans 8:20-21).
We pray for the salvation of all, and we should literally pray for healing and peace in our environment.
This could be the weirdest thought that I have ever written in Interruptions – praying for the environment!
Jesus healing the sick is an example that we can pray for the sick. Jesus rebuking storms indicates that, with His authority, we can pray for literal storms to be calmed, for diseases to stop, and for drought to cease.
I realize that despite our prayers, sinners will be lost, and ultimately God will come back to cleanse the earth with fire.
But when Jesus comes back will He find faith?
Faith that works with the Spirit for many to be saved in a latter-day revival and for a creation responding to the wise stewardship of God’s children.
Our spiritual maturity impacts the salvation of both the lost and all of creation.