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IS THE END NIGH?

Chris Packham, apparently, has just had to have three months off work, suffering with ‘eco-anxiety’. He is not the only one. So are the Just Stop Oil demonstrators, not to mention many children and young people who are afraid that they will become extinct along with the rest of the planet. They fear that the End is nigh.

Who am I to judge how much of an emergency there really is over Climate Change? It does seem that there are more extreme weather events than usual, and it does make some sense that this is due to the increased number of human beings in the world and all the things we do and make and waste and burn.

And now there is AI. I am even less clear about the threat that super-intelligent computers and machines pose for the future of humanity and the planet. But I hear some very high-powered techies, such as Eliezer Yudkowsky, demanding a halt to the development of digital substitutes for tasks which up to now have been done by us. He too is claiming that unless we change our ways, the End is nigh.

These days we live with a story that the world has existed for billions of years, with planets forming, and species evolving in a struggle for existence, eventually resulting in us. Now, here we are, overheating our earthly home to the point of sending it all up in flames, and creating super-intelligent robots that may decide to exterminate us instead.

Jesus and the Bible offer us a very different story about the course of this world. In the beginning the universe and everything in it was created by Almighty God, with man and woman the pinnacle of it all, responsible for caring for the Earth. However, the man and woman disobeyed God, did it their own way, and lost their original relationship with him. From there the world has gone from bad to worse, until God sent his only Son into the world to be the Saviour of the world. Since then, some people have turned back to God, trusted in Jesus as their Saviour, and been born again. The rest have gone on in their wickedness and disobedience, spurning God, and doing it their own way. But one day, yes, Jesus will come again, and this world will end.

When that day will come, we are not told, but come it will. Yes, now perhaps the End is nigh. It is no good expecting mankind to avert it, by reducing our use of fossil fuels, or by pausing the development of robots. The trouble lies in the very hearts of men and women: our pride and rebellion against God, our selfishness and lust and greed. We cannot change that, except by turning back to God and turning to Jesus as our Saviour. That invitation is open to everyone, but the Gospel gives us no hope that as a race we will do it. This world will perish.

God gave Noah the rainbow sign:

No more water, the fire next time!

The urgency of this present time is not to stop Climate Change or AI, but to turn to Jesus, be born again and enjoy the hope of everlasting life, not here in this world, but in a New World, new heavens and new earth, Paradise regained.

_____

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