It goes without saying that the Fox sees things differently than the way most humans see things.
However, the Fox has this in common with many humans: he is a Believer in God, and a student of the Bible. To the Fox, the Bible is the most important Book on Earth; and very, very magical.
It goes without saying that the Fox reads the Bible differently than the way many humans read the Bible.
I recently accepted a position with a noted Environmentalist Organization. I was very excited about this news, and shared it with the humans I know at my local church. Most were supportive, but one individual expressed his opinion thusly: "The Bible says this World is about to be destroyed, anyway. Why worry about trying to save the Earth? There are more important things, like winning people to Christ."
Within the congregations of the Bible Believers, there are many who feel this way. "End Times" hysteria is so prevalent that it has produced a best-selling Book Series (Left Behind) and now a nationwide movement that firmly believes the End of the World is May 21, 2011 - just 9 days away.
The Fox respectfully disagrees, and furthermore, the Fox believes that People who believe this way have read the Bible wrong. Does the Bible, in fact, say that this World is about to be destroyed? Does it give us a precise date? What can we, in fact, know about the Future?
Perhaps the most descriptive thing the Bible says about the "end" is in 2 Peter 3:10, where it says "the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." The following verse reiterates that the earth will be "dissolved," and in verse 13, tells us we should be looking for "a new Earth."
Another chapter, Revelation 21, describes the "new heavens and the new earth" and it says that the "first heaven and the first earth" will be "passed away."
This is where most students of the Bible close their Books and believe that the case is closed. The Fox believes that a few other facts and verses should be kept in mind:
Romans 8:19-22 is one of the key doctrinal passages of the Christian Faith, and is constantly overlooked by today's Christian apocalypticists.
19For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
These verses clearly show that "the creature," which is here a general term meaning all creatures, Creation itself (see verse 22 where the text defines its terms for you - "the whole creation"), is longing for "the redemption." The creature was made subject to vanity (human Sin) through the Fall of Adam. But the creature shall also be delivered. The Redemption of Christ is Perfect and Complete. Since all Creation fell, all Creation shall be redeemed. It would be backwards of God to allow the fall of His entire Creation, then save Humans only and destroy the rest.
Paul, in Romans 8:19-23, references the "pain" of Creation. Surely this is what we see today, in our age of Global Warming and environmental disaster after environmental disaster. According to Job 12:8, Earth itself is capable of speech and communication... So what is She saying about pollution? Oil spills? Deforestation? Emissions of poisonous gases by her children the Humans? Make no mistake: According to the Bible itself, Earth feels this pain and groans on account of it: and the Bible promises that Earth will be delivered.
So what about the Earth "vanishing away," then? Is this a contradiction?
Absolutely not. Those who take 2 Peter 3 to mean the complete destruction of Earth have misread the chapter. For 2 Peter 3:6 uses the word "perished" to refer to what the World did in the Flood of Noah's day. Evidently, the Biblical "perish" is not the same as complete destruction. It is, however, a wiping of the slate, a starting over, a new Order of things, a new Age.
In the period of judgment of this current world Revelation 9:4 says that God sends Angels who have this specific commmandment: "And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads."
The New Earth will be a passing away of the Old Earth in the same sense that coming to Christ is becoming a New Creature. To come to Christ does not mean you must physically die, but only that you transfer your citizenship to a new order. The New Earth will be Eden, restored. It will be Earth, recycled. It will be Man in living in Balance with Nature again, for the first time in several thousand years: "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them." (Isaiah 11:6)
The Bible foretells a time near the End of human history where governments collapse and economies are destroyed. The Human Population is drastically reduced by war, famine, and natural disasters. But at the end of this period there is a renewal, a return to godliness, a return to faith, and a healing of the Earth. Paradise literally descends from the skies and rests at the site of Jerusalem (Revelation 21).
Anyone who believes this is behooved to honor and protect our current Earth. Christians should be Environmentalists and safeguards of the Eden our God gave us.