Atheists would argue that science and faith are mutually exclusive, and many Believers have been persuaded to accept this view.  History has shown a traditional antagonist relationship between the Church and science, starting in the Medieval Ages.  The suppression of Copernicus’s work, which argued that the earth revolved around the sun, and the persecution of Galileo by the Inquisition, for espousing it, is the classic example of this perceived antagonism.  Another famous clash between faith and science occurred with the publication of Darwin’s theory of evolution.  Religious leaders were threatened by the idea that man may have evolved from apes, for it was and is perceived to be contrary to Genesis, where we are told that God created Adam, the first man.  However, I would argue that any perceived conflict between science and faith is merely the result of confusing scientific fact with scientific theory, with a further confusion of religious theory.  The existence of dinosaur fossils is a scientific fact, but the notion that birds are the living descendants of dinosaurs is a recent scientific theory.  The existence of human-like fossils is a scientific fact, but the notion that humans evolved from those creatures is a scientific theory.  However, to say that evolution does not exist because of the Bible’s teaching, is to confuse religious theory with core religious beliefs.  Even if it becomes scientific fact that man evolved from apes, that does not mean that the hand of God was not behind it.  I would argue that there are no scientific facts which are in conflict with the Christian faith.  Any perceived conflict arises from clashes between scientific theories and religious theories.  I would further argue that current scientific research actually supports the evangelical faith, as that research is supportive of the book of Revelation.The book of Revelation is a book of prophecy, and it foretells what will occur in the End of Days, prior to the return of Christ.  There is a whole body of current scientific research that is supportive of many prophecies found in Revelation, as the implications and predictions made from that research coincides with events that are predicted in Revelation.  By linking scientific research to specific prophecies in Revelation, we will show that science is not the enemy of Believers, but rather it is our friend.

Global Warming/Weather Change

Global warming has been an ongoing debate for a good number of years now.  It is a fact that global average temperatures have been going up.  The temperature rise has been much greater in the Arctic region – the unprecedented summer melt of the Arctic ice has been a vivid symbol of global warming.  Though it is a fact that global average temperatures are rising, it is still being debated as to whether the cause is natural or man-made.  I would not be surprised if it was a combination of both.  Whatever the cause, there is a large body of research that predicts that temperatures will continue to rise, and as that process progresses, more and more adverse consequences will occur.  We will discuss how these expected consequences of global warming can be linked to prophecies in Revelation.

Intense Heat and Drought

The first and most obvious consequence of global warming is – things are going to get a lot hotter.  One researcher argued that average temperatures will surpass current historical high temperatures in 15 – 20 years, with the equatorial regions heating up first.  There are two prophecies in Revelation that directly link to this phenomena.  In Revelation 8:7, it predicts that ‘a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.’  This prophecies implies that not only will things get very hot, but also there will be drought as the trees and grass will also ‘burn up’.  The current high temperatures and drought in California could very well be a case model for what will happen to ‘a third of the earth’.

Parts of Brazil have been experiencing drought to such an extent, that similar to California, water rationing has begun.  Similarly, Brazil has been experiencing higher than average temperatures.  As temperatures continue to rise, any type of water shortage will be aggravated by the additional evaporation caused by higher temperatures.  Though Brazil is not suffering drought to the extent of California, Revelation tells us that this is not an impossibility.

The second prophecy directly related to intense heat is found in Revelation 18:8, where we are told that ‘the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch the people with fire.  They were scorched by the fierce heat…’  Where as in Revelation 8:7, where only a third of the earth was affected by the high heat, we can infer from Revelation 18:8, that this intense heat will engulf a much greater percentage of the world.  The expectations of the scientific models predicting rising global average temperatures will not only be met, but will be far exceeded if these prophecies of Revelation are proven true.

It is still true, that just as Moses brought the plagues upon the Egyptians in a sudden and mysterious manner, God can suddenly cause a massive heat wave to engulf the entire world.  However, we can also see that perhaps God is giving the world plenty of warning of the coming of His prophecies, and it will be through man’s own doing that the world will be ‘burned up’ and ‘scorched’, through global warming.

Warming of the Oceans and Toxic Algae Blooms

Recent scientific studies have shown that not only has the average global air temperatures risen, but the temperatures of the world’s oceans are also rising.  In addition, not only has surface temperatures of the ocean risen, but even the temperatures of the deep ocean are rising.  It is known that warmer ocean temperatures is conducive to the growth of algae blooms, but furthermore, it is conducive for the growth of harmful algae blooms (aka HAB).  A common type of harmful algae bloom is known as the ‘red tide’.  Two distinguishing features of this type of HAB is that it turns the color of the ocean into a deep red – like the color of blood – and that it kills most, if not all, life that is trapped in its waters.  There are two prophecies in Revelation that can directly tied to this phenomena.

In Revelation 8:8-9, the second angel blows his trumpet, and ‘a third of the sea became blood’ and ‘a third of the living creatures in the sea died’.  Later, in Revelation 16:3, ‘the second angle poured his bowl into the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse, and every living thing died that was in the sea’.  Perhaps God will turn the ocean into blood or perhaps the warming of the ocean will progress to the point where there are massive red tides across the globe – turning the water the color of blood and killing everything trapped within.  It is reported that the number of red tide sightings is increasing throughout the world, and that the size of those harmful algae blooms is growing larger.  A similar phenomena is also occurring in the fresh water lakes of the world.

Freshwater toxic algae blooms

In our freshwater lakes and rivers, just as in the oceans, there are toxic algae blooms (they just don’t turn the water the color of blood).  These toxic algae blooms can represent a greater immediate threat, as these blooms can poison sources of drinking water for cities.  Only recently, toxic blooms in Lake Eerie resulted in the city of Toledo having to temporarily ban the drinking of tap water.  Just as the ocean waters are warming, so too are the lakes’ temperature.  Similarly, just as warmer water promotes the growth of harmful algae in the oceans, it also promotes the growth of harmful algae in our lakes and rivers.  This directly ties to the prophecy found in Revelation 8:10-11, were we are told of the coming of wormwood:

The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water.  The name of the star is Wormwood.  A third of the waters become wormwood, and many people died from the water, because it had been made bitter.

There are many threats to the freshwater used for drinking supplies — agricultural contaminants, fracking contaminants, industrial pollution, drought, ground water depletion.  Revelation tells us that the drinking water supplies, whether by toxic algae blooms or by some toxic cocktail of pollution (or both), a third of the world’s drinking supply will turn toxic, and many people will die from drinking it.

Though current scientific research has thrown light on how God may bring about the fulfillment of Revelation’s prophecies, we run into an issue with timing.  On this site, we have argued that Jesus will return by 2048 – a hundred years from the founding of the state of Israel.  However, most predictions for the worsening effects of global warming are for 80 to 100 years from now.  Global warming and its associated impact will need to accelerate and happen much sooner than current expectations if they are to be the forces behind the prophecies discussed above.  Fortunately (or unfortunately), very recent scientific observations would imply that there may indeed be a rapid acceleration of global warming in the near future.

Melting of Methane Hydrates

The increase in the average temperature in the Arctic has been much greater than the increase in the global average.  Nothing illustrates this better than the dramatic and unprecedented shrinkage of the Arctic ice during the summer months.  Not only is the Arctic ice melting in the summer time, but something else is melting – the Arctic permafrost.  In Canada and Siberia, surrounding the Arctic region, is a vast region where the ground has been permanently frozen – all year round (hence the name permafrost).  Trapped with this frozen ground is massive amounts of methane – a greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon in terms of its ability to warm the earth’s atmosphere.  Global warming has now progressed to the point where the permafrost is melting – and this methane is starting to be released into the air.  Similarly, there are massive amounts of methane hydrates lying frozen under the world’s ocean, most often found near the continental shelves.  It was recently observed that along the US’s northeastern coastline, thousands of plumes of methane from melting methane hydrates was bubbling up from the ocean’s bottom.  The water temperature had risen enough in the Atlantic Ocean to start releasing the frozen methane that is lying at the bottom.  One scientific researcher was quoted as saying that even if the smallest fraction of the world’s methane hydrates were to melt and that methane enter the earth’s atmosphere, catastrophic warming of the earth would occur.

As neither the methane found in the permafrost, nor the methane hydrates frozen in the ocean have been factored into current global warming models.  Given this, we can see that it is possible for global warming to accelerate much faster than the models predict – and bring about the prophecies found in Revelation within the next 30 years.

There is a similar issue facing our argument that the warming of the ocean could cause the harmful algae bloom, the red tide, to cover ‘a third of the seas’ – especially within our 30 year window.  However, one study has just recently come out that has identified a possible phenomenon which could accelerate the growth of red tides to an unknown degree – the acidification of the oceans.

Ocean Acidification

As greenhouse gases are pumped into the earth’s atmosphere, it has been found that the oceans are absorbing large amounts of those gases.  The result has been the acidification of the ocean’s waters.  While there are many implications for this phenomena, there is one that interests us the most – its impact on the growth of toxic algae blooms.  Only one scientific study has been published so far on the impact of warming ocean waters and growing acidity of ocean waters on harmful algae blooms.  This study shows that warming ocean waters promote the occurrence of algae blooms, as does ocean acidification.  Furthermore, they showed that both factors, warming water and acidification, also promote the growth of harmful algae blooms – like the red tide.  This result opens the possibility that as the ocean continues to warm and continues to increase in its acidity, the world could indeed become overwhelmed by the red tide.

These is a great deal of scientific research that can be used to better see the coming prophecies of Revelation.  Man’s release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is setting off chains of events that can bring about many of the prophecies found in Revelation.  Science is indeed the friend of faith, especially when it heralds the return of Christ.

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