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Bible study: climate change

Study five: Inspired to Take Action

In groups of two or three discuss:

  • What would a perfected world look like? What would you notice in such a world? What would be missing compared with the world as we have it now?

Read Isaiah 65.17-25: Salvation Accomplished

Isaiah’s vision of a new heavens and new earth forms the basis of the similar vision given to John in Revelation 21. Isaiah emphasises the fact that the new heaven and new earth are God’s work.

The vision reveals a world at peace with itself, a world in which the things that cause weeping and crying in our present world are no more. God, people and other living creatures are all depicted living in harmony with one another.

Unlike the present world, this new world will neither be spoiled nor destroyed but will be a place of unending rejoicing and untold blessing.

Questions for reflection and discussion

  • In what ways do the various elements in this vision deal with some of the causes of pain and division in our present world? Which one do you find particularly inspiring? Why is that?

  • How can this vision (and that in Revelation 21) help and inspire us to work for a greater measure of social justice today?

Time to Take Action

Through these studies we have considered;

  • God’s relationship with his creation

  • The role God has assigned human beings within his creation

  • The impact of human rebellion against God on the rest of creation

  • God’s commitment to the poor, in particular to giving them a fairer share of the earth’s resources

  • The new heavens and the new earth: the final goal of God’s saving work.

It is now time to review what we have learned and consider what action we can take in the light of our learning.

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

  • From your studies in the Bible, what words would you use to describe God’s relationship with his creation (try to think as many as you can that are relevant)?

  • How would you describe the role that God has assigned to human beings within his creation? To what extent have human beings fulfilled this role and to what extent have we failed to fulfil it as God intended?

  • If the Bible implies that earth’s resources are to be justly developed and shared, what has actually happened throughout human history? How do you think God views the present state of affairs in the world?

  • Which biblical themes or texts can help us shape a Christian response to a situation where the poorest people are paying the highest price for a situation they did not create?

  • What practical steps can we take to reduce our personal contribution to climate change?

  • How can we pray for and advocate changes in policy and practice – in our government, in business, and in the global community?

Spend a short time responding to what you have discussed, either in silent meditation or in words of praise and prayer.

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