The Perfect Planet

In the first few weeks of 2021, millions of people enjoyed the BBC series, “A Perfect Planet”. The stunning video footage highlighted the great diversity and intricate complexities that exist on this planet.

The Perfect Planet

During five programmes the viewer was invited to consider volcanoes, the sun, weather, and oceans, with the final episode focusing on human impact on the environment. Amazing footage was shown that proved, without doubt, that whatever your worldview, for all life to function as it does is truly remarkable.

However, your worldview will determine how you react to that breath-taking video footage and the accompanying narration. In using the term “worldview” I mean the lens through which we process the information that we receive – the framework from which we view reality and make sense of life and the world. Every single person has a worldview, from the toddler who thinks they are the centre of the world to the atheist who believes all the intricate complexities in nature are a result of random chance.

Christians have a worldview that is based on the infallible Word of God. They believe the Bible is entirely true and allow it to be the foundation of everything they think, say, and do. Every Christian who watched this series could praise a Creator God who had designed, created and populated such an amazing planet.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).

The unmistakable voice of Sir David Attenborough narrated the series. A few of his quotations stuck in my mind, causing me to contemplate them through my biblical worldview.

"Our planet is one in a billion, a world teeming with life. But now, a new dominant force is changing the face of Earth: humans. To preserve our perfect planet we must ensure we become a force for good."

"Oceans, sunlight, weather and volcanoes – together these powerful yet fragile forces allow life to flourish in astonishing diversity. They make Earth truly unique – a perfect planet."

Planet Earth is unique

When Attenborough testifies that this world is unique, Christians can agree with that sentiment, although for different reasons. My heart’s desire would be for him and others to consider the complexities of this earth and life on it, then worship a creator God and not His creation.

The Bible shows that the earth is unique. The focus of the creation account in Genesis is on the earth and God populating it. The Lord God created it to be inhabited and in so doing He displayed His awesome power and astonishing design.

“For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who has established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: ‘I am the LORD, and there is no other’” (Isaiah 45:18, emphasis mine).

The pinnacle of God’s creation was mankind, made in the image of God and designed to enjoy Him and be entirely satisfied with Him. At the conclusion of creation God saw that “it was very good”. Yet, in 2021, we can all agree that life on earth is not very good. So, what has changed?

Mankind’s actions have changed this earth

Attenborough stated that mankind’s actions have changed this world and, once again, the Christian can nod in agreement but not for the same reason. This earth is now subject to corruption. Death, disease, and disaster are ever-present foes and the reason for this is mankind’s rebellion against God.

When the whole earth was very good, and extremely different from what it is now, the first people, Adam and Eve, enjoyed great privileges. Friendship with God was experienced, and work was not wearisome. Into this ideal situation, the “perfect planet”, came the devil who convinced Eve that God did not want the best for them and there would be no consequences for disobeying Him. Eve believed the lie rather than the truth. Her husband joined her in this sinful rebellion and as a result there were consequences for this world that we all suffer, just as God promised.

Death, disease, and disasters were never part of the original creation, but they are something we all now experience. Yes, mankind’s actions have changed this earth.

Attenborough states: “The future of humanity and indeed, all life on earth, now depends on us", but this is not the case; the great news is that God Himself has provided a rescue plan for humanity and for this whole earth.

Sin brought a curse on us and this earth. But God’s love for humanity is so great that He sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, into this world. God became a man, whilst still being God, and lived among us. After living a perfect life, He was crucified and took upon Himself the punishment for sin, not His but ours. The punishment that should rightfully come upon sinners, such as you and me, was borne by Him.

That is an amazing message. Your future, your eternal destiny, does not depend on doing any works but on trusting in the person and the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Mankind’s actions have changed this earth, but God’s actions are bringing and will bring restoration. When an individual confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord and trusts in Him for their salvation they are personally restored instantly to a right relationship with God. They can know His working in their life to make them like His Son and they also have a certain hope that one day they will see the earth restored and be with Him in a new heaven and a new earth.

We must care for this planet

If you have assumed that Christians should have no concerns for the environment, then let me correct that thinking. The instructions given at the start of the Bible still apply. We are called to be guardians and stewards of the earth’s wonders and resources. Good stewards will not abuse that which has been given to them by another. As this planet and all its resources have been given for man to enjoy and use, Christians should take this responsibility seriously.

Viewing life through a biblical worldview will inform Christians on what actions are appropriate and enable them to get their priorities right.

Today we do not live on a perfect planet but one day every believer in Christ will. God has promised that.