In science fiction, terraforming is an idea where a hazardous, harsh, uninhabitable alien planet is transformed to be made habitable for a new species who had never previously lived on that planet. Every part of the planet is transformed: the atmosphere, temperatures, terrain, plants, animals, the composition of the elements, everything. No part of the old planet remains. It is given a new nature. Once the terraforming is complete, the planet is a new planet. It becomes born again. Prior to the change, the planet’s environment is toxic, and the new species would die if it were placed into that environment. The earth in its present state is toxic because of sin. Anything which tries to live here dies. It cannot survive.
The Earth must be terraformed in order for the new creation to be able to live here eternally. Every portion of the earth must be transformed. Even sunlight which provides the natural source of most of the life on earth is contaminated by sin, subjected to futility and perpetuates death. As much as the sun sustains life, it also brings destruction causing aging and cancer, death and decay, so it must be transformed.
The terraformed earth is the new earth. If the earth is new, then the old earth has passed away. It has come to an end. For too long, a prevailing thought has foretold of the end of the world. Armageddon, the great war, brings about a huge nuclear fallout and most of life on the earth is destroyed. No clean water and no vegetation are found upon the earth. The entire earth becomes a desert wasteland. All human systems are destroyed and those who remain exist in anarchy on the fringe of life and death. Essentially, the world is destroyed in the great apocalypse.
To say the earth will be destroyed is to condemn the earth. For too long now, the church has had an end time theology which condemned the earth to a death sentence. The earth or rather humans on the earth will self-destruct. Somehow Christians barely escape at the last second as the earth goes up in huge ball of fire. These types of end times’ ideas which includes the destruction of the world come from an Old Testament mindset. Paul calls it the ministry of condemnation.
However, in Jesus, the heart of God is revealed. Jesus was sent not to condemn the earth but to save it from destruction. Paul calls this the ministry of reconciliation. This not just the people but all of creation, every person, every animal, every plant, every created thing reconciled back to God. The end of the world will not come because of sin or war. No amount of death, war, pestilence, famine, or disease will bring about the end of the world. The world will not end because of destruction but because of transformation. The old world will end because it has become new. In transformation, the world and all creation are reconciled back to God.
Reconcile the earth.