We see a picture of the contamination of sin, of transformation, and of becoming new in nature. Radioactive elements like Uranium are toxic to humans. The radiation is like sin in creation. It brings death and contaminates everything it touches with radiation. If I eat food contaminated by radiation, the nutrients in it will sustain me for a time. Though, in time, the radiation poisoning will kill me.
This is true of all food on earth. We may eat healthy food which gives nutrients to the body, however, in time we will die from eating of it because of its contamination with sin. No created thing is free of the contamination of sin. Sin like radiation will ultimately bring death. However, a process of transformation called radioactive decay is happening to all the Uranium on Earth. In this process of transformation, at the atomic level, uranium is being transformed into a form of lead which is not radioactive at all.
Interestingly, uranium actually undergoes multiple levels of transformation before it finally reaches a state free of contaminants. At every level, it changes to a unique state different than it was previously, and it is completely new. However, at each state of transformation, the new state very closely resembles the prior state. One may not even notice or discern the difference from one state to the next. The transformation is often only noticeable and measurable at the atomic level.
Until uranium is completely free of the contamination of radiation, it continues to undergo transformation after transformation and a continual becoming new. Uranium will meet its end, not because it will be destroyed, but because it will be transformed and become new. In this radioactive decay, we see a picture of the new creation being born again and of the continual terraforming of the new Earth until it becomes free of the contamination of sin.
Paul speaks of this similar transformation within our own person. He says we are transformed from glory to glory. The glory of God is a catalyst which begins another process of transformation. From glory to glory, transformation after transformation occurs. Each state closely resembling the last state, but with less contamination of sin than the previous state. In time, we will be fully restored with no contamination of sin. Our final state will not in any way resemble our first state.
We are already seeing this transformation at work upon within humanity. Human life expectancy has increased. A larger portion of the world population is living longer today than it did 100’s of years ago. One may think an additional five years of life from one generation to the next is hardly a transformation at all. Others may think no transformation actually occurred. On the surface, transformation may not be measurable or observable, and yet transformation is taking place.
Scripture tells us in Isaiah 65 a time will come when the child will die at one hundred years old. At present, people in their 80’s and 90’s think someone who dies in their 30’s or 40’s is but a child or even a youth. Their life was cut short. However, there will come a time when someone dies at 100 years of age and is considered but a child. To what age would humans live if they considered someone dying at 100 to be but a child?
If someone’s life is unfulfilled and cut short at 100 hundred years old, how much older is a person whose life is not cut short? A few verses later in the same chapter we see where people live to be as old as trees. Many trees live several hundred years. Others live thousands of years. Both verses are each a different level of human transformation and each is different than where we are now or where we will end. The human body will continue to undergo transformation upon transformation until one day we stop dying. We will then be able to look back and see we are not the same as what we once were. Our ending state will be much different than that of our beginning.
The earth and all creation are undergoing this same process of transformation and continual rebirth. It goes from one state to the next with each state very closely resembling the last state, while still being unique. Many diseases once rampant are now extinct from the earth. The human populace has by in large awakened to the care and stewardship of the earth. We have begun seeing oceans cleaned, air pollution reduced, trash and waste reduced. We are learning to reuse things and to become better stewards of the earth. We are fighting to raise awareness and stop the tide of human trafficking. We have become consciously aware of how our clothing and manufactured goods are produced and the work conditions and wages of the laborers in the factories as well as its impact upon the environment. This is but one phase of many along the way until finally the earth is fully terraformed and is completely new.
One of the interesting things about radioactive decay is that there exists more than one type of decay. There is an alpha decay as well as a beta decay. From one state to the next state, the type of transformation may be different than the last. This is true in us and creation. We may undergo spiritual and supernatural transformation, or we may undergo physical and natural transformation. Both will occur many times before death and sin are eliminated.
One example is the work of former US president Jimmy Carter. He has worked diligently to eradicate Guinea Worms from the planet. This parasite was once rampant in contaminated fresh water supplies in 3rd world countries. The disease is terribly painful and debilitating to those who have it. His efforts have largely been natural efforts. Through natural means, one form of death is being removed from the earth.
We see in scripture where Elisha healed contaminated waters by throwing salt into the water. Here the waters were healed supernaturally. Naturally the salt did not do anything, but by faith and obedience Elisha’s act released the spirit of God to bring healing to the water. Both the work of Jimmy Carter and Elisha were forms of transformation upon the earth, one natural, the other supernatural.
In theory, Uranium takes millions of years to transform from its original state to the second state. However, as it moves from state to state, an acceleration takes place. Where the first transformation could take millions of years, the last transformation takes only a few minutes. This will also be true of the transformation undergone by all of creation. Slowly at first, but then rapidly changing as the glory of God continues to increase in magnitude upon the Earth.