As I was glancing through the Popular Science website the other day, I came across a post where they were answering the question What’s the Hottest the Earth Has Ever Gotten?
I read their brief answer and to no surprise found that it was answered from an evolutionary background. Their answer said that the early earth reached a temperature of about 3,700ºF when a Mars-size proto-planet struck the earth. The debris ejected from the earth eventually formed the moon. Click here for more on moon formation.
It didn’t take too long, perhaps a millennium, to cool down to 3,000ºF. Over the next hundred million years or so, the earth’s crust formed and from there the surface of the earth continued to cool.
Then they added a reference to the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum that supposedly happed about 55 million years ago. During this time, the earth’s temperature rose between 5ºF to 10ºF.
Their response got me to thinking about how I would answer this question from a biblical perspective. To begin with, I believe that God started creation in Genesis 1:1 with water. He eventually separated the waters below (the earth) from the waters above, which are beyond the visible universe. THEN God formed dry land. So if the earth started out as water, it could not have been any hotter than 212ºF since that is the boiling point of water at sea level.
The only possible time there could have been a significant increase in temperature would have been during the early stages of the Flood. When the fountains of the deep burst forth, that could have been the result of catastrophic plate tectonics pulling apart from each other very rapidly. That would have exposed the oceans and vast underground water deposits to the intense heat of the magma beneath the earth’s crust. As the water and magma came in contact with each other, it would have generated gigantic plumes of steam and water vapor that shot miles into the atmosphere where it eventually fell as torrential rain.
The steam and water vapor plumes would have added a lot of heat into the atmosphere, causing the worldwide temperature to increase significantly. However, it still could not have reached anywhere near 212ºF because it did not boil off all of the ocean and it did not get too hot for Noah and his family to survive.
On the converse, the heat and mechanics of the Flood eventually led to the Ice Age which would have cooled off the earth to some degree. The Ice Age lasted about 500 years as the earth eventually began to warm back up to normal.
So biblically, the earth has never been very hot except during the Flood. At the place where water and magma met, it got hot enough to boil the ocean along those areas and nowhere else.
But, Scripture does describe a time when the earth will get hot enough to destroy everything on it. 2 Peter 3:7 says:
But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
If this were to happen today or tomorrow, are you prepared to meet your Creator? I pray you think about it long and hard and realize that you need to place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Then when that Day of Judgment comes, you will find yourself in glory in His presence. Amen!
by Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
Scripture says that sinners need to be “saved from the wrath to come.” Modern evangelism seems to believe that a lack of love is the sinner’s problem. Jonathan Edwards was an evangelist; therefore he warned sinners about hell.
The Wrath of Almighty God, by Jonathan Edwards, offers 11 sermons and treatises from Edwards writings on the Biblical subject of hell and Gods impending judgment. These are by no means all the sermons or treatises Jonathan Edwards preached or wrote on the subjects of hell and the judgment of God against impenitent sinners. Most of his sermons on these ominous topics remain unpublished.
However, the sermons contained in this book are a good summary of the essential Edwards message on the subjects. These sermons are collected from the “Hickman Edition,” which the late Edwardsian scholar, Dr. John H. Gerstner, called the best value in Christian literature available today, no matter what the cost! This version has been taken the material that deals specifically with the doctrine of hell and final judgment and retypeset it with a minimal number of corrections to modernize punctuation and to clarify some of the archaic terminology. It serves as a systematic theology on the wrath of God, and is a helpful work for students, pastors, and laymen.
Edwards himself believed that the message of hell was essential to biblical evangelism. May God use this republished book to bring sinners to salvation and glory to Himself.
About the author: Jonathan Edwards was born in 1703. He pastored the church at Northampton, Massachusetts before being removed by the congregation. He also was pastor to an American Indian congregation at Stockbridge where he did most of his writing. Edwards accepted the presidency of the College of New Jersey (now known as Princeton University), but died from a smallpox vaccination only a week after taking office.
Hardback; 390 pages