Why Did God Make Dinosaurs Go Extinct?

Why did God make the dinosaurs go extinct? Is it true they just didn’t evolve to their (new) environment?

I appreciate this question. It shows that some are thinking and trying to struggle with the facts that surround our world. We talked a little about the dinosaurs in the last question and answer session. These animals did exist. There is abundant evidence that man walked around on the earth with these creatures. The Bible even contains some information about them and we looked at this evidence in the book of Job last time. However, we did not deal with the question of what happened to the dinosaurs.

The truth is that we really don’t know what happened to the dinosaurs. We know they lived on the earth at one time, but that they stopped living on the earth at a certain period of time. We really do not have to answer this question as Christians because it does not affect our Christianity. However it happened, it happened within the context of the history of the Bible and there have been some people who have advanced some theories as to how they died out.

One of those theories is that the global flood produced a climate change on the earth in which the dinosaurs could no longer survive. However, the book of Job was written after the flood and some dinosaurs still existed at that time. So, it could not have been something that happened in a short period of time.

Another theory is that dinosaurs are just reptiles that lived several hundred years just as man lived hundreds of years. This theory states that unlike people, reptiles never stop growing. That is, they continue to grow as long as they are alive. Living several hundred years would produce very large reptiles. However, when man’s life span was shortened, the life span of animals was shortened as well and so reptiles just do not grow as big as they used to grow.

A third theory is that they existed after the flood and that men just hunted them to extinction. We know of species of animals that have been hunted to extinction in recent centuries. One such example is the Dodo bird. There have been other species that have been hunted to near extinction such as the Humpback whale. It is very possible that men hunted these animals for various by-products and in such a way they became extinct.

The bottom line is that the Bible does not specifically tell us how these creatures died out. We know that God created them and that they lived upon the earth, but that they eventually died out. How they died out, the Bible does not say and we will just have to be happy with that answer.

Bert Thompson in a paper he wrote regarding Dinosaurs had this to say, “We feel it the safer course to simply say that we do not know specifically why the dinosaurs died out, or when. It is best to leave the matter an ‘unknown’ since certainty is impossible.” We read in Deuteronomy 29:29, “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

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Will We See the Lost From Heaven?

In the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus, Abraham and Lazarus could see across the gulf into Hades. Is that how its going to be when we get to heaven? Are we going to be able to see the pain those in Hell are going through or was this just part of the parable Jesus was telling to prove a point?

This is a very challenging question. And I am not sure that I have all of the answers in regard to how things are going to be in heaven. This story is found in Luke 16:19-31.

First, this story really does not fit the definition of a parable so I am loath to say that it was a parable. The classic definition of a parable that I grew up with was that a parable is “an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.” Well, this story is more of a heavenly story with a heavenly meaning. Additionally, Jesus uses the name of a specific beggar. Most parables that are clearly parables use roles instead of names. Such as “a sower went out to sow” or “there was a certain judge” or “steward” or “son” or “Samaritan.” The idea being that parables never deal with specific people. But Jesus is very specific in this story naming a specific person and this would be rather unusual for a parable.

Second, it would not have been beyond the ability of Jesus (being the Son of God and God himself) to reach into life after death and give us a glimpse of how things are going to be. One of the points of the story is that we only have one life in which we have opportunity to make our life right with God. Certainly giving us a glimpse of what things are going to be like immediately after death is a good motivating factor for us to pay attention to what Jesus says in this regard so we don’t repeat the behavior of the rich man in the story.

Having these things in mind, the question centers around the question of whether in Heaven, like in this Hadean world, we will be able to glimpse over and see those in Hell. Well, I just don’t know what the answer to that question is. I do know that the answer has to be either “Yes” or “No.” Assuming the answer is “Yes, we will be able to see those suffering in hell,” then I know that whatever we see is not going to take away from the joy that God has promised that the faithful will receive in heaven (John 15:11; 1 John 1:4). I also know that the scriptures teach that God is going to wipe away all tears in that place and that there will be no more crying or sorrow (Revelation 21:4). I also know that when we are resurrected, we will be changed. We will not have the same passions and emotions that this earthly body has. We will be in a different form and we will have different experiences. There will no longer be any giving and taking in marriage (Matt.22:30; Mark 12:25). This implies that sexuality will no longer be an issue in that body. So it is going to be different.

Assuming that the answer to this question is “No, we will not be able to see those who are in hell,” we still will have to deal with the knowledge that some did not make it to heaven. Again, part of the change from a physical body to a spiritual one, no doubt, is going to involve the ability to deal with the knowledge of loved ones who were lost to sin. But even assuming that we would still be able to have feelings for these loved ones, I trust completely in the promise of God that He will wipe away all tears. Herein lies the basis for all Christian hope. That we trust that God will take care of us when we believe and obey His word.

So regardless of whether we will or will not be able to glimpse those in hell when we are in heaven, God will ensure that our heavenly joy will be completely intact.

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Is Ezekiel 28 Referring to Satan’s Fall?

In Ezekiel 28, I have understood that this is referring to the King of Tyre. However, I’ve heard parts of it referred to as describing Satan’s fall, especially verses 11 and following. Could this be a dual meaning in this chapter?

Let’s read together verses 11-19. First of all, the context is set in verse 1 that Ezekiel is prophesying regarding the king of Tyre. This is the plain meaning of this verse and we have no other scriptures that would indicate that we should take the passage in any other way. Verses 1-10 talk about the pride of the king of Tyre and describe him as one who has “set thy heart as the heart of God.” In other words, he has put himself in the place of God. Due to this pride, he was going to be destroyed and killed. Verses 1-10 are the clear prophecy regarding Tyre. Verses 11-19 constitute a lamentation regarding the king of Tyre. The lamentation is a figure of language that compares and contrasts both the blessings of God as the result of righteous behavior with the curse of God as a result of wicked behavior. The conclusion is that the person being lamented either has fallen or will fall as a result of his sin. Having this in mind, when we read verses 11-19 we must understand that this is figurative language describing the former blessing of the king of Tyre when he was being faithful to God. Remember that the king of Tyre, at one time, was a friend of David and helped to build the temple. The passage goes on to describe the subsequent ruin of the king after losing faith and putting his trust into material possessions. We should also keep in mind that Ezekiel is not describing just one kingship, but a dynasty of kings. The expression “king of Tyre” doesn’t refer to just one man, but to the succession of kings that governed Tyre.

The figurative language that Ezekiel uses describes the great blessings that were once shed on this dynasty. These blessings were comparable to Eden, God’s garden. Although we don’t know much regarding God’s relationship with non-Jewish people in the Old Testament, we know that God still observed them and extended salvation to them. In this regard, the king of Tyre was like the anointed cherub; he walked in the mountain of God and in the midst of the stones of fire–all figurative language describing a relationship with God that was approved. Notice verse 15 says that he was “perfect in his ways.” Again, this emphasizes that a right relationship with God was maintained for a while. But then the kings started to choose wickedness over righteousness and lost their good relationship with God. This was due both to sinful commerce and pride on the part of the kings of Tyre. Notice the relationship changed. He was cast out of the mountain and destroyed so that he could no longer approach God to have a relationship with Him. We have additional language describing the pride of the king of Tyre in verse 17. In verses 18 and 19 we have the final promise of destruction and bewailment of those who knew the king in his former glory.

This is highly figurative language and as such we should be careful only to interpret it in light of clear biblical teaching. Verses 1 and 11 are clear that this is speaking regarding the king of Tyre. In the absence of other clear Biblical teaching regarding Satan’s fall, it would be a very unwise course of action fraught with questionable hermeneutics to declare this scripture as a description of the fall of Satan.

There are some, however, who do interpret this passage in this way. Those who do are they who have a point to prove regarding their doctrine of Premillennialism. They are eager to go forth into such highly figurative passages such as this and apply them readily to Satan in order to justify their fanciful interpretations of the book of Revelation particularly in regard to the 1000 year reign of Christ on earth. It did not take me very long to find a reference to this 1000 years when looking at one of their commentaries. Those who interpret this passage in this way argue for the following things:

1) That the mention of Eden in this passage is referring to a literal place upon the earth before God created the Garden of Eden we read about in Genesis 1.
2) That the mention of this person being a cherub of God meant that he was literally a cherub or an angel in the presence of God.
3) That the “mountain of God” refers to a literal pre-Adamic kingdom upon the earth over which Satan ruled upon a literal throne.
4) That the expression “cast to the ground” in verse 17 means that he was literally cast out of heaven.

Such an exegesis of this passage of scripture simply cannot be taken seriously as it completely ignores the immediate context regarding the destruction of the city of Tyre (chapters 26 and 27) and the clear language that chapter 28 is referring to the fall of the king of Tyre. It also ignores the clear statement in verse 12 regarding this section of scripture being a lamentation–a type of a figure of speech. In other words, it is not to be taken literally, but is figurative in nature.

It also ignores one of the primary accusations against the king–material corruption. Verses16 and 18 state that it is because of merchandising that the king was being brought down and his subsequent pride as a result of the great material wealth that came and went through the city of Tyre. Why would Satan be concerned with material wealth if he was a cherub or angel of God?

We better stay with the clear teaching of scripture in the immediate context as to what these things are referring. Now there are some lessons to be learned from this passage regarding what God thinks about materialism and pride. Certainly these lessons could be applied to anyone who would lift themselves up as God and act in such a way so as to be materialistic and boastful so that he no longer shows a dependency upon God. In this sense, as an application of the lessons that we can learn from the fall of the king of Tyre, we can apply this passage to anyone who would be prideful and materialistic, and that may very well apply to Satan. However, it is fanciful to say that this passage contains DIRECT references to the history of Satan.

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