Is it important to be environmentalists since the earth will be destroyed? In other words, should we as believers prioritize taking care of the Earth?
Yes! In fact, it is of utmost importance!
In the beginning the unique task God gave to humanity was to be caretakers of the earth (Genesis 2:15). And on the day of judgment it says God will “destroy those who destroy the earth” (Revelation 11:18). In order to be a faithful follower of God and his timeless instruction from the beginning, and to avoid annihilation on the day of judgment, it would be wise to prioritize being a faithful and wise steward of the earth (Luke 12:42).
The handful of passages that mention the end of the earth do so in vastly different imagery, suggesting the imagery of each is symbolic rather than literal. For instance, the earth being “rolled up like a scroll” (Revelation 6:14) indicates the end of sin and death’s reign over the earth (1 Corinthians 15:24-26). And the earth being “melted with fervent heat” (2 Peter 3:10) indicates the earth undergoing a refining process like metal or glass being melted down to be reshaped into a new form, a form of the kingdom of God rather than that of the devil (Revelation 21:4). The “new earth” suggests a transformation and restoration of earth back to a pre-fall, unbroken state in which righteousness dwells rather than sin and rebellion (Revelation 21:1).
To misinterpret these passages as suggesting it is unimportant to be diligent stewards of the earth is a grave mistake. Jesus says when the master returns he wants us doing the things he instructed, and taking care of the earth and its inhabitants has been God’s timeless instruction from the beginning (Genesis 1:27-31). It would be wise to repent of our destructive ways and return to our first works of caring for the earth and our fellow inhabitants thereof (Revelation 2:5).