(Unless otherwise stated, all Bible quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version).
2 Peter 3:7 But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the godless.
In his second epistle, Peter foretells the destruction of our present world by fire. The earth and the heavens that exist now are reserved for judgement, in the coming day of the Lord, and will be burned up, along with everything in them. Peter goes on to remind us that God has done this before. The antediluvian world was completely destroyed by flood, with only Noah and his family (and the animals with him) preserved in the ark. God promised after the flood that he would not destroy the world with water again. But, he never promised not to destroy the world again, just that next time, it won’t be with water. Here, Peter makes us understand that fire will be the means by which God will destroy this present world.
2 Peter 3:3 First of all you must understand this, that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and indulging their own lusts
2 Peter 3:4 and saying, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since our ancestors died, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation!”
2 Peter 3:5 They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago and an earth was formed out of water and by means of water,
2 Peter 3:6 through which the world of that time was deluged with water and perished.
2 Peter 3:7 But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the godless.
2 Peter 3:8 But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.
Let’s stop and consider this point for a little while. God will destroy the heavens and the earth that exist now with fire. Everything here will be burned up and completely dissolved. Skeptics and critics and unbelievers may doubt it, but that’s okay. People doubted and scoffed at God’s message of the destruction of the antediluvian world by flood in the time of Noah, but that didn’t stop God from executing his judgement at the appointed time. By doubting and scoffing, the unbelievers missed the opportunity to save themselves from the impending catastrophe. Their unbelief didn’t void the word of God, but it sure sealed their doom. Thus, God has decreed destruction upon this present world, and no amount of scoffing against God’s judgement will prevent it from happening at the appointed time.
Genesis 7:1 Then the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you alone are righteous before me in this generation.
Genesis 7:2 Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and its mate; and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and its mate;
Genesis 7:3 and seven pairs of the birds of the air also, male and female, to keep their kind alive on the face of all the earth.
Genesis 7:4 For in seven days I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights; and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.”
Genesis 7:5 And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him.
Genesis 7:6 Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters came on the earth.
Genesis 7:7 And Noah with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives went into the ark to escape the waters of the flood.
Genesis 7:8 Of clean animals, and of animals that are not clean, and of birds, and of everything that creeps on the ground,
Genesis 7:9 two and two, male and female, went into the ark with Noah, as God had commanded Noah.
Genesis 7:10 And after seven days the waters of the flood came on the earth.
Genesis 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.
Genesis 7:12 The rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.
Genesis 7:13 On the very same day Noah with his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons entered the ark,
Genesis 7:14 they and every wild animal of every kind, and all domestic animals of every kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every bird of every kind—every bird, every winged creature.
Genesis 7:15 They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life.
Genesis 7:16 And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in.
Genesis 7:17 The flood continued forty days on the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth.
Genesis 7:18 The waters swelled and increased greatly on the earth; and the ark floated on the face of the waters.
Genesis 7:19 The waters swelled so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered;
Genesis 7:20 the waters swelled above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep.
Genesis 7:21 And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, domestic animals, wild animals, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all human beings;
Genesis 7:22 everything on dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died.
Genesis 7:23 He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, human beings and animals and creeping things and birds of the air; they were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark.
In view of the impending catastrophe that will consume our world, how should we comport ourselves? Our conservationism will not prevent the world from being destroyed at the appointed time. Our focus on reversing or preventing further changes to the climate, though noble, will not prevent God’s judgement from falling upon the world. Our concerns and frettings about endangered species cannot save them from destruction. As Peter admonished, seeing that the earth and everything in it will be burned up, what kind of people should we be in our relationship with God? What can we do to escape the decreed destruction?
2 Peter 3:11 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness,
2 Peter 3:12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire?
2 Peter 3:13 But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.
2 Peter 3:14 Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish;
2 Peter 3:15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,
2 Peter 3:16 speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.
2 Peter 3:17 You therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, beware that you are not carried away with the error of the lawless and lose your own stability.
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
Our concern should be how to escape the wrath to come, not the conservation of the planet or the preservation of endangered species. We should be seeking a place of safety to shelter inside, like Noah. God’s grace made a way of escape for Noah because of his faith in God. He was commanded to build an ark of safety for himself and his family, and for the animals he was instructed to bring in, in order to preserve life on earth after the flood. Thankfully, God has provided a way of escape for us too. It’s not an ark of wood like Noah’s, for no wood can survive the fire of God’s wrath that will dissolve every element on earth. The new place of safety is in Christ Jesus, for all in Christ will be taken away from the earth, in the rapture, before the destruction of the world with fire.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.
1 Thessalonians 4:14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died.
1 Thessalonians 4:15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever.
1 Thessalonians 4:18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
1 Corinthians 15:51 Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed,
1 Corinthians 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
1 Corinthians 15:53 For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality.
1 Corinthians 15:54 When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled:
“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
1 Corinthians 15:55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
1 Corinthians 15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Revelation 3:10 Because you have kept my word of patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.
Hebrews 12:25 See that you do not refuse the one who is speaking; for if they did not escape when they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much less will we escape if we reject the one who warns from heaven!
Hebrews 12:26 At that time his voice shook the earth; but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven.”
Hebrews 12:27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what is shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe;
Hebrews 12:29 for indeed our God is a consuming fire.
Christ Jesus is God’s provided ark of safety to shield humanity from the impending destruction of the world. Jesus came to save men from their sins so that they can save themselves from the wrath of God hanging upon this sin-cursed world. Whoever believes in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior and obeys his gospel will be saved. Those who reject the gospel will be damned. Just before the destruction of this world by fire, all those in Christ, by virtue of the new birth experience, will be caught up to to meet the Lord in the air, for onward movement to heaven, to partake in the marriage supper of the Lamb, while the world faces the fierce wrath of God’s judgement. Eventually, the heavens and the earth that now exist will be burned up, for a new heaven and a new earth to be set up, that will be filled with righteousness.
St. John 3:14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
St. John 3:15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
St. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
St. John 3:17 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
St. John 3:18 Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
St. John 3:19 And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.
St. John 3:20 For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed.
St. John 3:21 But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”
St. John 3:35 The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands.
St. John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God’s wrath.
St. Mark 16:15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.
St. Mark 16:16 The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned.
The Acts 2:36 Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
The Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”
The Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The Acts 2:39 For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.”
The Acts 2:40 And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
The Acts 2:41 So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added.
The Acts 16:29 The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.
The Acts 16:30 Then he brought them outside and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
The Acts 16:31 They answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
The Acts 16:32 They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.
The Acts 16:33 At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay.
Romans 10:9 because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 10:10 For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.
Romans 10:11 The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.”
Romans 10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him.
Romans 10:13 For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
In conclusion, our present Planet Earth has been ear-marked by God for destruction with fire, just as certain as the antediluvian world was destroyed by the great deluge. Scoffers may doubt all they want, but that’s not going to change the course of the world we live in. We can’t save our beloved planet from this impending catastrophe, but we can save ourselves from being part of the carnage, by repenting from our sins, confessing Jesus Christ as the Son of God and our Lord and Saviour, and by getting baptised in his name, to receive his Spirit and become united with him. Only those people who are in Christ are guaranteed safety from the roasting the world is going to experience. Rather than try to save the doomed planet, save yourself from the wrath coming upon the ungodly world of sinners! Abandon the wrecked and sinking vessel called Earth, and jump into the lifeboat called Jesus Christ, to get to safety!
Isaiah 66:22 For as the new heavens and the new earth,
which I will make,
shall remain before me, says the Lord;
so shall your descendants and your name remain.
Hebrews 1:10 And,
“In the beginning, Lord, you founded the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
Hebrews 1:11 they will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like clothing;
Hebrews 1:12 like a cloak you will roll them up,
and like clothing they will be changed.
But you are the same,
and your years will never end.”
Revelation 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
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