THE FIERY EVENTS OF SCRIPTURE
Part One of Three
As another year comes to an end and a new year is on the horizon, it is a time that many optimists will make resolutions in the hope to make the best of what the new year and the future in general, will bring to them.
For many pessimists, their more recent circumstances have them living with much consternation about what the future might bring to them and to those they leave behind.
Experience has shown us that one’s earthly circumstances could change for the better or the worse in a matter of seconds. The new year could be one of many more years to come, or could be the last one before the appointed time for our individual departure arrives.
For the born-again, advancing disciple, he or she lives with the confident assurance (1) of already having received eternal life, settling the matter of where he or she is going when his or her appointed time comes. He or she knows that he or she has been spared from the fire of Hades (2), and from spending eternity future in what Scripture (3) calls the lake of fire. He or she does not live in fear of the coming fiery 2Pet. 3: 10 event, when the present earth melts away in intense heat, making room for the new Earth (4).
His or her confidence is not based on any of the religious traditions of Man, that he or she participated in, or had been put through by others. His or her confidence is not based on the number of good deeds that he or she performed. His or her confidence is based on his or her personal relationship with God. This relationship was eternally secured the moment he or she was presented with the unadulterated Gospel Message and he or she chose to believe it.
The advancing disciple has reached the level of spiritual maturity, where like the Apostle Paul, he or she can truly say that,” For to me, to live is (for) Christ and to die is gain (Phil.1: 21 NASB parenthesis mine).”
But until the appointed time for our departure arrives, we are called to experience whatever current events and circumstances that God has decreed for the dispensation (Church Age) in which He has placed us.
We all have plans for ourselves and for others, but we and they were not created to be a part of anything in human history that took place before our birth or after our death. There are future Earthly events (e.g., Rev. 20: 6/Rev. 21: 1) that believers will experience and participate in after they return with Christ.
Secular science, experience, and history teach that controlled fire and heat are our friends, in that they provide us with such things as warmth, light, and the means to prepare food. But it can also be the source of destruction, serious personal injury, and physical death.
In spite of human efforts to the contrary, things are going to get a lot worse before they get permanently better.
There is a period of time coming, immediately preceding the Second Advent, that is going to be so horrific that if it were not cut short by divine intervention, no life on planet Earth would survive (5). Many human inhabitants, alive on the Earth during the Great Tribulation, will long to die (6), but their desire will be denied.
This hardly describes a world in which it’s inhabitants have prepared themselves and or this world for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, even though many religious organizations would have us believe that cleaning up the devil’s world (7) in preparation for Christ’s return was/is this mission of the Church.
On the contrary, it will be the completion (8) of the Church’s mission (9) that will set the stage for the horrific, end time Biblical prophecies, that take place AFTER the Church is raptured away!
After the Church returns to Earth at the Second Advent seven (some teach 3 ½) years later, the 1,000-year Kingdom of God is established.
During that 1,000-year period, there will be much restoration of the planet, but the “melting away of the planet” event described in 2Peter 3: 10, prior to the establishing of the new heavens and Earth (10), will still be a future event, yet to come.
Ignorance or rejection of what the Bible has to say about the source, and timing of this 2Pet. 3: 10 intense heat event has sparked debate and speculation among believers, historians, secular scientists, and politicians alike.
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up (2Peter 3: 10 NASB).”
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea (Rev. 21: 1) NASB).”
Several key factors should jump off the pages of Scripture for the edified, advancing disciple.
The first is that the timing of this event will come unexpectedly to most of the people inhabiting the Earth at that time.
The rotation of the planet places half the planet in natural darkness while the other half is in natural light during the twenty-four, day/night cycle. Accordingly, for 50% of the world’s inhabitants, the 2Pet. 3: 10 event will take place during the night while most are asleep.
But there is another form of darkness in which the (11) majority live in 24/7. This is spiritual darkness.
This spiritually-dead status of the soul places the majority (12) of human beings in the realm of spiritual darkness 24/7.
The fiery source of 2Pet. 3: 10 will be powerful enough to totally melt the planet away.
To date, Man has developed weaponry that could arguably destroy the human population with direct or consequential damage to the inhabited surface of the planet. However, the melting away of 2Pet. 3: 10 speaks of the dissolving of not only the entire planet, but of the heavens (the stellar universe), as well, indicating that the power source is well beyond human ability to generate.
The new Earth that replaces the present one will have a lot more available land to accommodate the population and activities that God has in mind after the new Earth (having no sea) is established (13).
Some of the details of how these events will impact those who will be present at the time remains to be under the umbrella of the secret things (14) of God.
They will only be made known to Man in God’s timing; be it along the way or by the manifestation of the event itself. God provides us with enough information to hold us accountable, but withholds some of the details in order for us to come to Him by faith, and not by facts alone.
Over the years, and especially with the development of modern-day weapons of mass destruction, many fear that a nuclear or biological war could lead to destruction of planet Earth.
Although such a future war(s) could destroy a very large portion of the Earth with global consequences to it’s environment (15), total destruction will not take place before the 2Peter 3: 10 event.
“I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword (war) and with famine and with (man-made?) pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth (Rev. 6: 8 NASB parentheses mine).”
In order for several future, prophetic events, such as the Rapture, the Great Tribulation, the Second Advent, the Millennial Kingdom, the release and short-term final attack by the devil and his permanent incarceration to take place, the planet and the human race will still have to be in existence.
Just the seven-year Tribulation (including the 3 ½ year Great Tribulation) dispensation and the 1,000-year Kingdom to come calls for at least another 1,007 (some teach 1,003.5) years of history to take place before the 2Pet. 10 event, even if the Rapture we’re to take place today!
The 1,007-year countdown does not begin until after the Rapture takes place. Most theologians familiar with end time prophecy will concur that the fulfillment of the remaining end time prophetic events is right around the corner and could begin with the Rapture today.
Some scientists promote the “red giant” theory that predicts that in about 7.5 million years from now, the sun in the center of our solar system will expand and destroy its surrounding planets.
Others promote the idea of Earth being destroyed as a result of a large comet penetrating the Earth’s atmosphere, resulting in the destruction, at the very least, to the Earth’s natural environment.
Scripture (16) speaks of a future event in which a large object from space the size of a mountain will be thrown down into the sea destroying one third of the marine life and one third of the ships at sea, but again, not reaching the level of global destruction.
To be “thrown” indicates that this will not be the result of a natural accident, but with full intent and knowledge behind the power source involved.
Keep in mind that there was a time (17) when God reduced the population of planet Earth to eight individuals. There was another time when God spoke of wiping out the Hebrews and building another nation through Moses (18).
Global defiance of God committed by the world’s general population and spiritual adultery (19) committed by God’s people, calls for serious consequences.
After the Flood, God promised not to cause destruction on a global level again by water; not that the Earth wouldn’t be destroyed by another source (fire).
In more recent years, Man has taken the symbol (the rainbow) of this promise, and has used it to symbolize what the Bible defines as sexual immorality.
Sexual immorality, be it in the form of heterosexual fornication, adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, or bestiality, has been among the major causes calling for divine discipline since the ancient world.
Note that, in the eyes of God, any ONE form of sexual immorality is just as sinful as any other (20). Jesus took the issue one step further teaching that one can commit sexual immorality without there being any physical contact between the parties involved (21).
It should come to us as no surprise that the devil (22) and his forces of evil (23) would promote sexual immorality of all types among creatures that have a long history of seeking the gratification derived from forbidden sexual activities.
Making moral choices on the basis of how one feels can lead to spiritual disaster. Many things, both good and evil, can impact how we feel and what we desire.
The claim that there is nothing that a person can do to change his sexual activities to conform to Biblical standards is one of the devil’s lies.
Like most of his deceptions, it contains enough half truths to make it appealing.
It is true, that after the Fall of Man, we all come into this world with a fallen nature. This fallen nature will pressure us to embrace sin, seeking some form of temporary pleasure or gratification.
We are not all pressured into embracing the same type of sin, but all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (24). A type of sin that is a great temptation for some of us is of no interest to others and vise versa.
End of Part One
(1)\\tRom. 8:1 (2) Luke 16: 24 (3) Rev. 20: 15 (4) Rev. 21 (5) Matt. 24: 22 (6) Rev. 9: 6 (7) Luke 4: 6 (8) Mat. 24: 14 (9) Matt. 28: 19, 20 (10) Rev. 21 (11) Matt. 7: 13 (12) Matt. 7: 13 (13) Rev. 21: 1 (14) Deut. 29: 29 NASB (15) Rev. 6: 8 (16) Rev. 8: 8, 9 (17) Gen. 6: 18: (18) Exodus. 32: 10 (19) Rev. 2: 4 (20) James 2: 10 (21) Matt. 5: 28 (22) 1Pet. 5:8 (23) Eph. 6: 12 (24) Rom. 8: 23