MEMORY VERSE: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” – 2 Peter 3:10
BIBLE PASSAGE: Revelation 21:1-5
INTRODUCTION: In Noah’s day, the world was destroyed with water, but God has promised that He would not more destroy the world with flood (Genesis 9:11). The end of the world described in 2Peter 3:10 as the day of the Lord will occur after the final judgment by God (Revelation 20:7-10). This scripture reveals that the universe will be destroyed by fire. Therefore, believers should bear in mind that this present world will not last forever (Matthew 5:18;24:35).
- The Passing Away Of The Heavens And The Earth
- Emergence Of The New Heaven And The New Earth
1. THE PASSING AWAY OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH
The prophet Isaiah foretold the passing away of heaven and earth (Isaiah 34:4;51:6). This refers to the physical heaven and earth-the material world and all it contains- but not to inhabitants of heaven and earth. To “pass away” is to disappear or be no more.
The “heavens” in 2 Peter 3:10 refers to the physical universe-the star planets, and galaxies-which will be consumed by some kind of tremendous explosion, possibly a nuclear or atomic reaction that will consume and wipe out all matter as we know it. All the elements that make up the universe will be melted in the “fervent heat” (2 Peter 3:12). This will also be a noisy event, described in different Bible versions as a “roar” (NIV), a “great noise” (KJV), a “loud noise” (CEV) and a “thunderous crash” (AMP). There will be a no doubt as to what is happening. Everyone will see and hear it because we are also told that “the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.”
2. EMERGENCE OF THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH
In Revelation 21:1, John writes of a new heaven and a new Earth in the eternal state, having seen that “the first heaven and the first earth has passed away” (Isaiah 65:17; 2Peter 3:13). God will create a “new heaven and a new Earth” (Revelation 21:1), which will include the “New Jerusalem” (Revelation 21:2), the capital city of heaven, a place of perfect holiness, which will come down from heaven to the new Earth. This is the city where the saints-those whose name were written in the “Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 13:8) – will live forever. Peter refers to this new creation as “the home of righteousness” (2Peter 3:13).
Knowing that heaven and earth will pass away gives us perspective in life. This world is not our home. “We are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells” (2Peter 3:13). Jesus tells us to have the proper priorities (Matthew 6:19-20). Also Peter, after reminding us of the temporary nature of this world, says, “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” (2Peter 3:14).
CONCLUSION: Believers should remain faithful to the end because there is hope of eternal life with God beyond this present world.