Let’s read those SOLEMN verses: “But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are RESERVED FOR FIRE until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men…But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the ELEMENTS WILL MELT WITH FERVENT HEAT; both the earth and the works that are in it will be BURNED UP” (NKJV). The Apostle Peter was inspired to write earlier (in verses 4-5) “that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’” These “scoffers,” who are all around us today, ridicule the idea that Christ will come again and judge this ungodly world. They believe they have a valid argument because in their thinking, “all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” In essence they are saying, “There has never been a supernatural intervention of God where He has judged the whole word.” Are they right? No, for Peter goes on to say, “For this they willfully forget; that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by WHICH THE WORLD THAT THEN EXISTED PERISHED, BEING FLOODED WITH WATER.” There was indeed a universal judgment of God! God allowed all the water that was in the heavens and on the earth to destroy everything that had life on earth. You can read of this solemn judgment in Genesis chapter 6.

So, just as God created the heavens and the earth with enough WATER to destroy all life on the earth, He has also created them with enough FIRE to destroy BOTH THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH. As we look upon the heavens and the earth we have a tendency to think they will last forever, but in this sobering passage of Scripture we learn that one day they “will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; bot the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” When will this happen?  Verse 10 tells us this will occur during “the day of the Lord,” a phrase which speaks throughout Scripture of the time when Christ will come to judge the world and rule over it for a thousand years (see Isaiah 2;12; 13:6, 9; Ezekiel 30:3; Joel 1:15; Zephaniah 1:7, 14; Malachi 4:5; 1st Thessalonians 5:2, 4; 2nd Thessalonians 2:7-10 and Revelation 20:1-6). It is at the close of Christ’s 1,000 year kingdom that Peter’s prophecy will be fulfilled. In Revelation 20:11 we read, “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, FROM WHOSE FACE THE EARTH AND THE HEAVEN FLED AWAY. AND THERE WAS FOUND NO PLACE FOR THEM.” Time has come to an end and the wicked dead are about to be judged, yet before this happens “the earth and the heaven flee away.” These words agree with Peter’s words when he declared that “the heavens will pass away” and “the earth…will be burned up.” As stated earlier, God has created the heavens and the earth will enough FIRE for this to occur, for all matter is made up of atoms which, when split apart, create an explosion resulting in “elements melting with fervent heat.” Right now all matter is being held together by Christ, as we see in Colossians 1:17 and Hebrews 1:3, “He is before all things, and in Him ALL THINGS HOLD TOGETHER…And He UPHOLDS ALL THINGS by the word of His power” (NASB). But when the time comes Christ will allow “all things to come apart” and when He does the heavens and the earth will explode into a fiery mass and pass away.

But there is GOOD NEWS, for in Revelation 21:1 we are told, “Then I saw A NEW HEAVEN AND NEW EARTH; for the first heaven and the first earth are passed away,” God will destroy the present heavens and earth, but by His grace He will create “a new heaven and new earth” and THEY WILL NEVER BE DESTROYED! They will be the final home of God and His redeemed ones who shall live in perfect holiness and bliss forever! Peter goes on in to speak of this in 2nd Peter 3:12-13, “Looking for and hastening the coming of the DAY OF GOD, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heart…Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for NEW HEAVENS AND A NEW EARTH IN WHICH RIGHTEOUSNESS DWELLS.”  (373.1)  (DO)