Shall the Earth literally be burned up and destroyed? Or last forever?

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alwaysreforming

Puritan Board Sophomore
There are verses in the Psalms (and maybe elsewhere) that state that the earth shall remain forever.

However, 2Peter below seems to explicitly state a destruction of, not only the earth, but the heavenly bodies as well. It certainly doesn't appear that these verses are referring only to the mankind inhabiting the earth.

(The Bible also says that the heavens and the earth will "wear out like a garment", {entropy- which seems to be in line with the physical laws we know of}

How do we reconcile this? And, matter of factly, IS the earth going to be destroyed?




2Pe 3:7 but the heavens that now are, and the earth, by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
2Pe 3:8 But forget not this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to you-ward, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
2Pe 3:11 Seeing that these things are thus all to be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy living and godliness,
2Pe 3:12 looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, by reason of which the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
2Pe 3:13 But, according to his promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
2Pe 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for these things, give diligence that ye may be found in peace, without spot and blameless in his sight.
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
Rev 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.
 

WrittenFromUtopia

Puritan Board Graduate
The earth will not be destroyed, it will be resurrected as Christ was and as we will be. The New Earth began with the Cross and will be completed at the return of the Messiah.
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
Gabriel, I agree that the new earth began at the cross. But, the act of resurrection or renewal may include purging it through fire to remove the dross. Peter refers to the literal burning destruction of Sodom in 2:4.

So, while that is one view, that I tend to like as well, there are others.
 

WrittenFromUtopia

Puritan Board Graduate
I guess my point was, it will not be destroyed and replaced with something brand new. Our end will be the new earth, not "heaven", and the new earth is THIS EARTH but resurrected (and of course, resurrection in the context of humans requires death before renewal, so that could include great calamity, but not total destruction of the planet itself to be replaced with a new one).
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Matthew Henry's Commentary on 2 Peter 3.7:

2. What the apostle says of the destructive change which is yet to come upon it: The heavens and the earth, which now are, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men, v. 7. Here we have an awful account of the final dissolution of the world, and which we are yet more nearly concerned in. The ruin that came upon the world and its inhabitants by the flood, we read, and hear, and think of, with concern, though those who were swept away by it were such as we never knew; but the judgment here spoken of is yet to come, and will surely come, though we know not when, nor upon what particular age or generation of men; and therefore we are not, we cannot be, sure that it may not happen in our own times: and this makes a very great difference, though it should be admitted that they were equal in every other respect, which yet must not be allowed, for there were some, though very few, who escaped that deluge, but not one can escape in this conflagration. Besides, we were not in reach of the one, but are not sure that we shall not be included in the other calamity. Now therefore to see the world to which we belong destroyed at once--not a single person only, not a particular family only, nor yet a nation (even that which we are most nearly interested in and concerned for), but the whole world, I say, sinking at once, and no ark provided, no possible way left of escaping for any one from the common ruin, this makes a difference between the desolation that has been and what we yet are to expect. The one is already past, and never to return upon us any more (for God has said expressly that there shall never any more be a flood to destroy the earth, Gen. ix. 11-17); the other is still behind, and is as certain to come as the truth and the power of God can make it: the one came gradually upon the world, and was growing upon its inhabitants forty days, before it made an utter end of them (Gen. vii. 12, 17); this other will come upon them swiftly and all at once (2 Pet. ii. 1): besides, there were in that overthrow (as we have said) a few who escaped, but the ruin which yet awaits this world, whenever it comes, will be absolutely a universal one; there will not be any part but what the devouring flames will seize upon, not a sanctuary left any where for the inhabitants to flee to, not a single spot in all this world where any one of them can be safe. Thus, whatever differences may be assigned between that destruction of the world and this here spoken of, they do indeed represent the approaching as the most terrible judgment; yet that the world has once been destroyed by a universal deluge renders it the more credible that it may be again ruined by a universal conflagration. Let therefore the scoffers, who laugh at the coming of our Lord to judgment, at least consider that it may be. There is nothing said of it in the word of God but what is within reach of the power of God, and, though they still should laugh, they shall not put us out of countenance; we are well assured that it will be, because he has said it, and we can depend upon his promise. They err, not knowing (at least not believing) the scriptures, nor the power of God; but we know, and we do or ought to depend upon, both. Now that which he has said, and which he will certainly make good, is that the heavens and the earth which now are (which we are now related to, which still subsist in all the beauty and order in which we see them, and which are so agreeable and useful to us, as we find they are) are kept in store, not to be, what earthly minds would wish to have them, treasures for us, but to be what God will have them, in his treasury, securely lodged and kept safely for his purposes. It follows, they are reserved unto fire. Observe, God's following judgments are more terrible than those which went before; the old world was destroyed by water, but this is reserved unto fire, which shall burn up the wicked at the last day; and, though this seems to be delayed, yet, as this wicked world is upheld by the word of God, so it is only reserved for the vengeance of him to whom vengeance belongs, who will at the day of judgment deal with an ungodly world according to their deserts, for the day of judgment is the day of the perdition of ungodly men. Those who now scoff at a future judgment shall find it a day of vengeance and utter destruction. "Beware therefore of being among these scoffers; never question but the day of the Lord will come; give diligence therefore to be found in Christ, that that may be a time of refreshment and day of redemption to you which will be a day of indignation and wrath to the ungodly world."

Matthew Poole's Commentary on 2 Peter 3.7:

2 Pet 3:7. The heavens; the ethereal, or starry heaven, as well as aerial; for, 2 Pet 3:10,12, he distinguisheth the heavens that are to perish by fire, from the elements; and 2 Pet 3:13, he opposeth a new heaven to that heaven which is to be consumed; but the new heaven is not meant merely of the aerial heaven. And why should not this be meant of the same heavens, which elsewhere in Scripture are said to perish? Job 14:12; Ps 102:26: All of them wax old, etc. By the same word; the same as 2 Pet 3:5. Are kept in store; are kept safe as in a treasury, and untouched for a time, that they may be destroyed at last. Reserved unto fire; that they may be consumed by it. The destruction of the world by fire at the last day, is opposed to the destruction of it by water in the flood. Against the day of judgment; the general judgment. And perdition of ungodly men; this the apostle speaks with an emphasis, because they were ungodly against whom he here bends his discourse.
 
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