“…The heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up.” II Peter 3:10
The title of this meditation might more accurately be, The end of the world as we know it, for the Lord will not destroy His once-perfect creation but rather renew or refashion it, just as in the days of Noah He wiped it clean of tis viciousness and gave it a new beginning. John says, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth.”
It is quite evident from many passages in Scripture that the medium by which God will refurbish or renew the world will be fire. What this fire will be like we cannot definitely say. But it is strange that the inspired language which was used by Peter, the unlettered fisherman, two thousand years ago, has an amazingly modern ring to it in this atomic age. Imagine talking about “elements” in an era that did not know about molecules and atoms! True, Peter was not consciously referring to the 100 plus elements that we now list on the atomic table, but, as more than one nuclear scientist has pointed out, Peter’s description of the world-dissolution sounds like a newspaper account of the atomic-bomb explosions. “The elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and then works that are therein shall be burned up.”
This is not to say that the earth will come to an end by some chain reaction as was feared in measure at the time of the early atomic experiments, though it would be poetic justice if God were to let man be the means of his own destruction. It is enough to know that, terrible as are thermonuclear bombs, more terrible is the certain destruction of all that is unfit for the kingdom of God.