By His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
–2 Peter 3:7
Is life just an endless circle of meaningless events, as Solomon said in Ecclesiastes? Remember, in the first eleven chapters, Solomon was writing from an “under the sun” perspective. But I want to take a look at life from an “above the sun” perspective. In 2 Peter 3, the apostle reminded us that life is not cyclical; life is linear. We are not going around and around, repeating the same cycles over and over again. Instead, we are all moving toward one major event in human history, and that is the return of Jesus Christ. Peter had this to say about those who scoff at the idea of the return of Christ: “In the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation’” (vv. 3-4).
Peter was describing the doctrine of uniformity, the idea that there is a steady state in the universe, and everything just plods along as it has always done. Peter went on to say those who believe in uniformitarianism are forgetting two cataclysmic events in the world’s history: the creation of the world, when God by His very breath, out of nothing, created everything we see; and the great flood, when God destroyed the world in His judgment. And there is a third and final event coming–the return of Jesus Christ, when this present heaven and earth will be burned up forever and there will be a new heaven and a new earth.
We are all marching toward that final event. Why hasn’t it happened yet? Look at verses 7-9: “By His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” There is only one reason this present heaven and earth remain, and that is to give us one final chance to repent. The message of the Bible is that the only thing that can satisfy our deepest desires in life is a relationship with God.
But fellowship with God is not only desired; it is also required. The Bible says we are getting closer and closer to that time when we are going to come face-to-face with God. And the only way we are going to survive that inevitable day of our judgment by God is by trusting in Jesus as our Savior. When we do that, we not only receive the forgiveness of our sins, but we also find the real meaning and purpose of life, and that is to know Him.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Too Much Pain, Too Little Gain” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.