2 Peter 3 v 8 - 14

Here is where you will find the oft-used phrase about a thousand years being to God like one year and vice versa! It is interesting that Peter wrote this some forty years after Christ's death and we use it today to explain why it is that Jesus has not yet returned. The same glorious reason continues to be true: That the end of all things hasn't yet been ushered in, because God still stays His hand, patiently waiting for people to turn to Him. When the end does come it will be swift and cataclysmic. In the days of the Cold War and the four minute warning, this passage was seen as describing the effects of a worldwide nuclear holocaust and when we remind ourselves of events such as Chernobyl-where only the sacrificial action of Ukrainian miners prevented it from being a continent-wide disaster involving tens of millions of deaths- and the Fukushima disaster more recently in Japan, we are clearly not out of the woods yet with that potential scenario! Peter is describing this coming transformation of the earth in Old Testament language as the Jewish believers would have been very familiar with the concept of the 'Day of the Lord'. They saw time in terms of two ages: the present age-wholly bad and beyond remedy- and the age to come, the golden age of God. We can read the prophecies in passages such as Isaiah 13 v 9, Joel 2 v 1, 2 and v 31 and Zephaniah 1 v 15. Peter and all the New Testament writers identified these Old Testament pictures with the New Testament belief about the Second Coming of Jesus. We do not need to take these images literally, but we should recognise that it will be a time of absolute terror for those who oppose God. God is coming to dwell amongst His people in a new restored earth and so sin and all unholiness must be destroyed! Revelation 21: ''Then I (John) saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!”

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