Renewal or Destruction?

Well, hey everyone. Today’s question comes out of my message from this past week, which, if you didn’t hear it, closed out our sermon series from the book of Isaiah. And we talked about how God according to the end of Isaiah and of course other Old Testament prophets as well, it speaks of God creating a new heavens and a new earth and about how God is going to create a new beginning that simply whenever we die and we go to be with the Lord, that that’s not the end of the story. That there’s actually more to the story. So we talked about God undertaking this incredible renewal renovation plan for the Earth as he creates this new heavens and the new Earth.

Well, one of the questions that comes out of that is isn’t God going to destroy the earth? Isn’t God going to obliterate the Earth and just start over from scratch? Is he really going to renew it? And I think some of that idea largely comes out of the book of Second Peter chapter three, which says this in the King James version. In Two Peter chapter three, verse seven, it says, the heavens and the earth, which are now by the same word or kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

And then if you skip down to verse ten, there again in the King James Version of two peter, chapter three, verse ten says but the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. The earth also, and the works that are therein shall be burned up. And so when we read that, that has caused many people to wonder, well, does that mean then that the earth is going to be burned up? How can it be renewed? How can God create this new beginning without starting over from scratch but actually repairing and restoring the earth?

Doesn’t Second Peter there say that it’s going to be burned up? Well, there’s something that we sometimes miss when we read in our English translations. If you go back into the original Greek manuscripts, there of Two Peter chapter three. There’s a couple different ways that that phrase that the earth being burned up is actually rendered and the King James version renders it one particular way. But there are other English translations that render it another way.

And that way, the secondary way is actually based on the earliest and most reliable manuscripts. And instead of it saying that the earth is going to be burned up in those earliest and most reliable Greek manuscripts, it actually uses a word that carries the idea of the earth and its works actually being found and found out, not so much burned and burned up. It speaks to the idea of if you read the English Standard Version or the New international version. You’ll actually see this. It doesn’t talk about in verse ten there of two Peter, chapter three, the earth being burned up.

But it takes that secondary again meaning of the Greek there to describe the Earth being exposed or the Earth being laid bare. So it’s speaking not so much of obliteration and of annihilation, but it’s saying in a sense that the earth is going to be refined and exposed and that the only thing that God is really going to destroy is the corruption and the brokenness and the chaos and the sinfulness of this world. What he is going to do is he is going to renew the earth. He’s going to create all things new. He’s creating a new heavens and a new earth.

And so you have to go back to those original translations. But that also makes sense if you think about how not just Isaiah, but as I mentioned, so many other of the Old Testament prophets speak about God renewing, not God destroying the Earth, but God renewing. And so the way that I’m describing it to you, the Earth being laid bare and being exposed rather than burned up actually confirms those Old Testament prophecies and it confirms places like Romans, chapter eight, verses 18 through 25. So I just want to suggest to you that God is in the business of renewing and yes, he will judge there is a coming day of the Lord and God is going to expose the works of evil and he’s going to destroy the works of the enemy. He’s going to destroy the work of sin and of chaos in our world and he’s going to bring about a full experience, a relationship with God in a tangible kingdom and experience with God that we are going to just enjoy for eternity for all of God’s people.

And that’s something we can really choice in. Well, thanks so much for joining us today. Keep these questions coming on in. We love them and we’d love to interact with you. Thanks for joining us today.