Nuclear War - Will the earth be destroyed?

Please click here for a short article on how the war in iraq relates to Bible Prophecy.

It has been a looming threat for 50 years, since "The Bomb" was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end the Second World War. These fears are renewed with India, Pakistan and now North Korea having nuclear capability, or potential. Chemical or Biological weapons also provide a terrifying threat to life. If terrorists were to use such weapons would the allied forces use Nuclear weapons in retaliation?

Those who know their Bibles worry about references which seem to suggest the earth may in fact be destroyed. 2 Peter 3:6-12 would seem to contain language which suggests this:

" ... The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the 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. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved..."

Cause for alarm and fear? No. The verse includes "the heavens", as well as the earth; the heavens are where God dwells, so it is inconceivable that this verse is referring to a literal destruction. Earlier on in the chapter Peter talks of a previous occasion when "the heavens and the earth" were destroyed:

"... the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water; whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished..." (2 Peter 3:5)

This is referring to the time of Noah's Flood, which we read about in Genesis 7.21-22:

"And all flesh died that moved upon the earth ... all in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died."

But we note that while humans and animals died, the earth itself was NOT destroyed! When Peter talks about "the world", the original Greek word is "kosmos" - kosmos does not relate to the earth, as the created globe, but literally means "the arrangement of things" and is often used of Human society on the earth.

In the Old Testament, Moses addressed the elders and people of Israel by saying, "Hear, O heavens and give ear, O earth" ( Deuteronomy 32:1). In other words "the heavens and the earth" = the human, social arrangement of things on the earth, never the globe itself. So the first "heavens and earth" were the things destroyed at the Flood. Peter then mentions another "heavens and earth":

"the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men"
(2 Peter 3: 7)

(Note the word "men" - not the globe itself). Peter is talking about the then-existing "heavens and earth" i.e. the Jewish world, which was about to be destroyed by the Romans . And so, coming back to the verses we originally looked at, we come to a third "heavens and earth", i.e. the "arrangement of things" lasting from the Jewish age to the time of the return of Jesus to the earth , i.e. our present world, or age.

Jesus himself talks of these times in Luke 21:24-27, where he outlines the end of the Jewish age, and "the times of the Gentiles", which end with the return of Jesus to the earth. Jesus talks of :

"men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be taken".

He also tells those who are looking for his coming to "lift up their heads, for our redemption draweth nigh". In Isaiah we are given this marvellous assurance:

"For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, HE CREATED IT NOT IN VAIN; HE FORMED IT TO BE INHABITED: I am the LORD; and there is none else."
( Isaiah 45.18)

The message then is that God will not let mankind destroy the earth. Instead we find from reading the Bible that God has a definite plan and purpose with this earth and the people on it. The only way to find out about this plan is by reading and understanding the Bible. We have a completely free course available, which is designed to help you read your Bible, enabling you to find out what this plan and purpose is.


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