For these things, they are willingly ignorant of. That the heavens and Earth, both before it had water and after, was created by the word of God. And it was by that same word that the Earth was overflowed and perished. And it is that same word that the Earth is reserved unto the fire of Judgement and perdition of ungodly men.
Fire and Water
Love the contrast between water and fire. Both these elements are important in our religion. Prominently in baptism. We talk of baptism by water and fire. You are baptized by water for a remission of sins and after which you receive the Holy Ghost. Next is baptism by fire. Not in the literal sense but maybe by experience. I think “fire” is a reference to a special kind of fire. Not something a normal fire would be used for like warming yourself, but a more purposeful one. That of a smelter’s fire. A fire that is extremely hot with only one purpose–to burn out the impurities in the metal. Once the metals are free of impurities it’s ready to be shaped. I hope you can see some relations to the gospel here.
Next, I want to talk about the Earth as relating to baptism by fire and water. The Earth is alive right? The core is spinning, volcanoes are spewing, the weather is happening, it’s rotating. Maybe the Earth isn’t alive in the sense we understand but in some sense, we don’t fully understand. I mean there were earthquakes, darkness, and a whole host of other bad things that the Earth did when Christ died.
Let’s assume for a moment the Earth is alive. It has a spirit. Wouldn’t it need to be baptized? The entire Earth was flooded and submerged in water. Could that have been the Earth’s baptism? What would be the baptism by fire then? In the scriptures, it talks about the Earth being burned. Maybe that’s it?
Flooding and burning have the same purpose. To prepare the Earth for its paradisiacal glory. The Earth will be renewed and become one of the kingdoms of glory.
God’s Time Vs. Our Time
There is one thing that Peter does not want anyone to be ignorant of concerning the coming of the Lord. That with the Lord, one day is as 1000 years. And 1000 years is one day. Here is the chief apostle, nearly upon his death and the one thing he doesn’t want the saints to be ignorant of concerning the Second Coming is 1000 Earth years = 1 God day. Why? It’s clearly important. I can’t figure it out.
The Lord is not slack in the promise to us of his coming. He is long-suffering towards all men and desires that all should not perish but come unto repentance. In the context of the Second Coming, I think this means that the Lord will hold off the day of judgment for as long as possible in order to give people time to repent. That doesn’t mean he will leave them be though. There could be plagues, famine, wars, rumors of wars, disease etc…All things to stir people up to a remembrance of their God. He loves all his children and wants them all to return to him.
The Lord Comes as a Thief in the Night
Next verse is pretty intense. The Lord will come as a thief in the night. And here is a list of what will happen:
- The heavens shall shake
- Earth shall tremble
- Mountains shall melt and pass with great noise
- Elements filled with fervent heat
- Earth shall also be filled [with fervent heat]
- Corruptible works will be burned up
Heavens shall shake. What could this be? I think one, two, and three all go together as a result of earthquakes. When the Earth is quaking, the heavens are shaking. Cross reference my notes on revelation where I talk about a giant earthquake such as the world has never known. Big enough to make mountains collapse. I don’t know how literal or figurative that is. You know, it’s verses like these that make me wonder what will actually happen during the Second Coming. I have books backed with scripture references but it’s still hard to figure out which ones are correct if any at all.
Brain blast! What if the earth quaking and heavens shaking is in reference to something else? Cross reference my notes on Revelation again. There are giant battles, wars, and rumors of wars around us. There are explosions and earth quaking things going on every day around us. Definitely more wars than during Peter’s time. Maybe Peter described it this way because of all the destruction going on. That would explain mountains falling with great noise. Bombs going off and blowing chunks of land apart. Going back and looking at the list and what I wrote, I could be wrong. I said the list is what will happen when the Lord comes. Rather, could it be interpreted as the things that will be HAPPENING when he comes?
Let’s look at the thief in the night verse. This is the exact wording in the Joseph Smith Translation: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which…” “in the which” is the phrase I think is key. I think it is referring to a specific day. The day the Lord comes will shake the Earth and everything else on the list. But this is a lot of stuff to be happening in one day. Maybe it happens over a period of time?
The Elements Melting
Ok, let’s talk about numbers 4,5, and 6 on the list. Earth and the elements are heated up and melting. The only idea I can see relating to this is fire. It’s going to be hot. Having already talked about war a little bit, I think it is a viable explanation as well. So many explosions, fire, etc that it seems as if the elements themselves will melt away. As a result of this corruptible works will be burned as well (building? Statues? People?)
Peter then says, if all these things are going to be destroyed, don’t you think it would be beneficial to be good? Yep! Be holy in conduct and godliness.
Things in the Heavens Being on Fire and Dissolving
Verse 12 is interesting. First off, he changes the words from “day of the Lord” in verse 10 to “day of the coming of the Lord”. This seems to suggest a more specific day rather than a period of time as I had previously supposed. The other thing he says is that the corruptible things of the heavens, being on fire, will be dissolved. Is this meaning outer space or our skies. What corruptible things are in the heavens? Airplanes? Space Stations? That sort of stuff? Whatever it is, will be on fire and dissolve. This makes me think more space than sky because when it something is on fire or dissolves, it’s in Earth’s atmosphere.
Nevertheless, if we endure, we shall be kept according to his promise. Which promise is that? If ye keep my commandments, ye shall prosper in the land. I can do that.
New Heaven and Earth
And we look for a new Heaven and a new Earth wherein dwelt righteousness. This is in reference to the Millenium. I look forward to that wonderful day. It’s gonna be awesome!
Verse 16 says that Paul has written things that are a little hard to understand. They that are unlearned and unstable (in the gospel?) twist and distort the scriptures unto their own destruction.
He finishes by saying that you know these things before they are coming. Beware lest you fall into a snare and become entangled. Be steadfast in your righteousness.
That’s it for 2nd Peter. Stay tuned for the next Epistle!