Is the World Going to Burn Up?
Back during Easter, I taught on “the Beginning”. We talked about the whole time line of world events from History and the Bible. Several things came up and I was unable to finish the series.
What is going to happen in the end? We want to know. We are curious.
Here is why:
Our perception of the end directly shapes the way we live now.
Eschatology is the part of our study of God that is concerned with the final events of the world, or the ultimate destiny of humanity.
For those of you who grew up in church, you probably have been taught some version of the end of the world. Heaven and Hell. Some churches talk about it a whole lot. The church I grew up in talked about it all the time!
We are going to spend the next few months on 1st Wednesdays talking about some key parts to Eschatology. Second Coming of Jesus, Marriage, Great Battle, Judgment/Justice, Harvest, Birth.
Tonight, we will start with a part that most might not think is important, but I believe it is one of the core concepts that Eschatology deals with.
Will the earth end or not? Will this place burn up until it no longer exists? Your belief on that topic shapes how you live your life today.
A prevailing teaching in churches today is that the earth is going to end (burn up or blow up). If that is the case, then these conclusions surface:
- I don’t care about the earth.
- I want to be saved and stay saved so that I am not left behind.
- I look for signs of the times that will threaten me and motivate me back to Jesus.
Most people don’t realize this, but this eschatology really is very ME centered.
- The only part that is not, is the responsibility to tell other people about Jesus so they won’t be burnt or blown up.
On the surface, this seems selfless, but in reality it is human centered. God is a part of the story, but in the supporting cast. He is here to save you.
There is one passage in 2Peter 3 that talks of a great fire and purging, yet it never says that this is a destroying fire. Instead, it is a purging. It compares the fire to the flood of Noah. The earth wasn’t destroyed in the flood. It was purified in the flood. The same with the refiners fire.
Another Picture is that this whole thing is not about YOUR salvation, but this whole thing is about God. We all are parts in his story.
In Mark 1, Jesus said that the Kingdom is now at hand. It is burst forth in your present. Jesus taught over and over about our participation in the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is like….wanting people to begin living in it now. Jesus is able to do exceedingly above and beyond what we can think or imagine. Jesus paints a picture of Redemption that is much bigger than my personal life.
He has come to redeem the whole plan of the world. “For God so loved the WORLD, that…”
Some have said that the good news is not that we are forgiven to live in heaven someday, but that we are forgiven to live in the Kingdom now!
In other words, what Jesus accomplished while being a man on the Earth actually brings resolution to the whole storyline.
Isaiah 55:6 Seek the lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. 7 Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the lord that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously. 8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. 9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
10 “The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. 11 It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
12 You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands! 13 Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up. These events will bring great honor to the lord’s name; they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.”
WHY DOES THIS MATTER?
WHO CARES IF THE WORLD IS REDEEMED OR NOT?
We have a different thinking about God and our role on Earth when we understand that we represent the fullness of redemption.
Instead of centering the story around our own salvation and escape, (fear based) we are focusing on the main character, JESUS.
That we ARE born again. That we ARE a part of his redemption plan. That right now we can participate in the great building of his purpose.
Do you see the difference in the mindset?
Philippians 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
Our citizenship in heaven means that it is held there and that is where identity comes from, but that doesn’t mean we are withheld from its privileges because we live in a separate sphere. (and we have to go to the distant land of heaven before our citizenship is enacted) This is not the case. Just as people in Philippi (Macedonia/Greek) had Roman citizenship and didn’t live there, so do we have heavenly citizenship while living in this earth.
Someday, heaven will join earth in a New Heaven and New Earth and we will live in the total resolution of God’s plan.
Posted on August 8, 2014, in Sermon Notes, theology and tagged 2 peter 3, earth destroyed, eschatology sermon notes, god's punishment, isaiah 55:12, isaiah 55:6, kingdom is at hand, Mark 1, resolution of earth, will the earth be destroyed. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.