Agonizomai: 2Peter 3:4-7 Water and Fire

Monday, December 12, 2005

2Peter 3:4-7 Water and Fire
4-7 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

'Air Water and Fire' by Scott Lilley (age13) - Allenvale School, N.Z.
These scoffers who love their sin so much that they sneer at the gospel of grace, and at its bearers - these will be people blinded from any vision but their own. No doubt many professors of religion jumped on the bandwagon of Christianity then, as now. They rejoiced for a season but when persecution arose on account of the Word they were offended. They began to question because they did not have the assurance of new nature inhabited by God’s Son. He that has the Son, we are told, has life. And He that has not the Son has not life. God has given life to His elect and that life is in His Son. {1Jo 5:11-12} These are they who persevere to the end because the life of God Himself has been given them. So pretenders will become clamorous, not bearing the fruit of the Spirit that endures patiently by trusting in God. They will begin to question the very hope of the saints and the promise of God Himself, thus betraying their unregenerate hearts.

Some may never have even professed Christ. They may be humanists, rationalists, philosophizers. Believers in the uniformity of history, just like the evolutionists. This was indeed the war-cry of those who cowed almost an entire generation of Christians into accepting liberalism and the evolutionary scientific rational view from 1870 to 1935. It was a time when to believe the Bible to be literally the word of God, inerrant and God-breathed Truth, was to be called an idiot, a relic, a simpleton, a fool. It was to be laughed at as behind the times, a stick-in-the-mud, backward, stodgy, inflexible and hopelessly old-fashioned.

The eyes of men have been blinded to the truth. Indeed, they have blinded themselves in their love for sin. It is both tragic and criminally perverse at the same time. Tragic that the testimony of God’s word in preserving the record of the example of the judgment of God in the story of Noah and the flood - this historical fact has been tossed aside by the belittling of the Bible. Mockers first dismiss the testimony and then believe what they want. But it is also criminally perverse because the testimony exists and it is there for all to see. They need but believe God - yet they will not. They would rather hold onto their sin, disdain the Word of Truth and go on their way in the sin that has killed them from their birth.

See Peter notes that their overlooking of the creation is deliberate. The Greek of the passage is that they were "willingly unaware." Deliberate blindness. It is the deliberate and willful nature of their blindness and ignorance that removes any excuse they might try to make before God. There is deceit, but it is self-deceit. Satan may be luring and keeping them, but they willingly embrace the lie, just as Adam willingly sinned.

God’s word explains how the universe was made and why. It even speaks to when. It was made through the Word of God - the same Word that became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. It records how the same God that made it all also destroyed the world on account of its wickedness. And this was a warning to all those who came after, out of the loins of Noah and his family. God is both kind and severe. God is love and God is justice. God is the giver of life and the taker away. God is the Alpha and the Omega. God is mercy and grace - and God is holiness and punishment. God is the friend of repentant sinners and the destroyer of the wicked. And both redound to His eternal glory.

Here are some things you might have heard.
"It’s a myth."
"It’s a moral fairy tale!"
"You don’t really believe that God flooded the whole earth do you?"
"It might have been a local Mesopotamian flood - a particularly heavy year for the annual spring rains."
"God wouldn’t do anything like that! Not my God. He wouldn’t!"
"No loving God would ever kill all those people!"
"Science has proven the flood never happened!"
"This sort of fabulous story is for times past. They don’t really happen or, if they did, they don’t happen any more."
"Nothing comparable has happened since the dawn of recorded history."
These are all things men say to deny or to dilute the fact of the flood and its underlying reasons, which are - the unrepented sin of man and the wrathful judgment of a holy God. But men, rather than face these truths prefer evolutionary uniformitarianism because it denies God, His holiness and His right to judge the sins of all men.

Now Peter is telling us, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that just as God once destroyed the earth on account of the offence of sin to His holiness - so He will do so again. As He once destroyed the earth by water so He will next destroy the earth, and the heavens with a fervent heat that will dissolve the elements. This beginning of the end could be millennia away - or it could be in the next second. In either case it is as certain as past history is certain. What God did as a warning to we in later generations by destroying humanity in a flood, He will do again because the warning is not heeded. It will not be heeded because man universally prefers sin, and can only be saved from the wrath to come by the intervening grace of God.

My moniker - that's John Henry to Americans


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