Global Warming, Nuclear War, or the Hand of God?

Posted on August 1, 2011


In 2 Peter 3:10 we see mention of the end of the world. When you look at what Peter describes, it’s obviously a major cataclysmic event. Some have surmised that global warming may be to blame, or perhaps a global nuclear war. However, to truly understand how this destruction will happen, it’s important to take a detailed look at what the Scripture says.

2Peter 3:10

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”

Let’s start with a brief discussion of the Day of the LORD.

The day of the Lord is comprised of the whole series of events, beginning with the rapture and ending with the destruction of the current creation.

The Timing of the Destruction:

This judgment will happen after the millennial reign and the final war with Satan.

Revelation 20:1-10

Satan Bound 1000 Years
1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.

The Saints Reign with Christ 1000 Years

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

Satanic Rebellion Crushed

7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Then comes the great white throne judgment, and finally the ushering in of the new heaven and new earth.

Revelation 21:1

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.

The destruction will occur just prior to the creation of the new heaven and earth, which is still quite some time away. Certain things have to happen before this earth will be destroyed. Consider this: If the rapture were to happen today, it would be followed by a seven year tribulation. The tribulation would then be followed by the millennial reign of Christ. That is 1007 more years, minimum, before this earth goes anywhere. The rapture, of course, is the variable in this whole equation, because no one knows when that will happen. See my post titled The Rapture for more information on that. It is a recurring theme in scripture that God’s judgment will fall when people least expect it, like a theif in the night.

Notice that in 2 Peter 3:10, it says. That even the heavens will be destroyed. The heavens are simply all of the great expanse, including the sky and space. The elements will be broken down to their basic building blocks, the very atoms that make them up. This will come by intense heat, and with a great noise (THE big bang). imagine the crackling of a campfire large enough to consume the entire universe.

Make no mistake, this will not be the work of man (global warming or nuclear war), nor will it be an explosion of the sun. Notice that even the heavens are destroyed. That means all matter in space, all planets all stars, etc. Man is simply not capable of destroying the entire universe. This destruction is definitely the supernatural work of God.

Obviously, the destruction of the universe will take with it all of man’s “great” accomplishments. Everything that we are so proud of is at the mercy of God. Nothing that we create holds any eternal value.

We build from the elements that God has created. And by stripping those elements to their core atoms, God will expose the universe (lay it bare) and recreate something brand new from it.

Psalm 102:25-28
25 Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands.

26 They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed.

27 But You are the same, And Your years will have no end.

28 The children of Your servants will continue, And their descendants will be established before You.”

Hebrews 1:10-12
10 “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth And the heavens are the work of Your hands.

11 They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment;

12 Like a cloak You will fold them up, And they will be changed But You are the same, And Your years will not fail.”

Everything about this passage leads to the conclusion that this is God’s renewal project, in which He will restore His creation. In short, the destruction of the earth will not be at the hands of men, but by the hand of the Almighty God! Isn’t it reassuring to know that His salvation lasts forever.

Isaiah 51:6
Lift up your eyes to the heavens, And look on the earth beneath For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, The earth will grow old like a garment, And those who dwell in it will die in like manner; But My salvation will be forever, And My righteousness will not be abolished.