I want to speak today from II Peter chapter 3. Second Peter chapter 3. We'll begin reading with verse 3 and read down through verse 14. And if we gave this a title today, we would call it, "Judgment Day Is Coming."
As you know, that's one of the things that people scoff about in the world today is that there is any such thing as a great judgment day coming. But the fact that they scoff about it and make all manner of fun about it and so forth does not change the fact that judgment day is still truly coming. And they, that is the ones who scoff about it, are going to stand there in that judgment day. And they can deny that it's true, they can laugh about it, they can pretend it doesn't exist all they want, but it's still true and they will still stand before the bar in that judgment day.
Reading here now in II Peter chapter 3, beginning with verse 3 --- "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
3:10 But 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.
3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
Now as we begin to think about this, there are several things that I want to just briefly mention by way of introduction before we get into our message proper.
He mentions here the fact that in the last days there are going to be scoffers walking after their own lusts. That perfectly describes today, doesn't it?
It's incredible the number of people today who actually scoff at the things of God. They pretend to have contempt for the things of God, and perhaps really do have contempt for the things of God. And they refuse to believe anything about the things of God that is true.
Then he mentions that not only do they scoff but they walk after their own lusts. There's never been a time I think in the history of the world, even Sodom and Gomorrah couldn't be as wicked in following after their own lusts as the Johannesburg area is in the Republic of South Africa. And this is not the only place either. It's that way all over the world now, in all the big cities and in many of the country places. They follow after their own lusts, instead of after the things of God.
And then he brings in something here in the fourth verse where he says: "Where is," or they say, "Where is the promise of His coming?" And then they make fun of the promises of the coming of the Lord, His promises to return. And did you know that a large part, possibly even the majority, of even the so-called Christian people in the world today are what we call amillennialists? That is, they don't even believe there is going to be a millennium. They don't even believe that there's going to be a literal thousand years reign of Christ upon the earth, or any other literal, visible, personal reign of Christ upon the earth.
And, of course, the Scriptures clearly teach that there is going to be a reign --- a literal reign of Christ upon this earth. And yet, a large percentage of the so-called Christians of the world deny this. They say that they don't even believe there's going to be any literal reign of Christ upon the earth at all.
There's another verse in the introduction here that I want to mention too, before we get to the message proper. These are all free --- see this doesn't count. (Laughter). There's no charge for this first part. Look at verse 9, where he speaks of the long-suffering of God that, "He's not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." This one is an especially important point for us to remember and emphasize today. That it's only God's long-suffering that keeps Him from just destroying the world. It's only His long-suffering, His mercyt and grace, that keeps Him from just demolishing this whole mess that we have all around us today.
He is not eager for men to perish at the judgment. He is not eager for men to perish in Hell, but rather He is long-suffering, not willing that any should perish, and wants, or is willing that all might come to repentance.
Now let's begin to think a little further in a more organized manner here about the message proper.
The first section of my message proper is this bit about scoffers in the last days, this part about scoffers. We mentioned it already, from verse 3, and it goes on into verse 4, of course. And apparently even in Peter's day, there were scoffers just like there are today who didn't want to believe the plain teaching of the prophecies of the Scriptures.
They already had many prophecies of the end times from Old Testament Scriptures, you see. It wasn't just that they didn't have the book of Revelation yet, which they didn't. (Note: The generally accepted date for the writing of II Peter is about A.D. 66, and for Revelation is about A.D. 96). But they did have many prophecies from Daniel, from Isaiah, from Joel, from Zechariah, and some of the other prophets of the Old Testament who spoke about things of the last days in quite complete terms in some places. And they had all these Scriptures that they could have read and believed, accepted, and yet many didn't. As we already said, they didn't have, of course, at this time the book of Revelation.
But they had scoffers then even as we have today. And they were similar to our scoffers today. They had heard the gospel. You don't believe that old Peter didn't preach the gospel to them do you? Of course not. He had preached the gospel to them, and the other apostles had. In addition, many others such as Philip, even old Stephen, (the martyr Stephen) had no doubt preached the gospel to some of these people who read this passage that Peter wrote, in this epistle?
Many had heard the gospel. But many had rejected the gospel and walked after their own lusts just as so many people do today. They laughed at God and future judgment, and they asked, "Where is God? I don't see Him. I can look around and I don't see Him." Well, they'd have to be blind to look around and not see the evidence of God, wouldn't they? You couldn't literally see God just by looking around, but you could certainly see the evidence that there is a God unless you're blind.
But they laughed at God and future judgment, and they asked, "Where is God? Is He gone out there somewhere that we can't see Him?" They asked silly questions about that. "Where's the promise of His coming?" they said. And people today just love to ask questions like that when you go visit them, these scoffers, these agnostics and atheists. They said, "All that talk about judgment day and that talk about the coming again of the Lord is just preaching, just so many words." That's what many people say today, isn't it? But it's not just so many words, it's God's promise! It is God's promise! Therefore it is not just so many words, and it is not just preaching. It is truth and it will come to pass!
These people of whom Peter was speaking decided that if there was no God and no judgment they would just do as they pleased, and they followed their own lusts. That is what a very large percentage of people today have decided to do, isn't it? They've decided there's no God, therefore no judgment, and therefore they'll just do what they want to do and follow their own lusts.
This sounds just like today, doesn't it? Permissiveness and the promiscuous society is rampant all over the world, including right here in our own Republic of South Africa. Many people live, or most people perhaps I should say, live today as though there is no God. The earth turns, the sun rises, the sun sets, the holiday seasons come, they go on their holiday trips, they return from their holiday trips, they work, they rise and they lie down to sleep and it just goes on that way and they keep living as if there is no God. They put God out of their mind as the Scriptures teach some evil men do.
But God does intervene in history, doesn't He? There are many examples of the fact that God does intervene in history. We could find some, of course, even right here in the history of South Africa. Peter gives some examples here in his Scripture of how God has intervened in history. He gives the example of the destruction by water of the earth that then was, as he calls it. Presumably referring to Noah, that flooding of the earth which took place in Noah's day. But any way you look at it doesn't matter, he's clearly referring to some previous example of the judgment of God and destruction by water.
If we go on a little further we can find many examples in history where God did participate in an open and obvious way in history beginning from Noah's day and on through other times following. We can find many obvious examples from the Scriptures where God did intervene openly in history. Back in the days of Noah, to give a little more detail on that, all the scoffers then thought that Noah was crazy, didn't they? They no doubt said, "Poor old Noah, he's flipped. Poor old fellow, he's nutty. He's got something loose up there, there's something wrong with him." That is doubtless what they said, and that's what they thought, too.
There he was out there a hundred and fifty miles in the middle of the dry land --- at least a hundred and fifty miles from any place that he could possible have floated that ship --- and building that big ship, the ark. A hundred and fifty miles from any place that he could possibly have floated it, far out in the middle of the dry land. So they thought he was crazy and they scoffed at him. They said, "Who in the world except a crazy man would build a ship a hundred and fifty miles from enough water to float it."
And Noah worked and worked, and preached and preached, for a hundred and twenty years while they all laughed at him and mocked him and ridiculed him. And yet, though they laughed at him and mocked and ridiculed, God's judgment did come, didn't it? His judgment did come and the flood came and destroyed these mockers and scoffers. And Noah, and those who had believed what God said, were saved in the ark, while all the others were destroyed.
God intervenes in history. He intervened in history at a later time to destroy Sodom and Gomorra, if you look in Genesis chapter 19 you can read that story. And it is a true story, it is not just a fictional story that's put in there to be something interesting to read. It is something that really happened. God intervened then and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone raining down from heaven, because of their wickedness. The judgment of God and God's intervention in history.
One could go on and think of many other examples from the Scriptures. Another one that's so well known that it might be good to refer to is the destruction of Jerusalem. This one we can get even from secular history. It is referred to in prophetic form in Scriptures, but then we can get the details of it actually occurring from secular history when Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD by Titus, the great Roman general.
We could go on through history and find many other examples where God did clearly and definitively intervene in history. One of the turning points, in fact it would have to be counted as one of the decisive events in the history of the world, took place in 1812, the snow storm that defeated Napoleon. That snow storm defeated Napoleon in 1812 when he was just about to conquer Russia. Now if that storm had not occurred there's no telling what differences would have occurred in history. Great differences in our history from that time onward, would have occurred had he not been destroyed or defeated by this big snow storm that practically wiped out his army while he was about to take control of Russia.
God does intervene in history. One could go on down to a closer date and think about the destruction of Nazi Germany. Certainly God intervened then. Even just the one little example of Dunkirk is enough to show that God intervened. Here they were, the Allied army, the anti-nazi armies were trapped at Dunkirk. Mostly the British army, of course, then in that early part of the war. They were trapped, no way they could get out. No hope whatsoever --- Just no way. They were about to be wiped out before they even got started good in fighting Hitler. And yet, they had national days of prayer in many parts of the world, including Britain, that God would save their men who were trapped there.
And you know what happened? An amazing thing happened. They couldn't possibly evacuate their men from Dunkirk because the Germans would wipe them out as they were trying to load, or as they were trying to get out by leaving in the boats. But something odd happened. An unusual weather condition developed and the German planes couldn't even see them to shoot at their boats because of heavy clouds and fog. And the weather rescued nearly half a million men at Dunkirk, and nearly all of them got out alive. That is, only a comparatively small percentage of them were killed by the Germans, when otherwise they would have been decimated by the Germans as they were trying to get out in thelittle boats and the ships as they were trying to get away. The Germans would have dive bombed them and would have just about wiped out the army of nearly half a million. But most of them got out because of the peculiar weather conditions.
God does intervene. God does direct some things though we can't always tell exactly how or why. He does still control things, He does intervene in history. Then one could think for a little while about South Africa. There are so many things back in old South African history that one could think of. Some of these famous battles, such as the battle of Blood River, and some of the other battles that have taken place. When God clearly blessed those who were trying to establish South Africa and hindered those opposing them.
There are many other examples in South African history, not just the battle of Blood River. But if you go through South African history, you'll be amazed at several different great occasions when God clearly intervened on the side of the South Africans. And these hardships and trials and all those terrible dangers that a little hand full of men went through to establish the Republic, to set up a new nation here in this wild country, you can clearly see the finger of God in many places in it.
In this wild land, with all kinds of enemies trying to destroy them before they even got firmly established, and yet God blessed them and they succeeded in establishing a great nation here in Africa.
They built churches. They built schools. Many missionaries came in those days and preached, without let or hindrance. Today missionaries are pretty strictly controlled as you know, and many of them need to be because so many of them are not really missionaries --- they're political agitators, many of them.
But our forebears here in South Africa built a nation on respect for God and His Word. Now this respect for God and His Word has fallen by the wayside some years in the past, but in the early days it was there. Back in pioneer days it was always there. And back in pioneer days even wicked men, unsaved men, evil men who made no pretense at all of Christianity, even they had a great deal of respect for God and His Word and His people. And now that respect doesn't exist either, does it? This respect of evil men and unsaved men for God and the Bible and His people.
But for many years now, South Africa has been turning further and further from God. Just as has most of the rest of the world --- Turning further and further away from God. Scoffing at the things of God always brings certain judgment on nations and on individuals and there is no escape. There is no escape.
Now what about the coming judgment of God? What about it? Matthew chapter 24 teaches that judgment will come as a thief in the night. Unexpectedly, suddenly, and without further warning. And, of course, Peter refers to that here in verse 10 where he says: "But 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."
Matthew 24 gives some more details. And again over in Luke, I believe it's chapter 12, you'll find further details along this same line. The fact that the Lord is going to come suddenly, unexpectedly, as a thief comes when you don't expect him to come. If you knew a thief was coming, you'd be on watch for him, wouldn't you? You'd lie in wait for him, you'd capture that thief and get him out of circulation.
So Peter uses that as an illustration of the way the judgment of God is going to come on men at the time of the Second Coming of the Lord. He's going to come before men expect Him, come when men do not expect Him, come when men are not looking for His coming. And there's certainly never been a time in the history of the world when there were so many people who don't believe that Christ is ever coming again. They just laugh at the idea that judgment is coming and that Christ is coming as a thief in the night.
He's coming without further warning when men least expect it. That's what he's talking about here. Suddenly it will happen. And men don't expect it now, do they? So, we're ripe and ready for the coming! We are now ripe and ready!
"Scoffers abounding," as he said. Just like they are today. And that means that it's near, doesn't it? That means the second coming is near when the scoffers abound. And when that happens as he says here in verse 10, "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."
Now, you say, "Well, how could this happen?" Well, if you read very much on science, even on general science, you have learned probably that almost anything will burn if you can find some way to get it hot enough. Almost anything will burn if you can find some way to get it hot enough. You have learned, one of the first things you learned, even in elementary school science probably, is that water is made and the oceans are made largly of hydrogen and oxygen and that in their present combinations they're just water, that's all, nothing else. They won't burn. But in certain combinations this hydrogen and oxygen can become a highly combustible mixture, can't it? And therefore, even that itself could be one of the ways the earth is going to burn. But we don't have to explain how God is going to do it. The Scriptures say He's going to do it and therefore we just believe it and that's it! We don't have to try to explain how He's going to do it.
The big question though is, "When will this take place?" That is an important question for us to think about. When will this take place? We don't need to worry about how it's going to happen but, "When will it take place?" That is an important question and a reasonable question for us to think about.
And the answer is given in verse 7. "But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." Now notice that last part of the verse, "the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." What is he talking about there? He's talking about the time of the Great White Throne judgment. That's when this purification of the earth by fire is going to take place. "The day of judgment and the perdition of ungodly men," is definitely referring to the Great White Throne judgment.
If you turn over to Revelation chapter 20, verse 11, you find one of the best references to the Great White Throne judgment. "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them." I believe this is referring to the same time period that Peter is referring to here when he says, "The heavens and the earth are kept in store, reserved unto fire against or until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." That is what he is talking about. The day or the time of the Great White Throne judgment.
At the time of the Great White Throne judgment, "the earth and the heaven fled away," as we read to you from Revelation 20:11, "and there was no found no place to hide." This is the time of the great judgment by fire. Yes, judgment day is coming!
I was reading a while back a scientific article in one of these periodicals that I get. They thought they had just discovered some great new discovery. You know a lot of these scientific articles, so-called, are sometimes amusing because they often have just discovered things that are already recorded in the Bible thousands of years ago! And they think they've made some fantastic, new, incredible discovery, you know, that nobody ever thought of before. Yet, in many cases you can go back and find it referred to in Scriptures written thousands of years ago.
But anyway, I was reading one of these articles a while back, and I noticed that the astronomers had only recently discovered that the whole universe is moving rapidly. They don't know where it's moving from, they don't know where it's moving to, but they have discovered that it's moving rapidly. The whole universe as a unit is moving as well as the various parts within the universe moving within it --- within itself. But it's moving rapidly and the question is, "To what is it moving?" That's the real question, isn't it? It is moving rapidly!
Another thing, if you look at history, and my major in the university was history so I always enjoyed reading a lot of history, still do from time to time. History is moving, isn't it? History is never stationary, it moves. And it's moving toward what? It's moving to judgment day, isn't it? It is moving to judgment day! It's moving to the time when the great Judge of all the ages is going to sort out this mess that we call history. And He's going to divide the sheep from the goats, isn't He? It is moving, yes, history is moving to judgment day!
Our own individual lives are moving to judgment day. We don't like to think about that. Sometimes people don't want to be reminded of that! People who are backslidden or people who are not saved at all. They don't like to think of the fact that they themselves are moving also toward judgment day.
And I like to think of this sometimes and compare it. The rich man in the limousine, where is he going? He's going to judgment day, isn't he? The rich man in the Mercedes 350SE or in the 450SL, he's going to judgment day. That's where he's going; no matter how fast or how slow he's going, he's going to judgment day. That's what he is moving toward.
And the poor, old fellow barefoot and can't even buy a pair of shoes, he's also moving to judgment day on his bare feet, isn't he? He's moving toward judgment. Or we could say the rich man in the limousine is riding to judgment and the poor, barefoot man with his rags is walking to judgment. But they're both on the way to judgment.
The young man with the lively step that thinks, "Well, I'm young; I'll be young forever," where's he walking to? Where's he going to? He's moving to judgment day! And the old man who's feeble and almost finished as far as his physical strength is concerned, tapping his way along with a cane, just barely able to walk, he also is moving to judgment day.
Both Christians and sinners are rushing madly toward their day of judgment. But what a difference in their judgment. That's the important thing, isn't it? What a great difference. The saved and the unsaved are both rushing madly toward judgment. But there's a vast difference in their judgment days.
A Christian will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ for his rewards and for his position in the millennial kingdom of Christ. But in no way will he be judged to find out if he's saved or not. That's already determined. If he's been saved, he's saved and that's it. The judgment has nothing to do with that. He'll be judged at a different judgment even. The saved will be judged at a different judgment from the unsaved. So if he appears at the judgment seat of Christ, that's the sign that he's saved or he wouldn't be there. But the judgment there will be to show his position in the millennial kingdom and to judge him for his rewards. But there's no way that he could possibly be lost.
Let's read II Corinthians chapter 5, verses 10 and 11. Second Corinthians chapter 5, verses 10 and 11. "For we must all appear," he's speaking, of course, here to the church at Corinth, saved people, active church members. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." So, there will be rewards, differentiation if you wish, between the saved who have been faithful and the saved who have not been so faithful.
Going on now to verse 11 in that same passage: "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences." I want you to particularly notice that first part of the verse, "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men."
You know sometimes I realize that in my own life sometimes I fail to really understand the terror of the Lord in the sense of this judgment day that's rushing down upon the unsaved. And Paul here is speaking in that eleventh verse, he says: "We persuade men because we do know this time of judgment is coming, we persuade men." That means we don't just go out here and invite them once to come to church and then forget about it and if they don't want it, let them go to hell. It means we get out there and really persuade them. We compel them to come into God's house. We witness to them continually and continuously, repeatedly, and often.
These friends of yours that you have invited to come and who have been here once or even twice, don't give up on them. Keep inviting them. Keep persuading them. Paul says, "Knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men." We don't just go out there and say, "Well, come on to church. We're having a barbeque next Sunday, like to have you," and then forget about them afterwards. That's not it, is it? That's not what he's talking about. Knowing this judgment day is coming, we persuade men. Get out there and as we say, "twist arms." Get out there and persuade, compel them to come in. As the parable of the great supper teaches us to do.
But now we've been thinking for a while about the fact that the Christian will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ, and how that though he himself will be judged at that judgment, he does and should realize the terror of the Lord in the sense of the fact that the terrible white throne judgment is coming on the unsaved, the Great White Throne judgment. Therefore we should persuade men.
But the unsaved are going to stand before the Great White Throne judgment a thousand years after the saved have stood at the judgment seat of Christ. A thousand years later at the end of the millennium, the unsaved will all stand before the Great White Throne judgment. Not to see if they're saved or not. If they stand at the white throne judgment, they are already lost. There's no way they can be saved tehn. They have already rejected Christ. That's the reason they are at the White Throne judgment in the first place. Not to determine if saved or lost, but to determine their position in hell. Not to determine the length of time in hell. That's already settled as well. But to determine the position in hell. What an awful day that will be. That's what Paul was talking about over there in II Corinthians 5:11, when he said, "Knowing therefore the terror of God, we persuade men." He's thinking about this time of judgment that's coming on all unsaved men.
The world one day is going to melt with fervent heat. Judgment day is coming! It's coming! "The elements shall melt with fervent heat," as Peter told us here in II Peter 3:10. "The heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and earth and all of it works will be burned up."
So, it's like Jesus said to the rich young ruler, "Thou fool, this night shall thy soul be required of thee, then whose shall all these things be."
Although it is a different judgment, even the saved need to realize that judgment day is coming for us as well. All the things of earth are going to be burned up. So this business of concentrating on the here and the now and ignoring the then and the great time to come is just not on, is it? That's not the way to go! And yet, we have a tendency to do it, don't we? We as men and women, as humans, we just have the tendency to fix our eyes on, oh, another new car or another new house or get a university education for our children or buy a farm or this and that and something else. And we lose sight of the fact that all these things will be burned up one of these days.
Isaiah chapter 51, verse 6 speaks of this. Isaiah 51:6 --- "Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished."
Isn't it wonderful? Though all these things of earth are going to vanish away, though the earth itself is going to be destroyed or purified by fire, even the very heavens are going to melt with fervent heat, yet the salvation of God stands firm. It stands forever. The righteousness that we have in Christ, he says here, "My righteousness shall not be abolished," the righteousness that we have in Christ is not going to disappear, is it? It's not going to be burned up.
Now you may say, "Does this mean total annihilation of the earth and the heavens? Or a purging by fire?" Well, the Scriptures are not really to clear on which it means but it doesn't really matter. It does not matter which it means. It clearly means one or the other. No way that you could twist it to mean anything except either total destruction and a new creation or a total purification by fire of the heavens and the earth. It has to be one or the other. And it doesn't really matter to us which it means.
The earth, remember, has been defiled by sin. And even the heavens have been defiled by sin. Therefore they both have to be completely purified by God and He's going to see to that. Everything will be made new again, in other words. Whether it's a total purification by fire or whether it's a total annihilation and recreation, it doesn't really matter to us. But everything will be made new again, even more perfect than Eden. Because then there won't be any serpent to beguile, will there?
On the new heaven and the new earth, there'll be no serpent. The serpent, the Devil or Lucifer, will be already locked up in the bottomless pit, never to be released again, when the new heaven and the new earth is created by God. No devil to tempt and cause men to fall. No devil to tempt and cause men to sin. Only joyous perfection and happiness forever with God on a perfect Eden. And then it won't just be a garden of Eden, the whole earth will be a garden of Eden. The whole earth will be a garden of Eden and it will be just for us --- just for us! With no Devil/serpent around to cause any trouble.
In other words, we could say it will still be the earth. It is clear that it will still be the earth. But it will be a perfect earth. The curse will be completely removed. They'll be no more curse. And the traces of sin and even the very thought or imagination of sin will be totally destroyed and removed forever. Never again. No sin. The heavens will still be up there. We can look out in those days and there won't be any pollution. We can look out through our Edenic skies and see the beautiful blue of God's sky, can't we? The beautiful heavens. There won't be all this pollution that we have our sore throats and our flu from all the time now, specially in the Kempton Park area, as all of us know. We can then look out and see the beautiful heavens of God as they have been recreated by Him. A new heaven as it says, completely purged of sin and all of it's marks. Because God will have completely destroyed all traces of sin in the whole universe.
The new heavens and the new earth will be made at that time. Today, everything is cursed because of sin. But there's coming a day when the heavens and the earth will be cleansed and purified by God. Judgment day is coming --- Judgment day is coming!
There will be a new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven. From the third heaven. The third heaven is where God is. You say, "Well, what about the first and second heavens? And what about this --- is there a fourth and a fifth heaven, and so forth?" I don't know, but I know there's a third heaven because the Bible speaks about it. The Bible speaks about the third heaven and shows that it is where God is.
There'll be a new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven from the third heaven. He's building a great, big, beautiful home for His own! He's doing that! He's building it now! And part of that building is being built with what we send to Him now. That is our rewards. That's going to be part of our reward, isn't it? He's building a mansion for us now.
John 14, verses 2 and 3. Jesus Himself speaking to His faithful church in that day said this: "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." He didn't say now, "My Father's building mansions for you." He didn't say that at all, did He? He said, "I go to prepare a place for you. My Father has already got a lot of mansions up there. But I'm not just going up there and sweep out one of those old mansions to give it to you. I'm going to prepare a special place for you." All those other mansions will be occupied by the saved of all the ages who were not part of the church. They'll be in the Father's mansions. But He's building a special mansion for His bride, the church. A special mansion. "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." Jesus there, of course, is speaking of the rapture of the saints when He told this to His church.
The Creator of the universe --- who's the Creator? Jesus Christ. Remember John chapter 1, verse 1? "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." That's clearly referring to Jesus, isn't it? So, we can say the Creator of the universe is building our beautiful home now, in the new Jerusalem. He's building it for us. The greatest architect that has ever lived couldn't even imagine such a thing as He's building for us now.
When the earth is renovated and the heavens are made new, that beautiful city will come down from heaven and rest on this earth as the Scripture teaches. And this is going to be our heavenly home. This new Jerusalem that He's building now in heaven will come down to earth and then it will be our heavenly home as we like to call it. But it will be here on earth, the new and perfect earth. Where the whole earth will be an Eden with the new Jerusalem as a special dwelling place of the faithful church members as the bride of Christ. So this new Jerusalem here on earth will be our heavenly home forever without end. A new day, a new earth, a new heaven, a new home, a new body. No more pain, no more aches, no more sickness, no more coughing, no more glasses to wear. We can throw these away then. Just throw them away and forget about it. We won't need them.
And I just noticed we've got quite a few in here wearing them, haven't we? We can throw them all away then. We won't need them anymore. A new day, a new earth, a new heaven, a new home, a new body. A new and precious personal, physical and spiritual relationship and fellowship with Christ.
A new song to sing. We'll be able to sing right then, won't we? We will all be able to sing. And if we have any problems we can just say, "Hey, Gabe, Gabriel, come over here and help us with this tune, we're having a problem with it. Gabe, come help us." We can do that then, can't we? Old Gabriel, or Michael, the archangel. "Come on Mike, help us sing this one, we're having problems with it. Give us this new tune." But we'll be able to sing one really well we know. Because it teaches in the Scriptures that this new song that we'll be singing will be the song of the Lamb or the song of the redeemed. And all the redeemed are going to be able to sing that one really well, too. There won't be any problems about it, no discords, no monotone. We can all sing it like we have opera voices in that day. The song of the Lamb or the song of the redeemed. No more sorrow, pain or death. Never again.
These things will all be passed away. And God Himself will wipe away all tears from their eyes. Isn't it going to be glorious, a wonderful time? Judgment day is coming, and knowing the terror of the Lord, what should we do? Persuade men. We should persuade men to get them prepared for this judgment day that's coming. Imagine what our eyes will see some day. Imagine what majesty and glory we shall see. That's why we don't have to fear. Because of the majesty and glory of Christ, we don't have to fear. Our righteousness will not ever cease to be because it's the righteousness of Christ. We can stand in the judgment day.
The earth and the heavens will be judged by fire. But we'll be saved. We have nothing to fear. There won't be even a hair on our heads singed. Nor even the smell of fire on our garments as it speaks in the Scripture referring to the three Hebrew children, when Christ walked into—in the fiery furnace with them. We'll be with the Savior in glory. Saved forever. And then returning to the new and perfect earth to live forever here on this Edenic earth, which will have been recreated just especially for us.
There's no fear for the Christian. I've made my peace with God and I know I'm on my way to heaven. Have you? Have you? I hope you have. I've given my heart to Christ, and my hope is build on nothing less than Jesus's blood and righteousness! Can you truly say that here and now? If you can't, then you need to place your faith in Jesus right now. I can say and say it with meaning, "Even so, come Lord Jesus." Can you say that? Can you say that? If you can, then you have nothing to worry about. If you've given your heart to Christ, then you have nothing to worry about except that knowing the terror of the Lord, we should persuade men. That's what we should be thinking about. Not about ourselves, but about winning others so that they too can enjoy this endless time of joy and peace and happiness and perfection on the new Edenic earth with us. Because judgment day is coming!
Let us pray.