If you live in our area (the Upper Cumberland area of Middle Tennessee) you are aware of the flooding damage our region has experienced over the last week. Torrential rain fell, creeks overflowed their banks, and homes and businesses were damaged. Thankfully, as of this writing, I have not heard of any fatalities or bodily injuries resulting from the storms. I encourage you to pray for those impacted by this weather event, and if we know of additional opportunities to assist, we will post that information.
Seeing the pictures and videos of familiar landmarks underwater caused me to try and imagine what the world looked like as the flood waters of Genesis 6 rose higher and higher. The flood in the days of Noah was the judgment of God against a wicked world. If you are unfamiliar with this episode, read Genesis chapters 6 through 9 for the complete account. In 2 Peter 3, Peter uses the historical reality of the flood to parallel the pending return of Christ and destruction of this physical world.
Peter notes mockers would scoff and suggest Jesus is not going to return as He promised. (Unfortunately, we live in a day when some are equally foolish to suggest they know when He will return even though Jesus taught that no one can know or predict this time, according to Matthew 24:36, but this is not the focus of this article.) Peter notes these scoffers make the mistake of subscribing to the philosophy of uniformitarianism, which in its most basic form asserts that things have always been as they are now. Naturalists, evolutionists, geologists, and others unwilling to consider the creative work of God must hold to this theory to prop up their erroneous framework.
Peter confronts this false idea and instructs his readers in verses 5-6: “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, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.” The flood in the days of Noah was a cataclysmic catastrophe; things were very different both before, during, and after this event transpired. (If you are interested in doing more reading or research on this subject visit apologeticspress.org and search “flood” for a wealth of excellent information.)
Peter then makes this deduction in verse 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.” Pay close attention to the phrase “by the same word.” A word from God is all that is needed to commence the return of Christ and destruction of the physical universe. What do we do with this truth? Verse 9 provides the answer: “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” Verse 11 expands: “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness.”
Peter urges all his readers to take advantage of the opportunity: they now must repent, turn back to God, and prepare for this coming great day. With this reality in the future at an uncertain time, but certain to occur, we ought to live lives of holiness and godliness by conforming to the will of the Creator as outlined in the pages of Scripture.
Local and regional floods cause damage to property and can have more serious ramifications, but they do not begin to compare with the total transformation brought on by the flood in the days of Noah. All it will take to destroy the entire universe is the same word from our Creator when He decides the time is right. When? Neither I nor any other mortal knows. I do know He will keep His promises, and thus I strive to live my life in the way He commands. I do this knowing He wants what is best for me now and in eternity. When He speaks the word, will you be ready to meet Him? Are you ready if He were to speak the word today? Take advantage of His patience while you can and prepare today!