Three Worlds

    Three questions that have perplexed mankind everywhere are "Where did I come from?" "Why am I here?" and "Where am I going?"

     Answers to these questions have resulted in a battle line being drawn. On one side is the rationalism of man and on the other side is the revelation of God. Rationalism says the answers to those questions are to be found in the theory of evolution. Revelation says the answers are found in the direct creation of man and the universe by God. In light of this on-going controversy the apostle Peter made some amazing statements in his prophecy recorded in the third chapter of his second epistle.

An Intellectual Confrontation

". . .I think it is right…to stir you up your by reminding you...." 2nd Peter 1:13. Peter is saying that he is writing about a controversy in which God’s people are going to have to engage their brains.

The Time will Be in the Last Days of the Church Age

"Know this first: that scoffer will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts." 2 Peter 3:3. Peter is apparently speaking of the last days of the church age. He exhorts those he writes to "remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior…" Verse 2

A Conflict With Uniformitarianism

    Peter gives a concise and astoundingly correct description of the argument hurled in mockery at Christians in the last days of the church age. They will be taunting, "Where is the promise of His coming for ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation." Place this statement before any scientist secular or Christian, and chances are they will recognize it immediately as a definition of uniformitarianism. This is the foundational believe for all forms of evolutional theory.

    A man by the name of James Hutton (1726-1797) began to teach on the theme, "The Present Is The Key To The Past." By this he meant that what is going on in the present is what has gone on from the beginning of time.

     In the 19th century Sir Charles Lyell (1797-1875) popularized and championed the teachings of James Hutton. He labeled this teaching "The Principle of Uniformitarianism". This principle states that present processes, acting essentially at the same rates as they do now, can explain the origin and development of all the earth’s physical and biological developments. Therefore, there is no need to believe in a supernatural creation by God or a catastrophic intervention by God in nature such as the flood in the days of Noah. The time required to accomplish the geologic ages required by the theory of uniformitarianism was arbitrarily estimated to be billions of years.

     Charles Darwin was profoundly influenced by the theories of uniformitarianism. In turn, he developed the theory of evolution by natural selection based upon arbitrarily selected geologic ages.

    The geologic ages of evolutionary uniformitarianism are a tribute to the creativity of the human mind. Beginning with the Azoic age we are brought to the present through the Archaeozoic, Proterozoic, Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic ages. (We spare you the neat subdivisions). We are told that fossils in the sediment layers of the earth are the proof of these geologic ages. The big problem with this whole theory is that it only exists on the charts and in the museums of evolutionist uniformitarians. Dr. Henry Morris wrote,

     "One should recognize, too, that nowhere in the world does the so-called ‘geological column’ actually occur. It is quite possible for any vertical sequence of the ages to exist in any given locality. Any age may be on the bottom, any on the top, and any combination in between." (From Science, Scripture, and Salvation, published by Baptist Publications, Inc., pg 65)

     So why does most of the world accept the theory of evolutionary uniformitarianism as virtually scientific fact? The apostle Peter gives this reason, "…following after their own lusts…" 2 Peter 3:3b. We note that Peter did not include everybody who accepts uniformitarianism as walking after their own lusts, but those who mock Christians for believing what they believe has been disproved by science. Some have been honest and candid enough to admit it.

     Hugh Hefner, founder of the Playboy empire has been quite vocal. Perhaps you have heard or read statements by him that he has no concerns about answering to God for his lifestyle because evolution has made the teaching of religion invalid.

Three Worlds – The Key to the Ages

     The apostle Peter revealed that the key to the ages is that God has divided mankind’s history into three worlds:

    • The World That Was
    • The World This Is
    • The World That Is To Come

The World That Was

    "For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water." 2nd Peter 3:5,6.

    God revealed in Genesis 1:6,7 that on the second day of creation He separated water above the sky or atmosphere from the water on the earth. This has been described as a "vapor canopy" or "hydrosphere". We are also told that in "The World That Was" there was no rain, "...But a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground."  Genesis 2:6.

     We are also informed that in the days of Noah " ...On that day, all the fountains of the great deep  were broken up , and the windows of heaven were opened, and the rain was on the earth for forty days and forty nights." Genesis 7:11b, 12.

    We need make no mistake about it, the Genesis record teaches a worldwide flood that covered the face of the entire earth. Expressions emphasizing a worldwide flood occur over thirty times in Genesis 6 through 9

     The Lord Jesus authenticated the Genesis account of the flood and used it as a picture of worldwide judgment when He returns. "…and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the  Son of Man be." (Matthew 24:39).

     Those who accept the scriptural account as the revelation of God believe that the flood of Noah’s day and its aftermath account for the layers of sediment rock and rock formations formed from molten material from within the earth. They also believe that glacial deposits, coal bearing formations, petroleum reservoirs, mountain ranges and other structural features of the earth required far greater forces than any forces known to exist in the current world system. The geologic record of fossils testify to rapid, catastrophic burial otherwise they would have decayed or have been eaten by scavengers.. This is exactly what the scripture teaches.

     "The world that was" came to a sudden, catastrophic end in the days of Noah. Peter plainly states that the reality of the cataclysmic world wide flood negates the theory of Uniformitarianism. He did this some 1700 years before the theory of Uniformitarianism was conceived.

The World That is

     "But the present heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."   2nd Peter 3:7

     There has been a significant change in the world meteorologically. The earth is no longer like a huge terrarium with uniform tropical climate from the north pole to the south pole watered by a mist that rose from the earth. Weather patterns formed from the earth’s rotation, temperature differences, humidity, etc. bring constant changes in the weather. There are four recognizable seasons but the rainbow following each rain is God’s covenant that there will never again be a world wide flood.

     There are differences geologically. On the East coast of the U.S. we live in the midst of where the earth’s surface was buckled. From a great fissure out in the Atlantic running from North to South the ocean and the hot magma in the earth’s core undoubtedly came in contact and buckled the earth like an old fashioned washboard. Chains of hills and mountains were pushed up as far west as the Allegheny and Appalachian mountains. "The fountains of the deep" were truly "broken up."

     Culturally, mankind has spread to the ends of the earth and formed ethnic groups that are often at variance with one another. It is well to remember that from Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the three sons of Noah, that the whole earth was populated. Genesis 9:18, 19. We have a traceable record in the scripture of the line from Shem that brought the promised Christ into the world. There are also five distinct ethnic groups that preserved the record of their genealogy from Japheth.

     Morally and spiritually man has not changed. Man still possesses the fallen sin nature that, left unchecked, brought about the flood of Noah’s day.

     "The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside; They have together  become corrupt; There is none who does good, no not one." Psalms 14:2,3. The apostle Paul referred to these verses in Romans 3:10-12 and confirmed that they continue to be true of all mankind.

     But God remains compassionate to all sinners, even the very worst. Peter reveals that even though God has sentenced the present world to a judgment of fire His seeming delay in doing so is because He "is longsuffering towards us, not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance." 2nd Peter 3:9. God still loves sinners just as much as He did the day His Son died as a sacrifice for man’s sins on Calvary's cross. The risen and ascended Christ sits at the Father’s right hand waiting for lost men, women, and children to call out to Him in faith for the salvation that only He can give. They can do so in confidence for "…He is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." Hebrews 7:25. However, their opportunity to do so is open for an unknown indefinite time.

The World To Come

     "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 in it will be burned up…Nevertheless, we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells."   2nd Peter 3:10, 13.

     "The World That Was" came to a sudden, catastrophic end by the flood. Peter tells us that "The World That Is" will do the same by fire. "The Day of the Lord" begins with the coming of Jesus for His bride, the church (1st Thessalonians 4:15-18). For the unprepared it will come unexpectedly like a thief in the night. (1st Thessalonians 5:2) It will continue through the time of judgment by fire. When the present world is cleansed by fire from all sinful defilement we are told there will be a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (3:13).

     In the light of all this Peter puts this question to Christians, "Since all these things are to be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, ..."   2nd Peter 3:11, 12a.

     In like manner, how important it must be for those who are unsaved to settle their relationship with Jesus Christ by receiving Him by faith as their Savior before "the day of the Lord" arrives.

Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scripture quoted from NKJV unless otherwise noted


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