“Pastor Stam wrote that ‘the earth will never be destroyed,’ that it will be made new instead (Rev. 21:1). What do you say about 2 Peter 3:10,11?”
“…the earth…shall be burned up…all these things shall be dissolved…” (2 Pet. 3:10,11).
Paul uses that same word “dissolved” to describe the dissolution of our physical bodies when we die, saying, “if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God…eternal in the heavens” (2 Cor. 5:1). When our bodies die, they dissolve. Ecclesiastes 12:7 says, “then shall the dust return to the earth.”
Yet in speaking about the day of his resurrection (Job 19:25), Job wrote, “in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another” (Job 19:26,27). That means that the physical bodies we have now are the same ones we’ll have for all eternity, even though the Bible says they are “dissolved” at death. Our bodies will be made new, but Job says they will be the same flesh.
We know that our experience as members of the Body of Christ will be the same as Job’s, for our apostle tells us that at the Rapture the Lord will “change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body” (Phil. 3:21). And in speaking of His glorious resurrection body, the Lord echoed Job’s words when He said, “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I myself” (Luke 24:39). He told them to handle His hands and feet because His new body still bore the wounds His old flesh incurred (John 20:27).
Of course, the glory of our new resurrection bodies will greatly exceed the glory of the body we plant in the ground. It will exceed it in glory as much as a six foot stalk of corn exceeds the kernel of corn that farmers plant in the ground (1 Cor. 15:35-38). But it will still be the body that is dissolved in the ground, just as the corn stalk is still that same kernel of corn. That’s the point of Paul’s comparison.
So when Peter uses that same word to say that the world will be “dissolved,” I have to think that the same thing applies to the earth. It will be a new earth, a much more glorious earth, but it will still be the same earth.
Someone else responded to Pastor Stam’s article to point out that John saw a vision in which the first earth was “passed away” (Rev. 21:1). But in that same Two Minutes devotional, Pastor Stam went on to cite verse 5, saying, “He didn’t say ‘I make all new things,’ but ‘I make all things new.’ There is a difference.”
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
“It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles.”
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you’ll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.