"By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men." (II Peter 3:7)
On Tuesday evening August 3, 1982, there was a meeting at Coopersville MI CRC. It adjourned at about 11:30 pm. The brick building was in excellent condition. It had an outstanding organ and each of the beautiful stained glass windows had cost $1,700 when it was built in 1955. There were 16 of them.
Some time after the men left the church, lightning struck. The building caught fire and was devastated: the pews, the organ, the pulpit furniture, and everything that could burn was destroyed. It was a mess.
Many years ago, people thought there were just four elements in the world: earth, air, fire, and water. Fire has the potential for great good as it warms our homes in the winter time and makes heavy industry possible. Without fire, there would be no iron or steel. Therefore, there would be no cars and our buildings would all be close to the ground or built of solid masonry such as the Monadnock building in Chicago. We thank God for fire.
But fire also has great power to destroy. Many years ago, when I was a boy, there was a tragic fire in Vogelzang Hardware store in Holland. A classmate of my older brother whose name was Frank Volkema was working in the basement of the store when a flammable liquid was poured down the wrong pipe outside.
There was an explosion and suddenly the whole building was in flames. Frank came running out of the building with his clothes on fire. He ran across the street to a doctor's office and cried, "Doc, you've got to help me." He was taken to the hospital, but died soon afterward.
Fire! Jesus will be like a "refiner's fire." (Malachi 3:2)
Our God is a "consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:29)
Jesus warned of eternal fire in Matthew 18:8 and Matthew 25:41. He spoke of hell as a place where fire is not quenched. It burns continually.
Some day, fire will have a "field day." It will burn everything in the material world that we value. "The day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar. The elements will be destroyed by fire and everything in it will be laid bare, or burned up." (II Peter 3:10)
Everything is being prepared for the final fire. No fire department in the world will be able to put this fire out. Knowing this, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the Day of God and speed its coming. That Day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness...but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen. (3:11-13)