Some people, most prominently former Vice President Al Gore, have been warning of a coming doom from “global warming.” I believe the jury’s still out, so to speak, on whether man is causing it—or even if it’s a big problem. But whatever you believe, these concerns can point us toward something that is definitely true: Worldwide destruction is coming. And we have been warned, because the world has been destroyed before. Of course, I’m talking about the Great Flood in Genesis 6-9.
The Flood was a real event, not a legend or a fanciful tale. Other books in the Old and New Testaments reference it as literal and historical. More importantly, Jesus talked about it as a real event (see Matthew 24:37-38).
God gave a promise afterward, in Genesis 8:21. “Then the Lord said in His heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.’” But notice the words “as I have done.” God didn’t say He wouldn’t destroy everything again. He said He wouldn’t do it in the same way that He did it in the flood. He’ll never again destroy the earth by water.
Some people discount the flood entirely. They’ll do everything they can to controvert the story of a worldwide flood, even though there is great scientific evidence for it. They don’t want to believe in a God who would ultimately judge the world for its sin by causing everyone on it to die. But He did. We may not like that, but that’s the way it is. Everything died because God judged sin.
You see, the flood is a “preview of coming attractions.” Destruction will happen again. God will destroy this world.
2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise,” and that promise is judgment. Verse 10 says, “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.” So the earth is going to be destroyed by fire, not by water.
Verse 11 has a great question. “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?” If this earth is temporary and it’s going to burn up, what kind of person should you be? Certainly not materialistic, because everything you own will burn up one day and you won’t be able to take it with you.
The evidence for a worldwide flood is one of the great witnesses to the unbelieving world. But the skeptic doesn’t want to believe in it, because it’s that “preview of coming attractions” that I mentioned. What God did in destroying sinners, God will do again, in the Great Tribulation period. If you want the details on Second Peter, read the second half of the book of Revelation.
But there is an ark of safety, there is an ark of hope. And His name is Jesus Christ. Remember, God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). If you give your life to the one who gave His life as a payment for your sin and my sin, God will remember you, like He remembered Noah. That’s the message of the New Testament gospel, and that’s the message I want you to take away from this discussion of the Flood.
Jesus commissioned His disciples and said go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, and whoever believes will be saved, and whoever does not believe will be condemned. Those are the “coming attractions.” The world will be destroyed, sinners will be judged, and only those who escape through the ark of the righteous life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ will be spared.
And so the answer to the question in verse 11 is this: God wants us to be the kind of people He can use us to bring our family members, our neighbors, our friends—everyone who will hear—to the ark of safety, which is Jesus Christ. Let’s be about that work.
Skip Heitzig is the founder and senior pastor at Calvary Albuquerque. His teachings are heard across the country and around the world on The Connection. Skip and his wife, Lenya, and son and daughter-in-law, Nathan and Jana?, live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Skip and Lenya are the proud grandparents of Seth Nathaniel and Kaydence Joy.