One of the quick-run-to place that people use to justify a destruction of the heaven and earth is in 1 Peter 3.
First things. Consider that this letter was not written with the intention of completing a “Bible” that should be read to far away 2,000 years later. It was written to a specific audience long ago. If we don’t understand what it meant to them then do we understand what it should mean to us.
The context of Second Peter 3, starts with verse one.
Dear friends, this is NOW MY SECOND LETTER TO YOU. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want YOU to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles (2 Peter 3:1-2).
Now note the emphasized words.
In this letter, Peter intends to remind HIS readers about some specific words and commands given from
(1) the Old Testament,
(2) Jesus, and
(3) the apostles.
In the following verses he lays out the prophecies from of old.
Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation” (2 Peter 3:3-4).
The historical context of Peter’s writing is between AD 30 and AD 70. At that time, the Jews were bringing severe persecution upon the Christians. The Christians were clinging to the hope of Jesus’ words in Matthew 24 that judgment was about to come upon Jerusalem and the religious system. That was the Parousia. The return they understood. Not the one to happen sometime in 2017. Christians then were being mocked for believing that Jesus was actually coming to bring judgment upon the Temple.
But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth [Ge] are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly (2 Peter 3:5-7).
Peter responded to the mocker’s statements by showing how God has judged before and affirming that God will judge again.
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. (2 Peter 3:8)
In other words it would be in moment when it would all pan out.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with YOU, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
In Matthew 24:34, Jesus said that the long held prophecies would come to pass within a generation. It was something that could have happened just after the cross but He chose to wait until the last moment of the forty-year prophecy so that people would have more time to repent.
If people could look at the content from this perspective I personally belief the message becomes clear and will echo the truth of fulfillment. God is not in a waiting mood to destroy the earth with floods, hurricanes and fires. That was never conveyed as a message from the Bible. It’s not a message from the altar of ignorance to assume so and cause people not to see God in His true grace and beauty.