Romans 11:33-36; 2 Peter 3

For the next few minutes, imagine this scene:

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for...the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! (2 Peter 3:10-12)

Scary stuff, that business about the heavens passing away and the astronomical destruction and the twice-mentioned "intense heat" that will result in a total wipeout of Planet Earth. Makes me wonder how. Oh, I've heard the same things you have about super-atomic warheads and World War III. But somehow that never explained how "the heavens will pass away" or how the surrounding atmosphere and stratosphere could be "destroyed by burning."

Since that would usher in "the day of God," I've always questioned whether He would use man-made, adult fireworks to announce His arrival. But in my reading recently I stumbled across a possible hint of how the Lord might be planning to pull off this final blast.

On March 9 1979, nine satellites stationed at various points in the solar system simultaneously recorded a bizarre event deep in space. It was, in fact, the most powerful burst of energy ever recorded. Astronomers who studied the readings were in awe.

The burst of gamma radiation lasted for only one-tenth of a second...but in that instant it emitted as much energy as the sun does in 3,000 years. If the gamma-ray burst had occurred in the Milky Way Galaxy, said one astrophysicist, it would have set our entire atmosphere aglow. If the sun had suddenly emitted the same amount of energy, our earth would have vaporized. Instantly.

As untrained and ignorant as we may be about the technical side of this, I suggest it might cast some light on the validity of Peter's remark. At least, in my estimation, it makes a lot more sense than atomic wars.

It's probably going to be more like star wars. The good news is this: I have no plans to be around at the premier showing.

How about you?

We may not understand all His ways, but we can know Him whose ways are "unfathomable."


Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.