November 1, 2010
But 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 the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. 2 Peter 3:10 (NIV)
For many years I have pondered the idea of how the Earth would be destroyed by fire. I asked questions like: How would God do that? What elements would God use? Would God create new elements just for the purpose of this destruction? Could God use those elements created by man who manipulated Godís creation? Like me, some have considered that the age of nuclear bombs would play a part in this great destruction by fire.
I believe I have the answer to those questions. I have yet to discover anyone else give answers like mine. Iím not saying no one else has similar answers as mine, I just havenít found them yet. Before I explain my answers, we have to go back to Genesis to study the events that led to the earthís first destruction by the great flood.
Now to be clear, some of my views may be controversial and possibly could not be proved either way. Nonetheless, these are views I have developed over the years of my studies. I also will not deny the possibility that the Holy Spirit may have placed these thoughts in my mind and on my heart.
The Earth before the Flood
In Genesis chapter one, God separated the waters. There was water on and in the earth and there was water in the sky. The water on the earth was in forms of oceans, seas, lakes, rivers and springs. The water in the sky, I believe, was in the form of a heavy vapor. Just imagine an earth totally covered by a dense cloud-like canopy. I suppose there are still areas of the earth that are covered by clouds or fog for days at a time and the sun never appears. Before the flood, I believe the earth had a perfect atmosphere where everyone could live without wearing clothes. Just like Adam and Eve did before the fall.
In Genesis, chapter two, God said He had not sent rain on the earth during the creation period. God did cause streams to come up from the earth to water the surface. These streams came from what I believe to have been massive underground lakes. I visited Carlsbad Caverns National Park back in the early 80s. It was then I began to believe that caverns like this all over the earth held the water that eventually played a part in the great flood. Whether it rained or not before the flood, we cannot be sure. But for anyone, like myself, who has lived along the coast of California or in the San Joaquin Valley can all testify, the fog can be so thick at times in the morning it appears to have rained. So I doubt it ďrainedĒ before the flood. It was more likely tiny water droplets from the dense cloud-like formation covering the earth. I suspect there was dew every morning on the earth.
In Genesis chapter seven, it is revealed that all the springs of the great deep burst forth and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. Suddenly there was weather. Apparently it rained for the first time and, as you know the story, it rained for forty days and nights all over the earth. Imagine what Noah and all the others thought the first time they saw water pouring from the sky. Then, to top that off, there must have been millions of geyser-like fountains of water bursting out of the earth. Have you ever seen water flowing from a fire hydrant that was knocked over? Now imagine that hundreds of times greater in size. Remember what I said about all the caverns? Surely these caverns were the primary source of the water from the deep.
In Genesis chapter eight we are told that the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed and the rain had stopped falling from the sky. It took forty days for all the caverns to empty. That is assuming the caverns were emptied. Although we know of modern-day water caves, most caverns have very little water. I suspect there are millions of caverns that we shall never discover. I have an idea about all these unknown caverns that used to be filled with water. Iíll tell you more about that later.
In Genesis chapter nine we see the first mention of clouds. I think this is important to note. Clearly there is a change in the atmosphere. The rain has stopped pouring from the sky as it had the previous forty days. Now there are clouds that are distinctly different than before the rain started. Of course, there was still some rain around the earth here and there like we see today. How else could Noah have seen the rainbow? We have all heard the reason God gave us the rainbow. It is ours and Godís reminder that He will never destroy all life on the earth again by flood.
What We Have Learned Thus Far
One question I intentionally omitted above was: Would God use the present elements of His creation on earth? Simply, the answer is yes. Throughout the Bible, God has always used the elements of His creation. There is no biblical record of God creating a new element in heaven or on earth for any specific purpose after the creation period. Therefore I have no reason to think Godís nature would change during that great time of destruction by fire.
Now, think about this for a moment. All the man-made bombs, both conventional and nuclear, will not be used by God. The extremely toxic and flammable chemicals made by man will not be used by God. The list can go on and on. Now it is possible that man-made elements may contribute slightly to Godís workings, but they wonít be used directly by Him. God does not need anything man-made to do His Will.
Okay, I can hear it coming. Someone is going to say something like this: ďGod is God. He can do whatever He wants to. He can even use the man-made nuclear bombs if He wants too.Ē My blunt response: These kinds of comments are asinine and are completely without any biblical foundation. There is not any evidence that the nature of God has changed. And to say Godís nature could change is presumptuous and without foundational proof.
Godís Plan, I Believe
Over the years, I have watched events around the world and I have had opportunities to learn new things that I failed to learn in school. One of the most recent learning experiences was earlier this year. When BPís Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded on April 20, 2010, the whole world was glued to the news. I had no knowledge before this event that so much oil could freely flow from a relatively small hole. It was estimated by BP that up to 4,200,000 US gallons could have flowed from the well per day. The latest official estimate is 2,604,000 gallons per day. I doubt weíll ever know for sure. The point is thatís a lot of oil from a small hole.
So that was my hint to the answer. To me, itís clearly going to be the oil stored in the earth. The oil, I believe, is Godís primary element He will use to destroy the earth by fire.
Where Did the Oil Come From?
We know from our grade-school science that oil is produced by plants, animals, and other organisms through organic processes. Itís also found in porous rocks underground, originating from organic material, such as dead plankton, accumulated on the seafloor in geologically ancient times. Through various geochemical processes this material was converted to mineral oil, or petroleum, and such.
Okay, letís backtrack a little bit. Recall, God emptied water from the caverns to flood the earth. In Genesis chapter 7, it says ďevery living thing that moved on the earth perishedóbirds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah remained, and those with him in the ark.Ē
Weíll never know the total number of people, animals and other life that perished during the flood. I am confident in this; the amount of life that perished was enough to create oil. Yes, thatís what Iím saying; there is your source for geochemical processes that created oil. And where did the oil go? Itís obvious to me that the oil collected primarily in the caverns that used to be filled with water.
Whatever force or catastrophic event God used to bring the water out of the caverns, He will do the same for all the oil stored up for the purpose of destroying the earth by fire. Although the Bible doesnít say this, I tend to think that the oil will flow about forty days to cover the earth. Of course, at some point the oil will ignite and only God knows how long it will burn. But I think the event of the great flood gives us some clues.
Although these are my thoughts and beliefs, I donít intend to be dogmatic. You can find other views published on the World Wide Web as well. What is more important than knowing how the earth will be destroyed is your answer to the following question: Do you know for certain, when you die, youíll go to Heaven?
If youíre unsure, please visit the following website that guides you through the four steps to Salvation.
Questions for Discussion
Is there any possibility man will consume all the oil in the earth?
Will oil be the only natural element used to destroy the earth by fire?
When will the God destroy the earth by fire?
Could man destroy the earth from all the pollution he creates?
Who is destroying the earth now? Is it being destroyed?
Does the Bible give any clues or answers to global warming?
Note: Scripture references came from the New International Version Bible.
Recommended resource: Answers In Genesis.orgBack to Home Page
Copyright © 2010, All rights reserved, David W. Gray