Learning Activity 26

 The Destruction of the Earth

If you have been a Christian for very long, you have no doubt been exposed to the teaching that this planet we are on will someday (real soon!) be destroyed to one degree or another, and a new heaven and earth will physically be put into place. In recent times this topic has been the centerpiece of a number of Christian authored books, pamphlets and even movies. This would be a good time in our presentation of the Bible material to focus on this topic.

To begin with, we saw in Learning Activity #23, items #3, #6 and #7, that the scripture verses in those items cannot be used to support the above notion of the “earth” passing away because the scripture is actually speaking of an “age” and not the “earth.”

1. Psalm 104:5

2. What does the verse above say about the longevity of the earth?

3. Ecclesiastes 1:4

4. What does the verse above say about the longevity of the earth?

5. Psalm 78:69

6. What does the verse above say about the longevity of the earth?

7. Genesis 8:21

8. The great Noaic flood had just preceded the verse above in the Scriptures. What was God’s attitude toward the earth in the verse above?

9. From the above study, what do you conclude the Bible teaches about the coming destruction of the earth?

10. 1 Corinthians 10:11

The word “world” in the verse above should be translated “ages.” Bishop Pierce in the 18th Century has made a good commentary on this verse. “St. Paul did not imagine, that the end of the world was at hand (as some commentators have, much to his prejudice, supposed): He only alluded to the Jewish distinction of time.” If the reader of this Learning Activity has not already completed Learning Activities #23 and #24, I highly recommend that they be completed at this time in order to understand this biblical concept of time.

I close this Learning Activity with a quotation from James Stuart Russell (1878) from his book (The Parousia, p.121) “Nothing can be more misleading to the English reader, then the rendering, ‘the end of the world;’ which inevitably suggests the close of human history, the end of time, and the destruction of the earth–a meaning which words will not bear.”

The author of this web site material is aware that after reading the above material there will be those who will point to 2 Peter 3:10–13 to validate their belief in a coming destruction of this earth. At this point in our progression of understanding Scripture, there has not been an adequate foundation established for understanding that portion of Scripture, so I leave it for a later Learning Activity.

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