2 Peter 3:10-13 - Homilies By U.r. Thomas
Destiny and duty.
This passage is woven to the preceding by a link so clear and close that there is no need for indicating it. But we proceed to notice—
I. THE CERTAINTY AND YET THE UNCERTAINTY OF THE PASSING AWAY OF THE PRESENT SYSTEM OF THINGS .
1 . What will "pass away"? "Heavens;" i.e., firmament. "Elements;" not the forces we usually so name, because they include "fire," which is here the revolutionary force; but, according to Farrar and others, "the orbs of heaven."
2 . How shall they "pass away"? "Dissolved," not destroyed. Fresh forms. Whether this be literal, as with the Flood, or wider and figurative, so as to include institutions, empires, and all that "the world" is to us, is an open question.
3 . The certainty of all passing away. The fact is certain.
4 . The uncertainty. The date is uncertain. "As a thief;" not as to wrongfulness, but unexpectedness. "At such an hour as ye think not is the true answer to all chronological theories about "the end."
II. THE GLORY OF THE FUTURE AFTER THAT STUPENDOUS EVENT HAS HAPPENED . It is not the catastrophe, or climax, but the prologue and dawn. It leads not to annihilation, but restoration and purification.
1 . A new system of things. "New heavens and new earth." Fresh, in contrast to worn out. Scars and wounds all gone.
2 . The true principle dominant in the new system—" righteousness." Probably not more material grandeur or loveliness than now, but pervaded with rectitude—man right with God, man right with man, man right with himself.
3 . The permanence of this pervasive righteousness. Wherein "dwelleth." Not, as now and here, often an alien, frequently a stronger, at best a visitor; but the new system of things will be its home. That is
4 . All this rests on a Divine "promise." This indicates
The tones of this promise are manifold and harmonious, from Jonah down to Peter - U.R.T.
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