Listen to the Prophets
Peter in his second letter, in chapter three, delivers a word of prophecy that I never noticed before. One, because I never considered the story of Noah to be connected to the second coming of Christ like this. It’s an old Testament story, but it is deeply connected. It manifests Gods heart of distraught with the sinfulness of man, and a willingness with holy zeal to start over because of his love for mankind. This is how he begins to conclude the third chapter…
“I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandments of the Lord and Savior through your apostles.”
Our next question should be, well which predictions of holy prophets are you talking about Peter? We find which prophets he means in the paragraphs below. Talking about people who will mock us for believing Jesus Christ will come again, Peter says
“For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water, the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged* with water and perished.”
*other translations may say, flooded, or overcome with water.
The Flood as Prophecy to the Return of Christ
In the same chapter Peter talks about predictions of the holy prophets and mentions the very story of Noah. Now we know God flooded the earth, because he was sorry he even made humans, because they were violent all the time. War was everywhere, and sexual immorality was prevalent. It says men took women as they wanted (its interesting to note, that before that point God had not given the law…he had not given order to things….this was what man did without restraints), and there was sinful chaos. Noah was the remnant, he was holding out, and God was going to save him and his sons, and so purify the earth of its moral dirt and filth by way of water. A fresh start was needed, because man was continually evil the word says. So he flooded the earth, and every living thing died that was not on the ark. God promised he would never flood the earth again, and he won’t. But to ready the kingdom of God, a second cleansing is needed. In God’s presence there can be no sin, and if there was, He would cease to be a just God, so He has chosen to cleanse his creation with a stronger cleansing agent, with a stronger scrub….with fire.
Water cleans the surface, but fire burns and refines deep within, not just the surface, but throughout.
Same skies, two different rains
Rain comes from the sky, everyone knows this. But think this way….every time it rains, it is a MERCY, that it doesn’t rain fire on us, like it will some day! Consider the scripture below, still in the third chapter,
“But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgement and destruction of the ungodly.”
“…the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done in it will be exposed.”
“It’s never rained before!”
The people in Noahs day mocked Noah for building an ark. Because they had never seen rain before. The scripture says that water came up from the ground and the heavens, indicating that God kept an amount of water in the atmosphere and in the ground (read the creation account in Genesis). So the people who saw Noah, had never seen the ark, and thought it foolish and silly to build a boat.
So also today, NO ONE has seen fire fall from the heavens! And OH what a terrible sight it would be!
Noah as a prediction of what is to come
So it is my estimation that the flood is not merely a model of how things may pan out in the end, but a prediction. It is a necessity, by way of insufficiency, that Noah predicted the return of Christ. Just as Moses gave the law, predicting Christ by way of insufficiency, so Noah predicted the end times in greater sufficiency, just as Christ fulfilled the law in a very necessary way. The law was insufficient, and so was the flood. The end-times will be a fulfillment of the flood, and God’s covenant with the earth.
But, this is not our hope! Fire is not it! There is joy and pleasure forever more in the presence of God, once he comes! Be encouraged by these words Peter leaves us with.
“Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation….take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen!”