“Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” (2 Peter 3:12–13, AV)
When I attended Drexel University pursuing a mechanical engineering degree, the school had a cooperative work program. For six months a year,I worked at the U.S. Steel corporation. While there, the mill worked to install an electric-arc furnace. This furnace would take scrap steel, melt it and turn it into useable steel. It took quite some time for the mill to get the furnace up and running. Many people worked for months on this project, each one hastening the day that the furnace would be complete and melting old scrap into new material.
In this section, Peter wrote about the “day of God.” We can understand what this day is in context with the writing here. It is the day when the heavens and earth will be transformed by fire, melting the elements prior to the new heavens and new earth. The word “new,” used here is kainos, which refers to new in freshness or kind (Strong G2537) as compared to neos that has to do with age (Strong G3501). Peter makes the point that the new heavens and new earth will be completely different than what we see now, infinitely improved. It will be a perfect creation not subjected to futility (Rom 8:20). There will be no more unrighteousness. This will be a time when righteousness will reign. This is the eternal state.
Peter wrote that based upon the promise of God, believers are looking forward to this day. Believers are confidently and joyfully anticipating the day when there will be new heavens and a new earth not corrupted by sin. It will be the eternal state where there will be perfect peace and righteousness.
He went on to say that believers not only are waiting, but also hastening the coming of this day. Now, there are events that will precede this day, the rapture, the tribulation, the millennium, and the judgment. Today, we are in the church age and God is using the church in hastening the day of God, which also means hastening the other events. How do we do this? We do it by being faithful in our calling.
The church is the pillar and buttress of truth (1 Tim 3:15). As such, the church hastens the day by being steadfast in preaching and teaching the truth of God’s word. Unfortunately, many individual churches today are deviating from preaching the full truth of God’s word. This leaves many lost, deluded, and led astray. Church leaders are responsible for leading the church in the truth of God.
The church is the gathering of believers called together for a mission. Individually and corporately believers participate in hastening that day. We do so by living a life of holiness and godliness, by praying for the lost, by evangelizing, and by ministering using one’s gifts and talents.
Moreover, the church hastens the day by encompassing the globe with the message of the gospel. Men and women have been called by God to go to foreign lands. In the Lord’s commission to the church, He stated, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14, AV). For this reason, we support missions around the world so that every people group shall have an opportunity to hear the gospel and believe.
Let us do our part in hastening the day.