The BIBLE says that in the last days scoffers will appear, mocking the message that Jesus Christ is going to return to set up a new kingdom. Even today mockers are saying, "Where is He? I don't see any evidence that Jesus is coming. Everything continues as it has from the beginning. There's no sign of a new world coming, with Christ as king!"
If you were to try to convince these scoffers that Jesus is coming to purge the earth with fire and set up a kingdom of eternal righteousness, they would call you insane! Many today ridicule the very idea of a Second Coming. Yet, without batting an eye, these same mockers turn around and claim that a "new world order" is coming. A New Age society is soon to appear!
Such scoffers have bought into a lie from hell! Satan always manufactures a counterfeit just before the real thing comes. You see, he knows King Jesus is about to return and that His new world is at the door. And the devil wants to keep his own children deceived by promoting a fantasy world, with every false hope. So now he has concocted a new, demonic doctrine of a coming New Age — to keep people from accepting the reality of the coming Christ!
This most recent New-Age counterfeit first appeared as the Age of Aquarius. The eleventh constellation was to move into a final, New-Age kingdom, which would be known as the "new world order." (President Bush used to use this phrase — and it angered me to no end! He didn't know he was speaking of a New Age!)
New Agers say this new world order is just about to dawn. They predict a catastrophic calamity will take place first. Then a new world order will arise out of the chaos, ushering in a society of love, understanding and world peace. AIDS will be conquered. All diseases will be cured. Wars will cease. Poverty will be no more. And the only Christ that will exist will be a Christ-consciousness — a worldwide mindset of brotherhood. Every person will be a little god! Self-love will be king, and pleasure will be the focus of all. There will be no restraints. Everyone can do as he or she pleases!
I've got bad news for all such New Age scoffers: I'm sorry — but you've been hoodwinked by the devil! There is no such thing as the fantasy world he is pushing on humankind in these last days!
Oh, there is a new world coming, all right — and it is dawning even now. But it isn't a "new world order" or a New Age. Rather, every kingdom of this world is soon to become our Lord's — and all His enemies will become His footstool! Christ is coming back to establish His holy kingdom, and scoffers won't have any part in it: "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" (2 Peter 3:13).
In this new world, none of the following will be allowed to enter: "...the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars..." (Revelation 21:8). In fact, all of these "...shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone..." (verse 8).
Think of the horror of the New Age deception! Millions of people today are totally convinced they will take part in a new world order. They believe that soon they'll finally have peace and be fulfilled...that all guilt, fear and condemnation will vanish ..that sin will no longer haunt them...that they will be able to freely indulge in homosexuality and fornication with no penalty, disease or retribution. They assure themselves, "Away with born-again religion! Away with all the condemnation that causes people to feel bad about themselves. We're going to have a new world where we can do as we please. No one will bother us — no one will upset us!"
Yet they are about to face a tragic awakening! They are going to find themselves in a godless hell, where a mocking devil gleefully proclaims, "Welcome to your New Age. Welcome to your new world order!"
It is no wonder hell will be a place of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth. That is where the lie will be exposed — in an eternal furnace of fire! Suddenly the damned will cry, "I've been deceived! The New Age that I was convinced was coming is an everlasting hell!" And the horror of the deception will continue to grow in intensity, throughout all eternity!
Right now, multitudes in America are turning to the occult: Hollywood executives, Wall Street tycoons, Broadway actors and actresses, government leaders, people from all walks of life. They are embracing the New Age's false gospels: Scientology, channeling, satanism, voodoo, astrology, all kinds of demonic religions of the east. They are blind, deceived — believing a lie!
The apostle Peter tells us the truth about the coming new world and what it will really be like. He says the present world is going to dissolve. It is headed for a fiery meltdown that God Himself will bring about! Indeed, the Lord will unleash His reserved fire, to purge both the heavens and the earth:
"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up" (2 Peter 3:10).
Now, this does not mean the heavens and the earth will be completely annihilated. Rather, it means everything will be "renovated, cleansed by fire." You see, God has reserved a cleansing fire with a power far beyond that of any hydrogen holocaust or atomic explosion. It is much more intense than anything humankind could produce. And He will bring it forth with such intensity, it will melt the very elements!
All the "space junk" — the satellites and mechanical clutter we've shot into the heavens — will burn. All pollutions, all diseases, all corruption on the earth will be consumed. The very elements will be dissolved — and out of it all will come a new heaven and a new earth!
Peter says the reason he wrote this message about the end of the present world and the beginning of the new earth was to "stir up the pure minds" of all believers: "This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance" (verse 1). His message is meant to stir up a hope in us — to keep us from being anchored to this world!
Here is the truth meant to "stir up our minds":
1. Everything on This Planet Is Going to Be Destroyed!
"Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved..." (verse 11). Everything humankind is attached to — all that people hold precious, all that they labor a lifetime to keep and enjoy — is going to dissolve in a sudden burning!
Try to imagine it: All Wall Street firms, all corporate offices, all banks, all computer headquarters — gone! The United Nations will vanish. State and federal capitol buildings will burn to oblivion. Fort Knox and all its gold will disappear. There won't be any more manufacturing plants, skyscrapers, bridges, tunnels, airplanes, trains. There won't even be any ashes left! God's Word clearly says that all these things "...shall be burned up...dissolved..." (verses 10-11).
The Greek word for dissolved here means "to loosen, break up and melt down." In other words: God is going to break up the party! He will pry people loose from everything they lust after — and then melt it all in intense heat!
Now, I want to share with you a truth that will help you understand why the secular workplace will never fully accept you, if you are devoted to Jesus. It doesn't matter where you work — at a bank, in a school, cleaning the streets, wherever. You probably experience much rejection, condescension, frustration and misunderstanding. You receive little or no credit for what you do. You are persecuted, ridiculed, talked about behind your back. And you realize you will never be "one of the guys" or "one of the girls." So you never feel comfortable or truly secure. Why is this so?
It is all the Lord's doing! He permits it so you will not become hooked on this transient, passing world! Many Christians get too comfortable in this world and end up turning away from the Lord. Prosperity, acceptance and recognition capture their hearts and minds.
Yet, if God sees that you are susceptible to being seduced by these things, His mercy and grace will work to keep you from becoming ensnared! He will make you uncomfortable on the job because He knows you. He knows you may forget Him — and possibly end up in hell! So He doesn't let you put down roots in this world. He makes you always dependent on Him!
Right now you may be wondering, "Lord, why is my job so upsetting to me? Why do others take advantage of me and stab me in the back? Why do I always feel like an outsider? What's wrong with me?"
There is nothing wrong with you! It is God at work! He is keeping you sick and tired of this dying world. He is saying, "You can't get too involved in 'making it' here, because it's all going up in smoke. Set your affections on things above — on the new world that's coming!
You answer, "But what a waste! I'm so full of energy. I have talent, ideas, a sharp mind, a desire to accomplish much. Yet I feel stifled, stymied. It's so frustrating!
Dear saint, I've got good news for you: When it all ends and your scoffing friends are cut off — their work melted to nothing, their careers dissolved, their money burned — your work is just about to begin!
You see, heaven is not a retirement center. It is no "Sunset City." Rather, our eternal home is a place of great action — full of new horizons and incredible plans! God is going to fully use all your gifts, talents and desires there. He's not going to waste a thing He has given you. On the contrary, your gifts will be magnified many times over! He is going to use you for His glory in eternity!
Jesus gives us several hints as to what this experience will be like:
1. Matthew 24:46-47: "Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods." The Greek word for "ruler" here suggests "an eternal appointment." We are going to be appointed by God as keepers over His goods — throughout all eternity!
2. Matthew 25:21: "His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things..."
3. Luke 19:17: "And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities."
Eternal appointments...ruling over His household...ruling over His goods...ruling over cities.... We're going to rule and reign with Jesus in His kingdom — as kings and priests!
I sometimes imagine that when we get to heaven, we'll discover whole new planets — new worlds created for His glory, deep in outer space, far beyond anything our finite minds can comprehend. (Just recently, scientists used a newly developed telescope to discover whole new universes they didn't know existed!) Our Lord's creation extends so far beyond what we could ever imagine, it blows the mind!
In addition, there will be countless multitudes of saints with Jesus in eternity. I think of the hundreds of millions of aborted babies who will be there. Satan tried to kill them all — but he only planted them in God's kingdom! I also think of the millions of abandoned, murdered, starved children throughout the ages. Right now precious street orphans in Brazil are being murdered by police because their begging upsets the tourist trade. Officers get $25 for every such child they kill.
When I get to heaven, I want to meet the little, four-year-old "No Name Girl." Her lifeless, badly burned body was found stuffed into a suitcase in an apartment building in Spanish Harlem. Even though the newspapers published a picture of the girl's face, nobody came to claim her. The police had to take up an offering to give her a burial.
I tell you, it would not be heaven without these children! And it's going to be wonderful there for them! I recently heard of a fatherless little boy who dreamed he went to heaven, and Jesus played ball with him. I believe a vision like this one more than many others I hear about!
Who will be there to play with these children and bless them, you ask? We will! We'll be appointed eternally to love them! So don't worry about your talent being ignored or your energy being squelched. God is going to use you to the fullest in His new world. And He is training you right now to rule and reign with Him!
2. In Every Generation, Including Ours, God Has Preserved a People to Inhabit His Coming New World!
God is not going to create a new world without having a people to inhabit it. And in every generation He has preserved a people whom He will translate into this wonderful new kingdom!
Believe it or not, Peter says we are to earnestly desire the end of the present world. You may say, "That sounds morbid!" Yet the apostle writes that we are to anticipate the dissolving of this evil age: "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..." (2 Peter 3:12).
Now, this doesn't mean that when destruction comes we're to shout happily, "Look, its all burning!" No — Peter's words here are meant to sustain us. Whenever we become discouraged in this life, we are to rejoice: "It's all going to go up in smoke anyway!"
This truth also is meant to "stir us up" about the kind of people we are to be:
"Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness..." (verse 11).
I ask you: When you read these words about a great fire coming and a bright, new world where righteousness will reign, do you rejoice? Perhaps, instead, you cry: "Oh God, I believe what Your Word says. I believe one day You are going to send Your fire to melt down this sin-cursed world. And I believe a new, holy world is coming...
"But I don't believe I measure up with all holy conversation and godliness! I don't feel I meet the standard Peter writes about. And I'm afraid I won't make it. I might fail and miss out on it all!"
Beloved, I've got great, glorious news for you: I can show you — beyond any shadow of a doubt — that God greatly desires to preserve you for His coming world! You need His life-giving truth in your heart, to sustain you when the enemy comes against you like a flood.
Here is what the Lord has pledged to do for you:
"The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore" (Psalm 121:7-8).
"For the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever..." (Psalm 37:28).
"...he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked" (Psalm 97:10).
"The Lord preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy" (Psalm 145:20).
"...and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it" (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).
"And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever" (2 Timothy 4:18).
The word "preserve" here means "to guard, protect, keep, make safe, hedge about." God is saying, "I'm going to guard you, protect you, keep you, make you safe, hedge you about so the devil can't touch you. I Myself will deliver you into My heavenly kingdom!"
Do you see what a liar the devil is? He says he's going to get you — but, all the while, God has promised to keep you!
Not long ago, I had an incredible experience. I had risen early to pray and was sitting in my living room with my Bible. Suddenly, Satan began to intrude into my mind. He screamed vile, threatening curses at me: "You are going to be destroyed! You've spent a lifetime serving God for nothing — because now I'm going to get you! I'm going to cast you down in your final years!"
I saw before me all the evangelists Satan has brought down in recent years. The devil shouted, "I got all of them — and they loved Jesus just as you do! So why do you think you're special? You're no good — you're nothing but a liar and a cheat. And I'm going to shut you and your ministry down for good!"
It was the most devastating attack I've ever felt in my life! It was so strong, I was overwhelmed. It literally took my breath away!
But then the Spirit of the Lord came upon me. And I stood up in a holy anger, bound Satan and cast him out of my presence! I cried, "Devil, you're a liar — the father of all lies!" And I rebuked him with God's Word about how He will preserve and keep me! God's Word delivered me from all fear!
Beloved, God wants to do the same for you. Will you let Him? Listen again to God's Word to you: "...he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked" (Psalm 97:10). The Lord will guard you, protect you, keep you, put a hedge all about you — until the day Jesus returns!
Do You Feel Trapped by a Besetting Sin?
Is Satan whispering that you'll never be free — that you'll never see God's new world? Quote this passage to him, and believe it for yourself:
"Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped" (Psalm 124:6-7).
God has broken Satan's trap for good — and you have been set free! You may fear you'll fail. But God wants to smite that fear! He is going to take you home — and you can look forward to a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwells His righteousness!
So set your gaze on that world and not on this one. And take to heart His precious Word about His power to preserve you. He will not let the devil overtake you as an easy prey. No — you're going to put your foot on the enemy's neck! And God is going to deliver you fully!