The Old King James Version wrongly translated 5 references to the end of the aoinos (age) as referring to the end of the world (cosmos). Most new versions have this corrected.
The old translations also contradicted later passages.
So what about the scriptures which speak of a TIME of the END. Please note that this is not the End of Time.
So why then does the a large part of Christendom still believe the world will come to a cataclysmic end ...and that soon? Is it because they have failed to to look at the HISTORIC records of the events in AD70? Or is it because of a failure to understand the typical Hebraic prophetic apocalyptic language that Peter was using in the following passage...?
2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. NKJV
This passage is best understood when we realise that Peter got his teaching from OLD testament prophecies and Jesus teachings of Mat 24:29-36. A judgment by FIRE was promised to Israel...as part of the 'Day of the Lord'
Mal 4:1 "For behold, the day is coming,
Burning like an oven,
And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble.
And the day which is coming shall burn them up,"
Says the LORD of hosts,
"That will leave them neither root nor branch. NKJV
Isa 34:3 Also their slain shall be thrown out;
Their stench shall rise from their corpses,
And the mountains shall be melted with their blood.
4 All the host of heaven shall be dissolved,
And the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll;
All their host shall fall down
As the leaf falls from the vine,
And as fruit falling from a fig tree. NKJV
The elements in Peter do not refer to the chemical elements as we tend to think of today...the chemical table of elements is a fairly modern day discovery.
Paul also confirms this context in 1 Cor 7:29-31 But this I say, brethren, the time is short, .... 31 For the form of this world is passing away. NKJV
Peter's context is the 'day of the Lord' ...a day of judgment promised to Israel for its apostacy
The heavens refers to the whole realm of their worship being the temple, priesthood, sacrificial system, and the Law and the prophets and their entire 'religious system' of the Mosaic covenant (Heb 12:22-24, New heavens and new Earth... Is 65:17, Is 66:1 & 22)
The elements refer to the components of their religious activities such as clean and unclean foods, ceremonial washings, sabbaths and circumcision (refer Gal 4:3 and 9, Col 2:16-23,)
The earth refers to the promised land... Israel lost the last of this in AD 70
All the works that are in it refers to everything they thought they had ever achieved for God ... their 'treasures on earth'....wood, hay and stubble.
Being burned up is the coming judgment promised in numerous prophecies (Is 64:11) ....and fulfilled in the AD 70 destruction of the temple and the execution of 1.1 million Jews and most of the rest of the nation being taken away into captivity as slaves.
Similar language is used in Isaiah 34:4 about God's judgment of Edom and Bozra....and then it did not refer to 'the end of the world' ...so why should we assume it is meant to do so in 2 Peter? (Refer also to Isaiah 13:10, Isaiah 34:1-10, Isaiah 51:6 with Heb 8:13, Psalm 75:3, Acts 2:19-20, Mat 24:29)
Read the prophetic language of David in Psalm 18:7-19 about how God intervened to deliver him from King Saul (and compare it to the historic narative of the events in 1 Samuel)...it is the same language of Peter... yet David was certainly not speaking of literal physical events ....but of divine intervention in the heavenlies on his behalf.
1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. NKJV
Today close to 2000 years later surely we can know that Peter was talking about Israel's end and NOT the end of the world when he wrote these words at approx AD 67?
So why are so many christians today still expecting a repeat of this event i.e. the AD 70 destruction of Jeruslalem...to happen globally today when Peter said the LAST DAYS started after Jesus died, was raised and the Holy Spirit poured out in Acts 2:17 ... and that the END OF ALL THINGS was at hand in approx AD 67? It is now close to 2000 YEARS later. We are left to conclude that Peter was either speaking of the the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple...or the scriptures ARE wrong about the timing of these events. I find that if we believe Peter (and Jesus and the other apostles) about the timing of this event then suddenly great clarity comes about on a whole range of associated scriptures.
Well some will say "what about Jesus words about THE LAST DAY"?
John 6:40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
The resurrection at the LAST DAY was something the righteous Jews looked forward to as they waited in Sheol or the grave for the sacrifice to be made...and is what Daniel 12:2 promises.
Brethren AD 70 may not have been the LAST Day for the world as a whole or for gentiles and the Church...but it certainly was THE LAST DAY for Israel and Jerusalem and the temple and sacrifices....and Mosaic Torahism.
Brethren we TODAY in the church RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE as soon as we believe... we do not have to wait.
John 11:24 Martha said to Him,"I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" NKJV
Martha did not realise the change that the coming of Jesus had brought ...the LAST day had arrived ...the waiting in Sheol is over ...Jesus has PAID the ransom!
RESURRECTION and LIFE had arrived in Christ...no more waiting. (Mat 27:52-53 confirms this)
Note that Daniel 12:7 is emphatic that the 70 sevens ENDS prior to the DESTRUCTION of Jerusalem and the temple.....and Daniel 12:2-3 emphasizes that the resurrection and eternal life are granted to the saints of Israel BEFORE this happened!
The kingdom which Jesus ushered in for the New Covenant is also described in Daniel
13 "I was watching in the night visions,
And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days,
And they brought Him near before Him.
14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
Which shall not pass away,
And His kingdom the one
Which shall not be destroyed. NKJV
Brethren the CHURCH which is the body of Christ on earth will NEVER be defeated nor will it come to an end.
Dan 2:44 And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. NKJV
Dan 4:34 For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom is from generation to generation. NKJV
(See also Dan 6:26, Dan 7:14 and 27)
Luke 1:32 ..and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end." NKJV
Matt 16:19 ...and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. NKJV
The gates of Hades speak of Christ's death...and even the death of believers on earth ...these will NEVER stop the church (History proves that martyrdom of evangelists has often resulted in explosions of revival and church growth)
2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. NKJV
It is easy to surmise that churches teach a 'soon coming' END OF THE WORLD because it is seen by many 'in authority' to be a great way to get people to come to faith and a great tool to be able to control the church after that.
The failure to understand the truth about the world NOT ending soon however has crippled successive generations of believers into living without a generational focus. i.e. Instead of thinking about what we as believers CAN do to change this world for our children's and grandchildren's futures.....are we not lured into thinking that there is NO PURPOSE as everything will come to an end soon anyway? ...and that Jesus will sort it all out then?
Brethren Jesus is SEATED at the right hand of the Father....His work is COMPLETED
But what about the gospel needing to be preached to every nation?.... some will ask
Surely the end cannot come until the gospel was preached in all the world?
Matt 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. NKJV
Mark 16:15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. NKJV
Paul knew what Jesus had said and answered that this HAD BEEN DONE.....before AD 70
Rom 15:19 in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20 And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named NKJV
Col 1:23 ...if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister. NKJV
Brethren, scripturally everything that needed to happen before the END could come, HAD happened before AD 70 .... and the fulfillment was demonstrated when Jerusalem was destroyed and the Law abolished by the destruction of the temple. This is 'THE END' which Jesus and many other scriptures said would THEN come.... not an event some 2000 odd years later!
Jesus work is FINISHED for ALL ETERNITY (John 19:30).
There will be no new temple, there will be no new sacrificial system, there will be no new priesthood.... Jesus is the FULFILLMENT of ALL of the Old Covenant!
His enemies including the Jews and Satan and death have been defeated and they are now his footstool (Eph 2:6, Heb 1:13, Heb 2:14-15)