Gets Pretty Hot!
"Oh, that fiery end of the world scenario is just a device to get people into churches. Science pretty much confirms that we will lose our heat and freeze before that ever happens." I remember the sceptic's comments.
Well the warnings and the attractions of the Bible are also pretty much a device to get people into churches. The propoganda of righteousness. Those who opt out are gambling with their souls and not just the weather forecast years hence.
I found a musty, stiff old paperback in the basement recently. Copywritten 1940 from Zondervan Publishers and authored by Frank S. Weston, M.A., D.D. For years he was a Bible College professor and Baptist pastor in Toronto.
I found even his preface to be interesting:
"I am now an old man. For over forty years I have taught the Bible in colleges. The vague teaching on the future place and conditions of those who are to enjoy the eternal life prompted me to write this book. I know of no work along the same lines. I hope it will give definiteness of faith to many."
His chapters include The End of the World - The Heaven and Earth on Fire - The New Heaven and the New Earth - The People of the New Earth - The Vision of God
His comments include some pretty scary stuff about the fire-power contained in this earth if only the Lord makes some not unforeseeable adjustments to the way things "consist". Molten material beneath an eggshell size crust. Hydrogen and oxygen galore in the oceans. Peter's second epistle talks about a fiery judgment against wickedness; a transformation of matter rather than an obliteration; an end of an age rather than a disappearance of all evidence of planet earth. The end of Isaiah's prophecy also speaks of a new heaven and a new earth. A place for righteousness and for the redeemed.
Without sin, sickness, sorrow, wearisome toil, strife, nightfall, aging, disintegration or death. A place, he contends, to be full of glorious plant and animal life freed from the burden and struggle resulting from Adam and Eve's fall from grace. This he says will eventually develop into eternal paradise on earth. Heaven is the holding place for faithful departed souls. But the day comes when Deity is fully prepared to make a dwelling amidst resurrected and glorified persons and abundant natural life, all freed from sin on the earth. Romans chapter 8 is full of such promise.
Near the end he sums up quite plainly:
"Our enjoyment of Glory will be that of youth. We shall have the joy of never-failing vigor. Our service will not diminish our strength. We soon tire now, but there we shall have eternal freshness. We shall not lose our personality in death, but we shall see all that sin had done to us no more. Redemption means myself without sin. The same person who dies will live again. Abraham is not gone; he sleeps. Daniel is resting. So are all the saints. God will redeem them from the grave. They will return to earth."
Note: I do not intend to throw my hat in with everything Pastor Weston has said. But surely it was interesting enough to pass on, from a time when prophecy teachers were hard to find.