Does Hebrews 1 Predict the End of Time?
Opponents of Covenant Eschatology often appeal to Hebrews 1:10f as a prediction of the demise of physical creation. I suggest that this flies in the face of God’s emphatic promise that He would never again destroy the earth.
In Genesis 8:21, the Lord promised, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.”I
n my book, The Elements Shall Melt With Fervent Heat, I take note of the popular interpretation of this verse has God saying, “I will never destroy every living creature as I have done. By that I mean, I will not bring a flood to destroy them. However, I will curse the ground and destroy every living creature again, only this time I will do it with fire!” This view makes God a liar.
The popular view of 2 Peter 3, and of course Hebrews 1:10, is that at some time in the future God will burn up the earth and everything on it, including the animals. And the view is that God will do this because man will continue to get morally worse until the Lord has to act in judgment just as He did in the flood. Appeal is made to 2 Timothy 3 where Paul affirmed “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” But of course, Paul was speaking of his contemporary generation, as a careful reading of the text clearly shows. He was not talking of some far off “last days.” He was speaking of the end of the age generation in which he was living (1 Corinthians 10:11).
So, the modern view says God did not mean what He said when promised to never again destroy every living creature! And remember that the rainbow is the sign of God’s covenant never to again destroy every living creature (Genesis 9:15). So when we view the rainbow we are not to supposed to think of God’s mercy, we are to think He has simply promised to change His modus operandi of death and destruction.
Further, and this is critical, the view that God will destroy the world because of man’s increasing wickedness directly contradicts His Genesis promise. Note carefully that He said, “I will never again curse the earth although the imagination of man’s heart is evil.” Do you catch that?
God was fully aware of man’s sinfulness, yet, in spite of that, and in full knowledge of it, He promised never again to curse the earth and destroy all creatures.
Those who insist that Hebrews predicts a yet future destruction of the planet with all of its’ creatures must deal candidly with God’s emphatic promise to never again destroy every living creature. (Not to mention the fact that they must deal with the many emphatic declarations that the earth will not be destroyed). They are going to have to create a doctrine of salvation for the animals of the world, or surrender their view of a destruction of the planet. Hebrews 1 is a discussion of the end of the Old Covenant “heaven and earth” not the destruction of the material, physical cosmos. Be sure to get a copy of my The Elements Shall Melt book for more, extensive documentation.
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