“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.”
King James Version (KJV)
3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief - Suddenly, unexpectedly. In which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise - Surprisingly expressed by the very sound of the original word. The elements shall melt with fervent heat - The elements seem to mean, the sun, moon, and stars; not the four, commonly so called; for air and water cannot melt, and the earth is mentioned immediately after. The earth and all the works - Whether of nature or art. That are therein shall be burned up - And has not God already abundantly provided for this? 1. By the stores of subterranean fire which are so frequently bursting out at Aetna, Vesuvius, Hecla, and many other burning mountains. 2. By the ethereal (vulgarly called electrical) fire, diffused through the whole globe; which, if the secret chain that now binds it up were loosed, would immediately dissolve the whole frame of nature. 3. By comets, one of which, if it touch the earth in its course toward the sun, must needs strike it into that abyss of fire; if in its return from the sun, when it is heated, as a great man computes, two thousand times hotter than a red - hot cannonball, it must destroy all vegetables and animals long before their contact, and soon after burn it up.
2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come. This expression usually, but not always, refers to the second advent. Such is the meaning here. As a thief in the night. When people are not expecting it. Compare 1Th 5:2 Mt 24:43. In which the heavens shall pass away. See Lu 21:33. The elements shall melt. The material of which they are composed. The earth also and the works that are therein, shall be burnt up. The earth and all man's creations. That the world shall come to an end seems to be written in its very constitution. A slight change in the constitution of the atmosphere, or the decomposition of its water would wrap it in flame. Science finds the elements of final dissolution in the relations of the earth and sun. According to the ratio of increase in two centuries the would will not have resources to feed its population. In a few hundred years the coal resources of the world will fail. These and many other facts point to a necessary and inevitable change.