“Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?”
Consider this word “dissolve“. The futurist view is that the actual physical world, the universe, will be loosened, destroyed. But the one who is familiar with the Old Testament – not just saying that Peter’s prophecy is based on the OT, but actually is familiar with this big chunk of inspired Scripture – will recognize that this phrase is very familiar. Isaiah 34:4:
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.
I well remember all the years when passages like this and others in the Old Testament were one big cipher, like one big inscrutable slab of Linear B. But first Reformed theology and then, especially, Preterism provided wonderful keys to unlock what used to be so mysterious.
Isaiah 34 is describing the “Day of the LORD”, one of several in the Old Testament.
There are five images here that are repeated several places in the New Testament, but the one that is noteworthy right now for my purpose is that first one, underlined.
The “All the host of heaven shall be dissolved” of Isaiah 34
matches up to the ” all these things will be dissolved” of 2 Peter.
But – and here is the clincher – Isaiah was prophesying about God’s judgment against Idumea and Bozrah. These are nation-states that no longer exist. The judgment already happened. All that “dissolving” in the Old Testament is done with. It was, in fact, apocalyptical language, biblical hyperbole.
The same is the case with 2 Peter 3. There will be no physical dissolving, only the dissolving that has to do with the 1st-century Jew’s Day of the Lord.
Studying the Old Testament with purpose and diligence will clear these obscurities up.
It is always important to keep the Old Testament in mind when reading the New.