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Discovery Magazine 12/1/2018

Rainbows and the Return of Christ

Could you imagine not being able to go outside for a whole year? Think how happy Noah and his family must have been to finally get out in the sunlight! Imagine also the questions that might have entered their minds as they walked out of the ark. They might have wondered if God would bring another flood and destroy man again. After all, there was no guarantee that all of Noah’s descendants would obey the Lord. What if men became wicked again? Would another flood come, and another ark have to be built?

If these questions were on the minds of Noah’s family, they didn’t last very long. When they came off the ark, a beautiful rainbow crossed the sky. As they looked at the rainbow, God made them a promise. He promised that “never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth” (Genesis 9:11). God said that the rainbow was a sign that He would never destroy the Earth by a flood. Can you imagine how relieved Noah’s family must have felt? They would never have to build another ark!

Yet, as Noah’s descendants began to fill the Earth, they once again became wicked. Because of their wickedness, God made another promise to all mankind. God promised to destroy the Earth and the whole Universe, but next time it will be burned up—not flooded. In 2 Peter 3:10, God promised that “both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”

At first, it may be a little scary to think about the Universe burning up, but when Peter told this news to the early Christians he wasn’t trying to scare them. In fact, Peter wanted the Christians to look forward to Christ’s return. It will be a time of great joy for those who are obeying God, because Christ will take us home to heaven. Since the Universe will someday be destroyed, Peter told the early Christians to live godly, righteous lives so that they would not be afraid.

The rainbow reminds us that God will never flood the entire Earth. But it also reminds us that the Universe will be burned up someday. If we trust and obey our awesome God, that day will be a wonderful day of rejoicing!

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