First, let's review some facts of physics. We have discovered that atoms themselves are held together by mysterious forces. These forces keep each atomic nucleus, which contains particles of like electrical charge, from flying apart. They also keep the electrons in proximity to the nucleus, allowing atoms to bond to form more complex molecules, including all organic compounds which make up every cell in every living thing. These forces can be manipulated by man, in some cases with the release of great energy, but their ultimate nature is not understood, and they cannot be replaced by something of our own creation. The facts are quite compatible with the truth of Scripture, that Christ "uphold|s| all things by the word of His power" (Hebrews 1:3), and that "by Him all things consist" (Colossians 1:17).
Let's also remember that "the ground," probably including even the physical elements (Genesis 3:17), was cursed because of Adam's sin. Many of the atoms today spontaneously decay into smaller, less complex atoms, giving off harmful radiation. The earth's surface substantially consists of sedimentary rock deposited by moving Flood waters, full of the remains of dead organisms which died horrible deaths in that flood. Other rocks were melted by unimaginable heat and later cooled into our present igneous and metamorphic deposits. Everywhere we see remnants of bent and broken rock. Our planet has experienced past violence not encountered by modern man.
Surely, one of the primary purposes of the coming renovation of the heavens and the earth will be to replace it with a "new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" (II Peter 3:13). Neither heavens nor earth will fully be "un-created," for both were created to last forever (Psalm 148:5-6). Evidently, the raw materials which comprise the present atoms will be transformed into something recognizably similar, but different. The atoms will disintegrate and their matter will be reshaped into our permanent home, free from any memory or evidence of sin.
We will dwell there forever, enjoying the unbroken fellowship of our great Creator/Savior Jesus Christ.
*Dr. John D. Morris is President of the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Morris, J. 2007. How Will the Present Earth Pass Away? Acts & Facts. 36 (3).