Three Worlds Encyclopedia

Three Worlds. Peter speaks about three "worlds" in ch.3 of his second epistle. It is important to understand that each of these worlds is vastly different from the others. Dispensations have to do only with “the heavens and earth that are now”. There were no dispensations before the flood, and there will be none in the eternal state. Therefore, an understanding of “worlds” is important in the study of dispensational truth.
  1. The World that Then Was. This “world” continued from the creation until the flood. It is that which is "of old". The waters from which the dry land appeared were reserved for the judgment of that world, which grew in increasing evil until God decided to destroy it (2 Peter 3:5,6). Eight souls were saved from that judgment and transported via Noah's ark to the next.
  2. The Heavens and the Earth, which are Now. This “world” continues from the flood until the Day of the Lord. In this world the dispensations of God unfold. In this world the first man is tested under various dispensations, and proven to be an utter failure. In this world, Christ the Second Man came once to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, and will come again to reign over all. When its purpose has been fulfilled, and when Christ delivers up the kingdom to God, and then this world will come to an end, the heavens and earth shall pass away with a great noise tremendous heat (2 Peter 3:7,10).
  3. A New Heavens and a New Earth. The new "world" is what God will create for the satisfaction of His own heart. It is a world that is free from sin and death. It is a world without pain. There will be no distinction between Jew and Gentile, and there will be no dispensations. It will be ushered in as the "day of God" (2 Pet. 3:12), an unchanging eternal state (Rev. 20:1-8). In this state, righteousness will dwell (2 Peter 3:13).