2nd Peter 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
[The Great Controversy pp 543>544] Like the waters of the flood, the fires of the great day declare God's verdict that the wicked are incurable. They have no disposition to submit to divine authority. Their will has been exercised in revolt; and when life is ended, it is too late to turn the current of their thoughts in the opposite direction,—too late to turn from transgression to obedience, from hatred to love. In sparing the life of Cain the murderer, God gave the world an example of what would be the result of permitting the sinner to live, to continue a course of unbridled iniquity.
Through the influence of Cain's teaching and example, multitudes of his descendants were led into sin, until “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.” [Genesis 6:5, 11.] In mercy to the world, God blotted out its wicked inhabitants in Noah's time. In mercy he destroyed the corrupt dwellers in Sodom. Through the deceptive power of Satan, the workers of iniquity obtain sympathy and admiration, and are thus constantly leading others to rebellion. It was so in Cain's and in Noah's day, and in the time of Abraham and Lot; it is so in our time.
It is in mercy to the universe that God will finally destroy the rejecters of his grace. “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” [Romans 6:23.] While life is the inheritance of the righteous, death is the portion of the wicked. Moses declared to Israel, “I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil.” [Deuteronomy 30:15.] The death referred to in these scriptures is not that pronounced upon Adam, for all mankind suffer the penalty of his transgression. It is the “second death” that is placed in contrast with everlasting life.
2nd Peter 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
May The Lord add His blessing to the study of His word. God bless!