The oldest buildings in the world are found in Turkey, France, Italy, Scotland, Malta, England, Ireland, and Iran. All of them date back to at least 3,000 B.C. They include tombs, temples, settlements, houses, sanctuaries, and plazas. They are historical treasures, revealing the earliest dental procedures, burial habits, religious ceremonies of pagans, societies and more. Some are remarkably preserved for their age, and many are visited by tourists after having been meticulously studied by archaeologists and other students of history. It fires the imagination to think about what life was like for people who lived contemporary to Noah’s sons, Abraham, and perhaps Job. The fact that any part of these edifices still stand is incredible. When you consider that the oldest buildings intact in the United States are Puebloan houses and villages located in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah, dating only as far back as between 750-1000 A.D., the existence of the aforementioned structures in Europe and Asia is all the more impressive (information via taospueblo.com, wikipedia, et al).
History and archaeology buffs revel at the thought of visiting such sites, and who could fail to marvel at such testaments to durability? We can hardly fathom buildings that have stood for several thousands of years. However, they are all comparatively temporary.
Peter writes, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people 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 destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!” (2 Pet. 3:10-12). When Christ comes again, all the works of earth will be destroyed with fire. Such a promise is meant to motivate us to live in view of the unseen and the eternal. Specifically, Peter says such knowledge such cause us to be holy and godly, watchful and anticipating. Ancient buildings can be seen with the eyes of flesh. Future destruction must be viewed through eyes of faith. May we remember, as we live each day and build our lives, that nothing in this life is worth surrendering eternal life.