Question:If what you speak is true in "Peter can't be referring to the physical elements being destroyed, can he?", then are the seven churches in Asia still waiting for Christ?
I'm puzzled by your line of thought. Whether the churches in Asia are still awaiting Jesus or not does not determine whether the earth is permanent as you argued previously. I can only conclude that you are arguing that Jesus already came and that there will not be a second coming.
Jesus told the church in Ephesus:
"Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent" (Revelation 2:5).
The Bible speaks of Jesus' second coming:
"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also" (John 14:3).
"And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven"" (Acts 1:10-11).
"For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord" (I Thessalonians 4:15-17).
"and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed" (II Thessalonians 1:7-10).
The description is that it will a single event, called "that Day" in II Thessalonians 1:10. That Day is also described as a day of destruction, matching the description of II Peter 3:10-12. And it is a day when the dead will arise as Jesus stated in John 5:28-29 and Paul stated in I Corinthians 15:51-58 when death is conquered. "Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death" (I Corinthians 15:24-26).
However, the coming that Jesus warns the Ephesians is not his second coming when Jesus comes to judge the world. Jesus is warning the Christians in Ephesus that they need to straighten up or he would come to them and take away their right to be a congregation of his people. World judgment is not dependent on the faithfulness of the Christians in Ephesus. But Jesus can come and bring judgment on a group who are not living up to his standards.
Jesus told the church in Smyrna:
"Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life" (Revelation 2:10).
This promise does not state when they would be given the crown of life, other than it would take place after their deaths.
Jesus told the church in Pergamum:
"Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth" (Revelation 2:16).
Like the promise to Ephesus, Jesus is promising the saints in Pergamum punishment for the wrong doers if they did not repent. Once again this is a limited coming, not the second coming. There are many times where God describes Himself as coming in judgment in a limited sense.
"The burden against Egypt. Behold, the LORD rides on a swift cloud, and will come into Egypt; the idols of Egypt will totter at His presence, and the heart of Egypt will melt in its midst" (Isaiah 19:1).
Therefore, it does not necessarily imply that Pergamum must continue to wait until Jesus comes in final judgment. Nor does a judgment on Pergamum rule out a final judgment on the world.
To Thyatira, Jesus wrote:
"But hold fast what you have till I come" (Revelation 2:25).
This is like Ephesus and Pergamum, Jesus is urging the faithful to hold on until the unfaithful are punished.
And we could continue the same through Revelation 3. The promise of a limited judgment on a congregation does not rule out a global judgment on the world one day. A promise of a global judgment on all of mankind does not rule out multiple limited judgments in various areas.