MP3: Traveling Down the Rapture Road in 2 Peter, Lesson 6
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
Continue traveling down the Rapture Road with Nathan Jones and Vic Batista in this verse-by-verse study of the incredibly prophetic book of 2 Peter! You can start at the beginning with Part 1 or listen in to The Truth Will Set You Free podcast (above).
Scoffing at the Creation
Vic Batista: Let’s continue to keep looking at 2 Peter 3:1-7 which reads:
“Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder, that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’ For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the Day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”
Nathan Jones: I don’t believe the Apostle Peter’s reference in this passage is talking about Atheists and others of their anti-God philosophy. Clearly, these people are going to scoff at anything the Bible teaches, and not just Bible prophecy. And, I don’t believe this passage is directed at believers in Christ either. Believers tend to scoff at the “sooness” of Christ’s return because we can get dejected from being impatient. Rather, I think the audience in this passage is for those who had the truth of the Bible but rejected it at some point. As verse 3 says, they walk after their own lusts. In other words, they rejected the Word of God because they want to live beholden to their sinful nature. These backsliders are the people I believe Peter is referring to in this passage.
Vic Batista: The word scoffer is not one that we use in our vocabulary much today. What is a scoffer? It appears that when we are talking about scoffing, the scoffers are those who look down or put down something or someone because they do not believe in a certain thing. Christians believe the Bible is the true and inspired Word of God. All of its promises are true. But, scoffers look to verse 4 sardonically asking, “Where is the promise of His coming?” They don’t trust in the promises made in the Bible, even though it’s resplendent with promises that have either all been fulfilled or have yet to come true.
Nathan Jones: According to Dictionary.com, to scoff is to speak derisively, to mock, and to jeer. So, it is more than rejecting something, it contains the element of making fun of something while being snide about it. There’s a level of contempt displayed. That’s the feeling we get about these scoffers who doubt that Jesus will make good on His promise to return one day.
Peter points out here that these scoffers aren’t just people who have always rejected the Bible, or Christians who are tired of waiting for the promises to be fulfilled, rather these are the people who have rejected the truth they once possessed. They rejected their faith because they wanted to return to living after their own lusts. So, they scoff at any notion that Jesus will return to judge them for their sins.
And so, the scoffers deride, “Where is the promise of His coming?” Then they point out that ever since their ancestors had died, things have been going along the same, even since the beginning of the Creation. Such a belief is called Uniformitarianism. It’s a geological term. Evolutionists will often claim that everything has been the same or uniform. The world has only been slowly changing over the years. Living things slowly mutated and evolved into something else. But, overall, everything has been pretty much the same for eons.
When it comes to the reference to the “beginning of creation” in verse 4, Uniformitarianists are not talking about the Creation capital “C,” as if they were meaning God created the universe. Rather, they are talking about the Big Bang as being the source of how things came about. In essence, they are claiming that everything has been the same and so nothing is going to change.
We wear many hats here at Lamb & Lion Ministries. My very first conference our ministry hosted was a small conference, and so I was directing traffic before it began. The building sitting right next to the church was a plumber’s depot. One of the plumbers drove up in his truck and parked. He got out of his truck and scratched his head because he was wondering why the parking lot was so full. He came over to me and asked, “What’s going on?” I answered, “We are holding a Bible prophecy conference. We believe that Jesus Christ is coming soon.” Then he got this scoffer’s look on his face. He gave me the scoffer’s face, that mocking face. He said, “What nonsense! Everything has been the same. Nothing has changed. And everything will continue to be the same. How ridiculous!”
Immediately, 2 Peter 3:4 came to my mind because he fit the passage to a “T.” I learned he once had the truth, but I discerned that he didn’t want Jesus to come back because he was clearly living for the lust of the flesh. Peter said the reason why they scoff and claim that everything has been the same since the beginning is as an excuse because they are “walking according to their own lusts.”
Uniformitarianism is a nonsensical belief anyway for it stands as a totally unscientific view, because you would have to have been there since the beginning of time to observe the Big Bang and to witness all of history in order to validate your claim that everything has always been the same.
Vic Batista: These scoffers remind me of what Jesus taught in the Scriptures about how the end times will be defined by the sins of Noah’s day. According to verse 5, these scoffers will even deny the days of Noah — from the Creation to the Flood!
Nathan Jones: I find verse 5 a fascinating prophetic verse, because this verse is so applicable to the world today. Note that these scoffers “willfully forget.” In other words, they knowingly and purposely deny that there’s any kind of evidence that the Creation and the Flood ever happened — “that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water.”
These scoffers deny that the earth was originally in darkness and void, and there was only water. The six days of the Creation transformed darkness and void into life. Mankind fell, and so the Lord eventually judged humanity by flooding the entire world. These people reject the Creation account. Can we then identify these people? They are today’s Evolutionists!
These are the very same people who reject the idea that the Lord once judged the earth and that He will judge the earth once again. They don’t want Jesus Christ to return in judgment. They don’t want the Lord to come and judge them, something He has promised He will do many times throughout the Bible. And so, again, here in verse 5, it says they have willfully believed their own lie. They are willfully ignorant. They choose to be dumb on purpose. And, if there is anything that truly defines the current thinking, it’s Evolution. The belief in Evolution was prophesied in the Bible, pointing ahead to hundreds of years in the future to our day in age. We are living in the fulfillment of this Bible prophecy — the lie of Evolution.
Vic Batista: The lie of Evolution remains prevalent in our modern-day society. So many people have willfully fallen for it. So much confusion has been the result. The lie of Evolution start in the mid-1800s when people began to stop believing in the literal interpretation of the Word of God, especially in the book of Genesis.
Nathan Jones: How true! You start down the path of disbelieving the Bible when you stop taking it for its literal meaning. When one spiritualizes the interpretation of Scripture, they will begin to no longer trust in God anymore because His Word has lost its concrete meaning.
When some Christians witness society falling apart, they can stop believing that Jesus will ever come back in victory. They begin to think that God has abandoned us, and so they lose their faith and hope in God. Their whole Christian worldview collapses around them.
But, when you place your trust in God’s Word — the Bible — and trust it, knowing that Jesus’ victory will indeed be coming soon, for He will indeed return to bring judgment on those who choose to be evil, and He will bring blessing on those who have kept their faith in Christ, then your whole life settles back into the right perspective. The biblical worldview remains the perspective that God wants us all to embrace.
In the twentieth part of our faith journey down the Rapture Road through the book of 2 Peter, we’ll continue to examine chapter 3’s prophecy of a future when people will reject the idea there ever was a global Flood.