The Book of II PETER
James J. Barker
SCOFFERS IN THE LAST DAYS
- Second Peter 3
continues the theme of chapter 2 -- apostasy (cf. 3:3).
- Peter prefaces
his warning of the scoffers who ridicule the doctrine of the second coming of
Christ with a few affectionate words of concern (3:1, 2; cf.
- The recipients
of Peter's epistle were "beloved" and had "pure minds"
- On the other hand, the apostates were "scoffers, walking
after their own lusts" (3:3).
THEY SCOFF AT THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
- Second Peter
3:3 is similar to Jude 17, 18, "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the
last days scoffers, walking after their own
- "But, beloved,
remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus
Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time,
who should walk after their own ungodly lusts" (Jude 17,
Scriptures speak of men who ridicule the things of God, especially the doctrine
of the second coming of Christ.
- A number of
years ago I watched a debate on television between Jerry Falwell and an unsaved
liberal. The debate was held
at Oxford University. The student
moderator (who was supposed to be neutral) sarcastically mocked Pastor Falwell
for his belief in the rapture, but of course he had no unkind words for the
- Our Lord also
warned about those who questioned His second coming. Our Lord said in Matthew 24:48, "that
evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his
- These mockers
have contempt for the things of God, and therefore we should be careful to avoid
them. Psalm 1:1 says, "Blessed is
the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way
of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful."
- We have seen
this mocking, scornful attitude recently in the way the worldly crowd reacted to
Harold Camping's foolish prophecies.
Scoffers weren't just making fun of Mr. Camping's oddities, many of them
were ridiculing the doctrine of the rapture.
- "Walking after
their own lusts" (II Peter 3:3b) reveals their licentious behaviour (cf. II
Peter 2:14, 18).
- Those who
eagerly await the second coming of Christ seek after godliness and holiness (II
Peter 3:11; cf. I John 3:2, 3).
- On the other hand, those who scoff at the second coming
of Christ despise godliness and holiness, because they are "walking after their
own lusts" (II Peter 3:3b).
THEY ARE IGNORANT OF GOD'S PAST JUDGMENTS
- At the site of
the Dachau concentration camp near Munich, Germany, there are grim photographs
of the horrors of the crimes of Nazi Germany, and alongside the sad relics and
memorabilia is a sign by the door that reads, "Those who do not learn from
history are condemned to repeat its mistakes."
- The apostle
Paul referred to the sins, mistakes, and blunders of the Old Testament
Israelites, and he concluded one passage by saying, "Now these things were our
examples" (I Cor. 10:6), and, "Now all these things happened unto them for
ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the
world are come" (I Cor. 10:11).
- Because of
Peter's strong rebuke of apostasy, and his vigorous defense of the flood in
Noah's day, and his warnings of the future judgment, liberals hate this
- Liberals attack
the epistle and even deny that Peter wrote it. However, Peter claimed to be the author
(1:1; 3:1). Those who attack
this epistle are attacking the very Word of God (3:1,
- Scoffers are
all evolutionists. Many of these
evolutionists hold to a theory called, "uniformitarianism," i.e., the belief
that existing processes in nature have always acted in the same manner and with
essentially the same intensity as at present, and that these processes are
sufficient to account for all the changes that have taken
- The theory of
evolution is based upon the supposition that conditions have been uniform. However, if this earth has been wracked
by cataclysms and catastrophes (i.e., a universal flood), then their case is
- Scoffers mock
the second coming of Christ, and are "willingly ignorant" of the flood (3:3-6;
cf. 2:5, 6; I Peter 3:20).
- Our Lord said,
"And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be
also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in
marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and
destroyed them all" (Luke 17:26, 27).
- From its
inception, the earth was stored with the means of its own destruction. It had water in its subterranean depths,
water in the vast seas and oceans, and water in the clouds
- Genesis 7:11, 12 says, "In the six hundredth year of
Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day
were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven
were opened. And the rain was upon
the earth forty days and forty nights."
- When God released all that water, the land was inundated
with water and our entire planet was submerged in water. All life on earth was destroyed except
for those that got in the ark (II Peter 3:6).
- Genesis 7:23 says, "And every living substance was
destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the
creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the
earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the
- Native global flood stories are documented as history or
legend in almost every region on earth. Missionaries have gone to evangelize
tribes in remote jungle areas and have reported their amazement at finding these
remote tribes already possessing legends with tremendous similarities to the
Bible's accounts of the worldwide flood.
- It has been estimated that there are over 500 Flood
legends worldwide. Ancient civilizations such as China, Babylon, Persia, Sumatra
(part of Indonesia), India, Russia, Hawaii, Polynesia, Scandinavia, England,
Wales, Peru, and many other countries, all have their own versions of a giant
- These flood tales frequently parallel the Biblical
account including the warning of the coming flood, the construction of a big
boat in advance, the storage of animals, the inclusion of family members, and
the release of birds to determine if the water level had subsided.
- The overwhelming consistency among flood legends found
in distant parts of the world indicates they were derived from the same origin
- Undoubtedly, oral transcription has changed some of the
details over time.
- The second most important historical account
(after the Bible) of a global flood can be found in the Babylonian flood story
in the Epic of Gilgamesh. When the Biblical account and the Epic of
Gilgamesh are compared, a number of remarkable similarities are found that
leave no doubt these stories are the same.
- Nevertheless, despite all the evidence, despite all of
the various traditions of ancient peoples, and most importantly, despite what
the Bible says, scoffers refuse to believe God intervened with a worldwide
THEY ARE RESERVED FOR GOD'S FUTURE
- Just as God
stored up enough water to drown the world, He also has enough fire to destroy
the world (II Peter 3:7).
- Matter is
stored-up energy, and the splitting of an atomic nucleus results in the fiery
release of enormous quantities of energy.
- Therefore, all
the matter in this great big world represents tremendous explosive
- Right now, our
Lord is holding it all together. Colossians 1:17 says, "And he is before all things, and by him all things
- When our Lord
moves His hand in judgment, the elements shall melt with fervent heat (II Peter
- Revelation 5:5
says, "And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the
tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose
the seven seals thereof."
- Soon our Lord
will move in judgment. In the
meantime, the Lord is patiently giving sinners time to repent (II Peter 3:8,
- Notice the
words, "by the word of God" (3:5), and "by the same word" (3:7).
This world came into being by divine fiat. Hebrews 11:3 says, "Through
faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so
that things which are seen were not made of things which do
- Genesis 1:3
says, "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." We see this over
and over in Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, and 26.
- "By the same word" (II Peter 3:7) means God is
preserving this world until the coming consummation. God has His controlling hand on this
world, and everything is moving along according to His
- People are
worried some maniacal dictator will trigger off a nuclear holocaust, but the
Bible says it will be the Lord Himself who will set this world on
- Spurgeon said
that to God, "earth is as a pile of wood and the torch-bearers
stand ready to kindle it at any moment! There has always
been a cry of fire among men and the cry grows louder every century, for the
burning is near."