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Originally published in Creation 8(2):17-20, March 1986
There is an interesting prophecy in 2 Peter 3 concerning the last days of this earth’s history, and it very much relates to the whole creation/evolution issue!
2 Peter 3:3–7 (NIV) states: ‘First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘where is this “coming” he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.’ But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and with water. By water also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.’
Notice that the Scriptures are warning us that in the last days people are going to be saying ‘everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.’ Evolutionists of course tell us that the earth has been in existence for millions of years, and that life started evolving on this earth millions of years ago. Unfortunately, many Christians also hold this same belief which says things have gone on for millions of years. The technical word used in geology for this belief is ‘uniformitarianism’. Geologists have the idea that the processes we see operating in the present world have been going on for millions of years at essentially the same rate, and will probably go on for millions of years into the future as well. For example, the desert museum in Tucson, Arizona, not only has a display for people to see what supposedly has happened over the millions of years past, but it also has a display of what many scientists believe will happen to Arizona over the millions of years that they believe are to come!
The evolutionists, and the theistic evolutionists (those who believe in evolution but add God to the theory), use the phrase ‘the present is the key to the past’. In other words, the way to understand the past is on the basis of what is observed in the present. For instance, they say that fossils form fairly rarely in today’s world - therefore, to form vast layers of rock containing billions of fossils over most of the earth’s surface must have taken millions of years.
The Bible...tells us that there was a time when there was no sin, and thus there was neither animal or human death, nor disease, nor mistakes!
The evolutionists tell us that as we observe mutations (that is, accidental changes in our genes) occurring today, then these must have occurred ever since the dawn of time. Thus they must be one of the mechanisms involved in the postulated evolutionary progression. These mutations are mistakes that occur in our genes and they commonly cause disease. The Bible, on the other hand, tells us that there was a time when there was no sin, and thus there was neither animal or human death, nor disease, nor mistakes!
Those who believe in evolution have to assume that evolution is occurring today in order to be able to say that the processes we see today are the same processes which have gone on for millions of years. Thus, to be consistent, the Christian who believes in evolution has to believe man is also evolving today. Now we should pause here for a moment and ask ourselves a question: How do we establish beyond doubt the details of an event that supposedly happened in the past? Obviously, we look for witnesses who were there, or we look for records written by witnesses. Do you realize, therefore, that the only way we can ever know for sure exactly what happened in the geological past, is if there was someone who was there at the time (a witness) who could tell us whether geological processes have always been the same or whether sometimes geological processes have been different and/or faster.
The Bible claims to be the record of One (God) Who not only knows everything, but has always been there because He is outside of time; in fact, He created time. The Bible claims that God moved men through His Spirit to write down His words and that it is not just the word of men but the Word of God (2 Peter 1:20-21). The book of Genesis, the very first book in the Bible, claims to be a record from God telling us of the events of Creation and of other events in this world’s early history that have great bearing upon our present circumstances. In other words, the Biblical record claims to be from a Witness Who was there, Who does know everything and Who had written down for us exactly what did happen. Thus, the present is not the key to the past. Rather, revelation is the key to the past, that is, revelation from Someone Who was there.
When we read this revelation in Genesis we read about such events as Creation, Noah’s Flood, and the Tower of Babel. These are events which have made the earth’s geology, geography, biology, etc., what they are today. We must therefore also realize that what happened in the past is thus the key to what we see in the present. In other words, the entrance of sin into the world explains why we have death, and why we have mistakes occurring in our genes. The global devastation caused by Noah’s Flood must therefore have a part in any explanation of the fossil record. The events at the Tower of Babel must be a considerable factor in our coming to an understanding of the origin of the different nations and cultures around the world.
Today, evolutionists deny that the Biblical record can be taken seriously. They put their faith in their belief that ‘all things continue as they have done from the beginning. . .’. The prophecy in 2 Peter 3 is being fulfilled before our very eyes.
In the next section of this prophecy we are told that men will deliberately reject three things. Notice that the emphasis here is on a deliberate rejection, or as some translations put it, a ‘willing ignorance.’ Thus, it is a deliberate action on a person’s part not to believe:
People often ask the question: ‘If there is so much evidence that God created the world and sent a global cataclysmic flood called Noah’s Flood, then surely all scientists would believe this?’ The answer is given here in 2 Peter 3. It is simply not a matter of evidence to convince people, for people don’t want to be convinced. We read in Romans 1:20 that there is enough evidence to convince everyone that God is Creator, so much so that we are condemned for not believing. Furthermore, Romans 1:18 also tells us that men ‘suppress the truth in unrighteousness’. Again, the Bible is telling us that it is not a matter of there not being enough evidence to convince people that the Bible is true, since they don’t want to believe the Bible anyway. The reason for this is obvious. If people believed in the God of the Bible, then they would have to submit themselves to His authority and obey the rules He has laid down. However, every human being suffers from the same problem, the sin which Adam committed back there in the Garden of Eden, a ‘disease’ which we all inherit. Adam’s sin was rebellion against God’s authority. Likewise, people everywhere today are in rebellion against God, so to admit that the Bible is true would be an admission of their own sinful and rebellious nature, and of their need to be born again by cleansing through the blood of Christ.
It is easy to see this ‘willing ignorance’ in action when watching debates over the creation/evolution issue. In most instances the evolutionists are not interested in the wealth of data, evidence and information the creationists put forward. Often evolutionists just try to attack creationists by attempting to destroy their credibility. They are not interested in data because they are totally committed to their religious faith called evolution.
The majority of scientists today believe that the earth evolved, it was not created. They also believe that when the earth came into being it was first of all a hot molten blob, it was not covered with water. In Genesis 1 we read the testimony of the Witness Who was there (God), Who says that when He made the earth it was first of all covered with water. No human observer was there to see the earth when it was first formed. Thus the evolutionist was not there (although he talks as if he was) and does not know for sure what the early earth was like. His assertion that the earth was a hot molten blob is really just his faith position. However, the Christian does have a Witness Who was there, Who can be trusted and Who has recorded for us exactly what happened. Again, we have a fulfilment of this prophecy, people who deny that the earth was created originally covered with water.
These people are ‘willingly ignorant’ that the facts do not support their evolutionary ideas.
Modern geology today also tells us that there never was a world-wide flood as explained in the Bible. We are told that millions of years of geological processes can explain the enormous fossil record in the sedimentary rock layers around the earth’s surface. However, creationists have shown over and over again that the fossil-bearing rock layers were obviously produced by enormous catastrophic processes, processes consistent with an event such as Noah’s Flood. But evolutionists refuse to accept this, for to do so would mean that the Bible is right and thus the whole of their evolutionary philosophy would have to be rejected. These people are ‘willingly ignorant’ that the facts do not support their evolutionary ideas but do fit into a model of geology based upon what the Bible says concerning Noah’s Flood. This is another fulfilment of prophecy before our very eyes.
Much of the scientific literature also tells us that most scientists expect this world to go on and on for millions of years. Indeed, the example of the desert museum in Tucson, Arizona is again appropriate. As I mentioned earlier, one display at this museum is supposed to represent what scientists believe will happen in Arizona over the next few million years or so. People often look at that display and ask the question: ‘How can they know what is going to happen millions of years into the future?’ The answer is: ‘In exactly the same way they understand what has happened millions of years in the past!’ Of course, they just don’t know, it is their guess. If scientists agreed that God had created, that Noah’s Flood was a real event, and that therefore the Bible was true, they would have to tell quite a different story. And, as Jesus Christ in Matthew 24:37-39 uses the event of Noah’s Flood as a warning that God has judged and therefore will judge again, they would have to agree that God is going to come back as judge, but next time He will use fire. Sinful man in rebellion against God does not want to admit that he must stand before the God of Creation one day and account for his life. Thus, in rejecting Creation and Noah’s Flood and claiming ‘scientific’ evidence that supposedly supports his own belief, he becomes comfortable in not thinking about coming judgment. But, just as God created the world by His Word and sent the Flood through His Word, so God will judge this world by fire.
The earth, sun, moon and stars, stand as memorials to the fact that God has created. The fossil record stands as an immense memorial to the fact that God has judged by water. All of this should warn each man, woman and child that just as God has kept His Word in the past concerning judgment, so He will keep His Word in the future concerning judgment.
2 Peter 3 is a prophecy concerning the last days, a prophecy we are seeing fulfilled before our very eyes. Let us therefore become more vigorous and bold in witnessing for our God, the God of Creation. ‘Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.’ 2 Peter 3:11-12a (NIV)
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.