Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days. (2 Peter 3:3, NKJV)
We are in the last days! Ever since God’s Son stepped into history to become Jesus Christ the God-man, we have been in the last days. We don’t know how “last” we are. We just know we are more “last” than we were. We do know that one day Jesus will return and there will be a final judgment—and the last days will then end.
It’s fascinating that nearly 2,000 years ago, Peter (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) wrote about scoffers in the last days. As we read about these scoffers, we realize that there is “
nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). The basic sin nature of man is the same today as it was 2,000 years ago—and as it was approximately 6,000 years ago when our ancestor Adam rebelled against God.
Peter explains that these scoffers in the last days will scorn those who believe Jesus is returning, and will exclaim, “
Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” The philosophy of the scoffers is that physical processes just go on and on without any miraculous intervention (2 Peter 3:4, NKJV).
We are then told the scoffers will reject creation, reject the Flood of Noah’s Day, and reject the coming judgment by fire:
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. (2 Peter 3:3–7, NKVJ, italics added for emphasis)
The passage in 2 Peter 3 is an apt description of those in today’s world who have adopted the religion of evolution and attempt to brainwash generations of students to deny the existence of the Creator God. In place of God they teach instead that natural processes over eons brought the universe and all life into existence.
Today’s secularist scoffers indoctrinate generations of students through the education systems, television programs, and natural history museums to reject creation and the Flood and, of course, the coming judgment by fire. These scoffers teach that the world has continued on and on for millions of years without any intervention by an all-powerful God.
Now Peter goes on to warn, “
Beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked” (2 Peter 3:17, NKJV). The scoffers will try to get each one of us to fall—to reject the truth of Creation, the Flood, and the coming judgment.
We need to heed this warning. In today’s world, the scoffers have caused many young people to “fall”—to reject the truth of God’s Word. Sadly, generations of young people from church homes have been indoctrinated in the secular education systems to believe in an evolutionist view of origins. Much of the church has been lulled into complacency while the scoffers have captured the hearts and minds of many in the coming generations.
Studies conducted by America’s Research Group and detailed in the books Already Gone (2009) and Ready to Return (2015) document the scoffers’ effects on the generation of people in their twenties. Many once attended church regularly but have now left, while many others in this age group remain in the church but in many ways are really now scoffers or becoming scoffers.
The research results illustrate clearly that one of the major detrimental influences on these young people is the philosophy that things continue as they always have since the beginning. Peter’s words really sum up the current teaching that the universe has supposedly evolved slowly by natural processes over billions of years.
Later in his epistle, however, Peter explains that 2,000 years of “the last days” is not long to God. These scoffers may claim it’s a long time, so God’s Word can’t be true concerning creation, the Flood, and coming judgment by fire. But Peter responds, “
With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8). Since God is outside of time, to God a thousand years is like a day—or a day is like a thousand years. God is not limited by natural processes and time.
However, the real reason God has delayed for what seems a long time to humans (2,000 years) is that God is patient and longsuffering. He is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9, NKJV).
Our stand on God’s infallible Word needs to remain steadfast.
And just as surely as God created the earth and all life, and as surely as He sent the global Flood in Noah’s day as judgment, He will surely at the right time bring the final judgment by fire. But those of us who have believed God’s Word concerning His message of salvation through Jesus Christ can say, “
Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13, NKJV).
Yes, we certainly are in the last days, and we increasingly see the scoffers all around us, but our stand on God’s infallible Word needs to remain steadfast. We must not be “
led away with the error of the wicked” (2 Peter 3:17, NKJV). We need to reject the philosophy of the scoffers and be diligent to spread the wonderful gospel message of salvation for all to hear and respond to.