Scoffers and the Second Coming of Christ
2 Peter 3: 1- 7
We don’t want to wait. In this fast paced generation where everything happens so quickly, man lost their patience to wait. Everyone wants the fastest computer, the fastest cell phone, cars, communications, travel, etc., everything that would make the waiting time the shortest. Relationship between opposite sex is now very short. People just can’t wait for the right time to enjoy the pleasures of sex in marriage. The result of course is devastating, abortions, broken marriage, sexually transmitted diseases and rampant immorality. God’s timing is perfect, never advance, and never late. However, in this end times, people are mocking or scoffing His promised Second Coming. We continue our exposition on this short epistle.
I. Warnings about the scoffers (2 Pet. 3:1-4)
A. Peter’s ministry of stirring up by way of remembrance
1. Peter wrote about his need of reminding the recipients of this letter at the start of this epistle. (2 Pet. 1:12-15)
2. For the second time, he repeated his intention again here. (2 Pet. 3:1-2)
3. He wants to “stir up”, “to wake fully” or “arouse” their pure minds.
4. He calls his readers “beloved”. Peter loves his readers. God calls His children “beloved”.
B. He wants us to remember
1. Words which were spoken before by the holy prophets.
a. Peter must have in mind the Old Testament prophets here
b. Their writings were inspired by the Holy Spirit.
c. The OT prophets wrote about the coming judgments as well as the coming of the Lord (Zech. 14:1-9)
2. The commandments of the apostles of the Lord and Savior
a. A commandment is an order, instruction or a decree.
b. The apostles of the Lord and Savior are the authors of the New Testament
c. The Old and the New Testament have one central figure, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Illustration: Second Coming of Christ
Biblical prophecy provides some of the greatest encouragement and hope available to us today. Just as the Old Testament is saturated with prophecies concerning Christ’s first advent, so both testaments are filled with references to the second coming of Christ. One scholar has estimated that there are 1,845 references to Christ’s second coming in the Old Testament, where 17 books give it prominence. In the 260 chapters of the New Testament, there are 318 references to the second advent of Christ—an amazing 1 out of every 30 verses. Twenty-three of the 27 New Testament books refer to this great event. For every prophecy in the Bible concerning Christ’s first advent, there are 8 which look forward to His second! (Today in the Word, April, 1989, p. 27)
II. Their coming
A. Scoffers here are the false teachers who denies the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 2:1) and his Second Coming (2 Pet. 2:1)
B. The “last days”, here I would say is the present time now until the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 2:17, Gal. 4:4, 2 Tim. 3:1, 1 Pet. 1:20, Jude 18).
C. We are now living in the “last days”.
D. These are also the “last days” of the church before the Christ comes back to take His own. We therefore expect scoffers to be everywhere now.
E. The scoffers will be walking after their own lust (2 Pet. 2:3)
1. “Walking” here speaks of their conduct or life styles which is characterized by sexual lusts (2 Pet. 2:2, 10, 13, 14, 18), carnality.
2. They mock the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ because they want to do their sexual immorality without having to face divine punishment.
Illustration 1: The last days
The days are the days preceding and including Christ’s return from Heaven to establish His earthly
rule. It is the same as “the latter days.” The last days began with the Apostles (1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:1; Heb. 1:2; 1 Pet. 1:20; 1 Jn. 2:18). It also includes the Great Tribulation (Jer. 30:23-24), the
regathering and regeneration of the nation Israel (Jos. 3:5), the second coming and glorious earthly reign of Christ (Isa. 2:2-5; Mic. 4:1-7), the resurrection (Jn. 11:25), and the final judgment of the
unsaved (Jn. 12:48). (WOLE by D. Cloud)
Illustration 2: What Is Carnality?
What is carnality? According to the Greek dictionary, it means to have the nature and characteristics of the flesh (or more simply, it means “fleshly”). What, then, is the flesh? Sometimes it refers to the whole material part of man (1 Corinthians 15:39; Hebrews 5:7), and based on this meaning, carnal sometimes relates to material things like money (Romans 15:27) or to the opposite of our weapons
of spiritual warfare (2 Corinthians 10:4). But the word flesh also has a metaphorical sense when it refers to our disposition to sin and to oppose or omit God in our lives. The flesh is characterized by
works that include lusts and passions (Galatians 5:19-24; I John 2:16); it can enslave (Romans 7:25); and in it is nothing good (Romans 7:18). Based on this meaning of the word flesh, to be carnal means to be characterized by things that belong to the unsaved life (Ephesians 2:3). (So Great Salvation, Charles Ryrie, Victor Books, 1989, pp. 59-60.)
III. The basis of their argument or logic
A. Where is the promise of His coming?
1. The “day of the Lord” will cause earth-shattering change
2. There has been no such change since the death of the “fathers”, there is no sign also that there will be such change.
3. The Lord has not returned for a long time, and there is no sign or indication that He will, therefore, He is not coming.
4. His promise to come and establish a kingdom did not materialize, therefore we must conclude that He is not true to His promises and His words cannot be trusted
B. The seriousness and the error of their logic
1. The return of Christ is one of the main reason for Christian faith. If Christ is not coming, then, there is no future for Christianity, no heaven, no presence with the Lord. Our faith is therefore a wrong faith.
2. There are thousands of verses in the OT pointing to the Second Coming of Christ. Their unbelief not only questions the truthfulness of God’s promises, but also tells us that the Word of God is erroneous.
IV. Their ignorance of the Word of God
A. The False teachers in their denial about the second coming of Christ and the coming
judgment purposely ignore two major cataclysmic events that happened.
1. The creation – by the word of God the heavens were of old… (2 Pet. 3:5).
2. The flood – the world that was then was, being overflowed with water, perished (2 Pet. 3:6).
3. Each event show the magnificent power of God’s Word.
B. What they fail to realize is:
1. “The heavens and earth which are now” (2 Pet. 3:7) will be destroyed by fire (2 Pet. 3:10).
2. The present world system is reserved for future judgment, which will come by the word of God just the creation and the flood.
3. God judged the earth in a universal judgment by the flood. Another universal judgment is coming and that is by fire.
V. The promise of the Lord’s coming
A. Surely the Lord will come no matter what scoffers says.
B. Christ will return at the end of the world to establish God’s kingdom (1 Cor. 15:23-25).
C. The New Testament does not use the term Second Coming; it refers simply to “the coming” (parousia), also called a “revealing” of Jesus (1 Cor. 1:7), or an “appearing” (Titus 2:13).
D. I believe in the pre-tribulation and pre-millennial coming of Christ as the Scripture tells us.
E. Christ’s Second Coming to destroy all evil will be the conclusion of his redemptive work.
Surely the Lord will come as He had promised and He may come any time. Scripturally and historically we can prove that the Word of God is certain and true. The unbelief of the scoffers and their evil works will be the cause of their doom to eternal punishment. Don’t be like them. Repent from your sins, receive Him as your personal Saviour. Don’t delay. Tomorrow may be too late.