When Peter wrote his second letter, he knew that his death was imminent. He used his last words to encourage the church in the face of scoffers.
First of all you must understand this, that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and indulging their own lusts
“And saying, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since our ancestors died, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation!” (2 Peter 3.3-4).
There is no stronger word for a wicked person in the Bible than scoffer. A scoffer ridicules something he cannot understand and leads other people to do the same.
The scoffer like the “fool” in the Psalms believes that there will be no accountability for their actions.
Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt; they do abominable deeds;
there is no one who does good. (Psalm 14.1)
Scoffers and fools ridicule the notion that their behavior will be judged on some future occasion.
It’s not that they don’t believe in God. Rather, they don’t want to change their behavior, so they scoff at the idea of future judgment.
One of the great comforts to the persecuted, oppressed, and afflicted is that God is active in human history.
The scoffer believes the opposite. They overlook God’s intervention in history in the life and ministry of Jesus. They claim that God is not interested in humans and their behavior.
Peter answered the taunts of the scoffers and reminded them of God’s history. God created the world and in Noah’s day destroyed the world.
There will come a time when the world will be destroyed in preparation for a new heaven and new earth.
At that time, each person will stand before God in judgment.
They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago and an earth was formed out of water and by means of water,
Through which the world of that time was deluged with water and perished.
But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the godless (2 Peter 3.5-7).
I am currently reading “Midnight in Chernobyl,” a book that details the worst nuclear disaster in history.
As the core of Reactor #4 burned, two scientists saw an eerie light emanate from a dark hole and into the sky as far as the eye could see. The reactor had exploded and destroyed its protective casing. They were witnessing pure heat and radiation being released.
Can the earth be destroyed by fire? The Chernobyl disaster in 1986 was a sample of the destructive power that is latent in God’s creation.
Not on our timetable
The scoffer looks at the calendar and says, “Nothing has happened all these years. Why should I change my behavior?”
Peter responds, “The last days are according to God’s clock, not ours.”
But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day (2 Peter 3.8).
Lateness presupposes that you definitely know when the end should have happened. God’s lateness is deliberate.
The fact that God has not brought an end to the mess humans have made of his creation is a testimony to his patience, not his impotence.
The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3.9).
The day of the Lord will come and there will be no question about its reality.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise,
And the elements will be destroyed with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed (2 Peter 3.10).
Rudy Ross and I continue a study on 2 Peter on YouTube today. It can be found on the Bob Spradling channel.