2 Peter 3:1-7
Where Is the Promise of His Coming?
Now there are all different kinds of false teachers. This makes perfect sense for the reason that as truth is one, falsehood is many. In other words, there can only be one ultimate truth, but there can be a plethora of fleeting falsehoods. And they come in all shapes and sizes. In this passage, the Apostle tells us of one important falsehood that shall accompany the last days—scoffing about and denying our Lord’s return.
What I find particularly fitting is that Peter says that these deny this central and ancient teaching of the faith while “following their own sinful desires.” And why would the denial of our Lord’s return be the fruit of following one’s sinful desires? Because people who want to indulge their sinful desires don’t want to be thwarted in their indulgence. The Sadducees who wielded power in Judea had no need for a Messiah who promised that the first shall be last, and today’s sinners have no need for a Messiah returning on clouds of glory executing judgment and vindicating the righteous. Such a Messiah cramps their style. And rest assured a day is coming when all such reprobates shall have their styles eternally cramped.
Peter quotes them: “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” It seems a reasonable statement on the surface; after all, day follows day and year follows year. And this sentiment has felled many a once faithful soul.
But the Apostle shows just where their reasoning is faulty. First, they forget that the very world in which they live was created by God’s own word. Surely, He who created it can end it at His leisure—as He has promised to do. And the second thing they forget is that once upon a time, God did end it—not finally but provisionally by way of the flood—a “myth” which happens to show up in the texts of many ancient peoples in various forms the world over. Hmm, I wonder why?
And then Peter thunders: “But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the Day of Judgment and destruction of the ungodly.” Yes, there will be an end. It is not for us to say when, but it is certainly not for us to doubt. And even if he doesn’t come in our lifetimes, we shall go to him. One way or another, one of us is going to the other. The early Christians loved this doctrine; so, should we.