“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after 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 the creation.” 2 Peter 3:3-4
By inspiration Peter foretold that scoffers (mockers) would come in the last time. These would poke fun at Jesus’ promise to come again, citing the long-standing constancy of the created order as purportedly proving the possibility of a final day as ridiculous. However, it is evident that the universe had a starting point, when the eternal Creator brought it into existence; there is no excuse for failing to recognize this truth from creation (Romans 1:20). Just as the universe had a starting point, it will have an ending point. Observation is all that is required to see that the physical world is wearing out, or winding down from its original state of creation. Unlike God, the world has an expiration date, “And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail” (Hebrews 1:10-12).
Peter goes on to tell us the attitude we ought to have based on this truth: “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” (2 Peter 3:11-12). Instead of mocking, as those described in verse 3 do, we ought to take serious stock of our lives and prepare for the final day.
It is difficult to get some people to be sober-minded about anything. While there is time for joking, eternal spiritual matters are of great importance. Because these scoffers deny the Lord’s coming, they walk in lusts. They indulge the flesh because they do not consider the judgment of God a serious matter. The devil wants us to dismiss the seriousness of the judgment. This is why people can recognize what the Bible teaches on how they are to live and turn from it — they focus on what they want now rather than preparing for later (2 Peter 2:21-22). But the dismissal or ridicule of the plain truths of the Bible will not make them go away. In chapter 2 of his second epistle, Peter had reminded his audience that God punishes sin. The angels that were not content to stay in their place were cast down to hell (2 Peter 2:4). The ungodly in Noah’s day were drowned in the flood (2 Peter 2:5). The ungodly practices of Sodom and Gomorrah, which are so glorified among many in our day, were the cause of their destruction by God (2 Peter 2:6). Because those cities would not repent of their fornication —going after “strange flesh” (Jude 7) — they were turned into ashes and stand as an example of God’s judgment on the ungodly. We should take God’s attitude toward sin seriously and live right before it is too late!