Written 2,000 years ago, this prophecy describes the scoffers of the last days. Consider how perfectly this ancient writing has been fulfilled:
Ten lessons from this passage
First, there will be scoffers. This is a perfect description of atheists and agnostics. They are not satisfied merely to reject God and the Bible. Many of them mock, ridicule, deride. Some even go on a campaign against the things of God.
Second, the scoffers will come in the last days.
The scoffing began in earnest in the 19th century. Before that, most men in the West believed in divine creation. That century witnessed the following: an explosion of skepticism; the birth of theological modernism, humanistic philosophy, textual criticism, Unitarianism, Marxism, Darwinism, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witness, Seventh-day Adventism, Psychology, New Age.
“The flood-gates of infidelity are open, and Atheism overwhelming is upon us” (George Romanes, 1878, cited from Ian Taylor, In the Minds of Men, p. 371).
“Attendance at places of worship is declining and reverence for holy things is vanishing. We solemnly believe this to be largely attributable to THE SCEPTICISM WHICH HAS FLASHED FROM THE PULPIT AND SPREAD AMONG THE PEOPLE” (C.H. Spurgeon, Sword and Trowel, November 1887).
Third, the scoffers are willfully ignorant (verse 5). Though the scoffers pride themselves in their intellect, education, and research, God’s Word says they are ignorant, and their ignorance is willful. The evidence for an Almighty Creator is written in creation and in their own hearts (Rom. 1:20; 2:15).
Fourth, the scoffers are motivated by the desire to throw off God’s law and to walk after their own lusts (verse 3). God’s Word reveals the secret motives of man’s heart. The scoffers are not the sincere thinkers and earnest lovers of truth they profess to be. It is not because of a preponderance of scientific evidence that they reject God. Rather, they desire to live as they please. They are in rebellion to God’s holy laws.
Fifth, the scoffers hold a uniformitarian view (“all things continue as they were,” 2 Pet. 3:4). This was a fundamental doctrine of Darwinian evolution at the beginning, though it is being replaced with the doctrine of local catastrophes. Charles Lyell taught that the layers of the earth were laid down gradually over millions of years rather than by a global catastrophe.
Sixth, the scoffers deny supernatural creation (2 Pet. 3:5). At the heart of this prophecy is a reference to creation from Genesis 1. “... that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water.” This describes the condition of the earth on the first day of creation before the Spirit of God separated the waters and made the dry land (Gen. 1:9).
Seventh, the scoffers deny the worldwide flood (2 Pet. 3:6). Even before Charles Darwin wrote On the Origin of Species, Charles Lyell was attacking the doctrine of a global flood. Anyone who believes in the global flood today is ridiculed by Darwinian evolutionists as if they believed in a flat earth.
Eighth, the scoffers deny God’s supernatural Word. The Word of God is mentioned four times in this passage (2 Pet. 3:2, 5, 7, 16). The birth of Darwinian evolution was accompanied by theological liberalism, which was an attack upon the Bible. Liberals denied the divine inspiration of Scripture. They especially attacked the book of Genesis, claiming that it is just another myth like those of the ancient Babylonians.
Ninth, the scoffers deny Christ’s second coming (2 Pet. 3:4). The world today laughs at the doctrine of Christ’s return. Even a large number of professing Christians do not believe that His coming is imminent. They have spiritualized the prophecies, so they don’t believe in a literal fulfillment of the book of Revelation.
Tenth, the scoffers deny God’s judgment (2 Pet. 3:7). The world today rejects the doctrine of judgment at the hands of a holy God. Even many professing Christians reject this doctrine. The popular book The Shack, for example, teaches that God is not a judge. Rob Bell’s 2011 book Love Wins says that a God who would send men to hell is a “monster.”
Darwinian evolution, theological liberalism, atheism, and agnosticism are a dramatic fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Indeed, the scoffers have confirmed the divine origin of Scripture! Well does the Bible say, “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain” (Psalm 76:10).
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