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2 Peter 3:3-6

3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4 They will say, “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.” 5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.

2 Peter 3:3-6 (ESV)

 

Ok, we recently took a look at verses 1 and 2, and now let's go on to these 4.  Here we see a few things to be aware of:

1.  Scoffers will come and scoff.  NASB has mockers and mock, but either way it's the same basic meaning: people will come and say mean things.  In fact, they'll say mean things with the explicit intention of hurting your feelings.  Guess what?  You will not stop them, and you should expect them.  These folks are following their own desires.

2.  These scoffers will come at your most preciously held ideas.  For the early church, I think that the most encouraging thing they held to was the Return of Christ.  I would be inclined to believe that when the Church is truly persecuted, the hope of heaven is a major highpoint in their theology.  (side note: easy Christianity like we have in America leads to nonsense like prosperity preachers.  More on that elsewhere.)  So, where do the scoffers in Peter's day attack? Right on the hope of eternity.  Right on the hope that God will come in mercy and justice.  Where is the day?

Likewise we see today that scoffers and mockers come after God's people: "Where's God in this tragedy?"  "Where's God when this happens?" "Where was God on 9/11 or in Katrina or during your heart attack or your bankruptcy?"  "Where was God when your pastor failed or sinned or treated you sinfully?"

Guess what?  These people aren't really looking for answers.  Some of them might listen, and might be moved by the answers, but they're mainly trying to derail you.  Provide an answer based on your faith, and move on.  Don't argue, and don't wallow in it.

Notice this also: they fail to notice contrary evidence.  Now, we have to be careful to avoid the same thing, and cannot cavalierly dismiss legitimate questions or doubts, but many who attack people of faith have no interest in evidence.  They want argument, they want bickering, but they don't want debate and evidence.

So, don't be shocked when mockers come.  Don't be shocked when they miss your point.  But don't let them derail you.  Challenge, yes.  Help you to grow, yes.  Just don't let their failure to notice the hand of God in the world cause you to miss Him.

Doug

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