Friday, February 19, 2016

2Peter 3:1-4 comments: scoffers in the church

1 ¶  This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: 2  That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

    3 ¶  Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4  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.

This second letter is a reminder of things the church was told by the prophets through their writings and by the words spoken to the apostles by Christ. Peter warns them about the nature of people in the last days. This, like Paul’s warnings, are not about the unsaved in the world for men and women have always been scoffers and reprobate. It is their nature. These warnings are about what to expect, just as it has happened, in the Christian community itself. Here are some warnings for Paul that are directed to the body of Christ so don’t waste your time looking ‘outside the camp’ for these people. They are in the pews and offices around you. Paul said to Timothy;

1Timothy 4:1 ¶  Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2  Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3  Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4  For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5  For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

And then, in the second letter, in more detail, and as mankind has always been like this we know this is a reference to the traitors to Christ in the church;

2Timothy 3:1 ¶  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6  For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7  Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8  Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 9  But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

Jude gave this warning within the context of a letter you should read as applying to this passage in 2Peter as well. So, please take a moment to read that short letter from Jude.

Jude 1:18  How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 19  These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

And then, keep in mind this statement from Paul;

2Thessalonians 2:3 ¶  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5  Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

And remember how Daniel characterized this man, whose type has been revealed at various times throughout history.

Daniel 11:38  But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.

Now let’s go back to 2Peter. People will say that everything just keeps rolling along and nothing changes. They will mock the conservative Christian’s belief in the literal application of the Bible in favor of a pagan mixture of modern theoretical science and the Bible. People who claim to be Christian will embrace evolutionary theory and say the first three chapters of Genesis are metaphorical or a story about sin or some other thing so they can acknowledge that they consider Satan’s question in chapter 3 of Genesis to be their own mantra. “Yea, hath God said…?”

The error that things have always been just as they are now back into distant history and prehistory consisting of billions of years and that things will go on and on as they are now until the Sun burns out is not just in the secular world, but has invaded the church. It is there in the pulpits when a preacher talks about how God wound things up and watches rather than, as the Bible says, is intimately involved in every action of reality as God’s speech to Job reveals in chapters 38-41.

We have a Bible which says that God created everything including life. Even atheist scientists acknowledge the mathematical impossibility of life happening by chance on earth, so they postulate panspermia where life was seeded on earth after forming elsewhere in a stellar cloud.

We have a Bible that says that the Lord Jesus Christ holds all things together in Colossians 1:17 and yet they postulate something they cannot see or measure by observation in His place, called Dark Matter or Energy, to perform that task.

We have a Bible that implies that the earth is the center of the universe and states in Genesis, chapter one, that the stars and other heavenly bodies are there for reasons that have to do with the earth. Atheist scientists like Fred Hoyle admitted even that observational data shows we are at the center but then they treat it like it must be an illusion and state that they believe that anywhere in the universe will appear to be the center. Some of them believe that life is probably only possible here and that all of the physical universe is in perfect balance for it to exist as such but then deny that that means there is an intelligent designer or maintainer of it.

We have a Bible that suggests that bodies in space revolve around the earth and not the other way around and yet, these same atheist scientists admit that this is a matter of relative motion only and has no physical significance so, if the Bible indeed suggests that, it is not wrong.

We have a Bible that says the earth is spherical in Isaiah 40:22, in an age where some believed it was flat. We have a Bible that says that the earth hangs in empty space in Job 26:7 and is not on the back of a turtle or the shoulders of a god like some ancients believed.

We have a Bible that predicts events of future history like Cyrus the Persian and Alexander the Great hundreds of years before they arrived on the scene and that predicted the fall of Jerusalem and destruction of the Temple, all historical events, years before they happened. We have a Bible that is true in every particular and has not been proven in error by anyone except in their untestable theories.

More importantly than all, though, we have a Bible that says the Saviour will physically return to rule the earth and we are to wait for that glorious event, no matter what scoffers and so-called modernists believe. But, it is not surprising that these scoffers exist but that they are now within the very walls of Christian churches, unbelieving believers.

1Timothy 6:20  O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: 21  Which some professing have erred concerning the faith.

Colossians 2:8  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

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