I have discussions with many, many Endtimes Speculators, and inevitably the conversation always turns to them throwing 2 Peter 3:3-4 in my face:
2 Peter 3:3-4 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.
The Speculators love to use this verse. They carry it around like a
truncheon on their belt, just waiting for someone to question their predictions. When provoked, they whip it out and bash their opponent over the head with it.
“Aha! Your mocking is a sign of the last days! You are fulfilling prophecy just by questioning me, the Bible says so!”
It’s a great system, for them. They can make predictions about the future with impunity. If anyone questions them, they reach for their 2 Peter 3 baton and use it as a weapon in an attempt to answer the mockers, “walking after their own lusts”.
That isn’t the purpose of 2 Peter 3:3-4. God didn’t inspire the Apostle to write those verses so that Hype-Induced Speculators in the 21st Century had a convenient way to shut up their detractors. Let’s look at what 2 Peter 3 really is saying.
- It isn’t a SIGN that the Last Days had come. Peter, Paul, John and James had already made it clear that they were living in the last days….the last days of the Old Covenant, that is. Peter himself says “the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” (1 Peter 4:7). The writer of Hebrews states that God has spoken to us by His Son “in these last days” (Heb 1:2). Paul also agrees (1 Cor 10:11) as does James (James 5:8). Peter wasn’t stating that scoffers were a sign that anyone was in the last days. It was already clear that the last days had come. Rather, scoffers were a fact of life at that time.
- But who were these scoffers? We know from several passages that Judaizers who had the spirit of antichrist were infiltrating the church and causing confusion, pulling people away to their unbelief in Jesus. This was probably also true of people in the Gentile nations, but Peter was most likely referring to Jews, because the scoffers make references to “the Fathers”. Only Jews would talk that way, speaking of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Peter goes on to point out that they refuse to believe the flood that came – clearly a scriptural reference that only Jews would understand.
- If someone questions the Biblical basis for a future prediction, is that mocking and scoffing? Are those of us who are weary of endless predictions, and only want the prognosticators to be honest, actually saying that Jesus will never come? Or are we simply warning the so-called “watchmen” to cool down with the certainty before too much time passes?
I call these people the true scoffers because they don’t believe the Bible, and meanwhile they use these scriptures to defend an indefensible position. They don’t use scripture in the proper way, they use it selfishly. You could say they are walking after their own lusts – the lust of leaving the planet – and their troubles.
Nobody can prove that any future event will happen, or not happen. We can’t let these scoffers bully people into letting them speak without responses or thoughtful, polite counterpoints.