“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. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:” (2 Peter 3:3–5, AV)
One Friday afternoon towards the end of the workday, I was standing near the copying machine at work. There were a group of men there that I knew discussing their weekend plans. They were going to go out on Lake Michigan fishing for salmon. The asked me if I wanted to join them. Being an avid fisherman, I thought sure. Then they told me they were going on Sunday morning. To that, I stated that I could not go. They wondered why. I said, “On Sunday, I go to my church’s worship service.” One of the men immediately responded, “Why would you want to do that?” Not expecting that reply, I responded with something that indicated that church was my priority.
“Why would you want to do that?” That phrase is a form of scoffing. The person that made the statement did not understand things in the spiritual and eternal realm. Peter in this passage stated that scoffers and scoffing would come. The key thing about those who scoff at our faith is that they are not believers. They have not experienced the regenerative work of the Spirit, by which the believer experiences a new nature. In this the believer has a new understanding of the truth of spiritual and eternal things. Thus, the scoffers remain driven by their fleshly passions and naturally do not comprehend the blessings of a saving relationship with Jesus.
Peter describes these scoffers as those who walk after their own fleshly cravings. Why not? They have nothing else.
They question the truth of God’s word. They say it has been thousands of years since the Bible was written. It is out of date for today. They might say a variety of other things like, “It has been two-thousand years since Jesus and he has not come back. It’s a fable.
Peter stated that they are “willingly” ignorant of God’s work in creation. In other words, they intentionally refuse to seriously examine the Scriptures in the pursuit of truth. They deliberately refuse to examine evidences of God in the creation.
There are only three things we can legally do with the scoffers. The first is to reject their teachings and arm yourself with the truth. Ignore their scoffing. Yes, they will scoff and question what we know to be true. Sometimes, they will formulate what seems to be convincing arguments for their scoffing.
Second, throw out a challenge to the scoffers to examine the Scriptures. I mean really examine them. If they are truly interested in knowing truth, they must be on a constant quest for it. No scoffer has thoroughly examined these things with an open mind. They may state that they have, but no one has exhausted their pursuit of the truth found in God’s word.
Third, we can pray for the scoffers. Theirs is a heart issue. Only God can change the heart. We cannot. Pray for them that God would remove the blinders from their eyes that they may see the truth and understand. Pray that they would experience a transformation of the heart and believe.