2 Peter 3:3-4 – Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to 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 creation.” NKJV
If I had to choose the greatest promise in the word of God, it would prove to be difficult. I think of the promise of salvation and it makes me grateful to know Jesus as Savior. I relish in the joy of the promise of the Holy Spirit and can’t imagine life without Him. And then I remember the promise of His return, and even though He has tarried, I know it is a sure promise, and look forward to that Day. Jesus is coming again!
In our text for today, Peter wrote that there would be scoffers in the last days. In context, we have no problem understanding what Peter meant when he used the word “empaiktes”, or scoffers. Most people have a clear, or can gain a clear understanding of this word by continuing to read the verse. A scoffer is a mocker. Someone who laughs at another or something with contempt.
These particular mockers would be walking around in the last days, doing their own thing, living after their own lusts, saying, “Where is the promise of His coming?” In case you haven’t noticed it, they can be found on the news, in government, in our school systems, in our neighborhoods, maybe even in our families. People who mockingly reject the promise of His return. But here’s one thing we can all rest assure of: the same God who promised that He would come through a virgin and be born in Bethlehem is the same God who assures us of His return. Jesus is coming again!
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 – NKJV
I’m not thrilled with being off the ground. I’m not fond of airplanes though I will get in one. But the thought of just being caught up in the air is a little overwhelming. Yet, I look forward to it! Paul said that we are to comfort one another with these sayings. You might ask, how can these words be a comfort? Sometimes, when things look their bleakest, hope is all you need, and there is great comfort and hope in the return of Jesus! More importantly, there is great comfort in knowing the One who promised is more than able of fulfilling that promise. It brings great comfort!
When I think of scoffers, I think of the people who watched Noah build the ark. Weren’t they the same people who drowned in the waters. I’m not too concerned about the mockers, for the promise will come to pass.
Acts 1:11 “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” NKJV
Angels watched with the disciples as Jesus ascended into heaven. The disciples must have stood gazing for a while because finally the angels asked this question: Why are you gazing into heaven? This same Jesus who ascended, they said, will descend again in the same way! It’s part of the promise!
Jesus comforted His disciples, before He was crucified, with these words:
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:3 – NKJV
As I explained in a previous blog, these were words the disciples understood as a promise. The same promise every Jewish groom made to his betrothed. Jesus gave a promise that He most definitely was going to return. It was a sure promise!
When I speak of a sure promise, I am talking about a promise that will come to pass without a doubt! Mockers can mock and make fun of this promise, but they can’t stop this promise! It’s a sure thing! They can ignore this promise and live in rejection of this truth, but so did the men and women in the days of Noah!
In the book of Revelation we find these words:
Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:7-8 -NKJV
This is the best part of the promise! Behold! See! He is coming! And when He returns in won’t be shrouded in mystery! When He returns, there will be no case of mistaken identity! When He returns He will return with glory and power! When He returns, not if He returns!
Then Jesus refers to Himself as the Alpha and the Omega, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty!” Wonderful, wonderful Jesus!
So, what’s the hold up? Peter tells us:
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 – NKJV
I believe He is just excited about coming back as we are to see Him. He’s not ignoring His promise or intentionally delaying His promise to be difficult. Nor is He pulling our leg, and making fun of us our desire. He is such a long suffering Savior towards us, and He wants to give mankind every opportunity to turn to Him in repentance. He’s such a wonderful lover of people.
So the next time you become weary about His return, ask Him if there is someone who you are supposed to lead to Him and maybe even disciple. Or the next time someone mock His return in your hearing, tell them that He is waiting on them to repent. That ought to shut them up! Maybe even shake them up, causing them to do just that!
I am so enjoying looking at the promises of God and His faithfulness to His word. I am encouraged in my heart and my faith is being strengthened. I trust you are also being encouraged as you read. If you are not ready for His return, don’t wait another day to repent of your sins and receive Him as your Savior! Wonderful Jesus!