Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” (3:4-5).
Peter began his letter by reminding his readers of the need to know that God Has Established His people in Truth and of the need to know His Truth that Has Established His people. And in reading about these false teachers, mockers, and naysayers, we understand our need is the same today. The times we live in are really no different than those of the first century believers. And in a world that is bound in rebellion against Holy God, in a world so bent on propagating the false ideals that sin is irrelevant because after all, truth is relative, Peter’s message is timely.
To “baby boomers” who grew up watching wholesome family shows espousing traditional cultural values like “Father Knows Best,” “Leave it to Beaver,” and “The Donna Reed Show,” our nation barely seems recognizable. And false teachers, mockers, and naysayers may seem to be winning the culture war with their critical objections to our faith as being at best, nothing more than pie in the sky dreams, and at worst, intolerant and detrimental to society.
So while we may be shocked, we really shouldn’t be surprised. Through His Inspired Word, the Lord has repeatedly forewarned of what will happen in the last days (see Matthew 24:9-12; 2 Timothy 3; 1 Timothy 4:3-4; 1 John 2:18; Jude 1:18-19).
If we are going to stand victorious against this ever-increasing animosity toward Christianity, it is paramount that we know what we believe and believe what we know. And we must choose to remember what we both know and believe as we deliberately and repeatedly call to mind the Truths that His Word has declared.
This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles, (3:1-2).
Those who deny Him, the Master Who Bought Us, those who determine they are the final authority on the Truth will have to answer to Him. But as for us, in the midst of a world that seems upside down and often shaky at best, He has provided our security for all our days, as we look not to the state of this world but to the Promise of His Coming.
Consider the Promise of His Coming
- The Promise of His Coming is in keeping with His impeccable itinerary and His perfect patience.
- But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (3:8-9).
- The Promise of His Coming will be fulfilled when He returns from His rightful place in Heaven to come to earth again.
- They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven,” (Acts 1:11).
- The Promise of His Coming will change those who belong to Him through faith in one mysterious moment.
- Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed, (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).
- The Promise of His Coming will grant all those who have made Christ their life through faith, the glorious honor of being revealed with Him in glory.
- When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory, (Colossians 3:4).
- The Promise of His Coming will gather His own to meet Him in the air and be with Him forever.
- For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord, (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
- The Promise of His Coming will be seen by everyone; but there will be many who mourn when they will finally see Him as He Is.
- Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen, (Revelation 1:7).
- The Promise of His Coming will bring both His reward and recompense; and His Promise is Coming quickly!
- “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end… 20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus,” (Revelation 22:12-13, 20).
How do we respond to the Promise of His Coming?
Such a timely letter written more than 2,000 years ago! Doesn’t the Word of God absolutely knock you off your feet? And as Peter pointed out, we must know the Truth; and this includes knowing what to expect from those who reject the Truth.
Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation,” (3:3-4).
From NIV Study Bible:
first of all. The Greek for this expression is used in 1:20 (“Above all”) to call attention to a matter of great importance.
It is a matter of great importance that we are not caught unawares, that we would not be shaken by the taunting lies of unbelievers who deliberately forget the power of His Word and the Promise of His Coming.
But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water, (3:5 NIV 1984).
The charge against these false teachers is a willful neglect of God’s Word. That is a strong word of warning for us. Oh, that we would deliberately remember that all His Promises are perfectly fulfilled in Jesus.
For the Son of God, Christ Jesus, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silvanus and Timothy—was not yes and no, but is yes in Him. 20 For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us, (1 Corinthians 1:19-20).
While we know He is Coming, we have no idea when that day will be. To us, it may seem as though He is taking too long, but let us be so grateful, for in His patience He waited for us to come to repentance, and He is still waiting for our loved ones who have yet to come.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (3:9).
And in God’s economy of time, He is coming quickly! Oh, that we would live each day as though He is Coming today. Let us not be consumed by the trappings of this temporary world, seeking our fulfillment in earthly pursuits and putting our hope in a world that will one day pass away.
Let us choose to seek Him in His Word daily, that He would stir up our sincere mind by way of reminder, that we would live in godly readiness and reliance on His grace by faith, always looking for that day when the Promise of His Coming becomes our eternal reality.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells, (3:10-13).
Let us choose to deliberately remember that He Has Established Us in the Truth and that He Has Bought Us out of sin to purify us for Himself. For as we do, He will be faithful to grow our desire to live like Him until the day He fulfills the Promise of His Coming.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds, (Titus 2:11-14).
So let’s not fixate on the temporary troubles of this life, but let us deliberately choose to remember the Promise of His Coming when He will take us to the place He has prepared for us to be with Him forever.
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 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 14:1-3).