Monday, January 29, 2024

          One of the most fascinating and intriguing topics in the Bible is the “end times.”  People seem to be keenly interested in future and final events.  Well, the Bible does speak to the final days and the way God draws history to a conclusion.  The Bible has much to say about this topic.  Prophecy comprises a large slice of inspired Scripture and is worthy of our time and attention.  But, there are some who cast doubts, and even outright denials, upon prophecy and the promise that God will bring history to its divinely decided destination. These cynics, critics and doubters exist today but they also existed in Peter’s days in the first century.  In his own words, the apostle gives us some good and healthy guidance for dealing with scoffers today.  He wrote, “Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.’ But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water” (2 Peter 3:3-5). 
            First, Peter reminded us that scoffers do exist.  They are real.  They will do everything imaginable to discredit and devalue God’s Word and ways.  They will seek to deceive and dissuade you from holding on to the truth that you find in the Bible.  They follow the lead of the original scoffer, Satan, who cast doubts on what God had said to Adam and Eve about what to eat and what not to eat in the Garden of Eden.  The disciples had to deal with doubts and cynics in their day and so do we.  The world has not changed that much.  The enemy still seeks to sow discontent and division among God’s people.  Do not let these folks beat you down or wear you down.  Remember our Lord dealt with critics and those who doubted almost His every word.  As the Lord works to draw history to an end, these scoffers will remain and do all they can to deceive and mislead us.
            Second, scoffers generally seek to make themselves feel and look bigger and better more than they seek the truth and ways of God.  They have little real interest in the Lord and His truth.  They are more interested in building their resumes and high-standing in the eyes of others.  As Peter noted, they follow “their own evil desires.”  We always want to remember that life is about God and His glory in all things.  Whenever we make life about ourselves, it is time to repent and to change.  If we take a long look at what scoffers say and do, we will likely find people who are lost, confused and lonely.  The light of Christ and the Word has not shined upon them or penetrated their lives.  For them, the future is dark and discouraging.
            Third, scoffers and cynics usually fail to see the power of God.  They simply fail to see that He is able, good, worthy and true.  As a familiar praise song says, there are at least 10,000 reasons to praise God and worship Him.  But scoffers usually miss every single reason and occasion.  Peter reminds us that all creation (the heavens and the earth) were formed by God’s Word and power alone.  If God brought into being all that there is, then we can certainly trust Him to bring history and this world to the right end and the finish line.  We can live by three words of faith...God is able!  Always and in all circumstances, God is able.  Paul wrote, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).  God is not only powerful—He is immeasurably more powerful than we could ever imagine. 
            Fourth, we can trust all things in the future to God.  Peter gave us this good word, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:8-9).  God does not delay His return or the last days because of laziness or indifference.  No, He is giving the world time to come to Him in repentance and faith.  God’s patience is greater than our impatience.  And God’s patience is not impacted or thwarted by our impatience.  If we trust God to get us to heaven through our faith in Christ, we can trust Him to bring creation to an end at the right time and in the right way.
            Practically speaking, when it comes to scoffers, we can pray for them.  Pray for God’s Word, Spirit and truth to penetrate their hearts, minds and lives.  We can also pray for God’s grace and help to stand and stay firm in the face of opposition and doubts.  We can face the future with certainty and confidence because God can bring us home even when others doubt or deny Him.  For those of us who are in Christ, our dreams are always greater than our memories.  The future is always brighter than the past.  And tomorrow will be greater than today.  Have a great Monday!  Remember you can worship any time and share our worship with others at

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