The NAYSAYERS and SCOFFERS ABOUND!

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Scripture Text For This BLOG:  2 PETER 3:3-5 

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“ALL MATTERS FOR CHRISTIAN FAITH AND PRACTICE ARE FOUND IN THE BIBLE.”

Any “scoffers”, disbelievers yet?

Peter’s Critical Warning to Christian Believers – VERSE 3

This warning is to the church, of the SCOFFERS & NAYSAYERS that are here already, and the ones who are on their way.

The great turning point that divides mankind in two different groups are those who accept this Book, the Bible, and those who reject it.

It’s critical to know that in the LAST DAYS, there will be mockers of God’s Truth.

12716866_1129933190373473_1572461181_nIn the LAST DAYS, not only will God’s word be rejected, people will mock it!  They will disrespect or mock the TRUTH OF CHRIST JESUS by using their own misinterpretation that they want to be as the truth.

They scoff at God’s Word, not knowing that this very scoffing fulfills Bible prophecy.

Even though these people have always existed to threaten the church from its earliest days, their ungodly activity will increase in “the last days,” that period of time preceding Christ’s second coming.

Peter, John, Jude and Paul all make reference to the increase of false teachers, warning the church with passion not to be alarmed (1 John 2:18; Jude 18-19; 2 Timothy 3:1-5).  

This contempt of the Scripture, God’s Word, and the terrible apostasy [from within the “church”] was also predicted by JESUS.  There was a question put by our LORD Jesus – Luke 18:8:

“When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” 

This scoffing at God’s TRUTH is the expected from this world’s system with one heresy leading to another, drawing mankind further and further away from their Creator.

Self-Willed People Will Doubt the Coming Again of Jesus – VERSE 4:

[4]  “Where is the promise of His coming?  For since the forefathers fell asleep, all things have continued exactly as they did from the beginning of creation.”

THE IMPLICATION:

“THERE IS NO SECOND COMING, we can live any way we want.  A loving God will never judge us.”

A Few EXAMPLES of Today’s Mockers and Scoffers of God’s Word:

Since America is right in the middle of a political season, a lot of ‘out of the heart’ statements (Proverbs 4:23) are being voiced.  Let me give you two examples.  One from a POLITICIAN and one from a PASTOR:

Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader (D. Calif.) says,

“Hillary Clinton faces an uphill climb with white men because they are more influenced by hot-button social issues that they are by economic arguments because of guns, because of gays, and because of God, the three G’s.”  [Free Republic – PBS NewsHour interview.]

“Because of God”?  Really?  That’s a bad thing?

Erwin McManus, the lead pastor at Mosaic Church in Los Angeles, gives his views on what today’s Church should be:

“The church must acclimate to a changing world, or she will decline herself to irrelevance or even extinction…One of those dramatic changes in our environment is the shift from words to images.  To do church in a way that is entirely text driven is the kiss of death.”  [Erwin McManus “An Unstoppable Force, pg. 18]

Now that is interesting view, especially since the apostles taught just the opposite {Titus 1:9; Romans 16:17-18].  

Those who mock and reject God’s written word–that our existence is the way it always has been since the beginning of CREATION or, in the case of most, since we evolved.  The intent of their remarks is…there is no reason to be concerned about pursuing righteousness or about God’s punishment for unrighteousness.  

These people pursue their own lusts, scoffing at the idea that  a “loving God” wouldn’t judge them.  They foolishly claim that Christ was never going to return and that there is no such thing as a final accounting of God.

This was the attitude of some people surrounding the churches in the northern part of Asia Minor, the area of the world that Peter had sent his letters to.

Peter’s Validation –

People persistently IGNORE the OBVIOUS!!

VERSES 5 & 6 answers the previous arguments by reviewing ancient history:

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Scoffers, Naysayers reasoning is faulty.  If they don’t believe that EXISTENCE came into being by the Word of God, then all their reasoning is based on unsound evidence.  Here’s an example I found online (Google Image Search – Atheism):

THE SCOFFERS deliberately and “willingly” forget that God’s Word brought creation into existence and that He desires men to acknowledge it.  When the lives of these people MOCK God, willfully forget that God created EVERYTHING that exists.  God’s WORD created the Heavens and the Earth  (John 1:1-3 AMP):

[1]  IN THE beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself.  [2] He was present originally with God.  [3] All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being.

And yet, NAYSAYERS deny that God CREATED the world in the beginning and deny that God would JUDGE the world at its conclusion.

CREATION though, was all due to the divine WORD of God:  “And God said…and God saw!” (Genesis 1).

There is no evolutionary concept of creation with the events taking place over millions or billions of years.

A DIRECT INTERVENTION BY GOD –

VERSE 6, is a direct intervention by God in the course of human history, “through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.”

The SCOFFERS’ claim is short-sighted and ignorant because they ignore the FACT that things haven’t continued as they were from the beginning.

In the previous verse, PETER stated that the UNIVERSE and all contained within it was created by the Word of God.

Now, PETER informs us that by the same WORD…JUDGMENT was rendered upon every living being in response to humanity’s WICKEDNESS.

He reminds us of the NAYSAYERS, the SCOFFERS, the MOCKERS of Noah’s day–decade after decade by his friends and neighbors as he was building the Ark.

Genesis 6-7 gives us clues that it took approximately 75 years to completion [Answers In Genesis – How Long Did It Take for Noah to Build the Ark?].  So imagine your neighbors laughing, jeering, thumbing their noses at you while working on a special project in your front yard after a few short years, much less 55-75 years!

Eventually, the collapse of the water canopy surrounding the earth caused RAIN to fall for the first time and the bursting forth of the underground water system resulted in a world-wide FLOOD.

2 Peter 3.6

In other words, people shouldn’t rely on false assumptions that God has little or nothing to do with the WORLD He created.  Instead, people must realize that by His WORD, He can create anything that He desires, and by His WORD, He can destroy anything that He has created!

GOD’S JUDGMENT (VERSE 7)

“But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been stored up (reserved) for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly people.”  [Amplified Bible]

“By the same WORD”, meaning the Word of God that brought existence into being (verse 5), and brought the watery destruction in Noah’s day (verse 6), by the same WORD, God also sustains His creation.

Moreover, there is a specific limitation to this world’s existence according to the sovereign will of Almighty God.  The POWER of the WORD which sustains ALL living things will one day release the FIRE of His JUDGMENT upon the world.

Over the years, I have heard people around me make jokes about God’s impending JUDGMENT.  I have seen cartoonist draw their caricatures of prophets of doom. But you can take this to the bank, on the fact that just as the world was flooded with water in days of old, it will one day be burned with FIRE  [Read Revelation 19:20; 20:10-15.  Isaiah 51:6; 66:15-16 and Malachi 4:10]. 

And at that time, the earth as we know it, will undergo a far greater impact of God than water.

The JUDGMENT OF FIRE refers to the day when God will come to judge the earth and destroy ALL evil!  (This is called the Day of the Lord in the Old Testament.)

The Lord Jesus will intervene in history by His second advent (coming) to institute His kingdom on earth.

In spite that the Lord hasn’t yet returned, the HOPE of His return is a present reality for those of us who are BELIEVERS–BORN AGAIN!!

The FLOOD and the future renovation of the earth by FIRE should remind us that God accomplishes what He purposes, and He has declared that Jesus Christ will come again (Acts 1:11). 

Since man lost his RIGHTEOUSNESS and renounced the image of God that created him, there is no way he can escape the horrors of the JUDGMENT DAY.

All will perish because of their own SIN and their defiance of their Creator and rejecting their only Savior.  Only those in Jesus Christ escape this punishment.

Remember, “The payment for sin is death, but the gift that God freely gives is everlasting life found in Christ Jesus our Lord”  (Romans 6:23).

As surely as there is SALVATION for the believer, there is terrible JUDGMENT for the Naysayer, the Scoffer, scorner, and ungodly.

God has the end in mind and in sight!  God’s judgment is a call for the unbeliever to examine his sinful condition, and for the believer to be consistently obedient to His WORD.

 


CREDITS:

Photos:  Google Image Search, using Scripture verses.

Bible Translations:  Amplified (AMP), unless noted.

That Hidden Principle of Rebellion (PART 1)

Rebellion in the Streets

Rebellion across the nation is on every headline of major newspapers across our land.  The picture above took place in the state of Colorado in 2008.  The image isn’t a new phenomena, it has been present the world all the time. 

I have been reading 2 Thessalonians over the past several days when I ran across the apostle Paul’s words in Chapter 2.  It grabbed my attention because of the current news on television and on the internet, so I decided to write this blog about That Hidden Principal of Rebellion in Society. The “lawlessness”, the “iniquity” being observed.

“For the mystery of lawlessness (that hidden principle of rebellion against constituted authority) is already at work in the world”  (2 Thess. 2:7–Amplified Bible).

Paul wrote this letter to the church in Thessalonica, a seaport trade center from the city of Corinth in approximately 51 AD.  Corinth had a slogan similar to Las Vegas:  “What happens in Corinth, stays in Corinth“.  So rebellion was rampant throughout the world during Paul’s time of ministry as it continues today.

I remember a sermon by my first pastor, right after I came to know the Lord.  He walked up to a wooden stool placed on the platform and sat down with a newspaper.  He began reading the headlines without saying a word, then shook his head and said, “Now that’s bad news”.  He proceeded in turning the pages of the paper and saying, “More bad news”, until finally exclaiming out of exasperation, “There is nothing in this newspaper but bad news!”  His sermon’s message that morning, if you haven’t guessed it already, was “The Good News (the “Gospel”) of God’s Word”.

BAD NEWS FIRST

No one can possible fail to see the lawlessness that prevails in our society today.  From the highest levels of government to the lowliest slum-dwellers in our great cities in America.  That is the reason why none of us dares to walk the city streets after dark.  We see lawlessness, but do we understand?  Jesus foretold this lawlessness of one the signs of His return; the end of the world:

“And the love of the great body of people will grow cold because of the multiplied lawlessness and iniquity,    BUT he who endures to the end will be saved”  (Matthew 24:12, 13–Amplified Bible).

These verses in Matthew are a part of Jesus’ answer to His disciples’ question in verse 3:

“While He was seated on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately and said, Tell us, when will this take place, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end (the completion, the consummation) of the age?”

His answer to that question is tied together with verse 11; the rising of false prophets deceiving many people.  The number of the faithful people of God will become smaller and smaller in the end.  One of the reasons for the decline will be the deception of many by false prophets and false teachers.

Another reason will be the abounding iniquity, causing the love of many to become cold.  What does the word “iniquity” mean?  The Greek word is, anomia; meaning “lawlessness” (literally, “without law”).  Jesus told His disciples-and us, a sign of the end will be abounding lawlessness.  The very thing that we are seeing today.  Not just in our own country but also in all the world.

“LAWLESSNESS” IN THE DAYS OF NOAH

Jesus makes a comparison in Matthew 24:37:  “As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”  Genesis 6 describes the worlds condition before the Flood.  In the days of Noah, “the wickedness of men was great upon the earth” (Genesis 6:5, 11, 12).  The earth also was corrupt before God and was filled with violence.

The Gospel According to Luke gives another comparison of the world in the last days:

“So also [it was the same] as it was in the days of Lot. [People] ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built;    BUT on the [very] day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed [them] all.    That is the way it will be on the day that the son of Man is revealed”  (Luke 17:28-30).

The Old Testament city of Sodom, God destroyed it with fire and brimstone.  That comparison of Lukes’ is of special significance today.  The world shamelessly practices the same sin.  Sodom was notoriously recognized which gave its name; homosexuality and sodomy.

“LAWLESSNESS” ABOUNDS TO THE END

Scripture says, “Lawlessness is a life of disobedience to the law of God”.  Disobedience of a special kind; the deliberate trampling upon God’s law.

A lawless man is not someone who is ignorant of the law; or someone who breaks the law, whose authority he even acknowledges.  He holds the law of God in contempt; He “owns” no law, he does what he pleases; to “do his own thing”.  The “lawless” man, or woman openly practices the very thing which the law of God forbids as normal, acceptable, right behavior!

“LAWLESSNESS” IN OUR GOVERNMENT

Such a time is NOW!  Such a society is our society in a lawless time and a lawless society.  The government itself, God’s servant is to rule bylaw. Not guilty of “lawlessness”.  I’m not referring to the fact of politician’s occupancy in their offices for their own wealth, fame and their power.  King Solomon says, “There is nothing new under the sun”.  What I am speaking of is the fact that the state legalizes the murder of unborn children in its abortion-statutes.  And at the same time prohibits by law the execution of murders.  Those of whom God says, “Thou shall not kill”; the state murders.  Those who God says, “Punish with death”, the state saves alive, then sets them free in some cases for more mayhem and lawlessness.  The state is showing its radical lawlessness as it takes of its function in society as we know it.

The duty of government is to punish evil doers and protect and reward those who do well; maintaining order in the state.  We now see the state abandoning its fundamental responsibility with ruinous consequences for the country; intruding into areas of life of its citizens with no business whatever.

LAWLESSNESS” CHARACTERIZES THE BEHAVIOR OF THE PEOPLE

They despise authority:

–Children, that of their parents.

–Wives, that of their husbands.

–Employees, that of their employer.

–Citizens, that of their rulers.  Not only do they disobey their superiors, they deny that they have any superiors to honor or obedience that are due.

THE EFFECT OF “LAWLESSNESS” IN THE CHURCH

Jesus had no abstract interest in the crime rate when He was here on earth.  He wasn’t concerned about the ungodly world; what He said in Matthew 24:12 was, “because lawlessness still abounds, the love of many shall wax cold“.  It’s only the people in the churches who profess to be God’s people in the world, that have LOVE; who can wax cold.  The unbelieving world never had any love, except ‘love of self’.

The effect of abounding iniquity and the forsaking of the church by those who once professed allegiance to her and to her God; their LOVE waxes cold on account of “iniquity”. 

Jesus gives us a radically different view of the state of affairs at the end of the age; which looks for the world to become better, the size of churches swelling through conversion of multitudes, even whole nations.  The reality is, the world is ever the world going from bad to worse (more bad news); exhausting the resources of sin.  The churches, according to many surveys say that the church is becoming smaller and smaller in attendance.  Many are deceived by false doctrine, offended because of persecution and many will have their LOVE wax cold because of iniquity.  I have members of my own family that fits into this scenario for whom I pray for reconciliation.

The LOVE that the text in Matthew 24 is referring to is ‘the LOVE of man for God’; ‘the LOVE for Jesus Christ’; ‘the LOVE for the gospel in the Scriptures’; ‘the LOVE for the church’.  This love is “blown cold” by iniquity.  Literally what Jesus said: “The love of many SHALL be blown cold by abounding iniquity”.  He did not say that because people’s love becomes cold, there will be iniquity but that the iniquity cools off people’s love.  I hope you can see the differences  pointed out.  In the last days, an icy wind blows through the churches, cooling the love of many; the icy wind is “lawlessness”.

Are you by now tired of hearing about the all the bad news?  I am myself and in PART 2, will present the hope of the ages: The Good News; “Through It All!”