Are you laughing at, or looking for, the return of Jesus?
by John Clark
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Are you laughing at, or looking for, the second coming of Jesus Christ? In this exposition of II Peter 3, both attitudes are mentioned. Which one exemplifies you?
Beginning in verses 3-4 it says "know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mockery, following after their own lusts 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.'"
Some people want to believe that all will continue as it always has been. The chapter goes on to say in verses 5-6 that "when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water."
Bible prophecy should not be laughed at; it should be taken seriously! The problem is that there are people who get fanatical about it, to the point where they go beyond biblical boundaries, like Harold Camping and others who set dates for things that come and go with nothing happening. They give all Christians a bad rap and cause non-Christians to mock prophecy.
Do not allow a few radicals or misled fanatics to turn you away from receiving the truth in an intelligent, scholarly, and biblical way. Take prophecy seriously to be well informed and prepared, because there have been, and will be, dramatic literal changes upon the earth. Just like judgment with a flooded earth mentioned in verses 5-6, there is coming a time when God will judge the earth with fire. (verses 7, 10, 12)
Notice the phrase, "it escapes their notice." (vs.5) Many scoffers do not want to receive the truth; they do not notice the evidence or the facts. In the case of a world-wide flood, it escapes people's notice, maybe by choice, that there is a lot of evidence for it, like the following:
2. The discovery of an ancient shoreline 400 feet underneath the surface of the Black Sea with remnants of a past civilization. This was located by the same man who discovered the Titanic.
3. Whale bones in a desert region of Chile.
4. Large areas of human and animal bones in the Sahara Desert.
You can read about these things on the internet. Some of this has been dated at a time that matches the approximate date given to the flood by Bible scholars.
God, however, is not in a hurry, as we see in verse 8. This fact also escapes people's notice. Just because God is not fulfilling prophecy right away does not mean He won't do it. By the way, something else that people may not notice is that there are Old Testament prophecies being fulfilled right now in the present time, thousands of years later. However, when God does decide to act He will do it quickly, like a thief in the night, as expressed in verse 10.
The reason God delays His judgment is given in verse 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."
At some point in the future there will be a new heaven and a new earth! Talk about changes! (verse 13) People who have put their faith and trust in Jesus are "looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God..." (verse 12), and "looking for the new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells." (verse 13) Christians are then exhorted to exemplify holy and godly lives, spotless and blameless. (verses 11 and 14)
God is giving plenty of warning signs. Are you a laugher or a looker! Are you waiting "...for the Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come?" (I Thess. 1:10)
This chapter closes with a warning about people who distort the Scriptures and to be on guard against false teaching.
So, if you are laughing, why don't you consider becoming a looker? Your eternal destiny is at stake! By the way, God will have the last laugh. It says in Psalm 2:2-4, "The kings of the earth take their stand, and the rulers take counsel together Against the Lord and His Annointed" but "He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them."
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