“They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:4)
How will scoffers mock and ridicule the prophesied and promised return of the Lord Jesus Christ? They will indignantly and persistently ask “Where is the promise of His coming?”
The word “where” (ποῦ; pou) disrespectfully implies that Jesus’ coming should have occurred by now. Since it hasn’t occurred, scoffers may reason, then it probably won’t.
The word “promise” (ἐπαγγελία; epangelia) means an agreement that is to be fulfilled. Since Jesus has yet to return to the earth in power, might and glory, scoffers gladly proclaim that Jesus’ promise to come again (παρουσία; parousia) will never be fulfilled.
There reasoning for this rejection of God’s promise is based on the continuing cycle of life and living which has continued unabated since Jesus’ ascension. In fact, scoffers reason that life continues as it has since creation. They conclude that ever since the Jewish forefathers (πατήρ; pater) feel asleep (κοιμάω; koimao) or died, all things are continuing as they always have since the beginning of creation.
The word all things (πᾶς; pas) refers to that which exists in the natural world. This is what sceptics and scoffers solely focus their attention upon. They do not believe in God’s revealed truth: the Scriptures.
Dr. John Walvoord comments that, “From the time of the promise of Christ’s coming as Saviour and King being given to the fathers, down to the present time, all things continue, and have continued, as they now are, from “the beginning of creation.” The “scoffers” here are not necessarily atheists, nor do they maintain that the world existed from eternity. They are willing to recognize a God, but not the God of revelation. They reason from seeming delay against the fulfilment of God’s word at all.”
Dr. R. C. Sproul explains that, “Peter points us to the predictions of the prophets and apostles in order to give us confidence that false teaching is in fact no surprise to God. For the apostles and prophets did predict that in the last days scoffers will arise deriding the promise of Jesus’ return (vv. 2–4). The questions and assertions of the false teachers described in verse 4 were not innocent inquiries regarding the second coming; rather, the teachers in question mocked the orthodox belief in Jesus’ return as Judge.”
“However, this should not be surprising to us. Peter does tell us that the scoffing of the false teachers is predicted by the Word of God. In view here are passages such as Malachi 2:17 where the prophet warns the people that they have wearied the Lord by speaking as if God is not concerned with justice. As false teachers do the same in these last days, Malachi’s warning is fulfilled and made all the more intense because those who deny judgment while living under the revelation of the new covenant are even more guilty of sin.”
Dr. Sproul concludes by saying that, “Peter’s quotation of the prophet Joel in Acts 2:16–21 makes it clear that the entire time between the first and second advent of Christ is to be regarded as the last days. As such, we are not to be surprised at the presence of false teaching throughout church history, nor are we to assume necessarily that the seeming proliferation of false doctrine in our own day means that Jesus will return in our lifetime. Jesus could return at any time, and yet the entire period between His two advents is indeed the last days. Thus, we must not be surprised that the predictions about the rise of false teachers (Matt. 24:11) are fulfilled in every generation of the church.”
Are you frustrated by the increasing amount of false teaching that is occurring within the evangelical community? It seems the church is running headlong in rejecting objective, biblical truth and accepting anyone’s subjective opinion as a replacement for biblical truth. In a very real sense, it is good that believers in Christ are disturbed by the increase of false teaching. Therefore, we must resolve to do everything we biblically can to combat false teaching, where and when it occurs.
May the Lord find us faithful in doing so.
Sol deo Gloria!