Words of Faith 3-17-2020
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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2 Peter 3
Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.  I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.
 First of 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 fathers 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 existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.  By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.  By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
By any measure, chapter 2 was a tough one! It is difficult to contemplate the dark nature of false teachers and realize that little has changed in 2000 years. But Peter's point was not to dwell upon the negative. His desire was to stimulate the believers to wholesome thinking-- thoughts that are judged by the sunlight and found pure. His focus was on the glorious return of the Lord that is affirmed in the words of Scripture announced by the prophets, the Apostles, and the Lord Jesus Himself.
Peter realized that in the last days there would be false teachers and also scoffers. He understood those days to be upon him and his readers. Scoffers are another type of false teacher that would specifically deny the Second coming of Jesus and follow after their own desires. These teachers would mock the truth of Scripture. They would ask, "Where is this 'coming' he promised?" Mocking the faith of Christians, they support their own position by claiming, "Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation."
Peter pointed out that these scoffers "deliberately forget" the great Flood when God intervened in history by destroying the antediluvian world. What they forget is not only the Flood but also God's prior activity, by his word, in the very existence of the heavens and the watery formation of the earth (Gen 1:2-10).
We don’t want to misunderstand here. Peter was not saying that water was the basic material of creation. He does not use the verb "create" but says that "long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and with water." In Genesis, the sky or firmament separates the “waters from the waters” by the word of God and the land appears out of the water by the same word. Both water and the word are to be understood as the agents for destroying the former world, as the word and fire will be the destructive agents in the future.
Peter argues that just as in the past God purged the then-existing kosmos by his word and by waters, so in the future he will purge the kosmos by his word and by fire. Whether this will take place before the Millennium or after, Peter does not say. The sequence of Revelation 20-21 puts the new heaven and new earth after the thousand years (2 Peter 3:13).
The point here is that these scoffers have intentionally and deliberately ignored the truth. We see the same thing today. Scurrilous arguments are made today, scoffing at the validity of Scripture, the divine nature of Christ, and His resurrection. Television specials and fiction movies scoff at the events that Christians have held to be the hope of glory. Followers of Christ and even leaders are sucked into an atmosphere of cynicism and scoffing, choosing to deliberately forget the fundamental truths communicated by God for our hope and benefit.
Was Peter saying that we should not ask questions? Certainly not. But we would do well to express faith more like the man whose son was possessed by an unclean Spirit. When asked if he believed, the man responded: "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief" (Mark 9:24)! There is little good that can ever come from scoffing at the truths of God. We do well to doubt our doubts rather than scoff at the tenets of the Scripture.
Lord, keep my faith secure in You. Forgive me the times that I have been deliberately forgetful. Forgive me the times I have failed to place my hope in You. Protect and secure my walk with You as I grow in my faith. In Jesus' Name.
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.
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