The Willing Ignorance of Men
For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. (2Peter 3:5-7)
TWO THINGS FALSE PROPHETS (APOSTATES) WERE WILLINGLY IGNORANT OF: 1) God’s creation of the earth; 2) the flood of Noah’s day. Then Peter added a statement of prophecy: that the earth and the heavens are going to be burned with fire as God’s final great judgment upon the earth and the universe. The false preachers knew it to be true but chose not to talk about it. Just ignore and it will go away. That’s what willful ignorance is about.
WHEN I WAS 10 YEARS OLD, THERE WAS MUCH TALK in the early days of the first atomic bombs, that it might be possible to set off a chain reaction that would burn up the atmosphere around the earth and possibly set off a nuclear burning of the earth itself. It never happened, but the talk was there. I remember the talk about it. How could you miss it? It was no secret. The burning of the sun is nuclear power. Drill down ten miles through earth’s crust and it is a molten mass, a ball of fire.
TODAY, I SEARCHED 19 SOURCES OF COMMENTS ABOUT PETER'S LASHING at apostates who denied the coming of Lord and the coming fiery judgment upon the ungodly. REMEMBER THIS: Peter believed the truth of the Genesis Creation to be so well-established that the apostates knew it and “ignored it.” Peter did not need to re-tell the creation story or Noah’s flood. Peter’s audience knew about those things. There was no educational system or entertainment industry to brainwash the new generations out of what was common knowledge among the masses of people.
NEITHER DID PETER GO INTO ANY DETAIL ABOUT THE COMING JUDGMENT upon the earth by fire. God’s prophets had been talking about God’s judgment of the earth for centuries before Peter’s letter. Enoch, a generation before Noah, had preached about this. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. (Jude 1:14-15)
THE APOSTATE PREACHERS AVOIDED PREACHING ABOUT GOD'S CREATION of the earth or of Noah’s flood or of any coming judgment upon the earth. Come to think of it, when was the last time you heard a message on these things? Remember, Peter was one of the New Testament apostles and was the same level of Bible writing as the Old Testament prophets. Peter is preaching about the creation, Noah’s flood, and about a coming fiery judgment that is coming upon the earth.
THESE THEMES NEED TO BE PREACHED ABOUT TODAY! John MacArthur writes some good things about creation, addressing Genesis: “Creation was God's stepping into the emptiness and bringing the universe into existence, not by uniformitarianism (slow, gradual, millions of years), but by an instantaneous, explosive six-day creation. Everything has not continued along in some consistent, unvarying evolutionary process. In six days of twenty-four hours, the whole universe was created mature and complete.
“THE EARTH WAS FORMED BETWEEN TWO REALMS OF WATERY MASS. During the early part of the creation week, God collected the upper waters into a canopy around the whole earth, and the lower waters into underground reservoirs, rivers, lakes, and seas.
“without form, and void. This means "not finished in its shape and, as yet, uninhabited by creatures" (cf. Isaiah 45:18-19; Jeremiah 4:23). The Hebrew expression signifies a wasteland, a desolate place. The earth was an empty place of utter desolation, existing in a formless, barren state, shrouded in darkness and water or mist of some sort. It suggests that the very shape of the earth was unfinished and empty. The raw material was all there, but it had not yet been given form. God would quickly (in six days) decorate His initial creation (Genesis 2-2:3).
“THE SECOND GREAT DIVINE CATACLYSM THAT REFUTES THE IDEA OF uniformitarianism (the idea that the earth was created over a period of millions of years.) was the universal flood which drowned the whole earth and altered the world order. According to Genesis 7:11 ff., the flood occurred from two directions: first, the bursting open of the sources of water below as the earth cracked open and gas, dust, water, and air burst up; then, came the breakup of the overhead canopy when hit by all that upward flow, which sent the water from above crashing down on the earth. The deluge was so cataclysmic that the inhabitants of the earth were all destroyed, except eight people and a representation of every kind of animal. Clearly, by those two great events, it is certain that the world is not in a uniformitarian process.”
“WHICH ARE NOW. HUMANITY, SINCE THE FLOOD, LIVES IN THE SECOND WORLD ORDER. One of the obvious differences between the two world orders is that people live about 70 years in the present world, not 900 years, which was a common age of pre-flood human beings. And Peter was making the point that there is a third form of the heavens and earth yet to come following another cataclysm.
“ARE NOW PRESERVED BY THE SAME WORD. The present world system is reserved for future judgment, which will come by the Word of God just as creation and the flood came. God will speak it into existence as well, after the present order is again destroyed.
“reserved for fire. God put the rainbow in the sky to signify that He would never destroy the world again by water (Genesis 9:13). In the future, God will destroy the heavens and the earth by fire (cf. Isaiah 66:15; Daniel 7:9-10; Micah 1:4; Malachi 4:1; Matthew 3:11-12; 2Thessalonians 1:7-8). In the present universe, the heavens are full of stars, comets, and asteroids.
THE CORE OF THE EARTH IS ALSO FILLED WITH A FLAMING, BOILING LIQUID lake of fire, the temperature of which is some 12,400 degrees Fahrenheit. The human race is separated from the fiery core of the earth by only a thin 10-mile crust. Far more than that, the whole of creation is a potential fire bomb due to its atomic structure. As man from atoms creates destructive bombs that burn a path of death, so God can disintegrate the whole universe in an explosion of atomic energy.
“UNTIL THE DAY OF JUDGMENT...OF UNGODLY MEN. The earth waits for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly people. The godly will not be present on earth when God speaks into existence the judgment by fire (cf. 1Thessalonians 1:10; 1Thessalonians 5:9). (John MacArthur)
DR. WARREN WIERSBE, FORMER PASTOR: MOODY CHUCH IN CHICAGO: makes these comments: “A scoffer is someone who treats lightly that which ought to be taken seriously. The people in Noah’s day scoffed at the idea of a judgment, and the citizens of Sodom scoffed at the possibility of fire and brimstone destroying their sinful city. If you have tried at all to witness for Jesus Christ, you have no doubt met people who scoff at the idea of hell or a future day of judgment for this world.
“WHY DO THESE APOSTATES SCOFF? Because they want to continue living in their sins. Peter made it clear that false teachers cultivate “the lust of uncleanness” (2Peter 2:10) and allure weak people by means of “the lusts of the flesh” (2Peter 2:18). If your lifestyle contradicts the Word of God, you must either change your lifestyle or change the Word of God. The apostates choose the latter approach, so they scoff at the doctrines of judgment and the coming of the Lord.
“WHAT IS THEIR ARGUMENT? THE UNIFORMITY OF THE WORLD. “Nothing cataclysmic has happened in the past,” they argue, “so there is no reason to believe it will happen in the future.” They take the “scientific approach” by examining evidence, applying reason, and drawing a conclusion. The fact that they willfully ignore a good deal of evidence does not seem to disturb them.
“THE SCIENTIFIC APPROACH WORKS ADMIRABLY IN MATTERS THAT RELATE to the material universe, but you cannot take Bible prophecy into a laboratory and treat it as though it were another hypothesis. For that matter, the so-called “laws of science” are really only educated conclusions based on a limited number of experiments and tests. These laws are generalizations, always subject to change, because no scientist can perform an infinite number of experiments to prove his claim. Nor can he completely control all the factors involved in the experiments and in his own thinking.
“THE WORD OF GOD IS STILL "A LIGHT THAT SHINETH IN A DARK (SQUALID) PLACE” (2Peter 1:19). We can trust it. No matter what the scoffers may claim, God’s day of judgment will come on the world, and Jesus Christ shall return to establish His glorious kingdom. (Warren Wiersbe) Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
JUNE 11, 2018 – MONDAY
A.M. 2Chronicles 34-36 P.M. John 19:1-22
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Good Memory Verse:
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6) Write verses on scraps of paper and put in your pocket like President Abraham Lincoln did.)
Song for Today:
I Shall Know Him (4:31) –(Male Sextet – Gaither Group – Cliff Barrow’s Funeral)
You WILL need to delete an ad or turn off the song when finished to avoid something else you do not want to hear.