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Last week Peter told us that mockers would come. People that follow after their own sensuality and criticized the return of Jesus Christ. This morning, Peter explains to us what happens when mockers (and really anyone) hold to a view that maintains that God is not involved in the day to day lives of humanity and the affairs of His creation.
2 Peter 3:5-7 says, “For 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. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”
Peter offers three arguments to support God’s creation. I love the way Peter quickly reviews Genesis. “When they maintain this” refers back to v. 4. This is the worldview that God is a hands off God; that He set the world in motion and then stepped away. The premise of the mockers is a contradictory statement in itself. Gen. 1:2 says, “The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” When God created the world, it was uninhabitable for man, beasts, and plants. Are you wondering why God created a world that couldn’t sustain life? He did it to show His level of care and concern for His ultimate creation. He would use His creation to point men to Him. Rom. 1:20 says, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” If it wasn’t for God’s involvement after the world was created, we couldn’t be here. That’s why Peter reminds us of the words of the prophets and apostles. When we forget what they wrote, say in Genesis, you come up with all sorts of nonsense like the big bang theory, atheistic or theistic evolution, the gap theory and so on.
When you read the words of the holy prophets and the apostles, you’ve got to remember your science classes. The 1st Law of Thermodynamics states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed only altered in form. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics states that things left on their own will tend toward more disorder, entropy increases. I tell you this because it’s consistent with Scripture and contradicts the very argument the mockers are making. If it weren’t for God’s continual involvement, the world would naturally tend to chaos and disorder. Bill Nye the Science Guy said, “If we raise a generation of students who don’t believe in the process of science, who think everything that we’ve come to know about nature and the universe can be dismissed by a few sentences translated into English from some ancient text, you’re not going to continue to innovate.” A recent YouGov poll revealed that 37% believe God created us in our present form. But most Amercans fall into the same belief system as the mockers. 21% of Americans believe in strict evolution. 25% believe God controlled the evolution process. To that I say nonsense. It was nonsense to mathematician Blaise Pascal, to astronomer Johannes Kepler, chemist Robert Boyle, physicist Isaac Newton, and mathematical physicist Lord Kelvin all who staunchly believed in a biblical creation and are credited with developing modern science. How much time and money could we save if we simply remembered the words of the holy prophets and apostles? When these mockers maintain that unbiblical account of the world, “It escapes their notice.” The phrase literally means to forget or lose sight of its significance. When you deny a literal creation, you deny the significance of God’s love, care, and involvement in His creation.
How did the earth happen? It didn’t just happen. In his first argument Peter says, “By the word of God, the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water.” The mockers believed in creation, but their thoughts and conclusions following that were wrong. On the History Channel show Mountain Men, the narrator stated the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains were once the same size, but 100 million years of erosion had worn down the Appalachians – I wonder why the Rockies didn’t erode. Ps. 33:6, “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host.” Heb. 11:3, “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.” The phrase, “Was formed out of water and by water” is an interesting one. If we go back to Gen. 1:2, we’re reminded that, “The Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” Without God’s involvement, earth was in chaos and disorder. As we learned from the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, things just can’t get organized on their own. So look what happens in vs. 6-10. All this was accomplished by God speaking.
Peter continues his debunking of the mockers who say God is hands off. God was involved at the beginning and continues to be involved. Out of the water and back into the water is the essence of Peter’s second argument. “Through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.” Peter mentioned the flood in the last chapter and he mentions it again here. For a time reference, the flood occurred about 1320 years after Adam died. The waters in which the dry land was formed and the land that was flooded both occurred through God’s word. The flood was not just the most cataclysmic natural disaster ever known, it was judgment from God because the wickedness of man was great. God is not a hands off God – He will always judge evil.
Peter’s third argument is about what is coming. “But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.” False teachers may be here with their false teaching and mockers may be here doing their mocking, but the Word of God is true. Judgment is coming because God is involved. God does care about humanity and part of that caring is giving people every opportunity to repent and turn to Him before judgment comes. The judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah was limited to those cities. Even the flood affected only the earth. This future judgment will be like creation; it will affect the heavens and the earth. It will be accomplished by the power of God’s word. But it won’t be accomplished with water. God will use fire because of His promise in Gen. 9. The rainbows we see are a reminder of this promise. Destruction is being held at bay by the power of God. Remember things will move to disorder without God’s involvement. The fire of God’s judgment against the ungodly is coming.
What does this have to do with you? You can be ready with an answer for people that say God doesn’t care what goes on here. He does care, and we have to trust that He has His finger on the pulse of all humanity. We need to tell people the hope that we have. We need to tell people the answer they need to hear. We need to live by what we know.