Continued from previous post...
“…in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, …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.”” 2 Peter 3: 3, 4
Mockers mocking? What exactly does that mean? The Webster’s New World College Dictionary (4th ed) defines the word mock as, “1 to hold up to scorn or contempt; ridicule,” so we know that a mocker mocking is someone who is contemptuous of, and ridicules something. (10) This verse makes it clear that the subject the mockers are attacking is the advent of Christ, and their argument is that the world has gone on for centuries without change and that it will continue to do so. Our job is to find out who is mocking the second coming of Christ at the end of the world, and what argument they are using.
Proponents of different religions have argued, belittled, and even persecuted each other throughout history. There seems to be nothing new about one “religious person” mocking another, so I think we can dismiss this as applying to the end times. Then we must look around and see if there is a new group attacking the return of Christ.
Atheists do not believe in the existence of God or a supreme being of any kind. Atheists and their denial of God are not to be confused with Agnostics, or those who have doubts about the existence of God and are searching/waiting for proof of God’s existence. No, true atheists are adamant, unrelenting, steadfast deniers of God. Now, there have always been people who have doubted or denied the existence of God, but only in the last few hundred years has there been anything resembling a ‘movement’, an organized resistance, against God and religion.
Modern atheism is a product of two developments: the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century where philosophy, science and reason were promoted over religion and tradition; and the adoption by many countries of the idea of separating religion and politics. (11)
In fact, one of the many reasons for the French Revolution was the “…intellectual ferment of the Age of Enlightenment…”, and one of the results of the revolution was a drafting of a constitution that put “Severe restrictions on the power of the Roman Catholic Church…” (12)
But what do atheists say about the second coming of Christ?
Here is a quote from a website called Daylight Atheism. The person who wrote the article states that, while reading an Associated Press poll of Americans, s/he “…noticed the following bizarre statistic: 25% anticipate the second coming of Christ.” The author goes on to say, “It is depressing how many people still believe this will happen during their own lifetimes, considering how many previous generations have also lived and died expecting it and turned out to be absolutely and completely wrong.” (13)
Here is another quote from a different source. “Christians believe that Christ will return to Earth, gather up the faithful, condemn the unfaithful, destroy life as we know it and create a paradise on Earth - the second coming, the end times…For two thousand years they (Christians) have believed the second coming would happen at any moment…Through the years literally hundreds of apocalyptic predictions have been documented. And yet people still believe this nonsense!” (14)
These are only two examples of the ridicule heaped upon the Christian belief of the end of the world and the second coming of Christ. Mockers mocking.
In this chapter we have seen some of the verses in the Bible that have pointed to signs marking the end times, and we have been able to show that events occurring around us today fulfill the signs given to us centuries ago. We could go on and look at other topics such as the rise in violence, our polluted environment, and the political and religious machinations of recent history, but all of that will be covered in coming chapters. Our goal in this first chapter was to show where we are now in the course of human and Biblical events. In the next chapter we will begin to find out how we got to where we are now, and once again prove the accuracy of Bible prophecy when looked at from an historical perspective. In other words: we know where we are, but how did we get here? Right now we have part of the story, now it is time to add to it.