3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
5 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:
6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
Modern day beliefs and attitudes in the Bible
Is there reference to today’s beliefs regarding Creation in the Bible? In this passage we see reference to things that closely match the way Christians are treated today for their beliefs. “Scoffers, walking after their own lusts”, these days we would probably say that these ‘scoffers’ are ‘out for their own gain’, or ‘to justify their own deeds’ as they lead their lives however they please and scoff at or ridicule those who uphold Biblical teaching.
“Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation”
They believe that geological processes are happening today at the same rate as they always have been (known as uniformitarianism i), if this is the case rock layers, for example, would have taken a long time to build up as it’s very difficult if not impossible to ‘see’ rock layers forming today. So therefore, evolutionists, atheists and others who scoff at the Biblical account of creation assume that this must have taken eons of time to form new layers.
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:
As they believe in Uniformitarianism, they do not believe in the “the earth standing out of the water and in the water” and “the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:” (the global flood of Noah’s day) as this is a global geologic event that doesn’t fit with uniformitarianism. One word stands out for me in this verse, “Willingly”. This brings us back to verse 3 were we see the reason why people ignore the flood in order to;
“[walk] after their own lusts” (KJV) & (ASV)
“[follow] their own evil desires” (NIV)
If you wish to do your own thing and ignore God, you have to be willingly ignorant of the flood and the evidence for the flood that is all around us, in order to ignore this evidence, you have to come up with a different hypothesis as to how the earths geology came to being, that is, uniformitarianism. Which is described quite succinctly in this verse as the belief that “all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation”. This belief allows you to dismiss the thought of God and Jesus, where the scoffers are asking “Where is the promise of his coming?”, without God, people are then free to make up their own rules, live their lives as they please and “[walk] after their own lusts”
I was amazed when I first read and understood this passage as it spoke to me so clearly about people in the world today. So many will scoff at Christians and mock us for our beliefs, this passage shows us the reason that they scoff and mock us, that is, in order to continue their lives separate from God as they have to willinglyii disbelieve God otherwise they will come to realise that they are sinners and are in need of salvation.
i The belief in uniformitarianism was started by James Hutton and popularised by Charles Lyell’s book, Principles of Geology in 1830
ii Romans 1:20 gives a clue as to why they have to ‘willingly’ disbelieve as God is seen all around in his creation.
“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”