What were the scoffers in Peter’s day scoffing at when they asked, “Where is the promise of His coming?” (2 Peter 3:3) Modern-day prophecy writers argue that anyone who questions that the return of Jesus is near based on Israel becoming a nation again and certain end-time signs is an end-time scoffer, and Peter had them in mind when he wrote his second letter. The simple fact is, the New Testament writers, including Peter (1 Peter 4:7; cf. Heb. 9:26), taught that Jesus would return “shortly” (Rev. 1:1, 3; 22:10), before the last apostle died (John 21:18–24; Matt.16:27–28), within a generation (Matt. 24:34), because the time was “near” for them (James 5:7–9; Rev. 1:3) that the old covenant was in the process of passing away.
The “coming” mentioned by a number of New Testament writers was a “coming” in judgment, not a physical coming like Jesus’ incarnation, but similar to the predicted comings that resulted in judgments by God as described by Old Testament prophets (e.g., Isa. 19:1; Micah 1:2–4; Zeph. 1).
The judgment coming that the New Testament describes was leveled against Israel in the period leading up to the temple’s destruction in A.D. 70 (Matt. 22:1–14). It was this event that bred a generation of prophetic scoffers since nearly four decades had passed with no change in Israel’s situation. The temple was still standing, stone upon stone, when the scoffers began to ridicule the earlier predictions.
Identifying the Real Last Days Scoffers is an eye-opening account of how today’s prophetic speculators are the real last days scoffers.
Gary DeMar is president of American Vision and the author of over 25 books, including Last Days Madness, Why the End of The World is Not in Your Future, Is Jesus Coming Soon?, Left Behind: Separating Fact From Fiction, and co-author of The Early Church and the End of the World.
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