I trust that last week‘s message was not only challenging but also beneficial in understanding the concept of allowing “Scripture to interpret Scripture”. Doing anything less will lead some to all kinds of erroneous and wrong conclusions. Such conclusions have the potential to not only lead people astray (and in worst cases into certain separatist cult like groups), but they also give way to all kinds of criticism and mockery from non-believers.
With this being said, I hope that after last Sunday we all agree that at least in passages that were presented…the phrase “end of the ages/the last days/the last hour” is a reference to the end of the Jewish age, that is, the end of the Old Covenant redemptive system with its associated sacrifices and rituals that were designed to be temporary symbols of the coming atoning work of Christ and the beginning of the new age, called the Age of the Church/the Age of Christ, which will continue till the Second Coming…
While the scoffers (2Peter 3:3), who were not true believers but rather imposters and false teachers masquerading as true followers of Christ and as such brought ‘the way of truth in disrepute”, were mocking with selfish and evil motives, the question is still valid: “Where is the promise of His coming?”
Predictions were made by the OT prophets, by Jesus Himself and his Apostles that need to be examined and taken as they were intended. The boldest prediction that Jesus made is found in Matthew 24:1-2, “Do you see all these things [Temple]?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; everyone will be thrown down.” And then He gives His hearers this “hint”, ”Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened” (v.34).
The fact that Jesus’ words didn’t come to pass during their lifetime, gave the impression that “the coming” (v.4) will not happen – hence the scoffing.
Peter’s second letter is a call to stand firm in the belief that “the coming” will happen, just as God has promised…all God’s promises will be fulfilled.
God’s “slowness” actually reflects His patience.