What does 2 Peter 3:3 mean?
ESV: knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.
NIV: Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.
NASB: Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts,
CSB: Above all, be aware of this: Scoffers will come in the last days scoffing and following their own evil desires,
NLT: Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires.
KJV: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
Jesus himself had warned that false prophets would come and lead many away from the truth (Matthew 24:11). Paul also tied the work of these false teachers to the last days before the return of the Christ (1 Timothy 4:1–3). The New Testament is consistent in describing our era as the last days or end times before Christ returns and is revealed as Lord.
Christians are not defenseless against these false teachers. Peter describes two more things that are true of them: They are scoffers (mocking the return of Christ), and they follow their own evil desires. That is, as Peter wrote in chapter 2, they openly engage in immorality and encourage the Christians to join in with them.
In the next verse, Peter will describe how these false teachers will mock the second coming of Jesus. But first, Peter reminds us that the very existence of these false teachers is a fulfillment of prophecy. Their mocking and scoffing was one of the predictions he mentioned in verse 2.
2 Peter 3:1–13 includes Peter’s dismantling of the arguments of the false teachers. They will scoff because Christ’s promised return has not yet happened, and the world continues on as if nothing will ever change. Peter reminds Christians that God made the world and Noah’s flood is evidence that He is willing to alter it in order to bring judgment on the sins of humanity. In the coming judgment, everything will be destroyed and laid bare with fire. Christians look forward to the new heavens and earth which will come after.
Peter dismantles the arguments of false teachers working to mislead Christians in the early church. He counters their idea that since Jesus has not yet returned, He must not be coming. Peter reminds His readers that God created the world. The flood of Noah's day is evidence that He is willing to bring judgment on the earth for sin. God is not late, He is patient and merciful. But the day of the Lord will come eventually. Everything will be destroyed. A new heaven and earth will be established. Christians should live as if that’s true.
After thoroughly condemning the false teachers in chapter 2, Peter now dismantles their arguments. These deceivers scoff that Christ has not returned as promised. We should doubt Christ's return, they say, since the world goes along as it always has and always will. Peter reminds his readers that God is the one who made the world. Noah’s flood is evidence of His willingness to alter the course of nature in order to bring judgment on humanity for sin. Christians should be looking forward to the new heavens and earth, rejecting false teaching, and leading holy lives.
Apparently written shortly before his death in the AD 60s, 2 Peter may have been written to the same audience as 1 Peter, which was Christians scattered by persecution. Peter writes this letter to encourage Christians to live out the purpose of their lives in Christ. He warns readers to beware of teachers who claim to be believers, but present a false version of Christianity. And, Peter calls on all Christians to eagerly watch and wait for the return of the Lord.
Accessed 2/25/2024 11:15:35 AM
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