In the Last Days Mockers Will Come, Saying “Where is the Promise of His Coming”?
One of the signs leading up to the end times is the sign of “mockers” who will come, following after their own lusts, taunting Christians with words of doubt, denying the promise of His Second Coming. Peter, moved by the Holy Spirit, wrote about this in his second letter, but it was also alluded to by Jesus Himself, in several parables He told about His return.
The sign given by the Apostle Peter reads:
2 Peter 3 “Know this first of all, that in the last days
mockers will come with their mocking,
following after their own lusts, 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 creation.‘“ (NKJV)
Peter is pointing out that a sign that will become evident in the last days will be people (unbelievers and even those that profess to be Christians) mocking, saying for example:
“People have always been saying that the Lord is returning.
They say this whenever a big turn of events happens, like WWI, or II,
or an economic crash. The same is true today, during the present crisis. Yet everything is proceeding as normal.
I really don’t see this as the last days”.
In effect they are saying that the promise of His coming is not going to be fulfilled. Why? Because they claim that “all things continue as they were from the beginning” – in other words, its business as usual. No need to be ready for a Second Coming. Things continue to go on just as they always have. What they are not being mindful of is that:
- Two thousand years to the Lord is as a day – He does not measure time as we do. To Him, it was just yesterday that He arose from the grave.
- He specifically told His disciples that although they would NOT know the day or the hour, they would be able to tell the signs of the end time that would precede His return
- He will come on a day and hour that you expect not
Why is “Mockers Will Come” a Sign of the End Time NOW?
While it is true that many have thought that THEY were in the End Times in the past, there are HUGE flag posts that have been raised over the last 100 years that tell us without any doubt that we are approaching the end time or last days:
- In the Old Testament, the prophets wrote that Israel would be scattered throughout the earth. That happened in 70 AD when the Romans invaded Israel, destroyed the city, and the remnant of Israel fled across the earth. Over the last 2,000 years, Jews have been scattered throughout the whole earth, in literally every tribe and nations.
- The first BIG sign post was Israel starting the return to their land in the latter 1800s and 1900s, and Israel once again becoming a nation in 1948. Never in history has a people survived 2,000 year while scattered across the whole earth, only to return to their land and become a nation once again. This return of Israel had NEVER happened before, and as such was another fulfillment of prophecy which was to precede the “last days”.
- Jesus said “Learn the parable of the “fig tree”. Jesus told His followers the following parable which is recorded in the gospels of Matthew and Luke:
When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves,
you know that summer is near.
“Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.
you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near.
So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom is near”.
- Jesus is comparing Israel to a fig tree (as is shown in the Old Testament Jer 24), and is saying that when you see this fig tree planted (Israel), and you see it begin to shoot forth leaves (begin to thrive), then KNOW that the kingdom is near! Over the past 1,900 years the land of Israel had fallen into a barren wasteland. No trees could be found, and practically nothing could be grown there.
- Since the Jews started to return to the land in the latter 1800s, and early 20th century, and since the found of the state of Israel, there is a tremendous blossoming of Israel. Trees have now sprouted all over the land, and Israel is a major exporter of fruit to the whole region!
- The “times of the Gentiles” are now coming to a close. It is estimated that more Jews have come to accept Yeshua (Jesus) as their Messiah in the last 10 year than in the last 2,000 years. This too is a sign of the End Time that has NEVER happened in the past 2,000 years. The bible predicts that in the last days the Jews would begin believing in Yeshua (Jesus), as “the times of the Gentiles” comes to a close. We are in those End Times.
Peter Warns Believers Not to be Caught Off Guard
Peter gives us two important warning in his letter: 1) not to be forgetful that it is only by the Word of God that the present state of things – time, space and matter – are held together. And that in the past, God’s Word allowed the state of things to be violently disrupted, resulting in a global catastrophe that flooded the world; 2) that God’s time is not our time – that He is in fact outside of time. So for us to think in our foolishness that “a long time has passed” and He must therefor not be coming is indeed foolish. For “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years”.
1 Peter 3:5-6 “For this they willfully forget: that by the Word of God the heavens were of old,
And the earth standing out of the water, and in the water, by which the world that then
existed perished, being flooded with water.”
First he mentions that people in the last days are “willfully” forgetful of how God created the heavens and the earth, by the Word of His Power. And that by His Word all things are held together – literally. God the Word is the “binding force” hold all matter together, in accordance with His will. Its interesting that even modern science today refers the “God particle” as that which hold all matter together (otherwise know as the Higgs-Boson particle).
The “steady state” of the the world back then perished with the Flood, and now is held once again in a steady state by God’s Word, awaiting the End Times that are to come upon the earth:
2 Peter 3:7 “But the heavens and the earth which now exist are kept in store by the same Word
reserved for fire until the day of judgement and destruction
of ungodly men.”
Do Not Forget – A Thousand Years is as a Day to the Lord!
Peter then reminds us that God’s time is not our time. He, being the First Cause and the Origin of all things, is outside of space, time and matter- although He is also in space, time and matter as well!. Being “omnipresent”, God’s Spirit is everywhere. In fact, in the Psalms, David remarks “where can I flee from Your Presence?”
2 Peter 3:8-9: “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day
is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise,
as some count slackness, but is long suffering toward us,
not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
This notion that a thousand years is as one day with the Lord is also recorded in the Tenach, or Old Testament:
Psalm 90:4 – For a thousand years in Your sight, Are like yesterday when it is past,
And like a watch in the night
Now, in the 21st century, its been 2,000 years since Jesus the Messiah walked the earth. He was taken up into Heaven after His resurrection, after having been seen by over 500 people in a period of about 40 days. He ate, He spoke, and He fellowshipped once again with His followers, and others, to clearly demonstrate that He had risen from the grave and conquered death. Two angelic being announced to the disciples that Jesus would one day return to the earth in like manner.
Many in these last days consider this so long ago that its meaningless – that “all things continue as they were from the beginning”. But yet, this was as yesterday as far as the Lord is concerned! So don’t be fooled. Know that the Lord could return at any time! In fact, He promised to come as a day and hour you think not! That is why He repeatedly said “watch!”
Yet Many Will be Caught Off Guard by the Lord’s Sudden Return
Will Christians be caught off guard by the coming of the Lord. Absolutely not. Jesus did not want His followers to be caught by surprise – which is why He gave us several parables, and warning about this. True followers are walking in the light of the Lord and His Holy Spirit and eagerly awaiting the return of the Lord as He promised. They can see the Lord is close – “at the door”.
But unbelievers, and those who profess to be Christians (but are not), that are not actively walking in the light – actively practicing their faith, fellowshipping, and studying His word – these will be caught off guard. This is what Jesus warns us of in three parables given in the gospels – to be watching, to have our lamps filled with oil, eagerly expecting the return of the Lord. (see The Return Parables below for more on this).
The “Return” Parables Talk About a Long Time Passing!
Jesus gave His followers – and us – an illustration and several parables to illustrate how His return would take place. Notice that ALL of these included the passage of a long period of time! In other words, Jesus told His followers several times, in various ways, that in effect it was going to be a LONG TIME as we count time until He returns. But by the same token, He said to “watch, and be ready”.
- As it was in the days of Noah, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be – a long time to build the ark, and mockers mocking
- The parable of the two servants, who said “my master is delaying his coming”
- The parable of the 10 virgins, who thought the bridegroom’s was delayed – some were watching and ready, others slept
- The parable of the talents – after a long time the master returned
The Illustration of the Days of Noah: A long Time Passed Preparing for the Flood
Jesus warned us that the days preceding His coming would be like the days of Noah:
Matt 24:37-39: “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the
coming of the Son of Man be.
For as in the days before the Flood, they were easting and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage,
until the day that Noah entered the ark,
and did not know until until the flood came and took them all away,
so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
In the above passage, Jesus is pointing out that the attitude and mindset of most people will be that things continue with “business as usual”.
- While Noah was preparing for a great deluge over a period of 120 years (a long time), which by the way had never happened in all of history, people in that day were no doubt “mocking” him, saying why are you building this crazy boat? Eat, drink and be merry!
- But Noah was informed of the coming deluge, and believed God, and prepared for it over those 120 years.
- Suddenly God told Him to go into the ark, and God closed the door behind him and his family. He went into the Ark by faith, and then the rains came.
- Many today are saying the same thing – He is not coming back. Look, its been 2000 years! But as it says in another place in Scripture, “God is not slack” concerning His promise, “as some count slackness”. God has revealed in His Scriptures the signs of the End Times, and we do well to pay attention to them – so that the hour of His Coming does not come upon us as a surprise!
The Parable of the Two Servants: “My Master is Delaying His Coming”
In the gospels of Matthew and Luke, Jesus tells the parable of the two servants.
whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?
and at an hour that he is not aware of,”
- The master (the Lord) made these servants (believers) ruler over his household (the church), to give them food (spiritual food – good teaching)
- When He comes, the Lord expects to find His servants so doing – feeding His sheep
- The problem is that some of His servants will say “My master is delaying His coming”, and as a consequence
- Mistreat fellow servants and party with drunkards.
- Are caught by surprise when his master comes
- In the same way, the Lord will suddenly return after what appears to His followers as a long time, and as a consequence they will begin saying He is delaying His coming and begin falling away from the faith (another sign of the End Times).
The Parable of the Ten Virgins: “The Bridegroom was Delayed”
The parable of the ten virgins speaks about 10 virgins who went out to meet the bridegroom who was coming for His bride in preparation for a wedding feast. The context for this is a Galilee wedding feast, where two would be betrothed together, and then the bridegroom would go away for some undetermined period of time to prepare the home for his bride. When the father of the groom gave his approval to the groom, then the groom would up and fetch his bride. And so the period of waiting for the groom was unclear, and could be up to a year according to tradition. And the groom did not know when he was to return – only his father. Many times, the father would give the son the approval to go in the evening or at night! So the bride always had to be ready, with her lamp trimmed and ready to light – in case the groom would come at night!
This is the context of the parable Jesus is presenting.
Now, the 10 virgins all had lamps with them, implying that they would be ready if the groom was coming at night (at a time least expected). Five “were wise” and had oil in their lamps, while 5 did not. The oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit, which we are to be filled with as we await the return of the Lord.
Matt 25:5-13 “But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming go out to meet them!’
“Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.
“And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’
“But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you;
but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came,
and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.”
- Notice the bridegroom was “delayed”, so much so that 1/2 of the wedding party slept and slumbered, not expecting the groom to return any time soon. And so they were caught off guard, with no oil in their lamps (no Holy Spirit in their vessels). Tus the unprepared were not ready, and not taken up into the feast!
- The bridegroom returned at midnight, a rather unexpected time – but still permissible, according to custom.
- This is exactly the situation today. Many in the church are followers in name only, not actively walking in faith, not full of the Spirit in their lives. They are “slumbering”, no expecting His return at any moment, and thus will not be ready when He comes.
The Parable of the Talents: “After a Long Time the Lord of Those Servants Came”
This third parable was about a man who left to travel to a far away country (the Lord Jesus, as He ascended into Heaven).But before He departed, He delivered His good to His servants. This is precisely what is recorded in the gospels. Jesus taught His disciples for 3 years, leaving His Words of life (“goods”) to them to share with others, in accordance with the “talents” they had each been given – in Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.
- The Lord has delivered to each of us a unique set of talents, which He expects us to use to spread His message and the way of eternal life to all God’s creatures
- He will return “after a long time” – as we count time, it will seem that ages have passed sine the Master was here.
- Some of His disciples were given more talents and abilities, some less. As it is written in other parts of the Scripture, we are all part of Christ’s body on earth, but we are not all alike in talents and abilities. Some are pastors; others teachers; others have the gift of healing, others the gift of helps and administration.
- Nevertheless, the Lord expects each of us to utilize the talents we have been given to the fullest, so that when the Master returns, He is able to say “Well done, good and faithful servant”.
Its Now Been a Long Time, Are You Ready?
The Lord Jesus was asked what the signs of His return would be, and what His disciples should look for. He wanted them to know the “Signs of the End Times” – but He also warned them that they would not know the day or the hour – for He told them that only the Father knew the exact day and hour that He should return for his “bride”, the church – His followers on earth.
One of the signs would be that “mockers” would come in the last days, saying “where is the promise of His coming? For all things continue just as they always have”. We are seeing this sign being fulfilled today. Unbelievers, and even many who profess to be followers of Christ, are saying these very words.
Another very BIG sign that occurred in 1948 was that Israel (the “fig tree”) once again became a nation, after 2,000 years of the Jews being scattered over the whole earth. This has never happened before, and is a fulfillment of many prophecies in the Old Testament. And while over the past 1,900 years the land had lain waste, there are now millions of trees blossoming in Israel! God is beginning to deal with Israel again, and “the times of the Gentiles” are drawing to a close.
In His response to the disciples, Jesus then told them that “as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be with the Coming of the Son of Man“. In other words, from the moment that God told Noah that He was going to send rain and destruction upon the earth, 120 years was to transpire. During this “long time” in earth years, Noah was to prepare and build the ark.
Jesus further emphasized that a “long time” would transpire before His return by sharing three parables with His followers:
- The parable of the two servants, who said “my master is delaying his coming”
- The parable of the 10 virgins, waiting for the bridegroom’s return – some were ready, others felt the bridegroom was delayed, and so slumbered, and were not ready when He came
- The parable of the talents – after a long time the master returned
So watch, and be ready. Know that the Scriptures clearly teach that a “long time” will transpire after the Lord’s departure, and before His return. But also know that “when the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled”, the Lord will return suddenly, and a day and hour when you do not expect. Keep your lamp filled with the Holy Spirit through fellowship, prayer, and meditating on His Word.
Know the signs of the End Times, but also know that your Lord comes on a day and hour when you don’t expect Him!
If you don’t have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, you can! Give Jesus a chance! Don’t put it off. Allow Him to come into your life and make you “a new creation”! You have nothing to loose everything to gain. Here is a link to Billy Graham’s web site that can show you how you can invite Jesus into your life and be the creation He has always intended you to be …
Take Me to Steps to Peace With God ==> http://www.billygraham.org/SH_StepsToPeace.asp
- Medium.com – https://medium.com/@TheLordIsMyShepherd/parable-of-the-ten-virgins-html-fb48b990d00e
- Blue Let5ter Bible – https://www.blueletterbible.org/
- Pexels – for stock images