On March 27th of 1980, there was a small eruption of Mt. St. Helens in Washington state. The volcano rumbled awake after a one hundred year sleep. In the weeks to follow, a series of small earthquakes warned of the danger building below the surface of the beautiful mountain.
Federal and local government officials alerted the public to the growing threat and said a large-scale eruption was imminent. Many tourists, backpackers, campers and local residents heeded the warnings and complied with evacuation orders. There were dozens of others who decided to ignore and even scoff at the warnings about the growing danger and chose to stay in harm's way.
On May 18th, 1980 at 8:32 am. Mt. St. Helens erupted ferociously, sending a pyroclastic blast and a wall of super-heated gas and ash racing down the sides of the mountain at over 300 mph.
In the wake of the volcano's fury, 57 people lost their lives because they either ignored or scoffed at the warnings of impending danger. The Bible tells us about a time when scoffers will mock people who warn others about coming of the Lord.
Take note that the Bible zeroes in on a particular time in history. Peter tells us these people will be around in the last days. Another key aspect of these people is the fact that they are following their own sinful desires. The Bible tells us that these people will mockingly ask, "Where is the promise of his coming?"
I've observed many non-Christians mock the notion of God's coming judgment and Jesus' soon return. People on television, radio and social media scoff at the idea that Jesus is coming again. My heart goes out to these people because they are not the enemy, satan is and he wants to keep them blinded.
Knowing the stakes are eternal, we must tell them about God's holiness, coming judgment and redemption through Jesus. The fact that the secular world scoffs at the notion of Jesus' soon return shouldn't be a surprise. What is shocking is the number of supposed Christians who are scoffing about it.
End Time Bible prophecy is like an elephant in the evangelical living room because so many of today's well-known leaders either choose to ignore it altogether or in some cases, they have become the very scoffers the apostle Peter warns us about.
Ask yourself the following questions: When was the last time you heard a sermon on Bible prophecy? When was the last time your small group discussed the end times? Can you remember the last time your church invited a guest speaker to teach on an End Time subject?
I'm guessing many of you feel the same as I do. I have noticed a steady departure from teaching end time Bible prophecy in most evangelical churches today. This is sad and unbelievable in light of the fact that the four gospels, the epistles and the Old Testament are brimming with chapters that are heavily eschatological.
If a pastor or a Bible teacher you listen to is ignoring this subject, chances are high they are doctrinally flawed in other areas. Ignoring or scoffing at Bible prophecy should be a red flag and I would advise you go elsewhere for biblical instruction and find a godly shepherd who teaches the whole Bible.
When I became a Christian in the mid-1980's, there was a great deal of interest in Bible prophecy. Books about the End Times were everywhere and many preachers spoke about it with regularity. Here we are decades later but interest and teaching on end time Bible prophecy are at an all-time low.
Today's Christian bookstores are chock full of life enhancement books that focus on self-esteem instead of God esteem. The most popular Christian teachers focus on the emotions and felt needs of people instead of challenging them to Christ-likeness in light of His soon return.
The gospels are replete with Jesus' warnings and encouragement as He tells us to be alert, to endure to the end and tells us to make disciples. End Time Bible prophecy is paramount in evangelism because people in the world want to know what the future holds. Bible prophecy is critical in discipleship because it exhorts us to good works, personal holiness and finishing well.
As we think about Peter's warning of scoffers coming in the last days, we must understand personal holiness at the center of the issue. Where Bible prophecy is ignored, holiness is diminished. This is important to understand because Peter ties the understanding of end time Bible prophecy closely together with godly living in the last days.
The fact that so many well-known leaders choose to ignore or scoff at End Time teaching is indicative of the last days' spiritual deception and blindness Peter's warned us about. The National Hurricane Center warns people of an approaching storm, in the same way, the US. Geological Survey alerts people of increasing seismic activity and probable volcanic eruptions.
The end result is that many people will heed the warnings and prepare accordingly. If you could go back in time to the day before Mt. St. Helens erupted violently or the day before Hurricane Katrina struck, wouldn't you lovingly warn people with every bit of strength you have despite what the scoffers say? Christians should be warning the world of the approaching storm of God's judgment and tell them about the hope that Jesus offers.