This past Sunday I began the ten week sermon series “Times Are Changing: Prophetic Truths You Cannot Afford to Miss.” Study for this series has been fascinating—so fascinating that I had to work diligently to cut my notes for last Sunday down to 28 pages! The Lord blessed with a wonderful response. There were many first time visitors in the service, and several people trusted Christ as Saviour.
Not everyone, however, who hears prophetic truth responds to the grace of God. Second Peter 3 describes four basic responses people have toward Bible prophecy:
1. Some will scoff (v. 3).
When scoffers hear the prophetic truths of God’s Word that are intended to warn them to avoid coming judgment, they mock them as “old-fashioned” or “irrelevant.” People scoff that they might continue “walking after their own lusts.” In other words, they would prefer to deny God’s authority and prerogative to judge their sin than to repent and receive God’s salvation.
2. Some will search (vv. 6–10).
Others who hear Bible prophecy will sincerely search to verify its truth. By studying the past, especially the Flood (verses 6–7), they will understand that God does judge sin. By studying the scriptural prophecies (verses 8–10) they will see that, just as God released global judgment through the flood, He will once again judge the entire world—this time by fire.
3. Some are strengthened (v. 11).
One reason God reveals prophecy is to motivate Christians to be faithful to the Lord in “all holy conversation and godliness.” Remembering that Christ is soon returning helps us shift our values from the temporal to the eternal and focus our attention on purifying ourselves “even as He is pure” (1 John 3:3). And, ultimately, it reminds us to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:29–20) and reach every person we can with the Gospel before it is too late.
4. Some find salvation (v. 9).
What a joy it was to see people respond to God’s Word last Sunday by trusting Christ as their Saviour! Some may scoff, but others find salvation.
Christ is coming soon, and it is the responsibility of every Christian to tell the world. Not everyone will respond positively to the warning of future judgment and offer of salvation by grace alone, but many will. We must be faithful to share the good news of the Gospel. For God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).