Summary: 1) The Past signs of Divine Judgment (2 Peter 3:5-7), 2) The Present signs of Divine Judgment (2 Peter 3:10), 3) The Future signs of Divine Judgment (2 Peter 3:12-13)
Of the many stories this summer on the environment, one that has continued to draw attention is the story of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit. The interaction and hiding of findings of the unit became known as climategate. The Oxburgh Inquiry was supposed to review the scientific work of the research unit. The Inquiry examined a short list of papers chosen by the university itself, it held no hearings, only interviewed CRU scientists, took no evidence from critics, kept no notes of interviews, released a five-page report after only three weeks of work, then destroyed all its records. When it later emerged that CRU scientists admitted that their work was far more uncertain than was previously acknowledged, Ronald Oxburgh was asked why he did not report this. He replied that "the science was not the subject of our study."
This morning I like to talk about the environment and global warming. Instead of commissions, or scientific speculation, I would like to present the report from the once who is controlling the events, and that is God.
God has entered the universe, and he most definitely does interact with it. In 2 Peter 3, Peter reminds his readers of the enormous impact of God’s creative word in the beginning. Some Scientists today theorize about the “big bang,” a huge, undirected and unshaped random explosion in space billions of years ago, some fragments of which became our solar system and human life. Peter reminds us that the universe came into existence in an ordered way, flowing in six incredible days out of the Word of God. God was there! (Jeske, M. A. (2002). James, Peter, John, Jude. The People’s Bible (188–189). Milwaukee, Wis.: Northwestern Pub. House.)
In 2 Peter 3, we see:
1) The Past signs of Divine Judgment (2 Peter 3:5-7)
2 Peter 3:5-7 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. (ESV)
When the false teachers maintained their uniformitarian view of history they ignored historical facts. Peter takes their last argument first. Their premise (that this is a stable, unchanging world) is false; hence their conclusion (that it will remain so, and there will be no parousia) is false also. They willfully neglected the flood, when God did intervene in judgment. The lesson taught by the flood was that this is a moral universe, that sin will not for ever go unpunished; and Jesus himself used the flood to point this moral (Matt. 24:37–39). But these (false teachers) chose to neglect it. They were determined to lose sight of the fact that there were heavens in existence long ago, and an earth which was created by the divine fiat out of water, and sustained by water (Green, M. (1987). Vol. 18: 2 Peter and Jude: An introduction and commentary. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (152). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.)
The word translated escapes their notice (lanthanō) actually carries a more negative connotation, expressed better by the King James rendering, “willingly are ignorant of.” The facts did not merely elude such mockers. Rather, those individuals had purposefully shut their eyes to the truth. They willfully ignored the historical evidence, choosing to disregard the biblical accounts of divine retribution. Because they loved their sin, wanting to live as they pleased (cf. Job 20:12–13; Pss. 36:1–4; 73:5–12; Prov. 13:19; 14:9; 16:30; 26:11; John 3:20; Rom. 1:21–32; Eph. 4:17–19; 2 Tim. 3:2–4), they made conscious decisions not to consider the final consequences (cf. Num. 15:31; Deut. 7:9–10; Job 36:12, 17; Pss. 34:16; 78:49–50; Matt. 10:28; 13:41–42, 49–50; Rom. 1:18; 1 Cor. 6:9–10; Gal. 6:8; 2 Thess. 2:8–10; Rev. 21:8, 27).
Please turn to Genesis 1
As a result of their self-induced blindness, the false teachers discounted two monumental events in history that disprove their uniformitarian views. The first is the creation when, by the word of God, the Lord instantly brought the universe, or heavens, into being (Gen. 1:1).
Genesis 1:1 [1:1]In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (ESV)
"KEEP YOUR PLACE IN GENESIS"
Creation by the word of God is a common idea (Gen 1:3–30; Ps 33:6; 148:5; Ezra 6:38, 43; Heb 11:3). Our author is anxious to stress that the world existed only because God commanded that it should; by the same word he destroyed it (v 6) and will do so again (v 7) (Bauckham, R. J. (2002). Vol. 50: Word Biblical Commentary : 2 Peter, Jude. Word Biblical Commentary (298). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.).