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THREE WORLDS IN THE BIBLE

(SERMON #7 ON II PETER)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, June 14, 2015


Please turn to II Peter, chapter 3 and keep your Bible open.  It's page 1319 in the Scofield Study Bible.  We are going to look at several verses in this passage. The third chapter of Second Peter gives us an overview. It describes the history and future of this world. What happened to the world in the past? What is the world like today? What will happen to the world in the future? Those questions are answered in the third chapter of II Peter. We are going to plunge into that overview of history right now. It is all given in the third chapter of II Peter. Mr. Prudhomme read this chapter a few minutes ago. Turn to II Peter 3:5, 6.

I. First, the past world.

Look at II Peter 3:5, 6.

“For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (II Peter 3:5, 6).

The Apostle Peter is talking about the “scoffers” of the last days. He said, “there shall come in the last days scoffers...saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (II Peter 3:3, 4).

These scoffers will be very prominent in the last days – in the period just before the Second Coming of Christ - “the last days” of this dispensation – the last days of the world we know today. He says they will “walk after their own lusts,” "their own desires." They are described in II Peter 2:10,

“But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities” (II Peter 2:10).

They speak against authority – particularly the authority of the Bible. They despise government – or authority. They are self-willed and full of unclean lusts. These are the kind of people we see every day in the newspapers, on television, and on the Internet. It used to be just Hugh Hefner and "Playboy." Now it's everyone! People like that seem to increase every year. Leonard Ravenhill said, “These are the last days.”

These people say, “Where is the promise of his coming?” They say, “We’ve heard about the Second Coming of Christ all of our lives. We don’t believe He is ever going to come.” They say “all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” This is the doctrine of “uniformitarianism.” Evolutionary uniformitarianism completely dominates the fields of science and education today. It started with a man named Charles Lyell (1797-1875) in the nineteenth century. Before Lyell all geologists believed in the Flood of Noah’s day. But Lyell said that there was never a catastrophe like the Flood, that all things in geology continue just as they are today.

The young Charles Darwin (1809-1882) took a copy of Lyell’s book, Principles of Geology, with him to the Galapagos Islands in 1831. Darwin based his theory of evolution on Lyell’s book. The evolutionary uniformitarianism taught in the universities of our day is based on these books by Lyell and Darwin.

What the Apostle says in II Peter 3:4 is an astonishing prophecy. He said that scoffers “in the last days” would say, “All things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” No one was saying that when Peter wrote this epistle. That wasn’t taught for over nineteen hundred years, until Charles Lyell wrote his books on geology. So, this is truly a remarkable prophecy! Dr. Henry M. Morris said that Lyell’s teaching was “a most remarkable fulfillment of Peter’s prophecy and must surely indicate that these are really ‘the last days’” (Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., The New Defender’s Study Bible, World Publishing, 2006, p. 1953; note on II Peter 3:4).

Those who hold Lyell’s and Darwin’s views are called “willingly ignorant” in verse 5. Dr. Morris said, “It is remarkable that such a dominating theory of origins... could be based on absolutely no genuine evidence at all...the most basic laws of science (the laws of probability and thermodynamics) prove that genuine macro-evolution could not happen at all. Macro-evolution refers to one "kind" evolving into another "kind." That has no scientific support whatever! As Peter prophesied, this belief would be based on ‘wilful ignorance’” (ibid.). Of what are these men “willingly ignorant”? Look at verses five and six.

“For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (II Peter 3:5, 6).

These verses speak of the Creation and the Great Flood in the days of Noah.

There is plenty of evidence for the Great Flood in Noah’s time. I have no time in a short sermon like this to give a list of all the evidence for the Flood. Those who are interested should get a copy of “The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and its Scientific Implications.” It was written by Dr. John C. Whitcomb and Dr. Henry M. Morris (P and R Publishing, 1998 edition). You can buy it in our bookstore or get it at Amazon.com. This book presents many observable geological evidences for the Flood. But the “scoffers” say that the great cataclysm of the Flood never occurred. They say nothing like that happened in the past, so we don’t have to think about the judgment of Christ’s Second Coming. They are “willingly ignorant” of the Flood – that's why they are “willingly ignorant” of the Second Coming of Christ.

The ideas of Lyell and Darwin have filtered down to the average man today. Look at verses four to six. That is what the average person says,

“Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (II Peter 3:4-6).

The “scoffers” say that God never intervened in the past and He will never intervene in the future. They are “willingly ignorant” of the Great Flood. They are “willingly ignorant” of the Second Coming of Christ. They are materialists who have no real belief in God. Dr. W. A. Criswell (1909-2002) spoke of the results of materialism in our time. He said,

Americans are essentially materialistic. Evil stalks our nation as well as the world. The dramatic symptoms of our decaying civilization can be seen in the increasing secularization of education, the rising crime rate, the amoral background of every level of our society. The [beginning] of our ultimate [death] can be seen in our wild orgies on beach and campus, in the punks,...dope addicts, alcoholics, and irresponsible vandals who roam our streets, and in the sick readers of sick books and sick viewers of sick movies. The soul of America [and the West] has been [stained] and [ruined] by plenty, fouled and [weakened] by pleasure, and caught in the sterile junk-web of so-called science (W. A. Criswell, Ph.D., “The Materialist and the End of the World,” In Defense of the Faith, 1971 edition, Zondervan Publishing House, pp. 54, 55).

The great preacher said that over forty years ago! What would he say today? God help us!

No wonder militant Muslims are attacking the Western world! They know about the 57 million abortions in America. They see the drugs. They see the obsession with illicit sex. They see the pornography and smut. They see the breakup of our homes. They see our young people smashing and looting and rioting. They know our civilization is dying. And they don’t want it in their countries. I think that is one of the main reasons they are fighting us today. Materialism, which comes from a rejection of the Bible, is destroying the Western world tonight! Judgment is coming – just as it did in the days of Noah. But most of our leaders are “willingly ignorant” of the wrath of God hanging over our nation and our civilization!

We have run out of time.  I'll have to give you the last two points next Sunday night. Someone may say this sermon is too negative. But I say that it's realistic. I believe that sermons should speak the truth rather than tickle the ears. True Christians need to think about the end of the world. It we don’t hear that in sermons we will become worldly. We will forget that this world is going to end. We will forget to lay up treasures in Heaven. We will forget to do the work of God - to pray, to win souls, to prepare for eternity. We will forget to seek “first the kingdom of God.” I have never said people couldn't get saved in another church. Of course not! But I do say I have never known anyone who left this church and became a dynamic Christian. Why? Because they left here to escape being a dynamic Christian!

Christ died on the Cross to pay the penalty for your sin. When you trust Christ, His Blood instantly cleanses you “from all sin” (I John 1:7). I told you I was saved during a sermon on the third chapter of II Peter. What did I do that day? It was very simple. I trusted Jesus. And Jesus saved me. It was as simple as that!

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(END OF SERMON)
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. Abel Prudhomme: II Peter 3:3-13.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“How Big Is God?” (by Stuart Hamblen, 1908-1989).


THE OUTLINE OF

THREE WORLDS IN THE BIBLE

(SERMON #7 ON II PETER)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

I.   First, the past world, II Peter 3:5, 6, 3, 4; 2:10.