In Peter’s writing of his second epistle, he seeks to guard the Christians against those who were promoting false doctrines and to refute the teachings that they were presenting.
Knowledge was and is the only way for false doctrines to be seen and overcome. Peter had reminded the readers that knowledge of Christ had blessed them and that they need to continue to add to that knowledge.
He will finish this letter exhorting them to "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of Christ."
Peter wrote, "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts," (2 Peter 3:3; KJV). "Knowing this first" was to recognize this fact in the beginning.
This was again knowledge that was needed else these Christians’ faith might begin to weaken in the face of their hope being ridiculed. They were to be prepared to face those who would play sports of their belief in the Lord’s return, and the arguments they would use to taunt the Christians.
This type of derision still exists today. Mankind caught up in following immoral ideas and lifestyles chides those who believe in God.
The "last days" refers to the Christian Age in which they and mankind today are living. This is the final age of man. Prophets of old and the apostles have all spoken of the last days.
"And it shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of Jehovah’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it" (Isa. 2:2); "but this is that which hath been spoken through the prophet Joel: And it shall be in the last days, saith God, I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all flesh: And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams:" (Acts 2:16, 17); "But know this, that in the last days grievous times shall come" 2 Tim. 3:1).
These scoffers in the text of 2 Peter 2 may have been Jews who did not believe in Jesus or Gentiles who did not believe in the resurrection of Christ or perhaps Christians who had left the faith giving up on his return. Those individuals would seek to ridicule the idea of the Lord’s return.
The topic of the Lord’s return had been taught Jesus and by the apostles on many occasions: Matthew 25:31-46; 24:30; 1 Corinthians 15; 2 Corinthians 5:1-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; 1:6-9; Revelation 1:7.
Men today still "scoff" at this idea, but the Lord will return one day and the world will be destroyed (2 Pet. 3:10).
The scoffers were walking after their own lusts – too busy with their fleshly pleasures. This again was knowledge needed by the Christians, so they would see the cause for such unbelief.
Those who mocked the coming of the Lord, pointed to the fact that it had not happened. They talked about the promise that the Lord would return (Matt:243ff).
Their ancestors, perhaps the first generation of Christians, had believed and taught this doctrine, but they had lived their lives and died, and the Lord still had not returned. Since things had and were continuing as they had from the beginning they assumed the Lord would never come.
Peter continued stating that those scoffers were "willingly ignorant" of how God had spoken the world into existence (Gen. 1:6-10).
As will be seen in the continuation of this subject, the Lord will return again.
To be continued.