A Bad Assumption

“Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’ For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water”  (2 Peter 3:1-6).

To believe that all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation is to believe a lie.  Peter says some “willingly forget” that at one time God destroyed the world, save 8 souls, by water.  Peter goes on to say that God will again destroy the world on “the day of the Lord,” this second time by fire.  That day of the Lord, also described in other places in the New Testament, is the day the Lord will bring this world to an end and judge all men, to be followed by an eternal reward in heaven or everlasting punishment in hell fire.  The belief that there will most certainly be a tomorrow and that it will continue just as today is a bad assumption.

Scoffers believe the lie.  Unbelieving scientists date the age of the earth in the billions of years based on an assumption that is a lie – that the earth as it is today is just exactly as it has always been – absent any God-directed catastrophic, worldwide flood that destroyed “all flesh in which is the breath of life” (Genesis 6:17), save those in the ark.

Others may accept that things have not always continued as they were from the beginning of creation, but they live as if tomorrow will be like today.  They don’t stop to consider that life is brief, unpredictable, and fragile.  Death may come tomorrow, if not today, and unexpectedly.  Even before death, mental incapacitation may come, and it may come unexpectedly.

And so what happens?  Obeying the Lord is put off.  “I’ll obey the Lord tomorrow,” one may think.  The underlying assumption in that way of thinking is that tomorrow will continue as today.  Bad assumption.

We’re talking about procrastination.  Putting off until “tomorrow” what you can and should do today.  That is not only unwise; James says it is arrogant:  “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’ But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.  Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:13-17).

Because the world has not always continued the same since its creation and because without warning it will come to an end and then the judgment, Peter tells us how we ought to therefore live:  “Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless….You therefore, beloved, since you know these things beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory both now and forever.  Amen” (2 Peter 3:14, 17-18).

Are you living with an underlying assumption that tomorrow will come and continue just as today and that you will have the same opportunity tomorrow that you have today?  Or are you living with the truth that tomorrow is not promised?  It will affect how you live today.

  • Larry Jones