Willingly Ignorant

II Peter 3:5-7.

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:

But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same Word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

They in v. 5 refers to the false teachers in the previous passage. They are “willingly ignorant” concerning creation itself. Peter wastes no time defending the biblical account of creation, knowing that those who are willingly ignorant won’t be persuaded. If they were to acknowledge God’s supremacy, doing so would interfere with their purpose and destroy their income flow.

What Peter does make clear is that God destroyed that earth and all its people because of their insolence and complete rejection of Him. He doesn’t spend time pointing out that all who perished were given plenty of time to heed the warning and the preaching of Noah while the ark was being built. The scoffers continued to scoff even as the animals miraculously converged on the ark and walked on board, or crawled, or slithered–that must have been a sight to see!

God promised that He would not destroy the entire earth by flood again. He did NOT promise, though, that He wouldn’t use another way to do so.

Peter’s point is that things on this earth have not always continued the way they are now. The earth was different when God first created it and then it was different again after the flood. Therefore no one should scoff at God’s promise that He will make it different once again, judging it not with water but with fire. The same word of God that created all matter and judged the world in the flood will one day bring a judgment of fire upon the earth.

i. “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 to this moral (Matthew 24:37-39). But these men chose to neglect it.” (Green)(BlueLetterBible.com, Guzik)

Uniformitarianism is the theory that all changes in the earth’s crust during geological history have resulted from the action of continuous and uniform processes, and will always continue to do so. This theory leaves no room for a sovereign God Who spoke the heavens and the earth and all they contain into existence; and that He can end all that He made when He so chooses.

Willing ignorance.

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