Most of us would agree that as each day passes we are drawing closer to the end times and the Lord’s return. Many of us feel we are in the actual last days, of course, the Apostles felt the same way. The Apostle Peter gave lots of great advice in I Peter Chapter 3 about dealing with mockers and scoffers. First he foretold that in the last days we would experience a rise in the number of mockers and scoffers against God and our faith. I think most of us would agree that we are already seeing that. When things like the May 21 fiasco happen, it pushes a rise in the number of mockers and scoffers. In chapter 3 verses 3 -7, Peter gives us some good instructions for when we deal with these people:
“3 First, be aware of this: scoffers will come in the last days to scoff, following their own lusts, 4 saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they have been since the beginning of creation.” 5 They willfully ignore this: long ago the heavens and the earth existed out of water and through water by the word of God. 6 Through these the world of that time perished when it was flooded by water. 7 But by the same word the present heavens and earth are held in store for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”
Peter reminds us that this mocking and scoffing is nothing new. He brings to mind the story of Noah. Noah lived in a world of evil people and God had determined to bring judgment. He told Noah to build the Ark and warn the people. Noah preached for 120 years and only reached his own family. While he preached all those years and built the Ark, he dealt with the people mocking and scoffing at him. What persistence and faith Noah had to go on through all of that. Inside this passage Peter reminds us that we need to look to God’s Word when people mock us or our faith. Inside God’s Word we will find stories of God’s faithfulness to us and stories that show God is not slack in keeping His promises.
So when people come against you and question your faith, remember God’s Word. Go to God’s Word and show them through God’s Word that when God says something will happen, it will in His own timing and His own way. These are wise instructions from Peter. Don’t depend on your own wisdom, reasoning and logic to explain to people what God is doing. Use God’s Word to respond to mockers. Just as Peter used the story of Noah to remind the people that God keeps His Word.
In light of the recent skepticism and mockery created by the recent false prophecies of a certain religious group, we need to address as Christians how to handle being mocked or respond to the mocker and skeptic. As Christians our witness is put on the line by all those around us proclaiming to be Christians, as well. So when groups like this do things that put Christians in a bad light, we are going face more pressure from the world for our faith. We need to know how to respond. Jesus gave us the best demonstration of wisdom when it came to those who deliberately mocked and scoffed at Him. All throughout the four gospels you will find accounts of Jesus being ridiculed, laughed at, and asked skeptical questions. Many of the questions He was asked were just to make Him look bad and place Him in jeopardy of the law. When it came to His last days on Earth we see Him deal with mockers and scoffers even more frequently. During His various trials before the Jews and conversations with Pilate we see Him being continually accused. In Mark 15: 3-5 we read:
“3 The chief priests were accusing Jesus of many things, 4 so Pilate questioned him again,
Aren’t you going to answer? Listen to all their accusations! 5 Again Jesus refused to say a word, and Pilate was amazed.”
In our own human nature, we want to defend ourselves. Jesus was the only truly innocent man there ever was. Of all people, He had a right to defend Himself. He also had all the power and wisdom to defend Himself that He needed. Yet, in His wisdom He chose not to respond to the mocking and accusations. His actions really did speak loudly for Him in the end. By the time Pilate was done with Him, he felt Jesus was innocent and should be released. Think about how you would feel about Jesus if you knew that He didn’t go innocently to the cross for us. If Jesus lashed out at His accusers, and punished them for what they were doing, what would you be thinking about Him? By the way He responded we see Him more as that true gentle, peaceable, loving Lamb of God. We see Him as the true sacrifice for sin. If He had gotten revenge on those who blatantly did wrong against Him, we would probably have a whole different view of Him. He did more for the faith by staying strong and silent, then by coming back at those who mocked. Even on the cross Jesus asked that the Father forgive them and in wisdom stated, “For they know not what they do.”
Mockers, scoffers and skeptics truly don’t know what they are doing. They react out of worldly conditioning and sinful natures. We need to learn to respond to those who come against us for our faith in wisdom like Jesus did. We need to remember where they are at spiritually and if it were not for Jesus, we would be there too.