New Defender's Study Bible Notes
3:3 first. “First” means “First of all,” or “of primary importance.” Compare II Peter 1:20. It is vitally important both to understand this key characteristic of the last days (that is, the denial of both creation and consummation), and also to know and practice the divinely inspired Scriptures.
3:3 last days. The context here is set in the last days. Although we must not set dates, these aspects of the last days are surely more characteristic of our own times than any time before us. At least, we are closer to the last days than anyone has ever been before! Thus Peter’s exhortation and analysis surely fits us better than anyone before us.
3:3 their own lusts. People of the last days, by and large, will be almost entirely motivated by self-interest, and will be unconcerned about God’s purposes, either for themselves or for the world as a whole. They will mock God’s Word. This word is used thirteen times in the New Testament, twelve of which speak of mocking Christ.
3:4 the promise of his coming. In Peter’s time, the early Christians were really looking for the Lord’s return, and there have been sporadic periods of prophetic interest in the nineteen long centuries since. The far greater part of the world’s population, however, is utterly indifferent to this hope, and even most of those who are working for global change today are working to bring in a world system based on evolutionary humanism rather than looking for God to return to His creation. In fact, most of the world’s people do not even believe in a personal Creator God at all, let alone His divine incarnation in Christ and His great plan of salvation. They are too busy “walking after their own lusts.”
3:4 beginning of the creation. The pseudo-scientific rationale for this indifference to the promised consummation of all things when Christ returns is their belief that there was never any real creation of all things in the beginning. The things that continue today, they say, are the things that have always been, and therefore always will be. This is the so-called principle of uniformity. According to this principle, it is assumed that the processes that govern nature today have always been the same in the past, so that the present is the key to the past. Since no creation is occurring today, it never happened in the past either. “All things continue”—not just after creation was finished, but “from the beginning of creation.” Thus, what people have called “creation” was accomplished by the same natural processes that continue to operate today. This means, then, that “creation” has been proceeding so slowly over long ages as to be quite unobservable in the mere few thousand years of human records. This remarkable belief is evolutionary uniformitarianism, and it completely dominates the scientific and educational establishments of every nation in the world today. It has been made the basic premise of origins and meaning, not only in science and history, but also in the social sciences, the humanities, the fine arts and practically every other discipline of study and practice in the world. This indeed is a most remarkable fulfillment of Peter’s prophecy, and surely must indicate that these days really are “the last days,” unless somehow the Lord brings about a great revival of truth in the world’s schools.
3:5 willingly are ignorant. It is remarkable that such a universally dominating theory of origins, meaning, and destiny could be based on absolutely no genuine evidence at all! There is no scientific or historical evidence that any significant evolutionary changes have ever taken place, and the most basic laws of science (the laws of probability and thermodynamics) prove that genuine macro-evolution could not happen at all. As Peter prophesied, this belief would be based on “wilful ignorance.” They are “without excuse” (Romans 1:20).
3:5 heavens were of old. Evolutionists, whether they are atheistic, pantheistic, deistic, or theistic evolutionists, willingly ignore God’s testimony that the heavens and the earth did not evolve by continuing natural processes but were called into existence by God’s omnipotent Word, fully complete and functioning from the beginning. See Genesis 1:1-2:3; Exodus 20:8-11; Psalm 33:6-9; Hebrews 4:3,10; 11:3; and many other Scriptures. The only reason God took as long as six natural days to finish the whole creation was to serve as a pattern for man’s six-day work week (Exodus 20:8-11). The various theories of cosmic evolution, stellar evolution and planetary evolution are all unproven and internally destructive, as are the various theories of chemical evolution, organic evolution, human evolution and cultural evolution. There are now thousands of fully qualified scientists, some from every field of science, who have studied the scientific evidence pro and con, and who have come to the conviction that the Biblical record of earth history is precisely correct and that evolutionary theory is totally false.
3:5 in the water. In the first stage of creation, after the second day, the primeval earth material was surrounded by vast “waters above the firmament” and suspended in other “waters under the firmament” (Genesis 1:7). The waters beneath the “firmament” (the “expanse” of the troposphere) later were either formed into seas or confined in a “great deep” beneath the earth’s crust. This regime apparently continued until the time of the great Flood when they all came together again. Until then the earth was “standing” (Greek sunistemi—that is, being “sustained”) in and by the waters. The earth is, in fact, uniquely the “water planet.”