Laughing in the Face of Annihilation

Posted on September 8, 2020

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By David Ettinger

The Prototype
The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were on the verge of annihilation and two angels sent by God were working overtime. They were guests in the house of Lot, the nephew of Abraham who had moved to this cesspool of debauchery and was now reaping the consequences.

fire-destruction

The men of Sodom had surrounded Lot’s house believing the heavenly visitors to be mere mortals and sought to violate them (read the account in Genesis 19.) While the angels kept the Sodomites at bay, they asked Lot if there was anyone else in his family who needed saving before the Lord rained sulfur on the twin cities of wickedness. There were; his sons-in-law to be. When Lot found them, he warned, “Hurry and get out of this place, because the Lord is about to destroy the city!” (v. 14).

Their response is the stuff of arrogance, ignorance, and abhorrence of God. At hearing Lot’s desperate plea, “his sons-in-law thought he was joking.” Lot did his best to warn his daughters’ betrothed that annihilation was imminent, but to them, the old man spoke nonsense. Four-thousand years later, laughing in the face of annihilation is still all the rage.

No Surprise Whatsoever
The American Atheists, created in 1963, a few years back erected a billboard which read, “The Rapture: You KNOW it’s Nonsense. 2000 Years of ‘Any Day Now.’” Said then-American Atheists President Dave Silverman: “This is nothing new. Self-declared Christian prophets have a long track record predicting the end of the world.”

Actually, it is Silverman’s remarks which are “nothing new.” In disparaging believers of biblical prophecy, Silverman and multitudes like him fulfill the very thing they detest – God’s Word: “Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘Where is this “coming” he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation’” (2 Peter 3:3-4).

In other words, because God has never destroyed the world, He never will (assuming, of course, there even is a God). To the scoffers, the sun rises, the sun sets, day after day, year after year, decade after decade, and century after century, and nothing will ever change. Such scoffers carry on the tradition of Lot’s sons-in-law by laughing in the face of annihilation.

flood

The Noahic Flood
In combating this argument, Peter reminds scoffers of a conspicuous event which occurred 4,300 years ago: “But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed” (2 Peter 3:5-6).

The term “deliberately forget” means to “deliberately deny” – choosing not to believe – in the biblical account. Scoffers know of the biblical account of the flood, but choose to regard it as nonsense. In so doing, they deny themselves the answer to their own question, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised” (v. 4); they close the door to the ramifications the flood of long ago holds for the future. Peter writes: “By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly” (v. 7).

Peter’s point is clear. The scoffers say, “Worldwide destruction has never occurred before, therefore it will never occur.” Peter, however, says, “Worldwide destruction – the Noahic Flood – did occur, and it is going to occur again. This time, however, annihilation will come not by water, but by fire.” In deliberately denying the biblical account of the flood, the scoffers, such as Lot’s sons-in-law, laugh in the face of annihilation.

sunrise

God’s Mercy and Patience
It is difficult to imagine what else God can do to warn the human race of the annihilation that awaits; that God will wipe unsaved humanity off the face of the earth, restore the earth to its once-perfect condition, and repopulate it with the redeemed (2 Peter 3:10, 13; Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; Revelation 21:1).

First, He has given humanity the Bible so they may see for themselves what is coming. Second, He has given the human race plenty of time to repent. It took Noah 120 years to build the ark (Genesis 6:3), and that’s how long society had to seek God and live. For the past 2,000 years, the Lord has raised up missionaries to carry His “Good News” to the ends of the earth, His salvation offered to any who will receive it. And third, technology has carried the Gospel into just about every nook and cranny of civilization to the point where those who refuse God’s free gift of salvation are “without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

It is God’s mercy and patience which prevents Him from annihilating the earth just yet. God is giving all men and women every opportunity to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus. So, the next time a scoffer laughs in the face of annihilation saying, “There is no end of the world. There never was and there never will be,” tell him that God loves him, wants him saved, and is patiently waiting for him, as per 2 Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”