2 Peter 3 is always worth considering these days:
"First of 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 fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.' But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed."
It almost seems that Peter recognized that one basis of the scoffing is simply the belief that big, epic 'biblical' things can't happen, perhaps deep down they don't recognize that God can and will intervene on this planet when the time is right, according to His plan. Peter reminds us that such things can and will happen.
A more stark reminder of prophetic fulfillment comes from the prophet Jeremiah. We can view these scriptures and categorize in three ways:
- The prophecies
- The reactions to the prophecies
- The fulfillment of prophecies
The first 10 chapters of Jeremiah basically describe God's warnings to the people of Israel through the prophet Jeremiah. Specifically, God was warning the nation of Israel that the Babylonians would come siege and burn Jerusalem if they didn't repent of their sinful ways. These warnings were clear and specific:
1. The Prophetic warnings (taken from Jeremiah 1-10):
2. The Reaction (by the people and leaders of Israel)
3. The Prophetic Fulfillment:
This scenario represents a predictable pattern, one that we see today. The prophecies concerning this generation remain largely ignored, just as they did at the time of Jeremiah. Christians who attempt to raise the topic, even in our churches are often met with scorn and ridicule, similar to what the prophet Jeremiah faced.
The prophecies as pertaining to our generation have been presented to the general public and to the church in a broad scale. The last two months alone have presented two major motion pictures dealing with the topic, "The Remaining" was in circulation a few weeks ago and "Left Behind" (one of the best-selling series of all time) is currently being shown in theaters around the nation. The information is there and available, not only via these movies, but the vast array of books and websites that deal with biblical prophecy pertaining to this era.
Yet, just as in the days of Jeremiah, we see the same reactions today that Jeremiah experienced - the same reactions that he experienced approximately 2,500 years ago. History definitely repeats.
And just as the prophecies were fulfilled in Jeremiah's era, so will they be fulfilled in our era.
The Tribulation is most certainly coming and everything that it involves, exactly as described in Revelation 6-18. The information is all there - and in great detail.
But just as in the days of Jeremiah, these prophecies are being ignored today. Jeremiah 37:2 captures this idea best:
"Neither he nor his attendants nor the people of the land paid any attention to the words the Lord has spoken through the Jeremiah the prophet."
However, prophecy happens. There is no escaping this fact.
It always does. The remaining prophecies for this generation will happen exactly as written, just as the prophecies involving the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem happened. It's a guarantee.
Fortunately, we also have good news given to us, prophetically. The same literal prophecies that are contained in Revelation 6-18 also give us the hope of 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, 1 Corinthians 15:50-52, 1 Thessalonians 1:10, Revelation 3:10, and John 14:1-3.