One of the prophecies found in the Bible about what will be happening in the last years before Jesus returns to earth is found in 2 Peter 3:3-4 (NASB): “In the last days mockers will come with their mocking following after their lusts, and saying, ’Where is the promise of His coming?’”
This prophecy is talking about those people who are mocking the promise that Jesus made about returning to earth. There could be many reasons for their mocking and skepticism.
The first of those reasons is that the mockers possibly couldn’t handle the idea of Jesus returning to earth because they are afraid that when Jesus came He would bring God’s judgment and punishment to them for the ways that their lustful lifestyle broke God’s laws.
A second reason for some people to be skeptical of the idea of Jesus returning to earth is that it has been over 2,000 years since Jesus promised to return to earth and the longer Jesus waits to come, the more some people wonder if He will actually come back.
A third reason for some people to be skeptical about Jesus returning to earth is that they remember the many well-publicized predictions that some prophecy teachers made about the date that they thought Jesus would return to earth. As each of those predictions failed to happen, that damaged the credibility of the true promise that Jesus made about returning to earth. Those failures also helped energize some people’s skepticism about whether Jesus would actually return to earth.
There are many ways for Christians to overcome that mocking and skepticism about Jesus returning to earth. The first of those ways is found in 2 Peter 3:5-10, which says that the skeptical people don’t realize that it was God’s power that was shown both in the creation of the world and in the destruction that happened in the time of Noah.
Even though God could use His power both now and in the future to bring judgment to the people who are breaking God’s laws, as well as bringing destruction to the world; yet God is being patient in waiting for people to ask Him to forgive them for breaking God’s laws and then asking Jesus Christ to become their personal Savior and spiritually apply His sacrificial atonement on the cross to their lives. But that patience won’t last much longer, because when Jesus returns he will bring God’s judgment with Him.
The way for Christians to answer some people’s skepticism about there being 2,000 years since Jesus made the promise to return to earth is found in 2 Peter 3:8 which says that: ”with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” This means even if it takes a thousand years, God will take as much time as He needs to create the right conditions to fulfill the prophecies that Jesus made about His return to earth; just as God took thousands of years to create the right conditions to fulfill the many prophecies that He made concerning the first coming of Jesus the Messiah to earth.
This concept is also seen in the inspired sermon of the Apostle Peter in Acts 3:20-21, when he declares that there will come times of refreshing “from the presence of the Lord; and He may send Jesus the Christ appointed for you, whom Heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.”
In other words, God will send Jesus at the right time when the prophecies have been fulfilled. God could also send Jesus back to earth in fulfillment of important types and symbols (possibly like those found in The Feast of Trumpets) just like God sent Jesus to come to earth the first time during the Feast of Tabernacles to fulfill the great type of God’s longing to tabernacle and live with His people.
While Jesus returning during The Feast of Trumpets is a possibility, however in Matthew 24:36, Jesus made a clarifying statement about the time of His return by declaring that: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of Heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.”
Therefore, since only God the Father knows the time of the return of Jesus to earth; then Christians need to keep watching for Jesus to return and keep using the power of the Holy Spirit to live according to God’s principles of living found in the Bible. The more that they do that, the more they will become a brightly shining beacon in our modern world that is filled with many kinds of spiritual, moral, and intellectual darkness. As they do that they will become like the morning star (Revelation 2:28) which shines in the darkness until the greater sun comes and brings the light of a new day to the world!