2 Peter 3:3-4
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,…
I. We will consider THE NATURE OF THE SIN HERE MENTIONED, which is scoffing at religion. "There shall come scoffers." In those times there was a common persuasion among Christians, "that the day of the Lord was at hand." Now this, it is probable, these scoffers twitted the Christians withal. They looked upon all things as going on in a constant course.
II. THE CHARACTER WHICH IS HERE GIVEN OF THESE SCOFFERS. They are said to walk after their own lusts. St. Jude, in his epistle, gives much the same character of them that St. Peter here does (vers. 18, 19). To deride God and religion is the highest kind of impiety. And men do not usually arrive to this degree of wickedness at first, but they come to it by several steps. I remember it is the saying of one, who hath done more by his writings to debauch the age with atheistical principles than any man that lives in it, "that when reason is against a man, then a man will be against reason." I am sure this is the true account of such men's enmity to religion — religion is against them, and therefore they set themselves against religion. Besides that, men think it some kind of apology for their vices that they do not act contrary to any principle they profess.
III. THE HEINOUSNESS AND THE AGGRAVATIONS OF THIS VICE. If it prove true that there is no God, the religious man may be as happy in this world as the atheist. Besides that, the practice of religion and virtue doth naturally promote our temporal felicity. It is more for a man's health, and more for his reputation, and more for his advantage in all other worldly respects, to lead a virtuous than a vicious course of life. And for the other world, if there be no God, the case of the religious realm and the atheist will be alike, because they will both be extinguished by death and insensible of any further happiness or misery. But then if the contrary opinion should prove true, then it is plain to every man, at first sight, that the case of the religious man and the atheist must be vastly different; then where shall the wicked and the ungodly appear? I will but add one thing more, to show the folly of this profane temper. And that is this: that as it is the greatest of all other sins, so there is in truth the least temptation to it. Profane persons serve the devil for nought. Lessons:
1. To take men off from this impious and dangerous folly of profaneness, which by some is miscalled wit.
2. To caution men not to think the worse of religion, because some are so bold as to deride it.
3. To persuade men to employ that reason and wit which God hath given them, to better and nobler purposes, in the service and to the glory of that God who hath bestowed these gifts on men.
Parallel VersesKJV: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,