Knowing this first
In the first place, principally, and chiefly, and which might easily be known and observed from the writings of the apostles and prophets; see ( 1 Timothy 4:1 1 Timothy 4:2 ) ( 2 Timothy 3:1 ) ;
that there shall come in the last days scoffers,
or "mockers"; such as would make a mock at sin, make light of it, plead for it, openly commit it, and glory in it; and scoff at all religion, as the prejudice of education, as an engine of state, a piece of civil policy to keep subjects in awe, as cant, enthusiasm, and madness, as a gloomy melancholy thing, depriving men of true pleasure; and throw out their flouts and jeers at those that are the most religious, for the just, upright man, is commonly by such laughed to scorn, and those that depart from evil make themselves a prey; and particularly at the ministers of the word, for a man that has scarcely so much common sense as to preserve him from the character of an idiot, thinks himself a wit of the age, if he can at any rate break a jest upon a Gospel minister: nor do the Scriptures of truth escape the banter and burlesque of these scoffers; the doctrines of it being foolishness to them, and the commands and ordinances in it being grievous and intolerable to them; yea, to such lengths do those proceed, as to scoff at God himself; at his persons, purposes, providences, and promises; at Jehovah the Father, as the God of nature and providence, and especially as the God and Father of Christ, and of all grace in him; at Jehovah the Son, at his person, as being the Son of God, and truly God, at his office, as Mediator, and at his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, which they trample under foot; and at Jehovah the Spirit, whom they do despite unto, as the spirit of grace, deriding his operations in regeneration and sanctification, as dream and delusion; and, most of all, things to come are the object of their scorn and derision; as the second coming of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, a future judgment, the torments of hell, and the joys of heaven; all which they represent as the trifles and juggles of designing men: such as these, according to the prophets and apostles, were to come in "the last days"; either in the days of the Messiah, in the Gospel dispensation, the times between the first and second coming of Christ; for it is a rule with the Jews F19, that wherever the last days are mentioned, the days of the Messiah are intended; see ( Hebrews 1:1 ) ; when the prophets foretold such scoffers should come; or in the last days of the Jewish state, both civil and religious, called "the ends of the world", ( 1 Corinthians 10:11 ) ; a little before the destruction of Jerusalem, when iniquity greatly abounded, ( Matthew 24:11 Matthew 24:12 ) ; or "in the last of the days"; as the words may be rendered; and so answer to (Mymyh tyrxab) , in ( Isaiah 2:2 ) , and may regard the latter part of the last times; the times of the apostles were the last days, ( 1 John 2:18 ) ; they began then, and will continue to Christ's second coming; when some time before that, it will be a remarkable age for scoffers and scorners; and we have lived to see an innumerable company of them, and these predictions fulfilled; from whence it may be concluded, that the coming of Christ is at hand: these scoffers are further described as
walking after their own lusts;
either after the carnal reasonings of their minds, admitting of nothing but what they can comprehend by reason, making that the rule, test, and standard of all their principles, and so cast away the law of the Lord, and despise the word of the Holy One of Israel; or rather, after their sinful and fleshly lusts, making them their guides and governors, and giving up themselves entirely to them, to obey and fulfil them; the phrase denotes a continued series of sinning, a progress in it, a desire after it, and pleasure in it, and an obstinate persisting in it; scoffers at religion and revelation are generally libertines; and such as sit in the seat of the scornful, are in the counsel of the ungodly, and way of sinners, ( Psalms 1:1 ) .