v1 My friends, this is the second letter that I have written to you. I have written both these letters so that I can help you to remember certain things. I want you to think correctly and honestly about these things. v2 I want you to remember the words that God’s own *prophets spoke a long time ago. Also, I want you to remember what our *Lord told you to do. Our *Lord, who saves us, taught you by his special workers. His special workers, that he sent to you, told you about these things.
v3 The first thing that you should understand is this. In the last days, some people will think that God and God’s rules are not important. They will say that you are silly. They will call you fools because you believe God. These people will do whatever bad things they want to do. v4 They will say: ‘Christ promised that he would return! But he has not returned! Our early Christian leaders have died, but still all things continue. Since God made the world, all things continue in the same way.’
v5 These people choose to forget the facts that they know. They forget that God made the sky and the earth a long, long time ago. God spoke his word, and so he made the sky. Also, by his word, God made the land separate from the water. He brought the land out through the water. v6 Also, it was water that God used to destroy that world a long time ago. v7 But, by God’s same word, the sky and the earth that we see now are continuing. They will continue until that time when fire will burn them. God is keeping them until that time when he will decide about all people. He will decide what should happen to all people. And he will destroy the bad people who have not obeyed him.
v8 But, my friends, there is one thing that you must not forget. The *Lord thinks that one day is like 1000 years. And he thinks that 1000 years are like one day. v9 The *Lord is not being slow to do what he has promised to do. Some people think that he is being slow to do it. But instead, he is being patient with you people. He does not want to destroy anyone. He wants all people to turn away from wrong things because they have decided to obey him.
v10 But the day when the *Lord will come back will surprise people. It will surprise people as when someone comes to rob them. The sky will go away with a very loud noise and it will not be there any more. Fire will burn the sun, the moon and the stars and it will destroy them. The earth and everything that is on it will not be there any more.
v11 Certainly, God will destroy everything in this way. So, you ought to be the kind of people that God is happy about. You should give yourselves to God completely and you should obey him always. v12 You should obey God while you are waiting for Christ to return. God has chosen that day when he will return. You should be wanting that day to come very much. On that day, fire will burn the sky and the fire will destroy it. The heat will destroy the sun, the moon and the stars also. v13 But we are waiting for what God has promised. He has promised that there will be a new sky and a new earth. There, everything will always be good. And everyone will do only what is right.
v14 So, my friends, because you are waiting for these things to happen, try very much to do only good things. Then God will see that you have done nothing wrong. He will see that there is no trouble between you yourselves, or between you and him. v15 Remember why our *Lord is waiting before he will return. He is being patient because he wants to save people. Paul, whom we love like a brother, has written to you also about these things. He wrote about them because God caused him to understand them. v16 Paul writes like this about these things in all his letters. But some of the things that Paul has written in his letters are difficult to understand. And people who do not know much about God explain these things wrongly. Those people are not sure about what they believe. And they explain other things in the Bible wrongly also. As a result, those people themselves cause God to destroy them.
v17 But you, my friends, know these things already. So, be very careful that you do not believe false teachers. They do not obey God’s rules and they teach wrong things. Do not let those people lead you away from God. If you listen to them, you could stop being sure about the true things. So you will be like people who have moved away from a safe, strong place. v18 Instead, continue to do what is good. So then our *Lord Jesus Christ, who saves us, will be good to you more and more. Also, continue to know him better and better. Everyone should say how very great and good he is! Everyone should say that, both now and always!