Purpose of This Letter
1Beloved, I am now writing you this second letter. In this [as in the first one], I am stirring up your untainted mind to remind you, 2 that you should remember the words spoken in the past [about the future] by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior given by your apostles [His personally chosen representatives].
The Coming Day of the Lord
3 First of all, know [without any doubt] that mockers will come in the last days with their mocking, following after their own human desires 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming [what has become of it]? For ever since the fathers fell asleep [in death], all things have continued [exactly] as they did from the beginning of creation.” 5 For they willingly forget [the fact] that the heavens existed long ago by the word of God, and the earth was formed [a]out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed by being flooded with water. 7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly people.
8 Nevertheless, do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like one day. 9 The Lord does not delay [as though He were unable to act] and is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is [extraordinarily] patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
A New Heaven and Earth
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will vanish with a [mighty and thunderous] roar, and the [material] elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and the works that are on it will be [b]burned up.
11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be [in the meantime] in holy behavior [that is, in a pattern of daily life that sets you apart as a believer] and in godliness [displaying profound reverence toward our awesome God], 12 [while you earnestly] look for and await the coming of the day of God. For on this day the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the [material] elements will melt with intense heat! 13 But in accordance with His promise we expectantly await new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
14 So, beloved, since you are looking forward to these things, be diligent and make every effort to be found by Him [at His return] spotless and blameless, in peace [that is, inwardly calm with a sense of spiritual well-being and confidence, having lived a life of obedience to Him]. 15 And consider the patience of our Lord [His delay in judging and avenging wrongs] as salvation [that is, allowing time for more to be saved]; just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given to him [by God], 16 speaking about these things as he does in all of his letters. In which there are some things that are difficult to understand, which the untaught and unstable [who have fallen into error] twist and misinterpret, just as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 Therefore, [let me warn you] beloved, knowing these things beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of [c]unprincipled men [who distort doctrine] and fall from your own steadfastness [of mind, knowledge, truth, and faith], 18 but grow [spiritually mature] in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory (honor, majesty, splendor), both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.