The Day of the Lord
1Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders. I want to encourage you to think in a way that is pure. 2I want you to remember the words the holy prophets spoke in the past. Remember the command our Lord and Savior gave through your apostles.
3Most of all, here is what you must understand. In the last days people will make fun of the truth. They will laugh at it. They will follow their own evil desires. 4They will say, “Where is this ‘return’ he promised? Everything goes on in the same way it has since our people of long ago died. In fact, it has continued this way since God first created everything.” 5Long ago, God’s word brought the heavens into being. His word separated the earth from the waters. And the waters surrounded it. But these people forget things like that on purpose. 6The waters also flooded the world of that time. And so they destroyed the world. 7By God’s word the heavens and earth of today are being reserved for fire. They are being kept for the day when God will judge. Then ungodly people will be destroyed.
8Dear friends, here is one thing you must not forget. With the Lord a day is like a thousand years. And a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow to keep his promise. He is not slow in the way some people understand it. Instead, he is patient with you. He doesn’t want anyone to be destroyed. Instead, he wants all people to turn away from their sins.
10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar. Fire will destroy everything in them. God will judge the earth and everything done in it.
11So everything will be destroyed in this way. And what kind of people should you be? You should lead holy and godly lives. 12Live like this as you look forward to the day of God. Living like this will make the day come more quickly. On that day fire will destroy the heavens. Its heat will melt everything in them. 13But we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth. Godliness will live there. All this is in keeping with God’s promise.
14Dear friends, I know you are looking forward to this. So try your best to be found pure and without blame. Be at peace with God. 15Remember that while our Lord is waiting patiently to return, people are being saved. Our dear brother Paul also wrote to you about this. God made him wise to write as he did. 16Paul writes the same way in all his letters. He speaks about what I have just told you. His letters include some things that are hard to understand. People who don’t know better and aren’t firm in the faith twist what he says. They twist the other Scriptures too. So they will be destroyed.
17Dear friends, you have already been warned about this. So be on your guard. Then you won’t be led astray by people who don’t obey the law. Instead, you will remain safe. 18Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Glory belongs to him both now and forever. Amen.