The Lord's return is certain
1My dear friends, this is the second letter I have written to encourage you to do some honest thinking. I don't want you to forget 2what God's prophets said would happen. You must never forget what the holy prophets taught in the past. And you must remember what the apostles told you our Lord and Saviour has commanded us to do.
3But first you must realize that in the last days some people won't think about anything except their own selfish desires. They will make fun of you#Jd 18. 4and say, “Didn't your Lord promise to come back? Yet the first leaders have already died, and the world hasn't changed a bit.”
5They will say this because they want to forget that long ago the heavens and the earth were made at God's command. The earth came out of water and was made from water.#Gn 1.6-9. 6Later it was destroyed by the waters of a mighty flood.#Gn 7.11. 7But God has commanded the present heavens and earth to remain until the day of judgment. Then they will be set on fire, and ungodly people will be destroyed.
8Dear friends, don't forget that for the Lord one day is the same as a thousand years, and a thousand years is the same as one day.#Ps 90.4. 9The Lord isn't slow about keeping his promises, as some people think he is. In fact, God is patient, because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost.
10The day of the Lord's return will surprise us like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a loud noise, and the heat will melt the whole universe.#3.10 the whole universe: Probably the sun, moon, and stars, or the elements that everything in the universe is made of. Then the earth and everything on it will be seen for what they are.#3.10 will be seen for what they are: Some manuscripts have “will go up in flames.”#Mt 24.43; Lk 12.39; 1 Th 5.2; Rev 16.15.
11Everything will be destroyed. So you should serve and honour God by the way you live. 12You should look forward to the day when God judges everyone, and you should try to make it come soon.#3.12 and you should try to make it come soon: Or “and you should eagerly desire for that day to come.” On that day the heavens will be destroyed by fire, and everything else will melt in the heat. 13But God has promised us a new heaven and a new earth, where justice will rule. We are really looking forward to that!#Is 65.17; 66.22; Rev 21.1.
14My friends, while you are waiting, you should make certain that the Lord finds you pure, spotless, and living at peace. 15Don't forget that the Lord is patient because he wants people to be saved. This is also what our dear friend Paul said when he wrote to you with the wisdom that God had given him. 16Paul talks about these same things in all his letters, but part of what he says is hard to understand. Some ignorant and unsteady people even destroy themselves by twisting what he said. They do the same thing with other Scriptures too.
17My dear friends, you have been warned beforehand! So don't let the errors of evil people lead you down the wrong path and make you lose your balance. 18Let the wonderful kindness and the understanding that come from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ help you to keep on growing. Praise Jesus now and for ever! Amen.#3.18 Amen: Some manuscripts do not have “Amen.”