About this letter
The writer of this letter wants the readers to know that Christians must live in a way that pleases God (1.3) and hold firmly to the truth they were given (1.12).
He warns them that false prophets and teachers had entered the Christian community and were trying to lead the Lord's followers away from the truth. But they will be punished for their evil deeds (2.1–22). When false teachers are at work, Christians must stick to their faith and be examples for others of right living. They must have understanding, self-control and patience, and they should show love for God and all people.
The readers must never forget that the Lord's return is certain, no matter what others may say (3.1–18):
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. The 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.
A quick look at this letter
1. Greetings and prayer (1.1,2)
2. How the Lord's followers should live (1.3–15)
3. The glory of Christ (1.16–21)
4. False prophets and teachers (2.1–22)
5. The Lord's return is certain (3.1–18)