3 My friends, this is the second letter I have written you to help your honest minds remember. 2 I want you to think about the words the holy prophets spoke in the past, and remember the command our Lord and Savior gave us through your apostles. 3 It is most important for you to understand what will happen in the last days. People will laugh at you. They will live doing the evil things they want to do. 4 They will say, “Jesus promised to come again. Where is he? Our fathers have died, but the world continues the way it has been since it was made.” 5 But they do not want to remember what happened long ago. By the word of God heaven was made, and the earth was made from water and with water. 6 Then the world was flooded and destroyed with water. 7 And that same word of God is keeping heaven and earth that we now have in order to be destroyed by fire. They are being kept for the Judgment Day and the destruction of all who are against God.
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: To the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow in doing what he promised—the way some people understand slowness. But God is being patient with you. He does not want anyone to be lost, but he wants all people to change their hearts and lives.
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The skies will disappear with a loud noise. Everything in them will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be exposed.[a]11 In that way everything will be destroyed. So what kind of people should you be? You should live holy lives and serve God, 12 as you wait for and look forward to the coming of the day of God. When that day comes, the skies will be destroyed with fire, and everything in them will melt with heat. 13 But God made a promise to us, and we are waiting for a new heaven and a new earth where goodness lives.
14 Dear friends, since you are waiting for this to happen, do your best to be without sin and without fault. Try to be at peace with God. 15 Remember that we are saved because our Lord is patient. Our dear brother Paul told you the same thing when he wrote to you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes about this in all his letters. Some things in Paul’s letters are hard to understand, and people who are ignorant and weak in faith explain these things falsely. They also falsely explain the other Scriptures, but they are destroying themselves by doing this.
17 Dear friends, since you already know about this, be careful. Do not let those evil people lead you away by the wrong they do. Be careful so you will not fall from your strong faith. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Glory be to him now and forever! Amen.
3:10and . . . exposed Some Greek copies read “and everything in it will be burned up.”
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