2 Peter 3
Contemporary English Version
The Lord Will Return
3 My 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 2 what 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 Savior has commanded us to do.
3 But 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 4 and say, “Didn’t your Lord promise to come back? Yet the first leaders have already died, and the world hasn’t changed a bit.”
5 They 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. 6 Later it was destroyed by the waters of a mighty flood. 7 But 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.
8 Dear 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. 9 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.
10 The 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.[a] Then the earth and everything on it will be seen for what they are.[b]
11 Everything will be destroyed. So you should serve and honor God by the way you live. 12 You should look forward to the day when God judges everyone, and you should try to make it come soon.[c] On that day the heavens will be destroyed by fire, and everything else will melt in the heat. 13 But God has promised us a new heaven and a new earth, where justice will rule. We are really looking forward to that!
14 My friends, while you are waiting, you should make certain that the Lord finds you pure, spotless, and living at peace. 15 Don’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 you with the wisdom that God had given him. 16 Paul 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.
17 My dear friends, you have been warned ahead of time! So don’t let the errors of evil people lead you down the wrong path and make you lose your balance. 18 Let the wonderful kindness and the understanding that come from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ help you to keep on growing. Praise Jesus now and forever! Amen.[d]
- 3.10 the whole universe: Probably the sun, moon, and stars, or the elements that everything in the universe is made of.
- 3.10 will be seen for what they are: Some manuscripts have “will go up in flames.”
- 3.12 and you should try to make it come soon: Or “and you should eagerly desire for that day to come.”
- 3.18 Amen: Some manuscripts do not have “Amen.”