Now if [all these things are true, then be sure] the Lord knows how to rescue the godly out of temptations and trials, and how to keep the ungodly under chastisement until the day of judgment and doom,
So the Lord knows how to save ·those who serve him [the godly] ·when troubles come [from trial/testing/temptation]. He will hold ·evil people [the wicked/unrighteous] ·and punish them, while waiting for the judgment day [or while they wait for their punishment on judgment day].
But even in those days there were false prophets, just as there will be false teachers among you today. They will be men who will subtly introduce dangerous heresies. They will thereby deny the Lord who redeemed them, and it will not be long before they bring on themselves their own downfall. Many will follow their pernicious teaching and thereby bring discredit on the way of truth. In their lust to make converts these men will try to exploit you too with their bogus arguments. But judgment has been for some time hard on their heels and their downfall is inevitable. For if God did not spare angels who sinned against him, but banished them to the dark imprisonment of hell till judgment day: if he did not spare the ancient world but only saved Noah (the solitary voice that cried out for righteousness) and his seven companions when he brought the flood upon the world in its wickedness; and if God reduced the entire cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes (when he sentenced them to destruction as a fearful example to those who wanted to live in defiance of his laws), and yet saved Lot the righteous man, in acute mental distress at the filthy lives of the godless—Lot, remember, was a good man suffering spiritual agonies day after day at what he saw and heard of their lawlessness—then you may be absolutely certain that the Lord knows how to rescue a good man surrounded by temptation, and how to reserve his punishment for the wicked until his day comes.
Since all this is true, then the Lord knows how to save godly people. He knows how to keep them safe in times of testing. The Lord also knows how to keep ungodly people under guard. He will do so until the day they will be judged and punished.
But the Lord knows how to help men who are right with God when they are tempted. He also knows how to keep the sinners suffering for their wrong-doing until the day they stand before God Who will judge them.
For the Lord knoweth how to deliver pious men from temptation, and keep wicked men into the day of doom to be tormented; [The Lord knew to deliver pious men of temptation, soothly to keep wicked men into the day of doom to be tormented;]
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