This is my second letter to you, dear friends, and in both of them I have tried to stimulate your wholesome thinking and refresh your memory.
I want you to remember and understand what the holy prophets said long ago and what our Lord and Savior commanded through your apostles.
First, I want to remind you that in the last days there will be scoffers who will laugh at the truth and do every evil thing they desire.
This will be their argument: "Jesus promised to come back, did he? Then where is he? Why, as far back as anyone can remember, everything has remained exactly the same since the world was first created."
They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth up from the water and surrounded it with water.
Then he used the water to destroy the world with a mighty flood.
And God has also commanded that the heavens and the earth will be consumed by fire on the day of judgment, when ungodly people will perish.
But you must not forget, dear friends, that a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.
The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent.
But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and everything in them will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be exposed to judgment. a11
Since everything around us is going to melt away, what holy, godly lives you should be living!
You should look forward to that day and hurry it along -- the day when God will set the heavens on fire and the elements will melt away in the flames.
But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world where everyone is right with God.
And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to live a pure and blameless life. And be at peace with God.
And remember, the Lord is waiting so that people have time to be saved. This is just as our beloved brother Paul wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him --
speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters around to mean something quite different from what he meant, just as they do the other parts of Scripture -- and the result is disaster for them.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)