Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.
I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.
First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.
They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation."
But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.
By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.
By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives
as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.
But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.
Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.
He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
This is what Jeremiah the prophet told Baruch son of Neriah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, after Baruch had written on a scroll the words Jeremiah was then dictating:
"This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to you, Baruch:
You said, 'Woe to me! The LORD has added sorrow to my pain; I am worn out with groaning and find no rest.' "
[The LORD said,] "Say this to him: 'This is what the LORD says: I will overthrow what I have built and uproot what I have planted, throughout the land.
Should you then seek great things for yourself ? Seek them not. For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the LORD, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.' "
This is the word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the nations:
Concerning Egypt: This is the message against the army of Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt, which was defeated at Carchemish on the Euphrates River by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah:
"Prepare your shields, both large and small, and march out for battle!
Harness the horses, mount the steeds! Take your positions with helmets on! Polish your spears, put on your armor!
What do I see? They are terrified, they are retreating, their warriors are defeated. They flee in haste without looking back, and there is terror on every side," declares the LORD.
"The swift cannot flee nor the strong escape. In the north by the River Euphrates they stumble and fall.
"Who is this that rises like the Nile, like rivers of surging waters?
Egypt rises like the Nile, like rivers of surging waters. She says, 'I will rise and cover the earth; I will destroy cities and their people.'
Charge, O horses! Drive furiously, O charioteers! March on, O warriors-- men of Cush and Put who carry shields, men of Lydia who draw the bow.
But that day belongs to the LORD, the Lord Almighty-- a day of vengeance, for vengeance on his foes. The sword will devour till it is satisfied, till it has quenched its thirst with blood. For the Lord, the LORD Almighty, will offer sacrifice in the land of the north by the River Euphrates.
"Go up to Gilead and get balm, O Virgin Daughter of Egypt. But you multiply remedies in vain; there is no healing for you.
The nations will hear of your shame; your cries will fill the earth. One warrior will stumble over another; both will fall down together."
This is the message the LORD spoke to Jeremiah the prophet about the coming of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to attack Egypt:
"Announce this in Egypt, and proclaim it in Migdol; proclaim it also in Memphis and Tahpanhes: 'Take your positions and get ready, for the sword devours those around you.'
Why will your warriors be laid low? They cannot stand, for the LORD will push them down.
They will stumble repeatedly; they will fall over each other. They will say, 'Get up, let us go back to our own people and our native lands, away from the sword of the oppressor.'
There they will exclaim, 'Pharaoh king of Egypt is only a loud noise; he has missed his opportunity.'
"As surely as I live," declares the King, whose name is the LORD Almighty, "one will come who is like Tabor among the mountains, like Carmel by the sea.
Pack your belongings for exile, you who live in Egypt, for Memphis will be laid waste and lie in ruins without inhabitant.
"Egypt is a beautiful heifer, but a gadfly is coming against her from the north.
The mercenaries in her ranks are like fattened calves. They too will turn and flee together, they will not stand their ground, for the day of disaster is coming upon them, the time for them to be punished.
Egypt will hiss like a fleeing serpent as the enemy advances in force; they will come against her with axes, like men who cut down trees.
They will chop down her forest," declares the LORD, "dense though it be. They are more numerous than locusts, they cannot be counted.
The Daughter of Egypt will be put to shame, handed over to the people of the north."
The LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "I am about to bring punishment on Amon god of Thebes, on Pharaoh, on Egypt and her gods and her kings, and on those who rely on Pharaoh.
I will hand them over to those who seek their lives, to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and his officers. Later, however, Egypt will be inhabited as in times past," declares the LORD.
"Do not fear, O Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, O Israel. I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Jacob will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid.
Do not fear, O Jacob my servant, for I am with you," declares the LORD. "Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished."
O LORD, I call to you; come quickly to me. Hear my voice when I call to you.
May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.
Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.
Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies.
Let a righteous man strike me--it is a kindness; let him rebuke me--it is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it. Yet my prayer is ever against the deeds of evildoers;
their rulers will be thrown down from the cliffs, and the wicked will learn that my words were well spoken.
[They will say,] "As one plows and breaks up the earth, so our bones have been scattered at the mouth of the grave. "
But my eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign LORD; in you I take refuge--do not give me over to death.
Keep me from the snares they have laid for me, from the traps set by evildoers.
Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I pass by in safety.