This letter which I am now writing to you, dear friends, is my second letter. In both my letters I seek to revive in your honest minds the memory of certain things,
so that you may recall the words spoken long ago by the holy Prophets, and the commandments of our Lord and Saviour given you through your Apostles.
But, above all, remember that, in the last days, men will come who make a mock at everything--men governed only by their own passions,
and, asking, "What has become of His promised Return? For from the time our forefathers fell asleep all things continue as they have been ever since the creation of the world."
For they are wilfully blind to the fact that there were heavens which existed of old, and an earth, the latter arising out of water and extending continuously through water, by the command of God;
and that, by means of these, the then existing race of men was overwhelmed with water and perished.
But the present heavens and the present earth are, by the command of the same God, kept stored up, reserved for fire in preparation for a day of judgement and of destruction for the ungodly.
But there is one thing, dear friends, which you must not forget. With the Lord one day resembles a thousand years and a thousand years resemble one day.
The Lord is not slow in fulfilling His promise, in the sense in which some men speak of slowness. But He bears patiently with you, His desire being that no one should perish but that all should come to repentance.
The day of the Lord will come like a thief--it will be a day on which the heavens will pass away with a rushing noise, the elements be destroyed in the fierce heat, and the earth and all the works of man be utterly burnt up.
Since all these things are thus pre-destined to dissolution, what sort of men ought you to be found to be in all holy living and godly conduct,
eagerly looking forward to the coming of the day of God, by reason of which the heavens, all ablaze, will be destroyed, and the elements will melt in the fierce heat?
But in accordance with His promise we are expecting new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness will dwell.
Therefore, dear friends, since you have these expectations, earnestly seek to be found in His presence, free from blemish or reproach, in peace.
And always regard the patient forbearance of our Lord as salvation, as our dear brother Paul also has written to you in virtue of the wisdom granted to him.
That is what he says in all his letters, when speaking in them of these things. In those letters there are some statements hard to understand, which ill-taught and unprincipled people pervert, just as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own ruin.
You, therefore, dear friends, having been warned beforehand, must continually be on your guard so as not to be led astray by the false teaching of immoral men nor fall from your own stedfastness.
But be always growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be all glory, both now and to the day of Eternity!