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2 Peter 3

The Lord Jesus will certainly come back to earth

1 My friends, this is the second letter that I have written to you. I have written both these letters to help you to understand some things. You already know these things. I want you to think about them in a good way. 2 I want you to remember the messages from God's that his own prophets spoke a long time ago. Also, I want you to remember what our Lord Jesus told you to do. He is the one who saves us. He sent us, who are his apostles, to teach you his message.

3 The first thing that you should understand is this. In the last days of this world, some people will laugh at you because you believe in God. These people will do whatever bad things they want to do. 4 They will say: ‘Christ promised that he would return to this world. But he has not returned! Our ancestors have already died, but everything still continues in the same way. Since God made the world in the beginning, nothing has changed.’

3:3the last days are the time before Jesus will return to the earth.

5 But these people choose to forget things that they really know. God spoke his word and he made the sky and the earth, a long time ago. He caused land to come up through water. He made the land to be separate from the water. 6 Also, it was water that God used to destroy that same world long ago. He spoke his word and he covered the land with water. 7 But God has also spoken his word to say what will happen to the world in a future time. The sky and the earth that we see now will continue for a time. But God is keeping them until the day when he will destroy them with fire. On that day he will judge all people. He will destroy the people who have refused to obey him.

3:5See Genesis 1:1-10.
3:6See Genesis 6:9-7:24.

8 My friends, here is one thing that you must remember. In the Lord God's mind, one single day and 1000 years are the same. And he will wait for 1000 years as if it is just one day. 9 The Lord is not being slow to do what he has promised to do. Some people may think that he is being slow to do it. But instead, he is being patient with you people. He does not want to destroy anyone. He wants all people to turn away from the wrong things that they do.

10 One day the Lord Jesus will suddenly come back to earth. That will surprise people like when someone suddenly comes to rob them. There will be a very loud noise in the sky and it will go away. Fire will burn the whole universe and it will destroy everything. The earth and everything that people have made will then become clear.

3:10This probably means that God sees clearly what people have done, after fire has destroyed everything else. He will then judge all people. But it could mean that the earth and everything that people have done will not be there any more.

11 Certainly, God will destroy everything in this way one day. So think about how you should live now. You should be the kind of people that God is happy about. You should show that you belong to God. 12 Yes, you should continue to obey God while you are waiting for Christ to return. God has chosen that day. Try to make it come soon in the way that you live. On that day, fire will burn the whole sky. The sky will no longer be there. Heat will destroy the universe. 13 But God has promised to make a new sky and a new earth. That is what we are waiting for. That will be a home for everything that is good and right.

3:13We can be sure that God will make a new earth and a new sky. The Bible tells us about them. See Revelation 21:1-22:21.

Peter ends his letter

14 So, my friends, live in a good way, because you are waiting for these things to happen. Try very much to do what makes God happy. Then, when you meet God, he will see that you are clean. He will see that there is no trouble in your minds. 15 Remember that our Lord wants to save people from their sins. That is why he is now waiting patiently before he will return. He is giving people a chance to turn to him. Paul has also written to you about these things. He is our friend that we love like a brother. God helped him to understand these things. 16 He wrote about them in all his letters. Some things that he has written are difficult for people to understand. Some people who have weak minds explain these things wrongly. Those people are not sure about what they believe. They explain other things in the Bible wrongly also. As a result, those people will destroy themselves and God will punish them.

17 My friends, you already know about these false teachers. So, be very careful that you do not believe those bad people. Do not let them lead you away from God. You know what is true, so do not leave that safe place. 18 Instead, you must grow as believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, who saves us. Continue to know him better and better. He will be kind to you and he will help you more and more. We praise him! He is great now and he will be great for ever!