God will judge everybody one day
My friends, this is now my 2nd letter that I’m writing to you. Both of these letters are to help you remember things. I want you to think properly about these things. I want you to remember the words from God that his men wrote a long time ago, and the words from Jesus that his special workers told you. They told you the things that God wants you to do. Jesus is our leader, and he saves us.
And this is very important, so I want you to understand it. These days are the last days of this world, and now some people will come and laugh at you, and they will say that you are stupid. Those people always do any bad thing they feel like doing. They laugh at God’s true story.* They will say, “Jesus promised to come back, but where is he? He didn’t come back. He said that powerful things will happen to this world, and he said that he will come back, and that God will finish up the world. But nothing has happened. Some of our Christian leaders have already died, but none of those things have happened. Everything just keeps going the same, just like from the time God made everything.”
Those people know the true story, but they don’t want to remember it. They forget that God does lots of powerful things in this world. They forget that a long time ago, God only said words to make the sky and the earth. God said one word to make the sky, and then he said another word to make the land, and to lift that land up out of the water.* Then later, God used a big flood of water to finish up everybody in the world at that time.* And now God is saying his word again in the same way. He is telling the sky and the earth that he will judge them, and he will burn them with fire, and finish them up. That will be the day when God will judge everybody, and he will finish up all the bad people.
But, my friends, don’t forget this one thing about God. He can use time in a different way. God can make one day be like 1,000 years, and he can make 1,000 years be like one day.* God is not slow to do the things that he promised to do. Some people think that he is being slow, but no, he is quietly waiting for you people. He doesn’t want anyone to die for ever. He wants everyone to turn around. He wants them to stop doing bad things and turn to him. 10 But one day our leader, Jesus, will come back, and everybody will get a shock. You know how people get a shock if a robber comes while they are asleep and steals their things? Listen, Jesus Christ will come back suddenly, and people will get a big shock like that. The sky will go away with a very loud noise, and it will not be there any more. Fire will burn up everything in it. And God will finish up all the earth and everything on it.*
11 Think about it. God will finish up everything like that. Then think about yourselves. You’ve got to be really good people. You have to live God’s way, to make him happy. 12 You want Jesus to come back soon, so while you are waiting for that day, make sure you live that good way, so that he will come soon. Then, on that day, God will finish up everything. He will burn up the sky, and everything in it will melt away in that fire. 13 But don’t worry. God promised to make a new sky and new earth for us. Everyone in that new place will be good. They will always live the right way and do good things. Yes, we are waiting for God to do that.*
14 So now, my friends, while you are waiting for that to happen, try hard to always do good things, so that God will not blame you for doing wrong things. And don’t get angry with anyone and don’t fight, then when God looks at you, he will not see any trouble between you and anyone else. 15 Think about this. Jesus, our leader, is waiting. He wants to save people, so he is waiting for them. He is giving them time to turn back to him. But later, he will come back.
You know our Christian friend Paul. Well, God helped him to understand about these things, 16 and he writes about them in all his letters. Some things in his letters are hard to understand. Some people don’t know much about God, and they are not sure about the things they believe. They talk about Paul’s letters the wrong way. They turn Paul’s words around so that they say something that is wrong. And they do that with other words in God’s book too. When they do that, they make things bad for themselves, and in the end God will punish them.
17 But, my friends, you know these things already. So be very careful. Don’t believe the lies that those bad people say. Don’t let them lead you away from God. If you listen to them, you might stop being sure about the true things. 18 Don’t do that. You have to believe that our leader, Jesus Christ, will be good to you, and you have to believe it more and more. He is the one that saves us. You have to know him better and better all the time.
Everyone has to say that Jesus Christ is very great and good. Everyone has to always say that, now and for ever. That’s right.
From Peter
* 3:3 Jude 1:18 * 3:5 Genesis 1:6-9 * 3:6 Genesis 7:21 * 3:8 Psalm 90:4 * 3:10 Matthew 24:43; Luke 12:39; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; Revelation 16:15 * 3:13 Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; Revelation 21:1