God will judge everybody one day
My dear 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 that God’s men tell us today. God sent you his men with his message, to tell you the things God wants you to do.
And this is very important so I want you to understand it. These days are the last days before Christ will come back, and now some people will come and laugh at you and say you are stupid. These people always do any bad thing they feel like doing. They will laugh at God’s true story. They will say, “Jesus promised to come back but where is he? He didn’t come back. Those old people used to be our leaders. But they all died, and everything is still the same now. Nothing changed. God made everything a long time ago and it all keeps going just the same. So we reckon Jesus will not come back.”
These people know the true story but they don’t want to remember it. They forget that God made the sky and the earth a really long time ago. God only said a word, and with that word he made the sky. Then he said another word, and with that word he made the land, and he lifted 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 judgement day. He will judge everybody, and he will finish up all the bad people.
But, dear 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 that thing that he promised to do. Some people think that he is being slow to do it. But no, he is quietly waiting for you people. He doesn’t want anyone to die for ever. He wants everyone to turn around and stop doing wrong things. 10 But one day Jesus, our leader, will come back, and everybody will get a shock. You know the way people get a shock if somebody comes in the night time and robs them? Listen, they will get a big shock like that when Jesus Christ will suddenly come back. 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. 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 and you are waiting for that day to come, so do whatever he wants to get him to 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 this new place will be good. They will always do things that are good and right. Yes, we are waiting for God to do that.
14 So now, dear 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. And always be calm and settled, so that 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. We love him like he is our brother. Well, God helped him to understand about these things 16 and he writes about them in all his letters. Paul often writes things in his letters that are hard to understand. Some people don’t know much about God and 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 too with other words in God’s book. Those people are never sure about the things they believe, and in the end they will wreck themselves.
17 But, dear 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, more and more, that our leader, Jesus Christ, will be good to you. 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