My friends, this is my second letter to you. In both of them I've tried to stir you up and remind you to think clearly with pure minds. Remember the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets, and what the Lord and Savior commanded through your apostles. Above all you should know that derisive people will come in the last days, full of mockery and following their own evil desires.* So what happened to this coming he promised?” they ask. “Right from the time our ancestors died, everything's continued as it always has, ever since creation began.” But they deliberately ignore the fact that by God's command the heavens were created long ago. The earth came into existence from the water, and was surrounded by water. It was through water that the world that then existed was destroyed—through being flooded by water. But by means of that same divine command the heavens and the earth that now exist are reserved for destruction by fire at the day of judgment when the wicked will be destroyed.
However, my friends, don't forget this one thing: that for the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord is not delaying the fulfillment of his promise, as some define delay, but he is being very patient with you. He doesn't want anyone to be lost, but everyone to come and repent.
10 However, the day of the Lord will come, unexpectedly like a thief. The heavens will explode with a thunderous roar, and the elements§ will be destroyed as they are burned up. The earth and everything in it will vanish.* 11 Since everything is going to be destroyed in this way, what kind of people should you be? You should be living lives that are pure, dedicated to God, 12 waiting expectantly and being eager for the coming of the day of God. That day the heavens will catch fire and be destroyed, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But as for us, we are looking for new heavens and a new earth that God has promised where everything is good and right.
14 So, my friends, since you're anticipating these things, make sure you'll be found pure and blameless, and at peace with God. 15 Remember that it is our Lord's patience that gives the opportunity for salvation. That's what our dear brother Paul was explaining to you in all his letters with the wisdom given to him by God. 16 He spoke about these things, though some of what he wrote is certainly hard to understand. Some ignorant and unbalanced people have twisted what he wrote to their own loss—just as they do other scriptures. 17 My friends, since you already know this, make sure that these errors of the wicked don't lead you astray, and you don't fall from your firm position. 18 May you grow in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May he have glory, both now and forever! Amen.
* 3:3 See Jude 1:18. 3:7 “Destruction by fire”: Literally, “in fire”. 3:8 See Psalms 90:4. § 3:10 It is not clear exactly what these “elements” refer to. * 3:10 Or “will be seen for what it is.” 3:13 Or “where righteousness dwells.”