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2 Peter

Chapter 1

1 {I,} Simon Peter, serve Jesus the Messiah, and I am an apostle {whom he appointed}. {I am writing this letter} to you whom God has caused to believe {in the Messiah} just like he caused us {apostles} to believe {in the Messiah}. {Jesus has done this} by his righteous acts. Jesus the Messiah is our God, and he is the one who saves us. 2 I pray that God will increase his kind acts toward you and make you more peaceful because you know God and Jesus, {who is} our Lord.

3 God has given us everything that we need in order to live a life that honors him. {He does this} by his power as God. {He does this} by what we know about him. God is the one who chose us {to be his people} by his glorious and excellent character. 4 {By his glorious and excellent character,} God has promised that he will do priceless and great things for us. {He has done this} so that by {believing in} what he has promised, you will be able to act like God, {and} you will no longer suffer the moral corruption that is in the world through the desire to do sinful things.

5 Because God has done all that, do your best to not only believe in the Messiah, {but also} to do good things. {And make sure that you not only} do good things, {but that you also} learn more about God. 6 {And make sure that you do not only} learn more about God, {but that you also} control yourself {in what you do and say}. {And make sure that you do not only} control yourself {in what you do and say}, {but that you also} remain faithful to God in hardship. {And make sure that you do not only} remain faithful to God in hardship, {but that you also} honor him. 7 {And make sure that you do not only} honor God, {but that you also} show affection to each other as family members. {And make sure that you do not only} show affection to each other as family members, {but that you also} love others. 8 {Do these things,} because if you do all these things more and more, then they will make you productive with respect to your knowing our Lord Jesus the Messiah. 9 {Do these things,} because a person who does not do these things {is not aware that these things are important.} {This person is like} a blind person {who cannot see what is around him,} {or like} a nearsighted person {who can only see things that are close to him.} {This person has even} forgotten that God has forgiven him for the sinful things {he did} in the past. 10 Consequently, you fellow believers, make even more effort to make sure that God has chosen you to be his people. If you do these things I have just told you about, then you will absolutely never become separated from God. 11 {This is true} because, {by your doing} thus, God will wholeheartedly allow you to enter into the place where our Lord and Savior Jesus the Messiah will rule {his people} forever.

12 Consequently, {because these things are so important,} I am always prepared to keep on reminding you about these things. {I will remind you} even though you already know {them} and are firmly convinced of the true teaching that you now have. 13 Nevertheless, I consider it to be right for me to keep reminding you {about these things} as long as I am alive. 14 {I want to remind you of these things,} because I know that I shall die soon. {I shall die} just like our Lord Jesus the Messiah has made clear to me {previously}. 15 In addition, I will make every effort {by writing these things down} to cause you to keep on remembering these things after I have died.

16 {I will do this} because, when we apostles told you that our Lord Jesus the Messiah is coming back in power {some day}, we were not basing {what we told you} on stories that we had cleverly made up. On the contrary, {we told you} what we saw with our own eyes, the divinely majestic Jesus. 17 {I can say we were eyewitnesses} because {we were there when} God the Father honored him and glorified him, {when Jesus heard} a voice from the majestically glorious God. {And the voice said,} “This is my Son, whom I love very much. I am very pleased with him.” 18 We ourselves also heard this voice of God that came from heaven when we were with Jesus on that sacred mountain. 19 And we have what the prophets wrote {previously}, {which is} absolutely reliable. Pay attention to what they wrote, because it is like a lamp that is shining in a dark place {that helps people see where they are going}. {That light} will shine until the day {of the return of the Messiah} dawns and {Jesus}, the star that appears before the morning, gives your minds greater understanding. 20 Above all, you should know that no prophet could interpret {his prophecy} by his own imagination. 21 {This is true} because no one ever prophesied a {true} prophecy according to what a human wanted. On the contrary, those who spoke {prophecies} from God did so by the Holy Spirit guiding them.

Chapter 2

1 But people who falsely proclaimed {messages from God} were also amidst the Israelites. In the same way there will also be people who teach false {messages} amidst you. They will introduce opinions {that will result in} eternal condemnation. They will even reject their owner, {Jesus,} who redeemed them. {As a result of this,} God will soon condemn them {for eternity}. 2 And many {people} will do the same unrestrained immoral acts {as these false teachers}. Because of these false teachers, {unbelievers} will speak evil of Christianity. 3 And due to their greedy hearts, {these false teachers} will make a profit off of you by telling you lies. God condemned them a long time ago, and God will certainly destroy them.

4 {This judgment is certain} because God did not let the angels who acted sinfully remain unpunished. On the contrary, he threw them into hell {where they are} chained in darkness. God imprisoned {these sinful angels} there and is holding them there in order to judge them. 5 And God did not let {the people who lived in} the world long ago remain unpunished. However, he preserved eight people, including Noah, who was a righteous herald, when he destroyed by a flood the ungodly {people who lived in the} world {at that time}. 6 And God condemned the cities {called} Sodom and Gomorrah to be destroyed by burning them completely to ashes. {This resulted in God} making {those cities} an example of what will happen to people who dishonor God. 7 And God rescued Lot, who was a righteous man. Lot was greatly distressed because of the unrestrained immoral acts of the people who acted lawlessly {in Sodom}. 8 (When he lived with those wicked people {in Sodom}, that righteous man Lot distressed himself every day by what he saw and heard. {He did so} because of the things people did that were against God’s law.) 9 {Since these things are all true, then you can be sure that} the Lord knows how to rescue people who honor him from being tried. And {the Lord also knows how} to keep those who do unrighteous deeds {ready} {in order} to punish them at the time when he judges. 10 And {he will punish} especially those who keep on doing what their sinful hearts want to do, {which are things that make them} displeasing to God. {These people} also scorn divine authority. How bold {they are}! They do whatever they wish! They are not even afraid to insult God’s glorious angels. 11 But {God’s} angels, {even though} they are much more powerful than these people, do not accuse glorious beings in an insulting manner in front of God! 12 However, these {false teachers} are like animals that cannot think rationally. According to the way they naturally behave, they were born so that others may capture and destroy them. They say bad things about things they do not even know. God will surely destroy them when it is time for their destruction. 13 {These false teachers} suffer harm as the proper punishment for their harmful deeds. {They are} pleased to party in an immoral manner {even} during the daytime. {Like} ugly stains {on one’s clothing,} {they are disgraceful to your gatherings}! {They even} celebrate their deceptive deeds while eating {a meal} with you! 14 They constantly want to have immoral sexual relations with {every} woman {they see}. They cannot stop sinning. They lure spiritually weak people {into sin}. {As athletes train for sports, these false teachers} train themselves to be greedy. {God} has cursed them! 15 They refuse to live the way God wants them to. They are acting wickedly. They are imitating what Balaam, the son of Bosor, did {long ago}. He loved {to receive money as} payment for wicked deeds. 16 However, God rebuked him for his wicked deed {against Israel}. {And even though donkeys do not speak}, God used {Balaam’s} donkey to speak to him with a human voice and stop his foolish action.

17 These {false teachers} are {useless}, {like} springs that do not give water. {They are like} clouds that the storm pushes away {before they can give rain}. {God} has reserved the darkness {of hell} for them. 18 {This is true} because they persuade people to sin who have recently {become believers and} stopped doing what wicked unbelievers do. {These false teachers do this} by speaking proud words that are not worth anything. {They persuade these people to sin} by doing whatever their sinful natures want to do. 19 {They also do this} by telling their listeners that they are free to do whatever they want while, at the same time, they themselves are controlled {by their sinful desires} that will destroy them. {This is true} because the thing that overpowers a person’s will takes control of that person. 20 And if they have stopped doing the things that defile sinful human society by knowing the one who rules over us and saves us, Jesus the Messiah, but those {defiling things} {began to} control them again, {then} their situation is worse now than {it was} at first. 21 {This is because} it would have been better for them if they had never learned how to live in the way that pleases God than to learn {this way} and reject {God’s} holy commands that {the apostles} taught them. 22 This is a true proverb {that describes} what has happened to {these false teachers}: “They are like dogs that return to eat their own vomit,” and, “They are like pigs that have washed themselves and then roll again in the mud.”

Chapter 3

1 Fellow believers whom I love, this {letter} that I am now writing to you is the second letter {that I have written to you}. {I have written} both {of these letters to you} to remind you of the things that your sincere minds already know. 2 {I have written these letters} in order to remind you of the prophecies that the holy prophets spoke a long time ago. {I also want you} to remember what the one who rules over us and saves us has commanded you through the teaching of the apostles {whom we sent to} you.

3 It is important for you to understand that people who mock will come and mock {the return of Jesus} during the time shortly before Jesus returns. {Those people} will do whatever they want to do. 4 {These mockers} will say, “Jesus’ promise to return is not true! {We know this} because since Israel’s ancestors died, everything has remained the same. It has been the same way since God created everything!” 5 {They will say this} because they deliberately ignore that God caused the heavens to exist a long time ago by commanding it to be so, and he caused the earth to come out from water and up through water {by commanding it to be so}. 6 And God, by his command and by water, destroyed the world that existed at that time. {He did so} by flooding the earth with water. 7 However, God, by the same command, has set apart the heavens and the earth that exist now for fire. God is keeping them for the time when he will judge and destroy people who act wickedly. 8 Fellow believers whom I love, do not ignore this one truth: from God’s perspective a short period of time is no different from a long period of time! 9 The Lord is not acting slowly to fulfill his promise of Jesus’ return. Some people think {that this is so}. On the contrary, God is being patient with you, because he does not want any of you to be punished eternally. Rather, he wants everyone to repent. 10 In contrast {to what those mockers say}, the time when the Lord returns will come unexpectedly. At that time there will be a great roaring sound and the heavens will cease to exist. God will also destroy the basic elements of nature by fire. Then God will reveal the earth and everything that has been done in it.

11 Since God will destroy all these things {I have just mentioned} in the way {I have described}, you must certainly behave in a holy manner and do what pleases God. 12 {Do these things} while expecting and trying to speed up the time of Jesus’ return. On account of that day, God will destroy the heavens with fire and melt the basic elements of nature with heat. 13 {Although all those events will happen,} we are expecting the new heavens and new earth that God has promised to create. Everyone will be righteous in that new universe.

14 Because this is true, fellow believers whom I love, while you are waiting for these things {to happen}, do your best to make sure that Jesus will see that you are not living sinfully {and that you are} at peace {with God}. 15 And think about this: Our Lord Jesus is patient so that more people can be saved. Paul, a fellow believer whom we love, has also said this when he wrote to you. He wrote using the wisdom that God gave him. 16 In all the letters that Paul wrote, he also writes about these things {that I have just mentioned}. In his letters are also some {teachings} that are difficult to understand. People who lack knowledge and stability misinterpret those difficult teachings, as well as the rest of the scriptures. {God} will punish them as a result. 17 Because all these things are true, fellow believers whom I love, and because you already know about these things, keep yourselves from ceasing to live faithfully because you let the wrong teaching of those who live like there is no law deceive you into sinning. 18 Rather, live in such a manner that you experience more and more of the kind acts of the one who rules over us and saves us, Jesus the Messiah. And live in such a manner that you know more and more about him.

I pray that everyone will glorify Jesus both at this time and forever. May this truly be so!