In the Last Days 3 1My dear friends, this is now the second time I’ve written to you, both letters reminders to hold your minds in a state of undistracted attention. 2Keep in mind what the holy prophets said, and the command of our Master and Savior that was passed on by your apostles. 3First off, you need to know that in the last days, mockers are going to have a heyday. Reducing everything to the level of their puny feelings, 4they’ll mock, “So what’s happened to the promise of his Coming? Our ancestors are dead and buried, and everything’s going on just as it has from the first day of creation. Nothing’s changed.” 5They conveniently forget that long ago all the galaxies and this very planet were brought into existence out of watery chaos by God’s word. 6Then God’s word brought the chaos back in a flood that destroyed the world. 7The current galaxies and earth are fuel for the final fire. God is poised, ready to speak his word again, ready to give the signal for the judgment and destruction of the desecrating skeptics. The Day the Sky Will Collapse 8Don’t overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. 9God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change. 10But when the Day of God’s Judgment does come, it will be unannounced, like a thief. The sky will collapse with a thunderous bang, everything disintegrating in a huge conflagration, earth and all its works exposed to the scrutiny of Judgment. 11Since everything here today might well be gone tomorrow, do you see how essential it is to live a holy life? 12Daily expect the Day of God, eager for its arrival. The galaxies will burn up and the elements melt down that day—13but we’ll hardly notice. We’ll be looking the other way, ready for the promised new heavens and the promised new earth, all landscaped with righteousness. 14So, my dear friends, since this is what you have to look forward to, do your very best to be found living at your best, in purity and peace. 15Interpret our Master’s patient restraint for what it is: salvation. Our good brother Paul, who was given much wisdom in these matters, 16refers to this in all his letters, and has written you essentially the same thing. Some things Paul writes are difficult to understand. Irresponsible people who don’t know what they are talking about twist them every which way. They do it to the rest of the Scriptures, too, destroying themselves as they do it. 17But you, friends, are well–warned. Be on guard lest you lose your footing and get swept off your feet by these lawless and loose–talking teachers. 18Grow in grace and understanding of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ. Glory to the Master, now and forever! Yes!
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About