2 But false prophets arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. 1 These false teachers 2 will 3 infiltrate your midst 4 with destructive heresies, 5 even to the point of 6 denying the Master who bought them. As a result, they will bring 7 swift destruction on themselves. 2 And many will follow their debauched lifestyles. 8 Because of these false teachers, 9 the way of truth will be slandered. 10 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with deceptive words. Their 11 condemnation pronounced long ago 12 is not sitting idly by; 13 their 14 destruction is not asleep.
4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, 15 but threw them into hell 16 and locked them up 17 in chains 18 in utter darkness, 19 to be kept until the judgment, 5 and if he did not spare the ancient world, but did protect Noah, a herald of righteousness, along with seven others, 20 when God 21 brought a flood on an ungodly world, 22 6 and if he turned to ashes the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah when he condemned them to destruction, 23 having appointed 24 them to serve as an example 25 to future generations of the ungodly, 26 7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man in anguish over the debauched lifestyle of lawless 27 men, 28 8 (for while he lived among them day after day, that righteous man was tormented in his righteous soul 29 by the lawless deeds he saw and heard 30 ) 9 – if so, 31 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from their trials, 32 and to reserve the unrighteous for punishment 33 at the day of judgment, 10 especially those who indulge their fleshly desires 34 and who despise authority.
Brazen and insolent, 35 they are not afraid to insult 36 the glorious ones, 37 11 yet even 38 angels, who are much more powerful, 39 do not bring a slanderous 40 judgment against them before the Lord. 41 12 But 42 these men, 43 like irrational animals – creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed 44 – do not understand whom 45 they are insulting, and consequently 46 in their destruction they will be destroyed, 47 13 suffering harm as the wages for their harmful ways. 48 By considering it a pleasure to carouse in broad daylight, 49 they are stains and blemishes, indulging 50 in their deceitful pleasures when they feast together with you. 14 Their eyes, 51 full of adultery, 52 never stop sinning; 53 they entice 54 unstable people. 55 They have trained their hearts for greed, these cursed children! 56 15 By forsaking the right path they have gone astray, because they followed the way of Balaam son of Bosor, 57 who loved the wages of unrighteousness, 58 16 yet was rebuked 59 for his own transgression (a dumb donkey, 60 speaking with a human voice, 61 restrained the prophet’s madness). 62
17 These men 63 are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm, for whom the utter depths of darkness 64 have been reserved. 18 For by speaking high-sounding but empty words 65 they are able to entice, 66 with fleshly desires and with debauchery, 67 people 68 who have just escaped 69 from those who reside in error. 70 19 Although these false teachers promise 71 such people 72 freedom, they themselves are enslaved to 73 immorality. 74 For whatever a person succumbs to, to that he is enslaved. 75 20 For if after they have escaped the filthy things 76 of the world through the rich knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 77 they 78 again get entangled in them and succumb to them, 79 their last state has become worse for them than their first. 21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than, having known it, to turn back from the holy commandment that had been delivered to them. 22 They are illustrations of this true proverb: 80 “A dog returns to its own vomit,” 81 and “A sow, after washing herself, 82 wallows in the mire.” 83
3 Dear friends, this is already the second letter I have written 1 you, in which 2 I am trying to stir up 3 your pure mind by way of reminder: 2 I want you to recall 4 both 5 the predictions 6 foretold by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles. 7 3 Above all, understand this: 8 In the last days blatant scoffers 9 will come, being propelled by their own evil urges 10 4 and saying, 11 “Where is his promised return? 12 For ever since 13 our ancestors 14 died, 15 all things have continued as they were 16 from the beginning of creation.” 5 For they deliberately suppress this fact, 17 that by the word of God 18 heavens existed long ago and an earth 19 was formed out of water and by means of water. 6 Through these things 20 the world existing at that time was destroyed when it was deluged with water. 7 But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, by being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 21
8 Now, dear friends, do not let this one thing escape your notice, 22 that a single day is like a thousand years with the Lord and a thousand years are like a single day. 9 The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, 23 as some regard slowness, but is being patient toward you, because he does not wish 24 for any 25 to perish but for all to come to repentance. 26 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; when it comes, 27 the heavens will disappear 28 with a horrific noise, 29 and the celestial bodies 30 will melt away 31 in a blaze, 32 and the earth and every deed done on it 33 will be laid bare. 34 11 Since all these things are to melt away 35 in this manner, 36 what sort of people must we 37 be, conducting our lives in holiness and godliness, 38 12 while waiting for and hastening 39 the coming of the day of God? 40 Because of this day, 41 the heavens will be burned up and 42 dissolve, and the celestial bodies 43 will melt away in a blaze! 44 13 But, according to his promise, we are waiting for 45 new heavens and a new earth, in which 46 righteousness truly resides. 47
14 Therefore, dear friends, since you are waiting for 48 these things, strive to be found 49 at peace, without spot or blemish, when you come into his presence. 50 15 And regard the patience of our Lord as salvation, 51 just as also our dear brother Paul 52 wrote to you, 53 according to the wisdom given to him, 16 speaking of these things in all his letters. 54 Some things in these letters 55 are hard to understand, things 56 the ignorant and unstable twist 57 to their own destruction, as they also do to the rest of the scriptures. 58 17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, 59 be on your guard that you do not get led astray by the error of these unprincipled men 60 and fall from your firm grasp on the truth. 61 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge 62 of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the honor both now and on 63 that eternal day. 64
1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, 1 which God gave him to show his servants 2 what must happen very soon. 3 He made it clear 4 by sending his angel to his servant 5 John, 2 who then 6 testified to everything that he saw concerning the word of God and the testimony about 7 Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed is the one who reads the words of this 8 prophecy aloud, 9 and blessed are 10 those who hear and obey 11 the things written in it, because the time is near! 12
4 From John, 13 to the seven churches that are in the province of Asia: 14 Grace and peace to you 15 from “he who is,” 16 and who was, and who is still to come, 17 and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ – the faithful 18 witness, 19 the firstborn from among the dead, the ruler over the kings of the earth. To the one who loves us and has set us free 20 from our sins at the cost of 21 his own blood 6 and has appointed 22 us as a kingdom, 23 as priests 24 serving his God and Father – to him be the glory and the power for ever and ever! 25 Amen.
7 (Look! He is returning with the clouds, 26
and every eye will see him,
even 27 those who pierced him, 28
and all the tribes 29 on the earth will mourn because 30 of him.
This will certainly come to pass! 31 Amen.) 32
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” 33 says the Lord God – the one who is, and who was, and who is still to come – the All-Powerful! 34
9 I, John, your brother and the one who shares 35 with you in the persecution, kingdom, and endurance that 36 are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony about Jesus. 37 10 I was in the Spirit 38 on the Lord’s Day 39 when 40 I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 saying: “Write in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches – to Ephesus, 41 Smyrna, 42 Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”
12 I 43 turned to see whose voice was speaking to me, 44 and when I did so, 45 I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands was one like a son of man. 46 He was dressed in a robe extending down to his feet and he wore a wide golden belt 47 around his chest. 14 His 48 head and hair were as white as wool, even as white as snow, 49 and his eyes were like a fiery 50 flame. 15 His feet were like polished bronze 51 refined 52 in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar 53 of many waters. 16 He held 54 seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp double-edged sword extended out of his mouth. His 55 face shone like the sun shining at full strength. 17 When 56 I saw him I fell down at his feet as though I were dead, but 57 he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid! I am the first and the last, 18 and the one who lives! I 58 was dead, but look, now I am alive – forever and ever – and I hold the keys of death and of Hades! 59 19 Therefore write what you saw, what is, and what will be after these things. 60 20 The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and the seven golden lampstands is this: 61 The seven stars are the angels 62 of the seven churches and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.