The False Teachers’ Denial of the Lord’s Return
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
Exhortation to the Faithful
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
The Prologue to the Letter
1 This is what we proclaim to you: 1 what was from the beginning, 2 what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and our hands have touched (concerning the word of life – 2 and the life was revealed, and we have seen and testify and announce 3 to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us). 4 3 What we have seen and heard we announce 5 to you too, so that 6 you may have fellowship 7 with us (and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ). 4 Thus 8 we are writing these things so that 9 our 10 joy may be complete. 11
God Is Light, So We Must Walk in the Light
5 Now 12 this is the gospel 13 message 14 we have heard from him 15 and announce to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. 16 6 If we say we have fellowship with him and yet keep on walking 17 in the darkness, we are lying and not practicing 18 the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses 19 us from all sin. 20 8 If we say we do not bear the guilt of sin, 21 we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, 22 forgiving 23 us our sins and cleansing 24 us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us.
2 (My little children, 1 I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. 2 ) But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate 3 with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One, 4 2 and he himself is the atoning sacrifice 5 for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the whole world. 6
Keeping God’s Commandments
3 Now 7 by this we know that we have come to know God: 8 if we keep his commandments. 4 The one who says “I have come to know God” 9 and yet does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in such a person. 5 But whoever obeys his 10 word, truly in this person 11 the love of God has been perfected. By this we know that we are in him. 6 The one who says he resides 12 in God 13 ought himself to walk 14 just as Jesus 15 walked.
7 Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. 16 The old commandment is the word that you have already 17 heard. 8 On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you which is true in him 18 and in you, because 19 the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 20 9 The one who says he is in the light but still hates 21 his fellow Christian 22 is still in the darkness. 10 The one who loves his fellow Christian 23 resides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 24 11 But the one who hates his fellow Christian 25 is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. 26
Words of Reassurance
12 I am writing to you, 27 little children, that 28 your sins have been forgiven because of his 29 name. 13 I am writing to you, fathers, that 30 you have known him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young people, that 31 you have conquered the evil one. 32 14 I have written to you, children, that 33 you have known the Father. 34 I have written to you, fathers, that 35 you have known him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young people, that 36 you are strong, and the word of God resides in you, and you have conquered the evil one.
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, 16 because all that is in the world (the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the arrogance produced by material possessions) 37 is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away with all its desires, but the person who does the will of God remains 38 forever.
Warning About False Teachers
18 Children, it is the last hour, and just as you heard that the antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists 39 have appeared. We know from this that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us, because if they had belonged to us, they would have remained 40 with us. But 41 they went out from us 42 to demonstrate 43 that all of them do not belong to us. 44
20 Nevertheless you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. 45 21 I have not written to you that 46 you do not know the truth, but that 47 you do know it, and that 48 no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but the person who denies that Jesus is the Christ 49 ? This one is the antichrist: the person who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Everyone who denies the Son does not have the Father either. The person who confesses the Son has the Father also. 50
24 As for you, what you have heard from the beginning must remain 51 in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25 Now this 52 is the promise that he 53 himself made to 54 us: eternal life. 55 26 These things I have written to you about those who are trying to deceive you. 56
27 Now as for you, the anointing 57 that you received from him 58 resides 59 in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you. But as his 60 anointing teaches you about all things, it is true and is not a lie. Just as 61 it 62 has taught you, you reside 63 in him.
Children of God
28 And now, little children, remain 64 in him, 65 so that when 66 he appears we may have confidence and not shrink away from him in shame when he comes back. 67 29 If you know that he is righteous, you also know 68 that everyone who practices righteousness has been fathered 69 by him.