But, by means of the same word [of God], the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, awaiting the judgment and destruction [by God], along with [its] ungodly people.
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief [i.e., unexpectedly]. At that time the heavens will pass away with a loud noise and the elements [Note: This refers either to the heavenly bodies or to the material components of the universe], will be dissolved with intense heat. And the earth and its works [i.e., its activities] will be burned up. [Note: Some translations render this phrase as it is in some ancient manuscripts, "will be disclosed," or "will be laid bare"].
[while] looking forward to, and earnestly desiring the day of God to come, when the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved by fire and the elements [See verse 10] will melt with intense heat.
[Although] the sky and the earth will pass away [See II Pet. 3:10], my words will not pass away [i.e., they will certainly come true].
Then He [i.e., the King] will say to those at His left side, 'Go away from me, you who are cursed [by God], into the never ending fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels.
then the Lord [surely] knows how to rescue godly people from trying situations, and to keep unrighteous people under [a sentence of] punishment [to be received] on the judgment day.
It is true when I say to you, the districts around Sodom and Gomorrah [i.e., despite their gross sins] will be shown more leniency than that town on the day of judgment.
But I tell you, Tyre and Sidon will be shown more leniency on the judgment day than you people will.
But I say to you, Sodom will be shown more leniency on the judgment day than you will."
And I say to you, a person will [have to] give an account [to God] on the day of judgment for every careless word he had spoken [while on earth].
And the people from whatever place that does not welcome you or listen to you, when you leave there, shake the dust off from under your shoes as evidence against them." [Note: This was a Jewish custom showing disdain and intended to suggest their unworthiness].
But your stubbornness and refusal to repent are storing up wrath [i.e., punishment] for yourselves, [to be experienced] on the Day of Wrath [i.e., the day of judgment] when God's just judgment will be revealed.
[I also want to hear] that you are not being frightened by those who oppose you, which [opposition] is proof that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved, and this will [all] be done by God.
and to provide [future] rest for you, along with us, who are afflicted. [This will occur] when Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire [i.e., at His second coming], accompanied by His mighty angels.
Do not allow anyone to deceive you in any way, for it will not occur until the rebellion comes first and the man of lawlessness becomes evident. [Note: This "rebellion" refers to a significant falling away from the teaching and practice of true Christianity (See I Tim. 4:1), characterized by the rise of an authoritarian religious leader]. This man is doomed to be destroyed
But those people who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and [spiritual] destruction.
Here is what a complete love will do for us: It will give us boldness in [facing] the judgment day, because the way Jesus acts [regarding love] is the way we should act [while] in this world.
So also, in a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah, and their surrounding towns, which had abandoned themselves to sexual immorality and [sexually] perverted behavior, serve as an example [of people] who [will] suffer the punishment of never ending fire.
The beast you saw once existed, but now does not, and [yet] is about to come up out of the pit and go to [his] destruction. And those people living on the earth, whose names have not been recorded in the book of life from the creation of the world, will be amazed when they see the beast, because he had once existed, but now does not, and yet will come [again].
And the beast that once existed, but now does not, is actually the eighth one [i.e., head/hill/king. See verse 9], and yet he belongs to the seven; and he will go to his destruction.
Then I saw a great, white throne and Him who was seated on it [i.e., probably Christ]. Earth and heaven fled from His presence and they were not found anywhere [again].