False Teachers Condemned
1But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you. They will secretly bring in destructive heresies. They will even deny the Master who bought them—bringing swift destruction upon themselves.
2Many will follow their immoral ways, and as a result the way of the truth will be maligned.
3In their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
4For God did not spare angels when they sinned, but threw them into Sheol. He put them in chains of gloomy darkness, to be held until the judgment.
5He did not spare the ancient world. He preserved only Noah, a proclaimer of righteousness, along with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly.
6He devastated the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, reducing them to ashes—making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly.
7He rescued Lot, a righteous man deeply troubled by the shameless immorality of the wicked.
8(For that righteous man, while living among them, was tormented in his righteous soul day after day by lawless deeds he saw and heard.)
9Therefore the Lord certainly knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and how to keep the unrighteous being punished until the Day of Judgment—
10especially those who follow after the flesh in its unclean desires and who despise the Lord’s authority. Brazen and arrogant, these people do not tremble while slandering glorious beings;
11yet even angels, though stronger and more powerful, do not bring a slanderous charge against them before the Lord.
12But these people are like irrational animals—creatures of instinct born to be captured and killed. They malign what they don’t understand, and in their destruction they will be utterly destroyed.
13They will be paid back for what they have done—evil for evil. They consider carousing in broad daylight a pleasure. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceitful pleasures while feasting together with you.
14They have eyes full of adultery that never stop sinning, enticing unstable souls. They have hearts trained in greed—a cursed brood!
15They have abandoned the straight way. They have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness.
16But he received a rebuke for his own wrongdoing. A dumb donkey spoke with a man’s voice and put a stop to the prophet’s madness.
17These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. The gloom of utter darkness has been reserved for them.
18For by mouthing grandiosities that amount to nothing, they entice in sensual fleshly passions those who are barely escaping from those who live in error.
19They promise them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption—for a person is a slave to whatever has overcome him.
20For if—after escaping the world’s pollutions through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Yeshua the Messiah—they again become entangled in these things and are overcome, the end for them has become worse than the beginning.
21For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after learning about it, to turn back from the holy commandment passed on to them.
22What has happened to them confirms the truth of the proverb, “A dog returns to its vomit,” and “A scrubbed pig heads right back into the mud.”