False Teachers And Their Destruction
But there were also False Prophets among the people
JUST AS THERE WILL BE FALSE TEACHERS AMONG YOU.
THEY WILL SECRETLY INTRODUCE DESTRUCTIVE HERESIES,
EVEN DENYING THE SOVEREIGN LORD WHO BOUGHT THEM--
BRINGING SWIFT DESTRUCTION ON THEMSELVES.
2 MANY WILL FOLLOW THEIR SHAMEFUL WAYS
AND WILL BRING THE WAY OF TRUTH INTO DISREPUTE.
3 In their Greed these Teachers will Exploit you
With stories they have made up.
Their Condemnation has long been hanging over them,
And their destruction has not been sleeping.
4 FOR IF GOD DID NOT SPARE ANGELS WHEN THEY SINNED,
BUT SENT THEM TO HELL,
PUTTING THEM INTO GLOOMY DUNGEONS
TO BEHELD FOR JUDGMENT;
IF HE DID NOT SPARE THE ANCIENT WORLD
WHEN HE BROUGHT THE FLOOD ON ITS UNGODLY PEOPLE,
BUT PROTECTED NOAH, A PREACHER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS,
AND SEVEN OTHERS;
IF HE CONDEMNED THE CITIES OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH
BY BURNING THEM TO ASHES,
AND MADE THEM AN EXAMPLE
OF WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO THE UNGODLY;
7 AND IF HE RESCUED LOT, A RIGHTEOUS MAN,
WHO WAS DISTRESSED BY THE FILTHY LIVES OF LAWLESS MEN
8 (For that righteous man, living among them day after day,
Was tormented in his righteous soul
By the lawless deeds he saw and heard)--
9 IF THIS IS SO,
THEN THE LORD KNOWS HOW TO RESCUE GODLY MEN FROM TRIALS
AND TO HOLD THE UNRIGHTEOUS FOR THE DAY OF JUDGMENT,
WHILE CONTINUING THEIR PUNISHMENT.
10 This is especially true of those
Who follow the Corrupt Desire of the Sinful Nature
And Despise Authority.
BOLD AND ARROGANT,
THESE MEN ARE NOT AFRAID TO SLANDER CELESTIAL BEINGS;
Yet even Angels,
Though they are stronger and more powerful,
Do not bring Slanderous Accusations
Against such beings in the Presence of the Lord.
12 BUT THESE MEN BLASPHEME IN MATTERS
THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND.
They are like Brute Beasts, Creatures of Instinct,
BORN ONLY TO BE CAUGHT AND DESTROYED,
And like Beasts they too will Perish.
13 THEY WILL BE PAID BACK WITH HARM
FOR THE HARM THEY HAVE DONE.
Their idea of Pleasure is to Carouse in Broad Daylight.
They are Blots and Blemishes,
Reveling in their Pleasures
While they Feast with you.
14 WITH EYES FULL OF ADULTERY,
THEY NEVER STOP SINNING;
THEY SEDUCE THE UNSTABLE;
THEY ARE EXPERTS IN GREED—AND ACCURSED BROOD!
15 THEY HAVE LEFT THE STRAIGHT WAY
AND WANDERED OFF
TO FOLLOW THE WAY OF BALAAM SON OF BEOR,
WHO LOVED THE WAGES OF WICKEDNESS.
16 But he was Rebuked for his Wrongdoing by a donkey--
Who spoke with a man's voice
And Restrained the prophets' Madness.
17 THESE MEN ARE SPRINGS WITHOUT WATER
AND MISTS DRIVEN BY A STORM.
BLACKEST DARKNESS IS RESERVED FOR THEM.
18 FOR THEY MOUTH EMPTY, BOASTFUL WORDS
AND BY APPEALING TO THE LUSTFUL DESIRES
OF SINFUL HUMAN NATURE,
THEY ENTICE PEOPLE WHO ARE JUST ESCAPING
FORM THOSE WHO LIVE IN ERROR.
19 THEY PROMISE THEM FREEDOM,
WHILE THEY THEMSELVES ARE SLAVES OF DEPRAVITY--
FOR A MAN IS A SLAVE TO WHATEVER HAS MASTERED HIM.
20 If they have Escaped the Corruption of the World
By knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
And are again Entangled in it and Overcome,
THEY ARE WORSE OFF AT THE END
THAN THEY WERE AT THE BEGINNING.
21 IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER FOR THEM
NOT TO HAVE KNOW THE WAY OF RIGHTEOUSNESS,
THAN TO HAVE KNOWN IT
AND THEN TO TURN THEIR BACK
ON THE SACRED COMMANDMENT
THAT WAS PASSED ON THE THEM.
22 Of them the Proverbs are true:
'A dog returns to its Vomit,' and,
'A sow that is washed
Goes back to her Wallowing in the Mud.'
(2 Peter 2)