1But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be ⚓false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
2And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.
3By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
Doom of False Teachers
4For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;
5and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;
6and turning the cities of ⚓Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly;
7and ⚓delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked
8(for that righteous man, dwelling among them, ⚓tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)—
9then⚓the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,
10and especially ⚓those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. ⚓They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries,
11whereas ⚓angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.
Depravity of False Teachers
12But these, ⚓like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption,
13⚓and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure ⚓to carouse in the daytime. ⚓They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while ⚓they feast with you,
14having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. ⚓They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children.
15They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of ⚓Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
16but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet.
17⚓These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.
Deceptions of False Teachers
18For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error.
19While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; ⚓for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.
20For if, after they ⚓have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are ⚓again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.
21For ⚓it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.
22But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: ⚓“A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”