1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.
2 And many will follow their licentiousness, and because of them the way of truth will be reviled.
3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words; from long ago their condemnation has not been idle, and their destruction has not been asleep.
4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;
5 and if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;
6 and if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly thereafter;
7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men
8 (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds),
9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,
10 and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desire and despise authority. Bold and willful, they are not afraid to revile the glorious ones,
11 whereas angels, though greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord.
12 But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and killed, reviling in matters of which they are ignorant, will be destroyed in the same destruction with them,
13 suffering wrong for their wrongdoing. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you.
14 They have eyes full of adultery, that never cease from sin; they entice unstable souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children!
15 Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
16 but he was rebuked for his own transgression by a donkeya beast without speechwho spoke with a man's voice and restrained the prophet's madness.
17 These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm; for them the blackest darkness has been reserved.
18 For speaking out arrogant words of vanity, they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error.
19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved.
20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them.
22 It has happened to them according to the true proverb, »A dog turns back to its own vomit,« and, »A sow, after having washed, returns to wallowing in the mire.«