But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.
And many will follow their licentiousness, and because of them the way of truth will be reviled.
And in their greed they will exploit you with false words; from of old their condemnation has not been idle, and their destruction has not been asleep.
For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of nether gloom to be kept until the judgment;
if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven other persons, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;
if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomor'rah to ashes he condemned them to extinction and made them an example to those who were to be ungodly;
and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the licentiousness of the wicked
(for by what that righteous man saw and heard as he lived among them, he was vexed in his righteous soul day after day with their lawless deeds),
then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment,
and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. Bold and wilful, they are not afraid to revile the glorious ones,
whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a reviling judgment upon them before the Lord.
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,
suffering wrong for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their dissipation, carousing with you.
They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children!
Forsaking the right way they have gone astray; they have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Be'or, who loved gain from wrongdoing,
but was rebuked for his own transgression; a dumb ass spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet's madness.
These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm; for them the nether gloom of darkness has been reserved.
For, uttering loud boasts of folly, they entice with licentious passions of the flesh men who have barely escaped from those who live in error.
They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved.
For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.
It has happened to them according to the true proverb, The dog turns back to his own vomit, and the sow is washed only to wallow in the mire.
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Revised Standard Version w/ Apocrypha)