But 1false prophets also arose among the people, 2just as there will be false teachers among you, who will 3secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master 4who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.
And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth 5will be blasphemed.
And 6in their greed they will exploit you 7with false words. 8Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
For if God did not spare 9angels when they sinned, but 10cast them into hella and committed them to chainsb of gloomy darkness 11to be kept until the judgment;
if he did not spare the ancient world, but 12preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought 13a flood upon the world of the ungodly;
if by 14turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, 15making them an example of 16what is going to happen to the ungodly;c
and 17if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked
(for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, 18he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard);
then 19the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials,d and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment,
and especially 20those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and 21despise authority. Bold and willful, they do not tremble 22as they blaspheme the glorious ones,
1123whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord.
1224But these, like irrational animals, 25creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction,
suffering wrong as 26the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure 27to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions,e while 28they feast with you.
They have eyes full of adultery, 29insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts 30trained in greed. 31Accursed children!
Forsaking the right way, 32they have gone astray. They have followed 33the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved 34gain from wrongdoing,
but was rebuked for his own transgression; 35a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet's madness.
1736These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. 37For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved.
For, 38speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely 39escaping from those who live in error.
They promise them 40freedom, 41but they themselves are slavesf of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.
For if, 42after they have escaped the defilements of the world 43through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, 44the last state has become worse for them than the first.
For 45it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from 46the holy commandment delivered to them.
What the true proverb says has happened to them: "The 47dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire."