2:1Yet false prophets came among the people, and there will also be false teachers among you. They will smuggle in ruin and even disown the One who bought them and owns them! So they will bring sudden destruction upon themselves2:2and many will follow along with reckless abandon. Because of them, the way of the truth will be slandered;2:3they will greedily exploit you by means of smooth talk. But their judgment is not waiting forever, and their destruction hasn’t dozed off.
2:4For if God did not spare the Messengers who failed, but bound and imprisoned them in the gloom of Tartarus, and handed them over to be retained for judgment,
2:5and if he did not spare the ancient world (except for protecting eight, one of which was Noah, an announcer of justice) but inflicted the irreverent world with the Flood,
2:6and if he reduced the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes in a catastrophe and condemned them as an example for the irreverent2:7(having rescued righteous Lot who lived among them2:8and whose soul was tormented day and night by their lawless acts),
2:9then the Master knew full well how to rescue the devout out of trials, yet hold the unrighteous in reserve for Judgment Day.
2:10Yet there are those who bow to the flesh and defile it in lust, daring to despise mastery. They are given to self-gratification and do not hesitate to slander,2:11whereas Messengers, who are greater in strength and power, do not bring slanderous judgment against them before the Master.2:12Yet in their slandering they doom themselves, like unthinking animals ignorant of the fact that they are born into captivity and destined to die;2:13their fate is the wage they earned from injustice. They are the ones who indulge in the luxury of daily self-gratification. They are blemishes and flaws who indulge in their seductions while they party with you.2:14Their eyes are saturated with adultery and they never stop luring unstable souls into failing.
They are accursed; their hearts have been conditioned by greed.2:15Once they left the straight path they were led astray themselves (like Balaam of Beor, who loved the wages of injustice.2:16Yet his own lawlessness was exposed by a mute beast of burden who was caused by God to speak with a human voice to prevent the prophet’s insanity).2:17They are waterless springs and storm-driven mists for whom the gloomy darkness has been reserved.2:18Made to utter inflated and conceited things, they use the lusts of the flesh to lure back into recklessness the few who are barely escaping from those practicing deception.2:19They like to be professors of freedom, but they are inherently enslaved themselves to corruption, for it degrades those it has enslaved.
2:20Because if they fled from the foul pollution of the world and recognized our Master and Savior Jesus the Anointed, then got involved in it again, they have become worse off than before.2:21It would have been better for them to never have recognized the right way than to recognize the holy precept they had been given and then turn back.2:22The proverbs about them are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A washed pig returns to its wallowing in the mud.”