2 Peter 2 Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)
A Warning About False Teachers
2 There were false prophets also among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved ways, and because of them the way of the truth will be blasphemed. 3 In their greed they will exploit you with fabricated messages. Their condemnation announced long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
God Will Punish These False Teachers
4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned but handed them over to chains[a] of darkness by casting them into hell, to be kept under guard for judgment; 5 and if God did not spare the ancient world but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, along with seven others when he brought a flood on the world of ungodly people; 6 and if God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction,[b] by turning them into ashes when he made them an example of things to come for the ungodly;[c] 7 and if he rescued righteous Lot, who was very distressed by the unrestrained immorality of the wicked people 8 (while that righteous man was living among them, he was tormented in his righteous soul day after day by the lawless deeds he saw and heard); 9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation and to keep the unrighteous under guard until the day of judgment, in order to punish them.
10 This is especially true of those who follow the defiling lust of the flesh and who despise authority. Daring and arrogant, they do not tremble when they blaspheme glorious beings, 11 whereas angels, even though they are greater in strength and power, do not bring a slanderous judgment against them before the Lord. 12 But these people blaspheme in matters about which they are ignorant, just like unreasoning creatures that live by instinct and are born to be captured and destroyed. So they too will be destroyed as a consequence of their destructive activity. 13 They will be paid back[d] for the harm they cause.
They consider it a pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, who take delight in their deceitful pleasures[e] while they feast with you. 14 They have eyes full of longing for adulterous women and sins that never stop. They seduce unstable souls. They have trained their hearts for greed. They are children who are cursed.
15 They left the right way and went astray, following the path of Balaam, son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness. 16 (He was rebuked for his disobedience. A donkey, which does not talk, spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.) 17 These men are wells without water, clouds driven away by a windstorm, for whom the gloom of darkness has been reserved.[f] 18 For by uttering arrogant, empty words, they use the depraved lusts of the flesh to seduce those who are barely[g] escaping from those who live in error. 19 While they promise these people freedom, they themselves are slaves to corruption, for a person is a slave to what has control of him.
The Tragedy of Being Led Back Into a Sinful Life
20 Indeed, if, after escaping the defiling things of the world through the knowledge of our[h] Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and controlled by them again, they are worse off than they were at first. 21 In fact, it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy command passed on to them. 22 They demonstrate the truth of the proverb: “A dog returns to its own vomit,”[i] and a washed sow returns to wallowing in the mud.