1 Now there were false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you too, who will insidiously introduce destructive heresies and deny the Master who has bought them, thus bringing on themselves swift destruction. 2 Many people will follow their immoral ways, and because of them the true Way will be abused, 3 In their greed they will exploit you with messages manufactured by themselves. From of old their condemnation has not been idle and their destruction has not been slumbering.
4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but hurled them down to Tartarus and committed them to dark dungeons to await their doom, 5 and if He did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others when He brought the flood upon the world of godless people; 6 and if He condemned, by burning them to ashes, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, making them an example to godless people of what was coming to them, 7 and saved the upright Lot who was constantly distressed by the immoral conduct of lawless men -- 8 for as long as that upright man was living among them, his upright soul, day and night, was always being tortured by what he saw and heard in their lawless actions -- 9 surely, then, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from trial and to keep wrongdoers under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 especially those who satisfy their lower nature by indulging in its evil passions which defile them, and who despise authority. Daring, headstrong men! They do not tremble when they abuse persons of majesty, 11 whereas angels who are far superior in strength and power to these beings bring no abusive accusation against them before the Lord. 12 These men, like irrational animals, mere creatures of instinct created to be caught and killed, abuse the things that they do not understand, and so by their corruption they will be destroyed, suffering wrong as punishment for their wrongdoing. 13 They think their daily luxurious living real pleasure; they are spots and blots, deceitfully living in luxurious pleasure while they continue their religious feasting with you. 14 They have eyes full of adultery and insatiable by sin. They practice enticing unsteady souls. They have trained their hearts in greed. They are doomed to a curse! 15 They have left the straight road and gone astray. They have followed the road that Balaam, the son of Beor, trod, who fell in love with the profits of wrongdoing 16 but was reproved for his offense; a dumb animal spoke with a human voice and stopped the prophet's madness.
17 Such men are dried-up springs, clouds driven by the storm, and they are doomed to densest darkness. 18 For by uttering arrogant nonsense, through base desires of the lower nature, they entice into immorality men who are just escaping from those who live in error, 19 promising them freedom, though they are slaves of destruction themselves; for a man is the slave of anything that conquers him. 20 For if, after men have escaped the corrupting ways of the world through a full knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they again become entangled in them and are conquered by them, then their last condition is worse than their former one. 21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of uprightness than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command committed to their trust. 22 In them is verified the truth of the proverb, "A dog turns back to what he has vomited"; and of that other proverb, "A sow that has washed herself goes back to wallow in the mire."