1 But there were also false prophets among the people, as there will be teachers of falsehood among you also, who will cunningly introduce fatal divisions, disowning even the Sovereign Lord who has redeemed them, and bringing on themselves swift destruction. 2 And in their immoral ways they will have many eager disciples, through whom religion will be brought into disrepute. 3 Thirsting for riches, they will trade on you with their canting talk. From of old their judgement has been working itself out, and their destruction has not been slumbering.
4 For God did not spare angels when they had sinned, but hurling them down to Tartarus consigned them to caves of darkness, keeping them in readiness for judgement. 5 And He did not spare the ancient world, although He preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a deluge on the world of the ungodly. 6 He reduced to ashes the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and condemned them to overthrow, making them an example to people who might in future be living godless lives. 7 But when righteous Lot was sore distressed by the gross misconduct of immoral men He rescued him. 8 (For their lawless deeds were torture, day after day, to the pure soul of that righteous man--all that he saw and heard whilst living in their midst.) 9 Since all this is so, the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from temptation, and on the other hand how to keep the unrighteous under punishment in readiness for the Day of Judgement, 10 and especially those who are abandoned to sensuality--craving, as they do, for polluted things, and scorning control. Fool-hardy and self-willed, they do not tremble when speaking evil of glorious beings; 11 while angels, though greater than they in might and power, do not bring any insulting accusation against such in the presence of the Lord. 12 But these men, like brute beasts, created (with their natural instincts) 13 being doomed to receive a requital for their guilt. They reckon it pleasure to feast daintily in broad daylight. They are spots and blemishes, while feeding luxuriously at their love-feasts, and banqueting with you. 14 Their very eyes are full of adultery--being eyes which never cease from sin. These men set traps to catch unstedfast souls, their own hearts being well trained in greed. They are fore-doomed to God's curse! 15 Forsaking the straight road, they have gone astray, having eagerly followed in the steps of Balaam, the son of Beor, who was bent on securing the wages of unrighteousness. 16 But he was rebuked for his transgression: a dumb ass spoke with a human voice and checked the madness of the Prophet.
17 These people are wells without water, mists driven along by a storm, men for whom the dense darkness has been reserved. 18 For, while they pour out their frivolous and arrogant talk, they use earthly cravings--every kind of immorality--as a bait to entrap men who are just escaping from the influence of those who live in error. 19 And they promise them freedom, although they are themselves the slaves of what is corrupt. For a man is the slave of any one by whom he has been worsted in fight. 20 For if, after escaping from the pollutions of the world through a full knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, people are once more entangled in these pollutions and are overcome, their last state has become worse than their first. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have fully known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandments in which they were instructed. 22 Their case is that described in the true proverb, "A dog returns to what he has vomited," and also in the other proverb, "The sow has washed itself and now goes back to roll in its filth."