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False Prophets and Teachers

But mfalse prophets also arose among the people, njust as there will be false teachers among you, who will osecretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master pwho bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth qwill be blasphemed. And rin their greed they will exploit you swith false words. tTheir condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

For if God did not spare uangels when they sinned, but vcast them into hell1 and committed them to chains2 of gloomy darkness wto be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but xpreserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought ya flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by zturning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, amaking them an example of bwhat is going to happen to the ungodly;3 and cif he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, dhe was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then ethe Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials,4 and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially fthose who indulge5 in the lust of defiling passion and gdespise authority.

Bold and willful, they do not tremble gas they blaspheme the glorious ones, 11 hwhereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. 12 iBut these, like irrational animals, jcreatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, 13 suffering wrong as kthe wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure lto revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions,6 while mthey feast with you. 14 They have eyes full of adultery,* ninsatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts otrained in greed. pAccursed children! 15 Forsaking the right way, qthey have gone astray. They have followed rthe way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved sgain from wrongdoing, 16 but was rebuked for his own transgression; ta speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

17 uThese are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. vFor them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. 18 For, wspeaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely xescaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them yfreedom, zbut they themselves are slaves7 of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. 20 For if, aafter they have escaped the defilements of the world bthrough the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, cthe last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For dit would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from ethe holy commandment delivered to them. 22 What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The fdog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”

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The Holy Bible, English Standard Version
Copyright © 2016 by Crossway Bibles,
a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers
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