Contemporary English Version
False Prophets and Teachers
1Sometimes false prophets spoke to the people of Israel. False teachers will also sneak in and speak harmful lies to you. But these teachers don't really belong to the Master who paid a great price for them, and they will quickly destroy themselves. 2Many people will follow their evil ways and cause others to tell lies about the true way. 3They will be greedy and cheat you with smooth talk. But long ago God decided to punish them, and God doesn't sleep.
4God did not have pity on the angels that sinned. He had them tied up and thrown into the dark pits of hell until the time of judgment. 5 And during Noah's time, God did not have pity on the ungodly people of the world. He destroyed them with a flood, though he did save eight people, including Noah, who preached the truth.
6 God punished the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah+ by burning them to ashes, and this is a warning to anyone else who wants to sin.
7-8 Lot lived right and was greatly troubled by the terrible way those wicked people were living. He was a good man, and day after day he suffered because of the evil things he saw and heard. So the Lord rescued him. 9This shows that the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their sufferings and to punish evil people while they wait for the day of judgment.
10The Lord is especially hard on people who disobey him and don't think of anything except their own filthy desires. They are reckless and proud and are not afraid of cursing the glorious beings in heaven. 11Although angels are more powerful than these evil beings,+ even the angels don't dare to accuse them to the Lord.
12These people are no better than senseless animals that live by their feelings and are born to be caught and killed. They speak evil of things they don't know anything about. But their own corrupt deeds will destroy them. 13They have done evil, and they will be rewarded with evil.
They think it is fun to have wild parties during the day. They are immoral, and the meals they eat with you are spoiled by the shameful and selfish way they carry on.+ 14All they think about is having sex with someone else's husband or wife. There is no end to their wicked deeds. They trick people who are easily fooled, and their minds are filled with greedy thoughts. But they are headed for trouble!
15 They have left the true road and have gone down the wrong path by following the example of the prophet Balaam. He was the son of Beor and loved what he got from being a crook. 16But a donkey corrected him for this evil deed. It spoke to him with a human voice and made him stop his foolishness.
17These people are like dried up water holes and clouds blown by a windstorm. The darkest part of hell is waiting for them. 18They brag out loud about their stupid nonsense. And by being vulgar and crude, they trap people who have barely escaped from living the wrong kind of life. 19They promise freedom to everyone. But they are merely slaves of filthy living, because people are slaves of whatever controls them.
20When they learned about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they escaped from the filthy things of this world. But they are again caught up and controlled by these filthy things, and now they are in worse shape than they were at first. 21They would have been better off if they had never known about the right way. Even after they knew what was right, they turned their backs on the holy commandments they were given. 22 What happened to them is just like the true saying,
“A dog will come back
to lick up its own vomit.
A pig that has been washed
will roll in the mud.”
Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)
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