2Peter  ◦   Chapter 2

1In the past, among God’s people were those who claimed to speak for God and bring his Remedy, but they did not speak for God at all, and they brought a false remedy. Likewise, there will be people among you who claim to teach God’s truth and have God’s Remedy but will teach lies. They will subtly introduce false remedies — destructive doctrines purported to heal but actually incite fear, shut down thinking, and damage the mind. They will even deny the Sovereign Lord who procured the Remedy, thus bringing rapid deterioration and destruction upon themselves.2There will be large numbers of people who embrace their corrupt ways while calling themselves Christians, thus causing the Remedy to be considered worthless.3In their eagerness for power, fame and wealth, these false teachers will mislead you with theories and doctrines they have made up on their own. Because of this, their terminal condition only worsens, and their ultimate destruction is unavoidable.

4For God did not suspend reality to let the angels avoid the consequences of their deviation from his design for life, but he expelled them from his presence, suspending them in utter darkness for the day they reap the full result of unremedied sin.5God did not allow the gangrenous ancient world to completely cut itself off from him but brought the flood to excise the necrosis and save Noah–a teacher of the Remedy–and seven others.6He diagnosed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah as beyond healing, and in mercy, he cauterized those festering lesions to ash, making it clear that the unhealed will not be made to suffer eternally, but the torment of sin will mercifully be ended;7and God delivered Lot–a man who partook of the Remedy and was tormented by the disgusting lives of those living in violation of God's design–8for it was torture for that man with a healed mind and sensitive heart to live day after day among such vileness and see and hear such vulgarity.9If God can do all of this, he also knows how to rescue from affliction the godly — those who have partaken of the Remedy — while preserving until the day everyone is accurately diagnosed, the ungodly — those who by refusing the Remedy suffer in persistent sin,10and especially those whose minds are controlled by selfishness and who are so self-centered that they despise any authority, oversight, or redirection. They are presumptuous, pompous and arrogant; they are so self-absorbed that they have no respect for heavenly beings, but instead, they denigrate them.11Yet even angels, who are mightier and stronger than these false teachers, do not slander such beings in the presence of God–the source of all truth.12These people speak foolishly about things they don't even comprehend; they are like unthinking animals, driven by fear, rage, and lust. They are caught up in their own destructive choices, and — like the unthinking beasts — they will also perish.

13They will reap what they have sown, receiving as their wages the harmful results of living outside God's design. Their idea of health and happiness is to violate trust, stay faithful to no one, and openly indulge the basest passions. They are festering lesions of decay, reveling in their orgies.14They constantly backstab, betray and exploit; they never stop violating God’s design for life — the law of love — and instead, constantly promote selfishness. They seduce the immature and unstable; they are experts in taking for themselves, regardless of how it hurts others. They are unhealed, dying under the curse of sin;15they have chosen to leave the design protocols for life and have embraced the methods of Balaam, son of Beor, who loved the rewards procured by exploiting others.16But a donkey had more sense than Balaam and told him he was wrong. With the voice of a man, the donkey spoke and stopped the prophet's insane action.

17These people have nothing to offer; they are like dried-up springs, having no more substance than a vapor trail in the sky. Eternal darkness is what awaits them.18They proclaim a false message, empty of any healing power but appealing to the selfish human desire to advance self. They entice people who are only just escaping the dog-eat-dog world.19They promise freedom from fear and selfishness but are themselves slaves to their own insecurities, lusts and depraved natures — for a person is a slave to whatever controls them.20If they have broken free from the corruption of the world by experiencing a genuine intimacy with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ but choose to entangle themselves again in the web of selfishness, lust and deceit, they are worse than they were before they knew the freedom in Christ.21They would suffer less if they had never experienced the joy and freedom of righteousness than to have known it and turned back into slavery and pain, ignoring God's design–the sacred protocols that were passed on to them.22Their characters prove true the proverbs: "A dog swallows its own vomit," and "You can clean a pig, but it will return to wallowing in the mud."