2 Peter 02 (Contemporary English Version)
- Sometimes 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.
- Many people will follow their evil ways and cause others to tell lies about the true way.
- They will be greedy and cheat you with smooth talk. But long ago God decided to punish them, and God doesn't sleep.
- God 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- (SEE 2:7)
- This 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.
- The 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.
- Although angels are more powerful than these evil beings, even the angels don't dare to accuse them to the Lord.
- These 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.
- They 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.
- All 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!
- 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.
- But a donkey corrected him for this evil deed. It spoke to him with a human voice and made him stop his foolishness.
- These people are like dried up water holes and clouds blown by a windstorm. The darkest part of hell is waiting for them.
- They 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.
- They promise freedom to everyone. But they are merely slaves of filthy living, because people are slaves of whatever controls them.
- When 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.
- They 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 that they were given.
- 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."
Chapter 1 concluded with Peter's reference to the prophets of old who attested to his message concerning the Messiah. Now, in chapter 2, Peter continues his reference to the prophets of old by saying that among them there were false prophets just as now there would be false teachers among those who were readers of his letter. He is warning them to be on the outlook for these false teachers, for they will not be obvious, but rather they will be deceptive in their exploitation of true believers. Unfortunately, many will be deceived and will follow their unrestrained ways.
We may wonder why such false teachers are not readily recognized if their ways are unrestrained and they go so far as to deny Christ. However, they cloak their debauchery in deceptive words. They make it sound as if their debauchery is actually spiritual and many believe them. Who would believe such teaching after knowing the teachings of Christ? I suspect it is those who want to believe them. Those who are enticed by the promise of the best of both worlds - you can have the blessings of God while also having the supposed blessings of a life that fulfills the desires of the flesh. It is not unlike those who are enticed by "get rich quick" schemes and lose all their money as the result. They hear the scheme and it sounds too good to be true, but they turn off the alarms in their heads because they want the possibility of getting rich so easily. It is a formula for disaster, as is accepting the teachings of these false teachers.
But Peter says that judgment for these false teachers is certain, just as it was certain for angels who sinned and as it was for the people of Noah's day who were destroyed by the flood because of their sin and as it was for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah who were destroyed because of their ungodliness. Also certain is the deliverance of the righteous from the unrestrained behavior of the false teachers just as Lot was rescued from those in his day whose unrestrained behavior distressed him. Peter says, "The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment."